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Showing posts from April, 2010

Our Truest Identity

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about roles, or identities. It started a year or so ago when I re-read the chapter in Steven Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People , where he encourages you to “begin with the end in mind.” At one level, that means begin meetings you go to, or projects you’re working on, by thinking about what the end result should be…spend a little time envisioning what you want to accomplish when it is all over. And then to keep that “end” in mind throughout the meeting or project. To the degree I remember to apply that principle to meetings and projects, it sure saves a lot of time and energy, not to mention needless squabbling. Keeping our attention focused on “what matters most” keeps us from getting drawn too far into “the thick of things.” As Covey says, too often we spend time and energy climbing the ladder we’re on, only to find it’s leaning against the wrong wall. But Covey’s real point is to begin with THE end in mind -- our end! And to take a fe

Common Enemy = Leadership Laziness

Well, the Episcopal Church is back in the news again. Yesterday the Diocese of Virginia was before the Virginia Supreme Court arguing that even if a majority of the members of an Episcopal Church vote to leave the Episcopal Church -- as is the case with nine so-called “breakaway” churches -- they cannot not claim the Episcopal Church property as their own. Rather than try to summarize the conflict myself, here’s yesterday’s article from the Loudoun-Times Mirror: On April 13, the Virginia Supreme Court heard oral arguments for a property case that pitted nine churches in Loudoun and Fairfax counties against the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. The final decision will be made June 10 or June 11. The Church of Our Saviour, on Oatlands Mill Road south of Leesburg, is one of the churches involved. After the nine churches left the diocese in 2006 to join the Anglican District of Virginia, the diocese argued that the churches had forfeited the right to the properties upon which their church bui

Why Church?

Only a week ago at this time, it was Good Friday. Since then, a lot has happened. Between this time last week and the end of our fourth and final Easter Sunday service, over 1,500 people worshipped here. That’s a lot of people. Literally hundreds of hours of preparation went into planning and carrying out our nine separate Maundy Thursday/Good Friday/Easter Sunday services, from the office staff to the Altar Guild, to musicians, clergy, ushers greeters and readers. I’m appreciative of everyone’s efforts all year round, but I’m especially thankful this time of year, when so much is happening. I said that since Good Friday, “a lot has happened.” And that this time of year, “so much is happening.” But what is it, exactly, that happened since Good Friday? What’s behind all the activity, all the worship? What’s the point? I asked three questions in my Easter sermon: When we come to church, do we expect to be changed? Does the beauty (and power) of Sunday morning fade, or does it draw y