Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Reverend Laurie's Blog

"We Are Vessels of the Holy Spirit, The Dwelling Place of God." - 03/24/2017

For me to be a saint means to be myself. Therefore the problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of finding out who I am and of discovering my true self. Trees and animals have no problem. God makes them what they are without consulting them, and they are perfectly satisfied. With us it is different. God leaves us free to be whatever we like. We can be ourselves or not, as we please. We are at liberty to be real, or to be unreal. We may be true or false, the choice is ours. – Thomas Merton At a time of crisis in her teens Jessica Abdelnabbi, who was raised Christian, went to a mosque that she’d visited many times with friends who were members. She longed to pray wit

On Being Out In The Church & How The Gospel Is Like The Mars Rover - 03/18/17

Last Thursday Louie Clay (formerly Louie Crew) was our guest speaker at the “Welcoming the Stranger” Lenten forum. Louie is the Founder of Integrity: the first ministry of the Episcopal Church to Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Bisexual people, established back in 1974. That Louie started this organization over forty years ago remains astonishing to me. A mere twenty years ago saying the word “gay” in public at Princeton Seminary could have brought an entire classroom to stunned silence. (I only know because I was there.) So imagine Louie- spit on, called unspeakable names, threatened and reviled throughout much of the Anglican communion for decades and in many Diocese up to this very day.

"Treat the Bible Like a Love Letter" - 03/09/17

In some traditions, belief that the Bible is the “inerrant word of God” is the litmus test that determines if you are a Christian or not. In the many parts of Scripture that appear to be in conflict, this reading of the Bible requires that there be one answer. Biblical literalism insists that Biblical figures alone had special privileges to question God’s fairness like Abraham, argue with Jesus (and win) like the Syrophoenician woman or put God in a head lock like Jacob. For me, believing in the Bible the same way I believe I’ll have to move my car tomorrow for alternate side of the street cleaning sucks the literal “life” out of it. Even though I’m not a Biblical literalist, there

"Grace Family, It's Lent." - 03/03/17

There was an evangelist at a flea market my family used to go to for fun several times a summer in South Jersey while I was growing up. He’d painted the walls of his stall with a mural of heaven and hell and across it in huge black letters he’d written “Where will you spend eternity????” He stood in the way of the foot traffic, handed out religious tracts and shouted Bible verses. I found him memorizing. While the rest of us were intent on finding discount watches, wholesale socks and fried apples, this man was trying to turn our attention towards something we couldn’t pick up for five bucks or eat on a stick. And as much as I wondered how he could love a God like the one whose handiwo

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Grace Church Van Vorst  | 39 Erie Street  |  Jersey City, NJ 07302  |  Phone: 201-659-2211  |