Archive for December, 2013

Collect for the Holy Innocents

December 28, 2013

The Collect.

O ALMIGHTY God, who out of the mouths of babes and sucklmgs hast ordained strength, and madest infants to glorify thee by their deaths: Mortify and kill all vices in us, and so strengthen us by thy grace, that by the innocency of our lives, and constancy of our faith even unto death, we may glorify thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Collect for St. John, Apostle and Evangelist

December 27, 2013

The Collect

MERCIFUL Lord, we beseech thee to cast thy bright beams of light upon thy Church, that it, being illumined by the doctrine of thy blessed Apostle and Evangelist Saint John, may so walk in the light of thy truth, that it may at length attain to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect for Saint Stephen, Deacon and Martyr

December 26, 2013

The Collect.

GRANT, O Lord, that, in all our sufferings here upon earth for the testimony of thy truth, we may stedfastly look up to heaven, and by faith behold the glory that shall be revealed; and, being filled with the Holy Ghost, may learn to love and bless our persecutors by the example of thy first Martyr Saint Stephen, who prayed for his murderers to thee, O blessed Jesus, who standest at the right hand of God to succour all those who suffer for thee, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen. (1928 BCP, 99)

Collect for the Nativity of our Lord, or the Birthday of Christ, commonly called Christmas-day.

December 25, 2013

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us thy only. begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at this time to be born of a pure virgin*; Grant that we being regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy holy† Spirit; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen. (1928 BCP,  96)

CFM, Inc. is looking forward to the New Year! #ChristianEducation

December 24, 2013

This has been a year full of developments which would have been impossible to predict. One year ago, the Anglican School of Ministry suddenly discontinued the Foundations program and suspended the academic portion of the ASM operation. From this disappointing circumstance, it was determined to continue a new program of continuing education type classes for believers to strengthen their personal ministry and walk with Christ.

Since some of you may be ASM alumni, it would be appropriate for me to note here that the academic transcripts have been transferred to Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pa. The Registrar is a professional and helpful lady named Stacey Willard. Trinity, an outstanding and fully accredited seminary, has arranged a very fair and proper program for the transfer of ASM credits. As the holder of an MMin from ASM, I feel very well-satisfied with the quality of education which I have received.

The abrupt end of Foundations required that I become involved with our state licensing agencies in order to assure that the newly established institution was operating in accordance with laws and regulations. This was an eye-opening experience. By May, it became obvious that the little school would have to incorporate as a not-for-profit religious corporation. In October, it was determined that Christian Foundations for Ministry, Inc. would best prosper if it obtained 501(c)3 status from the IRS. You may have heard that this is a time-consuming and expensive process. Let me confirm all that you have heard. There have been some changes as a result of this demanding process.

CFM, Inc.  is supervised by an independent Board of Directors. Our officers are:

Mr. Kenneth E. Benson, Chairman

Ms. Gail H. Douglas, Treasurer

Dr. David Sims

Mr. Patrick Lynch, Secretary (Non-voting)

CFM is developing an advisory board to strengthen the institution’s presence and to provide ideas and professional insight on the development of curriculum.

The goal of the CFM, Inc. program is to provide fully equipped followers of Jesus Christ for effective Gospel-centered ministry through high quality and relevant Christian education provided to students in their local congregations. The classes may also be suitable for those in ordained ministry seeking to enhance and maintain professional proficiency. Here are a few items on our “to do” list.

• Present the standard class offerings on a regular basis, while maintaining affordable tuition.

• Implement focused “mini-courses” of four to six weeks duration.

• Offer, without charge to those attending, public discussions of important religious topics.

• Develop strong relations with various Anglican jurisdictions and entities.

• Expand the school’s sphere of influence beyond those worshiping in the Anglican tradition.

• Produce a podcast on important religious topics.

The school operates with some formality, as required by federal law. For example, there are explicit written policies on conflicts of interest and non-discrimination. The IRS 501(c)3 status is pending, and CFM is allowed to seek financial support and donors are entitled to treat contributions as tax-deductible. This is a small organization, with a very frugal management. Nonetheless, CFM does have some financial needs, including;

• mandatory general advertisement of our non-discrimination policy

• lease of teleconference channels for distance students

• computer equipment

• ordinary office expenses

• printing expenses

• costs associated with putting on public events and seminars

• attending AMiA Winter Conference and other similar meetings of Anglicans and Evangelicals.

These items are, for the most part, minimal in size. Our guiding philosophy is to do as much as we can in-house. Our brochures, as an example, are written, designed, and printed on personal equipment. Our officers serve without salary and the principle expense is compensating instructors and developing curriculum. If, after prayer and reflection, you feel led to make a contribution, please make the check payable to “Christian Foundations for Ministry, Inc.” You may forward the donation to the contact address for CFM,Inc. in the column to your left.

Thanks for your kind consideration and may God pour out all of his richest blessings on you in this season when we look forward to the glorious coming of our Lord and Savior!

