Tuesday, May 31, 2022

The Visitation

The Visitation

The Collect:

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.

After the angel Gabriel had announced to Mary that she was to become the mother of Our Lord, Mary went from Galilee to Judea to visit her kinswoman Elizabeth, soon to be the mother of John the Baptist. This visit is recorded in Luke 1:39-56. Elizabeth greeted Mary with the words, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb." Mary burst forth with the song of praise which we call the Magnificat, beginning, "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord." We are told that even John the Baptist, still unborn, leaped for joy in his mother's womb. Thus we are shown, side by side, the two women, one seemingly too old to have a child, but destined to bear the last prophet of the Old Covenant, of the age that was passing away; and the other woman, seemingly not ready to have a child, but destined to bear the One Who was the beginning of the New Covenant, the age that would not pass away.

It is this meeting that we celebrate today. *

* The Lectionary, James Kiefer, http://thelectionary.org/Visitation.htm

Monday, May 30, 2022

The Church


The Church

Luckily, the stories of my demise have been greatly exaggerated! ūüėä

I woke up yesterday morning - The Seventh Sunday of Easter: The Sunday after the Ascension with a sinus headache - just above my right eye - not too bad. So, off to church. I got all set up - everything ready to go, but the headache was getting worse, and I was more, and more nauseated. I really wasn’t  sure I could make it through the Eucharist. What to do? Too late to call for help or let everyone know.

So I put up signs on the doors with my apologies to all and canceled the day’s liturgies. I let the vestry know. 

I went home to a very disoriented dog and concerned daughter, took some medicine and crawled in bed and went to sleep. When I woke at lunch - all better - no headache - no upset tummy. 

The best medicine of all came when I grabbed my phone. All the vestry had checked in and there were many, many texts from church members making sure I was okay. Best of all - I found a  text telling me that a group of the faithful - led by Chris Eby - using the “secret” key - opened the doors, and held Morning Prayer at 10:30. I honestly cannot tell you how thankful and happy that made me feel.

The Church is the Church because it is all of us. We are more together than we are separately. We are the Body of Christ. Yesterday we showed it. 

Thank you!






Whit+

Memorial Day


Memorial Day

On this Memorial Day, we pray “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,  and remember to give thanks for those who served by giving their lives for others. 

We hope to see you in church next Sunday for The Day of Pentecost - remember to wear red!

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

Saturday, May 28, 2022

The Seventh Sunday of Easter: The Sunday after Ascension Day


Sunday, May 29, 2022

Join us for “at church” or “virtually” for worship this Sunday, May 29, The Seventh Sunday of Easter: The Sunday after Ascension Day, and Memorial Day Weekend at St. Alban’s, St. Thomas’, St. Patrick’s, and Iglesia Episcopal La Esperanza de Familias Unidas. 

Holy Eucharist, Rite Two
St. Alban’s  - 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.* 
St. Thomas' on the Bayou - 10:00 a.m.* 
St. Patrick’s – 11:00 a.m.*

* These liturgies will be Live-Streamed on Facebook for those who choose to remain at home. Download a pdf of the leaflet to print or to use on your phone or tablet with this link - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wa3Ndk9v2UawvBlycX0GUPPW-dfoRe11/view?usp=sharing   

La Santa Eucaristía: Rito Dos
Iglesia Episcopal La Esperanza de Familias Unidas – Domingo - 5:00 p.m. (transmitido en Facebook) 
             
Zoom Compline - All Welcome 
Sunday -  8:00 p.m. 
 
Meeting ID: 838 6168 8528
Passcode: 800
or dial in at  +1 312 626 6799 or +1 346 248 7799

We hope to “see” you all on Sunday as you are most comfortable!

Rita+, Rob+ and Whit+

Art from Clip Art, Steve Erspamer, Liturgy Training Publications – ltp.org

Reason to Believe


“People are going to come looking for Jesus. And all they’re going to get is you.” It’s up to us to give people a reason to believe. It’s up to us to love like Jesus teaches us to.

