Monday, May 31, 2021

Memorial Day


A Boy Scout salutes at the foot of a grave after volunteers placed flags in preparation for Memorial Day at the Los Angeles National Cemetery on May 28, 2016. Richard Vogel—AP

On this Memorial Day, we pray the collect For Heroic Service, page 839 in The Book of Common Prayer.

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.



Saturday, May 29, 2021

Today is an Ember Day

An Ymber Day Tart, cooked by following a medieval English recipe.

 
Ember days have their origin in the Latin Quatuor Tempora (four times).
 
Wednesday, Friday and Saturday of this week are Ember Days. So, we are in an Ember season. The Book of Common Prayer describes these quarterly remembrances on the Church’s calendar. The Ember Days, traditionally observed on the Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays after the First Sunday in Lent, the Day of Pentecost, Holy Cross Day, and December 13.
 
Further, the prayerbook contains the following prayers for Ember Days, which are set aside especially to pray for people in any sort of ministry:
 
For the Ministry (Ember Days) - For use on the traditional days or at other times.
BCP, pages 256, 257
 
I. For those to be ordained
 
Almighty God, the giver of all good gifts, in your divine providence you have appointed various orders in your Church: Give your grace, we humbly pray, to all who are [now] called to any office and ministry for your people; and so fill them with the truth of your doctrine and clothe them with holiness of life, that they may faithfully serve before you, to the glory of your great Name and for the benefit of your holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
 
II. For the choice of fit persons for the ministry
 
O God, you led your holy apostles to ordain ministers in every place: Grant that your Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, may choose suitable persons for the ministry of Word
and Sacrament, and may uphold them in their work for the extension of your kingdom; through him who is the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and
reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
 
III. For all Christians in their vocation
 
Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers, which we offer before
you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with
you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
 
As you can see, there is a prayer here for ALL of us. That is because we ALL have a vocation – a calling. Please take a moment to prayer one or all of these!

The First Sunday after Pentecost: Trinity Sunday

 
Join us for “at church” or “virtually” for worship this Sunday, May 30, 2021, The First Sunday after Pentecost: Trinity Sunday, at St. Alban’s, St. Thomas’, St. Patrick’s, and Iglesia Episcopal La Esperanza de Familias Unidas. Per the May 14, 2021 COVID Update From Bishop Owensby, we will no longer require social distancing or masks for anyone fully vaccinated. All those who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear masks, and social distance for their own safety and the safety of others.
 
Holy Eucharist, Rite Two
St. Alban’s – 8:30 a.m. or at 10:30 a.m.*
St. Thomas' - 10:00 a.m.*
St. Patrick’s – 1:30 p.m.*
 
These liturgies will be Live-Streamed on Facebook for those who choose to remain at home. A pdf of the leaflet that can be used on your phone or tablet is available at this link – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bysh6E2kHn1e85JEoEQLtJaXUMglljm9/view?usp=sharing
Please contact the clergy if you wish to receive a home communion visit.
 
La Santa Eucaristía: Rito Dos
Iglesia Episcopal La Esperanza de Familias Unidas – Domingo - 5:00 p.m.
y vía transmisión en vivo en nuestra página de Facebook.
 
Zoom Compline
Sunday -  8:00 p.m.
 
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83861688528?pwd=WFdBcndxV3hzbUpETDNTSFFzc3Z0QT09
Meeting ID: 838 6168 8528
Passcode: 800
Dial by your location +1 312 626 6799 or +1 346 248 7799
 
We hope to “see” you all on Sunday as you are most comfortable!
 
Whit+, Dawnell+, Deacon Rita, and Deacon Rob
 
Art from Clip Art, Steve Erspamer, Liturgy Training Publications – ltp.org

Friday, May 28, 2021

Mechthild of Madgeburg

 Mechthild of Madgeburg, Mystic, c.1282

The Collect:

Draw the souls of your people into your love, O God, that like your servant Mechthild, we may yearn to be fully yours, for you know us better than we can know ourselves; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God now and for ever. Amen.

