So Strong; yet so calm: Mary's Choice.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church Atlanta and the Beech Tree

E = MC2

Manifest4u:  Interior Decorating :CumUnion
The Living Dead(?)Seeing the Light(?)Living in Darkness

Sacrificial Lamb(s)
Dead Man Walking

Ah Jesus! Fuck-ah-Duck!

Trilogy of Ducklings:  Two Sitting/Purple One Standing
She didn't give her permission!
Not exactly the same thing...
this I already know!

not like she knew what was coming next! 
Or next! Or next! Or next!
Just somehow thought she had no choice but to keep living it forward.
Practically the mind of a child herself.

I can of mine own self do nothing
I sense ~{6!9}~  I judge
and my judgment is just because 

seek not mine own will; but the will of my father 
 hath sent me.



During a previous visit to this St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church while hosting  a flower show 
 Thee Georgia Iris Society
Bearded (?)Iris ~{I Sense~(6!9)~I Judge}~Wise(?)Eye 
Upon learning
St. Bartholomew "BE THE MAN"  in the portrait,
Only having thought this to myself, I went home determined researching this as well.  


St. Bartholomew formerly a tanner hence the knifes above his head in this portrait;  one of several martyr disciple of Jesus, this one having a story of himself  being thrown off a ship with only the shell of this man, his skin, washing ashore that's also inspiring the arts by others.

Nor was I happy learning on my follow up visit after today's Sunday's evening service, that this chair with it's needlepoint blue cushion was called the "BISHOP's CHAIR."

But first I arrived late; almost didn't attend at all once knowing I would be arriving late.  But...just had to find out more about that portrait of St. Bartholomew; arriving late but prepared for a possible confrontation.

Already knew the episcopalians were somewhat Catholic leaning. And that was pretty much all I knew except for some controversy about a gay bishop.

This evening's service probably my fifth attendance for services held at different churches my neighborhood, and this is since having graduated high school. 

My third communion service as well.  Declined participating every one of them.  Even this one, although, they seemed a bit pushy about it;  felt I had to make it far more obvious than I thought should have been needed...that I didn't want to participate.  

felt the service was too rigid, stiff, repetitive.  And this was my first time attending a service such as this one.  Already thinking the Methodist Church services/life within it's walls were scripted to the point...
nothing but living a lie.  

Although these Episcopalians looked far more serious in their faith/convictions compared to the others I've attended, left with the impression, just another form of manipulation and deception eliminating the possibility of consent.  

Not wonder I broke out laughing having found myself behind a very slow moving little bitty red car just as I turned onto Mason Mill Road from Houston Mill Road returning home.  One bumper sticker read "DOING MY PART PISSING OFF THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT"  and the other one I haven't been able to stop myself from repeating all day long...


The Episcopal Church describes itself as being "Protestant, yet Catholic". In 2010, it had 2,125,012 baptized members, of which 1,951,907 were in the U.S., making it the nation's 14th largest denomination.  The church is also known as the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America (ECUSA).

The church was organized after the American Revolution, when it separated from the Church of England whose clergy are required to swear allegiance to the British monarch as Supreme Governor of the Church of England, and became the first Anglican Province outside the British Isles.
The Episcopal Church was active in the Social Gospel movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Since the 1960s and 1970s, it has opposed the death penalty and supported the civil rights movement and affirmative action. Some of its leaders and priests marched with civil rights demonstrators. Today the Church calls for the full civil equality of gay and lesbian people, and the church's General Convention has passed resolutions that allow for same-sex marriages in states in which it is legal. The convention also approved an official liturgy to bless such unions. On the question of abortion, the church has adopted a "nuanced approach".
The Episcopal Church ordains women to the priesthood as well as the diaconate and the episcopate. The current Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church is Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first female primate in the Anglican Communion.

