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RE: [liturgy-l] Re: National Flag in a Church

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  • Mar Michael
    Well, churches in Texas were still using German on their baptismal certificates in the 1950 s. I do not know what language the service was actually in. Shalom
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 1, 2008
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      Well, churches in Texas were still using German on their baptismal
      certificates in the 1950's. I do not know what language the service was
      actually in.



      Shalom b'Yeshua haMoshiach,



      +Michael Joe Thannisch



      _____

      From: liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com [mailto:liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
      Of Kyle Schiefelbein
      Sent: 01 July 2008 11:08
      To: liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [liturgy-l] Re: National Flag in a Church



      It has been my understanding that American flags made their way into
      sanctuaries around World War I, especially for Lutheran congregations
      trying to "prove" their allegiance to the United States and not their
      European homelands. This was also the reason many congregations began
      to use English as their primary liturgical language. Frank might have
      a better handle on this.

      Blessings,
      Kyle

      --- In liturgy-l@yahoogrou <mailto:liturgy-l%40yahoogroups.com> ps.com,
      Pastor Mike <newlifepca@...> wrote:
      >
      > Fr. Lyons,
      > You raise a very interesting thought, which seems to me to be a
      valuable point of discussion on this list: A national flag in the Nave
      or Sanctuary.
      > I was looked at as almost traiterous for asking that the American
      Flag be placed somewhere else (like off in the parish hall) at my
      first church [funny thing, though, when it came to weddings, they
      immediately removed the flag!!!! Now, what non-verbal message does
      *that* send, eh?!]. Yet I have seen Lutheran, Anglican, Baptist
      churches (etc) all display it right up front next to their
      denominational flag or 'Christian' flag.
      > I'd be interested to hear other thoughts & rationale on the subject,
      both ways, & from folk from other countries.
      > The Rev'd Dr. Michael Philliber, TSgt USAF (Ret. 1999)
      > Pastor
      > Providence Presbyterian Church (PCA)
      > Midland Texas
      > For the Wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life
      in Jesus Christ our Lord.
      >
      >





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Tom Poelker
      Dwight, I do not think that any of us need to apologize for the length of our posts. All are free to read or skim or skip as they choose, and some of us just
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 1, 2008
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        Dwight,
        I do not think that any of us need to apologize for the length of our
        posts. All are free to read or skim or skip as they choose, and some of
        us just need more words to explain what we have in mind or too little
        time to compose a briefer note.

        On the other hand, I probably should apologize more often for ranting.
        Mea culpa, please forgive me, all.

        Secular holidays, whether for purposes of greeting card sales or as part
        of civil religion patriotism, are useful to the preacher as hooks to
        where people likely already have their attention. Days focused on
        national heritage or militarism can be occasions for reflection on what
        the Gospel teaches on these subjects. Prayers for wisdom and morality
        among citizens, voters, politicians, public safety officers, and defense
        force members seem in order when these people are the focus of public
        attention as they are for mothers and fathers on those Sundays which
        reinforce some elements of the fourth commandment.

        Particularly we need to preach to those who seem to be unable to
        prioritize their faith over their patriotism, justice over strength,
        love of neighbor over capitalism, and other such failures to have faith
        permeate a Christian's entire life. So, acknowledge the holiday, and
        preach Christ not nationalism.

        Re flags, US RCs have particular problems:
        their heritage of immigration into a nation which saw itself as
        Protestant and
        their school system.

        It is hard to imagine an RC parish with a school not having a Flag on
        the grounds.

        Flags came into RC churches in the eras when Protestants and Other
        Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and other such
        groups questioned the patriotism of RCs because of their submission to
        the pope, sovereign of another nation. Ignorance abounds on flags.
        Many RCs don't understand that the banner they display is not of their
        church but of the Vatican City-State. [consider yourselves spared her
        of lengthy rant on confusion of papal roles and authority]

        The current American bishops' conference advice on national flags is
        that they are appropriate in parish halls or in vestibules, particularly
        in association with plaques commemorating parish members lost in war.
        They do not belong in the worship space itself and certainly not in the
        sanctuary. I suspect this is still honored more in the breach than in
        practice. Pastors have a tendency to avoid confrontations over what
        pastors consider to be minor matters.

        Tom Poelker
        St. Louis, Missouri
        USA
        -- When you were born, you were crying
        and everyone around you was smiling.
        -- Live your life so at the end,
        you're the one who is smiling and
        everyone around you is crying.



        DJP4LAW@... wrote:

