Monday, May 30, 2016

Thoughts on Memorial Day, 2016

                                    Albert McTeer (September 23, 1920-June 25, 1943)

       Yesterday at Church, during Prayers of the People, I asked for names of those who had died in service to our country.  We remembered Albert McTeer, Alan Kohn from Columbia, and a member's two Citadel classmates. Today, Memorial Day, I find myself wanting to know more, particularly, about Albert McTeer  and, remembering at the same time, Jesus' words about counting the cost of what we undertake (Luke 14.28-32) .[1]   

        WW II cost the church family of St. James Santee,  the life of young Albert McTeer.    There is a memorial tablet to him in the Church, and it notes that he died on June 25, 1943 in North Africa.  He was a Morrison cousin which means he was related to about one half of the church membership.  Twenty-two years of age, he was a recent Clemson graduate.  His burial record (interred overseas) , photo and copy of his obituary are HERE .  Without a doubt, there were other  losses in the extended church family, but his is one that is still mourned today by his cousins.

       I recall Alan Kohn who was a high school friend and who died serving our country in Vietnam on March 26, 1968 -  a few days after his twenty-first birthday.  I did not know him well but recall that our school (it was my senior year) mourned his loss. HERE is the link to his listing on the Virtual Vietnam Veterans Wall of Faces. I looked back at our high school annual (Dreher High School in Columbia, 1965) and noted the saying by his photograph- "I have kept unsullied and untarnished that thing - a name- entrusted to my care."  Indeed, you did , Alan.

       The Vietnam conflict cost McClellanville the lives of two young African-American men.  James Henry Brown, Jr., aged 20 yrs, died on August 21, 1969,  almost one month to the date his tour began.  He is buried in the Bethel AME Cemetery.  David Lee Mitchell, aged 23, died in an accident 22 days after his tour began.  You can view their records- HERE. (You will need to plug their names into the search box at the top right).

         There were 76 Vietnam casualties from Charleston, 12 from Charleston Heights, and close to 900 from South Carolina.  It is hard to imagine the cost of nearly 900 lives to their families and communities.

         When my father died nearly three years ago, we inherited a treasure trove of family papers. Among those papers was a letter from a young cousin, Andrew Crawford Fraser, writing to his first cousin,  my great-grandmother. The letter was dated May 23, 1862, and he was killed in action seven days later, May 31, at the Battle of Seven Pines (also known as Fair Oaks)  near Henrico, Virginia.  He was 19 yrs old when he enlisted in the Boyce Guards (mostly Fairfield County)  under the command of Capt.  JN Shedd and served as a private in the 6th Regiment of the SC Volunteers, 2nd Company G. He enlisted on March 17th, 1862 and died a little more than two months later.  Prior to enlisting in 1862, he had been a Junior at South Carolina College (now University of SC).   Here is an excerpt from the letter.  Please note: there is no discussion of valor or causes - just a description of endless slogging in terrible conditions, the sounds of battle, and witnessing death. 