Bishop Jake Owensby, quoting one of his seminary professors. See https://jakeowensby.com/2022/05/27/reason-to-believe/

Friday, May 27, 2022

The Day After


Jesus’s first followers must have felt scared, alone, and on their own after Jesus’s ascension. They were not, and neither are we. Remember that!













Thursday, May 26, 2022

Ascension Day


Ascension Day

Today is Ascension Day. We remember that the risen Christ is taken into heaven after appearing to his followers for forty days (Acts 1:1-11, Mk 16:19). The Ascension marks the conclusion of Jesus' post-resurrection appearances. It is the final elevation of his human nature to divine glory and the near presence of God.

Join a group of  us tonight for 
Ascension Day Zoom Evening Prayer
Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
 
Join our Ascension Day Zoom Evening Prayer at this link:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86781577595?pwd=VjNnZTZnUFFadkJPc3VOVTh3K21Idz09
 
Meeting ID: 867 8157 7595
Passcode: 530
Dial by your location +1 312 626 6799 or  +1 346 248 7799

The Collect:

Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that, according to his promise, he abides with his Church on earth, even to the end of the ages; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Acts 1:1-11

In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Bede

Today's saint is Bede, Priest and Historian, 735

Join us today, Wednesday, May 25  to learn more about the Venerable Bede at St. Alban's for Holy Eucharist today at 12:10 p.m. or join all our Monroe Episcopal churches tonight for 

Zoom Evening Prayer & Video Study - 5:30 p.m. with Father Whit+

Zoom Evening Prayer

Meeting ID: 867 8157 7595
Passcode: 530
Dial by your location +1 312 626 6799 or +1 346 248 779

Bede, Priest and Historian, 735

The Collect:

Almighty God, who has enriched your Church with the learning and holiness of your servant Bede: Grant us to find in Scripture and disciplined prayer the image of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and to fashion our lives according to his likeness, to the glory of your great Name and the benefit of your holy church; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

At the age of seven, Bede’s parents brought him to the nearby monastery at Jarrow (near Durham in northeast England) for his education. There, as he later wrote, “spending all the remaining time of my life . . . I wholly applied myself to the study of Scripture, and amidst the observance of regular discipline, and the daily care of singing in the church, I always took delight in learning, teaching, and Writing.”


Bede was ordained deacon at nineteen, and presbyter at thirty. He died on the eve of the Ascension in 735 while dictating a vernacular translation of the Gospel According to John. About 1020, his body was removed to Durham and placed in the Galilee, the Lady Chapel at the west end of the Cathedral nave.


Bede was the greatest scholar of his time in the Western Church. He wrote commentaries on the Scriptures based on patristic interpretations. His treatise on chronology was standard for a long time. He also wrote on orthography, poetic meter, and especially on history. His most famous work, the Ecclesiastical History of England, written in Latin, remains the primary source for the period 597 to 731, when Anglo-Saxon culture developed and Christianity triumphed. In this work, Bede was clearly ahead of his time. He consulted many documents, carefully evaluated their reliability, and cited his sources. His interpretations were balanced and judicious. He also wrote The Lives of the Holy Abbots of Wearmouth and Jarrow, and a notable biography of Cuthbert, both in prose and verse.


His character shines through his work—an exemplary monk, an ardent Christian, devoted scholar, and a man of pure and winsome manners. He received the unusual title of Venerable more than a century after his death.*


* A Great Cloud of Witnesses, A Calendar of Commemorations, Copyright © 2016 by The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America


Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Kemper

Jackson Kemper, Bishop and Missionary, 1870

The Collect:

O God, who send your son Jesus Christ to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near, Grant that we, like your servant Jackson Kemper, may proclaim the Gospel in our own day, with courage, vision, and perseverance; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, world without end. Amen.