        >
        > I personally accept no second place to anyone when it comes to disdain
        > for formalistic displays of "patriotism" -- and no more so than in
        > church. I totally agree that we are citizens of heave and that our
        > "allegiance" is to the One Lord, not to a flag or a President or a
        > country (which is a social construct, not a "reality").
        >
        > At the same time (and here I may betray a subconscious Lutheranism
        > that I am often accused of trying to leave behind), it seems to be
        > most appropriate to pray for all of creation -- in thanksgiving for
        > and for vindication of what is good, for amendment and redemption of
        > what is not. So I pray for clement weather, thanking God for beautiful
        > days (though I've never done so in a Sunday liturgy, others have and I
        > have not been repulsed), and I pray for the amelioration of "natural
        > disasters" (which is a common issue in Sunday prayers at our place).
        > Just so, for the blessings of liberty, I think it appropriate to give
        > thanks; for the ability of governments to meld the efforts of many
        > into a commonweal. And just so, it is appropriate to pray for the
        > repentance of all in power that they use their powers in ways
        > consonant with the will of God.
        >
        > The key, for me, is to allow the liturgical heritage of the Church to
        > lead us. The secular calendar will most often be put to good use by
        > being ignored: We have a Father's Day, we have a Mother's Day, we have
        > a day for prayers for our particular government (on the Sunday when
        > the Gospel text is "render to Ceasar" -- the chief point of which
        > lection seems to be that ultimately NOTHING belongs to Caesar).
        >
        > And on the issue of how flags relate to this: They don't belong
        > anywhere near a Christian church building, longstanding tradition
        > notwithstanding. They are symbols of division -- of human-designed
        > divisions that will ultimately be overcome. In Christ there is no
        > American or Briton or Zimbabwean, and neither are there flags.
        >
        > With apologies for the length of this rant, I offer you
        >
        > Peace
        > Dwight Penas
        > Minneapolis
        > ____________________________
        > We are an Easter people, and alleluia is our song. -- Augustine of Hippo
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Father Robert Lyons, SST <fatherroblyons@...
        > <mailto:fatherroblyons%40gmail.com>>
        > To: liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com <mailto:liturgy-l%40yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Tue, 1 Jul 2008 8:28 am
        > Subject: [liturgy-l] National Flag in a Church (Re: 4 July prayer)
        >
        > --- In liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com <mailto:liturgy-l%40yahoogroups.com>,
        > Pastor Mike <newlifepca@...> wrote:
        >
        > >
        >
        > > Fr. Lyons,
        >
        > > You raise a very interesting thought, which seems to me to be a
        >
        > valuable point of discussion on this list: A national flag in the
        >
        > Nave or Sanctuary.
        >
        > > I was looked at as almost traiterous for asking that the American
        >
        > Flag be placed somewhere else (like off in the parish hall) at my
        >
        > first church [funny thing, though, when it came to weddings, they
        >
        > immediately removed the flag!!!! Now, what non-verbal message does
        >
        > *that* send, eh?!]. Yet I have seen Lutheran, Anglican, Baptist
        >
        > churches (etc) all display it right up front next to their
        >
        > denominational flag or 'Christian' flag.
        >
        > > I'd be interested to hear other thoughts & rationale on the
        >
        > subject, both ways, & from folk from other countries.<<
        >
        > Pastor Mike,
        >
        > I have gotten to the point where I will pretty much refuse to enter
        >
        > a Church that is flying an American flag above a 'Christian' flag.
        >
        > Talk about a silent message about where your loyalties predominately
        >
        > lay.
        >
        > I visited a parish this past Sunday that had a very well hidden
        >
        > American flag inside the sanctuary area. It was shoved off into a
        >
        > corner and covered - mostly - by a fake ficus... but not well
        >
        > enough. I noticed it as I rose for the final hymn. Talk about your
        >
        > immediate and complete kicks in the stomach.
        >
        > I simply cannot stomach the concept of divided loyalties in the
        >
        > Church, or cowtowing to the State as the Church does far too often
        >
        > these days. For me there is no strong reason to liturgically
        >
        > commemorate national days, and it only serves to further divide the
        >
        > human family on the basis of nationalist pride instead of uniting in
        >
        > in the blood of Christ Jesus.
        >
        > Likewise, when in public, I refuse to salute the flag, stand for a
        >
        > national anthem, etc. I will not bear a false witness (of a pop-
        >
        > liturgical nature) to a reality that, for me, does not exist. I've
        >
        > almost entirely stopped going to sporting events just to avoid
        >
        > having to be put in said position.
        >
        > Rob+
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Kyle Schiefelbein
        It has been my understanding that American flags made their way into sanctuaries around World War I, especially for Lutheran congregations trying to prove
        Message 3 of 7 , Jul 1, 2008
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          It has been my understanding that American flags made their way into
          sanctuaries around World War I, especially for Lutheran congregations
          trying to "prove" their allegiance to the United States and not their
          European homelands. This was also the reason many congregations began
          to use English as their primary liturgical language. Frank might have
          a better handle on this.

          Blessings,
          Kyle


          --- In liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com, Pastor Mike <newlifepca@...> wrote:
          >
          > Fr. Lyons,
          > You raise a very interesting thought, which seems to me to be a
          valuable point of discussion on this list: A national flag in the Nave
          or Sanctuary.
          > I was looked at as almost traiterous for asking that the American
          Flag be placed somewhere else (like off in the parish hall) at my
          first church [funny thing, though, when it came to weddings, they
          immediately removed the flag!!!! Now, what non-verbal message does
          *that* send, eh?!]. Yet I have seen Lutheran, Anglican, Baptist
          churches (etc) all display it right up front next to their
          denominational flag or 'Christian' flag.
          > I'd be interested to hear other thoughts & rationale on the subject,
          both ways, & from folk from other countries.
          > The Rev'd Dr. Michael Philliber, TSgt USAF (Ret. 1999)
          > Pastor
          > Providence Presbyterian Church (PCA)
          > Midland Texas
          > For the Wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life
          in Jesus Christ our Lord.
          >
          >
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