Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Sermon is based on Matthew 13:31-3:
He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.”
You may find the audio link here if you wish to suffer through it. Also note that there is an option to download it there (using the button which says "download" underneath the link which says "listen").

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* By KendallSermons & Teachings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* South Carolina* TheologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted July 28, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is not the Father, yet still each is God.

You may find the audio link here if you wish to suffer through it. Also note that there is an option to download it there (using the button which says "download" underneath the link which says "listen").

Filed under: * By KendallSermons & Teachings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* TheologyThe Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

0 Comments
Posted June 23, 2014 at 7:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

You may find the audio link here if you wish to suffer through it.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* By KendallSermons & Teachings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* South Carolina* TheologyThe Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

0 Comments
Posted June 16, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Filed under: * By Kendall* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet

1 Comments
Posted June 15, 2014 at 5:46 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I am sure you have all had this experience at one time or other, but this friend and parish member died suddenly and I received the news early this morning. He was 69 and looked fine when I saw him on Sunday. One never knows what any day will bring.

It is still a shock to the system. Please Keep Marsha Blandenburg and this family in your prayers.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineScience & Technology* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted June 11, 2014 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"Our expectations are to be God's expectations" for the church."

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* By KendallSermons & Teachings* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsPentecostParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* South Carolina* TheologyEcclesiology

0 Comments
Posted June 9, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

‘D-Day 360′ Brings a New Perspective and Technology recreates the epic D-day invasion on WGBH. Read both pieces and catch them both when you can--KSH.



Filed under: * By Kendall* Culture-WatchHistoryMovies & Television* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military

0 Comments
Posted June 6, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all should you wish to and also note that there is an option to download it there (using the button which says "download" underneath the link which says "listen").

Filed under: * By KendallSermons & Teachings* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsAscension* TheologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted June 3, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



I wanted the picture for my father, a Navy Veteran, and he insisted I got in the shot--KSH. You may read more about the remarkable Robert Besal there.

Filed under: * By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* General InterestPhotos/Photography* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

1 Comments
Posted May 27, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all should you wish to and also note that there is an option to download it there (using the button which says "download" underneath the link which says "listen").

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* By KendallSermons & Teachings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted May 13, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Everyone loves to whack away at blogs but they sift information through a personal grid which means you get information someone else sees that you do not.

Case in point, when was the first Boko Haram post on this blog? August 2009: Nigeria violence sparks new concerns.


Filed under: * By Kendall* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted May 10, 2014 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



We took this one just as we were leaving Camp St. Christopher after celebrating our 27th anniversary. What can I say? The children got their mother's genes.

Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family* Culture-WatchMarriage & Family* General InterestPhotos/Photography

3 Comments
Posted April 29, 2014 at 6:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all; it is based on 1 John 1 the opening few verses.

Filed under: * By KendallSermons & Teachings* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEasterParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics

0 Comments
Posted April 28, 2014 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



I deny any knowledge whatsoever of the people in this photograph.

Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family* Culture-WatchMarriage & Family* General InterestPhotos/Photography

3 Comments
Posted April 26, 2014 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



For those interested you may read a lot more about Camp Saint Christopher there.

Filed under: * By Kendall* General InterestAnimalsPhotos/Photography* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted April 26, 2014 at 11:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* By KendallSermons & Teachings* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEasterParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* South Carolina* TheologyChristologyEschatology

0 Comments
Posted April 20, 2014 at 6:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Tragically neglected, Holy Saturday remains a central part of the three most Holy Days of the Christian year. It is called the Triduum...

Filed under: * By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEpiphanyParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* TheologyAnthropologyChristologyEschatology

1 Comments
Posted April 19, 2014 at 11:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all should you wish to and also note that there is an option to download it there (using the button which says "download" underneath the link which says "listen").

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* By KendallSermons & Teachings* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsHoly WeekParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* TheologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

2 Comments
Posted April 18, 2014 at 2:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all should you wish to and also note that there is an option to download it there (using the button which says "download" underneath the link which says "listen").

Filed under: * By KendallSermons & Teachings* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsHoly WeekParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* TheologyAnthropologyChristologySoteriology

0 Comments
Posted April 14, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Love of learning is the guide to life, Φιλοσοφία Βίου Κυβερνήτης, is the motto of Phi Beta Kappa and a part of history too often forgotten. It makes me think immediately of The Love of Learning and the Desire for God by Jean Leclercq, O.S.B., a wonderful book about the Cistercians. It also brings to mind the whole book of Proverbs--KSH.



Filed under: * By Kendall* Culture-WatchEducationPhilosophy* TheologyAnthropologyThe Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

0 Comments
Posted April 5, 2014 at 4:29 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all should you wish to and also note that there is an option to download it there (using the button which says "download" underneath the link which says "listen").

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* By KendallSermons & Teachings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* TheologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted March 31, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...the biggest objection to the article is that he never really gets to the meat of why the present crisis is such a big deal. If Anglicanism is a via media between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism as he (thank the Lord) rightly says, then it is not a middle way to nowhere, nor is it a middle way between faith and life, or between all sorts of other false polarities which are suggested in a number of recent discussions. The heart of Anglicanism is as Marco Antonio De Dominis rightly said in essentials unity, in non essentials liberty, and in all things charity. But what happens when the '“big tent” of Anglicanism that comfortably accommodated a full range of conservative and liberal beliefs' accommodates disagreements about matters which are not non-essential?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Episcopal Church (TEC)* By Kendall* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted March 23, 2014 at 3:04 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Longtime blog readers know well that one of my favorite examples of the importance of listening to the screaming silence of something missing comes from the Sherlock Holmes saga entitled "Silver Blaze." In one of the most famous sections in all of Arthur Conan Doyle's writing in this saga we find the follow exchange:
Inspector Gregory [of Scotland Yard]: "Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
Sherlock Holmes: "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
Inspector Gregory: "The dog did nothing in the night-time."
Sherlock Holmes: "That was the curious incident
."
I mention this because recently the Anglican Communion Office launched an Anglican Communion Facebook page. You may find the page here. Being preoccupied recently with the diocese of South Carolina convention and other matters, I only recently checked out the page.

Imagine my surprise when on the front of the page I read the following:
A page to see posts shared by members of the Anglican Communion - 85 million Christians who share faith, tradition, history & ways of worshipping.
Now 85 million people is a lot the last time I checked--but I would have thought the Bible had something to do with it.

The silence is screaming and it is oh-so-significant--KSH
.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingGlobalizationReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyTheology: Scripture

5 Comments
Posted March 22, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Here is a list of recent stories with news, sermons, resolutions, etc. related to this past weekend's convention of the Diocese of South Carolina:
Featured Entries:
The Diocese of South Carolina Formalizes Wordwide Anglican Ties at 2014 Convention

Bishop Mark Lawrence’s Address to the 223rd Diocese of South Carolina Convention

Bishop Mark Lawrence’s Message Regarding Resolution R-3 for the Upcoming SC Convention



Other Posts:
A Whole lot of Pictures from the South Carolina 2014 Convention (#223)
Wonderfully Encouraging Camp St. Christopher Video from SC Convention
John Barr’s South Carolina Convention Sermon, “I am the Door”
Kendall Harmon’s recent SC Convention Presentation on the Jerusalem Declaration
(Local paper) Diocese of South Carolina accepts provisional oversight from Global South primates
Proposed Resolutions for the Diocese of South Carolina Convention upcoming this Fri/Sat
More Detailed Information about the upcoming Diocese of South Carolina Convention

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: Bishops* AdminFeatured (Sticky)* By KendallSermons & Teachings* Christian Life / Church Life* Resources & Links* South Carolina

1 Comments
Posted March 19, 2014 at 7:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Are human beings born good or born with a volcanic anti-God allergy in their hearts? Answering this theological question is one of THE great challenges for Christians as we stand on the brink of a new millennium.
On one side of the divide stands Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778). Men and women “are born free,” he famously said in his Social Contract, yet “everywhere” they are “in chains.” Rousseau believed that we are born good. His explanation for the deep problems in the world? They came to us from outside us. Error and prejudice, murder and treason, were the products of corrupt environments: educational, familial, societal, political, and, yes, ecclesiastical.

Note carefully that the FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM is located outside men and women, and the MEANS of evil developing comes from the outside in. The NATURE of the problem is one of environment and knowledge.
Augustine (354-430) saw things very differently. Describing the decision by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, Augustine writes in The City of God: “Our parents fell into open disobedience because they were secretly corrupted; for the evil act had never been done had not an evil will preceded it.” The motive for this evil will was pride. “This is undue exaltation, when the soul abandons Him to whom it ought to cleave as its end, and becomes a kind of end to itself … By craving to be more” we “became less;” and “by aspiring to be self-sufficing,” we “fell away from him who truly suffices” us.

For Augustine, men and women as we find them today are creatures curved in on themselves. We are rebels who, rather than curving up and out in worship to God, instead curved in and down into what Malcolm Muggeridge once termed “the dark little dungeon of our own” egos.

In this view the FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM is located inside men and women, and the means of evil developing comes from the inside out (note Jesus’ reasoning in Mark 7:18-23). The NATURE of the problem is one of the will.

The difference between Augustine and Rousseau could not be more stark. In a Western world permeated by Rousseau, we need the courage to return to the challenge and depth of Augustine’s insight.
To do so makes the good news of the gospel even better. Think of Easter. What is the image which Paul uses to describe what occurs when a man or woman turns to Christ? New Creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)! Jesus rose to transform the entire created order from the inside out, beginning with our evil wills which he replaces with “a new heart…and a new spirit” (Ezekiel 36:26).

Glory Hallelujah!

