Sunday, August 21, 2011

We will, we will ROCK YOU ! ! !

You don't have to be a sports fan to have your world ROCKED.  In the spiritual arena, Chrisitianity will hopefully rock our inner world.  Today's gospel recounts Jesus saying to Peter that he is the rock but Peter's world was rocked in so many ways.  Imagine Peter trying walk on water!  Imagine Peter denying Christ the day before His death on the cross!  And then imagine Peter, himself crucified, asking to be turned upside down because of his unworthiness to die in the exact same manner as his Lord!

Through his life journey from a simple fisherman to the leader of a new church, his faith took many turns and weathered many trials.

Today, at Good Shepherd Church, an Independent Catholic community, some would say that we rock the world with an alternative Catholic expression.  Still rooted in the same theology and scripture, we reach out to those who consider themselves on the fringe of Catholicism:  those who have their spiritual roots in Catholicism and have left that spiritual family for one reason or another; or, have found themselves on the outside looking in and not being accepted by the formal, traditional Church.

The Church's ROCK is Jesus Christ and, as church,  has moved through history under the leadership of His apostles and disciples to this day.  Apostolic succession continues through the centuries, even to Bishop Brian Delvaux, Ordinary of the American Catholic Diocese in Lakewood, California.  Good Shepherd Church rocks the world of traditional Roman Catholicism....but we share the same foundation, the same faith and same calling to offer challenge and nourishment to live the fullest of life that we are all invited to live.

 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Celebrating a wedding WHERE??

Good Shepherd Church is unique in several ways but the one ministry that reaches out to Catholics at an important time in their life is our WEDDING MINISTRY.   Many Catholics who have their spiritual roots in the Roman Catholic Church find themselves in a difficult position if they choose to celebrate their wedding at a venue outside of their local parish church and the reasons vary with each couple.  Perhaps they are marrying a non-Catholic; perhaps they wish their ceremony and reception dinner at one location; perhaps they find the beauty of a certain location to reflect their experience of love and of God.  They are looking for an alternative to a wedding ceremony in a church building.

While the theology of the Sacrament of Matrimony echoes Roman Catholicism, some of the disciplines that surround that celebration are different in the American Catholic Church.  One of the rules is WHERE this sacrament can be celebrated.  At Good Shepherd Church, a more Old Testament flavor is evident:  it is the faith of the people that make the ground sacred!  With this in mind and in spirit, our Bishop permits the priests of Good Shepherd to celebrate weddings at a location of their choice.  And, we are honored to be part of their special and sacred day.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Announcing FACEBOOK and TWITTER

You may have already noticed that Good Shepherd Church is now available on FACEBOOK and TWITTER.  You can access these sites from the menu on the right side of this Blog page.

A regular feature on Facebook will be the Daily Meditations presented by Fr. Richard Rohr.  I have found his meditations to be most stimulating and challenging and I hope that you will find them worthwhile also.



Sunday, August 7, 2011

Can you hear the "range".....

The Old Testament and Gospel readings today answer the age old question:  WHERE IS GOD?

The Book of Kings:  "...a tiny whispering sound."  How subtle, gentle and easy to overlook.  In contrast, Matthew's gospel  recounts the experience of Jesus "walking on the sea."  How dramatic, emotional and full of impact is that experience!

Audiophiles and musicians are aware that the quality of a particular piece of equipment or a particular instrument is dependent on it's "range".  Can a speaker system deliver the high range with clarity and the low range with richness?  Can a musical instrument deliver a good sound in the upper range without the quality of that sound being too bright, too screechy, too thin?  And can it deliver the low end of it's range without losing the depth, richness and clarity of those notes? 

The presence of God has a range also:  a bably wimpering in a manger of hay AND a wedding guest turning water into wine!  A prisoner tacked to a piece of wood on a Friday afternoon AND a light-filled spirit in human form speaking to his followers after his assumed death!  A tiny whispering sound AND a dramatic presence walking on water!

In our lives, can we hear the range of His  presence:  from the silent smile or glance of recognition from a friend to a spectacular sunset;  from a simple exchange of common courtesy (please, thank you, good morning) to a grand celebration of life at a wedding, birthday or anniversary?

With the grace of faith, we have the ears to hear the entire range of His message living today within humanity and within our journey as Christians and as Church.