Mechthild of Magdeburg (c. 1207 – c. 1282/1294), a Beguine, was a Christian medieval mystic, whose book Das fließende Licht der Gottheit (The Flowing Light of Divinity) described her visions of God, and was composed between 1250 and 1280. What is unusual about her writings is that she composed her work in middle low German at a time when most wisdom literature was composed in Latin. Thus she is remembered as an early proponent and popularizer of German as a language worthy of the divine and holy. Mechthild’s writing is exuberant and emotional: her descriptions of her visions are filled with passion. While her work was translated into Latin during her lifetime, her work was largely forgotten by the 15th century, but was rediscovered in the late 19th century. Her work has been increasingly studied, both for its academic interest and as a work of devotional literature.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

The First Book of Common Prayer

 The First Book of Common Prayer – 1549

Observed on a weekday following the Day of Pentecost

The Collect

Almighty and everliving God, who through the Book of Common Prayer restored the language of the people in the prayers of your church: Make us always thankful for this heritage; and help us so to pray in the Spirit and with understanding, that we may worthily magnify your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

In 1549, under the reign of Edward VI, successor to Henry VIII, the primary language of public worship in England and other areas ruled by Edward was changed from Latin to English, and the first Book of Common Prayer came into use. It was first used on Pentecost Sunday, 9 June 1549, and the occasion is now commemorated "on the first convenient day following Pentecost." The Book was the work of a commission of scholars, but primarily of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury. More information on The Book of Common Prayer – 1549, including a facsimile copy in pdf can be found here - http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/1549/BCP_1549.htm

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Augustine

Augustine, First Archbishop of Canterbury, 605

The Collect:

O Lord our God, who by your Son Jesus Christ called your servant Augustine to preach the Gospel to the English people: We pray that all whom you call and send may do your will, bide your time, and see your glory; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Augustine of Canterbury was a monk who became the first Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 597. He is considered the "Apostle to the English" and a founder of the English Church. When Augustine was consecrated bishop, he established his headquarters at Canterbury. From his day to the  present, there has been an unbroken succession of archbishops of Canterbury.

Join us tonight for Evening Prayer and our Bible Project Class to find out more about Augustine, his connection one of my husband Whit's favorite places in the whole world, and learn something new about the Bible.

Zoom Evening Prayer & Bible Project
Wednesday, 5:30 p.m.
 
Join Zoom Meeting
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



Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Bede

 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.

Bede was a monk, priest, and historian. From the age of seven, he spent all his life at that monastery except for a few brief visits to nearby sites. He says of himself: "I have devoted my energies to a study of the Scriptures, observing monastic discipline, and singing the daily services in church; study, teaching, and writing have always been my delight." Bede was the first person to write scholarly works in the English language, although unfortunately only fragments of his English writings have survived. He translated the Gospel of John into Old English, completing the work on the very day of his death. He also wrote extensively in Latin. Bede’s best-known work is his History of the English Church and People. His work is our chief source for the history of the British Isles during this period. Fortunately, Bede was careful to sort fact from hearsay, and to tell us the sources of his information. He also wrote hymns and other verse, the first martyrology with historical notes, letters and homilies, works on grammar, on chronology and astronomy -- Bede was aware that the earth is a sphere, and he is the first historian to date events ANNO DOMINI, and the earliest known writer to state that the solar year is not exactly 365 and a quarter days long, so that the Julian calendar (one leap year every four years) requires some adjusting if the months are not to get out of step with the seasons.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Jackson 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 lives and reigns, 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.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Helena of Constantinople

Helena of Constantinople, Protector of the Holy Places, 330

The Collect:

Most Merciful God, who blessed your servant Helena with such grace and devotion to you that she venerated the very footsteps of our Savior; Grant unto us the same grace that, aided by her prayers and example, we also may always behold your glory in the cross of your Son. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Helena, or Saint Helena (Greek: 'Aγία 'Eλένη, Hagía Helénē, was born the lowest of commoners, possibly in Drepana, Bithynia in Asia Minor, she became the consort of the future Roman Emperor Constantius Chlorus and the mother of the future Emperor Constantine the Great.

 

Helena ranks as an important figure in the history of Christianity and of the world due to her influence on her son. In her final years, she made a religious tour of Syria Palaestina and Jerusalem, during which she allegedly discovered the True Cross. According to Eusebius of Caesarea, who records the details of her pilgrimage to Palestine and other eastern provinces, she was responsible for the construction or beautification of two churches, the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, and the Church of Eleona on the Mount of Olives, sites of Christ's birth and ascension, respectively.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Join Us Sunday for Pentecost




















Wear red and join us for “at church” or “virtually” for worship this Sunday, May 23, 2021, The Day of Pentecost: Whitsunday, at St. Alban’s, St. Thomas’, St. Patrick’s, and Iglesia Episcopal La Esperanza de Familias UnidasPer the May 14, 2021 COVID Update From Bishop Owensby, we will no longer require social distancing or masks for anyone fully vaccinated. All those who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear masks, and social distance for their own safety and the safety of others.

