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Welcome to Stand Firm!

Stations of the Millennium Development Goals

Monday, January 21, 2008 • 5:43 pm

Fresh hell, people. Gitcher fresh hell here.

I am not making this up. This is what 815 is offering as part of its Lenten resources this year. Here is the downloadable Word file.

Some suggested options for activities are:  (can be modified as appropriate)

- Station 1: Bag lunches to be distributed to those in need the next day
Bring goods and organize for a local food pantry. 

- Station 2: Create a card using a poster-size piece of paper.  Have each pilgrim write encouraging words, scripture, drawings, etc., making sure to write at the level of a primary school student.  Send the card to an Episcopal/Anglican school in the developing world.

- Station 3: Have a piece of paper for each pilgrim to write the names of women who have inspired them and why.  Include family members, friends, world leaders, historical figures, artists, religious figures and others.  Tape pages together top-to-bottom and roll up as a scroll to be read during the corporate worship time.

- Station 4: Provide black and white drawings or outlines of children’s faces.  Have pilgrims color the faces.  While the group is coloring, ring a bell every fifteen seconds to recognize that another child died from a preventable water-borne illness.

- Station 5: Have a poster-size piece of paper for each pilgrim and a thick black permanent marker.  Ask each pilgrim to write the first-name only of every woman they know who had a baby in the past year.  When the list is complete, draw a black cross next to the name of every 16th woman.  Explain that this represents the plight of women in sub-Saharan Africa, where one in 16 pregnant women die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth each day.

- Station 6: Have a bed sheet and a couple of ink pads or finger paints.  Have one pilgrim make a handprint every thirty seconds.  Explain that the number of handprints on the sheet symbolize how many children have died from malaria during the time you were at the station.

- Station 7: Have pilgrims calculate their carbon footprint and come up with three strategies to reduce it.

- Station 8: Have pilgrims sign and address postcards to members of Congress urging support for the Millennium Development Goals.


Stations of the Millennium Development Goals

At the beginning of each station the group prays together:

God you created us and call us to be in this world,
   part of your creative force.
In Christ you teach us the way of salvation.
   Help us to live radically in a broken world.
Send your Spirit upon us that we might be
instruments of your peace.

Vocalizing the Millennium Development Goals:  The leader will read the goal out loud at each station
Reflection:  Participants will reflect on each goal (see below)

At the end of each station the group prays together:
Holy God
Holy and Mighty
Holy Immortal One
Transform us
That we might transform the world

When you have passed through all eight stations please return to area around the font.

55 Comments • Print-friendlyPrint-friendly w/commentsShare on Facebook

This is raw idolatry. On the very day the universal church contemplates Christ and him crucified, TEC contemplates her own oh so public good works. Don’t meditate on the atonement. meditate on the MDG’s. What rot. Creator exchanged for creature

[1] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 01-21-2008 at 07:03 PM • top

You are exactly right, Matt+. 

Lord, have mercy.

[2] Posted by MJD_NV on 01-21-2008 at 07:04 PM • top

I am not a violent person by nature, or even particularly assertive.  But I do believe if someone were to put up the MDG’s in my church and refer to them as “stations” I would rip the things down myself.

Whomever thought this one up needs a lot of prayer.  A LOT of prayer.

[3] Posted by GoodMissMurphy on 01-21-2008 at 07:10 PM • top

The MDGs are good works. And maybe these are the good works that God is calling the people in the Episcopal Church to do at this time. The problem is focusing on these good works at the time appointed to focus on our sins and the meaning of the atonement.

This creates the impression that we are saved by our good works rather than by Christ—that our sins are forgiven if we try hard enough to do good works. And by making the claims to doing good works a public display, it creates the impression that public impressions are what really matter.

I think I am agreeing with Matt+ when I say that this is not about worshiping God, but rather replacing God with one’s own good works as the object of worship. So it sort of becomes self worship.

