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Mar
4

Reconciling the irreconcilable

Bishop Dan Martins writes at Confessions of a Carioca regarding ecclesial conflict, rupture, and reconciliation: I am also resolutely a member of the Episcopal Church, and by the providential sufferance of Almighty God, a bishop therein. I attempt to lead and care for a diocese, and I attempt to dutifully take my share in “the councils of the church,” per my ordination vows. And as I go about...
Mar
4

Disability and the Church: an interview

Disability and the Church: an interview As people, we all need to come to terms with the fact that we all have or will have disabilities at some point, and I mean that very seriously — weakness or inability is human. Disability is not just about bodies that work differently, and there is no single story that fits "the disability narrative" completely. If the church wants to reach out to people with disabilities, then we need to be allowed to tell our own stories, explain our own feelings, and the Church's ministries need to listen well and be responsive.
Mar
3

Veiling crosses in Lent

Veiling crosses in Lent The other day a parishioner asked why we veil crosses during Lent. I didn’t know, so I offered a pretty speculative explanation. The question has stuck with me and got me thinking about this tradition and what it suggests about Lent. The custom at our parish is to veil all the crosses (excepting crucifixes) with plain, unbleached linen cloth for Ash Wednesday. On Good Friday, all the crucifixes are...
Mar
2

We’re praying wrong

We’re praying wrong Petitionary prayer has run amok. We should be doing it, but to what end?
Feb
27

Two poems for Lent

Two poems for Lent Covenant is interested in publishing poetry on a regular basis, especially poetry that reflects on liturgical or theological themes. Similarly, we are interested essays investigating the theological character of well-known or obscure poems. If you or another reader write poems or essays of literary criticism and would like to submit some for consideration, e-mail zguiliano[at]livingchurch.org. Posts of...
Feb
26

The Word and literalism

The Word and literalism As we speak after the Word’s example, often repeating what he said, we curiously understand him still to be himself speaking as well — inviting, permitting, and even uttering our speech through us.
Feb
26

Notre Dame, theology, and cultural poverty

Notre Dame, theology, and cultural poverty The University of Notre Dame is looking at eliminating one of the two mandatory theological requirements for its undergraduate students. But why should this matter to readers of Covenant?
Feb
25

Apple, TEC announce joint venture

Apple, TEC announce joint venture The new partnership aims to redefine the way Christian discipleship is done, address intractable demographic trends in the Episcopal Church, and catalyze technology-led ecclesial change.
Feb
24

The Devil is (no longer) in the details

The Devil is (no longer) in the details The Church of England has kicked the devil out of its baptismal rite. This move concerns me. This sort of attempt at cultural intelligibility usually backfires and ends up making beliefs far more ambiguous and people's feelings more ambivalent.
Feb
23

Things Episcopalians say (1): “Not literally.” Seriously?

Things Episcopalians say (1): “Not literally.” Seriously? A serious reader of the Bible, whether a literalist or not, will find a lifetime of problems in it. I just don’t meet many Episcopalians who actually have these problems. They have heard about the problems, about like they have heard tell of Crusades and an Inquisition.
Feb
20

A response to “The Voices of Buchenwald”

A response to “The Voices of Buchenwald” If universalism is true, it cannot be true apart from the Cross. Humanity is broken and needs to be fixed.
Feb
19

How to preach sermons that don’t suck

Let’s be honest, most sermons today are terrible. They are boring. They ramble. They sound like bad imitations of high school book reports.
Feb
18

Ashen living: Better Call Saul and the life of repentance

Ashen living: Better Call Saul and the life of repentance Unlike Saul Goodman, there is for us an ashen existence that is humble, repentant, and thankful, aware of grace and full of grace.
Feb
17

I’m going to shrive you

I’m going to shrive you We do not understand the technology of our redemption. Is the sign of the cross any more "magical" than my iPhone? On a psychological level, it is probably less so.
Feb
16

Unsystematic meditations on the Trinity

Unsystematic meditations on the Trinity Last week, I sat by the muddy flume of the Trinity, ate my lunch, and thought about God’s invisible nature, his eternal power and deity. At its best, theology has no technical vocabulary.
Feb
13

An annotated list of Daily Office apps

An annotated list of Daily Office apps As promised, here is a rather long list of smartphone and tablet applications focused on the Daily Office.
Feb
13

Daily Office in your pocket

Daily Office in your pocket In some respects, this is a Golden Age. Not only are many versions of the Office now in print and online, but Daily Office junkies can find a slew of good applications for smartphones or tablets.
Feb
12

Three poems for the end of Epiphany

Three poems for the end of Epiphany At the far edge of our science we aren’t looking so much at stars anymore as at the older light that was what the stars were before they were stars,
Feb
11

An open letter to twenty-somethings

An open letter to twenty-somethings The clock ticks, and we name each tick a curse rather than thanking God for the gift of time. But that's not seeing the world as it is revealed by Jesus the Messiah.
Feb
11

