Friday, June 17, 2016

Exorcising Violence

All my new blog posts are at my new site. Just click this link and you'll be taken right to it. You can subscribe by email or follow very easily. Thank you for reading at this site. I hope you'll join me at Jake Owensby: Looking for God in Messy Places.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Ugly Love

My latest post is at my new blog. Click this link to go there.  Jake Owensby: Looking for God in Messy Places

Pelican Anglican is being discontinued. Please join me at my new site. It's easy to subscribe. I will be taking this site down in two weeks. Thanks for reading. I hope you'll keep joining me at the new blog.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Until Morning

Until Morning is the first post at my new blog. Pelican Anglican will be phased out by the end of this month. For now I'm providing links to my faithful subscribers to help them migrate to the new blog. I appreciate our connection and hope you'll hop on over to the new site. Click the link below and you'll be there:

Friday, May 27, 2016

Dreams and Memorials

On Memorial Day we honor the American combatants who were killed in one of our many wars. In various places we have memorialized the war dead with statues and plaques and stained glass windows. 
Daily we pass these pieces of stone and metal and glass, largely oblivious to what they signify. 
Henri Matisse's "The Dream"
Occasionally we may pause on our hurried way to lend more than the cursory glance. But for the most part these monuments fall into the background as we focus elsewhere. 
They do not seize our attention and lead us to reflect on great questions like war and violence, justice and courage, peace and sacrifice.
We say that we want to provide a fitting memorial to those who have died in combat. And yet we recognize that these mute fixtures in town squares and overgrown battlefields and beautiful church buildings fall short of our aim. 
And of course they do. 
Deep in our souls we yearn to demonstrate to ourselves that these men and women did not die in vain. Their deaths bear enduring significance.
And so we set aside a day. Memorial Day. The nation celebrates the lives lost in our various conflicts. Parades, concerts, picnics, and festivals. 
These are good things to do and they’re a lot of fun. But aside from the single prayer or the song designed to instill national pride, events like these are mere entertainments. Leisure activities designed to fill the empty hours of a civic holiday.
Some cable channels—AMC and TCM, for instance—will run war movie marathons. For the most part these films valorize war in order to portray a glamorized image of courage.
Valorizing war dishonors the war dead, combatants and non-combatants alike. To honor those laid low in war, we must first be honest with ourselves about war itself.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Is This Your Favorite Sunday?

Clergy frequently joke that nobody wants to preach on Trinity Sunday. Our central theological doctrine stretches even the most able mind to the point of breaking. And let’s face it, doctrinal sermons rarely leave congregations rolling in the aisle laughing or reaching for the kleenex.
And yet, when they’re talking seriously about their craft, most of the preachers I’ve talked to about preaching on Trinity Sunday admit that they actually like it. That goes for me, too.
Edvard Munch's "Three Girls on the Jetty"
So it is with some regret that I find myself not preaching this Sunday. But those of you who read along with me on a regular basis know that I’m not likely to let a thing like that stop me from posting something as the Church gathers to ponder the nature of the Triune God.
So here’s the plan. I’m going to give you a couple of excerpts from past posts with links to the whole piece. Then, I'm going to share some links to blogs that I find helpful.
Here’s the first excerpt:
Of all the Sundays of the Church Year, there is no more appropriate day to reflect on Christian belief than Trinity Sunday. Along with the Incarnation, the Trinity is our central, non-negotiable belief. Now you might think that I’m about to explain the doctrine of the Trinity. And you would be mistaken.
Instead, I’m going to remind us that the Trinity and the Incarnation are Mysteries. We root our lives in and bank our lives on Mysteries. And yet some of us erroneously approach Christian belief as if it could conflict with natural science. We are mystery people, and yet some of us treat belief as if it were a kind of scientific knowing.  (from “Mystery and Belief”, May 31, 2015)