[4] Posted by Deja Vu on 01-21-2008 at 07:44 PM • top

Here is another point.  There is no reflection in that document that we need to be saved from anything and that is the glaring heresy of TEC.  They are “just” good works.  In fact, by doing the works we are the ones doing the “saving”.  Of course, all the salvation is temporal, but really—what serious TEC intellectual believes there is anything more than that which we carry around in us.

[5] Posted by rwkachur on 01-21-2008 at 07:52 PM • top

The insult, if you will, here is the concept of “stations.”  The stations represent the anguish of Christ in a visual way, and praying the stations is for many of us an especially sacred experience.  There isn’t anything wrong with the MDG’s.  They are, indeed, good works.  But to replace, or even hint at replacing (which they have to know they are doing, unless they are totally clueless) the stations with chart paper and their own words… yes, I agree.  Self-worship.  What I don’t understand is do the folks who thought this one up just not get it, or are they thinking “oh, that Passion stuff is so old and violent…we need to get over it”?

[6] Posted by GoodMissMurphy on 01-21-2008 at 07:53 PM • top

Have a poster-size piece of paper for each pilgrim and a thick black permanent marker. Ask each pilgrim to write the first-name only of every woman they know who had a baby in the past year. When the list is complete, draw a black cross next to the name of every 16th woman. Explain that this represents the plight of women in sub-Saharan Africa, where one in 16 pregnant women die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth each day.

So all pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa die every 16 days?  Seems like the place would be uninhabited in a matter of weeks.

Maybe a better exercise would be to put a red X through three or four of them to represent what portion of children are aborted in America every year, a policy that TEC supports.

[7] Posted by Jeffersonian on 01-21-2008 at 07:55 PM • top

There isn’t anything wrong with the MDG’s.  They are, indeed, good works.

The MDGs are not works but, as the name says, goals.  They are largely the same goals the developed world has pursued for decades, with little to show for its effort.  This is because the means, the actual works, are at odds with the goals.  Not to mention that the MDGs are being administered by a body that just got done plundering tens of billions meant to feed and heal Iraqi civilians.  You’d do better giving your money to the Cosa Nostra.

[8] Posted by Jeffersonian on 01-21-2008 at 08:01 PM • top

Ah, the restoration of the “fresh hell” tag… and for us Episcopalians fresh shame.  I don’t doubt that the creators of this MDG Liturgy mean well but the real problem is that the MDG’s are a strictly secular program pushed by the UN, with absolutely zero religious content.  They have no place in the worship of a Christian church and to replace the Cross with MDG’s is horribly sacrilegious.  If you must push MDG please do it during coffee hour after worship…

[9] Posted by Nevin on 01-21-2008 at 08:08 PM • top

I’ve read the document- and it seems to me to be a poor liturgy at best. THat being said, i don’t think it rises to “raw idolitry.” It does mention salvation through Jesus several times, has the apostle creed with in, works from Matthew’s gospel- and encourages some reflection on the plight of the poor.

But I can’t see where it says when it is to be used. It doesn’t suggest anywhere that it is to replace the “stations of the cross” or be used on Good Friday. It is only that there are 8 stations for this exercise and Lent would be a good time to use them. I suppose one could make that leap- but it isn’t a stations of the cross in anyway. Rather a simple exercise coined within a liturgy to raise awarness of these goals and poverty.

Could someone explain how they see this as idolatry?  That is replacing god with graven images?

[10] Posted by sarahsnemisis on 01-21-2008 at 08:12 PM • top

I thought of better art projects as a preschool teacher.
That said, the substution of ANYTHING for recalling Christ’s works is unacceptable.  But substuting our own works for Christ’s atoning sacrifice… well, I think the church throughout the ages has had a few words to say about that!

