Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Thanksgiving Day is one of my favorite holidays. It is one of the few events binding us as a nation (cursed be the free marketeers who open their sales' temples before dawn on Friday. And while I am at it, be warned their curse will roll down on you.) Mostly, as a country we pretty much grind to a halt in running here, there and everywhere. I know lots of folk - self included - will be shuffling off to visit family and kitchens get busy early and all. But seriously, when you get up tomorrow morning - first go to the road facing window - watch and listen for a few minutes. It's quiet. Tomorrow morning will be as close as we come to a nation day of Sabbath as we will ever come.

Sabbath is about resting in the knowledge that Our Father in Heaven is actually the One in charge. Creation does not actually depend upon us to keep it running. Rest is a gift given to us.
When you give thanks tomorrow, remember that "thanks" is a noun and when you "give it" you give it to someone. Give a thought to who you are giving thanks to. I give thanks to the Long Suffering Mrs. Sutcliffe for being the best wife ever. And to Our Father in Heaven for the gift of tLSMS and everything else - but especially for His gracious gift of opening the gates of His Kingdom and welcoming us in through the work of His Son.

May joy overflow your day. Enjoy cooking - or even being cast from kitchen as an impediment - and enjoy overeating. Have a second piece of pie.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Starting a What!?! Where!?!

So, we're starting a new church in a retirement community. To be clear, the intention is not to drop in on occasion, do a mass and leave - shoot, that's been done for ages - but to start an actual, live church with a vestry, bylaws and all the other stuff that goes along with a church. We are leaving out a couple of bits...
  • the building: don't need one.
  • salaries: we're bivocational
    • which, in general, seems like a bad idea, but seems to be working out here
Having eliminated the two biggest financial sinks for any congregation we're left with...
  • worship
  • communitiy
  • mission
    • We like mission
    • I sort of hope we can stay more or less broke all the time all in support of mission
    • perhaps I should edit out the above for the sake of the treasurer
The inspiration
The Long Suffering Mrs. Sutcliffe and I have been taking long walks in England as vacation for several years now - hop on a plane to England, hop on a train, hop off and walk for two weeks and come home. We have been through many a small village and they all seem to have two things in common - a pub and a church. Well, this retirement community has about 150-ish residents and if this doesn't constitute a village than what does? So, we're starting a church there (I am not in the pub business. Besides, if you think there is a lot of paperwork involved in starting a church, try getting a liquor license.).
OK - there's more to it than that so, more will be revealed later.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Going live: well sort of....

Good lord deliver us; we have a web presence.
For now this blog is not searchable so you have to know the exact url to find us, but find us you can. Everything is fresh and clean and ready to go and even the chatter and test patterns Fr. Paul and I set up this week as we got things moving are wiped from the slate so we can start fresh as a daisy.

So what's this blog for? You may wonder that especially if you're not familiar with the practice of blogging. Blogging is a great way for us as a parish to communicate with one another and think together about matters of faith and our common life. Fr. Paul or I or another author (right now the only people listed as authors are Fr. Paul and me) will post things here from time to time... meditations, announcements, sermons, jokes and ramblings, and you may either read quietly or if you have a Blogger account you can respond to us and join the conversation.

In short, its a way to be in contact during the week and to reach out to anyone else who wants to hear the Gospel near and far.

A word about usernames: if you do have a Blogger account, you will need a user name, something Blogger can call you by. Its sort of like having an email account name. Mine is Free Range Anglican and I tend to use it in several places on the internet, and although I don't tend to post much of anything under the name my mamma gave me, I remain your trusty deacon.

Anyway, enjoy! Feel free to share the url with your friends and neighbors. There will be more fun in the weeks to come!

And have a happy Thanksgiving.