--Kendall S. Harmon from a piece in 2007

Filed under: * By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent* TheologyAnthropologyChristology

1 Comments
Posted March 5, 2014 at 6:59 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all should you wish to and also note that there is an option to download it there (using the button which says "download" underneath the link which says "listen").

Filed under: * By KendallSermons & Teachings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* TheologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted February 24, 2014 at 12:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family* General InterestPhotos/Photography

3 Comments
Posted February 14, 2014 at 7:09 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

No internet, house and yard is a mess, feels like living in slow motion--KSH.

Filed under: * By Kendall* General InterestWeather* South Carolina

2 Comments
Posted February 13, 2014 at 8:50 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Filed under: * By KendallSermons & Teachings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted February 12, 2014 at 4:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Like so many others, I just can't imagine my life without Winnie the Pooh.

I found his Encyclopedia Brittanica entry there.

Also found this from his February 1, 1956 obituary in the [London] Times (behind a paywall):
...it is for his nursery books that his name will be chiefly remembered. Pooh has become an international figure and stands out from countless animals of nursery literature as a classic. There must be in such a classic something that appeals to grown-ups, a quality that makes them wish to introduce the work to their children.


Filed under: * By Kendall* Culture-WatchBooksChildren

0 Comments
Posted January 18, 2014 at 6:59 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The U6 unemployment rate tabulates not only people without work who are seeking full-time employment but also counts "marginally attached workers and those working part-time for economic reasons."

Please take the time to study this graph of U-6 at the top and look carefully at the other numbers. What do you see? Seasonally adjusted U-6 unemployment is now
still higher than it was in November of 2008, over 5 years ago. While there has been improvement from the worst levels of the great recession, it is hardly anywhere near what could be called healthy.

Those of you who are data hounds (like yours truly) will perhaps appreciate the table here; there is much more material at the BLS website--KSH.

Filed under: * By Kendall* Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--The U.S. Government

0 Comments
Posted January 10, 2014 at 4:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* By KendallSermons & Teachings* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEpiphanyParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted January 6, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Elizabeth and I finally made it to Saving Mr Banks this week--it was really well done; so many great scenes, lets go fly a kite my favorite. I would note, however, to any father who has daughters or vice versa, that the story packs a real emotional and personal punch (and it applies by extension to other parents and children)--KSH.

Filed under: * By Kendall* Culture-WatchMovies & Television

2 Comments
Posted January 4, 2014 at 1:58 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Christina Rossetti’s words pierce my heart at Christmas, year after year:
“Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas, Star and angels gave the sign.”
It is worth pausing and pondering the answer to the question: how deep and how broad was that love?
To move with me toward an answer, journey to a small chapel in Cartmell Fell, a little known holy place in the North of England. If you know where to look when you arrive there – the stone is half hidden in the chancel — you can find a 1771 inscription with elegant lettering:

“Underneath this stone a mouldering Virgin lies,
Who was the pleasure once of Human Eyes.
Her Blaze of Charms Virtue once approved
The Gay admired her, much the parents loved.
Transitory life! Death untimely came.
Adieu, farewell, lonely leave my name.”
The words describe Betty Poole; she was a little girl who died at age three.

Christina Rossetti also wrote:
“In the bleak mid-winter Frosty wind made moan;
Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone…”
It is only when the bleakness of this world and its iron hardness is fully felt, that the miracle of melting which began at Christmas can penetrate and shock us into appropriate awe. God’s love enveloped the whole moaning, stony, sin-sick world. It is broad enough to embrace it all, in this world and the next.

I imagine being with Betty Poole in Heaven and hearing her say with a smile, “God’s love was bigger than I thought!”

--The Rev. Dr. Kendall S. Harmon

Filed under: * By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas

0 Comments
Posted January 3, 2014 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmasParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* Culture-WatchScience & Technology* South Carolina* TheologyAnthropologyChristology

0 Comments
Posted December 30, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I'm always so glad every year for the 12 days of the Christmas Season- we need time to ponder the mystery and the glory of the incarnation--KSH.


Filed under: * By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas* TheologyAnthropologyChristology

0 Comments
Posted December 29, 2013 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I believe the hardest job in America today is that of being a Roman Catholic parish priest.

Perhaps the most challenging single job this year is that of Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The spiritual leader of 500,000 people in one of the most heavily Roman Catholic regions in the United States, Hughes, according to the New York Times, had to put together a diocese "in exile." The task was to reorganize the Archdiocese, including a charitable network and 104 parochial schools, inBaton Rouge. Can you imagine?

"I never thought the Lord was going to ask me to take this on at 72," said the Archbishop. Indeed.
And here is where faith in the child in the manger comes in. Looking out at all the flooding, devastation, looting and loss, the reporter asked Alfred Hughes whether he still had hope.

He declared: "Absolutely. Absolutely. That is the root of our faith."

"The most important thing is to not doubt God's presence and God's saving and transforming grace," he continued. "I'm convinced that God is going to purify us through this."

What a bracing affirmation in the midst of so many who are tempted to soften Christmas into a Hallmark Card these days. "In the bleak midwinter," Christine Rosetti reminds us, "frosty wind made moan, earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone."

Talk about bleak — how about New Orleans after Katrina? Yet the good Archbishop says "I am convinced." If there can be light in the bleakness of Bethlehem, in the miry initial despair of New Orleans after such a fury of nature, there can ALWAYS be hope. For the light shines in the darkness at Christmas, and the darkness has not and never will overcome it.

--The Rev. Canon Dr. Kendall S. Harmon from 2005

Filed under: * By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas* TheologyChristology

0 Comments
Posted December 27, 2013 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Filed under: * By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmasParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained

0 Comments
Posted December 24, 2013 at 8:50 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* By KendallSermons & Teachings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* South Carolina* TheologyEcclesiology

0 Comments
Posted December 23, 2013 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On this day of nonstop Mandela coverage, we owe it to ourselves and to him to ask how 27 yrs in prison would impact us.

Both Joseph (Genesis 37-50) and Nelson Mandela emerged from prison stronger and more forgiving because of what God did in them--would we emerge the same way?--KSH.


Filed under: * By Kendall* Culture-WatchHistoryPrison/Prison Ministry* International News & CommentaryAfricaSouth Africa* TheologyTheology: Scripture

2 Comments
Posted December 6, 2013 at 7:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Left to Right: my brother, Randy Harmon, my father, Stuart Harmon, and myself.

Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family* General InterestPhotos/Photography

1 Comments
Posted November 29, 2013 at 6:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

People in the early twenty-first century seem to struggle to be thankful. One moving story on this topic concerns a seminary student in Evanston, Illinois, who was part of a life-saving squad. On September 8, 1860, a ship called the Lady Elgin went aground on the shore of Lake Michigan near Evanston, and Edward Spencer waded again and again into the frigid waters to rescue 17 passengers. In the process, his health was permanently damaged. Some years later he died in California at the age of 81. In a newspaper notice of his death, it was said that not one of the people he rescued ever thanked him.

Today is a day in which we are to be reminded of our creatureliness, our frailty, and our dependence. One of the clearest ways we may express this is to seek to give thanks in all circumstances (Philippians 4:6).

I am sure today you can find much for which to give thanks: the gift of life, the gift of faith, the joy of friends and family, all those serving in the mission field extending the reach of the gospel around the world, and so much else. I also invite you to consider taking a moment at some point today to write a note of thanksgiving to someone who really made a difference in your life: possibly a teacher, a coach, a mentor, a minister or a parent. You might even write to the parish secretary, the sexton, or the music minister in the parish where you worship; they work very hard behind the scenes.

–The Rev. Canon Dr. Kendall S. Harmon is the convenor of this blog and takes this opportunity to give thanks for all blog readers and participants and to wish everyone a blessed Thanksgiving

Filed under: * By Kendall* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

1 Comments
Posted November 28, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Very few areas get me wound up faster than clergy finances. There are two reasons for this. One is that the actual situation with taxes and clergy compensation is quite complicated and not well understood even by people who work with taxes professionally and, as if that isn't trouble enough, many clergy in my experience are inadequate and in some cases even ignorant in the financial area.

Sure enough, this has led to some very poor reporting on this story already, as well as some even worse posting about it on the blogs. If you wish to understand it can I please advise that you do your own research and not jump to conclusions.

With that said, here goes. First, there is no need for panic. This is one ruling, and we have a system which involves a lot of layers of the judicial system, so overeacting now is not going to help.

Second, you need to understand the bizarre--and I mean bizarre--basic situation of clergy finances.

If you take a look at the basic IRS definition it starts as follows:

A minister's housing allowance, sometimes called a parsonage allowance or a rental allowance is excludable from gross income for income tax purposes, but not for self-employment tax purposes.
Now before you go whizzing past that, make sure to read it and take it in a couple of times. Please note the DUAL status of clergy finances. Housing allowances are excludable (under certain conditions) BUT NOT FOR SELF EMPLOYMENT TAXES.

In other words, for the purpose of social security, the situation is different, and, indeed, I would argue, poor, because as far as social security is concerned, a clergyman or clergywoman is treated as if there were a self employed writer like Gore Vidal or Stephen King, and for that they pay both their portion of social security taxes AS WELL AS the employers portion. So whereas the woman who works for Coca Cola, say, pays for half of her social security taxes every pay period, her employer, Coca Cola, pays the other half. For ministers this is not true; ministers pay both halves.

So the important point right from the get go is that any idea that clergy get some kind of special "deal" in the tax system at a basic level is wildly misleading. No article that reports on this fairly can do so without mentioning the dual tax status issue and whereas the housing allowance does help, the social security situation does not.