[11] Posted by Free Range Anglican on 01-21-2008 at 08:19 PM • top

(10) I also read the liturgy and agree with most of your points.  Where I take exception (with this suggestion) is with the unspoken message.  Putting up MDG’s and saying a prayer at each one is just too similar to the stations of the cross for me.  I’m not quite sure what graven images really are, or whether this fits the definition.  The parallel with the stations is obvious, and again, I have to wonder at their motivation.  And I keep visualizing the staff meeting where this came up:  “I’ve got it!  We’ll have them write the MDG’s and post them on the wall and then….”  I just don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

[12] Posted by GoodMissMurphy on 01-21-2008 at 08:24 PM • top

<<I just don’t know whether to laugh or cry.>>
Actually, vomit was the response that seems most appropriate.

[13] Posted by Free Range Anglican on 01-21-2008 at 08:26 PM • top

A very much “good deed doer” and the implementor of them as a chapel service, St. Francis of Assisi, would not approve.

It is out of the the Cross that good works, the stations are to be a localized pilgrimage to the chief scenes of Christ’s sufferings and death. This is a pure out right substitution with a very TEMPORARY feel good items. The MDG are admirable goals to reach by 2015, I appalle governments to have aiming points to allocate spending. That is all they are supposed to be!! How will any of this help the Democratic Republic of Congo, which will probably not meet the many of the criteria by 2015??? Mother Teressa didn’t have an ending point but to serve Calcutta with the love she know from Jesus’ passion.

You are not going to love your neighbor as the Samaritan did on the parable without the love and drive of Christ, you just are not, sure you may want to think you’re that type of person and may even envision yourself as such, but the continue sacrificial out pouring comes from the love of what Christ has already done for us.

This is the worse type of idolatry, well meaning people who do desire to “do good” are like the frog swimming in a pot on the stove being brought to a boil slowly.

[14] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 01-21-2008 at 08:47 PM • top

BTW—The irony is while I do feel VERY strongly about the sacrilege TEc has done, I never really like “the Stations” and preferred a really a well done Tenebræ - but this is one of those time when I thought I seen it all ... but it just keeps getting worse!

[15] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 01-21-2008 at 08:58 PM • top

If this is not exactly idolatry, it is surely moon battery.

[16] Posted by Bob K. on 01-21-2008 at 09:12 PM • top

I support the MDGs, but never will do so through 815, the UN or the US Government.  I do so through Uganda Partners, Amigos del Peru and other projects that are known to me.

Even as I support work aimed at eliminating world poverty, increasing education, expanding opportunity through sharing risk and reward (micro loans, etc.) I would never, NEVER, N E V E R even consider having a prallel between the Stations of the Cross and the “Stations of the MDGs.”  I particularly find the changing of the Trisagion (Holy God..) to be distasteful.  It is meant as a cry for mercy because we are in desperate need of mercy.  While we need to be transformed, us transforming the world is not the goal of being transformed.  The goal of being transformed is to be made perfect - to fully recover the image of God that we have marred through sin.  Being transformed is to be made Christlike and cannot happen through our own efforts.  Good works are not the goal of faith - union with God is the goal of faith.  Good works are a by-product of that faith and good works done with the goal of saving ourselves or making ourselves believe that we don’t need saving are not pleasing to God. 

Phil Snyder

[17] Posted by Philip Snyder on 01-21-2008 at 09:13 PM • top

Every new piece of ‘enlightenment’ from 815 underscores the truth of the statement that it just isn’t possible to invent a wildly false, ridiculous charge against TEc that is more believable than the earnestly and officially published stuff 815 trumpets about TEc. This is a real frustration for those of us who honestly would like to ridicule TEc. It just can’t be done nearly as well as TEc’s own stuff does. Bummer!

[18] Posted by Dilbertnomore on 01-21-2008 at 09:15 PM • top

These goals are not good works.  These are of the Devil, Satan, Lucifer.  He is using these to mock our Lord.  Now you see why we have to be militant in taking back the Church for God?

[19] Posted by BishopOfSaintJames on 01-21-2008 at 09:23 PM • top

Just before I read this posting, I listened to the last part of “Tea and Questions with the PB.”  This idea to have stations of the mdg’s fits very well with her last answer.  PB believes that Jesus turned the world upside down with his teachings.  She apparently does not understand that the reason his teachings lasted was because after the Romans killed him for being a revolutionary (her explanation), JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD BECAUSE HE IS GOD.  I think that is the part that many modern “Christians” do not believe.

