Several ordained deacons in training for the priesthood in the Diocese of the Mid-South presented timed sermons during training held at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Sharpsburg, GA. The sermons were each critiqued by six experienced ministers and the deacons met one on one with one of the ministers for personal evaluation and advice.
From left to right on the front row in the photo were the sermon presenters:
Joseph Liptak, Fayetteville; James Gardner, Tyrone; Anthony McGee, Newnan; Justin Allen, Canton; Paul Dickinson, Sharpsburg; and Andy Ellis, Tyrone.
Those serving as advisors and evaluators were, left to right on the back row:
Rev. Kim Holman, Fayetteville; Father Dan Hale, Peachtree City; Dr. Robert Wills, Woodland; Father Charles Shores, Hogansville; Dr. James Taylor, Peachtree City.
Not pictured- Bishop David Epps, Sharpsburg
Many people at Christ the King use their hands to minister to and/or bless other people.
Certainly included in this number are nurses, teachers, musicians, ministers, doctors,
healthcare workers, caregivers, Licensed Liturgical Ministers…
but the list goes on and on!
This Sunday–in both services–we want to anoint those hands that touch lives
and ask God’s blessing upon them.
So, be in church Sunday to have your hands blessed or to stand with those whose hands
touch so many lives in so many ways.
If you use your hands to the benefit of others, we want to thank you and to bless your hands!
See you Sunday morning at 8:30 or 10:00 A.M.!
The Cathedral of Christ the King
4881 Highway 34 East
Sharpsburg, Georgia 30277
Forty-five years ago, I was away from home on Easter Sunday. I had been attending church regularly during my high school years and Easter had become an important observation. Now, I was at Parris Island, SC undergoing what is now called Basic Warrior Training for Marine Corps recruits. As I sat (a rare event) alone (rarer still) during a quiet moment (an unheard of rarity) on Easter Sunday morning, I began to think about what was happening back in my hometown.
I knew that friends would be showing up at Mountain View United Methodist Church shortly, the young folks, of whom I was one, would be piling into the back pew after Sunday School in that way that teens do at church. For us it was a very important social time as well as a religious one. The choir would sing, there would be special Easter music, Rev. Fred Austin, our young pastor, would bring a sermon that almost all of the kids paid attention to, and we would know that a special Sunday—the highest day of the Church year—had been celebrated.
After church, my father, mother, and 10 year old brother, Wayne, would gather for a Sunday meal in our very modest home in the Hillcrest area of Kingsport, Tennessee. Mom almost always had two meats on special Sundays, and bowls of vegetables cooked country-style—that is, non-dietetic—and a dessert to follow. Perhaps even homemade banana pudding!
As an older teen, my afternoon would be spent with friends doing whatever it was that we could find to do on a sleepy spring day in northeast Tennessee. Or, I might have gone to my current girlfriend’s house and then we might have gone for a leisurely day trip to Warrior’s Path State Park. Whatever the course of action, it would be shared with church family, natural family, and friends.
But I wasn’t there. All of a sudden the struggles of Marine Corps boot camp seemed like nothing as homesickness took over. I missed my family. I missed all my friends. I missed being in church. It may have been my worst Easter ever—except for one thing. I still had the ability to pray and, in praying, had a profound sense of the presence of God, even at Parris Island.
As best as I can remember, I have not missed an Easter service since. In fact, I rarely miss a Sunday church service. Yes, I know I am a pastor but, when I travel or am on vacation, I find a church to visit. I go not so much out of a sense of duty but because, for me, church is a place where the presence of God can be realized. Like the ancient Irish Christians, I believe that church is a “thin place” where the separation between heaven and earth is not so great. And, although every Sunday service is, or should be, a celebration of the resurrection of Christ, Easter seems much more so. Somehow, the miracle of the Incarnation and the Resurrection is more keenly felt and appreciated.
In any event, it is my opinion that every Christian believer, unless prevented by sickness or dire circumstances, should be in worship on Easter morning. It is a time to celebrate but it is also a time to start over, to renew spiritual vows and commitment, to let the past be the past, and embrace the grace, love, and mercy that is found in a relationship with God through Christ. It is a time for the fallen, for the neglectful, and for the wanderer to come home. It is a time to forgive and to be forgiven. It is a time to realize that nothing—nothing—is impossible with God.