The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary; A Christological Celebration of The Incarnation

The Annunciation

The Annunciation

In 692 AD, the council of Trullo, the Eastern Church set the date for the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary as March 25th. The dates relates to the dating of Christmas on December 25th. Today, March 25th, is nine months before Christmas, our Lord’s nativity.
The word “annunciation” is the anglicized form of the Latin Annuntiatio nativitatis Christi, or the announcement of the nativity of Christ, which you find in Luke 1:26-38. The festival celebrates the proclamation by the angel Gabriel to Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus, the Son of God. Gabriel told Mary to name her son Yehoshua, which means”YHWH is salvation”. Jesus was named correctly; he is the way of salvation. “Jesus saith… I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14:6).”
The passage from Luke gives the beautiful account of Gabriel’s appearance to Mary. The passage, does not focus on the words of the angel to Mary as much as on the character of Mary herself. Mary asks the angel, “But how shall these things be?” Gabriel responds, “Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in they womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest.” Mary asked how this could be, for she was a virgin. Gabriel responded to her that the Holy Ghost would come upon her and she would bear a son who shall be called the Son of God. Mary responded by saying, “Be it unto me according to thy word.”
The Blessed Virgin Mary is the perfect example of a humble acceptance of God’s favor. She trusts in God and is obedient to His will. Mary is the icon of the self-giving response of humankind to God’s redeeming purpose. Romano Guardini, one of the most important Catholic writers and thinkers of the 20th century said of Mary, “No one is like her, because what happened to her happened to no other human being.”
The Annunciation is a festival of our Lord Jesus Christ; a Holy Day celebrates the Incarnation of our Lord. Today, we celebrate a jewel in the midst of our Lenten fast. We celebrate the day that, “…the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. Let us remember the incredible grace given to us freely. Let us return thanks by living lives of humility and obedience. Lives that duplicate the trust and obedience to God’s will, shown us by the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Heavenly Jerusalem

The Heavenly JerusalemThe heavenly Jerusalem is our spiritual home. On earth, the Church is Jerusalem, nourished by God (Rev. 12:6). When our Lord returns, the Church will be the bride of Christ, the holy city, the New Jerusalem, descending upon a new earth for the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 21:1, 19:7).

In comparison, the earthly city is perverted by the pride of life (Gal. 4:25 and Rev. 17:1-6). The pride of life is defined as an unwillingness to acknowledge God’s authority over Creation. Instead, the earthly city tries to subvert God’s will with its own. Subverting God’s will for one’s own was Jesus’ third temptation. Jesus was tempted by the devil’s offer of worldly glory. Such a temptation excludes God. Jesus’ answered the devil’s offer with the words, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Mt. 4:10),” and those are words we ourselves must heed, lest we fall to this temptation.

Thanks to God we are not citizens of the earthly city, but of the city of God. We share in the marriage supper of the Lamb. In the Eucharist, we receive a foretaste of the heavenly banquet. That is the point of Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000 in the wilderness. Jesus is the true bread come down from heaven. If you eat this bread, you will live forever (John 6:51). That meal and our Lord’s Supper anticipate the banquet in the coming kingdom.

The Gospel lesson for Lent III (Lk. 11: 14-28) warned us not to be satisfied that our souls are clear of demons and empty of faith in God. Absent Jesus in our hearts, sin returns and we are in a worse state than before. We must fill our souls with Jesus, the bread of life. He is present to us in Word and Sacrament. Jesus refreshes us so that we may follow him to Jerusalem.

Finally, my friends, as I shared on Sunday, the Parish is the outpost of the true Jerusalem on earth. The Church’s task is to mother those who belong to Christ, with word, sacrament, discipline, and teaching; to rebuke and cast out demons, and to nourish souls. That is bread in the wilderness. Find your refreshment here, and invite others to the feast.

The Ember Days

ember-daysThe Wednesday of the First Sunday in Lent, is a day of fasting called an Ember Day. Biblical support for the fasts comes from Zachariah 8:19;

Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace.