[20] Posted by MIST on 01-21-2008 at 09:45 PM • top

Leaving aside the religious aspect of this idea (and I agree that “stations of the MDGs” is a pretty lousy concept), I really don’t see how this exercise is going to help accomplish these goals. How exactly does making handprints on a sheet reduce deaths from childbearing or malaria? The irony to me is that I’m sure TEC would oppose many ideas that would be successful. For instance, bringing back DDT, which works beautifully to reduce mosquito populations and therefore deaths from malaria. But horrors! An insecticide? It’s far too un-PC for TEC to support its use, no matter how many lives it might save.

[21] Posted by Dr Alice on 01-21-2008 at 09:46 PM • top

I’m a diocesan rep for the MDGs and thus on the mailing list.  Here’s the original announcement.  Note the phrase: “designed to be used in Lent in lieu of the traditional Stations…”
Thus, the intent is in fact to supplant an appropriate devotion of Our Lord’s sufferings with a meditation on some arguably worthy goals for good works.  How sad.  How void of spiritual depth.  It would have been wonderfully appropriate to have written prayers and meditations for the 14 stations that interpret the suffering of the poor through the lense of our Lord’s sufferings.  But this is far from that.  Here is the original announcement:

The Presiding Bishop had declared the first Sunday in Lent to be
Episcopal Relief and Development Sunday. To assist parishes mark the occasion, Episcopal Relief and Development has created resources available at  Included among the resources is a special liturgy called “Stations of the MDGs” which is designed to be used during Lent in lieu of the traditional Stations of the Cross service.  Also available for order or download is a the 2008 Lenten Devotional is entitled"Seeking to Serve: A Lenten Exploration of the Millennium Development Goals.” The devotional features illustrations and meditations on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) contributed by the Rev. Jay Sidebotham, Rector of Church of the Holy Spirit in Lake Forest, Illinois, and offers ways for parishioners to help achieve these life-saving goals.

Please let me know if you have questions or concerns.


Luke Fodor
Network Coordinator,  Office of Church Relations
Episcopal Relief and Development
815 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017
1-800-334-7626 ext 6348
212-716-6348 (direct)    212-687-5302 (fax)
646-220-9444 (mobile)    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

[22] Posted by John Liebler on 01-21-2008 at 11:14 PM • top

How many of the Ten Commandments (Anglican list) can we break at once by following this “liturgy”?

It seems numbers 1 and 2 are a given if we think about exchanging worship of Christ and meditation on His Passion with these activities.  Certainly it could be construed that they have exchanged God as He has been revealed to us for an image created out of their own thought process.

We might squeeze in number 3 just because the word God seems to be invoked in order to satisfy our desires for a God who is like us and serves our ends.  Abraham Heschel in his book The Prophets identified idolatry as finding and worshipping a god who does what you desire.  Invoking God’s name to do our bidding might cross the line into using His Name in vain in such cases.

Any others?  Maybe number 10 on coveting?  Maybe number 9 on bearing false witness?

[23] Posted by Rom 1:16 on 01-21-2008 at 11:49 PM • top

Now, isn’t that special?

[24] Posted by PROPHET MICAIAH on 01-22-2008 at 12:10 AM • top

23.  Well, you mustn’t forget the eleventh… which I’m told on good authority is “thou shalt not be tacky.”

[25] Posted by Free Range Anglican on 01-22-2008 at 12:14 AM • top

I followed the links in #22. *head shake* It’s not a joke.

I have no words….

[26] Posted by Bill in Ottawa on 01-22-2008 at 01:24 AM • top

Does this rise to the level of idolatry? It clearly challenges us to live out the horizontal righteousness God calls us to. We orthodox can often be callous to the issues of the needy; some of it is due to over-the-top marketing from bleeding hearts and some of it is an over emphasis on wanting to give God our righteous works. Luther said to God doesn’t need your works but your fellow man does.

