Category: thoughts


Why have four Gospels?

Why not combine Matthew, Mark, Luke and John into one Gospel? Why does the New Testament have four Gospels? After all, they all tell the same overall story: the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. So why not just collect up all the stories about Jesus and harmonize them as the “Unified Story of Jesus”? […]


What is a Collect?

This short essay attempts to explain, what is a Collect in the Anglican tradition The word Collect comes from Latin The word Collect in Anglican usage derives from the ordinary use of the word, meaning to gather together (Latin, colligere, “to gather”). The related word collecta meant the gathering of the people together. In medieval […]


How to really pray the Lord’s Prayer

 “I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us, and we change things.” Mother Theresa.    How can we really pray the Lord’s Prayer so that it changes us? Every Sunday at church, or while watching a live streamed service in this time of COVID-19, we say or […]


What are in-laws — really?

Why do I call my wife’s sister my sister-in-law?  Likewise for other relatives by marriage?  And, could I marry an in-law if I wanted to? Prohibitions against incest All societies have strict rules against incest; that is, sexual relations with relatives. Our Judeo-Christian tradition looks back to the Hebrew Scriptures.  Leviticus Chapter 18: 6-18 identifies women […]


COVID-19: Letter to Parishioners – March 16, 2020

Dear St. George’s Parishioners: First of all, we hope that you and your families are all keeping healthy.  It’s disappointing that everyone cannot get together at this time, but we want us all to think about how we can best support each other.  Then, please let either Nigel or Jan know if you find yourself ill or quarantined, or if […]


Definitions of the word God

The purpose of this short essay is to offer definitions of the word ‘god’.  Whether or not we write it with a capital G.   People use many different words to describe what they mean by God, god, or gods. What do we mean when we use the word God – or god? The question seems […]


Travelling from Pancakes to Ashes

Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday are connected events.  They take us symbolically from pancakes to ashes What is Shrove Tuesday?  Several years ago, I was helping at a pancake supper when I overheard two ladies waiting in line. “It’s a pity that so many churches have pancake suppers on the same night,” one of them […]


What is Progressive Christianity?

Progressive Christianity I decided to write this short essay after I read a piece by Edward Simmons last month. Its title was What is progressive about Progressive Christianity?  What does the word ‘progressive’ mean?  Here are some possible ideas.  Enlightened, forward-looking, reformist, broad-minded, and tolerant.  ‘Progressive’ can also mean ‘left-leaning’. I agree, as I wrote […]


Vestry Motion from Diocese concerning single use plastics

At the parish meeting on January 12th, I commented that it would be difficult to approve the Motion from the Diocese on this subject.  I agreed to suggest edits for your consideration. What follows is in two parts: The Motion submitted by the Diocese.  Notes 1-4 represent problem areas for us. The text of a […]