Why I Am An Anglican

Comment

Why I Am An Anglican

For the majority of my life I have intentionally stayed at arm’s length and even cringed at the thought of affiliating myself with a religious denomination. Most of this stems from the nature of ministry I have served in and around during my years of travels and staffing. Maybe it’s been the artist in me saying, “Don’t label me. I mean, I’m just following Jesus, man.” Or maybe (probably) most of the affiliated religious streams have been known more for what they stand against instead of what they stand for.

Over the past decade there has been more and more gravity compelling me toward ancient practices rooted in the rich history of Early Church. From the over exposure to the attraction model of church I eventually became fatigued with re-inventing the wheel week after week and expecting magical results from a production / presentation. A couple of my close friends have been forthcoming enough to ask if any of my jadedness or cynicism has played into my my frustration of the evangelical mega-church model. That may be true but I have realized something very significant in the process – there is a difference between running away from something and being compelled toward something.

With a membership estimated at around 80 million members the Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion in the world, after the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches. The Anglican Church has and always will have it’s tensions in many varieties, but that will be found in any human endeavor. For my family and I, we have had a sense of coming home with Anglicanism.

We have had many friends who supported us and many even curious at what is happening these days. Sacramental hunger lies within most of us, though it may reveal itself to us in different ways. We are wired to be experiential. In liturgical spaces, everything becomes meaningful and symbolic. In the offering up of the bread and wine, we see the offering up of the wheat and grain and fruits of the earth, and God gives them back in a sanctified form. Though it may seem to "work" for some, many of us are thirsty for meaning that goes deeper than the brand with a 30 minute concert and a 45 minute motivational speech.

If any of you have ever been with us for a LuminousProject gathering, you know that it is liturgical in some nature. We tend to lean into our ache for sacramentality. Each year, there have been some liturgical conversations and practices, especially with Holy Eucharist. LuminousProject has seemed to serve as an on-ramp for those curious about liturgical worship and formation. Many artists and pragmatists tend to resonate with these practices due to the meaningful history, anchoring, and lack of personality-centricness. No, it’s not without fault and issues because there is human involvement.

As I continue to have conversations with some of my evangelical friends, the questions continue to come. There are a few misconceptions out there. The beautiful thing is, there are many on the path towards a more rooted, anchored, and rich tradition with liturgical and ancient forms. The liturgy is centering, robust, and moving and contrary to popular belief, it is passionate, beautiful, meaningful, and vibrant. The music tends to be diverse, poetic, and spirited.

Obviously, Anglicanism and it’s practices may not be for everyone. Those of us who serve and follow Jesus are of the Kingdom work. It takes all of us. There is much to be done and many ways to do it. I will continue to lead worship and speak in many evangelical churches. We need more bridge building opportunities and less divisive fragmenting within The Church. May we not continue to fear (or judge) what we don’t understand.

I am humbled and excited about this new season in the life of the Jarnagins. Over the past couple of years I was ordained a Deacon and then a Priest in the Anglican Communion. Along with a wonderful small group of friends and numerous supporters, we planted Luminous Parish! We have been meeting weekly since mid February. We are grateful for the meaningful work and excited about expanding our root system over the coming years. 

 

A few points of interest:

  1. This decision is really more personal than it is public (yes, it’s ironic that I’m doing a post about it).
  2. It is deepening everything that I have done in my church and musical past.
  3. Though much of religion can be stifling, my hope for the Church has never been brighter. I believe that much of the Anglican practice is what will help bring balance and further movement to the Church as a whole.

 

If you are curious, there are a few books that would further feed your curiosity. Thomas McKenzie’s book The Anglican Way is one of the most recent. It is a great starting point. You could also check out Beyond Smells and BellsThe Accidental Anglican, and  Evangelicals On The Canterbury Trail... or just join us one Sunday at Luminous Parish.

 

Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Comment

Reconciliation

Comment

Reconciliation

noun

  1. an act of reconciling, as when former enemies agree to an amicable truce.
  2. the state of being reconciled, as when someone becomes resigned to something not desired.
  3. the process of making consistent or compatible.

Several years ago I spent some time on a silent retreat where I was undone on levels I would have never imagined. There were many memorable moments from those days, though one sepcifically continues to stand out.

