From the Rector

The blog of the Rev’d David O. Browder, Rector of St. Thomas’. Law and gospel, grace, pop culture, links to interesting articles and videos.

The Boys Are Not Alright

And they haven’t been for some time. A few years ago, I brought in The National Center for the Development of Boys (which is headquartered at The McCallie School for Boys in Chattanooga, TN) to speak to us at St. Thomas’. The audience almost filled the church — and they were mostly moms of boys.…

Kenyan Mission Trip Report

by Michelle Graves Six months ago I searched on Google Maps for “Rafiki Foundation Kenya,” after reading about a Christian orphanage and classical school there. You can see on the map the sharp turn in the road there and a photo of the solid steel gate topped with silhouettes of grownups reaching down to hold…

Pulpits Aflame

“Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.” Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America The Fourth…

REST: Don’t be a Neurotic Nut!

neurotic nut

On the last day of school, I had a little fun with our students and their parents. People who attend high-achieving private schools tend to have Type A personalities. I can relate to that because I tend more towards the Type A personality myself. We Type As are very competitive, with lots of self-criticism and…

Light in Darkness

by David Browder This past Easter Sunday was a glorious one at St. Thomas’. Almost two years after the flood, with the church still awaiting renovation, more people worshipped with us than on any other Easter Sunday in my previous five years as Rector. It is clear that we have a bright future here at…

See the Whole Game: Holy Week, Easter and Alabama Football

Paul Bear Bryant

My identity is no longer defined as being “In Crimson Tide” but “in Christ”. It seems at first like ascetic self-denial but it is really the case that I enjoy other things more. I can now enjoy watching Alabama and not be cast down for two months if we lose to Auburn or Tennessee. Jesus Christ as the proper marker for my identity gives me a healthy relationship to good but lesser things like football, money, relationships, politics, and even family. Being “In Christ” is that from which human flourishing emanates.

Christ’s Charge in the Context of Our Time

graffiti

As we enter the last couple of weeks of Lent (called Passiontide in the old prayer book), I think back to the times in early Church history when new Christians were about to be baptized. Lent was a period of deep preparation and prayer for these baptisms; the baptisms themselves would occur at Easter. Learning…

Busyness… or Substance?

busyness or substance

Our lives are so very busy these days. There is so much going on in them, in fact, that it is a good practice to ask ourselves why we do all that we do. And that will lead us to ask about all the things there are to do at church. What makes church different…

The Idolatry of Educational Status

This Sunday, our inaugural Rector’s Forum will tackle the spiritual issues raised by the recent college admissions scandal that has rocked the upper tier of American society. From the Wall Street Journal: Federal prosecutors charged dozens of wealthy parents—including prominent law and business figures and two Hollywood actresses—with using bribes, bogus entrance-exam scores and faked…