Tradition ascribes the recognition of these days to Pope Callistus I (c. 218-225). By the fifth century, Ember days were associated with Ordination. It was traditional to confer Holy Orders the Saturday of the first week of Lent. In the Collect for the Ember Days, we pray for the Holy Spirit to inspire men to be drawn to the ministry of reconciliation, so that mankind may be drawn to God’s Kingdom. Ember Days fall on the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the First Sunday in Lent, the Feast of Pentecost, September 14, and December 13.

The Epistle for Ember Days comes from Acts 13:44-49. In the Epistle, we read of Saints Paul and Barnabas in Antioch of Pisidia. The Gospel Message is rejected by the Jews, and so the Evangelists turn to the Gentiles who gladly receive the message.

The Gospel reading for Ember Days comes from Luke 4:16-21 where we read of Jesus’ appearance in the synagogue of Nazareth. There, Jesus reads Isaiah 61:1-2;

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD

Jesus sits after reading the passage and proclaims, “This day, is this scripture fulfilled in your ears (Lk 4:21).” Jesus is saying he is the Messiah. He is the fulfillment of the prophets. He is God’s anointed one. He is the light to the Gentiles (Is 42:6, Lk 2:32 & Acts 13:47).

On Ember Days, we should pray for those discerning their call to Holy Orders. I also think there is a broader message. Jesus came to “…preach the gospel to the poor (Lk 4:18).” As the Body of Christ, we all have a calling, a role to pray in bringing the saving Gospel message to the poor. We, who are members of the Body of Christ, are a body of many members so that we may do Christ’s work in the world today. During Lent, and during the Ember Days this week, we should all reflect upon our calling to the ministry of reconciliation. We must ask ourselves if we are doing the work we are called to do.

In considering your work, think momentarily upon the Example of Mother Theresa. Mother

Mother Theresa

Mother Theresa

Theresa lived a humble life, feeding, clothing, and living amongst the poorest of the poor. She knew human need and answered God’s call to serve. She said in her book, A Simple Path;

The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.

Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Incarnate love every human needs. Jesus Christ is, “…the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever (Jn 6:51)” The Bread of Life is the only food that satisfies the human hunger for love.
People in our world are perishing from hunger. We learn from this week’s Gospel lesson that, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Deut 8:3; Mt 4:4).” No matter how well fed or hungry a person may be physically, if they do not receive the bread of life, the Word of God, they are perishing. Life comes from God’s Word. We must make every effort “to proclaim the good news to the poor (Lk 4:18).” The poor may be poor in estate, or poor in spirit. Indeed, there is a famine on earth, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD (Am 8:11).”

So, my friends and parishioners of St. James Church, God is love, and we possess the love of God by possessing His life. We receive His Body and Blood in Holy Communion. Jesus said, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day (Jn 6:53-54).” The world is starving, starving for love. This hunger can only be satisfied by the love of God. We must share this infinite love of ours and bring life into the world.

Our Lord accepted his role of ministry. He must be the example of how we live in the world. We must pattern ourselves after his ministry of love and reconciliation.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised (Lk 4:18)

Origins of Lent and Ash Wednesday

Ash WednesdayThe origins of Lent go back to the second century and can be traced to the fasts undertaken by candidates for Baptism at Easter. The ancient pre-Easter fast was only a couple days. St. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, gives the first reference to the forty day fast in Pastoral Epistles he wrote on preparation for Easter. The Roman Church established the current six week period of Lent by the end of the fourth century. As the tradition of Easter Baptisms fell into disuse, the emphasis of the forty-day fast developed into a forty-day penitential season.