Jackson Kemper was born 24 December 1789 in Pleasant Valley, New York, attended Columbia College, and was ordained a priest in 1814. In 1835, the Episcopal Church undertook to consecrate missionary bishops to preach the Gospel west of the settled areas, and Kemper was the first to be chosen. He promptly headed west. Having found that clergy who had lived all their lives in the settled East were slow to respond to his call to join him on the frontier, he determined to recruit priests from among men who were already in the West, and established a college in St. Louis, Missouri, for that purpose. He went on to found Nashotah House and Racine College in Wisconsin. He constantly urged a more extensive outreach to the Indian peoples, and translations of the Scriptures and the services of the Church into Indian languages. From 1859 till his death in 1870, he was bishop of Wisconsin, but the effect of his labors covered a far wider area. *

* The Lectionay, James Kiefer, http://www.satucket.com/lectionary/Jackson_Kemper.htm

Monday, May 23, 2022

Rogation Days

Rogation Days

According to The Book of Common Prayer (BCP), Rogation Days, traditionally observed on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before Ascension Day. Rogation Sunday may be observed on The Sixth Sunday of Easter. 

Traditionally, the litany is sung (or recited) in procession as an act of intercession. They originated in Vienne, France, in the fifth century when Bishop Mamertus introduced days of fasting and prayer to ward off a threatened disaster. In England they were associated with the blessing of the fields at planting. The vicar “beat the bounds” of the parish, processing around the fields reciting psalms and the litany. In the United States they have been associated with rural life and with agriculture and fishing. The propers in the BCP (pp. 207-208, 258-259, 930) have widened their scope to include commerce and industry and the stewardship of creation. The BCP also permits their celebration at other times to accommodate different regional growing seasons. The BOS contains material for a Rogation procession, including petitions to be added to the Great Litany and the prayers of the people. The term is from the Latin rogatio, “asking.” *

*  From An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians, Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors, https://www.episcopalchurch.org/glossary/ 

Photos from this year’s Rogation Sunday at Church of the Redeemer, Oak Ridge with St. Andrew’s, Mer Rouge. The Very Rev’d Dawnell Stodghill blesses crosses that were carried to other local fields and gardens.




Saturday, May 21, 2022

Today

 

Tomorrow



Sunday, May 22, 2022

Join us for “at church” or “virtually” for worship this Sunday, May 22, The Sixth Sunday of Easter, at St. Alban’s, St. Thomas’, St. Patrick’s, and Iglesia Episcopal La Esperanza de Familias Unidas.
 
Holy Eucharist, Rite Two
St. Alban’s - 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.*
St. Thomas' on the Bayou - 10:00 a.m.*
St. Patrick’s – 11:00 a.m.*

* These liturgies will be Live-Streamed on Facebook for those who choose to remain at home. Download a pdf of the leaflet to print or to use on your phone or tablet with this link - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vIDRuxVp0sbA7YcV8rG0OgZUWF4ZnWU8/view?usp=sharing

La Santa Eucaristía: Rito Dos
Iglesia Episcopal La Esperanza de Familias Unidas – Domingo - 5:00 p.m. (transmitido en Facebook)

Zoom Compline - All Welcome
Sunday - 8:00 p.m.
Meeting ID: 838 6168 8528
Passcode: 800
or dial in at +1 312 626 6799 or +1 346 248 7799

We hope to “see” you all on Sunday as you are most comfortable!

Rita+, Rob+ and Whit+

Art from Clip Art, Steve Erspamer, Liturgy Training Publications – ltp.org

Peace

 

Friday, May 20, 2022

Alcuin

Alcuin of York, Deacon, 804

The Collect:

Almighty God, who raised up your servant Alcuin as a beacon of learning: Shine in our hearts, we pray, that we may also show forth your praise in our own generation, for you have called us out of darkness and into your marvelous light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Alcuin was an Englishman from York, born into a noble family about 730, and educated by a pupil of Bede. Having become a deacon, he was made head of the cathedral school at York around 770. In 781 he was asked by the Emperor Charlemagne to become his minister of education. He accepted, and established schools at many cathedrals and monasteries, and promoted learning in every way he could. In the preceding years of constant wars and invasions, many ancient writings had been lost. Alcuin established scriptoria, dedicated to the copying and preservation of ancient manuscripts, both pagan and Christian. That we have as much as we do of the writings of classical Roman authors is largely due to Alcuin and his scribes. (He is credited with the invention of cursive script, in which the letters are connected for greater speed of writing.) To Alcuin, backed by Charlemagne, belongs much of the credit for the  revision and organization of the Latin liturgy, the preservation of many of the ancient prayers, and the development of plainchant. He and his fellow theologians at Charlemagne's capital of Aachen (or Aix-le-Chappelle) were important advocates of the doctrine that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son jointly. Unfortunately, the East, which regarded the Emperor at Byzantium as the sole Emperor, resented Charlemagne's assumption of the title of Holy Roman Emperor, and this hardened their opposition to the aforesaid doctrine, thus contributing to the rift between East and West.*

