Friday, November 26, 2010
We are glad you have found your way to our blog, “To Speak Now of God.” Today is our first posting, in preparation for the start of Advent, the beginning of the church year. The postings on this blog will generally be associated with the annual cycle, though from time to time one or the other of us may depart from the format to address something that seems pressing or timely.
As the “Welcome” note states, we are two old friends, United Church of Christ pastors, presently “annuitized,” but not “retired,” except when we have to use the term on tax or census forms. We share the belief that God does not revoke the call to ministry when one reaches a certain age or stage of life. However, such blessings as pensions and Social Security do offer the possibility of serving in capacities where income is less a factor than when we were raising families.
Richard’s work has been in New England, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, in settled and transitional pastorates, and as a counselor to clergy in crisis. He currently serves as Abbott of the Order of Corpus Christi, an office to which he was called in 2002. Corpus Christi is a religious order open to both lay and clergy, and to both men and women. It was founded in 1987 by a group of United Church of Christ clergy and laity, but has expanded beyond that denominational identity and has become an ecumenical evangelical catholic order with sisters and brothers from Reformed and Lutheran traditions in the United States and western Europe.
The Order of Corpus Christi calls its members to live balanced lives through daily common prayer, silence, and contemplation which produce concrete action in the life of the Church and the world, lives that "witness to our oneness in Christ" and a "sign of our communion with others in Christ through one Baptism, one Bread, and the call to discipleship."
After years pastoring in suburban congregations near Boston, Howard is shortly to begin serving as a transitional pastor in a small, vital church in western Maine. For the last 23 years he and his wife Flo have directed an annual youth hiking camp in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, a project that continues. For many years he and another friend, Lisa Priest, co-edited The Seasons, a quarterly devotional publication, built around the lectionary, and drawing on the gifts of an array of talented contributors. He has written and published a confirmation curriculum and a variety of adult education materials.
We are setting out “To Speak Now of God” because we enjoy one another’s company, share perspectives on living the life of faith and hope that by offering thoughts and reflections we can encourage others to do likewise. We are theological centrists, having found nourishment in Scripture, the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Eucharist, the creeds and confessions of the historical church and the faith and witness of men and women of faith throughout the centuries. Drawing on these sources we will each offer our own point of view, signing our individual pieces, and we invite you to join the conversation.
It’s only fair to state a few ground rules. There is sometimes a Wild West quality to Internet conversations, and for this reason comments will be moderated before they are posted. This is a “flat” medium in which we do not see one another’s faces, or hear one another’s voices, and it is all too easy to forget that posts and comments are coming from and directed to real people. We ask that while you may well encounter opinions with which you disagree (ours or others) you assume basic honesty of motive, and understand that in a conversation amongst diverse individuals there will be diverse opinions. We hope for a community that reflects the breadth of the church in which the all too common labels and stereotypes can be laid aside as we reflect on the life of faith.
We hope you will find something of value here in the days ahead. You can receive updates by selecting the “Follow” button, or you can just drop by, as you feel moved. http://tospeaknowofgod.blogspot.com/ We look forward to hearing from you.
Howard MacMullen & Richard Price