Biblical Precedent for Lent:
According to the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke; Jesus Christ spent 40 days fasting in the desert, where he endured temptation by Satan. Lent mirrors this 40 days of fasting as preparation for Easter. Sundays are days of feasting since every Sunday is a celebration of Christ’s Resurrection. They do not “count” in the calculation of the forty-day period, so the Lenten period of fasting began on a Wednesday. Accordingly, Christians fasted from Monday to Saturday (6 days) during 6 weeks and from Wednesday to Saturday (4 days) in the preceding week, thus making up the number of 40 days.

Ash Wednesday as the first day of Lent developed by the sixth century in an effort to keep Lent a forty-day period. It occurs 46 days (as before; 40 fasting days and 6 Sundays, which are not days of fast, are thus excluded) before Easter.

The name “Ash Wednesday” developed from rites practiced by the Church in France during the Middle Ages. Penitents seeking restoration to Holy Communion at Easter presented themselves at the Church the First Day of Lent. They were garbed on sackcloth and they cast the ashes of palms that had been blessed the preceding Palm Sunday upon their heads. The Church adopted this tradition and began the practice of marking the foreheads of all Christians on Ash Wednesday as a symbol of the penitential character of the Lenten season.

The Ashes:
The ashes used on Ash Wednesday are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. The ashes were so blessed at the 7:30AM service. While the ashes symbolize penance and contrition, they are also a reminder that God is gracious and merciful to those who call on Him with repentant hearts. His Divine mercy is of utmost importance during the season of Lent. During Lent, we are called to seek God’s mercy during the entire season with reflection, prayer and penance.

May you be blessed with a Holy Lenten Season.

Virtue of Fortitude

paul scourged

St. Paul Scourged

The season of Pre-Lent is a time of preparation for the fast of Lent. It calls us back from our Christmas feasting in order to prepare us for fasting in Lent. That is why we use purple vestments during this season, reflecting the temperament of the Lenten season.

The Epistles and Gospels appointed for Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima encourage us to reflect upon living a holy life. A holy life is a virtuous life. Virtues are good habits. They are the nature of the soul that allows us to act properly. They guide our desires and our choices. Of the four cardinal virtues: prudence, fortitude, temperance, and justice, St. Paul reflects fortitude in Sunday’s Epistle reading from 2nd Corinthians.

In the Epistle for Sexagesima, 2 Cor. 11:19- 31, St. Paul spoke of his suffering for the Gospel. St. Paul showed fortitude in the face of those who wished him evil. In the passage, St. Paul responded to the Corinthian Christians who goaded him into “boasting” of his suffering by their disloyalty to him. Missionaries arrived in Corinth after Paul’s first missionary journey. They made claims to supersede St. Paul, and the Corinthian Christians suffered those fools gladly. Thinking their own selves to be wise, they followed the teachings of Paul’s opponents and strictly adhered to the Jewish Law. The missionaries were enemies of St. Paul and they undermined his teaching that in Christ, there is no difference between Jew and Gentile. In St. Paul’s pleadings to the Corinthians, we hear what he endured for the love of Christ. Paul is our example of fortitude.

Fortitude is courage in adversity. Christian principles are not the principles of the broader society, therefore being a Christian takes fortitude. St. Paul shows that the Christian life requires valor in the face of the world’s opposition. When a child is baptized, he is signed “…with the sign of the Cross, in token that hereafter he shall not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified, and manfully to fight under his banner, against sin, the world, and the devil; and to continue Christ’s faithful soldier and servant unto his life’s end (Book of Common Prayer, 1928, p. 280). Fortitude assists us in confronting and suffering evil.

This week’s Collect derives from a Latin prayer in the Gregorian Sacramentary, a service book with roots dating to the early seventh century. The old prayer contains the phrase (translated to English), “by the protection of the Doctor of the Gentiles” after the word, “defended.” This phrase references St. Paul, our example of courage in adversity. We know that in Christ, we have eternal life. What have we to fear? This week, pray that as a Church we may exhibit, like our example St. Paul, the virtue of fortitude, the courage to, “…confess the faith of Christ crucified, and manfully to fight under his banner, against sin, the world, and the devil; and to continue (as) Christ’s faithful soldier(s) and servant(s) unto our life’s end.” Amen.