There is more. The housing allowance is for actual housing costs so any compensation which is what it costs you to maintain a home for the year (or, if the church owns the home, there are other stipulations). So If you see a minister X and he reports a salary of 10,000 and a housing allowance of 40,000 and you think this is unfair be aware that any amount of the 40,000 dollars NOT related to housing is to be declared as "excess housing allowance" to the IRS (and, yes, I will also remind you that this person is paying 2x social security taxes on the WHOLE 50,000 overall compensation).

Now, I am well aware that some churches (and sadly some clergy) abuse this situation. That is unfortunate but remember that is an abuse of existing rules not the rules themselves.

Why do we have this crazy system? Mainly because when it was originally put in place many clergy lived in church owned housing and so when they retired because many did not own their own home ever they had no housing equity built up at all. That has since changed, never mind that life expectancy has gone up considerably. But changing existing law in America is not easy. For myself, I think a strong case can be made that it would be "fairer" if clergy were treated as employed (as opposed to self--employed for self-employment tax purposes, which would mean paying half of social security and the church paying the other half) and did not get the housing allowance consideration. But the situation with many smaller congregations and their ministers would very much be impacted. It would take a herculaean effort to reform the bizarre area of clergy compensation taxes in the right way, even if it were attempted.

All of which brings us back to the real underlying problem here in America, and that is not with our tax system's basic structure BUT ITS COMPLEXITY. This system is built to favor those with resources and power and the accountants and lawyers who get compensated to enable them to manage it so much better than most. If I were ever working in this area, I would be promoting TAX SIMPLICITY and TAX STABILITY (the tax code changes way too often also).

In the meantime, pray for those in ordained ministry, it is a very, very demanding area in which to work--KSH.


Filed under: * By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPersonal FinanceTaxes

4 Comments
Posted November 25, 2013 at 6:59 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Apparently this has been in the works for a year, without my knowledge (but with everyone else in the family in on it). He was sprung on me as a surprise this past Saturday. I am still recovering. 7 weeks old, his name comes from the Hebrew word for comfort which may be found, for example, in Isaiah 40--KSH.

Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family* General InterestAnimals

7 Comments
Posted November 13, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Elizabeth and I at the new 9/11 memorial this past Saturday morning--KSH.

Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family* Culture-WatchHistoryUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* General InterestPhotos/Photography

0 Comments
Posted November 4, 2013 at 6:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Filed under: * By KendallSermons & Teachings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* South Carolina* TheologyChristologyEcclesiologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted October 28, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It would be nice if more Christians understood that our faith always has local implications, including our life in public, which is in the polis, and therefore our faith has local political ramifications. The are derivative, yes, they are always penultimate, but they do matter.

This whole campaign makes me sad. It is a pitch to lessen property taxes by raising sales taxes. Allegedly.

It is immoral in all sorts of ways but here are two principle reasons why I will vote no. First, it is a regressive tax. Those least able to will have to pay more tax (and yes it goes on groceries!). And secondly, the other argument I hear all over is all the other counties are doing it so we should to, otherwise we will lose business etc. to nearby counties which already have the (dumb, immoral) tax. This is right out if 1 Samuel where Israel asks for a King since all the other nations have one.

Now this may cause property taxes to be slightly higher, and since we own our home, that will involve us. I don't know anyone who likes higher taxes, but if this is the implication of my vote this coming November, so be it.

County Leaders should be ashamed of themselves (especially since this is the fourth time they have tried this)--KSH
.

Filed under: * By Kendall* Culture-WatchRural/Town Life* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingHousing/Real Estate MarketPersonal FinanceTaxesPolitics in GeneralCity Government* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

9 Comments
Posted October 26, 2013 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the Ordained* TheologySoteriologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted October 14, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

One of my friends has the delightful habit of sending me New Yorker cartoons. Certainly one of the best features a man behind a bookstore counter on top of which is prominently featured Allen Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind. He has a big smile on his face and says to the customer “I haven’t read it, but it’s a great book!”

Alas, that is too often a true reflection of how many Episcopalians actually relate to Holy Scripture.

It is such a fabulous book, but we only experience it when we learn to be Scripture students and spiritually attentive Bible readers.

Consider the story of when Simon the Pharisee has the preacher over for dinner (Luke 7:36-50). As for many a good Episcopalian, having the rector over is a big deal for Simon. Etiquette must be properly followed. Invitations must be carefully issued. Everything must be done in correct Anglican fashion, decently and in order.

Then a woman from the wrong side of the tracks crashes the party....

Read it all from 2007 (brought to mind by the Bible readings this morning).

Filed under: * By Kendall* TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted October 13, 2013 at 4:42 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Please bow your heads and let us begin as we should always begin, in prayer.

Heavenly Father and Gracious God remind us of who you are and of whose we are and of the message that you have entrusted to us. We are gathered for such a time as this and we need to be recentered, we need to be refocused, we need to have our call furthered clarified, and so Lord we need a word from you. Gracious God take my lips and speak through them, take our minds and think through them, take our wills and mold them and shape them according to your purposes. And take our hearts and set them on fire with love for your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

In the stories General Eisenhower used to tell about his associates in the military and the government, he had one favorite above all the others. He indulged in it frequently at the expense of one of his chief aides, whose name was named George Allen. George Allen had the distinct misfortune, the dubious distinction of having played in the record-setting football game with the most lopsided score of all time. The score was 222 to 0. It was a game between Georgia Tech and Cumberland played in the 1916 season. And, yes you guessed it; George Allen played quarter back on the losing side. After about three quarters of the game, when the score had begun to mount into the hundreds and the team was dramatically demoralized, there came an amazing moment, in one of the few plays where Cumberland actually had the ball, when the ball was snapped back to Allen and he missed it and fumbled the ball. The opposing linemen came charging in, and suddenly the ball was trickling around the backfield and B. F. “Bird’ Paty, who later became a prominent attorney, was looking at the ball and he looked up past the ball and there was Allen, who was shouting, “Pick it up! Pick it up!” And Paty looked at the ball, and looked at Allen and then he looked at the charging linemen and he looked back at Allen and said, “You pick it up! You dropped it!”

My dear brothers and sisters I want to begin this afternoon by being so bold as to say that we have dropped the ball. I believe as passionately as I know how to state that we live in a time and a church under judgment. The book you need to center yourself on brothers and sisters is the book of Jeremiah, and the theme of judgment hardly ever mentioned in the contemporary western church when it is unfolded in the midst of God’s working with his people you see it quickly doing three things: It does cutting, it hurts and we heard abundant evidence of that today. Secondly it sets out confusion, tremendous confusion. Read and think about the book of Jeremiah sometime and think about how confusing it was for the people on the ground. Do I listen to Jeremiah or do I listen to Hananiah? Do I stay in Jerusalem or do I go to Babylon. Maybe I ought to think about going to Egypt. It becomes so confusing for Jeremiah himself at one point in Jeremiah 20 that he doesn’t even know to his own instincts and he almost internally self-destructs. But my dear brothers and sisters, a time of judgment is not only a time of cutting, though it is that, it is not only a time of confusion, though it is that, it is also a time of clarification.

And so the purpose of this talk this afternoon for just a few moments is to center us in our common faith and mission as we begin this 48-hour journey together. One of the things I delight in saying about my hero CS Lewis is that he had an instinct for the center. He knew how to distinguish between penultimate things and ultimate things and I need to say something to us as orthodox Anglicans. My dear brothers and sisters, we’ve not always done as well in making that distinction as we need to. We’ve got to learn to give those things that, even if they are precious to us, if they are not the ultimate things. We’ve got to recover an instinct for the center of whom we are, and the center of the message we are called to proclaim. Are you all with me?

So let’s think about Anglican essentials this afternoon. What is the center of who we are?

Number 1. All my points begin with the letter C, that is to help me in case I lose my place.

The first C is catholic; we are catholic, small C. What, Kendall Harmon was forced to think very deeply, what in its essence does it mean to be a catholic Christian, because that, I believe, is what we are.

It means first of all that we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. It means there is such a thing, to use Thomas Oden’s wonderful phrase, as a history of the Holy Spirit. So that when I did my doctorate at Oxford in the early 1990s and I studied the whole history of western Christian eschatology there came a moment when I confronted Augustine for the first time in earnest since college and I read the whole City of God and I sat there at Latimer House in Oxford with my pitiful little heater in the freezing cold temperatures, and I wept. Because I realized the Augustine had simply leveled every single book I had read in the last ten years, in the first three chapters. No wonder CS Lewis said he read three old books for every new one. At the end of City of God Augustine says, speaking of heaven, these wonderful words:

“There we shall rest and see, see and love, love and praise. This is what shall be in the end without end.” Did you get that? “There we shall rest and see, see and love, love and praise.” Do you know that is the finest summary in the smallest amount of words of heaven I have found anywhere? We have to drink deeply from the tradition that has been handed on to us, and unapologetically.

Sunday is the 300th anniversary of the birthday of Jonathan Edwards so permit a word about the man who is called America’s theologian.

George Marsden, who is the finest church historian in my estimation writing right now, has just released a brand new book on Jonathan Edwards called Jonathan Edwards: A Life (Yale University Press).

And writing about Edwards and his theology he says this:

“It is precisely because of the 20th century’s experience of human horror that Jonathan Edwards’ thinking on hell (yes you heard me use that word) cannot be so easily dismissed. Marsden goes on, Edwards believed (listen carefully to these words) that each person is “by nature incredibly short-sighted, self-absorbed, and blinded by pride.” Only a traumatic jolt could burst the bonds of self-absorption. Therefore the verbal violence of hellfire and damnation “was a gift of God to awaken people who were blindly sleepwalking to their doom.”

Interesting themes, heaven and hell, Augustine and Jonathan Edwards, we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. That is part of what it means to be a catholic. But there is more.