Holy Eucharist, Rite Two
St. Alban’s – 8:30 a.m. or at 10:30 a.m.*
St. Thomas' - 10:00 a.m.*
St. Patrick’s – 1:30 p.m.*

 These liturgies will be Live-Streamed on Facebook for those who choose to remain at home. A pdf of the leaflet that can be used on your phone or tablet is available at this link – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qW_JMhLWykVrpYzC0uamPRDCmIAXZ_2Y/view?usp=sharing
Please contact the clergy if you wish to receive a home communion visit.

La Santa Eucaristía: Rito Dos
Iglesia Episcopal La Esperanza de Familias Unidas – Domingo - 5:00 p.m.
y vía transmisión en vivo en nuestra página de Facebook.
 
Zoom Compline
Sunday -  8:00 p.m.
 
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83861688528?pwd=WFdBcndxV3hzbUpETDNTSFFzc3Z0QT09
Meeting ID: 838 6168 8528
Passcode: 800
Dial by your location +1 312 626 6799 or +1 346 248 7799
 
We hope to “see” you all on Sunday as you are most comfortable!
 
Dawnell+, Whit+, Deacon Rita, and Deacon Rob
 
Art from Clip Art, Steve Erspamer, Liturgy Training Publications – ltp.org

Lydia of Thyatira

 Lydia of Thyatira, Coworker of the Apostle Paul

The Collect:

Eternal God, who gives good gifts to all people, and who grants the spirit of generosity: Give us, we pray you, hearts always open to hear your word, that, following the example of your servant Lydia, we may show hospitality to those who are in any need or trouble; through Jesus Christ our Lord who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Acts of the Apostles says this about Lydia, “We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. A certain woman named Lydia, a worshipper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, ‘If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.’ And she prevailed upon us.”

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Alcuin of York

 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.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Lee's Burial Sermon

For those who missed today's liturgy, I share the following. It is Whit's sermon.

Lee G. Jefferson – Burial Sermon, May 19, 2021
Wisdom 3:1-5, 9, Psalm 139:1-11, Revelation 21:2-7, John 6: 37-40
Delivered with all my love, The Rev’d T. Whitfield Stodghill, III – Whit+

Every year, the Church’s calendar rolls round and round like a great wheel. Today we find ourselves at the conjunction of Easter and Pentecost. There is no better time to celebrate the life, and witness of Lee Jefferson. Lee was, and will ever be, a living witness to God’s ability to bring freedom from bondage, life from death. Lee was set on fire by the Holy Spirit. See, God makes all things new.


On the desk of my office is a small, frosted, glass bird. It is a reminder of the day I was ordained a deacon at another Grace church, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. That afternoon, a friend and I had a reception at the seminary to celebrate the day. As we cleaned up, we carried leftovers from the activity room back to the refectory. The doors were propped open. On almost the last trip, I found two small birds, trapped in the dining space. I longed to set them free. They had flown in the open door, and I worked to shoosh them out. One paused – looked directly at me – hopped up the steps – and flew out the door. The other – flew to a scupper window I had opened – paused on the frame – cocked its head - looked me in the eye – and flew to freedom. That night, lying in bed with Dawnell, Bishop Swing’s words from our ordination sermon and the day’s Gospel from Matthew rang loud. “Have no fear, Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father… So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.” We are of infinite worth to God. I woke Dawnell, and shared it all, and I wept with thanks-filled tears of joy. 

Bishop Swing told us that in life, and in ministry, we would be greatly hurt, even by the Church. But, he said, we would be greatly loved, by God, by others, and by the Church. Lee was greatly hurt by others,  and by the world. But Lee was greatly loved by God, by others, and by the Church. The Church got it exactly right for Lee.

Several years ago, Lee came to me, sat in my office. Surely, God was in that place. So, was my little glass bird. Lee said to me, “For a long time, I have wanted to serve the Church. I haven’t known how. I want to help you, too. I think I need to do that now, but I don’t know how, or what to do. Maybe I could be a deacon, a servant?” Without hesitation, I said, “Let’s spend some time thinking, and discerning. Talk to Rita. I think you are called to be a priest.” Lee was speechless. 