There is an obvious lack of understanding that reconciliation with God is a prerequisite for reconciliation with other people - but we already knew the doctrine of atonement got little play in TEC(apostate). I think an orthodox approach to the MDG’s would be a powerful metaphor of salvation and the need for alien righteousness (or alien capital…) to bring us out of hopeless circumstances.

[27] Posted by texex on 01-22-2008 at 01:31 AM • top

How exactly does making handprints on a sheet reduce deaths from childbearing or malaria?

It doesn’t.  It is crucial to realize that, for all the rhetoric, the MDGs, for TEC, are all about talk and self-perception, not about actually making any difference.  We’ve known for quite awhile now that TEC is spending a pittance on the MDGs.  The amount of money TEC is spending on lawsuits easily dwarfs the amount they are spending on the MDGs.

Perhaps Stations of the Lawsuits, while more honest, would be too blatantly self-aware for TEC actually to promote.

[28] Posted by William Witt on 01-22-2008 at 07:29 AM • top

John Liebler, thanks for your comment.  It’s important context.
Wow.  And here Jim Naughton and others got on SF & T19’s case about making such a todo about the Dio Michigan convention with the MDGs placed over the altar. 

and here:

Our whole point back then was that while the Dio. Michigan may not have deliberately INTENDED to have the MDG poster replacing the cross or the 10 commandments, the fact is, that TEC is increasingly replacing the traditional Christian Gospel with the “gospel” of the UN and the MDGs.  We were scorned for saying so.

But here’s proof.  Laugh now, Jim Naughton, Herb Gunn, et al.
The stations of the MDGs are deliberately designed to replace the stations of the cross.  It’s right there in the TEC publicity.  I want an apology from those who said we overreacted.  But I’ll not hold my breath.

[29] Posted by The_Elves on 01-22-2008 at 07:41 AM • top

We orthodox can often be callous to the issues of the needy

I disagree that us orthodox are callous to the issues of the needy. There is a different view on how to deal with the issues and the problems.

The liberals sound compassionate, yet their actions are often harmful. Poor people pay more than wealthy people for fuel as a proportion of income. Banning drilling in Anwar keeps the price of fuel higher and hurts poor people. Thousands die in Africa due to malaria. Banning DDT condemns thousands to death who could be saved. Higher tax rates slows the economy, reducing job opportunities, hurting poor people more than richer people.

Caps on carbon output to “fight” perceived global warming necessarily limits GDP growth. This hurts people in the third world than those of us in the first world.

Conservatives give more to charities as a proportion of their income than liberals. The MDG, while they sound nice, do nothing to help anyone anywhere. To truly lift people out of poverty requires a democracy, rule of law, private property rights, and a capitalistic economy.

The primary job of the Church is to help us find and follow Christ. All of the bleating about MDG’s is just a meaningless feel good diversion from the true mission of the Church.

[30] Posted by BillS on 01-22-2008 at 07:46 AM • top

The Church cannot substitute or give only material goods instead of spiritual.  We must give the Garment of Salvation not just those that moth and time will destroy.  We must give the Bread of Life, Sincerity and Truth, the Bread of Heaven…for only that will fill deep inner hunger of human beings.  It is the pure Living Water of Life,  the Wine (Luke 2:3) that quenches the thirsts of the human heart, that lifts and transforms marriages and families allows them to transcend above the earthly plane.
The church must give the shoes of the Gospel of Peace, discipleship, truth… the shelter of the Rock, the shield of Faith, the shared true fellowship of Believers, the knowledge of Father and Son and Holy Spirit which is Eternal life. 

Worship, connection/union/communion with God is the One Thing Necessary (Luke 10:42).  The true Church does not obscure the Scripture, but says like Mary (Luke 2:5) ‘Whatever He (the Living Word) tells you, do it.”