 * The Lectionary, James Kiefer, http://www.satucket.com/lectionary/Alcuin.htm

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Dunstan

Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, 988

The Collect:

Direct your Church, O Lord, into the beauty of holiness, that, following the good example of your servant Dunstan, we may honor your Son Jesus Christ with our lips and in our lives; to the glory of his Name, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Dunstan was born near Glastonbury in the southwest of England about the year 909, ten years after the death of King Alfred. During the Viking invasions of the ninth century, monasteries had been favorite targets of the invaders, and by Dunstan's time English monasticism had been wiped out. In its restoration in the tenth century, Dunstan played the leading role. He was born of an upper-class family, and sent to court, where he did not fit in. At the urging of his uncle, the Bishop of Westminster, he became a monk and a priest, and returned to Glastonbury, where he built a hut near the ruins of the old monastery, and devoted himself to study, music, metal working (particularly the art of casting church bells, an art which he is said to have advanced considerably), and painting. A manuscript illuminated by him is in the British Museum. He returned to court and was again asked to leave; but then King Edmund had a narrow escape from death while hunting, and in gratitude recalled Dunstan and in 943 commissioned him to re-establish monastic life at Glastonbury. (Glastonbury is one of the oldest Christian sites in England, and is associated in legend with King Arthur and his Court, with Joseph of Arimathea, and with other worthies. It has been said that the Holy Grail, the chalice of the Last Supper, is hidden somewhere near Glastonbury.) Under Dunstan's direction, Glastonbury became an important center both of monasticism and of learning. The next king, Edred, adopted Dunstan's ideas for various reforms of the clergy (including the control of many cathedrals by monastic chapters) and for relations with the Danish settlers. These policies made Dunstan popular in the North of England, but unpopular in the South. 

Edred was succeeded by his sixteen-year-old nephew Edwy, whom Dunstan openly rebuked for unchastity. The furious Edwy drove Dunstan into exile, but the North rose in rebellion on his behalf. When the dust settled, Edwy was dead, his brother Edgar was king, and Dunstan was Archbishop of Canterbury. The coronation service which Dunstan compiled for Edgar is the earliest English coronation service of which the full text survives, and is the basis for all such services since, down to the present. With the active support of King Edgar, Dunstan re-established monastic communities at Malmesbury, Westminster, Bath, Exeter, and many other places. Around 970 he presided at a conference of bishops, abbots, and abbesses, which drew up a national code of monastic observance, the Regularis Concordia. It followed Benedictine lines, but under it the monasteries were actively involved in the life of the surrounding community. For centuries thereafter the Archbishop of Canterbury was always a monk. 

Dunstan took an active role in politics under Edgar and his successor Edward, but under the next king, Ethelred, he retired from politics and concentrated on running the Canterbury cathedral school for boys, where he was apparently successful in raising the academic standards while reducing the incidence of corporal punishment. On Ascension Day in 988, he told the congregation that he was near to death, and died two days later. *

 * The Lectionary, James Kiefer, http://www.satucket.com/lectionary/Dunstan.htm

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Treasure


The Truth about Treasure - Matthew 6:19–24

What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?

This is Tertullian’s famous question contrasting the difference between God's truth and human philosophy.It  highlights the challenge of living in this world with our eyes fixed on other things.

In a similar way, we might ask the same question about rewards: What does money have to do with our eternal destiny?