BISHOP’S EPISTLE

Anglican Province of America

Anglican Province of America

VOLUME XX No. 4  October – December 2014
As we enter the month of November, it is a time to reflect on the Christian year that is rapidly drawing to a close and to think about the challenges of the future. For a number of our people, life is a struggle with health, finances, aging and so on. With others, the struggle is more about providing for the family, getting a decent job, concern about family members be they parents, or children off at school or separated for other reasons. Each new Christian year brings with it hope not because of some empty dream but because of the ‘drama of our redemption.’ It reminds us once again that the Word was made Flesh and came among us. This is the blessed hope that in spite of circumstances we face in this world, our Lord Jesus Christ has overcome the world. As we offer ourselves with all the baggage this life places upon us, we know from his promise that he is with us through whatever struggles we may face. He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. May we face the new Christian year with joy, peace and resolve to make it, through the grace of God, the best year yet in our lives.

DMA Synod

The month of October has been the month of Synods in the Anglican Province of America. The Diocese of Mid-America held its Fourth Annual Synod at Our Lady of the Snows, Belle-ville, Illinois October 15, 2014, a day before the Anglican Province of America Synod. The necesary Synod business was held which included the adoption of a budget for 2015 and the election to replace members rotating off of the Standing Committee and Provincial Council. The big news was the relocation of the Bishop Coadjutor Robert Todd Giffin to the San Antonio area of Texas. They are at present settling in there and Norma Jean is assuming her new duties with her new company. The Parish of St. Joseph, New Braunfels, Texas is in the area and plans are to start another mission in this large metropolitan area of West Texas. Bishop Ordinary, Larry Shaver will continue to assist in the DMA following his official retirement in June 2015.

APA Synod

The Provincial Synod of the APA and the General Synod of the Anglican Church in America (ACA) were held concurrently at the National Shrine of our Lady of the Snows (OLS). The plenary sessions of each of the provinces were held separately, but the worship services were held jointly with clergy from each jurisdiction sharing in officiating. The Synod Eucharist was a concelebrated Mass by Bishops Grundorf and Marsh. The Synod Eucharist Sermon was preached by the Rt. Rev. Chad Jones, Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of the East (DEUS). Service music was provided by Richard “Rick” Watson on the lovely pipe organ in the Church of Our Lady of the Snows. All bishops in attendance were vested and seated near the Altar. The banquet held following the Mass was a joyful occasion for clergy and laity alike with music provided by Bishop George Langberg. Many took advantage of singing along with Bishop George as he did a number of familiar tunes of days gone by. It was a grand time of getting to know our intercommunion partners.
The APA Provincial Council and Synod were well attended considering the fact that the East had its Synod in July and the West was holding its Synod a week and a half afterwards. The business of the APA was conducted with the usual reports. One report that stood out was given by our treasurer, D.J. Fulton, concerned our giving to the Global Partnerships which we support. Since our last Provincial Synod in 2011, we have raised $586,802 for our Global Partners. This is amazing considering the size of our Province. It demonstrates the great love our people have for those Christians in foreign lands that are less fortunate than we. Also as an order of business, we elected or appointed new members of the Provincial Council to replace those finishing their terms: Officer, Debra Middleton, Secretary; House of Bishops, Rt. Rev. Robert Giffin; House of Clergy, Rev. Brad Cunningham, House of Laity, Robert Richter and Peter Moritz; and Diocesan Rep, Ben Lizak (DOW).

On the agenda and passed with a modification, was a proposed amendment to the Constitution under Article 1 Sec. 3 Of Provincial Synod having to do with the election of the next Presiding Bishop. This amendment provides for the election of the next Presiding Bishop rather than just the most senior Bishop Ordinary assuming the Office. It will require a 2/3 vote of the House of Bishops and a 2/3 each of the House of Clergy and House of Laity. Additionally, this amendment must be passed by two consecutive Provincial Synods in order to replace the original Article. The proposed Amendment is attached at the end of this Epistle.

