Archive for April, 2013

Trinity Boston

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Incarnation has historic and current links with Trinity Church Boston, the great edifice seen in the background of some of the bombing video. The Rev. Phillips Brooks, the famous rector of Trinity often visited Incarnation, where his brother Arthur was rector in the late 19th century. In our church, we have a huge statue of Phillips, and the memorial to Arthur was designed by H.H. Richardson, the architect of Trinity Church; the stone in the memorial even looks like the exterior of Trinity.

In recent times, two members of Trinity regularly visit Incarnation as they have a pied-a-terre nearby; they were in church last Sunday. A third member of Trinity is active on the Board of Incarnation Center. And a fourth member wrote me only yesterday to get information on some of our programs.

All seven Marathon runners from the parish are safe. Our prayers and thought go out to members of Trinity and all citizens of Boston. —J. Douglas Ousley


Global Church

Monday, April 15th, 2013

I was preaching yesterday about discipleship and the Christian obligation to sacrifice personal gains in order to serve God. I contrasted our congregation’s relative lack of sacrifice with those made by Peter and the first disciples, who were martyred for their faith.

I happened also to mention the Christians in Nigeria and Egypt today who were being persecuted by Muslim extremists. It turned out that there was a group of seven Egyptian Christians in church that morning. They were pleased to be recognized and couldn’t wait to tell me that they were members of the Coptic Church.

Small world, large Church. —J. Douglas Ousley


Clothes Make the Man

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

The Romans had a saying, Vestis virum facit: “Clothes make the man.”

Clergy have long been known for their distinctive dress, but rarely has so much attention has been devoted to our sartorial choices as in the case of Pope Francis. His disinclination to wear the papal “pallium” and satin shoes is not surprising, given that Francis was disinclined to wear the purple shirt of a bishop. This accords with the Pope’s simplicity that was noted in the previous post.

This practice also contrasts with the specially designed garments worn by the Archbishop of Canterbury at his enthronement, featuring three blue pastel fish biting each other’s tails. I suppose there is a reference to the Holy Trinity here, but one might find another message of clerical self-importance. —J. Douglas Ousley