Embracing the symbols of the British presence in the American colonies, such as the monarchy, the episcopate, and even the language of the Book of Common Prayer, the Church of England almost drove itself to extinction during the upheaval of the American Revolution. More than any other denomination, the War of Independence internally divided both clergy and laity of the Church of England in America, and opinions covered a wide spectrum of political views: patriots, conciliators, and loyalists. While many Patriots were suspicious of Loyalism in the Church, about three-quarters of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were nominally Anglican laymen, including Thomas JeffersonWilliam Paca, and George Wythe. It was often assumed that persons considered "High Church" were Loyalists, whereas persons considered "Low Church" were Patriots; assumptions with possibly dangerous implications for the time.
In general, loyalist clergy stayed by their oaths and prayed for the king or else suspended services. By the end of 1776, some Anglican churches were closing. Anglican priests held services in private homes or lay readers who were not bound by the oaths held morning and evening prayer. During 1775 and 1776, the Continental Congress had issued decrees ordering churches to fast and pray on behalf of the patriots. Starting July 4, 1776, Congress and several states passed laws making prayers for the king and British Parliament acts of treason. The patriot clergy in the South were quick to find reasons to transfer their oaths to the American cause and prayed for the success of the Revolution. One precedent was the transfer of oaths during the Glorious Revolution in England. Most of the patriot clergy in the south were able to keep their churches open and services continued.
When the American Civil War began in 1861, Episcopalians in the South formed their own Protestant Episcopal Church. However, in the North the separation was never officially recognized. By May 16, 1866, the southern dioceses had rejoined the national church.
During the Gilded Age, highly prominent laity such as banker J. P. Morgan, industrialist Henry Ford, and art collector Isabella Stewart Gardner played a central role in shaping a distinctive upper class Episcopalian ethos, especially with regard to preserving the arts and history. These philanthropists propelled the Episcopal Church into a quasi-national position of importance while at the same time giving the church a central role in the cultural transformation of the country. Another mark of influence is the fact that more than a quarter of all presidents of the United States have been Episcopalians . It was during this period that the Book of Common Prayer was revised, first in 1892 and later in 1928.
In recent decades, the Episcopal Church, like other mainline churches, has experienced a decline in membership as well as internal controversy over women's ordination and the place of homosexuals in the church. Because of these and other controversial issues including abortion rights, individual members and clergy can and do frequently disagree with the stated position of the church's leadership.
In 1991 the General Convention declared "the practice of racism is sin" and in 2006 a unanimous House of Bishops endorsed Resolution A123 apologizing for complicity in the institution of slavery and silence over "Jim Crow" laws, segregation, and racial discrimination.
The Episcopal Church affirmed at the 1976 General Convention that homosexuals are "children of God" who deserve acceptance and pastoral care from the church and equal protection under the law. Despite the affirmation of gay rights, the General Convention affirmed in 1991 that "physical sexual expression" is only appropriate within the monogamous, lifelong "union of husband and wife." The first openly homosexual priest, Ellen Barrett, was ordained in 1977. The first openly homosexual bishop, Gene Robinson, was elected in June 2003. Robinson's election caused a crisis in both the American church and the wider Anglican Communion.
On July 14, 2009, the Episcopal Church's House of Bishops voted that "any ordained ministry" is open to gay men and lesbians.The New York Times said the move was "likely to send shockwaves through the Anglican Communion."
This vote ended a moratorium on ordaining gay bishops passed in 2006 and passed in spite of Archbishop Rowan Williams's personal call at the start of the convention that, "I hope and pray that there won't be decisions in the coming days that will push us further apart."
A loss of 115,000 members was reported for the years 2003–05, which has been attributed in part to controversy concerning ordination of homosexuals to the priesthood and the election of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, but is a similar rate of loss to that which prevailed in the period from 1967–69, when the church lost 113,000 members, which has been attributed in part to liberal policies in an age of racial tension. Other theories about the decline in membership include a failure to sufficiently reach beyond ethnic barriers in an increasingly diverse society, and the low fertility rates prevailing among the predominant ethnic groups traditionally belonging to the church.
The Episcopal Church also has the highest number of graduate and post-graduate degrees per capita of any other Christian denomination in the United States, as well as the most high-income earners.
The Rev. Sharon Hiers



The center of Episcopal teaching is the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ.[79] The basic teachings of the church, or catechism, include:
The full catechism is included in the Book of Common Prayer and is posted on the Episcopal website. The threefold sources of authority in Anglicanism are scripture, tradition, and reason. These three sources uphold and critique each other in a dynamic way.
The Episcopal Church follows the via media or "middle way" between Protestant and Roman Catholic doctrine and practices: that is both Catholic and Reformed. Although many Episcopalians identify with this concept, those whose convictions lean toward either evangelicalism or Anglo-Catholicism may not.
A broad spectrum of theological views is represented within the Episcopal Church. Some Episcopal theologians hold evangelical positions, affirming the authority of scripture over all. The Episcopal Church website glossary defines the sources of authority as a balance between scripture, tradition, and reason. These three are characterized as a "three-legged stool" which will topple if any one overbalances the other. It also notes:
The Anglican balancing of the sources of authority has been criticized as clumsy or "muddy." It has been associated with the Anglican affinity for seeking the mean between extremes and living the via media. It has also been associated with the Anglican willingness to tolerate and comprehend opposing viewpoints instead of imposing tests of orthodoxy or resorting to heresy trials.
This balance of scripture, tradition and reason is traced to the work of Richard Hooker, a 16th-century apologist. In Hooker's model, scripture is the primary means of arriving at doctrine and things stated plainly in scripture are accepted as true. Issues that are ambiguous are determined by tradition, which is checked by reason. Noting the role of personal experience in Christian life, some Episcopalians have advocated following the example of the Wesleyan Quadrilateral of Methodist theology by thinking in terms of a "Fourth Leg" of "experience." This understanding is highly dependent on the work of Friedrich Schleiermacher.

