Official Diocesan Blog

Thomas & Charlie (Ella) McKenzie: May they Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory

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Head shot of Thomas McKenzie
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This morning (Monday August 23rd) Thomas McKenzie, Rector of Church of the Redeemer, Nashville, and his 22-year-old eldest child Charlie (Ella) died in an accident on Interstate 40 west of Nashville. They were driving to Santa Fe, New Mexico where Charlie was to continue studies at St. John’s College. Thomas was just beginning his well-deserved sabbatical. Thomas’ wife Laura and their daughter Sophie are now home in Nashville. 

Ad Clerum on Church Culture and Marriage

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Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. (Hebrews 13:4)

It was my first experience officiating at a Nigerian wedding. The bride-to-be was the daughter of a Nigerian Anglican priest who was a part of CANA (Convocation of Anglicans in North America) and he had asked me to preside. I was delighted to do so, and we arrived at the church half an hour before the appointed time.

Ad Clerum on the Reality of Evil

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Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.(1 Peter 5:8)

Linda grew up in the Chicago suburbs and after high school attended Cornell University in the late 1960s, majoring in Far Eastern Studies. After graduation, she headed east, spending time in Egypt, where she had a relationship that resulted in an unexpected pregnancy. She continued her journey eastward and eventually found herself in what appeared to be an isolated hippie commune on the west coast of India.

Ad Clerum on Church Culture

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So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets,Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone. (Ephesians 2:19–20)

Eddie Gibbs grew up just two miles from my home near Nottingham, England. We went to the same boys’ grammar school –although a couple of years apart – but we had never met.

Ad Clerum on Changing Culture

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Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)

Helen, our second daughter, graduated in 1988 from Sewanee: The University of the South. She then joined us as we moved to New York City where I had been called to serve as Rector of All Angels Church.

Ad Clerum on True Repentance

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Jesus said, “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15)

Larry was a jerk...he admitted it. When he first came to see me, he was quite proud of himself and his selfish playboy lifestyle. He was a yacht broker, drove a late model Corvette, flew his own plane, and had a couple of girlfriends on the side. I first heard of Larry through his ex-wife – she was a member of our church in Connecticut. Larry had divorced her and as a result, she and their two children were living in the basement of her parents’ home.

Spotlight on Shepherd's Heart Fellowship and Veteran's Home

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Shepherd's Heart Fellowship - profile
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Shepherd's Heart Fellowship and Veteran's Home is unique among congregations in the diocese. Near the Pittsburgh city center in the Uptown neighborhood, it is chiefly a congregation "to the homeless, for the homeless," as described by its Rector, The Rev. Mike Wurschmidt. Many in the diocese know Shepherd's Heart for its daily Drop-In Center, where Morning Prayer is held; its Sunday Worship Service followed by a hot meal; and its transitional housing facility for homeless veterans.

Ad Clerum on Anti-Social Media

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Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:29–30)

They were having one of those painful marital arguments that erupt from time to time. She was determined that this time he would understand just how serious it was for her, so she sent him an email outlining all of his offenses in excruciating detail.

Ad Clerum on If Only

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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

A contemporary writer, Kristin Higgins, wrote, “If only … the saddest words in the English language.” And while there may be a competition for the very saddest words, these are two of the most debilitating words that I have heard … and at times used! IF ONLY you had done this, IF ONLY we had not done this, IF ONLY you had behaved differently, IF ONLY you had listened, IF ONLY!

Ad Clerum on Virtual Worship

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Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have made a habit, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.(Hebrews 10:25)

Virtual worship –blessing or curse? During COVID it became a gift for those unable to gather for worship and enabled people to stay connected during this terrible season of isolation. I even heard of churches that had virtual coffee hours! At the appointed hour everyone made their own coffee and then chatted together over Zoom...but it’s not quite the same as the real thing! Or is it?