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Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown !

30 November 2009

[Elder’s Note:  From the St. Matthew’s Messenger, Vol. 2, Issue 9 (Oct 25, 2009)] 

It seems that St. Matthew’s Westerville will be hosting a Charlie Brown Christmas Pageant this year:

“We’re at that time of year when it is easy to go into “the deer in the headlights” syndrome with all that lies ahead.  At St. Matthew’s preparations are being made for the Charlie Brown Christmas Pageant with its theme that the spirit of Christmas is Jesus Christ our Lord, not the consumerism unleashed on the Friday after Thanksgiving.”

The Rector of St. Matt’s-Westerville

A Charlie Brown Cubs Pez Dispenser: Certified 100% Consumerism-Free

Given Linus’ recitation of Luke 2:8-14, I actually appreciate that TV stations will still play the Peanuts Christmas Special around this time of year.  But while the centerpiece of the TV special is the Nativity Story, I can’t help but wonder if a Charlie Brown Christmas Pageant played within a church worship service isn’t really about Charlie Brown and the Peanuts Gang?

Also, ah (how shall I say this) exactly which part of Linus’ monologue isn’t already covered in the Christmas lectionary?

Regarding the players,  I loved the Peanuts comic as a kid, but really – is the comic as ‘hip’ today, as it was when I was a kid?  Even I can admit that my favorite comic back in the day, is probably outdated.  Good grief, Chuck – Schroeder playing Jazz Piano? 

Also, I guess I’d prefer my kid dressing up as a shepherd who doesn’t have any lines.  At the very least, they are challenged to think about what is happening in the text, rather than do what is often done, and try to make the text relevant to the Present  (as if it isn’t already).

Finally, do any of us really believe that there any Boomers or Gen-Xers who haven’t seen this thing at least five times??

As a side note, I notice that St. Matt’s-Westerville seems to have struck up an ecumenical relationship with Christ Church (Episcopal) of Binghamton, NY. 

As the enclosed letter (see page 3) from Christ Church in Binghamton demonstrates, usually we don’t know the impact of all we do. 

Rector, St. Matt’s

(Do read the whole thing).

Christ Church-Bing has had an interesting history with the Church of the Good Shepherd-Bing (the former parish of Fr. Matt Kennedy, of StandFirm fame, which broke off from the national church after they decided they had enough).  Fr. Kennedy relates some details of their latest court battle:

On the other side sat: the diocesan chancellor, the diocesan attorney, the rector from Christ Church Binghamton, and an embittered former member of Good Shepherd hoping to gloat. Christ Church rector, Fr. John Martinichio (formerly of the Roman Catholic Church) was present because should Good Shepherd “cease to exist” the $600,000.00 bequest given to Good Shepherd by a long time parishioner devolves to Christ Church. Christ Church has been trying to shut Good Shepherd down for over a decade to get at that bequest. This great task is presently made more difficult by the fact that the Diocese recognized by resolution two weeks ago at convention that Good Shepherd was no longer “in union” with the diocese. They did not declare us “extinct” like All Saints in Rochester. Essentially, they recognized that we continue to exist.

Fr. Matt Kennedy

..Interesting…

– Elder

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