Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

The Sun Always Rises

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Great Vigil of Easter

Prayerbooks, Certificates and Church Register Books await the
Bishop's signature prior to The Great Vigil of Easter.

Tonight, March 30, Easter Eve, St. Thomas' will join with St. Alban's and Bishop Jake Owensby to celebrate the Great Vigil of Easter at St. Alban's. We will kindle the Paschal Fire at 7:30 p.m. We will confirm nine people and baptize one. Two of the confirmands are from the ULM Canterbury Ministry, which is led by Archdeacon Bette J. Kauffman.

Bishop Owensby will celebrate and preach, assisted by Archdeacon Bette, Father Whit and Mother Dawnell. It should be a wonderful evening. Join us!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bishop Jake's Wednesday Thought

Dear Sisters and Brothers,             

Spoiler Alert: This week's thought is an excerpt from my Good Friday sermon (to be preached at St. Mark's Cathedral).   I will be posting the entire sermon at Pelican Anglican and the audio on SoundCloud on that day as well. You can find the links below.

Somewhere along the line most of us learned that life is about getting it right. By "it" we mean life. Imbedded deep in our brains is an .mp3 that plays just loudly enough to insert a subliminal message: You better get this right. Don't screw it up.

It's as if we wake up every day to take the next section of a test we have already begun. Facing a test every day is stressful enough. Add to this the realization that you have already completely blown several of the previous sections. Most days you start the new section of the exam with a lower grade than you had yesterday.

If you go back to fix the sections you scarfed on the first go around, you run out of time on the section you're supposed to complete today and make a hash of it.

To make matters even worse, countless sections of the test are in fact pop quizzes over material you've never studied. You find yourself bluffing and stumbling and guessing your way through with wobbly knees and white knuckles, sure that everyone else is acing this portion of the test.

So now we've got another .mp3 running in our heads, only this one is a little louder. It's more like an earworm, a melody that keeps playing over and over and that we can't shut off. It says some variation on this: "You really blew that. You better hope nobody else saw that. You've got to do better."

As it turns out, not everything we learn is true. I learned that Pluto is a planet, that penguins mate for life, and that coffee is made from beans. The truth is that Pluto is too small to be a planet, that penguins love the ones their with, and that coffee comes from seeds.

None of this actually matters to me. But the truth about why I'm on this planet matters a lot. And I am relieved to know that I can ditch the old .mp3 in my head. I am not on this planet to get it right. I am on this planet to be made right. By Jesus. On the cross.

This is the lesson of the cross.

The cross is God's creative process. Through the cross God is writing our life as he envisions it. We provide the rough draft for God's finished product. We are in this world to be revised, amended, and reworked by God. Each day allows us to write another rough draft of who Jesus will make us through his suffering love.

We are not here to get it right. We are here so that Jesus can make us right with God, our neighbor, and ourselves.

In Christ's Love,
The Rt. Rev. Jacob W. Owensby, PhD, DD
The Diocese of Western Louisiana

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Justin Welby Enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury

One-time oil executive and former Bishop of Durham Justin Welby was formally enthroned (twice) as the 105th archbishop of Canterbury on March 21 during a two-hour ceremony that blended an ancient liturgy with a few modern twists.

In a famous tradition, the archbishop banged on the West Door three times with his pastoral staff, and the dean opened the door to welcome him. The archbishop was then greeted by Evangeline Kanagasooriam, a young member of the Anglican Communion and student at The King’s School in Canterbury, who asked Welby the following questions about his purpose for seeking admission to the cathedral:

Evangeline Kanagasooriam: We greet you in the name of Christ. Who are you and why do you request entry?
The Archbishop: I am Justin, a servant of Jesus Christ, and I come as one seeking the grace of God, to travel with you in his service together.
Evangeline: Why have you been sent to us?
The Archbishop: I am sent as Archbishop to serve you, to proclaim the love of Christ and with you to worship and love him with heart and soul, mind and strength
.Evangeline: How do you come among us and with what confidence?
The Archbishop: I come knowing nothing except Jesus Christ and him crucified, and in weakness and fear and in much trembling.

The archbishop was then enthroned in two seats – the Diocesan Throne and the Chair of St. Augustine. The two enthronements formalized Welby’s multi-faceted role as bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury, Primate of All England and spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion. 

Welby succeeds the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, who stepped down at the end of 2012 after serving as the 104th archbishop of Canterbury since February 2003. Williams is now master of Magdalene College, Cambridge. Welby is married to Caroline and they have five children, ranging in age from mid-teens to late 20s.

Source: Episcopal News Service

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Calendar Tab and Newsletter Link

Now at the top of our page in the tabs, we have a tab for our current calendar.

On the right hand side bar we now have a link to our current newsletter.

Both of these are in a pdf format and can be viewed on your computer, mobile device or printed for a hard copy.

Holy Week at St. Thomas'

Saturday, March 16, 2013

St Thomas Vestry Retreat

Today St. Thomas' vestry took some time to meet and plan for the year. We were welcomed at the Ryland's house and had a great meeting. We are thankful for all that we have and we are hoping to continue and do more this coming year.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Lenten Series

This week's Lenten service and meal is at St. Ablan's Episcopal Church at 2816 Deborah Dr.

Holy Eucharist 6 p.m.
Supper 7 p.m.

Preacher: Fr. Bob Dandridge of St. Pat's

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Taking Time to Pray

With the help of our Diocesan communications officer, Bob Harwell, Bishop Jake has begun a series of videotaped messages. It's just three and a half minutes long.

Bishop Jakes Wednesday Message

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Later today I will be leaving for the the Spring meeting of the House of Bishops. We will gather at Kanuga, the Episcopal camp and conference center just outside of Hendersonville, North Carolina.

We will conduct some business, but our spring meetings are mostly a retreat time. Our theme this year is "Godly Leadership in the Midst of Loss." Events such as the shootings in Newtown and Aurora, the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, and the personal losses of several of my brother and sister bishops lead us to reflect on how to proclaim the Good News in times of personal and community sorrow.

In a manner of speaking, we are always in the midst of loss. We live in a world populated by broken hearts, including our own. God's love for us provides the Gospel medicine we need to heal.

But let's help each other to remember that following Jesus is more than seeking healing for ourselves. On the contrary, as disciples of Jesus we offer ourselves as the instruments of his consolation and grace.

Paradoxically, Jesus frequently mends our hearts when we are most focused on the needs of others. He heals us as we tend to the physical want, emotional bruises, and spiritual scars of our neighbors. When we forget ourselves in his service, we become the most healthy self we can be.

Continued blessings for a holy Lent.

In Christ's Love,

The Rt. Rev. Jacob W. Owensby, PhD, DD
The Diocese of Western Louisiana

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Lenten Series

This week's Wednesday evening Lenten series service and supper is at Messiah Lutheran Church on Highway 165 just north of Christus St. Joseph's Home.

Holy Eucharist - 6 p.m.
Supper - 7 p.m.
Preacher: Fr. Whit Stodghill