Lee served as lector, and Eucharistic Minister at St. Alban’s. I knew he struggled to read in front of others, but he was always there. He served in many other ways too. Lee was a person of great faith. In time, he told me that he was dyslexic,  how he struggled in school, and how he was told he was stupid, and lazy from a young age. “People see Georgia Tucker school, and talk about what a pretty building it is,” Lee said. “I see a prison.”

Not long after, we took our journey to visit with Bishop Jake, who after listening to Lee’s story, told Lee, “No more excuses! You can do this!” We began EfM – Sewanee’s four year program of Theological Education – with a daunting amount of reading - at Graduate School Level – Old Testament, New Testament, Church History, and Theology. Lee read it ALL, and more – Rita by his side. They read the prayers of the Church, the daily office together, and they served. They drove one nursing home resident to, and from church - week in, and week out. They cooked, cleaned, set up the altar, changed the church’s seasonal colors. Lee and Rita grew in their confidence, and in their love of God, and in their love of one another. 

Lee’s life was, and will ever be, a living witness to God’s ability to bring freedom from bondage, life from death. We are set on fire by the Holy Spirit. God makes all things new. I saw it. Others did too. The Church saw it. The Church nurtured it. 

The Church got it exactly right for Lee. No more excuses! You can do this! We ALL believed. We are of infinite worth to God.

Lee was ordained deacon, and then priest. Lee was set free. Lee was filled with new life. Lee was set on fire by the Holy Spirit. Lee was a fearless, deacon and priest, of infinite worth to God.

When Lee stumbled to read – people witnessed courage. At St. Luke’s in Grambling – a bastion of the highest learning – in a congregation filled with Doctors of Philosophy, and people whose lives were spent educating generations of students, Lee won their admiration, and respect. One of his proudest moments was when one of pillars of that church, and of Grambling State University told him, “You are the bravest white man I ever meet.” It was Lee’s honorary Ph.D.

When Lee made a reading mistake or verbal gaff, it was often instructive. Like the Yogi Berra of priestcraft, Lee often said something deeply meaningful by accident or perhaps inspiration. He often confused your and our when talking of God. Ours is the kingdom and power and glory – when he did – he inadvertently claimed promises made to us by God through Jesus. Ideas of the Orthodox mystics, Theosis – God’s desire to make all creation ONE. Every time Lee made such a “mistake,” he promised to work on it. Lee laughed at himself, and I learned something new – thought something new. 

The Church uses sacraments – outward and visible signs to talk about inward and spiritual things – Things seen to speak of things unseen. We use birds to symbolize the Holy Spirit. Lee’s life was a living symbol of God’s ability to bring freedom from bondage, life from death, and the power of being set on fire by the Holy Spirit. God makes ALL things new. Lee flew into my life, and the lives of countless others to bear witness to God. Let us have confidence in that! May we weep this day, not only with tears of sadness, but with Easter tears – transformed when Jesus calls us each by name. May we have no fear. May we remember that we are of infinite worth to God. And may we remember – this day always – to have no excuses. May we become living witnesses to God’s ability to  bring  freedom from bondage, and life from death. May we be set on fire by the Holy Spirit. May we remember that God makes all things new! Amen.

A copy of the leaflet is available in a downloadable pdf here. 

Father Lee Jefferson's Burial - Today

 Father Lee Jefferson's Burial - Today

We will celebrate the life of The Rev'd Lee Jefferson with Burial and Holy Eucharist on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, at 11:00 a.m, at Grace Episcopal Church, the Rev’d Donald Smith, rector, the Right Rev’d Jacob W. Owensby presiding, and the Rev'd T. Whitfield Stodghill, III,  preaching. 

Visitation will be held before the service at 10:00 a.m. at Kilbourne Hall.  Masks required at the visitation and funeral (an announcement will be made if this changes).

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to St. Alban’s Church, 2816 Deborah Drive,  Monroe 71201, and will all go to Camp Hardtner.

The liturgy will be live-streamed on Facebook, you may view this at Grace Episcopal Church. Thanks to our friends at Grace for hosting us and providing the live-stream.

Dunstan

 Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, 988


Today, the Church remembers Dunstan, a monk and Archbishop. Join us tonight for Evening Prayer and our Bible Project Class to find out more about Dunstan and learn something new about the Bible.
 
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.

Zoom Evening Prayer & Bible Project
Wednesday, 5:30 p.m.
 
