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Mar
27

Evangelicals still aren’t Jewish enough: a roundabout argument for infant baptism

Evangelicals still aren’t Jewish enough: a roundabout argument for infant baptism If you've lived in evangelical sub-culture long enough, you probably have Gentile friends who try to do the Messianic Jew thing, kippahs, tallits, shofars, and all. But it's not enough.
Mar
25

Meet the magazine behind the weblog

Meet the magazine behind the weblog Our parent magazine, The Living Church, invites all readers of Covenant to sign up for a free six-month subscription. In continuous publication since 1878, The Living Church served throughout the twentieth century as the Catholic-minded magazine of record in the Episcopal Church in the United States, in firm support of the advancing ecumenical movement and the rise of a global, interdependent Anglican...
Mar
25

Let’s be logical

Let’s be logical Anglicans pride themselves on being educated and intellectual, but I'm afraid we're no more rational or logical than any other branch of the Church.
Mar
24

What’s love got to do with it?

What’s love got to do with it? A few days ago I attended the annual meeting of the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis. One speaker spoke of the role of love in recovery.
Mar
23

Any way the wind blows

Any way the wind blows If the Church loses its grasp on meaning and hope, what do we have to give to the world?
Mar
20

Rachel Held Evans, adult conversion, and the necessity of confirmation

Rachel Held Evans, adult conversion, and the necessity of confirmation Let's not be quick to discard the best things we have to offer.
Mar
19

Echoes of silenced prayer

Echoes of silenced prayer The violence wrought by ISIS and the Syrian civil war threatens to destroy the religious and cultural heritage of the Middle East. Lost Origins Productions is attempting to preserve ancient Sufi and Christian chant in a series of stunning albums.
Mar
18

Wrestling with Christian pedagogy

Wrestling with Christian pedagogy Does the Church's method of teaching differ from that of the classroom?
Mar
17

Being a hypocritical Church

Being a hypocritical Church James Alison suggests that the vocation of a preacher is “Be a professional hypocrite."
Mar
16

Who needs an Anglican Father Brown?

Who needs an Anglican Father Brown? “Finally, an Anglican Father Brown.” Reading this endorsement, I confess that my first response was: “Really? Who needs one?” But I found myself gradually drawn in.
Mar
13

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...
Mar
12

If you love Brené Brown, you might believe in original sin

If you love Brené Brown, you might believe in original sin You might not buy the story that grounds Christianity’s doctrine of original sin. But if you take Christianity’s doctrine of original sin and put it side-by-side with Dr. Brown’s assertions about shame, guilt, and perfectionism, you'll find they line up more closely than you first expected.
Mar
11

No thought for the morrow: St. Benedict Joseph Labre

No thought for the morrow: St. Benedict Joseph Labre Very few of us would be moved to emulate St. Benedict Joseph Labre's life. Even his biographer found it too extreme to propose for imitation.
Mar
10

A reflection on Hannah’s Child

A reflection on Hannah’s Child Reading Stanley Hauerwas for the first time was a bit like drinking from a new well only to find that the water tastes much the same as the old one. That analogy might almost be a definition of orthodoxy.
Mar
9

Seven theses on the episcopacy

Seven theses on the episcopacy One of the oddities of ecclesial life is that priests can’t be members of a parish. When ordained, the new cleric’s “residency” moves from a parish to the diocese; more specifically, the residency moves to the clericus, the body of clergy within a diocese. The same holds for a bishop, who upon ordination leaves the diocesan clericus to join the college of bishops (not simply the Episcopal House of...
Mar
6

Of a car and coffeeshops

Of a car and coffeeshops We come to one person, and we basically are asking them to give us what once an entire village used to provide.
Mar
5

Sabermetrics for the Church?

Sabermetrics for the Church? In the mid-1990s, baseball analysts began to take advantage of the rapid rise of computing power. Is there a way the Church could ride the sabermetric wave?
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.

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