Jesus confronted pretenders in John 5:38-42
The MGD goals are not bad in themselves (unless the pansexual agenda is accomodated and surrepticiously carried out through them, which I do not doubt will be done or attempted.)
It is that they are a substitution for and those who are pushing them want to obliterate the true mission of the Church - and Salvation God’s way…through conviction and confession of and agreement with God/Scripture about sin, baptism and the regeneration of the spirit, continuous communion with Christ which effects renewal transformation of the mind/heart, daily putting to death the old man (the Adamic soulish nature, alias flesh) in submission to the (True) Holy Spirit. 

The Church has much more wonderful and life-giving things to offer than mere material goods and money.

[31] Posted by Theodora on 01-22-2008 at 07:49 AM • top

The Church has much more wonderful and life-giving things to offer than mere material goods and money.

Of course, it does.  But TEC’s contribution to the MDG’s is so miniscule that it does neither.  Groups like Bread for the World, World Vision and Catholic Charities actually give enough material goods to make a difference while not neglecting those other “wonderful and life-giving things” that the Church has to offer.

[32] Posted by William Witt on 01-22-2008 at 09:46 AM • top

The falseness of the MDG’s is that they are “goals”; being goals, there is nothing there about actually “doing” anything about the poor of the world.
First and foremost, the Church is to spread the Good News of salvation to the world.  Then we are to feed the hungry, visit those in prison, comfort the sick and dying, support the widow and orphan, etc., as part of our Christian witness.
Ringing bells every 15 seconds, making handprints, or even calculating your carbon footprint does nothing to advance the Gospel of Christ or to help our fellow man.  In fact, one thing that stood out, in my eyes, was the emphasis on death in these “stations”, without the promise of life found in Jesus.
Getting out there and actually “doing” is what we are called to—not merely making a few sack lunches and running our mouths.
Jane, Edwin’s wife

[33] Posted by Edwin on 01-22-2008 at 10:25 AM • top

It’s not a good work if you forcibly take other people’s money to accomplish it. The last station requires worshipers to lobby our representatives in Congress to support the MDG’s. If all they mean is to encourage Congressmen to contribute out of their own lavish income, no problem. But, somehow, I think it is your money they are after. Wouldn’t it be better to urge tax cuts so people would have more money to contribute to good works like these?  Yeah, I’m dreaming.

[34] Posted by Cousin Vinnie on 01-22-2008 at 11:11 AM • top

Coming soon to the Hindu Eucharist near you!! More ancient customs no doubt.

[35] Posted by Intercessor on 01-22-2008 at 01:31 PM • top

I didn’t look at this yesterday, honestly I thought it was someone being bored on a semi-holiday.  I’m very sorry to find I was mistaken, proving yet again Johnson’s Law.  All I can do in my disappointment is echo the comments already made, regarding the erroneous elevation of works over faith.


[36] Posted by Stu Howe on 01-22-2008 at 02:30 PM • top

Pardonez moi, mes amis.  The MDG’s are part of TEC’s shell game, and this sort of device is quite common in institutions that are in serious decline.  You find something that is quite unimpeachable (who can be against eradicating poverty?) and pound that out as the big institutional goal.  Anyone who wants to focus on the institutional problems is tagged as “negative” or “against mom, the girl next door, and apple pie”.  Most of the sheep-like members of the institution will follow this lead.

The MDG’s are the diversion appointed by 815 for TEC.  Note that TEC’s official commitment to the MDG’s is rather paltry, especially when compared to TEC’s much more central goal of litigation (follow the money).

So, I wouldn’t get too hot under the collar about all this MDG stuff, thinking that TEC actually takes them seriously.  I don’t think that the PB or her 815 apparatchiks do.  They are rather meant to divert ordinarily lay persons away from the awful mess that TEC is in.

[37] Posted by jamesw on 01-22-2008 at 02:56 PM • top

Lord have mercy upon us.
Christ have mercy upon us.
Lord have mercy upon us.

