Archive for January, 2015

Snow and Contemplation

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Although the authorities wildly overestimated the power of the storm, it has been nice to have no traffic on the roads and a peaceful blanket of white on our urban neighborhood. Since I don’t have to commute to work, I was on hand this morning to shovel the sidewalks and conduct Morning Prayer; one faithful parishioner  wasin attendance.

Later, our office volunteer came in by cab and our sexton is on the way and the phone has started ringing and emails are pinging–so life is returning to normal. But the morning quiet reminds us of why we in the religion business do what we do. To care for the church and pray in it and enjoy its peace. Nothing better. Nothing more important. —J. Douglas Ousley


Paris in the Winter

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Our Men’s Group devoted part of last night’s regular meeting to discussing the recent terror attacks in Paris.

Comments were wide-ranging, reflecting the many political orientations of our membership. Some cited history, others sought to find common ground among opponents, others suggested specific prayers. My own worry is that Islamists have become so extreme in their views that they will only be stopped by violence.

Is the sanguine view of liberal Christians that at their heart, all religions are basically the same now a dubious assumption? We have always dissociated ourselves from Christian fanatics who pervert the Gospel in favor of prejudice. But the Islamist fanatics seem to be taking their beliefs to a new level of extremism. (One indication of this development is that Islamic State was founded by a group of Islamists who were kicked out of Al-Qaeda because they were regarded as too violent!) It now remains to be seen whether Islam can restore its own reputation and be regarded as one way among many to the Divine. —J. Douglas Ousley