"We left Yorktown on a Saturday night about nine aclack [sic] and next morning at daylight we were only two miles from where we started.  The roads were in such terrible fix.  We marched  that until about three aclack [sic] in the evening when we halted about two miles this side of Williamsburg, and had hardly got off our baggage when we were ordered to fall in again, and was marched back the other side of the town, and took our position for the expected battle and had to stay there all night and it pouring down rain all the time, and what made the matter worse we were not allowed to close our eyes  after having  already lost two nights sleep.  In the morning six companies from our regiment were thrown out as skirmishers and the remaining four were ordered about two hundred yards to the right to act as a support to a battery.  When took this last position we were compelled to lie down so as to let the balls and shells pass over us which flew pretty thick.  Our position being on the left of the whole, we were not actively engaged until about two or three aclack [sic] in the evening.  I never heard the like in my life before as the firing on the right, it was one continuous roar of musketry and cannon for more than six hours, except when our  men would succeed in driving back the enemy, then the air was rent with their shouts as they charged on their retiring columns.  About three aclack [sic] in the evening we were somewhat taken by surprise by a cannon ball which came from behind us, and next thing we were ordered to go and take possession of a about half mile of so as to prevent the enemy from getting it.  We had to march the whole way through an open field, which the enemy was raking with his artillery which had by this time got into position, as we marched along Colonel Bratton noticed some of the men dodging as the balls would sing pass their ears when he said "men don't mind those things come on."  We succeeded in getting into the fort, after having some five or six men wounded, one had his leg shot off by a cannon ball and died on the feild (sic) After we got into the fort fired some five vollies [sic] at the enemy.  After remaining there for some time we received reinforcements and were out of the fort to support a North Carolina regiment in a charge on one of the enemy batteries which they succeeded in taking three different times but on account of our not {unclear} ____ a sufficient we had to leave it at last when we filed off into a piece of woods and commenced falling back to keep from being flanked by the enemy.  It now being dark we took the same position that we had in the morning.  I had no idea that the balls that the infantry of enemy fired at us came so thick but in going into the piece of woods I spoke of we had to go through an old corn field and I could hear the balls striking corn stalks just like rain.  "[2]

      He must have wondered, like so many young men over so many years,  what he was doing there and how in the world he would survive.  But, survive my long ago cousin did not.  At that battle (Seven Pines),  the Union troops noted 790 fatalities and the Confederates, 980.   Those numbers, though, pale again the total loss of nearly 690,000 lives in direct war fatalities in the American Civil War. 
     On one hand, I am wondering,  if we have lost the ability to count the cost of so much loss of life.  At present, the numbers keep adding up - 470,000 in Syria and  480,000 in Darfur - to say nothing of the cost of  extreme deprivation and profoundly disrupted lives as communities large and small are destroyed by warring factions.
      On the other hand, I am also left wondering if we realize the cost of  and treasure the gift of freedom purchased for us by the  blood of our brothers and, now, sisters.   Does our national life show any indication of gratitude for the costs paid for us?  Was the price paid so that we might enjoy endless national bickering over every imaginable thing?  Was the price paid so that our citizens might have the freedom to succumb to addictions of all sorts:  pornography, drugs,  and violence?  Was the price paid so that any modicum of civility might be drummed out of the public sphere?  Somehow, I don't think so.  So, please forgive me, if I don't wish you a Happy Memorial Day.  What I do wish for you, for me, and for us all is a thankful, thoughtful Memorial Day.

Almighty and everlasting God, in whom all souls live now and evermore, the God not of the dead but of the living:  We bless thee for all those who have faithfully lived and died in the service of their country.  As we ever hold them in grateful remembrance, do thou in thy love and mercy let light perpetual shine upon them, and bring us all at last into thine eternal kingdom of peace; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

[1] 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. (Luke 14.28-32)


[2] Clarkson-Crawford Family Papers.  Letter from AC Fraser to MRC Clarkson, dated May 23, 1862.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Letting it rest for a bit or maybe not

Several years back, I took my ancient  and quite beaten up Volkswagen to the dealer as a trade-in for a newer car.  This is how the conversation went..

Car Dealer rep: What kind of condition would you say your car is in?

Me:                   Terrible!

Dealer Rep:      Laughs  Well, let's see what the appraiser thinks.

        Appraiser enters the room.  Pats me sympathetically on the shoulder and says..

Appraiser:         I think it's time to let it rest.

This is the way I am feeling about this blog.  I do not believe its condition is terrible but a blog does require energy to maintain that I do not seem to have at present.. When I began the blog, St. James-Santee did not have a functional website or an e-newsletter and we now have both.   We will keep it online but won't be updating it.  If you have read it regularly, thanks!  Perhaps, we will revive it in the future.  Perhaps a Church member will be inspired to pick it up.  Who knows? Until then...

                                  Thanks again for visiting and feel free to poke around the remaining content!

                                                                        Yrs in Christ,


Monday, May 18, 2015

The Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Last Thursday, May 14th, we marked the feast day of the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  The day comes exactly forty days after the resurrection....Here is a lovely prayer from W E Scudamore (19th c. Church of England priest and scholar - Hat-tip KSH).

