Monday, July 20, 2009

OCC in the UCC?

When I sign my name, I add the letters "OCC" after my family name. Often I have been asked, what does it mean? The letter refers to my religious order, the Order of Corpus Christi.

That explanation leads to many other queries. Is it possible for a Protestant to be a member of a religious order? Is making perpetual vows to the Order an initiation into some secret society or cult? Are religious orders a repudiation of the insights of the Reformation and an attempt to return to Rome? Why would a pastor in good standing in a liberal Christian denomination submit to a rule that is rooted in the ancient practices of the Church?

The impulse for a disciplined spiritual communal life resonate with people within and outside of the church. It is not limited to one tradition, but finds expressions in many traditions-even in the United Church of Christ. The online UCC community has a forum discussion entitled " Monastic Community in the UCC".

The Order of Corpus Christi is one community in the United Church of Christ whose historical foundations include the Mercersburg Theology of the nineteenth century. This theological movement was an American ecumenical and liturgical movement which was a corrective balance to the popular religious revivalism of the era.

The Foundation Document of the Order of Corpus Christi states:

" Corpus Christi calls us to a life of common prayer and contemplation which
produces concrete action in the life of the Church and the world. At the heart of Corpus Christi we encounter the living Christ in Word and Sacrament in the community of the Church which nurtures us in the life of faith and in mission and ministry. Daily prayer, silence, and contemplation also inform the life of Corpus Christi. All these are not ends unto themselves. They are, rather, means of God’s grace through which the balance is maintained and life, growth, and development in the Christian life and mission are given.
The practices in which the members and communities of Corpus Christi engage are intended to express commonality of faith, worship and service. In the midst of diversity there is unity and commonality in Christ!
The common practices of Corpus Christ serve as a witness and a sign. They
witness to our oneness in Christ, and they are a sign of our communion with others in Christ through one Baptism, one Bread, and the call to discipleship."

This is my community, through which I seek to live out the calling to pray and work for the unity of Christ's Body.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Liturgy of the Hours

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Here are two reflections by Bonnie Tinker.
The video is a speech she gave this past winter that explains why she advocated for marriage equality for over thirty years.

The audio is an interview Bonnie gave a few years ago. Bonnie speaks about her family history and spirituality.
Bonnie Tinker - Love Makes A Family

Bonnie Tinker: mother, wife, daughter, visionary, friend, community organizer, peacemaker.

RIP Bonnie.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Add to Technorati Favorites



Civil Rights and Marriage Equality

We interviewed the Rev. Sekou this morning on our radio programme, More Talk Radio on KBOO. We took as our launching pad for discussion his recent article in Killing the Buddha about the current marriage equality debate and how black Americans are engaged in these discussions. I will post the link to our radio interview when we put in on our site. In the meantime, you may be interested in reading the following article by Melissa Harris-Lacewell in the Nation that addresses some of the same issues. Ms. Harris-Lacewell examines SCLC (are they still around?) and the marriage issue.
Coincidentally, the national NAACP is also undergoing an internal debate on this issue. A recent CNN interview with the head of the NAACP makes clear that this historic civil rights organization has a long way to go to regain its moral vision and voice.
Where is the clear moral voice these days?
There is much to be done if the organizations seek to walk in the steps of people such as Bayard Rustin.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Happy 500 birthday, John Calvin!

Today is the five hundredth anniversary of the birth of John Calvin. I posted the comment on my Facebook page, a Quaker friend remarked that Calvinism is so toxic.
Perhaps we need to move beyond the stereotypes. The fact that many people with different ideological and theological perspectives claim Calvin as influential should be caused for us to stop and look anew, or look for the very first time.
I recommend reading the Institutes of the Christian Religion. An appropriate way to enter into the world of John Calvin.

The World Alliance of Reformed Churches issued a statement commemorating Calvin that acknowledges the continuing relevance of Calvin in the twenty first century. The president of my alma mater Union Theological Seminary, Dr, Serene Jones wrote a paper that takes as it's title the reformed motto, Ecclesia Reformata, Semper Reformanda, the church reformed, always reforming.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Gays Are the New Niggers

Recently in Killing the Buddha, the Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou wrote a thought provoking article entitled, " Gays Are the New Niggers ". I believe he offers an important perspective in the on going discussion of the relationship between the African American civil rights movement and the modern lgbt movement. As a straight black, third generation Pentecostal pastor, Mr. Sekou brings unique insights to this discussion.

Posted using ShareThis

Saturday, July 4, 2009

For some time, I have thought about joining the 21st century, and join the rank of bloggers. Perhaps now I will start.
Yesterday, my friend and colleague, Bonnie Tinker, died in a terrible bike accident. She was in Virginia at the Friends General Conference. I found out about it from a facebook post by someone attending the meeting. I then picked up the phone and called Sara, her spouse of over thirty years, to confirm my worst fear.
We spoke briefly, she was waiting to board a plane to VA. However, we never mentioned that Bonnie died. Perhaps, I thought, she was severely injured. I called Pam Monette, chair of Love Makes A Family, and asked if she had spoken to Sara. I mentioned that Bonnie had been in an accident, but did not say that I thought she was dead. Pam called Sara, and a few minutes later called me back and confirmed my fears, Bonnie was dead.
I woke up this morning, thinking that it was a bad dream. It is not.
We were last together at the Archbishop Tutu lecture at the University of Portland a few weeks ago. We have spoken over the phone frequently since that gathering.
Bonnie was a fierce advocate for justice, crying out for the voiceless, fearless, yet gentle. She was committed to the way of peace, which did not mean she avoided confrontation (I think she was energised by confronting injustice).
Pam mentioned to me that she was concerned about Bonnie's family, and not Bonnie because she believed Bonnie was busy organising the angels. I like that.
Farewell dear friend. Thank you for your love, support, and the lessons you taught me. May your work continue here on earth, as you enter into the bosom of God.
"Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May the souls of the faithfully departed,through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen."