Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ordination as Deacon

In the midst of this busy spring and summer, I failed to note that a highlight for me was being ordained as a Deacon in the Anglican Church this spring.

My ordination was held on April 30th at Apostles Anglican Church in Lexington, Kentucky where I was ordained by the Rt. Rev. David "Doc" Loomis.

Pictured above (from left to right): Fr. Peter Matthews, Rt. Rev. Doc Loomis, Fr. Matt Purmort (who was ordained as a priest at the service) and myself.

I was glad that Sue, the kids and my parents could join me. Several friends from Cincinnati also made drive as well.

The role of a deacon varies among denominations, but in the Anglican Church it is associated with a role of a servant. A deacon typically assists with the Sunday liturgy in the ministry of the Word (i.e. reading the Gospel and proclaiming the Good News about Christ) and service to the poor.

Rev. Deacon David Stiles

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Latest Bible Study - Dealing with Life's Ups and Downs

I recently finished writing a new Bible Study this summer called "Dealing with Life's Ups and Downs".

Here's the link (the .pdf version is available for free):

The study uses many charts and graphs to explain the concepts - and has a number of questions to help the reader/participant reflect on their views.

I'm hoping it's a helpful resource for people who are either new to the Christian faith or seasoned Christians -- to help in understanding more about the fundamentals of Christianity and our incredible Lord of life.

The content comes from thoughts and reflections from my recent seminary classes.

Here are the chapter titles:

Part One
Ch. 1 - Life's Circumstances
Ch. 2 - Life as we want it to be

Part Two
Ch. 3 - The Lord of Life
Ch. 4 - Our Authority in Life
Ch. 5 - An Eternally Living God
Ch. 6 - A Living God in Three Persons
Ch. 7 - Life as it deserves to be
Ch. 8 - The Life and Work of Christ

Part Three
Ch. 9 - Life in Christ
Ch. 10 - Life in the Kingdom
Ch. 11 - A Life of Rest
Ch. 12 - A Life of Becoming


Monday, August 23, 2010

Today's Lectionary Readings

...I realized that I haven't updated this blog site in a few months - so my apologies to the few readers of this site - I'll try to post an update of what I've been up to soon.

I wanted to write a quick note to say that I found today's lectionary readings to be really encouraging. I've been dealing with some feelings of discouragement lately, and found the Old Testament passages incredibly helpful.

Part of the first reading was from Psalm 3 - here's a portion of that passage:

"Many are saying of me, "God will not deliver him." But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. To the LORD I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side." (Psalm 3:2-6)

Here's a portion of the second reading from Job 5:

"Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal. From six calamities he will rescue you; in seven no harm will befall you. In famine he will ransom you from death, and in battle from the stroke of the sword. You will be protected from the lash of the tongue, and need not fear when destruction comes. You will come to the grave in full vigor, like sheaves gathered in season. "We have examined this, and it is true. So hear it and apply it to yourself." (Job 5:17-21, 26-27)

If you're not familiar with the Lectionary, it is a daily calendar of Scripture readings consisting of:

- one (or more) Psalms

- another Old Testament reading

- a New Testament reading (from something other than the Gospels - such as from Acts or portions of the New Testament letters, which are called the epistles)

- and a reading from the Gospels

This morning for example, the readings were:
-Psalm 1, Psalm 2, Psalm 3
-Job 4:1, 5:1-11, 17-21, 26-27
-Acts 9:19-31
-John 6:52-59

Here's a link to the Lectionary readings. The easiest thing to do on this website is to scroll down to the calendar view and pick the current month then the date.

I hope you'll find this helpful...