Indeed, in a world where money motivates, secures, comforts, and corrupts, we are painfully aware of the problems that money (and its lack) bring. Yet, as Jesus instructs us in Matthew 6:19–24, our earthly riches also provide an important avenue for discipleship and increasing our eternal joy. The question is how!

With that in mind, join us today, Wednesday, May 18, as we consider Jesus’s teaching about earthly and heavenly reward at St. Alban's for Holy Eucharist today at 12:10 p.m. or join all our Monroe Episcopal churches tonight for 

Zoom Evening Prayer & Video Study - 5:30 p.m. with Father Whit+

Zoom Evening Prayer

Meeting ID: 867 8157 7595
Passcode: 530
Dial by your location +1 312 626 6799 or +1 346 248 779

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Marshall

Thurgood Marshall, Public Servant, 1993.

The Collect:

Eternal and ever-gracious God, who blessed your servant Thurgood Marshall with grace and courage to discern and speak the truth: Grant that, following his example, we may know you and recognize that we are all your children, brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Thurgood Marshall (July 2, 1908 – January 24, 1993) was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, serving from October 1967 until October 1991. Marshall was the Court's 96th justice and its first African-American justice.

Before becoming a judge, Marshall was a lawyer who was best known for his high success rate in arguing before the Supreme Court and for the victory in Brown v. Board of Education, a decision that desegregated public schools. He served on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit after being appointed by President John F. Kennedy and then served as the Solicitor General after being appointed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. President Johnson nominated him to the United States Supreme Court in 1967.

Marshall was a devoted Episcopalian and an active member of St. Philip’s Church in Harlem, serving on the Vestry, as Senior Warden and as Deputy to the 1964 General Convention, before moving to Washington. *

 *  The Lectionary, via Wikipedia, http://www.satucket.com/lectionary/Thurgood_Marshall.html 

Monday, May 16, 2022

Monday Morning


 









In the Morning - From Psalm 51
 
Open my lips, O Lord, *
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, *
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence *
and take not your holy Spirit from me.
Give me the joy of your saving help again *
and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
 
The Book of Common Prayer, page 137

Saturday, May 14, 2022

This Sunday


Sunday, May 15, 2022

Join us for “at church” or “virtually” for worship this Sunday, May 15, The Fifth Sunday of Easter, at St. Alban’s, St. Thomas’, St. Patrick’s, and Iglesia Episcopal La Esperanza de Familias Unidas.

Holy Eucharist, Rite Two
St. Alban’s - 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.*
St. Thomas' on the Bayou - 10:00 a.m.* - Camp Hardtner & Children’s Sunday
St. Patrick’s – 11:00 a.m.** These liturgies will be Live-Streamed on Facebook for those who choose to remain at home. Download a pdf of the leaflet to print or to use on your phone or tablet with this link - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tloDXu44I2xXwU1M_ypIgfSPB20OVYbd/view?usp=sharing

La Santa Eucaristía: Rito Dos
Iglesia Episcopal La Esperanza de Familias Unidas – Domingo - 5:00 p.m. (transmitido en Facebook)
Zoom Compline - All Welcome
Sunday - 8:00 p.m.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83861688528?pwd=WFdBcndxV3hzbUpETDNTSFFzc3Z0QT09
Meeting ID: 838 6168 8528
Passcode: 800
or dial in at +1 312 626 6799 or +1 346 248 7799

We hope to “see” you all on Sunday as you are most comfortable!

Rita+, Rob+ and Whit+

Art from Clip Art, Steve Erspamer, Liturgy Training Publications – ltp.org

Guidance


 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Johann Arndt and Jacob Böehme

Johann Arndt and Jacob Böehme, Mystics, 1621 and 1624


Today, the Church remembers Johann Arndt and Jacob Böehme. Join us today at St. Alban's for Holy Eucharist at 12:10 p.m. to learn more about these two mystics.


Note: There is no Zoom Evening Prayer and Video Class tonight. It will resume on May 18.


The Collect:

Holy God, who dwells with those have a contrite and humble spirit; Revive our spirits; purify us from deceitful lusts; and cloth us in righteousness and true holiness; though Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God now and for ever. Amen.

