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Topics - John_Hannah

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Your Turn / Pope Francis Restricts Latin Mass Use
« on: July 17, 2021, 09:13:09 AM »
Interesting development. Are there American Lutheran counterparts to the Roman Catholic parties?

Peace, JOHN

Your Turn / Sermongate
« on: July 07, 2021, 08:19:29 AM »
From today's Times; I don't know what to make of it, myself.

Your Turn / Philip Pfatteicher +
« on: June 27, 2021, 01:00:44 PM »
I just happened to catch the notice in today's NY Times. He died on June 22 at age 85. Requiem Mass at the Church of the Advent, 30 Brimmer Street, Boston.

He made important contributions to Lutheran liturgical scholarship and practice. He was for many years the editor of the Ashby Calendar (Lutheran Edition). Author of Manuel on the Liturgy, Lutheran Book of Worship (with Carlos Messerli) and New Book of Festivals and Commemorations. In the 1960s he was a pastor in the Bronx (All Saints).

May he rest in peace and may perpetual light shine upon him.

Peace, JOHN

Your Turn / Pryaers at Civic Events
« on: May 21, 2021, 06:02:21 PM »
I caught the Medal of Honor ceremony today. There were prayers at the begining and the end. The camera did not show the chaplain nor was he introduced. His voice simply came "out of the blue" as he recited his well prepared prayer. My guess is that it was a military chaplain based on the content of the prayers. But that is only a guess.

I suspect that it represents an innovation. I had not seen it before and I have viewed a number of those occasions. Was this the request of the recipient, a very deserving Lieutenant (now a full Colonel, retired) Puckett from the Korean War or something President Biden wants? Don't know.

By the way there are daily prayers at both houses of congress. The current chaplains are both retired Navy Chiefs of Chaplains.

Peace, JOHN

Your Turn / Marva Dawn +
« on: May 06, 2021, 04:17:31 PM »
I have just now learned that Marva Dawn died on April 18th.

Here is a link to a recent tribute to her:

She was a truly great theologian. May she rest in peace.


Your Turn / Prince Philip Funeral
« on: April 17, 2021, 11:18:49 AM »
Any comments?

My initial reaction: Certainly a fine witness to the Christian faith. Straight forward confession of the Holy Trinity and resurrection of the dead.

Yet a surprising ignoring of the Vatican II reforms, very apparent among American Episcopalians. A departure from Medieval style with the "resurrection sounding" cantate commissioned by Philip and the sounding of "Revelie" after the British Marine version of "Taps."

Peace, JOHN

Your Turn / Church and Racism
« on: March 19, 2021, 07:47:21 AM »
From David Brooks (NY Times, 19 Mar 2021), a strong affirmation of the Christian Church:

A Christian Vision of Social Justice
By David Brooks

Like a lot of people, I’ve tried to envision a way to promote social change that doesn’t involve destroying people’s careers over a bad tweet, that doesn’t reduce people to simplistic labels, that is more about a positive agenda to redistribute power to the marginalized than it is about simply blotting out the unworthy. I’m groping for a social justice movement, in other words, that would be anti-oppression and without the dehumanizing cruelty we’ve seen of late.

I tried to write a column describing what that might look like — and failed. It wasn’t clear in my head.

But this week I interviewed Esau McCaulley, a New Testament professor at Wheaton College and a contributing writer for New York Times Opinion. He described a distinctly Christian vision of social justice I found riveting and a little strange (in a good way) and important for everybody to hear, Christian and non-Christian, believer and nonbeliever.

This vision begins with respect for the equal dignity of each person. It is based on the idea that we are all made in the image of God. It abhors any attempt to dehumanize anybody on any front. We may be unjustly divided in a zillion ways, but a fundamental human solidarity in being part of the same creation.

The Christian social justice vision also emphasizes the importance of memory. The Bible is filled with stories of marginalization and transformation, which we continue to live out. Exodus is the complicated history of how a fractious people comes together to form a nation.

Today, many Americans are trying to tell the true history of our people, a tale that doesn’t whitewash the shameful themes in our narrative nor downplay the painful but uneven progress — realist but not despairing.

McCaulley doesn’t describe racism as a problem, but as a sin enmeshed with other sins, like greed and lust. Some people don’t like “sin” talk. But to cast racism as a sin is useful in many ways.

The concept of sin gives us an action plan to struggle against it: acknowledge the sin, confess the sin, ask forgiveness for the sin, turn away from the sin, restore the wrong done. If racism is America’s collective sin then the tasks are: tell the truth about racism, turn away from racism, offer reparations for racism.

A struggle against a sin is not the work of a week or a year, since sin keeps popping back up. But this vision has led to some of the most significant social justice victories in history: William Wilberforce’s fight against the slave trade, the Rev. Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s and the Confessing Church’s struggle against Nazism. And, of course, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement.

