Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Being There

Quite a celebration they had for our synodical bishop's installation on Saturday.

It was really quite a moving event -- seeing all the clergy there (especially all the female clergy) decked out in their red and white vestments (even my generally ecclesiastical-swag-averse pastor was clad in a regulation red stole); the music, which featured everything from a massed choir with brass and woodwinds to the bishop's son, who performs in a folk-rock duo, singing a song he and his musical partner composed specifically for the event; seeing and hearing Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson, whose sermon about striving to be a sent church rather than a settled church I hope our laity takes to heart; the actual installation ceremony, in which the entire congregation was invited to raise a hand and symbolically add our blessings to those of the clergy actually laying hands on him.

As Constant Readers know I have equivocal feelings, to say the least, about Church, Inc. But I truly wish our new bishop well. Earlier in the morning he'd stopped into our lay ministry classroom for a few minutes, and he was most gracious and supportive.

I would love to be a part of a church that has gotten over its sentimentality for 1950's-era white-gloved cultural Christianity and its self-pity over its changing demographic fortunes, and is ready to get on with it and live Christ into the future.

Anyhow...you can read about the installation here .


Tom in Ontario said...

Sounds nice. Are you aware that our newly elected, soon to be ordained National Bishop (analogous to your Presiding Bishop) is a woman? Susan Johnson has been an assistant to our Synod Bishop and his predecessor and will not be chief pastor of the ELCIC.

Did it not look funny/strange to you when the congregation lifted their hands in a gesture of blessing? I've seen it done, even participated, and each time it looks very much like we wouldn't look out of place saluting a swastika flag.

P.S. an after-thought said...

Thanks for the link. I'm looking for red stole ideas, actually.

von Gunten said...

I just completed serving a congregation where the mission was to return to the 1950's. There has been continual frustration (and clergy turnover) when for some strange reason the congregation can not go back in time!

Nor can it bring back all the members who have left, for one reason or another. Now, I did think it would be rather progressive if the dead were raised and returned to weekly worship...a true sign of the resurrection.

But the congregation would probably resist that,too.

Here's to being in solidarity with your proclamation...living Christ into the future!

Naomi said...

Wow... I grew up in a Lutheran church and thought that joining a sentimental-for-the-50s Salvation Army was a step forward in time... :-)