O God, whose dearly beloved Son was, by thy mighty power, exalted that he might prepare a place in thy kingdom of glory for them that love thee: So lead and uphold us, O merciful Lord, that we may both follow the holy steps of his life here upon earth, and may enter with him hereafter into thy everlasting rest; that where he is, we may also be; through the merits of the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

And from Dali...

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Doubting Thomas

Biola University's Lent Project looks at St. Thomas ....with a meditation  which includes the following sonnet and a wonderful painting by artist Rene Klarenbeek - Doubting Thomas (after Rembrandt)  .


St. Thomas the Apostle

By Malcolm Guite

‘We do not know . . . how can we know the way?

Courageous master of the awkward question,

You spoke the words the others dared not say

And cut through their evasion and abstraction.

O doubting Thomas, father of my faith,

You put your finger on the nub of things:

We cannot love some disembodied wraith,

But flesh and blood must be our king of kings.

Your teaching is to touch, embrace, anoint,

Feel after him and find him in the flesh.

Because he loved your awkward counterpoint,

The Word has heard and granted you your wish.

O place my hands with yours, help me divine

The wounded God whose wounds are healing mine.

For more information , please follow the link found HERE

To view a larger version of the above painting, follow the link found HERE

Monday, April 6, 2015

Annual Brick Church Service - April 12, 2015

You and Yours are Cordially Invited

to the St. James Santee Parish Episcopal Church

Annual Brick Church Service

April 12, 2015 - 11:00 am

followed by a covered dish picnic.

(Directions to the right)


Preacher and Celebrant this year: 

The Rt. Rev. Charles vonRosenberg

Bishop of the Episcopal Church in SC

Born in Fayetteville, N.C., on July 11, 1947, Charles vonRosenberg graduated from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with a bachelor of arts in 1969. He earned his master of divinity degree from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1974. Early in his episcopate, the University of the South's School of Theology awarded him an honorary doctor of divinity.  Ordained as a priest in 1975, he served as rector/vicar of four small churches in and around Belhaven, N.C. He was vicar and rector of churches in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina from 1976 until 1989.
For many years, Bishop vonRosenberg served in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, as rector of the Church of the Resurrection in Greenwood and later as Canon to the Ordinary (assistant to the Bishop) of that diocese from 1989-1994. Later he accepted a call to be rector of St. James Episcopal Church in Wilmington, N.C.   As Third Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee from February 1999 until his retirement in June 2011, he oversaw an area of 34 counties in Tennessee and three in North Georgia, with 45 congregations and five worshiping communities and nearly 16,000 active members. Bishop vonRosenberg serves in the House of Bishops, and ex officio on the board of trustees of the University of the South. He was also was elected to the university's board of regents. In 2008 he attended the Lambeth Conference and participated with other bishops in a “Walk of Witness” through central London to draw attention to the Millennium Development Goals, which target poverty reduction around the world. He has served as Bishop Provisional of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina since a special diocesan Convention on January 26, 2013, when he was elected and invested as Bishop.
Bishop vonRosenberg and his wife, Annie, a native of Alexandria, Va., married in 1973 and they have two sons and families, including six grandchildren. The vonRosenbergs reside in the Daniel Island community of Charleston.

The Lord is Risen Indeed!!!

                                                   A Blessed Easter to You All!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Treachery of Judas - Andrey Mironov - 2009

Below is a painting which has been my companion during Lent.  I am curious about the cloaked and veiled figure in the foreground.  Who is he?  Where are you in the painting?  Below is a link to a larger version of the painting if you would like to look at it more closely (which I recommend)..

                                                          The Treachery of Judas

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Arts and Faith: Lent

This is a lovely website with a number different possibilities... Below is a sample from the Arts and Faith through Lent page.  If you click on the link below, it will take you to the main Arts and Faith page and from there to the Home Page of Loyola Press.  There are meditations for each week in Lent, Holy Week and Easter Day.  Check it Out!

