Sunday Reflection – The Ukrainian Flock

As I went to church this morning I was in a safe place with no chaos. Today in Ukraine people were just trying to find a place to worship where they could do so in safety and peace. I am mindful of this fact and I should be more grateful. Who knows what Easter will be like for these people. It’s also OK for those folks to be pissed off at God for what is happening these days. All I know is that God is with them, no matter what.

A Easter Message From My Parish, St. Peter’s #Episcopal in #Chattanooga, TN

If you missed being at church this Easter Sunday and need to hear a good message here is a link to the sermon delivered by my priest Fr. John Bonner of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Chattanoooga, Tennessee.

Click Here To Listen!

Chattanooga Area Pastor’s new book shines light on bullying in the church | Times Free Press

Bullying is a form of intimidation often identified with school rooms, locker rooms and internet chat rooms. But the church? The refuge where we are admonished to love one another as Jesus loves us?

Source: Soddy pastor’s new book shines light on bullying in the church | Times Free Press

I have been in the church for the vast majority of my life and the church is supposed to be a haven and a sanctuary for people. Places of worship are to be places of love, understanding and safety. From my own experiences its not always the case.

Bullying is a thing people deal with in the world and even the church. There are a lot of reasons why it happens. None of us is perfect so that is why we turn to a higher power to help us be the best we can be. I, myself have been bullied in church and even in the church related college I graduated from.

This article from my hometown newspaper tells the story of why bullying happens. Its more complex than just someone picking a fight. Houses of worship can be wonderful places of community and connection but in many places there is dysfunction just like an any family.

Assisting In The Eucharist At St. Peter’s Episcopal Church

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Today at church I assisted with the Eucharist/Communion at church for the first time since I have been at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. This is me in an alb which is a liturgical vestment that is worn in many churches for the clergy as well as those assisting in the Mass/worship. I am holding a chalice with real wine that we use each week in worship. I love doing this sort of thing at church because it brings me closer to Christ to help others in such a way.

Freedom To Worship

I stepped into a house of worship today to celebrate Father’s Day with my father and grandfather today. I felt no fear or trepidation. However some who seek to worship their higher power did so under suspicion, fear and threat from individuals and institutions. Religious freedom is about worshiping in the customs and traditions you embrace and allowing others to do the same to do the same in theirs. I am humbled to be a believer in Christ but I want my Jewish, Muslim and friends of other faiths to have the ability to seek comfort, grace and love in their communities.

The people of Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal worshiped as a community days after the shootings of last week. They are showing grace, strength, love and forgiveness in all they are doing to make a difference in the lives of others.