We held a joint Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols service with our Seventh Day Adventist Church hosts. It was wonderful to celebrate the common joy of the coming of the King with brethren outside our tradition.
Here's the story of a little child who was born without a brain. On another forum I read through the comments of numerous supposed Christians, many of whom were perplexed about whether this child is a real person. This also led a few to speculate that abortion was okay in this instance. The reason? Because this child has no rational thought (with no brain) therefore he has no soul.
Now I grant that this is a very peculiar case but it really doesn't seem that difficult to me. If we are going to seat human viability in rational apprehension then what do we do with people who have brains that are dead? Is soulishness based on rational apprehension? Do people lose their souls when they get Alzheimer's? I say, of course not. And this little malformed boy is one of those tests that God sends to His people and to nations. How we treat them, whether with respect or endless speculation on their humanity, will tell us where we will go next. Are we being judged with blindness?
As we have moved through a process of reformation I have transitioned from a Black Geneva Robe with shirt and tie to a modified black Geneva Robe with clergy shirt. Finally, in August I made a transition to a white robe but there were a number of considerations that went into the style. Most of my Reformed and liturgical contemporaries wear white albs. I do not for several reasons: (1) It's not traditionally Reformed (2) They have a sexless appearance (3) Stylistically I think they are pretty flat. So, what we have gone with is a high-necked white Geneva robe which is available from Hoffman Robes. This robe goes well with a band-collared clergy shirt (the Protestant one), is in the traditionally Reformed style and has a clean masculine appearance.
Some quick thoughts as we head into year four of our church-plant:
Liturgical churches may be the slowest growing type of church.
Liturgical church-planting builds strong churches (people that actually show up at your front door find substance and normally stay).
Wearing clericals is the cheapest way to advertise your church.
Try to get into a permanant church building as soon as possible. It creates the stability necessary for parish ministry.
Stake out some turf and overwork it. Work at the same coffee house each week, frequent the same stores and recreation facilities. My rule of thumb is that everything is in walking distance from the church.
Live in the neighborhood where your church is located. You can tell your neighbors you ARE their neighborhood minister and church.
Vigorously carry out a strong Trinitarian liturgy and preach the Gospel with power.