Arts and Faith: Lent - Week Four

Enter into a visual prayer experience this Lent with Arts & Faith: Lent. Each week we’ll provide a video commentary about a work of art inspired by the Sunday Scriptures. Use these videos to take a new look at this season of spiritual renewal through the lens of sacred art.

Commentary is by Daniella Zsupan-Jerome, assistant professor of liturgy, catechesis, and evangelization at Loyola University New Orleans. She holds a bachelor’s degree in theology from the University of Notre Dame, a master’s degree in liturgy from St. John’s University in Collegeville, a master’s degree in religion and the arts from Yale Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in theology and education from Boston College. Her unique background in faith and art brings to life a new way of observing Lent and understanding the season on a more personal level

Monday, March 2, 2015

Lenten Thoughts on Giving Up

The following is an excerpt from an essay by the Rev. Dan Heishman, head of the National Association  of  Episcopal Schools..I appreciate his take on "giving up."

We often associate this season of Lent with giving things up—some indulgence, some bad habit—and we often view the activity of giving something up for Lent as an exercise in self-denial. While it certainly can be that, and there can be real value in self-denial, this process also turns out to be an exercise in the much larger task of giving up in life. A small act of giving up turns out to be a testing ground, a spiritual preparation for one of the great surprises of adulthood—just how much we will be about relinquishing things, illusions, or self-destructive activities.

I also thought about one of the hardest things for a mature school community (substitute, church family) to accept, that it cannot do all or be all things for all people. Fewer prospects are more difficult for a school (church) to bear than having to consider ways in which it occasionally must give up on the seductive activity of constantly taking on one more project, program, or expectation. As with all forms of giving up, we worry that it is a sign of defeat.  (Emphasis mine).

One of my favorite writers used to talk about Lent as being “Easter in disguise.” Faced with the sobering task of having to give up on something, we do not in turn face a diminished future. In fact, the process of giving the entry point to a new and much fuller life.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Confused About ISIS? Read This!

             © Provided by National Journal Syrian Kurds Battle IS To Retain Control Of Kobani

What is the Islamic State?

Where did it come from, and what are its intentions? The simplicity of these questions can be deceiving, and few Western leaders seem to know the answers. In December, The New York Times published confidential comments by Major General Michael K. Nagata, the Special Operations commander for the United States in the Middle East, admitting that he had hardly begun figuring out the Islamic State's appeal. "We have not defeated the idea," he said. "We do not even understand the idea." In the past year, President Obama has referred to the Islamic State, variously, as "not Islamic" and as al-Qaeda's "jayvee team," statements that reflected confusion about the group, and may have contributed to significant strategic errors.

The group seized Mosul, Iraq, last June, and already rules an area larger than the United Kingdom. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been its leader since May 2010, but until last summer, his most recent known appearance on film was a grainy mug shot from a stay in U.S. captivity at Camp Bucca during the occupation of Iraq. Then, on July 5 of last year, he stepped into the pulpit of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, to deliver a Ramadan sermon as the first caliph in generations—upgrading his resolution from grainy to high-definition, and his position from hunted guerrilla to commander of all Muslims. The inflow of jihadists that followed, from around the world, was unprecedented in its pace and volume, and is continuing.

To continue reading ...  Click Here

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Way of Thinking and Talking

What follows is a thoughtful piece on a way of being.The author is the Rev. Dr. Daniel Heishmann, Director of the Natl. Assoc. of Episcopal Schools....

In Ian McEwan’s new novel, The Children’s Act, Fiona May is a British High Court judge who must rule on a difficult case regarding a 17-year old boy who faces likely death if he does not receive immediate blood transfusions. The boy and his parents are Jehovah’s Witnesses, a religious group that forbids the use of such medical assistance. In a high-pitched legal battle, the hospital where the boy was being treated was asking that the Judge put the interests of the boy’s health ahead of the religious convictions of the family. As Fiona hears the case, and weighs the competing claims and intense passions of each party, she determines that a ruling cannot come until she pays a visit to the boy in hospital, in an effort to determine if he is fully aware of what may happen to him, as well as whether or not he had arrived at his desire not to receive blood in a free and rational fashion.