DOW Synod and Ordination

The Synod for the Diocese of the West (DOW) was held October 28-29, and hosted by All Saints’ Anglican Church, Prescott, Arizona. The Synod was held jointly with the ACA/DOW for worship services and meals and separately for the business of each Synod. Our DOW held the election to replace members rotating off the Standing Committee and passed a budget for 2015. The highlight of the Synod was the joint Eucharist when Vincent Varnas of St. Michael’s Church, Wilsonville, Oregon was ordained as a Deacon. The Synod Eucharist was held in the beautiful All Saints’ Church and the host church provided lunch following the Service. It is anticipated that Deacon Varnas will work with St. Michael’s and the Rector Fr. Robert Hawkins in forming a new mission church in Corvallis, Oregon. Also, Fr. Creighton Barnes of St. Andrew’s Church, Jacksonville, (Medford) Oregon has announced his retirement as Rector of the church. Fr. Robert Hawkins will serve as Rector, and will have two Deacons locally, Deacons William “Bill” Baker and Christopher “Chris” Smith assisting. Canon Walt Crites was elected as the President of the Standing Committee and re-appointed as Vicar General of the Diocese. Fr. Robert Hawkins was appointed as the Assistant Vicar General of the DOW. We were pleased to have as an invited guest the Rev. Blake Schwendimann, Assistant Priest at St. Matthew’s Church, Newport Beach, CA.

News from the DEUS

Diaconate Ordination
We are pleased to announce the Ordination to the Diaconate of the Rev. Arthur Walker on Aug. 23, 2014 by Bishop Chad Jones. The new Deacon will be serving at St. Michael the Archangel, Charlotte, NC under the Rectorship of Fr. Richard Bakley. May God bless Arthur, along with his family, in his new ministry .

Diocesan Synod location and date determined

The Diocese of the East (DEUS) now has a date and venue for the 2015 Diocesan Synod. All Saints’ Church, Charlottesville, Virginia has agreed to host our next Synod the week of July 27, 2015. Thank you to Canon Glenn Spencer and the congregation for taking on this chal-lenge. We are looking forward to having the Synod at All Saints’ in historic Charlottesville.

News from St. Francis Church, Jonesboro, GA
We have three exciting bits of information from Fr. Allen Fisher at St. Francis Church, Jonesboro, GA. First, we have already reported on the arrival of Lucas Elliott to Fr. Allen and Kacey joining young Noah, his brother. Second, St. Francis’ Church held the celebration of the burning of the mortgage on November 15 and we hope to have pictures on the website soon. Thirdly, Fr. Allen reports that the parish, only 30 strong officially, has taken on the task along with First Baptist Church of Forest Park, of feeding itinerant workers under the program called “Feed the Hungry.” Every Monday their members head out to feed 50-55 day workers with sack lunches. He reports that the Gideons periodically come and distribute Bibles to the men which is something they regularly ask about. Fr. Allen will usually pray with 15-20 of them who want prayer and ask questions about scripture. They have other community programs which would make a good article for Ecclesia newsletter. God bless the folks at St. Francis’ Church.

APA Winter Clergy Conference

Our Annual Winter Clergy Conference will be held this January 2015 on beautiful Amelia Island in Fernandina Beach, Florida. No real chance of ice and snow here! The dates for the Winter Conference will be Wed., January 28 arriving and Fri., January 30 departing. Many thanks to Fr. Brad Cunningham and Holy Trinity Church, Fernandina Beach, FL for agreeing to host this gathering of clergy, clergy wives, and deaconesses. The Board of Examining Chaplains will be meeting in advance of the Conference and the Standing Committee will be meeting following the Conference on Friday morning. There will be a special presentation on Thursday for the clergy wives.