From Frederick Douglass and Howard Thurman to Martin Luther King Jr. on down, the Christian social justice movement has relentlessly exposed evil by forcing it face to face with Christological good. The marches, the sit-ins, the nonviolence. “You can’t get to just ends with unjust means,” McCaulley told me. “The ethic of Jesus is as important as the ends of liberation.”

He pointed me to the argument Thurman made in “Jesus and the Disinherited,” that hatred is a great motivator, but it burns down more than the object of its ire. You can feel rage but there has to be something on the other side of anger.

That is the ethic of self-emptying love — neither revile the reviler nor allow him to stay in his sin. The Christian approach to power is to tell those with power to give it up for the sake of those who lack. There is a relentless effort to rebuild relationship because God is relentless in pursuit of us.

“He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love,” King wrote. “We can never say, ‘I will forgive you, but I won’t have anything further to do with you.’ Forgiveness means reconciliation, a coming together again.”

McCaulley emphasizes that forgiveness — like the kind offered by the congregants of the Emanuel A.M.E. church in Charleston, S.C., and family members after parishioners were murdered in 2015 by a white supremacist — is not a stand-alone thing. It has to come with justice and change: “Why is Black forgiveness required again and again? Why is forgiveness heard but the demand for justice ignored?”

But this vision does not put anybody outside the sphere of possible redemption. “If you tell us you are trying to change, we will come alongside you,” McCaulley says. “When the church is at its best it opens up to the possibility of change, to begin again.”

New life is always possible, for the person and the nation. This is the final way the Christian social justice vision is distinct. When some people talk about social justice it sounds as if group-versus-group power struggles are an eternal fact of human existence. We all have to armor up for an endless war.

But, as McCaulley writes in his book “Reading While Black,” “the Old and New Testaments have a message of salvation, liberation and reconciliation.”

On the other side of justice, we reach the beloved community and multiethnic family of humankind. This vision has a destination, and thus walks not in bitterness but in hope.

Your Turn / The Tone of Liturgy in 2021
« on: January 24, 2021, 11:59:11 AM »
Here is a run-down on the music, hymnody, and texts done at the pre-inaugural liturgy at the Cathedral of St. Matthew. I have been curious but we could see or hear any of it; the media showed only the congregation of and on.

Does such a liturgy for such a dignitary affect the direction of liturgy throughout the nation? I remember the Kennedy funeral liturgy and think that Cardinal Cushing became a negative example setting in a reaction that might be thought to have culminated in the quintessential guitar mass. This mass is far removed from "guitar." Does it portend a more conservative trend.

(Don't introduce politics here. Only theology and liturgy!)

Peace, JOHN

Your Turn / St. Peter's, Manhattan
« on: January 05, 2021, 05:23:05 PM »
Many here know of St. Peter's in Midtown Manhattan (Lexington and 53rd). Last night it suffered serious water damage from a ruptured water main. The sanctuary and most of the educational rooms are below street level so it was extensive, probably in the millions of dollars. John Damm served as pastor for many years.

Your Turn / Christianity and Zombie Ants by Piotr Malysz.
« on: September 29, 2020, 09:44:59 AM »
There's an excellent new commentary on today's turbulent and trying times. Christianity and Zombie Ants by Piotr Malysz. Go to Selected Re-prints.

Selected Re-Prints / Christianity and Zombie Ants, by Piotr Malysz
« on: September 29, 2020, 09:39:11 AM »
There's an excellent new commentary on today's turbulent and trying times in <>. Christianity and Zombie Ants by Piotr Malysz.

Your Turn / Pope Francis (Celebacy & Deacons)
« on: February 13, 2020, 02:38:40 PM »
Pope Francis has declined to approve married priests and women deacons (deaconesses?) for the Amazon. Here is the Times report:


Peace, JOHN

Your Turn / Leonard Klein +
« on: December 04, 2019, 07:36:33 PM »
I am sad to report that our former editor of Lutheran Forum and strong ALPB supporter, Leonard Klein, has died of cancer. At this time all I know is this:

May he rest in peace. JOHN

Your Turn / Church Politics (Not Lutheran)
« on: November 23, 2019, 07:32:03 AM »
A friend in Australia sent me this:

And here I thought that we Lutherans had the corner on the church/secular political mix.   :)

Peace, JOHN

Your Turn / Return of Forum Online
« on: October 24, 2019, 06:12:44 AM »
We are back online.   :)  Thanks be to God!

And thanks to all subscribers and donors. It does cost money to operate Forum Online. Soon, we will again be asking you (as we do each year) for a donation to the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau. We need your gift to keep operating; please give generously. Watch for our annual appeal and don't put it off. That's if you are a subscriber to the Forum package (Forum Letter and Lutheran Forum).

If you do not subscribe you should still help us pay for the Forum Online you are using. You may send your gift to:

American Lutheran Publicity Bureau  or ALPB
PO Box 327
Delhi, NY 13753

Don't be a cheap freeloader. If you give, thank you in advance.

Peace, JOHN

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