Christian faith is... basically about love and being loved and reconciliation. These things are so important, they're foundational and they can transform individuals, families. -Philip Yancey

I was made mindful of a few people whom I hadn't realized I may have offended. I needed to right some wrongs. In a way, this is what confession does. In our liturgy, we confess to our wrongs toward God and one another. It is incredibly freeing and moving. So why do we translate this way of life to our every day?

My guess is that our arrogance and pride repells the light that comes from reconciliation. Where there is light, there can be no darkness. Darkness is where the toxins breed and grow. If you are in need of more peace in your life, pause and seek reconciliation where it is needed.

We need the posture and work of reconciliation now more than ever. From our world's climate to our homes and families. Our communities, our churches. The deep redemption found with reconciliation will change they way we live and it will change those around us. One who finds peace with their inner self, will not be able to help but effect those around them with a positive light. And, couldn't we all go for some positive vibes during this Epiphany season and new year?

Comment

Advent - Silence

Comment

Advent - Silence

Then hear now the silence

He comes in the silence

in silence he enters

the womb of the bearer

in silence he goes to

the realm of the shadows

redeeming and shriving

in silence he moves from

the grave cloths, the dark tomb

in silence he rises

ascends to the glory

leaving his promise

leaving his comfort

leaving his silence

So come now, Lord Jesus

Come in your silence

breaking our noising

laughter of panic

breaking this earth’s time

breaking us breaking us

quickly Lord Jesus

make no long tarrying

When will you come

and how will you come

and will we be ready

for silence

your silence

-Madeleine L’Engle “Ready for Silence”

Comment

Language & Beauty

Comment

Language & Beauty

Most of the world struggles to find language for traumatic experiences. Betrayal, aloneness, complexity, and crisis force us to process. The awkwardness of finding ourselves around others who are navigating trauma can be telling in how we react or interact. If we aren’t careful with what we say and how we say it, we can make an already terrible circumstance even worse. To sympathize originally means to suffer with. I can recall several conversations with others when my sister died two years ago. “Chad, you can never question God’s plans, he knows all, and knows what’s best”. I can neither agree or disagree with the comment on it’s own. However, we can very much question God in almost any scenario if we are honest. I can personally believe that God does indeed know all. One can move past the content of this comment, but it does reveal the fact that we struggle to find how and what to say during a traumatic environment.

Sometimes the best thing we can do in these type of spaces is to say nothing at all. Our presence may be the only communication we need to offer. We have a difficult time with shutting up. We love to hear ourselves talk, even if it is nonsense. I would also dare say that by attempting to find words to say, we belittle some subject matter. Sometimes there simply aren’t words for beautiful moments or even traumatic moments. So, anything that is expressed just fails to convey the scope of our emotions and thoughts no matter our intentions. Have you ever had a friend that you found yourself spending time with where neither of you felt the pressure to constantly talk? Those are far and few between, but when found it says a lot of the depth and understanding in that relationship. There is something beautiful about having the right words to say, but there can be something even more beautiful when we allow the space for silence. It can be a peaceful expression on it’s own.

They can be like the sun, words. They can do for the heart what light can for a field. -St John of the Cross

I believe that we can see the mystery and majesty of God through our broken moments. We tend to not do ourselves any favors by cheapening moments of deep meaning by saying the wrong thing, not saying the right thing, or saying anything at all. Everything speaks. This applies to normal everyday conversations, worship gatherings, communication strategies (print, branding, etc). This may heighten our awareness of the weight found in our words.

If everything does indeed speak, our verbiage matters.

I am a believer in the power of words. Be it a poetic approach or simply an informative angle. Within my world, words can inspire, confuse, or even distract.

In addition to describing a subject matter, our language also communicates what we’re not saying. Think about it. By conveying a description, we also send a message of what we are not actually expressing. The language that a group of people use often describes that tribe of people. It can express how they dress, the kind of music they listen to, and what they believe.

I will admit that I get hung up on words. You might be thinking “dude, get over it, you know what I mean”. I would say, maybe more thought, patience, and self control would allow for a deepening of the words we choose to use.

Comment