Ultimately, she determines that the boy’s best interests are served by allowing the hospital to pursue the necessary medical treatments.

Months later, the boy, now in full recovery, pays a surprise visit to Fiona. He also pays her a great tribute, referring to the manner in which she went about her work in spite of the intensive crossfire of accusation and counter-accusation that had infected this case. As he told her:

You were calm, you listened, you asked questions, you made some comments. That was the point. It’s this thing you have…A way of thinking and talking…It was like a grown-up had come into a room full of kids who are making each other miserable and said, Come on, stop all of this nonsense, it’s teatime! You were the grown up. You knew all along but didn’t say. You just asked questions and listened.

Our school communities, our nation, our world, can feel at times like brittle and intense places of crossfire where judgment comes quickly. In the midst of such contention, it is important to remind ourselves of the power of the person who simply, calmly asks questions and listens. It is that person who is most likely to discover what lies beneath all of the shouting and conflict—real, decent human beings on both sides who are hurting and holding on to deep convictions rarely understood by those who oppose them. What’s more, in modeling this way of thinking and talking we provide both sides with the type of example—that of the grown up—most needed at such times. The muted courage of the grown-up, so to speak, is what is most lasting and potentially healing.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Happy Second Day of Christmas!

Today is the Feast Day of St. Stephen, Deacon.  In many quarters it is also known as Boxing Day and is a day to remember those less fortunate.

One song associated with this day is Good King Wenceslas!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Eve, 2014

                                                        Nativity by Gerard von Honhorst

You and yours are most warmly invited
to the celebration of 
 Christmas Eve
6:30 pm
St. James Santee Episcopal Church
Oak and Church Streets
McClellanville, SC
Carols, Nativity, Eucharist, Hammered Dulcimer


Friday, October 31, 2014

Why Were the Saints Saints?

    All Saints Day is tomorrow - Nov. 1, 2014.  Here is a little saying my Grandfather kept on his dresser mirror.
Why Were The Saints Saints?
Because they were cheerful
when it was difficult to be cheerful;
when it was difficult to be patient;
and because they pushed on
when they wanted to stand still;
And kept silent
When they wanted to talk;
And were agreeable
When they wanted to be disagreeable.
That was all.
It was quite simple
and always will be.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Love Thy Neighbor

Almighty and most merciful God, who hast given us a new commandment that we should love one another: Give us also grace that we may fulfill it. Make us gentle, courteous, and forbearing. Direct our lives so that we may look to the good of others in word and deed. And hallow all our friendships by the blessing of thy Spirit; for his sake who loved us and gave himself for us, Jesus Christ our Lord.
B.F.Wescott- HT to Kendall   

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Rock of Ages

      After the death of my father last year and my mother's move to a retirement community this year, our family have been sorting through my parents' library.  In some cases this has meant also sorting through books that belonged to their parents.  One such book, from my maternal grandfather, was a little book published in 1934 by General Mills no less. How he came by it is unknown to me.   Entitled The Story of Fifty Hymns, it has write-ups of many familiar hymns. 

     Amazon has this description of the book "The Story of Fifty Hymns published by the millers of Gold Medal "Kitchen-tested" Flour Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Copyrighted by General Mills, Inc. in 1934 and 1939.  This booklet was presented through the courtesy of General Mills in commemoration of the 6th Annual Marshall County Church of Bible School Day featuring "Hymns of All Churches Parade", June 26, 1940, Marshalltown, Iowa.  It has a Preface about a group of artists and musicians headed by Joe Emerson, a nationally known figure in radio in 1934, who started a program of morning hymns with every faith represented, and Gold Medal "Kitchen-tested" Flour was the sponsor of the radio show. "

Here is the text concerning Rock of Ages which we sing at Church tomorrow.

