Thursday, January 12, 2006


Here are two quotes that form the basis of our thinking so far. They are both from Gordon Lathrop's work, and the concern some of our major categories: worship, the church, ministry.

"Three clear tasks are attributed to the presider, probably the bishop, in the ancient Roman church: preaching on the texts that have been read by the reader; giving thanks at the table; and overseeing the collection and distribution for the poor. One might add to these a phrase that comes from the beginning of Justin's report:'We continually remind each other of these things' -- the things that belong to baptism. The presider joins this discussion, helping the assembly both enact and remember the holy bath. These tasks remain the central touchstones of presiding to this day. They can form the basis of a pastoral spirituality, the heart of the practice of presiding, the central vocation of bishops, priests, elders, or pastors: recalling Baptism, opening the Scriptures, gathering a community in prayer around the table, urging and enabling the connection to the surrounding world."
From Gordon Lathrop, Holy People pp 97-98
"In any case, whether employed full- or part-time or non-stipendiary, the presiders will try, in all of their lives, not to betray the vision of the meeting. They will, however, in their own need, listen to the "and also with you" and believe in the church. They will understand themselves as coming with strangers and outsiders, holding out their own hands for the signs of grace. They will walk the streets of their town, not as holy persons in themselves but remembring the resonances of the meeting. They will see pastoral care and blessings spoken at life-passages, especially at weddings and funerals, as extensions of the meeting. They will think of themselves as priests or pastors because the meeting in which they preside is the church's sacrifice that is not a sacrifice, or because the word and sacrament in the community where they preside is God's 'shepherding,' which is not pushing the sheep around but giving away holiness. They will treasure that presiding as their life task. They will wear vestments in the assembly both as the community's clothing, a sign of local appointment, and as the ancient traveling garments of the ones who arrive with apostolic authority.... The leaders of the meeting are for the meeting."
From Gordon Lathrop, Holy Things
These have already gotten our juices flowing...more coming soon.

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