Johann Arndt (27 December 1555 – 11 May 1621) was a German Lutheran theologian who wrote several influential books of devotional Christianity. Although reflective of the period of Lutheran Orthodoxy, he is seen as a forerunner of pietism, a movement within Lutheranism that gained strength in the late 17th century.

He was born in Edderitz near Ballenstedt, in Anhalt-Köthen, and studied in several universities.

Arndt's fame rests on his writings. These were mainly of a mystical and devotional kind, and were inspired by St Bernard, Johannes Tauler and Thomas à Kempis. His principal work, Wahres Christentum, i.e. "True Christianity", which has been translated into most European languages, has served as the foundation of many books of devotion, both Roman Catholic and Protestant. Arndt here dwells upon the mystical union between the believer and Christ, and endeavors, by drawing attention to Christ's life in His people, to correct the purely forensic side of the reformation theology, which paid almost exclusive attention to Christ's death for His people.

Jakob Böhme ( 24 April 1575 Р17 November 1624) was a German philosopher, Christian mystic, and Lutheran Protestant theologian. He was considered an original thinker by many of his contemporaries within the Lutheran tradition, and his first book, commonly known as Aurora, caused a great scandal. In contemporary English, his name may be spelled Jacob Boehme.

Böhme was born on 24 April 1575 at Alt Seidenberg (now Stary Zawidów, Poland). When he was 14 years old, he was apprenticed to become a shoemaker. He regularly prayed and read the Bible as well as works by visionaries such as Paracelsus, Weigel and Schwenckfeld, although he received no formal education. By 1599, Böhme was master of his craft with his own premises in Görlitz. That same year he married Katharina Kuntzschmann, and together he and Katharina had four sons and two daughters.

Böhme had a number of mystical experiences throughout his youth, culminating in a vision in 1600 as one day he focused his attention onto the exquisite beauty of a beam of sunlight reflected in a pewter dish. He believed this vision revealed to him the spiritual structure of the world, as well as the relationship between God and man, and good and evil. At the time he chose not to speak of this experience openly, preferring instead to continue his work and raise a family. In 1610 Böhme experienced another inner vision in which he further understood the unity of the cosmos and that he had received a special vocation from God.

Twelve years after the vision in 1600, Böhme began to write his first book, Die Morgenröte im Aufgang (The rising of Dawn). The book was given the name Aurora by a friend; however, Böhme originally wrote the book for himself and it was never completed. A manuscript copy of the unfinished work was loaned to Karl von Ender, a nobleman, who had copies made and began to circulate them. In 1619 Böhme wrote "De Tribus Principiis" or "On the Three Principles of Divine Being". It took him two years to finish his second book, which was followed by many other treatises, all of which were copied by hand and circulated only among friends. The year 1622 saw Böhme write some short works all of which were subsequently included in his first published book on New Year's Day 1624, under the title Weg zu Christo (The Way to Christ).

The publication caused another scandal and following complaints by the clergy, Böhme was forced into exile in Dresden. In Dresden he was accepted by the nobility and high clergy. His intellect was also recognized by the professors of Dresden. He eventually returned home, but he fell terminally ill with a bowel complaint and died on 17 November 1624.

The chief concern of Böhme's writing was the nature of sin, evil and redemption. Consistent with Lutheran theology, Böhme preached that humanity had fallen from a state of divine grace to a state of sin and suffering, and that God's goal was to restore the world to a state of grace. There are some serious departures from accepted Lutheran theology, however, such as his rejection of sola fide (justification by faith alone). A difficulty with his theology is the fact that he had a mystical vision, which he reinterpreted and reformulated. God exists without time or space, he regenerates himself through eternity. Böhme restates the trinity as truly existing but with a novel interpretation. God, the Father is fire, who gives birth to his son, whom Böhme calls light. The Holy Spirit is the living principle, or the divine life. Evil is seen as "the disorder, rebellion, perversion of making spirit nature's servant", which is to say a perversion of initial Divine order.

