Aardvark Alley

Lutheran Aardvark

Confessional Lutheran theology, hagiography, philosophy, music, culture, sports, education, and whatever else is on the fevered mind of Orycteropus Afer

17 August 2005
  Sanctorial Resources
"Holy information, Batman!"

Commenting on the previous post, the Terrible Swede wondered whence comes all this information regarding biographies, collects, lections, and the like.

I get most of my reminders from my monthly church calendar. That's because when I put it together, I plug in the month's feasts and commemorations, national holidays, and the like. My initial resource is pretty low tech: I scan the Lutheran Pastor's Desk Diary, an annual gift to rostered Lutheran clergy from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. It only has some of the basics, so from there, I go to the LCMS Commission on Worship, which includes among its resources a Lectionary which is being reworked for our upcoming new hymnal. This links to the Church Year Calendar with biographies and related resources.

Another source of hagiography (writing about the saints) comes courtesy of Mr. James Kiefer. An Episcopal layman, Mr. Kiefer maintains an online site devoted to Christian Biographies and distributes them through an email list to which you can subscribe.

Once I have a name and date, I also use the Christian Cyclopedia, an online version of the classic LCMS reference book. Wikipedia remains a regular resource, although I often fact-check their articles and occasionally log in to either expand or correct an entry. I regularly use Google, fine-tuning my queries through its advanced search capabilities. There are also some Roman Catholic and Orthodox sites which also have sanctorial calendars, biographies, and the like.

Each day, I check my email for a BIO reminder from Mr. Kiefer and glance at the church calendar. If there's someone mentioned who I wish to honor, I either copy existing info from the biographies I include with the calendar or else follow the steps above, then put everything together.

Writing about these resources brings to mind a recently posted response at Ask the Pastor. It deals with Lutherans using available technology to talk theology and share the Gospel. As I consider the Lutheran blogosphere, I hope that we do more than just talk (and argue) but that, as Xrysostom notes, we use our blogs to "follow the apostle's example of being 'all things to all people' in order that, through us, Christ 'might save some.' (1 Cor 9:22)"
 
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