Why “Joy to the World” isn’t a Christmas Carol

Why “Joy to the World” isn’t a Christmas Carol When Isaac Watts wrote “Joy to the World,” he was reflecting on Psalm 98 as part of his hymn series entitled The Psalms of David Imitated: "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth."

Resource round-up: faith at home

The good news is that there are so many wonderful and creative ways to do faith formation in the home. Making faith a part of our family doesn’t require that we spend hours sitting in straight-backed chairs while someone reads from the Bible in a monotone voice, nor does it require a divinity degree or encyclopedic knowledge of the Bible on the part of the parents. It does require time, attention, and conversation, as we create habits that help us acknowledge Christ and his presence within our homes.

In praise of subculture

In praise of subculture If David Campbell is right, and subculture is necessary for a church to grow and endure across time, then we in the Episcopal Church need to get serious about creating culture.

Wooing millennials with tradition, not pyrotechnics

Wooing millennials with tradition, not pyrotechnics I consider it a blessing that most of our Episcopal churches are poorly set up for fog machines. We, at least, cannot rely on quick fixes.

Our selves, our souls and bodies

Tara Owens’s book Embracing the Body has reminded me of how essential the physical dimension of worship is.

Poem: After an ice storm on Ash Wednesday

  Ice fell from the sky last night, and tree branches now bear its weight. We heard them groan and crack in the dark, gun shots ringing out through the still woods. In the morning some limbs hang at awkward angles, the pale flesh of their trunks gaping at us through the leaves. Above us other branches stretch to the sky, glittering as the sun adorns each one with a thousand diamonds. In these icy...

No sweet little town of Bethlehem

No sweet little town of Bethlehem As a young child, one of the first Christmas songs I learned was "O Little Town of Bethlehem." I began to think of the song as sweet but a little schmaltzy until I learned that Philips Brooks wrote the song after visiting the town itself.

Liturgy, language, and reliving Christ’s life

Liturgy, language, and reliving Christ’s life I had grown up as an evangelical, so it came as a surprise that I ended up in an Anglican church in college, but I discovered gifts of church tradition there that I had never encountered before.

Praying for the world when bad news abounds

Praying for the world when bad news abounds On a trip to the Holy Land in 2008, I found myself riveted by an unusual mosaic of Jesus on the Church of All Nations, depicting Jesus as our intercessor, kneeling at the center of the image with two groups of people flanking him.

Sarah Puryear

The Rev. Sarah Kerr serves as associate rector at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Nashville, Tennessee. She grew up in Maine, land of lobsters and L.L. Bean, which she still claims as her home state, but she has lived in the South for so long that “Y’all” has now become part of her vocabulary.

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