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.

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…

The Currency of Light

When I was little, we sang a song called “This Little Light of Mine”. Maybe you did, too. We loved singing it — and my children love singing it now. As I see where we’ve been and where we are headed, as individuals and as a church, I have a new appreciation for it. It’s…

The State of the Parish

Saint Thomas

by David Browder, Rector of Saint Thomas’ This past year had both victories and challenges for our parish. We achieved a surplus at year-end, instead of the deficit we projected. This was wonderful, unexpected news, driven by the success of the preschool, help from our Diocese, and, most importantly to me, pledging and gifts from…

Hungry for Church

By Bryan Anderson, Director of Music Last Sunday at St. Thomas, we sang and read Psalm 42, “Like as the hart desireth the water-brooks, so longeth my soul after thee, O God.” Such expressions, comparing the need for God’s presence to physical needs, are common throughout Scripture. Another that comes to mind is Psalm 84:…

Re-start. Re-form. Notes from the 2019 Vestry Retreat.

Of all the churches with which I’ve been associated and in which I’ve served, Saint Thomas’ has the most interesting beginning. Not long after the founders started the church, they created and began sustaining a school. To Saint Thomas’ primary mission — the proclamation of the Gospel together with the administration of the sacraments —…

Welcome Bryan Anderson, Director of Music

We have been searching for a well-qualified musician to lead our church and school music programs as Director of Music. I am excited to announce that I have offered the position to Mr. Bryan Anderson and he has accepted. Bryan has served as our Interim Director of Music since September of 2018 and he has…