Occasional thoughts of an Anglican Episcopal priest

About Eric

The first name of this blog was Cad ar a bhfuilim ag smaoineamh ar maidin? – Irish meaning “What am I thinking about this morning?”

This blog started as a record of many things, but during the summer and early fall of 2011 it was the record of my sabbatical in Scotland, England, and Ireland.

I am the Rev. Dr. Charles Eric Funston, a retired priest of the Episcopal Church, having last served as rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Medina, Ohio, which I left at the end of 2018. I was ordained a priest on June 21, 1991. I served two years as Assistant Rector of Christ Church Episcopal, Las Vegas, Nevada, and was then Rector of St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church, Stilwell, Kansas. On June 1, 2003, I became Rector of St. Paul’s Parish. After 20 years in parish ministry, I took my first sabbatical.

In a nutshell, here’s what I did ….

First, I traveled. For two weeks, July 1 through 14, I visited important monastic, Celtic, pre-Roman, and Roman sites in Scotland, England, and Wales. Then for two months, I was in Ireland, July 14 through September 15. Part of my time there was spent in residence in County Galway studying the Irish language. Then I rented a cottage on a cattle farm in County Offaly simply enjoying life and getting to better know my adult children who each came to spend a week with me. During all of that time, I visited various locations in Éire – monastic foundations, churches, museums, etc.

Second, I was studying. I was a student at Árus Mháirtín Uí Chadhain, An Cheathrú Rua, Chontae na Gaillimhe (the National University of Ireland’s Irish Language Centre, Carraroe, Co. Galway). This was my second summer course there (the first was the beginner’s course in Irish in 2008); I took the intermediate level course and the thing I learned most was that I have a lot more to learn!

Third, I tried my hand at translating hymn texts and arranging music.

Fourth, I spent quality time with family. As I wrote above, I arranged to rent a cottage outside of Banagher, County Offaly, and to have invited my adult children and their partners to join me each for a week. My daughter Caitlin and her boyfriend Jeff joined me first, then my son Patrick and his wife Michael. When they were with me, my travels were dictated by their desires. I thought I might end up visiting some places more than once, and I did. But their interests are so varied that there wasn’t a lot of duplication.

This blog detailed those activities.

Then it morphed into a daily meditation site. Following the Daily Office Lectionary of the Episcopal Church, I read both Morning and Evening Prayer every day and, as I read the lessons, I offered here some thoughts about a few verses from one or another of them, or from the Psalms for the day. There was no rhyme or reason, nor any intentional pattern to what I wrote here. It just depended on what strikes my fancy.

And now it has become a spot where I just share things . . . whenever. I have put several of my Sunday sermons here and, now that I am no longer preaching on a regular basis, I am occasional posting meditations about what I might have preached had I a pulpit to fill on a Sunday morning. If I write a verse or two of poetry, I may put that here. If I write a short story or a random thought or a deeply insightful essay, those may end up here, as well. It’s just a place to hang some stuff that doesn’t have anywhere else to be.

And I’ve changed the blog’s name. It is now called, That Which We Have Heard & Known. That is a quotation from Psalm 78, verse 3: “That which we have heard and known, and what our forefathers have told us, we will not hide from their children.” I chose that title, not because I think I offer anything of eternal value, but because these bits of whatever are, I think, things we’ve all heard and known at one time or another, but about which we don’t give much thought. So here am I doing just that and hoping it will be of use to someone else, as it is to me.


  1. The Rev A Patrick K Funston

    I look forward to following your travels. Thank you for keeping a blog.

    And for taking time off.

  2. Jim Ault

    Dear Rev. Funston,

    Given your thoughtful blog that came across my computer, I thought you might find useful my documentary film piece on Latino & Multicultural ministry in the ECUSA, including initiatives in Las Vegas and the “new community” gathering in San Diego last March. It’s online at: http://www.vimeo.com/44067510

    Carry on your good work!

    All the best,

    Jim Ault

  3. Jake Frost

    I wrote a poem about St. Brendan and am self-publishing a book of my poetry, and would like to include illustrations. I wonder if I could have permission to use your photograph of St. Brendan’s grave? Thank you for your consideration.

  4. eric

    Thank you for asking. I have sent you the photo and two others.

  5. David Crampton

    I appreciated your sermon at Trinity this morning. Thank you for stepping in. These are challenging times and we benefit from Jesus’ teachings as we try to make sense of what to do.

  6. eric

    Thanks, David. Sorry I didn’t see this comment earlier (I sort of don’t keep this blog up very often…)

  7. Richard K. Best

    I note your comments some time ago in Desperate Preacher re Luke’s beatitudes and your sermon “Sighs of Sincere Sadness.” I’m an occasional preacher filling in for my pastor on 2/13/22 while he is on renewal leave (United Methodist Church) and would like to read it. You reference http://thefunstons.com/sermons/c021101.html, but that doesn’t seem to work for me. Is it possible you could send it to me? Thanks.

  8. eric

    I’m sorry to say that sermon seems to be lost forever.

  9. Mark Frensdorff'

    I read your piece tonight on “The Dream” tonight by Wesley Frensdorff when you were Rector with St. Paul’s.
    As I sit tonight remembering his death 34 years ago I appreciate your insight and the impact I know he had on many. It’s fantastic to see that “The Dream” lives on.
    Sincerely – Mark Frensdorff – his youngest son

  10. eric

    Thank you, Mark! Your note brought tears to my eyes and so many memories to my thoughts. I loved your dad, as did my wife Evelyn (whom you may remember as Evelyn Walther, a counselor at Galilee in 1975 and director in 1979). Wes presided at our wedding at Christ Church, Las Vegas, in 1980. Blessings to you and your family, Eric

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