"In the 31st Psalm, we read these words:  'Be thou a strong rock...a house of defense to save me...' This is the thought of the hymn, 'Rock of Ages,' familiar to many churches,  It was written in 1776 by Augustus M. Toplady, priest of the Church of England.   An interesting sidelight on the steadfast faith expressed in the hymn is found in the words of the writer as he lay dying, "I cannot tell you the comforts I feel in my soul; they are past expression.  My prayers are all converted to praise..."  On the one hundredth anniversary of the writing of 'Rock of Ages', more than ten thousand people gathered at the place where it is supposed to have been written, to pay homage to this great symbol of faith expressed in song."

Of this hymn Wikipedia says "Traditionally, it is held that Toplady drew his inspiration from an incident in the gorge of  the Mendip Hills in England. Toplady, a preacher in the nearby village of Blagdon, was travelling along the gorge when he was caught in a storm. Finding shelter in a gap in the gorge, he was struck by the title and scribbled down the initial lyrics.
The fissure that is believed to have sheltered Toplady is now marked as the "Rock of Ages", both on the rock itself and on some maps, and is also reflected in the name of a nearby tea shop.

See below for a nice rendition of this hymn.  It is interesting to compare our hymnal version with The Rev. Toplady's text. 


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Feast Day of St. Teresa of Avila- 1582

Let nothing trouble you,
let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing;
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who possesses God lacks nothing:
God alone suffices.

Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)

Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, baptized as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada (28 March 1515 – 4 October 1582), was a prominent Spanish mystic, Roman Catholic saint, Carmelite nun, an author of the Counter Reformation and theologian of contemplative life through mental prayer. She was a reformer of the Carmelite Order and is considered to be a founder of the Discalced Carmelites along with John of the Cross.
In 1622, forty years after her death, she was canonized by Pope Gregory XV and on 27 September 1970, was named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI. Her books, which include her autobiography (The Life of Teresa of Jesus) and her seminal work El Castillo Interior (trans.: The Interior Castle) are an integral part of Spanish Renaissance literature as well as Christian mysticism and Christian meditation practices as she entails in her other important work, Camino de Perfección (trans.: The Way of Perfection).  (Wikipedia)

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Ocean of His Goodness

Should we fall into a sin, let us humble ourselves sorrowfully in his presence, and then, with an act of unbounded confidence, let us throw ourselves into the ocean of his goodness, where every failing will be cancelled and anxiety turned into love.
St. Paul of the Cross

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Prayer for Today

O God, whose love we cannot measure, nor even number thy blessings: We bless and praise thee for all thy goodness, who in our weakness art our strength, in our darkness, light, in our sorrows, comfort and peace, and from everlasting to everlasting art our God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pop Nihilism and the Allure of ISIS

A thoughtful article from John Stonestreet

What’s with all these stories of Western defections to Islamic radicalism? Well, the answer may be more over here than over there.