Second part of being catholic, it seems to me, is to believe in order. I found myself thinking about that simple gesture that happens in so many courtrooms. Order in court.

It seems to me what catholics are constantly saying to the church is “Order in the church, order in our worship, for crying out loud.” You ought to be able to follow the service. CS Lewis has a wonderful essay were he describes how the priests are always messing with the service and there is no structure that is predictable so that the liturgy can be vehicle instead of an obstacle to worship. Order in worship is important. It is amazing to me, thinking particularly about General Convention but also the general life of the Episcopal Church that since Thomas Cranmer gave us the Book of Common Prayer we have almost gone completely full circle and we are back to the very liturgical situation that he set out to reform namely there were too many liturgies running around and there wasn’t any order so he wrote a bookof COMMON PRAYER.

And yes order in the church so there is a certain way that we go about our business: bishops, priests, deacons, vestries, canons, there is a way that God set up the church.

And most importantly in our time order in the way we make decisions. Which means that to be a catholic Christian means that the more important the decision the more widely you consult, more people need to be involved, themore important the international leadership is involved. Hello, that is what is means to be a catholic Christian.

Finally to be a catholic doesn’t just mean those seven sacraments or seven sacramental acts or however you want to delineate them. It means more than that. To be a catholic means to think sacramentally. I found myself going back to that wonderful minor classic of Harry Blamires The Christian Mind. Listen to this summary that he gives of what it means to be Christian.

Blamires writes:

“The Christian mind thinks sacramentally. The Christian Faith presents a sacramental view of life. It shows life’s positive richness as derivative from the supernatural. It teaches us that to create beauty or to experience beauty, to recognize truth or to discover truth, to receive love or to give love, is to come in contact with realities that express the Divine Nature. At a time when Christianity is so widely misrepresented as life rejecting rather than life affirming [does that sound familiar to anyone?], it is urgently necessary to right the balance. In denouncing excesses of sensuality, Christians are apt to give the impression that their religion rejects the physical and would tame the enterprising pursuit of vital experience.”

And we don’t do it. There I was watching the opening sequence of The West Wing where President of the United States, Jeb Bartlett, has his daughter gone and kidnapped. He is in massive crisis. And what does this secular program do with a country and a president in crisis but it ends the first show of this season with the President of the United States with his hands open and a priest placing a wafer in those hands. Because he needed to have a sense of contact with the supernatural.

That is part of what it means to be a catholic Christian. Ya’ll with me? Stand on the shoulders of those who came before, a sense of order in the church and to think sacramentally.

I want everybody here who defines themselves as an Anglo-Catholic to please stand up. God bless you all.

Secondly, charismatic.

That’s right, you heard it hear first, charismatic.

I had the distinct fortune of having my roommate in college be a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Darien Conn. And believe it or not, we used to drive from Bowdoin College five hours one way and go to two Sunday morning worship services and the Sunday night worship service and then drive all the way back to Maine. And the one thing about that parish that I remember above all others was that when you walked in people were there to worship God for whom He was in the beauty of holiness and it was astounding to see people do that. And that is my image of what the church should be.

Worth-ship is what the word means. To give God the worth He is due for the glory of who He is. I find myself thinking of that interesting play “Equus.” That interesting play “Equus where Anthony Perkins played Martin Dysart the doctor in the Broadway version when it first came out. The story of a boy who has a bizarre form of mental disturbance where he is obsessed with horses and this secular psychologist named Martin Dysart who is working like crazy with the boy who does nothing but talk about and dream about horses reaches this amazing moment in his life where he actually begins to envy the boy even though he is profoundly aware that the boy is deeply disturbed. Because Martin Dysart the secular psychologist, realizes that the boy has something outside of himself that is beckoning him and that he has to bow down to and Martin Dysart the secular psychologist has nothing.

In an amazing moment he says in a soliloquy on the stage, “Without worship we shrink!”

And that is part of the message of the charismatic movement to the contemporary church. Worship, brothers and sisters, is a priority. To meet God for who He is.

More than just worship from the charismatic movement. Power.

If I learned anything from three-hundred-plus Terry Fullum tapes in the early 1980s I learned that Holy Spirit was the power of God to be unleashed on His people and in His world. So that in the early 1980’s when Mount St. Helens in the Cascade Range of Washington exploded with what is probably the most visible indication of something called natural power that many of us in the modern world has ever seen. At 8.32 a.m. the explosion ripped 1,300 feet off the mountain, with a force of ten million tons of TNT, or roughly equal to five hundred Hiroshimas. Sixty people were killed, most by a blast of 300-degree heat traveling at two hundred miles an hour. Some were killed as far as sixteen miles away from the original blast. The blast also leveled those incredible 150-foot Douglas firs, as far as seventeen miles away. A total of 3.2 billion board feet of lumber were destroyed in that explosion, enough lumber to build 200,000 three-bedroom homes. That’s natural power. And what the charismatic movement importantly reminds us that we need to center ourselves in this afternoon is that the power of God that resurrected His Son Jesus Christ which is far more potent than Mount St. Helens and far more powerful is the power that rests in each one of us and in His church. Do you believe that with me?

Just one quick story about the power of the Holy Spirit of all places at General Convention. Thank you for praying for us, thank you for praying for me. It was the case that the Spirit was working and certainly one of the low points was the night of August 5th when the vote came down and I was a complete mess in many many ways and very upset not least because the bishops went overtime and so the bishops were in session after the House of Deputies were no longer in session and I was commissioned to read a speech in the House of Deputies as Bob Duncan was going to read a speech in the House of Bishops repudiating the action but since the bishops went overtime the bishops made their statement but in deputies I didn’t make my statement and I was not pleased about this. I said, “Lord, what are you doing? We worked on the statement, this isn’t working out.” And I had to make the statement the next day. You know what Jesus says in John 3 about the Holy Spirit. He says the Holy Spirit blows where He wills.

And so we were trying to figure out when Gene Robinson on Wednesday was going to be introduced. And John Guernsey and I are standing there at the computer and Jim Simons calls and says he is going to be introduced right as the session begins. So we work like crazy on the statement. Then Jim Simons calls right back and says no he isn’t going to be introduced so we slow down our pace and then he calls back and says yes he is going to be introduced. And we start changing our pace again. And then he calls back and says no he’s not and then finally one more change and yes he is! And so Guernsey changes it for the 400 thousandth time in the computer and I literally rip the page off the printer and I run across the street to get in there and sure enough Gene Robinson is introduced, and I have to read the statement. The whole time this has been happening I have been praying the night before and that morning and I had one overriding impression that was bothering my spirit very deeply. The overriding impression, brothers and sisters, was this, when we had the debate in deputies on same-sex unions and on the confirmation of Gene Robinson, and you need to hear this, no one, not a single person who argued for the change and the innovation brought into the debate a perspective of those beyond our shores.

And so there I was with my prepared text and I thought, what the hay, the Spirit blows where He wills, and so I spoke from the heart and I inserted a section in the speech that wasn’t in the text. I could just imagine Guernsey’s response in the back. The Enforcer [nickname for John Guernsey] was not happy. But the Holy Spirit had other plans. I spoke this point into the microphone and then sat down. And one person from Texas stood up and then the next thing that happened was one of the really amazing moments in Minneapolis for me personally. We had a deputy stand up from Honduras and he stood up with a translator and very slowly, because each phrase had to be translated, with this wonderful cadence he said, “I am a servant of God, in Honduras, and I am charge of 52 missions, and because of what this convention has done my entire ministry has been [and I quote him directly] has been washed down the drain.” And it was as if he confirmed exactly the point I made, only it wasn’t in my speech. The Holy Spirit did one of those things that the Holy Spirit is so good at doing. Do you believe that the Holy Spirit blows where He wills in your lives right now? That’s what it means to be a charismatic Christian.

First, catholic. Second, charismatic. Third, canonical.

All right, I should have said evangelical but it had to start with a “c”. You knew it was going to come to the Bible eventually.

I do need to say a few things about the Bible although I know that John Yates is going to say a whole lot more. My dear brothers and sisters, I am so proud this afternoon to say to you that we are people who be lieve in theauthority of the Bible.

Praise God.

I can do no better this afternoon than to quote to you the 1958 Lambeth Conference statement which I believe every Anglican needs to memorize, that’s how important I think it is. Listen to what the 1958 Lambeth Conferencesaid about the Holy Scriptures:

“The Church [they wrote] is not ‘over’ the Holy Scriptures, but ‘under’ them, in the sense that the process of canonization was not one whereby the Church conferred authority on the books but one whereby the Church acknowledged them to possess authority. And why? The books were recognized as giving the witness of the Apostles to the life, teaching, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and the interpretation by the Apostles of these events.” [Listen to this last phrase.] “To that apostolic authority the Church must ever bow.”

Now I need to say to you that the authority of the Bible needs to be understood by us a Christians as personal authority. It is a certain kind of authority. It is an authority that is personal, and I can’t do better than one of my heroes, Austin Farrer, who was the warden of Keble College in Oxford where I had a chance to study. He’s given the perfect illustration of what it means for every Christian every day to pick up the Bible. What’s supposed to be in my mind when I hear a sermon from this document, when I hear an adult education class on this document or when I read this document? What am I supposed to think that I’m doing? Listen to what Austin Farrer says:

“What is the bible like? Like a letter which a soldier wrote to his wife about the disposition of his affairs and the care of his children in case he should chance to be killed. And the next day he was shot, and died, and the letter was torn and stained with his blood. Her friends said to the woman: the letter is of no binding force; it is not a legal will, and it is so injured by the facts of the writers own death that you cannot ever prove what it means. But the lady said: I know the man, and I am satisfied I can see what he means. And I shall do it because it is what he wanted me to do, and because he died the next day.”