* The Lectionary, via Wikipedia, http://www.satucket.com/lectionary/arndt-boehme.html 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Enough?


Too often we look around and find that there is not enough, but Jesus takes what there is, blesses it, breaks it, and gives it back to us…


“And all eat and are filled. What is left over is gathered up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.”

Luke 9:17 (Paraphrased)



Monday, May 9, 2022

Gregory of Nazianzus

Gregory of Nazianzus, Bishop and Theologian, 389

The Collect:

Almighty God, who has revealed to your Church your eternal Being of glorious majesty and perfect love as one God in Trinity of Persons: Give us grace that, like your bishop Gregory of Nazianzus, we may continue steadfast in the confession of this faith, and constant in our worship of you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; who live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.

Gregory of Nazianzus, one of the Cappadocian Fathers, loved God, the art of letters, and the human race—in that order. He was born about 330 in Nazianzus in Cappadocia (now Turkey), the son of a local bishop. He studied rhetoric in Athens with his friend Basil of Caesarea, and Julian, later to be the apostate emperor.

Gregory, together with Basil, compiled an anthology of Origen’s works, The Philokalia. Two years later, he returned to his home, a town then rent by heresies and schism. His defense of his father’s orthodoxy in the face of a violent mob brought peace to the town and prominence to Gregory.

In 361, against his will, Gregory was ordained presbyter, and settled down to live an austere, priestly life. He was not to have peace for long. Basil, in his fight against the Arian Emperor Valens, compelled Gregory to become Bishop of Sasima. According to Gregory, it was “a detestable little place without water or grass or any mark of civilization.” He felt, he said, like “a bone flung to the dogs.” His friendship with Basil suffered a severe break.

Deaths in his family, and that of his estranged friend Basil, brought Gregory himself to the point of death. He withdrew for healing. In 379, Gregory moved to Constantinople, a new man and no longer in despair. He appeared as one afire with the love of God. His fame as a theologian rests on five sermons he delivered during this period on the doctrine of the Trinity. They are marked by clarity, strength, and a charming gaiety. 

The next year, the new Emperor Theodosius entered Constantinople and expelled its Arian bishop and clergy. Then, on a rainy day, the crowds in the Great Church of Hagia Sophia acclaimed Gregory bishop, after a ray of sunlight suddenly shone on him.

Power and position meant nothing to Gregory. After the Ecumenical Council of 381, he retired to Nazianzus, where he died in 389. Among the Fathers of the Church, he alone is known as “The Divine,” “The Theologian.” *

A Great Cloud of Witnesses - A Calendar of Commemorations, Copyright © 2016 by The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America

Saturday, May 7, 2022

The Fourth Sunday of Easter & Mother’s Day


Sunday, May 8, 2022

Join us for “at church” or “virtually” for worship this Sunday, May 8, The Fourth Sunday of Easter & Mother’s Day, at St. Alban’s, St. Thomas’, St. Patrick’s, and Iglesia Episcopal La Esperanza de Familias Unidas.
 
Holy Eucharist, Rite Two
St. Alban’s - 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.*
St. Thomas' on the Bayou - 10:00 a.m.*
St. Patrick’s – 11:00 a.m.*

* These liturgies will be Live-Streamed on Facebook for those who choose to remain at home. Download a pdf of the leaflet to print or to use on your phone or tablet with this link - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oJx5BRTSkRsAXTPXFDUR35Zv2C4lNnVA/view?usp=sharing

La Santa Eucaristía: Rito Dos
Iglesia Episcopal La Esperanza de Familias Unidas – Domingo - 5:00 p.m. (transmitido en Facebook)

Zoom Compline - All Welcome
Sunday - 8:00 p.m.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83861688528?pwd=WFdBcndxV3hzbUpETDNTSFFzc3Z0QT09
Meeting ID: 838 6168 8528
Passcode: 800
or dial in at +1 312 626 6799 or +1 346 248 7799

We hope to “see” you all on Sunday as you are most comfortable!

Rita+, Rob+ and Whit+

Art from Clip Art, Steve Erspamer, Liturgy Training Publications – ltp.org