After his conversion to theism in 1929, Lewis converted to Christianity in 1931, following a long discussion and late-night walk with his close friends Tolkien and Hugo Dyson. He records making a specific commitment to Christian belief while on his way to the zoo with his brother. He became a member of the Church of England – somewhat to the disappointment of Tolkien, who had hoped that he would join the Catholic Church. 

Lewis was a committed Anglican who upheld a largely orthodox Anglican theology, though in his apologetic writings, he made an effort to avoid espousing any one denomination. In his later writings, some believe that he proposed ideas such as purification of venial sins after death in purgatory (The Great Divorce and Letters to Malcolm) and mortal sin (The Screwtape Letters), which are generally considered to be Roman Catholic teachings, although they are also widely held in Anglicanism (particularly in high church Anglo-Catholic circles). Regardless, Lewis considered himself an entirely orthodox Anglican to the end of his life, reflecting that he had initially attended church only to receive communion and had been repelled by the hymns and the poor quality of the sermons. He later came to consider himself honoured by worshipping with men of faith who came in shabby clothes and work boots and who sang all the verses to all the hymns. 

Wait a minute.  
Sitting on it ...IS... the experience! Standing, also!
 How about we replace Scripture with Experience and set the Bible on top; 
like how it would be displayed in the home's of most whose worship 
TRUE... although not...SINCERE.

All I'm able seeing....
someone proud looking back down on him?

Do not believe Mr. Lewis is adding up his experiences right? 

Even if you add a "fourth leg" as experience,
a proud man that too proud of the wrong kind can easily get that "scripture leg" or the "reason leg"  or the "tradition leg" kick out from underneath him or her by the "EXPERIENCED LEG" of the one felt wrongly looked down upon!  My advice: don't spend too much time looking upwards unless wanting getting there sooner!  


Now really!  
Is this how it works?
Sounded like Lewis started off with the right thought as he's reading his bible while sitting on that stool; 
turns right around with a justification giving less than he could.  

You know, as in,
 "Jesus died for our sins so we may live; 
whosoever believes in him shall not perish 
but have everlasting life."

"All true worshipper are sincere 
not all sincere worshipper are true."

A public example of this struggle between different Christian positions in the church has been the 2003 consecration of the Right Reverend Gene Robinson, an openly gay man living with a long-term partner. The acceptance/rejection of his consecration is motivated by different views on the understanding of scripture. This struggle has some members concerned that the church may not continue its relationship with the larger Anglican Church. Others, however, view this pluralism as an asset, allowing a place for both sides to balance each other.
Comedian and Episcopalian Robin Williams once described the Episcopal faith (and, in a performance in London, specifically the Church of England) as "Catholic Lite – same rituals, half the guilt."

Varying degrees of liturgical practice prevail within the church, and one finds a variety of worship styles: traditional hymns and anthems, more modern religious music, Anglican chant, liturgical dance, charismatic prayer, and vested clergy of varying degrees. As varied as services can be, the central binding aspect is the Book of Common Prayer or supplemental liturgies.
Often a congregation or a particular service will be referred to as Low Church or High Church. In theory:
High Church, especially the very high Anglo-Catholic movement, is ritually inclined towards the use of incense, formal hymns, and a higher degree of ceremony. In addition to clergy vesting in albsstoles and chasubles, the lay assistants may also be vested in cassock and surplice. The sung Eucharist tends to be emphasized in High Church congregations, with Anglo-Catholic congregations and celebrants using sung services almost exclusively.
Low Church is simpler and may incorporate other elements such as informal praise and worship music. "Low" congregations tend towards a more "traditional Protestant" outlook with its emphasis of Biblical revelation over symbolism. The spoken Eucharist tends to be emphasized in Low Church congregations.
Broad Church incorporates elements of both low church and high church.
A majority of Episcopal services could be considered to be "High Church" while still falling somewhat short of a typical Anglo-Catholic "very" high church service. In contrast, "Low Church" services are somewhat rarer. However, while some Episcopalians refer to their churches by these labels, often there is overlapping, and the basic rites do not greatly differ. There are also variations that blend elements of all three and have their own unique features, such as New England Episcopal churches, which have elements drawn from Puritan practices, combining the traditions of "high church" with the simplicity of "low church". Typical parish worship features Bible readings from the Old Testament as well as from both the Epistles and the Gospels of the New Testament. Some latitude in selecting Bible readings is allowed, but every service includes at least a passage from one of the Gospels, as well as the praying of the Lord's Prayer.

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