We are privileged to have as Presenters, Canon Michael Ward in the morning and afternoon sessions will be with Fr. William Martin. The theme of this Winter Clergy Conference is “Renewing Our Hearts and Minds.”

Updates on Global Appeals

Deacon Joel Arellano has been released from the hospital pending further treatment involving chemo therapy and radiation. He has stage three cancer which requires that he pay $5,000 for the treatment. A deposit of $2,500 would allow them to begin treatment. It is a very aggressive form of cancer. Please help with this emergency if you are able. Checks should be sent to our Treasurer, D.J. Fulton, and note memo field with “Deacon Joel Appeal.”

One of the desperate needs for our Presiding Bishop in South India is a vehicle to minister to his far flung, rapidly growing Diocese. He has been relying on a rented vehicle which is an expensive proposition. We are appealing for funds to purchase a suitable SUV which can be purchased for $10,000. I would like to see this vehicle acquired for Bishop Jaya Rao by Christmas. Again, donations should be sent to Treasurer, D.J. Fulton, with note of “India Bishop’s vehicle” in memo field.

APA Ecclesia Anglicana Newsletter

Fr. Conway has done an excellent job following his predecessor, Fr. Richard Bakley, who resurrected the Newsletter, the name, and got the initial issues printed. Ecclesia Anglicana is your newsletter and Fr. David Conway of St. James of Jerusalem Church, Sarasota, FL, wishes all of you to know this. Fr. Conway wants your parish news and would like you to voluntarily send a picture and an article to him, unsolicited. He has resorted to ‘bugging’ people for information when none has been volunteered, so please send your news directly to Fr. Conway at: fatherdmc@gmail.com.

Ordination to the Sacred Priesthood

On Sat., November 15, 2014, at St. Michael the Archangel Church, Charlotte, NC, I ordained the Rev. O. Michael Cawthon, Sr. as a priest in the Church of God, surrounded by Bishops Jones and Brewer, his rector, the Very Rev. Richard Bakley, and numerous clergy from around the Diocese. Fr. Cawthon completed the rigorous Master’s Degree Program at Reformed Theological Seminary. His wife, Debbie, and other family members and friends came to be with him on this glorious occasion.

Retirements

St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Crownsville, MD, will bid farewell Bishop Robert “Bob” and Emily Loiselle after Thanksgiving. We had a wonderful celebration of their ministry with St. Paul’s Church at a banquet on Sunday evening, Nov. 9, 2014. The banquet was attended by over 160 people whose lives were touched by their love and ministry in this parish. It was a 14 year ministry, taking the church from near death to the present including the building of a new Church structure. They will be sorely missed by all and the church thankfully has the faithful ministry of Interim Rector, Fr. Thomas Burr. We wish all of them God’s blessing.

Christ the Redeemer Church, Warner Robins, Georgia will bid farewell to their Rector, Fr. Paul Gerlock and his wife, Linda, on December 6, 2015. This parish has an amazing ministry under the leadership of Fr. Paul beginning in the conference room of the Holiday Inn, acquiring property, remodeling a house for church services and now recently moving into their lovely, newly constructed church building. All of this was done while others his age would have been looking at retiring. They will be greatly missed by all. We wish them every blessing and a good long life together.

A reminder to all clergy, there is no scriptural precedent for retirement from your lifetime ordination, only a move on to a new ministry.

Congratulations on the new arrivals

We send our blessing and congratulations to:
Fr. Matt and Sarah Harlow on the birth of their son, John Christopher Harlow, born Sept. 2, 2014.
Fr. Allen and Kasey Fisher on the birth of their son, Lucas Elliott Fisher, born Sept. 19, 2014.
Bishop Chad and Megan Jones and the birth of their daughter, Caelin Meredith Lee Anne Jones, born Oct. 9, 2014.