Becki+ from MD

[38] Posted by bicthus on 01-22-2008 at 03:43 PM • top

Stations was a regular feature of a parish I was once involved with.  It is not a liturgy I enjoy doing with others.  On rare occasions I like it as a private devotional exercise.

I see nothing wrong with an devotional exercise to TEACH people about the MDG’s in order to stimulate charitable acts.  I would not put the exercise in the sanctuary , but in the parish hall.  The suggestion to use it in lieu of Stations is truly unfortunate.

[39] Posted by citykid on 01-22-2008 at 03:58 PM • top

I thought the purpose of Lent was for interior examination… what IS your relationship with the Lord? ... how far from what He asks are your thoughts, words and actions?  how has sin crept in like the little foxes?  ... what do you need to do to come closer to Him?  This “exercise” has us look at EXTERIORS… what we are to DO.  It’s as if the HEART did not matter.  There is a time in the life of every Christian to reach out with the cup of water… in Jesus Name!  The effect of this is twisted and warped from what the church fathers saw as important for the 40 days before Easter!

[40] Posted by Goughdonna on 01-22-2008 at 04:10 PM • top

This evoked a series of emotions in me. First, I was horrified that TEC would seriously recommend supplanting the Station of the Cross with the ever-popular MDGs. Then, I read the “stations” and burst out laughing. The “activities” are trite with no teaching or frame of reference.

Then, I became very, very sad at how doing so little can be made such a big deal and so self-congratulatory by TEC. Making posters about social problems around the world? Gee, wouldn’t it be more effective to actually PRAY for the less fortunate and specific causes on a REGULAR, corporate basis and invite parishioners to donate necessities so they could be shipped directly to those in need?

Delivering day-old sack lunches to an agency to give to the poor? Um, how about providing hot meals, friendship AND the hope and love of Christ in person? If the parish is too small to take on such an endeavor, I’m sure parishioners’ regular and enthusiastic help at the Salvation Army or another church’s soup kitchen would be most appreciated.

What disturbs me is this: TEC does not want to ponder and worship the Christ of the Cross; nor does it want to minister as Christ in the world directly to the people who need Him the most. This church celebrates making posters and contrived “liturgy” while (sometimes) sending checks or aid so that others can actually do the work of the Kingdom.

[41] Posted by teatime on 01-22-2008 at 04:22 PM • top

Since the election of our PB, and her adoption of the Millinium Goals, I have often wondered if an angel came to her and said, “I give you the power to save 1,000,000 souls or the power to relieve the poverty of 1,000,000 people, which one she would choose?

[42] Posted by Larry on 01-22-2008 at 04:43 PM • top

Add in the choice, or $1,000,000 to sue departing parishes and diocese, and you know what the answer is.

[43] Posted by BillS on 01-22-2008 at 04:48 PM • top

And they wonder why so many of us are donning our bathing suits for a swim across the Tiber.

[44] Posted by Paterricardus on 01-23-2008 at 09:10 AM • top

Forest Gump’s mama was certainly right: “Stupid is as stupid does.”

[45] Posted by 2cor520 on 01-23-2008 at 05:08 PM • top

RE:“God you created us and call us to be in this world,
  part of your creative force.”
Oy vey!  Where to start?  Too late…I’ve…short…circuited…bleah…

Oh…I know…this is parody, right?

[46] Posted by ElaineF. on 01-23-2008 at 08:40 PM • top

I can’t send my kids to Anglican church for fear of them being saddled with social guilt for life? Is a white a male a misogynistic, racist, environment-destroying troll by nature?

I’ve got a beautiful, blue-eyed blond boy whose eyes see all the world with a pure joy untroubled by the sorrows afflicting mine, yet I come to unto Jesus with my son’s eyes, seeing in him the same world my son sees. What’s happened to our faith?

[47] Posted by robertbennett on 01-25-2008 at 04:48 PM • top

Moreso, I have a “minority” child.  Do I want to send him into a church that teaches him that he deserves special treatment because he’ s a poor little ‘minority’ who will surely never do well without a handout?  (Or that he’s not a ‘real’ Asian because he has Anglo parents.) I don’t know which I shudder for more, my two biological sons or my adopted son.

