Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church


Clergy Corner

Brick By Brick

  • The Rev. Bob Dannals
  • Apr 27, 2017
  • Category: General
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In his book, "After Christendom," Stanley Hauerwas, retired professor of Duke Divinity School, suggests that being a Christian in the modern world is like learning to be a brick layer. It is not automatic or naturally ingrained, but rather it is a craft to be learned. He writes, "It is not sufficient for you to be told how to do it, but you must learn a multitude of skills that are coordinated into the activity of laying brick ... you must learn to mix the mortar, build scaffolds, joint, and so on. Moreover, it is not enough to be told how to hold a trowel, how to spread the mortar, or how to frog the mortar, but in order to lay brick you must hour after hour, day after day, lay brick."

As we at Holy Innocents' live into the transition of the interim, realizing the blessings of the past and aspirations for the future, Hauerwas's illustration seems close to home. Offering weekly worship opportunities, learning scripture, cultivating a life of prayer, coming alongside those who are sick and dying, shaping our young people, reaching out to the larger world are crafts we are still learning. To learn to imitate Christ is a journey of intentional apprenticeship and unending transformation.

Like learning to be a brick-layer, it requires us most of all "hour after hour, day after day" to apply ourselves to the craft of Christianity. That is what our liturgies, our classes and groups, and our many ministries offer to us at Holy Innocents'.

With brick-laying, of course, the ultimate fulfillment is the building which rises brick by brick so that others can find shelter and home and hospitality. It is so with us who in our discipleship are building, person by person, a community of the resurrection where all may find a home in the renewal of God.

Everyone is important. We need participants not spectators. We need givers not merely receivers. As we venture down the road together, I encourage each of you to learn and do your part in the craft of Christ and the beloved community. And to that end, we would like to hear from some fifty people who have yet to make a pledge of financial giving for 2017. If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. If you need a pledge card, we're glad to get one right to you, or you may make your offering on line.

This comes with a heart full of alleluias and gratitude during Easter season.

Bob Dannals

Please don't miss saying thank you and goodbye to the Rev. Joshua Case and his family next Sunday, May 7. Joshua will preach at all the morning services and we will have a reception for the Cases at 10am in the Commons.