Friday, May 31, 2013

D.O.K. Refresher Course

St. Thomas' Episcopal Church's Chapter of the D.O.K. has invited St. Alban's Chapter to attend a refresher course on the D.O.K. The course will be held on Saturday, June 1, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church, 3706 Bon Aire Drive in Monroe. 

The class will the led by Archdeacon Bette J.Kauffman, Ph.D. All members of the Daughters of the King are welcome to attend!

Note: Our regular D.O.K. Meetings will resume in September, but please send prayer requests or changes to Bobbie until then.

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Camp Hardtner Tradition

Father Whit is at Camp Hardtner this week for Training Camp! Hardtner is a great tradition in this Diocese and St Alban's!

Pictured are our own Ford Jacka - Permanent Staff 1980 - sitting next to Zonnie Paterson Back. Serving on staff this year is George Flynn. Ford and Zonnie will join Father Whit at Primary Camp!

Like I said, Hardther is a tradition. Just ask Steve and Laura Flynn , Elena, Wesley, Emma Jane, Keith, Zoe, Ivania, Tracy, Thomas or Will (and lots more, I'm sure - sorry if I forgot you...)!

For more info, visit

Friday, May 24, 2013

Holy Eucharist at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church

We will celebrate Holy Eucharist at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. - joining the folks there while Father Whit is away at Camp Hardtner.

The Rev'd Dawnell Stodghill will celebrate and preach as the Church commemorates the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Collect of the Day: Father in heaven, by your grace the virgin mother of your incarnate Son was blessed in bearing him, but still more blessed in keeping your word: Grant us who honor the exaltation of her lowliness to follow the example of her devotion to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Memorial Day

The Prayer for Heroic Service from The Book of Common Prayer, page 839, No. 6:
O Judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy. Grant that we may not rest until all the people of this land share the benefits of true freedom and gladly accept its disciplines. This we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.
Have a safe Memorial Day Weekend and remember to give thanks for those who serve and served.

Please note that the church office will be closed on Memorial Day. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Trinity Sunday

There is an icon that hangs in the church's office that Father Walker left at St. Alban's. I've often looked at it and studied it - wondering what it represented. It shows three winged figures gathered at table around a chalice. I imagined it was an icon representing the Eucharist - until I did some research.

It turns out that the icon represents the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity is the Church's ancient, wonderful and mysterious belief that we worship one God who is made known to us as Father (creator), Son (redeemer) and Holy Spirit (sanctifier). One God - not three. Three persons - or ways made manifest, yet one God. God is like a community!

This belief - like our icon - is mysterious and strains our imagination. Come celebrate this mystery with us this Sunday, May 26, 2013, The First Sunday after Pentecost: Trinity Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. with Holy Eucharist. Join us for Christian Education classes at 9:15 a.m. and stay for coffee and fellowship - we too are a community and there is nothing mysterious about that! Or is there?


Dear Friends,

News of the devastation in Oklahoma is still coming in. The loss of life, the suffering, the mourning, and the destruction of property break my heart and grieve my soul. My prayers continue to ascend for all those affected, and I ask you to join me in those prayers.

I contacted Bruce and Susan MacPherson, and they assured me that they are safe and well.

At times like this some understandably wonder how a loving God could allow such misery. Others--misguided in their thinking--point a finger at those suffering loss and insist that God has visited just punishment upon them. What slander against God! Just look at the Cross. There we see God immersed in our darkest moments by his own choosing and for the sake of our redemption and healing.

Our universe is infinitely complex. Chaos theory teaches us that hurricanes (and tornadoes) arise in America from the fluttering of a butterfly's wings in China. We sort through this infinite sea of data with finite, fallible minds. We cannot fully grasp why such tragic things happen. However, we can know that God has promised to redeem all things. Even the bleakest, most shattered of things. And there lies our hope and from there we draw our strength to do whatever good we can do.

Among the goods we can do is prayer. Here is a prayer from Evening Prayer and Compline that I share with you for the people of Oklahoma tonight:

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.

Please pass along these words to your flocks as you see fit. Thank you for the loving leadership you provide in such difficult times.

In Christ's Love,

The Rt. Rev. Jacob W. Owensby, PhD, DD

The Diocese of Western Louisiana
P. O. Box 2031
Alexandria, Louisiana 71309-2031

Further words from the Bishop...

Our neighbors in Oklahoma are reeling from the devastation wrought by yesterday's tornado. First responders are only just beginning the hard work of helping them recover. For now, those on site ask that we stay away so that those first responders can do what they do so well.
In the meantime, there is still much that we can do. As I mentioned in this morning's email, continue to pray. If you would like to send a financial donation, write a check to The Diocese of Oklahoma and add "Tornado Relief" to the memo line. Here is an address:
Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma, 924 N. Robinson, Oklahoma City, OK 73102
I am in discussion with Mtr. Mitzi George (Coordinator for Disaster Relief) and Archdeacon Bette Kaufmann about a diocesan mission trip in July or later. This will allow time for the first responders to do what they need to do and time for us to coordinate with the Diocese of Oklahoma. Look for more information soon.
In addition to our own mission trip, volunteer opportunities are made available for disaster work by Episcopal Relief and Development. While it is too early to expect coordinated efforts today, here is the link you can use to find volunteer opportunities: ERD Volunteer Opportunities.
Bishop Ed Konieczny of Oklahoma reports that they have what they need in the present. But we also know that this will be a long recovery project. I know that I speak for all of us when I say to him that they are not alone.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Conversation with Bishop Jake

Be on the look for this new series from Bishop Jake. I will post these each time they become available.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Day of Pentecost

Sunday, May 19, is The Day of Pentecost: Whitsunday. It is the day that we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church. St. Aban's will celebrate Pentecost with Holy Eucharist at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Join us also for Adult Education Class or Sunday School at 9:15 a.m. Be sure to wear red to show your Pentecost Spirit!

