Friday, October 24, 2008

Dancing With Democracy

Unbelievable McCain Vs. Obama Dance-Off

Given our current fascination with actually paying attention to reality shows instead of the points of presidential policy, this might be a fairer way of doing things.

And Alec Baldwin's comments SOOOO apply. What a lame double.

Too Late for a Write In?

I HOPE not.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

ProChoice Hotels

Clarion Hotels - a family of hotels owned by the Choice Hotels international network - is now offering a discount to victims clients of the Cherry Hill Abortion Mill Women's Center.

Got an upcoming vacation? Business trip looming on the horizon? Church retreat? Let the manager know that you won't be staying at:
until such time as you know your money won't go toward having second trimester abortions.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Worship Wednesdays - The Collect

Something that helped me fall in love with the Anglican tradition was the didactic and liturgical use of the collect. The collect (opening prayer, pronunciation here) has four parts. The collect I believe is a key to liturgy. However, it is regularly abused - a few seconds of just another little prayer near the start of a service, even read together from a printed pew-sheet for the day (reducing it to merely one part).

The word “collect” in Latin is collecta - gathering together. A collect gathers a litany (list of petitions) together into a final, single prayer. Or a collect gathers silent (or even sung) prayer together into a single prayer. This is what the collect is in the Entrance Rite - the Gathering of the Community. As it gathers the silent (or sung) prayers of everyone it functions to gather the individuals into a praying community.

The bidding: The presider invites the community to prayer - “Let us pray”. Or in a more extended way, something like: “Let us pray in silence that God will make us one in mind and heart”.

The silence: This is the heart of the collect. This deep silent praying of the community is what the collect is collecting. If there is no silent prayer, it is not a collect because there is nothing to collect. Without this silence the “collect” is reduced to merely another little prayer cluttering the vestibule at the start of our service.

The collect:* After sufficient silent prayer the presider proclaims the collect, gathering the prayers of the community, and articulating the prayer of the church - the body of Christ. As Christ’s body the collect is addressed in Christ’s name, on Christ’s behalf, to God the Source of all Being, in the power and unity of the Holy Spirit.

Amen: The community makes the collect its own by a strong “Amen” - “so be it”.

The collect when well understood and aptly used can powerfully gather the community, deepen our prayerfulness, and profoundly express much at the heart of Christian spirituality.

*How to Write Your Own Collect
Examples taken from the Collect for Purity
(h/t St. Mary's Cadishead)

Step Task
Collect for Purity
Step 1 - Address Begin the prayer by addressing it to God. Almighty God,
Step 2 - Amplification Call to mind God's character - saying something about what God is like or what God has done. This serves as a mini-covenant renewal, reiterating the character of the Supreme covenant-keeping God to Himself and His people. Sometimes, a motive is used here - reminding God of His undending mercy.
unto whom all hearts be open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid
Step 3 - Petition Ask God to do something that only He can do.
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy holy spirit,
Step 4 - Purpose Continue by giving a reason for why you are asking, or what you want to happen. that we may perfectly love thee,

Step 5 - Motive Reiterate how this action is in accord with God's purposes and glory.
and worthily magnify thy holy name:

Step 6 - ending the prayer End the prayer, perhaps using a traditional ending, preferably Trinitarian, and finish with ‘Amen’. through Christ our Lord. Amen.

In essence, I see the Lord's Prayer as the basis of this beautiful form of praying.

SUBSTANTIAL THANKS to the good folks at!

Write your own collect and post it on your blog (or in the comments)!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Stopping the Death Spiral in the Housing Market

This plan seems to make a lot more sense than what the government is doing right now.

Anybody else up for paying $50 billion (to homeowners mortgages) over five years, as opposed to $700 billion (to Wall Street and banks) this year and more to come?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Obaminable Record

Obama never met an expansion-of-abortion bill he didn't like. He is extreme on an issue that is of great importance to a large swathe of Americans.

Unborn babies don't worry about economies. They have few concerns about trade arrangements. And they aren't particularly interested in borders.

I care about all of those things and more. But I can't even begin to care about them until I care about stopping the wholesale slaughter of innocent babies. I know there are some who bemoan the evangelical prolife movement as an overly-narrow single-issue voter turnout. However, I see it more as a foundation from which all other values speak. No one would dare call an anti-poverty agenda "single-issue." Let's demand a full-orbed respect for the anti-abortion agenda as well.

(And let's go further, evangelicals, by making sure that we are taking anti-abortion measures on multiple fronts: legislative, social, economic, educational, etc.)