The power of prayers

The power of prayers The first night I prayed Compline was the day a friend's child had died. When we arrived at the prayer of St. Augustine, I felt as if it'd been written expressly for that balmy night.
Feb
10

A pitch for daily Communion: in response to Mac Stewart

A pitch for daily Communion: in response to Mac Stewart Daily Communion is not just for Anglo-Catholic smells-and-bells types.
Feb
9

The school of reconciliation

The school of reconciliation Facing divisions in the body of Christ, the school of reconciliation would teach the faithful to speak as sinners, who admit that “often enough, people of both sides were to blame” (Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio 1, para. 3).
Feb
6

Graceful boys

Graceful boys For these boys, every day is a chance to become a new creation. And that's grace.
Feb
5

A report from the Mere Anglicanism conference

A report from the Mere Anglicanism conference If the Christian movement in general and the Anglican tradition in particular are on the ropes in North America, you would not guess it from this gathering.
Feb
4

Why we listen to Stephen Fry

Why we listen to Stephen Fry An interview clip of the famous atheist has gone viral. So what?
Feb
3

Review: The Harrisburg 7 and the New Catholic Left

Review: The Harrisburg 7 and the New Catholic Left In 2012, Notre Dame Press published a fortieth anniversary edition of William O’Rourke’s The Harrisburg 7 and the New Catholic Left, a contemporaneous account of the trial of seven defendants–four radical priests, two nuns, and one Pakistani academic–for conspiring to blow up buildings in Washington, DC and abduct Henry Kissinger. It sounds like a report from another world — a world in...
Feb
2

A pitch for memorization

A pitch for memorization Memorizing prayers, by definition, means that the prayers become inscribed on your soul in a new way. You become mindful of the words, and they come to rest in the “fields and vast palaces of memory” (see Augustine, Confessions X.12-26), engraved on the walls of those palaces for your perusal at will.
Jan
30

Introducing God and Comics

Introducing God and Comics Starting in February, there will be a new "God and Comics" podcast every two weeks, with Fr Jonathan Mitchican, Fr. Kyle Tomlin, and Fr. Matt Stromberg having a series of discussions on a whole range of topics that relate back to comics, from the elements of good storytelling to romance, mystery, ethics, love, sacrifice, and everything in between.
Jan
29

Validity and the taint of division

Validity and the taint of division All Holy Orders are tainted, defective, and irregular, in our state of disunity. Still, God does not deny his grace to his people.
Jan
29

In him no South or North

In him no South or North What began as a mental celebration of the South’s honor became a frightening reflection on my regionalist hubris.
Jan
28

New curiosity shops

New curiosity shops The world sure needs lots of high-quality everything to contrast with all the low-quality alternatives. Why shouldn’t Christians be the ones to offer it? Maybe some enchantment will follow.
Jan
27

Prayer, dependence, and grace

Prayer, dependence, and grace For the Augustinian Friars, a religious order founded in the thirteenth century, the grace and transforming love of God begins with God and extends from God to humanity, rather than humanity building a ladder, a route that ends only back with humanity and false idols.
Jan
26

Being French: training clergy 2

Being French: training clergy 2 Since the Reformation, the Christian Faith has been reduced to being equated with what happens in the gray matter between our ears. It has focused on believing, rather than belonging or being.
Jan
23

Culture of conspiracy

Culture of conspiracy Conspiracy theories used to be the specialty of anti-Semitic, New Age, or Christian dispensationalist subcultures, but, over the last decade and with the advent of the Internet, they've become more mainstream.
Jan
22

TBT 2009: 42 theses on Anglicanism

TBT 2009: 42 theses on Anglicanism From time to time in history, there are periods of tremendous upset, which occur at the same time as periods of tremendous intellectual ferment. Anglicanism is undergoing the birth pains of a new synthesis.
Jan
21

Mercy and judgment: on baseball and steroids

Mercy and judgment: on baseball and steroids In 2013, no baseball players were considered clean enough to be honored with Hall of Fame induction. Sometimes justice demands that when sin has worked its way so deeply into a group of people, the whole thing must go before there can be a new beginning.
Jan
20

On BBQ and other mysteries

On BBQ and other mysteries What constitutes a valid BBQ? And do our cookbooks shape or reflect our knowledge of the real thing?
Jan
19

Schools of charity? Tell me more.

Schools of charity? Tell me more. Monasticism can, and should, be a model for the "priesthood of all believers."
Jan
19

Confirmation of ACNA’s revolutionary theology?

Confirmation of ACNA’s revolutionary theology? It's worth reading a recent statement to see what our ACNA brethren are thinking regarding the hotly debated question of Confirmation. What is most interesting is that they are following precisely the revolutionary changes introduced in the 1979 BCP of the Episcopal Church.
Jan
16

Christ in the Old Testament: the story of a seminar

Christ in the Old Testament: the story of a seminar What ties the project of theological exegesis together? Can we read the Old Testament allegorically and christologically? If so, what are the controls?

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