That’s what it means to read the Bible. It means to read a personal letter from God stained with his own blood. Is that your perspective, when you preach from it?

Something else about the Bible, not just the Bibles authority and not just that its personal authority, but that we as Anglican Christians actually believe not only in the authority of the Bible, but the importance of loving the Bible. I like this first psalm; it says something really amazing about the godly person. It says that the man of God and the woman of God is blessed who not only meditates on God’s law but delights in it. And the word that is used in Hebrew haphats means to have emotional delight in. It’s the word of a wife delighting in her husband, or a husband delighting in his wife. We’re to have a delight of scripture. We’re to love it, not simply to read it although we should and not simply to be under its authority although we should, we need to love it, to care about it, and to steward it.

My own hero Charles Simeon (1759-1836) preached his way through the Bible and taught his congregation of Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Cambridge, England not only that the Bible was authoritative but it was something to be loved. He once said this: “I love the simplicity of the Scriptures, I wish to receive and inculcate every truth precisely in the way and to the extent that it is set forth in the inspired Volume. Were this the habit of alldivines, there would soon be an end of most of the controversies that have agitated and divided the Church of Christ.”

Do we love the Bible, brothers and sisters? Love the Bible.

So what have I said so far? I said we’re catholics, I said we’re
charismatics, and I said we’re canonical. And I said we are under judgment. And I find myself gravitating to that fascinating verse, in Jeremiah: “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, [in Jeremiah 29] plans for welfare and not for evil to give you a future and a hope.” With these bases what is to be our focus as Anglicans as we go forward into the unknown future that God has for us. What is to keep the main thing the main thing mean for us in this time.

It means three more C’s.

First of all Christ. I’ve got to say that, I’m sorry! But it is about
Jesus. It is about the unsearchable riches of Christ and since we are in year B can I just remind you in passing of the sheer power for a moment of Mark’ Gospel. He is trying to portray a Jesus Christ who comes into people’s lives in power and who makes an authoritative claim. You remember the way that Mark unfolds the story at the end of chapter 4. That amazing scene where he stills the storm. They say who is this that at peace be still he says. And they say who is this of ye of little faith and so Mark wants to convey to his readers that the Jesus whom he is portraying has authority over the natural world. And then chapter 5 begins and you have that amazing scene with the Gerasene demoniac who is out there gashing himself among the tombs. And he suddenly because of the power of Christ is placed in his right mind. Jesus who has power not only over the natural world but over evil. And then the story goes on and Mark has that wonderful scene where Jairus has this sick daughter and Jesus is supposed to go and on his way, you remember what happens, the woman with the issue of blood comes up and touches the hem of Jesus’ garment and she is healed. Mark gives us a Jesus who has power over sickness. And now we have Jesus who has power over the natural world, and over the demonic world and over the evil world and over sickness. What is the last story in Mark Chapter 5? He goes to Jairus’ daughter’s house and she is dead, forget it, it’s over. He says it is not over that she is just sleeping and he gets everyone out of the room except the family and he says to the little girl, “Talitha cumi, “I say to you little girl arise,” and it’s the Jesus who has power over death.

This is the Jesus, brothers and sisters, that we need to unapologetically proclaim. The Jesus who makes a powerful claim, power over nature, power over the demonic, power over sickness and power the last great enemy of all, death itself.

We will be people who unapologetically will be about the Christ, proclaiming the unsearchable riches of Christ. We will also be people, next C, of the cross.

I’m not giving up on the Rite I language of the prayer book. “By His one oblation of Himself once offered, the full perfect and sufficient sacrifice oblation and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world. By the merits and death of Thy Son, Jesus Christ and through faith in His blood.” What is it that Paul says in Galatians 6? “Far be in from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ by which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.” It’s got to be centered on the cross, brothers and sisters; the cross is the center of it all.

To be a Christian means not to think from the world or from one’s self to the cross but to place one’s self as Luther did every single morning at the foot of the Cross and to think and to pray out from there to one’s self and the world.

Two quick comments by way of reminder about the cross. The cross is the final statement of God about the depth of the problem. To think from the cross out is to be reminded of the horror of sin. In his wonderful book Compassion Henri Nouwen tells the moving story of a family whose name are Joel and Nida Theartiga that he knew in Paraguay. And this family in the course of their life and ministry the father who was a physician becomes increasingly critical of the government in Paraguay. The military is becoming increasingly abusive and the father can’t take it anymore and he speaks out more and more boldly. Finally the government acts and they take their revenge on this physician and his wife by arresting his teenage son and torturing him to death. The enraged townsfolk wanted to turn the boy’s funeral into a huge protest march, but as Nouwen tells the story, as they said their prayers and thought about it, they chose another protest, a more cross-like, biblical lament. And as Nouwen describes the funeral, what they chose to do was to take their son and to take his body exactly the way they had found it in the jail: naked, scarred by electric shocks and cigarette burns and beatings. All the villagers filed past the corpse, which lay not in a coffin but on the blood-soaked mattress that it was on in prison when they found it. It was the strongest protest imaginable, because it put the injustice of human sin on total display.

My dear brothers and sisters, that’s what happened on Good Friday. The Cross in all it’s ugliness, exposed the world and exposed our hearts for what they are breeding grounds for violence and injustice; for arrogance and pride; yes, for sexual sin and immorality; for moral cowardice, personal greed, and self-interest, and all else. The cross of Christ is offensive because it exposes and condemns our rebellion and rebelliousness.

But the other thing about the cross, the great thing about the cross if we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before, is that in the mystery of God’s working on the cross, God at that moment in history, the judge of history, comes into history and absorbs the judgment upon himself. PT Forsyth put it this way: “The cross of Christ is God’s only self-justification in a world such as ours.” Karl Barth put it this way: “God, by the decree He made in the beginning of all his works and ways, has taken upon himself the rejection merited by the man isolated in relation to him.” Total exposure of human sin, total absorption of human rebellion, he himself has born our sins. God made him who knew no sin to be sin, brothers and sisters, so that in him we may be the righteousness of God. Do you believe that?

My last C. Not only the Christ, and not only the cross, but finally, and here I think I get to my most heartfelt cri de coeur about the situation in which we find ourselves. It’s about conversion for crying out loud. A funny thing happened on the way to the 21st century in the Episcopal Church: The 1979 prayer book! The full theological measure of its ethos has yet to be completely felt but we are now at a place of enough distance from it to begin to reflect with each other about its real impact on our common life and if we do that, and very few people are doing it, the results are deeply disconcerting.

Think with me just for a second. A prayer book that has an underemphasis on God’s transcendence and holiness and judgment, combined with a very weak sense of sin, combined with a liturgical practice that actually makes confession of sin optional, combined with a strong emphasis on baptism, combined with a baptismal covenant which is decoupled from its trinitarian and scriptural mooring so that apparently the nearly everything I read in the Episcopal church what it actually means to be baptized ONLY is revealed the last two questions in the baptismal covenant: namely, loving your neighbor as yourself, and to striving for justice and peace among all people, and respecting the dignity of every human being, combined with the predominant ethos of the American Episcopal Church which is liberal catholicism combined with the predominant ethos of America which is this weird post modern miasma of malnourished pluralism masking as real community, it leads to this, and I need to say this as clearly as I can: we have a theology in practice which moves straight from creation to redemption! A nearly universalistic or in fact completely universalistic worldview in which the fall and sin have in essence disappeared!! To be created in the Episcopal Church is apparently to be redeemed (at the most you need to be baptized) and so, think about this for just a second - what are the two most recent trends worthy of mention since Convention? Some people are arguing Gene Robinson was baptized, therefore he should be consecrated a bishop. It apparently trumps everything else. If you are baptized everything else follows, and then the even more important one which really flew under almost everybody’s radar screen, the huge growing practice in the Episcopal Church of open communion. So that at All Saints Pasadena the Rector gets up and says “who ever you are, where ever you are in your spiritual journey, I invite you to come forward for grace and consolation along the way.” Any reference to God the Father? Uh-uh. Any reference to God the Son? Gone. Any reference to the Holy Spirit? Nada. Now think about this for just a second.

Over against this barely Christian ethos, if you actually place what it means to have a biblical world view, you find yourself shocked, shocked because when you read the scriptures, Luke 19:10, the reason that the son of man came was to seek and to save the lost. God comes to Abraham and says, “Go to a lost world so that through you they will be blessed because they are not blessed now.” Jesus tells in Luke chapter 15 not one, not two, but three parables. The lost coin, and the lost sheep, and then–just incase we missed it–the lost son. And Paul can cry out in 2 Corinthians 5 “I beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” The overwhelming conviction of historic Christianity is: If you don’t have Christ you’re lost! Which is why number one on your sheet is to declare the great commission the first priority of our life and work. I don’t want to know when you come to see me whether you’re a good Episopalian, I want to know how many people in your parish have met Jesus Christ and are being transformed by His love.

One more Simeon story just about the lostness of the lost. I need to say this so strongly because it just is so rare in the Episcopal Church to see people that believe the way Simeon believed. I love this story. This is a first hand description of one of his sermons and the text on this particular day when Charles Simeon, a vicar at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Cambridge England, who lived from 1759-1836. Simeon is preaching and his text is “All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people,” that is his text. Listen to this eyewitness description. “And after having urged all his hearer to accept God’s offer of mercy, he reminded them that there were those present to whom he had preached Christ for more than thirty years, but they continued indifferent to a Savior’s love; and pursuing this train of expostulation for some time, he at length became quite overpowered by his feelings, and sank down in the pulpit and burst into a flood of tears, and few who were present could refrain from weeping with him” When was the last time anyone of us really cried for the lostness of the lost who are all over our parishes and our lives. God cries. The gospel calls. Do we?