The collect for the day sums it up nicely...
Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Note: Photo is of a frontal at Wells Cathedral. Their website is here.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

This Sunday, May 12, 2013 is Mother's Day. May we all give thanks for our mothers with this prayer... Loving God, as a mother gives life and nourishment to her children, so you watch over your Church. Bless these women, that they may be strengthened as Christian mothers. Let the example of their faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, their sons and daughters, may honor them always with a spirit of profound respect. Grant this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

ULM Graduation

The University of Louisiana at Monroe held its commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 11 at 10:00 a.m. Somewhere in this crowd are St. Alban's Stephanie and Andrew! Congratulations!

Our Archdeacon, Bette Jo Kauffman was the event's announcer. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Pilgrimage to Iona

[Episcopal News Service] The ancient Celts described Iona as a “thin place,” where the veil between heaven and earth is lifted, and where one might glimpse the divine.

 For centuries pilgrims have traveled to this small island off the West coast of Scotland, leaving behind their chaotic lives to rest, reflect and walk in the footsteps of St. Columba, the Irish missionary who founded a monastery on Iona in 563 AD. 

 Columba was forced into exile allegedly following a dispute concerning the ownership of a psalter he’d copied in his home county of Donegal. His subsequent missionary work is credited with the spread of Christianity throughout the British Isles. 

 May 2013 marks the 1,450th anniversary of Columba’s arrival on Iona. His feast day is celebrated on June 9 throughout the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.

The full ENS article is here.

Ascension Day Holy Eucharist

St. Alban’s will celebrate Holy Eucharist on Ascension Day at 6:00 p.m., Thursday May 9, 2013. The folks from St. Thomas’ will join us. 

Ascension Day marks the end of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances and comes forty days after Easter. Hope to see you there...

Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Taste of Hardtner - May 24-26, 2013

The evening of May 24 will officially kick off our first ever Taste of Hardtner. Help us start the summer off right by joining the party. 

There are several options for family, parish, and individual involvement. Weekend packages are available in limited quantities that include lodging for 2 nights, 3 meals on Saturday, and breakfast on Sunday. The cost is $60 per person for lodging in cabins, and $90 per person for lodging in the Holy Day Inn. Contact Mandy in the office at 318.765.3794 or at to make reservations. You may also purchase just the meals you wish to eat. Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday is $7 per plate and lunch and supper on Saturday are each $10 per plate. Please let us know if you will be attending so we may prepare for everyone's lodging and meal needs.

Our Taste of Hardtner will begin with a 6:30 a.m. trail run along our newly marked trails. The overall winner will be awarded a free weekend at Hardtner to participate in any of our retreats or conferences during 2013. As part of the Taste of Hardtner event, we are also looking for teams of 4 members each to compete in the Jambalaya Cook-off. Each team must provide everything they need for the competition. After the judging, everyone will then enjoy jambalaya as the main dish for lunch.

While the jambalaya is cooking the 2013 Permanent Staff will have many activity areas open all around camp. Our guests are free to roam to and from any activities they wish to experience. We will have fun jumps, hikes, arts and crafts, music, games, canoeing, swimming, and plenty of time to relax and enjoy fellowship. Following lunch we will begin the Parish Field Games. Each church parish or mission is invited to assemble teams of 6 individuals to compete in the afternoon field games. We will finish up the afternoon with some live music! If you or anyone you know would like some stage time to share your musical talents, let us know in the office.

Following our evening meal together at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, we will offer a child-appropriate movie with supervision in Hargrove House while the adults can gather in MacPherson Hall.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Thoughts from Bishop Jake

This is the first installment of the bi-monthly e-newsletter. Very soon my words to you will include a brief video chat (around three minutes). This month we will have two separate filming sessions for that purpose.

In the meantime, click the following link for an audio sermon on our friendship in Christ: Friendship, as it turns out, is central to the vitality of our congregations. (The text is found at my blog Pelican Anglican. The link is beneath my signature below.)

In my reading about congregational vitality, I have come across two interesting short pieces on the web and shared them recently on Facebook (hint: friend me on FB). 

The first of these is entitled "Autopsy of a Deceased Church" and, among other things, underscores the importance of a congregation's involvement in the surrounding community. You can read it by clicking this link:

The second piece on congregational vitality comes to us from the Diocese of Connecticut. It contains a list of 101 things to do to thrive as a congregation. Among them: pray more, meet a need, help a kid, worry less, play, and laugh. Check out the whole list (It's a quick read.) by clicking this link:

Continued Eastertide blessings......

In Christ's Love,

The Rt. Rev. Jacob W. Owensby, Ph.D., D.D.
P. O. Box 2031, Alexandria, LA 71309-2031

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Church Publishing's eBookshelf

Church Publishing now has an eBookshelf. The Book of Common Prayer, Hymnal 1982 and many other titles are available. Check it out here or by clicking the image above..

Hoppin' John

St. Alban's team is down at the Refuge of Hope on a rainy day serving Hoppin' John, salad and cornbread! That will warm you up and stick to your ribs.

Join our team anytime and learn about this important ministry...