Friday, October 30, 2009

Thankful for the Profile of St. Barnabas

I am feeling particularly grateful for St. Barnabas after reading this wonderful post by The Postulant on Things you will never, ever see in a parish profile

(but would warm my heart):

"We are looking for a rector who will guide us into more traditional worship."

"Our favorite sermons offer Catholic theology with evangelical delivery."

"Adult education at Saint Ethelred's follows the C.S. Lewis rule: after reading a new book, we never allow ourselves to read another new one till we have read an old one in between."

"Our previous rector refused to devote adult education time to any study of the works of Spong, Pagels, Borg, and the like. We agree with this stance but remain disappointed that he did not also burst into derisive laughter at the very mention of their names."

In fact, such parishes exist. When I was applying for the position of rector of St. Barnabas, this is very much what the profile indicated. If the last one was not exactly in the profile when I applied, it will certainly be fitting for whatever profile is put together when the search is on for my successor. I even confess to the occasional burst of derisive laughter.

The quote from Lewis comes from his wonderful introduction to On the Incarnation by Athanasius. This text is scheduled to be the topic for our Adult Christian Training series led by Rodney Clapp on Sunday mornings in Advent.

I hope The Postulant is wrong that such church profiles are rare. Rare or not, I am continually grateful for the congregation of St. Barnabas where it seems rather normal.

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