So what have I said? What I have said is that what it means to be an Anglican is to be a catholic, to be a charismatic, to canonical. What it means to be centered in the Anglican essentials is that we are about Christ and his cross and yes the call to conversion. And now I draw my remarks to a close. Because this word this afternoon brothers and sisters has to touch us where we really live and breathe.

You remember I started by talking about the fact that I believe that we are a church that is under judgment. Did you catch the word that I used? I didn’t say they are under judgment, I said we. It’s a real downer to hear what happened as our panel well described to us about what happened in Minneapolis. And there is a danger that we face as we begin our journey together and the danger is this.

Any sense that it is the re-appraisers, that’s the way that I like to
describe them, who are responsible primarily or even nearly exclusively for the pathetic state of affairs in which we find ourselves and our church has to be abandoned. All of Israel I remind you all this afternoon was under judgment in Jeremiah’s day and the whole Episcopal Church is under judgment including us.

The so-called orthodox, that’s us, have an enormous amount to answer for in this time. Our sins of compromise, timidity, denial, ignorance, careerism, self-interest, party spirit, the list is very long. So hear this afternoon, my brothers and sisters, the gospel for all of us. Hear it well, B. F. “Bird’ Paty in that football game, in a losing game, looked at the football dribbling around on the ground and he didn’t want to pick it up. And God’s message to us in recentering us is: We have dropped the ball!! We have lost our center as gospel people, as catholic, charismatic, canonical Anglican people. Not only have we lost our center, but hear this well; we do not even have the power to pick the ball back up left to ourselves. But dear sisters and brothers hear the good news of the Gospel this afternoon. The God who gave us the ball, who has watched us drop the ball, through the cross forgives us for dropping the ball and by the power of the Holy Spirit gives us back the ball.

Will you take the ball back up with me?

Bless you.

And finally you’ve heard that word used by David Roseberry, realignment. You are going to hear a lot about it. It is in our preliminary draft of the statement. And I need to say a clearly as I know how this afternoon why a realignment within Anglicanism is indispensably necessary. There has to be a new realignment, there has to be a new and different future.

At Minneapolis the Episcopal church decided to risk the whole future of the Anglican communion on this one vote, all four instruments of Anglican unity said don’t do it, many prominent Anglicans leaders worldwide pleaded for us not to do it, and we not only did it but we did it without consulting them. This is not catholic it will not stand.

At Minneapolis the Holy Spirit was grieved and a way of life which is in contradiction to holiness was celebrated and blessed, this is not charismatic it will not stand.

At Minneapolis, the Scriptures were either quickly dismissed or incredible and deliberately twisted, this decision is not canonical it will not stand.

Most importantly and finally, at Minneapolis, the will of the Father to draw all people to himself through the cross of his Son, get this now, was replaced with a new and different gospel where a therapeutic Jesus embraces people where they are. It is a gospel of affirmation rather than the gospel of salvation. We have moved from sinners in the hands of an angry God to clients in the palm of a satisfied therapist.

So the Episcopal Church is now a church where people are officially led away from Christ. And this is why we need a realignment. You’ve got to understand this. Because with the new gospel you and I who believe the traditional gospel are the embodiment of a call to holiness and believers in a gospel which those who believe the new teaching see as unjust and unchristian. We are enemies of the new gospel. Beware underneath the call to participate in the Episcopal Church from now on there is lurking a passionate desire among some to persecute many of those who disagree with this new teaching.

I was on the committee that put out C-051. I remember it well there were 45 of us. Guess what the vote was? 44 to 1. I remember it because I was the one. And there was an incredible moment at the end of Minneapolis which is the future in the Episcopal Church if we don’t have intervention. And to my utter amazement, having written a one-person minority report, which is my prerogative as a member of the committee, I watched person after person after person come to the microphone and insist that my one-person minority report be expunged from the record of the Episcopal Church. It was astounding. It was like being in a family that has an Uncle Steve and they are pretending that he doesn’t exist and they go through all the family albums and pull out his picture and go through all the family history and erase those sections where Steve is mentioned. That’s our future brothers and sisters if we don’t have help. We’ve got to have outside intervention. We haven’t moved anywhere. The church has moved from us.

Our hope is in asking for a realignment in a church were are increasing under attack with a total sense of our own powerlessness to shape the nature of our coming intervention, and that’s really good news because Jesus said “Blessed are the poor in spirit.”

Are you re-centered with me brothers and sisters? Catholic, Charismatic, Canonical. We are going to be about Christ, and the cross, and conversion.

As we are seated, let us pray.

Lord, you are a great God and you have given us a great and astounding message. Re-center us, and enable us to be people who preach the unsearchable riches of Christ, and his cross, and who call others to conversion in His name by the power of the Holy Spirit. Forgive us Lord, for the ways that we have dropped the ball. We confess that we have dropped the ball Lord; we confess that we don’t have the power to pick the ball back up. Lord in your mercy, you, the God who gave us the ball in the first place and who watched us drop the ball. Give us back the ball Lord, by the power of your Holy Spirit, and bring us into the new and exciting and hopeful future that only you can give us. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican PrimatesEpiscopal Church (TEC)Global South Churches & PrimatesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessingsWindsor Report / Process* By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship--Book of Common Prayer* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI* TheologyAnthropologyEschatologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

3 Comments
Posted October 8, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It was well worth the time--visually just stunning.

Filed under: * By Kendall* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyMovies & TelevisionScience & Technology

0 Comments
Posted October 7, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Listen to the Sermon here if you wish

Filed under: * By KendallSermons & Teachings

0 Comments
Posted October 6, 2013 at 11:27 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Filed under: * By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* South Carolina* TheologyEcclesiologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted October 2, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Filed under: * By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* South Carolina* TheologyEcclesiologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted October 1, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon


We took him shopping and out for dinner--simple pleasures; KSH.

Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family* General InterestPhotos/Photography

0 Comments
Posted September 23, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

(You may find the names of all 343 firefighters here--KSH).

On Monday this week, the last of the 343 firefighters who died on September 11th was buried. Because no remains of Michael Ragusa, age 29, of Engine Company 279, were found and identified, his family placed in his coffin a very small vial of his blood, donated years ago to a bone-marrow clinic. At the funeral service Michael’s mother Dee read an excerpt from her son’s diary on the occasion of the death of a colleague. “It is always sad and tragic when a fellow firefighter dies,” Michael Ragusa wrote, “especially when he is young and had everything to live for.” Indeed. And what a sobering reminder of how many died and the awful circumstances in which they perished that it took until this week to bury the last one.

So here is to the clergy, the ministers, rabbis, imams and others, who have done all these burials and sought to help all these grieving families. And here is to the families who lost loved ones and had to cope with burials in which sometimes they didn’t even have remains of the one who died. And here, too, is to the remarkable ministry of the Emerald Society Pipes and Drums, who played every single service for all 343 firefighters who lost their lives. The Society chose not to end any service at which they played with an up-tempo march until the last firefighter was buried.

On Monday, in Bergen Beach, Brooklyn, the Society therefore played “Garry Owen” and “Atholl Highlander,” for the first time since 9/11 as the last firefighter killed on that day was laid in the earth. On the two year anniversary here is to New York, wounded and more sober, but ever hopeful and still marching.

--First published on this blog September 11, 2003

Filed under: * By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireMusicUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted September 11, 2013 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family* General InterestAnimals

2 Comments
Posted September 9, 2013 at 7:35 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Simply terrific, and way more than just a who--done--it, but a deeply moving drama about fractured people in one English town--KSH.

Filed under: * By Kendall* Culture-WatchMovies & Television

2 Comments
Posted September 7, 2013 at 10:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Filed under: * By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* Culture-WatchChildrenPoverty* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.Middle EastSyria* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted September 3, 2013 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The U6 unemployment rate tabulates not only people without work who are seeking full-time employment but also counts "marginally attached workers and those working part-time for economic reasons."

Please take the time to study this graph of U-6 at the top and look carefully at the other numbers. What do you see? Seasonally adjusted U-6 unemployment is now
(as of July, we get our first read of August 2013's numbers this Friday) 14.0%. This is not very different from where it was in January 2009, which is roughly 4 and one half years ago. While the overall trend is coming down from the high of 17.1%, the movement of the trend is (a) very slow and (b) already back up from March of this year.

Some good news then--at least we are moving the right direction. But bad news--to get back even to 2007 levels [in the 8% range] there is a LONG, LONG way to go!

Those of you who are data hounds (like yours truly) will appreciate the table here.

On Labor Day 2013 as Christians these figures should trouble us profoundly, as to desire work and not have it is one of the truly dehumanizing realities of life in the start of the 21st century--KSH.

Filed under: * By Kendall* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketThe U.S. Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted September 2, 2013 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Some blog readers may remember that several years back I made a strong plea for the avoidance of the word "prophet" or words derived therefrom. Below I have posted a weekend interview with Russell Moore which includes the following from Dr. Moore: "we are no longer the moral majority. We are a prophetic minority."

In 2010 my main focus was on mainline churches in general and the Episcopal Church in particular, but the same critique applies here. Please, please can we get away from any self declaration that we ourselves or anything we say is "prophetic."

Say it again after me--one of the clearest ways to identify a false prophet in the Christian tradition and the Bible and someone who says they are a prophet--KSH.


Filed under: * By Kendall* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted August 18, 2013 at 12:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen here if you wish.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* By KendallSermons & Teachings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted August 12, 2013 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

You can see her bio there and if you go to the main page here her photo will scroll through as one of the new people. What can I say like most clergy I married up--KSH.

Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family* Culture-WatchEducationHealth & Medicine

4 Comments
Posted August 5, 2013 at 6:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I know you understand. Posts will be catch as catch can. I am considering open thread topics on an edifying subject so if you have suggestions for such threads please post in the comments below. Also, please pray for Elizabeth and me. I do not in any way exaggerate when I say there is no time when we have more needed prayer than now. Among many other things there have been: two graduations, a knee operation for Kendall, Elizabeth preparing to start a new job teaching at MUSC (starting July 1), and Kendall's father having a shunt put in his brain. We need refreshment and rest. Many thanks--KSH.

Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetEducation

1 Comments
Posted June 22, 2013 at 11:52 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Filed under: * By Kendall* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetChildrenMarriage & Family

0 Comments
Posted June 16, 2013 at 1:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I am progressing, but it is a challenging process to be sure. I made it home from the hospital at the end of the day after surgery and have since had two home health physical therapy sessions. The swelling is going down, the pain is less each day, and the mobility is increasing. My therapist says I am doing well, and so does my wife. There are a series of exercises I am required to go through thrice daily. I confess that the novelty has worn off and I sometimes find patience an issue, but I am not getting this far only to peter out. As far as motion is concerned, I have moved from a walker to a cane. I appreciate your understanding and prayers--KSH.

Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family* Culture-WatchHealth & Medicine

4 Comments
Posted May 28, 2013 at 2:59 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I am pleased to say that I returned home last evening. I am finding the whole process a challenge, especially the physical therapy and pain management. I sincerely appreciate the support and prayers--KSH.

Filed under: * By Kendall* Culture-WatchHealth & Medicine

9 Comments
Posted May 23, 2013 at 5:43 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The surgeon had informed us that if he thought a partial knee replacement was appropriate this is what he would do. We had prepared for a total knee with the hopes of being surprised by a partial ... and by God's grace ... a partial is what he needed! Kendall is out of surgery, in the recovery room with expectations of being discharged tomorrow. Thank you for all your prayers. Elizabeth Harmon


Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family* Culture-WatchHealth & Medicine

19 Comments
Posted May 21, 2013 at 8:34 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Tomorrow is knee replacement surgery for yours truly, which means blogging will be impacted. Having not been through this before, it is not worth guessing how it may be impacted because recovery and therapy is different in each case. But it will shift for sure.

The procedure itself takes place early tomorrow morning.

I/we appreciate your prayers--KSH.

Filed under: * By Kendall* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetHealth & Medicine

10 Comments
Posted May 20, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen here if you wish.

Filed under: * By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsAscensionPentecostMissionsParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* TheologyChristologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)Theology: Scripture

1 Comments
Posted May 20, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family* Culture-WatchEducationHealth & Medicine

7 Comments
Posted May 17, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family* Culture-WatchEducationYoung Adults

1 Comments
Posted May 13, 2013 at 5:42 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We now approach quite a challenging period for the family--two graduations and one knee replacement surgery for yours truly over the next few weeks. We head this afternoon to Vanderbilt for Nathaniel's graduation, then Elizabeth graduates from MUSC (Medical University of South Carolina, a doctorate in the nursing practice [ie D.N.P.]) next week, and then (ugh!) I have surgery on Tuesday the 21st. We would be grateful for your understanding and prayers especially in this time, thanks--KSH.

Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family* Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineMarriage & Family

5 Comments
Posted May 9, 2013 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen here if you wish.

Filed under: * By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEasterParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* TheologyAnthropologyEschatologyTheology: Scripture

1 Comments
Posted May 6, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Heavenly Father and gracious God, we thank you for this day, for your presence with us, and for your love for us, a love so deep that even the hairs on our head are numbered in your sight; grant that through the Holy Spirit we may walk today as children of the light who rejoice in that love, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

--Kendall Harmon

Filed under: * By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

0 Comments
Posted May 1, 2013 at 4:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A little while back I was in an online chat and was asked this question--do you have a recent sermon you have preached on (the doctirne of) justification? The person with whom I was chatting was in a theological argument with his brother on the topic. I had to think for a while, and found the following one that fits the bill. You can obtain the sermon here (it even comes with an outline)--KSH.

Filed under: * By KendallSermons & Teachings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* TheologyAnthropologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted April 30, 2013 at 5:14 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



I deny any knowledge whatsoever of the people in this photograph.

Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family* Culture-WatchHistory

1 Comments
Posted April 25, 2013 at 4:59 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen here if you wish.

Filed under: * By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* TheologyAnthropologyEschatologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted April 23, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A wonderful French comedy-drama film based on a true story. Terrific acting, lovely music, great scenes from Paris, and all deeply touching. The official website is here. Check it out if you have not done so--KSH (Hat tip: Abigail Harmon).

Filed under: * By Kendall* Culture-WatchMovies & Television

0 Comments
Posted April 15, 2013 at 4:57 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

We wish Kendall a very Happy Birthday today.




Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family

11 Comments
Posted April 13, 2013 at 7:43 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Part of the Christ St Paul's Lent Series: Into the Wilderness
Listen here if you wish.

Filed under: * By KendallSermons & Teachings

0 Comments
Posted March 14, 2013 at 1:52 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Filed under: * By KendallSermons & Teachings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / HomileticsSpirituality/Prayer* TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted March 4, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Filed under: * By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics

1 Comments
Posted February 19, 2013 at 3:46 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the season of Lent 2013, the Titusonenine blog needs to shift in terms of its focus and character.

There are a number of reasons for this, but let me cite several.

First, I have had a significant change in my personal circumstances. My father, as a number of you know, came down to South Carolina suddenly in 2012, in need of skilled nursing care. Since getting him an original place to be looked after, we wanted to move him closer to ourselves here in Summerville if possible, and recently a spot has opened up at the Presbyterian Home here (they now call themselves “The Village at Summerville”).

Dad has just moved to this new facility in early 2013. He is 80, and neither of us is getting any younger. My wife and I would like to see him more often, and this is a wonderful opportunity.

Also, my right knee has been a continuing and worsening problem. A number of years back I had surgery for a torn meniscus. Then a couple of years ago the pain began to inch up to the point of being more and more of a distraction and obstacle. It was time to go to the doctor (yuck). I have now been to two specialists, both of whom say I need a knee replacement. When this was first proposed, I nearly screamed (by the way I am not getting older and not in denial either [g]). Now that both of them and my wife and my co-worker at the parish where I serve have said it is time, the jig is up. It looks like the procedure will be in the late spring. I need to get ready.

Second, the situation in the diocese is demanding. The conflict with the national Episcopal Church is a real mess and it is not only personally and emotionally draining, it is spiritually challenging. True, is also an opportunity, but I need to retool the engines so to speak in order to live into that possibility.

Thirdly, the parish where I serve is headed into a new Lenten series entitled “into the wilderness.” The more I wrestled and prayed with the theme the more appropriate I sensed it would be for me to be more in the wilderness also in terms of a blog break.

Finally, although I can scarcely believe it, this blog has been in operation for ten years as of next month. Somehow that timing, also, makes this choice appropriate.

In any event, with the exception of some Anglican and South Carolina news and developments, blog posts will focus on theological and devotional topics as well as open threads on edifying discussion topics, and I will be posting occasionally with help from others.

I wish all of you a blessed lent 2013, and ask your prayers for myself, my family and the diocese of South Carolina. Thank you for your readership, participation, and support—KSH.



Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South Carolina* By KendallHarmon Family* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetHealth & Medicine* TheologyPastoral Theology

23 Comments
Posted February 14, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Are human beings born good or born with a volcanic anti-God allergy in their hearts? Answering this theological question is one of THE great challenges for Christians as we stand on the brink of a new millennium.
On one side of the divide stands Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778). Men and women “are born free,” he famously said in his Social Contract, yet “everywhere” they are “in chains.” Rousseau believed that we are born good. His explanation for the deep problems in the world? They came to us from outside us. Error and prejudice, murder and treason, were the products of corrupt environments: educational, familial, societal, political, and, yes, ecclesiastical.

Note carefully that the FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM is located outside men and women, and the MEANS of evil developing comes from the outside in. The NATURE of the problem is one of environment and knowledge.
Augustine (354-430) saw things very differently. Describing the decision by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, Augustine writes in The City of God: “Our parents fell into open disobedience because they were secretly corrupted; for the evil act had never been done had not an evil will preceded it.” The motive for this evil will was pride. “This is undue exaltation, when the soul abandons Him to whom it ought to cleave as its end, and becomes a kind of end to itself … By craving to be more” we “became less;” and “by aspiring to be self-sufficing,” we “fell away from him who truly suffices” us.

For Augustine, men and women as we find them today are creatures curved in on themselves. We are rebels who, rather than curving up and out in worship to God, instead curved in and down into what Malcolm Muggeridge once termed “the dark little dungeon of our own” egos.

In this view the FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM is located inside men and women, and the means of evil developing comes from the inside out (note Jesus’ reasoning in Mark 7:18-23). The NATURE of the problem is one of the will.

The difference between Augustine and Rousseau could not be more stark. In a Western world permeated by Rousseau, we need the courage to return to the challenge and depth of Augustine’s insight.
To do so makes the good news of the gospel even better. Think of Easter. What is the image which Paul uses to describe what occurs when a man or woman turns to Christ? New Creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)! Jesus rose to transform the entire created order from the inside out, beginning with our evil wills which he replaces with “a new heart…and a new spirit” (Ezekiel 36:26).

Glory Hallelujah!

--Kendall S. Harmon from a piece in 2007


Filed under: * By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent* TheologyAnthropology

0 Comments
Posted February 13, 2013 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Filed under: * By KendallSermons & Teachings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* TheologyAnthropologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted February 11, 2013 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Burkina Faso played wonderfully well with a great deal of heart.

My thanks to ESPN 3 for making it possible for me to watch my first ever Africa Cup of Nations final--KSH.


Update: There is a lot more there.

