1445 Clinton-Raymond Rd., Clinton, MS 39056, Phone:(601) 924-2261
The Reverend Robert M. Blanton
“I love the liturgical worship service, the beautiful combination of word and sacrament; that’s what drew me into ministry. By the grace of God, we come to worship every Sunday expecting to be changed; to be made new. It’s our whole understanding of the sacraments, the miraculous ways God works in our lives. It is God who changes us. We don’t get better on our own. God’s grace is a gift that is freely given. We don’t earn it. God’s love for us is unconditional and eternal.”
I grew up in Kingsport, Tennessee and have traveled a winding path on my journey to the Episcopal Church of the Creator. “I was baptized and raised a Roman Catholic (my mother was Catholic and my father was a Southern Baptist). I attended St. Dominic’s Catholic school through the eighth grade. I graduated with a BA in Psychology in 1967 from John Carroll, a Jesuit University in Cleveland, Ohio.“
After that, I spent spent 26 years in the secular realm. In a chronology of varied events, I joined the Peace Corps in Nepal; studied Architecture at the University of Tennessee; worked as a probation and parole officer; owned a design-build firm with offices in Knoxville, Tennessee and Charleston, South Carolina; and, served as Manager of Downtown and Waterfront Redevelopment for the City of Knoxville. My wife Joan and I have been married for 31 years and we have one son named Geoff who is engaged to be married to Skye Pierce on June 18, 2016.
I attended Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina, and graduated from there with a Masters in Divinity in 1997. I accepted a call to Trinity Lutheran Church in Jackson, that same year; and, now, I serve an Episcopal congregation. This was made possible by an “Agreement of Full Communion” reached in1999 between the Episcopal Church USA and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. This enables Episcopal Priests and Lutheran Pastors, with the permission of their Bishops, to serve congregations of the other’s denomination.
I was a founding board member of Lutheran Episcopal Services in Mississippi (LESM) in the winter of 2005, the product of an ecumenical adventure that became the first incorporated Lutheran and Episcopalian social ministry organization in the United States. With this organization, I participated extensively in Gulf Coast recovery following Hurricane Katrina.
Then, in the fall of 2012, I accepted a call as Priest-In-Charge at the Episcopal Church of the Creator. All worship services at the Church of the Creator follow the Book of Common Prayer, 1982 Edition; the Holy Eucharist is offered most Sundays; most of my sermons last ten to fifteen minutes.
“Ours is a death and resurrection faith. In our baptism into Christ’s body, we are free to die daily to what has us bound and to be born anew into the possibility of what God is calling us to be.” We are simultaneously saints and sinners. While we never fully recover from the brokenness of the culture we are raised in, we are saintly members of the body of Christ. We live in a creative tension between the two.
“Jesus is the Word of God; the Bible is the cradle to which we come searching for Jesus. As Christians, we view all scripture through the lens of Jesus. God’s grace trumps our interpretation of the Law at all times. We come to worship not for solace only, but for strength; not for pardon only, but for renewal.
We believe that God is physically present as we worship. We are not in charge, and worship is not about us. As we have prayed, contemplated, worshiped, and worked holding in our minds and hearts that Christ is a vital active presence in and among us, we have found that miracles have begun to happen.”