Patrick Lynch

Non-Discrimination Policy

The CFM, Inc. school admits students of any race, color, national origin, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

Duck Dynasty and the Kingdom of God #DuckDynasty #A&E

December 20, 2013

Phil Robertson is a broken human being and the Duck Dynasty is the feeble creation of human hands. I am certainly not a good person and do not enjoy authority to pass judgement on Robertson or his critics. Still, Christians must be discerning. Perhaps my small voice might add something to the larger conversation.

If one is a public person, there is a fundamental decision. Do you serve the interests of management, consultants and advertisers, or do you serve the truth? There can be a big difference and sometimes it comes down to a balancing act. Let me tell you, based on personal experience, that telling truth can have dire financial consequences.

Some have said that A&E, which owns the DD brand is demonstrating “courage” in the handling of Robertson’s recent comments. Nonsense. A&E is playing the same old “CYA” game that powerful people who love power more than anything else always play. Yes, Phil Robertson should have been more circumspect on his views on sexual relations and race. On the latter he and Paula Deen from Food Channel are living in another planet. Honest. I am sure that Phil’s friends all shake their heads in total disbelief when he unloads that crackpot stuff about the “old south.” You can never change the attitudes of people from this generation.

My parents raised me to be a bigot. I was explicitly taught that African-Americans are inferior and should be kept separate from the white race. My Catholic school education overcame that. I should add that my father hated the “n-word” and would have never used it or allowed it. He also detested people who used that kind of inflammatory rhetoric.

I grew up in the “old south” and would have bitterly resented being shoved aside to only certain areas of public accommodations and generally excluded from the possibly of economic advantages. Yes, there were black professionals, but that was the exception to a hard rule of wrongful discrimination.Phil is from the rural south, where black people suffer right along side of their economically deprived white brothers and sisters. He is completely lost on the more complex urban issues of race. We should show a little mercy.

Robertson is feeling some (unfair, I think) discrimination today and I know he does not like it one bit. The experience will probably be good for him. Do not expect him to change. Truth is, society needs Neanderthals to serve as a kind of marker of the boundary between ordinary stupidity and indecency. Now,  let’s get on with the part that will cost me.

Yes, homosexuality is a sin. So is greed and envy. Sit down for this. Anger and hatred are just as sinful. All of these separate us from the love of God. My sins, if we were to stack them up, would reach all the way to heaven, Practically speaking, this means that all the people who live from sunrise to bedtime hating President Obama are teetering right along the edge of the Lake of Fire. Jesus speaks specifically about the connection between hateful speech and murder and he found zero distinction (Matt 5:21-23).

As the Creator of all things, Jesus is generous in the way he approaches sinners. That sets a good example for all of us. I am convinced that Jesus would personally minister to gay folks today (of course, as our King ruling from the throne of David in heaven, he does!) and he would never display an ounce of homophobia, because that is sinful behavior that makes if impossible for a Christian to have a civil conversation with homosexuals.

Phil Robertson needs to work on his spiritual generosity. Some may be quick to suggest that I am misstating the orthodox Christian position and nothing could be farther from the truth. I am not entitled to decide who gets the good news of salvation. Every believer is under a serious obligation to bring Jesus’ message to all people, including the ones we don’t like. If Phil is going to make himself a Bible-thumping example for America, as he claims, then he will need to know more about the scriptures, God and the neighbors whom he has been called to love as much as himself. No Christian is able to rightly say which people will end up in Hell (which is a real place with really bad weather).

Finally, most of the people who have been hardest on Phil Robertson are a bunch of bullies and intellectual lightweights. At the core, Robertson holds the exact same opinion as Pope Francis. Furthermore, concerning his awful lack of charity towards others, Mr. Robertson has a God-given right to make a fool of himself and A&E should bring him back immediately. Same thing goes for the Food Channel. Free Paula Deen!

A fresh look at Anglicanism

December 9, 2013

The upcoming term at Christian Foundations for Ministry will take a long hard look at the Anglican world. This is a “continuing education” type class that does not require you to write a paper or take any exams. There are assigned readings and, once every week, we all get together for a spirited discussion. The new Anglican Worldview class is ready to roll out on Tuesday evening January, 14, 2014. The tentative plan is to conduct the classes in the St. Andrew’s Anglican Church library in Little Rock and on the internet by private teleconference on WebEx. We will begin the weekly gatherings at 7 PM Central and conclude at 8:30.

Those of you who participated in a similar course on Anglicanism offered over the summer of 2011 may recall that we nearly ended up in open revolt. We all learned a great deal and no furniture was damaged, but the clear need for a fresh textbook was made very obvious. We ill be using The Study of Anglicanism. Sykes, Booty, and Knight, Editors. Revised Edition; Fortress Press, 1998. The Anglicanism 2014 Syllabus is attached and I must admit being very excited about this broader approach to the Anglican Way. The book is a bit “thick,” but the class will not be reading the whole thing and I will walk you through the good stuff. Don’t be afraid!

Registration is open now. If you are interested, drop me a line! (Pat Lynch email link is in the left hand column.) The CFM school admits students of any race, color, national origin, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.