Filed under: * By Kendall* Culture-WatchSports* International News & CommentaryAfricaBurkina FasoNigeria

0 Comments
Posted February 10, 2013 at 3:33 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Elizabeth and I finally got to this and it was simply lovely in every sense. Touching, moving, well acted and produced--it has all the hallmarks of a true story, based as it is on the diaries of one who worked as a midwife as it is--KSH.

Filed under: * By Kendall* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineHistoryMovies & TelevisionWomen* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

2 Comments
Posted January 31, 2013 at 6:08 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Filed under: * By KendallSermons & Teachings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted January 22, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Filed under: * By KendallSermons & Teachings* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmasParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* TheologyAnthropologyChristologySoteriology

0 Comments
Posted January 2, 2013 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I believe the hardest job in America today is that of being a Roman Catholic parish priest.

Perhaps the most challenging single job this year is that of Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The spiritual leader of 500,000 people in one of the most heavily Roman Catholic regions in the United States, Hughes, according to the New York Times, had to put together a diocese "in exile." The task was to reorganize the Archdiocese, including a charitable network and 104 parochial schools, inBaton Rouge. Can you imagine?

"I never thought the Lord was going to ask me to take this on at 72," said the Archbishop. Indeed.

And here is where faith in the child in the manger comes in. Looking out at all the flooding, devastation, looting and loss, the reporter asked Alfred Hughes whether he still had hope.

He declared: "Absolutely. Absolutely. That is the root of our faith."

"The most important thing is to not doubt God's presence and God's saving and transforming grace," he continued. "I'm convinced that God is going to purify us through this."

What a bracing affirmation in the midst of so many who are tempted to soften Christmas into a Hallmark Card these days. "In the bleak midwinter," Christine Rosetti reminds us, "frosty wind made moan, earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone."

Talk about bleak — how about New Orleans after Katrina? Yet the good Archbishop says "I am convinced." If there can be light in the bleakness of Bethlehem, in the miry initial despair of New Orleans after such a fury of nature, there can ALWAYS be hope. For the light shines in the darkness at Christmas, and the darkness has not and never will overcome it.

--The Rev. Canon Dr. Kendall S. Harmon from 2005


Filed under: * By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas* Theology

1 Comments
Posted December 31, 2012 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

WELCOME TO TITUS ONE NINE

The sixth part of an Introduction to Acts from Christ St Paul's added on January 4, 2013

Acts Lesson 6 from Christ St Pauls on Vimeo.
Earlier videos are below

Acts Lesson 5 from Christ St Pauls on Vimeo.


Acts Lesson 4 from Christ St Pauls on Vimeo.


Acts - Lesson 3 from Christ St Pauls on Vimeo.


Acts Lesson 2 from Christ St Pauls on Vimeo.


Acts Lesson 1 from Christ St Pauls on Vimeo.

Filed under: * By KendallSermons & Teachings

6 Comments
Posted December 29, 2012 at 12:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas

4 Comments
Posted December 29, 2012 at 11:34 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Christina Rossetti’s words pierce my heart at Christmas, year after year:
“Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas, Star and angels gave the sign.”
It is worth pausing and pondering the answer to the question: how deep and how broad was that love?
To move with me toward an answer, journey to a small chapel in Cartmell Fell, a little known holy place in the North of England. If you know where to look when you arrive there – the stone is half hidden in the chancel — you can find a 1771 inscription with elegant lettering:

“Underneath this stone a mouldering Virgin lies,
Who was the pleasure once of Human Eyes.
Her Blaze of Charms Virtue once approved
The Gay admired her, much the parents loved.
Transitory life! Death untimely came.
Adieu, farewell, lonely leave my name.”
The words describe Betty Poole; she was a little girl who died at age three.

Christina Rossetti also wrote:
“In the bleak mid-winter Frosty wind made moan;
Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone…”
It is only when the bleakness of this world and its iron hardness is fully felt, that the miracle of melting which began at Christmas can penetrate and shock us into appropriate awe. God’s love enveloped the whole moaning, stony, sin-sick world. It is broad enough to embrace it all, in this world and the next.

I imagine being with Betty Poole in Heaven and hearing her say with a smile, “God’s love was bigger than I thought!”

--The Rev. Dr. Kendall S. Harmon

Filed under: * By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas* Theology

1 Comments
Posted December 28, 2012 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas

5 Comments
Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Filed under: * By Kendall* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet* International News & CommentaryCanadaEngland / UK

1 Comments
Posted December 26, 2012 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Does Advent in your parish serve as a season of anticipation for the second coming of Christ? It is to focus on preparing us for both comings, the first in Bethlehem and the second in glory, but Christmas preparation has gained huge precedence in the last century.

It wasn't always thus. Advent was once a time for hearing about the last four things, death, judgment, heaven and hell. A word about heaven is apt here.

The Scriptures teach that we were made by the God of heaven, in Jesus Christ heaven begins now on earth, and we are ultimately destined for the fullness of that heaven. And what is heaven? A place of rejoicing in and seeing God's glory reflected in creation, a place of family reunion, of ultimate worship, of the final homecoming, and of the joyful face to face encounter with God himself who loves us more than we could ever imagine.

Why focus on our ultimate destiny? Because one of the most profound ways in which to think of the church is as a little glimpse of heaven on earth. So who are we called to be? A place where people are stewards over and delighters in God's creation, a place of rich fellowship, where the stranger is welcomed and given refuge, a place of deep worship, where God is encountered in his full glory, a place of real homecoming, where people are safe to love and be loved and to develop their gifts for ministry in a context where they are free to
fail, and, finally, a place where God's face is truly seen. Wow.

There is a vision for every church in the twenty-first century. I pray that God might grant us the grace to embrace this vision and to move forward into it together as the new millennium begins.

--The Rev. Canon Dr. Kendall S. Harmon (From 2002)


Filed under: * By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsAdvent* TheologyEschatology

0 Comments
Posted December 23, 2012 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

While the tragedy...[at Columbine High School] continues to grip the nation, real answers for the reason behind it have so far proved elusive.

You have heard the voices. Youth culture is the problem, Hollywood is to blame. Where were the parents? What about the school officials who could have, should have, known sooner? Maybe gun availability is the culprit.

Others point the finger at the devastating impact of peer pressure, and on and on it goes.

But amidst this din of stories, analysis and commentary, there is one thing which is not being said. Its silence has become deafening, yet it begs to be heard because it points the way to a more painful, yet more hopeful answer.

Can you think of what is not being said? What is nearly always blurted out in other situations but has not been articulated in this one?

Judge not. You remember this one, don't you? Jesus said it, right? What is fine for you is fine for you, but I have a different take on it. You say po-tay-to, I say po-tah-to, you say to-may-to, I say to-mah-to.

But suddenly the cat is out of the bag, because the one thing everyone is doing is judging.

. To say Hollywood is showing too much violence implies there is a standard of decency which Hollywood has violated. If people are upset that the parents did not know, that implies an idea of an effective parent (involved) and a bad parent (uninvolved).

Strange word, that, BAD. Opposite of GOOD (not effective, as misused above - did you notice?)

We do not hear these words, good and bad, very much anymore, do we? What happened to the so-called "post-modern" world? I thought we were to speak of values and preferences. I thought we were not supposed to judge.

Our reaction to Littleton says volumes more than even the tragedy of Littleton itself, because it exposes our hypocrisy about judgment. We claim to live in a world of taste and lifestyle, but the moment anything of real import occurs the game shifts to be played on another field. On this field, words like God and goodness, the satanic and evil, beg to be used, because they are the only way in which to begin to wrestle with the magnitude of it all. "Anger management" classes just are not enough.

But then the guns went off, and not only our judgments poured forth, but God's did as well. If Littleton means anything, it means God's judgment upon an America which is losing its moral and spiritual vocabulary and imagination.

When Jesus said "judge not" in Matthew 7:1, he did not mean what he is often alleged to have meant, that we are not to judge. He calls for his followers to judge "with right judgment" (John 7:24) which is how we, like him, are able to distinguish between true and false prophets (Matt. 7:15-20).

What is at issue is what is being judged and how. The human heart and a person's ultimate spiritual condition is something God alone can judge, but we can judge people's behavior and words - "you will know them by their fruits" - and render partial verdicts when appropriate.

The full verse, the second half of which is frequently left off, is, "judge not, that you be not judged," by which Jesus means we are to judge with the awareness that the standard we use on others is one which we will also be judged by.

So we are called by the judgments about Littleton [the community in Colorado where Columbine High School is located] to hear the judgment we are bringing on ourselves, and the far more important judgment God is making and will render upon us. We are indeed one nation under God.

As applicable today as when I first wrote it--KSH.

Filed under: * By Kendall* Culture-WatchEducationViolence* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyTheodicy

0 Comments
Posted December 20, 2012 at 6:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Filed under: * By KendallSermons & Teachings* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsAdventParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted December 10, 2012 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I listened to NPR yesterday for over an hour back and forth from a doctors appointment.

The entire time they talked about President Obama's proposal to implement the middle class tax cut now.
Everywhere I turn its middle class tax cut, middle class tax cut...

Except it isn't but no one thinks about these things.

What is being proposed is not letting the current tax code STAY THE SAME.
So 98% of Americans WON"T HAVE A TAX INCREASE.

Since when is not having an increase a cut?

Anyone you know say I am getting the same number of days vacation this year as last year I am angry I get a benefits cut!

Filed under: * By Kendall* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPersonal FinanceTaxesThe U.S. GovernmentBudgetMedicareSocial SecurityThe National DeficitPolitics in GeneralHouse of RepresentativesOffice of the PresidentSenate


Posted November 29, 2012 at 9:07 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




Return to blog homepage

Return to Mobile view (headlines)