News broke recently of two beautiful teenage girls from Austria, aged 15 and 16, who became burka-wearing recruiters for the terror group known as ISIS, or the Islamic State. And their journey to radicalism is not an isolated case.  In my own state of Colorado, a 19-year-old female just pled guilty to trying to join ISIS, too. And then there are the two young American men who died in Syria fighting for ISIS.
Why are young 21st-century Westerners converting to a brutal form of Islam? Why would young people, with seemingly so much to live for, leave the West for terrorism?
This question came up last month in a panel discussion with radio hosts Hugh Hewitt and Dennis Prager, as well as Stephen Meyer of the Discovery Institute and myself. We all agreed that the answer was not the radicalism of Islam, but the current emptiness of Western materialism.
The idea that matter is all that matters pervades everything young people see and hear these days. They hear it in science class, from the new Cosmos television series, and even, and as I added especially, in advertising and other media messages. Nearly every commercial message tells us that we’re born to be consumers, that stuff will make us happy and save us from our misery, and that there’s nothing beyond the immediate gratification of this world to live for.
As Dennis Prager said that night, “Secular society produces a lot of bored people . . . Secular society is a curse because ultimately life is meaningless if there’s no God.” The materialistic salvation sold to us promises to fill what Pascal called the God-shaped hole in our hearts … with stuff. But many see the meaningless of secular salvation, and they become bored; others become angry, even murderous.
Remember Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, who killed 13 people at Columbine High School? They weren’t Muslims. Then there’s T.J. Lane, a 19-year-old serving three life sentences for shooting to death three high school students in 2012. At his sentencing, in which he taunted his victims’ families with expletives, Lane opened his blue dress shirt to reveal a T-shirt on which he had scrawled the word “killer.”
We’ve always had young murderers, but the nihilism of today is different. Writing in Time several years ago, Harvard’s student body president called it the “Rude Boy” culture. The tough guy of the ‘60s and ‘70s, he observed, would say, “I’m better than you, I can beat you up”—but the tough guy today says, “I flip you off; you don’t matter and neither do I.”
And that’s a whole new level of brokenness. That’s the cultural shift toward nihilism. A few years ago, the rock band Switchfoot hit the nail on the head when they sang, “We were meant to live for so much more. But we lost ourselves.”
This sort of empty pop-nihilism, to borrow a term from Baylor’s Thomas Hibbs, makes even the evil radicalism of extremist Islam look attractive to some. And parasitic ideologies like these find folks in despair easy prey.
Might it be that ISIS finds this shallow ground as fertile soil from which to harvest young souls for its deadly agenda?
Decades ago, even before the Internet and social media took over so much of our lives, Aldous Huxley warned of the capacity of the media to exploit “man's almost infinite appetite for distraction.” Could it be that even ISIS looks attractive to those who, after having their fill, still feel empty inside?
Wait a minute, you say, that’s just a small minority. Not every kid flees to ISIS or thinks of murder as a way to meaning. Well, true, but how many others are living shriveled up lives of perpetual boredom? What addictions and distractions are they fleeing to in pursuit of meaning and purpose? How can Christians point our culture to the One we were made for?
Well, the panel discussion I mentioned earlier can start that discussion. Come to to find out how to watch or listen to my conversation with Dennis Prager, Hugh Hewitt, and Steve Meyer on this and other topics relating to God and culture.

For more from Breakpoint on this topic , click HERE

Friday, July 18, 2014

Some Great News from TWO of our Mission Partners

LAMB in Honduras and Water Missions International...

From Susan Keller, LAMB Board Chair

Dear LAMB family,

I am so very happy to tell you that this week we signed the Water Missions International (WMI) project agreement for the water project and sent our first check.  WMI has ordered supplies and their team has arrived at San Buenaventura to begin mobilizing for Phase 1 of the project! WMI engineer, Selvin is pictured here with Amanda Scott, LAMB volunteer coordinator.


WMI anticipates that Phases 1, 2 and half of 3 will be completed by the end of December.
See the Water for LAMB page for the description of phases.

There has been some good tweaking of the original plan and the final numbers are coming in at approximately $233,000.   We have sent the requested amount for this part of the work which was $147,543.  We have raised to date $179,546.   So we lack around $53,000.

This is another day closer to the day we will have water flowing from our own well.   Thank you, Lord, for all the work that has been done by many, many people…beginning with Wheeler Conkling and David Gradiz back in 2007, continuing on with John McKinnon and David over the next many years studying, praying, planning…on to today with many months of work done by our great friends at WMI.

Please pray with us that God continue to lead and guide the work, protect the workers, bring complete success for this part of the project and provide for the remainder of the total cost.

With joy overflowing in the Lord,

Susan C. Keller
LAMB Board Chair
PO Box 20488
Charleston, SC  29413

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

July 2, 2014 Newsletter - VBS 2014 and More!

Village VBS 2014 !

Registration- This Coming Monday Morning

8:30 am!

At McClellanville Methodist Church

July 7-11, 9-12 noon - and Celebration Cookout -Friday Evening

Please sign up  your kids, grand-kids, neighbor children 

and anyone K-5th grade.