[48] Posted by Free Range Anglican on 01-25-2008 at 05:16 PM • top

Word of warning, 49:

If my son ever asks me what I am ethnically, I won’t be able to answer him because I don’t know. Green eyes, olive skin and dark blond hair are no sure guide, leading to no answer to a question that leads nowhere. Good so. I’m the sum of my character, acts, and most importantly, my faith. So is every other man, regardless of his facade.

Let not the world define you by its terms; your measure heaven provides.

[49] Posted by robertbennett on 01-25-2008 at 05:36 PM • top

I personally am what they would call “multi-ethnic,” or maybe a “partial person of color,” or “person of partial color.”  I just think of myself as a “mixed breed mutt” and am proud of it!  And as the Good Book says, in Christ there is no Jew or Greek, we’re all the same as believers.  Unfortunately most of the mainstream liberal churches don’t recognize this, and want to promote race consciousness, envy and guilt as part of “inclusiveness.”

[50] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 01-26-2008 at 04:04 PM • top

50 and 51.
Frankly, I look forward to a day when we can set aside the baggage and ethnicity can actually be something fun.  Our identity and citizenship, our history and family are indeed in Christ.  But there is something joyous about strange cravings for such as kimchi or bagpipes. smile  If our society could set aside some bitterness and desire and receive healing, what fun we could have!
My initial comment was only in response to yours about having your son saddled with liberal-guilt-speak for his ethnicity.  My point is that the other end of that liberal-guilt-speak is no more constructive for the non-white child.

[51] Posted by Free Range Anglican on 01-26-2008 at 05:28 PM • top

Good point, Tara - I didn’t miss it. I just wanted to warn you about how adopted children often rely on their ethnicity, particularly the readily apparent ethnicities, to define themselves when it actually has had very little impact on who they are. This usually leads to disillusionment, the cost of which is often a void sense of self, which disability the many wolves of this world readily exploit.

Regarding being able to enjoy various ethnic differences, I live in a place where that’s already possible, and it’s not America, where identity politics and the dogma of ethnic guilt have infected and lamed society. There are four ways to respond to this tragedy: Adopt ethnic guilt and celebrate identity politics, or keep your mouth shut and yourself to yourself, or speak up and be labeled a racist, sexist etc., or move to a place where ethnic homogeneity and common sense have inoculated the populace against ethnic guilt and identity politics.

[52] Posted by robertbennett on 01-27-2008 at 02:10 AM • top
[53] Posted by gracevictoria on 02-01-2008 at 09:47 AM • top

RE: gracevictoria’s posting(#54), Rob Morse misses the point while attacking those get it.  The Stations of the Cross are reflective of what Christ sacrificed for us.  Reminders of His love for us and helping us to worship Him.  Replacing them is taking your eyes off Jesus.  You can work on Christ’s mission, even through the MDG’s without replacing Jesus.  Really.

Thinking in advance how this could be offensive would have been Christian.  But doing this for Lent is either not thinking it through - a true insensitivity issue or knowing that it would be offensive and deliberately pursuing it. We wouldn’t have been as offended if they had been offered at a different time - say Thanksgiving.  Something added. 

Replacing the traditional ones with the MDG ones offends us—and apparently many others.  Rather than showing compassion for us/them, Morse would rather throw darts.  He uses the old TEC technique of diminshment:  If you vocalize your objections criticizing them/TEC - keep you mouth shut: you aren’t being “Christian” and your opinion doesn’t count.  Or the second level of diminishment and a famous TEC favorite:  “To those who have honest theological reservations” you aren’t enlightened enough.  All the while another element of worshiping Christ is replaced with the “New Thing”.  Not much left to replace at this rate.

And if these MDG stations were the best that TEC could come up with, we’re in trouble….Oh, that’s right - we already are.

[54] Posted by The Lakeland Two on 02-01-2008 at 10:47 AM • top

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