In closing, I want to join Mary in wishing each of you a blessed Thanksgiving Day and, as we anticipate the Advent Season, a time of joyous preparation.
+Walter

BISHOP’S EPISTLE

Anglican Province of America

Anglican Province of America

VOLUME XX No.3                  July-September 2014

This is the year for Synods, one completed (DEUS) and three to go: Diocese of Mid-America, the Anglican Province of America Triennial and the Diocese of the West. All three remaining Synods will be in October of this year. Those who are in the East, it was a great privilege to gather in Orlando, Florida July 14-18, 2014 as St. Alban’s Cathedral hosted this Synod. For those who would like to see or relive the many events of Synod, they can be found in a slide presentation on the St. Alban’s Anglican Cathedral webpage (www.stalbansfl.com) compliments of official photographer of the Cathedral F. Harvell. Our great thanks goes out to the Dean of St. Alban’s Cathedral, the Very Rev. Ralph Waterhouse, to Synod Chairman, David Arnott, Co-Chairman, Felicia Ryerson, and all those who served on the various committees which made for a most efficient and successful time.

 

DEUS Synod 2014

 

For those unable to attend the DEUS Synod, I would like to give a re-cap of the major events including our guest presenters and speakers. In addition to the regular business of Synod, we had two developmental programs. The first program was presented by Michael Miller, Organist and Choir Director at St. Alban’s Cathedral, and also the Head of the Music Department at The Geneva School (Classical Christian School), Orlando, Florida. At my request, I asked him to do the sessions on simple intonation of the Psalms which I so enjoy at St. Alban’s Cathedral on my rare visits. Many of the Psalms set to music can be easily done by the most inexperienced musicians and congregations. It was great to hear the enthusiastic gathering of attendees quickly learning to sing the Psalm tunes that Michael had prepared. We were pleased to have Michael’s wife, Wendy, and Ryan Solomon assisting with the presentation. Michael has made himself available to assist anyone wishing to follow up on the sessions by simply emailing him at michael@stalbansfl.com. Those attending the presentations by Michael Miller were ready for more when we ran out of time!

Following the developmental program on music were morning and afternoon sessions with Bishop Stephen Scarlett, Ordinary of the Anglican Catholic Church, Diocese of the Holy Trinity and Rector of St. Matthew’s Church, Newport Beach, California. A number of our clergy know Bishop Scarlett by way of his webpage and parish teaching materials which are available on line. I will not try to recap all that Bishop Scarlett said in his presentations as there was much to consider in the area of building Mission. He has put the essence of his talks with us on his blog site at theevangelicalascetic.com or at bishopscarlett.com. I know that those who have a vision for the future of traditional Anglicanism must make common cause as there are those who are satisfied with being a museum to some imaged golden age of the past. Interestingly, he mentioned that we are more likely to build our churches by establishing and building relationships on an informal basis than by inviting people to come to church. People, especially millennials, have little or no reference to worship in church and can more likely be approached through cultivating friendship first. He emphasized that we must be willing to turn lose of those who want the church to remain just what they envision from the past and gather those around us who are willing to join us in genuine mission for Christ and his Church. We look forward to a strong and lasting relationship with Bishop Scarlett as we share so much in common in our vision for the future of traditional Anglicanism, in building Christ’s Kingdom on earth.

Update by Deacon Joel Pulga Arellano of the Philippines

We were pleased to have a Deacon Joel, who serves under the leadership of the Most Rev. Frederick Belmonte in the Philippines, with us for the DEUS Synod. He gave an update on activities in the Anglican Church of the Philippines with the purchase of the property near the City of Salano and the completion of the building project housing the Seminary along with a Chapel. The property purchase and the building were part of the Lenten Appeal Funds from 2013. Additionally, he showed pictures of the devastation from the hurricane which hit parts of the island about a year ago and the distribution of funds both from the APA and the ACA to help families with much needed food and agriculture supplies allowing them to re-plant vegetable gardens to help sustain the community. Also we were able to assist fishermen in the repair of their boats to return them to their livelihoods.

