What’s a Vicar? What’s a Priest-in-Charge?

Via AKMA, I ran across the following rant on the “emerging church” movement.

Stop using things like the Book of Common Prayer and candles and incense because you think they’re cool. At least go to an Episcopal service, or an Orthodox service, or a Roman Catholic service and actually learn a little bit about their liturgy before you start saying things like, “and now for an old Anglican prayer. ” It’s not just an old prayer! It’s the liturgy practiced by thousands of people all over the world – right now! The candles and incense? They mean something. It’s not just an aesthetic.

Ohhhhh… thank you. Thank you! I couldn’t agree more. It’s not a style choice. Incense is the physical and sensory representation of prayer, rising up to God. It’s not just Church Glade.

However, I bow to AKMA’s far greater scholarship and moderating influence, where I originally saw the link to the rant. I guess there can be ways to put new wine in old skins, or vice versa, without the result tasting like a spiritually uplifting salad dressing. In the meantime, no point in being too critical of doing things another way.

I’m wondering if some of these terms (emerging church and so on) will get tossed around when the new vicar arrives at Holy Moly. Also, he’ll be priest-in-charge – meaning that since he’s rector of the other parish and vicar of ours (we’re a mission), he’s responsible for running both.

He’s Father Ted Durst, as I can now announce (and need to get up on the church website), formerly of Trinity, Houghton MI. His first Sunday with us is the 15th of August, and dang it, I’ll be out of town. I hope to meet him sometime before then, but it looks doubtful.

Everyone that’s met him really likes him, and his views on traditional forms of worship seem pretty much in line with ours – but also, his views on other things seem pretty much in the more tolerant, moderate, even progressive line. So: yay.

I don’t know if he’ll come in and make sweeping changes and throw around a lot of the current “buzz” words, but he should know that our attempt at running a more modern, “twentysomething” evening worship service failed before… more from a lack of committment on all sides than anything else. It could have been really neat, and a good way to get younger people interested in a new way to “do church.” In any case, we’ll see if he’s willing to spend some time building things back up; from what I’ve been told, he will. It”ll be a relief to have a captain of our little boats again. I’m putting an ad in the Daily Harold’s Saturday religion page for the next couple of weeks, in the hopes that some new folks will be curious enough to come check us out.

And that’s a good thing. I love Holy Moly, even though I got horribly stuck on a project I was asked to help with and didn’t do a damn thing on it. Yet still I was forgiven – even welcomed back with open arms after playing hooky out of guilt for several weeks. End result: a fire has been lit under my ass for the next couple of projects, such as promoting the second Synergy Brass Quintet concert in October (whee!!! They were so cool last year!).

Last Sunday (the Day of Forgiveness, that is) was pretty wacky. Wacky church does not mean liturgical clowns doing spiritual nosebeeps: it means missed musical cues and the altar team muddling through a portion of the service with the wrong kind of music being played, and skipping a hymn, and people singing the next verse that the organist has decided to omit without telling us.


We had a guest organist who seemed very nice, but no one bothered to brief her beforehand as to the slightly altered order of worship we follow. However, she’s been briefed for next week, and another choir member and I will sit back with her and give her immoral support during the service. Our previous organist decided to give notice a few weeks ago for reasons of health, so we’ll be starting afresh. A permanent choice will be made by Fr Durst after he gets a chance to find his feet; until then, we’ve got several guest organists lined up. As I’ve said before, we rejoice in a funky kit-constructed pipe organ, so local organists seem to like booking practice time on it. Finding a quick replacement shouldn’t be difficult. Certainly not as long as finding Fr Durst; Marion and Barbara left us last year on August 10th, so it’s been almost exactly a year.

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One thought on “What’s a Vicar? What’s a Priest-in-Charge?

  1. Thank you so much for your hard work! We had a wonderful time performing last time around and are excited about coming back! Thank you so much for the support! It’s people like you that help us keep performing!

    Best wishes,