You may register by phone at 843-887-3814

Sponsored by McClellanville Methodist, New Wappetaw 

Presbyterian, St. James-Santee Episcopal Church,  Seacoast 

Church-McClellanville; and Five Fathom Baptist Church.

Check out the rest of the news by clicking below:

Monday, May 26, 2014

Prayer for Memorial Day

ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, in whose hands are the
living and the dead; We give thee thanks for all thy servants
who have laid down their lives in the service of our country.
Grant to them thy mercy and the light of thy presence, that
the good work which thou hast begun in them may be perfected;
through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Call to Discernment

Do you think  that Public Education in South Carolina  is in need of improvement?  So do the LARCUM bishops of SC (of which Bishop vonRosenberg is a member) .  Read on...

To the People of South Carolina,

“You are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:13-16). Jesus of Nazareth used this simple image to inspire his followers to make a difference in the world. We are bishops of the Lutheran, Episcopal, Roman Catholic, and United Methodist Churches in the state of South Carolina. As shepherds of our churches, we are charged to lead the faithful in ways that direct our energies to the building up of the Kingdom of God and to make a difference around us. We believe that Jesus’ desire for the unity of his followers (John 17: 20-23) calls us to work together, and we are conscious as well that “no one should seek his own advantage, but that of his neighbor.” (1 Corinthians 10: 24).

In support of the American experiment in democracy, our nation has realized that education is an essential component to equipping members of society who can in turn help lead the United States of America into a better future. The family remains the foundation of our society’s ability to nurture and develop people of character. Our congregational leaders and people work constantly to empower and lift up families, and we believe this contribution to the good of society — together with the efforts of all religious communities — is one of our most important contributions to our state.

Public education is also an essential component of ensuring that the people of our state are formed to be good citizens, prepared to be contributors to our economy, and given passion for the common good of society. Individual school districts in partnership with the State of South Carolina are primarily responsible for ensuring that the opportunity for a complete and empowering education is available to every child in our state. Unfortunately, our state is marked by disparities in the delivery of education. Many school districts are hampered by a scarcity of resources because they are located in economically challenged, often rural, counties in our state. We believe there is indeed a “Corridor of Shame” in our state. Crumbling buildings, inadequate funding, and low expectations mark too many districts at a time when a 21st Century economy demands more of our people. How can the next generation rise to the challenge of this day and age when they are not given the superior education they deserve? Even in the most successful of school districts, too many students underachieve, or worse, fall through the cracks and do not achieve success. All too easily they can become caught in the grip of poverty.

We, as pastoral leaders, pledge our commitment to support the full flourishing of public education in South Carolina. We ask our congregations — as well as all people of good will— to offer what we can to lift up our schools and those students who face hurdles to reach the best they can achieve in their education. Congregations and members of our churches already offer tutoring, mentoring, supplies, and expressions of appreciation to our schools. We pledge ourselves and the resources we are able to engage through our congregations to address concrete ways to support public education in an intentional way over the next five years and beyond. In this effort, we welcome partnerships with all religious communities and people who share our concerns. Over time, we also pledge to engage in a dialogue with our state legislators to craft and support initiatives to improve public education, especially where these issues are related to the areas of our state with schools that are not equipped to provide a superior education.

Finally, we commit ourselves to pray for our state’s leaders, educators, and students. We are convinced prayer that trusts God and longs for insight helps bring clarity regarding what is important and strength to make a difference for what is good. We invite our congregants and all people of good will to join us in prayerfully discerning how God calls us to make a difference—to be light for our world—in educating students of our state so that they will not only be good members of society, but empowered for their journey to a fuller life.

Faithfully yours,

The Rev. Dr. Herman R. Yoos, III, Bishop
South Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

The Rt. Rev. W. Andrew Waldo, Bishop
The Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina

The Rt. Rev. Charles Glenn vonRosenberg, Provisional Bishop
The Episcopal Church in South Carolina

The Most Rev. Robert E. Guglielmone, Bishop
The Catholic Diocese of Charleston

The Rev. L. Jonathan Holston, Resident Bishop
South Carolina United Methodist Conference