Provincial Synod October 15-17, 2014

I urge everyone to make plans to attend the Provincial Synod of our Church this October. This is a special event in the life of our Province, especially since we will be forging friendships and cooperative efforts with our inter-communion partners in the Anglican Church in America (ACA). Those who are members of the APA/Diocese of Mid-America are reminded that the DMA Diocesan Synod begins on that Wednesday from 8:00am until 1:30pm.

 

The House of Bishops meeting of the APA will be held on Wednesday, October 15, from 2pm until 5pm. Later that evening, following dinner, there will be a meeting of the Assembly of Bishops of both the ACA and the APA and other bishops from jurisdictions interested in this co-operative effort. We must pray and be a part of every legitimate effort to bring traditional Anglicans together in a unified voice for the advancement of the Gospel. Please check the APA webpage for the schedule of all the events.

We look forward to worshiping with our intercommunion partners as well as sharing fellowship with them at the Synod Banquet on Thursday evening. The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, Illinois, is a lovely venue for a Synod and provides an atmosphere of peace and quiet.

 

Final Word

 

To say we are living in a sin-sick world would be an understatement. Most of us are familiar with the news stories of war and savagery that are going on in the Middle East and watching our fellow Christians and others being slaughtered like animals. We are seeing pure evil manifested like most of us have not seen before. It is made all the more relevant through modern technology where it is difficult to be unaware.

I ask all of us to pray for the leaders of our civilized world to have wisdom and courage to confront the evil doers. We must pray for those who are suffering from the violence which is being perpetrated upon them and ask God to preserve the innocent.

Peace and blessings,

+Walter

SECOND Dig History! Archaeology Camp August 4, 5, and 6th

Archaeology Day Camp

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The Glebe – 2011

Science. History. Anthropology. Deductive reasoning. Archaeology demands a lot of its devotees, but the payoffs can be epic, ranging from life-changing discovery to a new appreciation for very old cultures. If your child roams your backyard with a metal detector and a shovel, combs riverbeds for arrowheads, or dreams of being the next Indiana Jones, then our archeology day-camp may be just the break that your child — and your lawn — needs.

DIG HISTORY! At the Abingdon Glebe Archaeology Day Camp in Gloucester may be 100_0365just the ticket. Located at the Historic Abingdon Glebe house, the camp offers children from fourth and sixth grades the opportunity to help excavate the Abingdon Glebe historic site. The camp will run from Monday, August 4th through Wednesday, August 6th. The last day of the camp includes a field trip to an active archeological dig in Jamestown. The camp begins at 10AM and ends at 3PM. The cost is $35 payable to St. James Anglican Church. Lunch will not be provided, so please pack your child’s lunch.

The camp is a joint project of St. James Anglican Church and the Fairfield Foundation. To register, please contact Fr. Kevin Sweeney at (540)476-1471, or you may click on the following link to download the registration forms;

Archeology Camp Registration Form. Little Lights

The camp will be take place at St. James Anglican Church which is located off of route 17 in Gloucester behind Ken Houtz Chevrolet.

A brief history of the Abingdon Glebe

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Ready for spring planting.

The Abingdon Glebe was built circa 1725 in Gloucester County. A Glebe is a tract of land that belongs to a church parish. Glebes were farmed to sustain the church and its staff. The Abingdon Glebe is located 4 miles in each direction from Ware Episcopal Church and Abingdon Episcopal Church. Originally, the priest who lived in the Abingdon Glebe served both parishes.

After the Revolution, legislation was passed that removed Virginia’s glebes from the Church of England. In 1802 the Abingdon Glebe was taken by Gloucester County and kept for use by the Peasley Free School. It was sold after 1870 with the proceeds going to the school system of Gloucester County.

In 2006, the Abingdon Glebe went full circle. Upon his death, Mr. William M. Riddick III bequeathed the historic Glebe and land to St. James Anglican Church. The 65 acre property is still a working farm, vicarage, chapel and the home of St. James Anglican Church.