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March 11, 2011

Religious Questions and More

by Rev. A. J. Iovine

Now to answer a block of unanswered questions tossed my way over the past week:

1. Will I buy an iPad 2? No. The iPad Classic (my term for the first generation iPad) is working just fine. I do not play a lot of games on the thing and use it basically for reading, light writing, watching videos (that I now AirPlay to my Apple TV), organizing my business life, and studying. Each of those does not require an upgrade.

2. Are you tempted to buy the new one? Whenever Apple introduces a new product, I am always tempted to upgrade.

3. A couple of weeks ago, I read in “Saint Matthew’s Matters” about moving our church service to 9:30am on Sunday morning? Is this true? Moving to 9:30am has been an issue that has been bubbling under the surface for a couple of months now for various reasons. Personally, I would love to do a number of things with our Sunday morning schedule like: re-establishing our church’s former Sunday schedule – having 8:00am and 11:00am Divine Services; moving Sunday School and Confirmation class to 10:00am; moving ‘The Coffee Hour’ to 10:00am; establishing a Sunday morning Bible Class at 9:00am. This is not my decision; it belong to the Voters’ Body. And no, we’re not moving to 9:30am during Lent. But we will move to 9:30am starting June 5th – the official start of Saint Matthew’s Summer schedule.

4. Is Ash Wednesday a mandatory church attendance day? I honestly dislike this question – whenever anyone asks me if they “have” to go to church, what do they expect a pastor to say? “Oh, no, you don’t have to come to church. Stay home. Drink a beer. Watch ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ Answer email. Why would you, a child of God, want to go to church in the first place? Who cares about that forgiveness thing or spending even the shortest time with God in His house? I mean, spending a whole 60 minutes in church on a Wednesday night? Sixty. Whole. Minutes.”

5. Have you given anything up for Lent? Last year, I denied myself television. It was hard, especially because last spring the final episodes of “24” were being aired. I spent a lot of time reading and studying and actually talking with people. This year, I have decided not to deny myself anything. So last night, I watched the Nashville Predators game on NHL Center Ice on DirecTV.

6. Can I bring my bible to church? Of course, you can bring your bible to church. We use the English Standard Version in our worship services. But you are more than encouraged to bring your home bible to our worship service and follow along during our readings.

7. What’s this thing about you being sick? Yes, I am sick. Throat cancer. Gonna fight it with the help of some terrific doctors and a good God. I will be taking chemotherapy treatment (not radiation) to fight the cancer. During the coming weeks, I will be tired and sick and my throat will hurt. But I will keep plugging away, fighting through the bad feelings to be just as normal as ever.



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