Join Zoom Meeting
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

Monday, May 17, 2021

Today's Remembrance

 

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.

Note: Sometimes, it is strange to think of people we may know, or know of, as Saints who will be remembered. 

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Pachomius of Tabenissi

 Pachomius of Tabenissi, Monastic, 348

Today, the Church remembers Pachomius of Tabenissi. Pachomius (Greek: Παχώμιος, ca. 292–348), also known as Pachome and Pakhomius, is generally recognized as the founder of Christian cenobitic monasticism, which is a monastic tradition that stresses community life, and where the community belongs to a religious order, and the life of the cenobitic monk is regulated by a religious rule, a collection of precepts.

Pachomius was born in 292 in Thebes (Luxor, Egypt) to pagan parents. He converted to Christianity and was baptized in 314. Pachomius was abbot to the cenobites for some forty years. During an epidemic (probably plague), Pachomius called the monks, strengthened their faith, and appointed his successor. Pachomius then died on 9 May 348 A.D.

By the time Pachomius died eight monasteries and several hundred monks followed his guidance. Within a generation, cenobic practices spread from Egypt to Palestine and the Judean Desert, Syria, North Africa and eventually Western Europe.

The Collect:

Set us free, O God, from all false desires, vain ambitions, and everything that would separate us from your love; that, like your servant Pachomius, we might give ourselves fully to a life of discipleship, seeking you alone and serving those whom you have given us to serve; through Jesus Christ, our only mediator and advocate. Amen.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Worship this Sunday

  


Join us for “at church” or “virtually” for worship this Sunday, May 16, 2021, The Seventh Sunday of Easter: The Sunday after Ascension Day, at St. Alban’s, St. Thomas’, St. Patrick’s, and Iglesia Episcopal La Esperanza de Familias UnidasPer the May 14, 2021 COVID Update From Bishop Owensby, we will no longer require social distancing or masks for anyone fully vaccinated. All those who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear masks, and social distance for their own safety and the safety of others.
 
Holy Eucharist, Rite Two
St. Alban’s – 8:30 a.m. or at 10:30 a.m.*
St. Thomas' - 10:00 a.m.*
St. Patrick’s – 1:30 p.m.*
 
These liturgies will be Live-Streamed on Facebook for those who choose to remain at home. A pdf of the leaflet that can be used on your phone or tablet is available at this link – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gYkv13iZQG-cw_CBG6jEXeDuymszHNIM/view?usp=sharing
Please contact the clergy if you wish to receive a home communion visit.
 
La Santa Eucaristía: Rito Dos
Iglesia Episcopal La Esperanza de Familias Unidas – Domingo - 5:00 p.m.
y vía transmisión en vivo en nuestra página de Facebook.
 
Zoom Compline
Sunday -  8:00 p.m.
 
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83861688528?pwd=WFdBcndxV3hzbUpETDNTSFFzc3Z0QT09
Meeting ID: 838 6168 8528
Passcode: 800
Dial by your location +1 312 626 6799 or +1 346 248 7799
 
We hope to “see” you all on Sunday as you are most comfortable!
 
And remember - We will celebrate the life of The Rev'd Lee Jefferson with Burial and Holy Eucharist on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, at 11:00 a.m., at Grace Episcopal Church, the Rev’d Donald Smith, rector, the Right Rev’d Jacob W. Owensby presiding, and the Rev'd T. Whitfield Stodghill, III,  preaching.  Visitation will be held before the service at 10:00 a.m. at Kilbourne Hall.  Masks required at the visitation and funeral (an announcement will be made if this changes). In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to St. Alban’s Church, 2816 Deborah Drive,  Monroe 71201, and will all go to Camp Hardtner.
 
Dawnell+, Whit+, Deacon Rita, and Deacon Rob
 
Art from Clip Art, Steve Erspamer, Liturgy Training Publications – ltp.org

Father Lee Jefferson's Burial

  

We will celebrate the life of The Rev'd Lee Jefferson with Burial and Holy Eucharist on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, at 11:00 a.m, at Grace Episcopal Church, the Rev’d Donald Smith, rector, the Right Rev’d Jacob W. Owensby presiding, and the Rev'd T. Whitfield Stodghill, III,  preaching. 

Visitation will be held before the service at 10:00 a.m. at Kilbourne Hall.  Masks required at the visitation and funeral (an announcement will be made if this changes).

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to St. Alban’s Church, 2816 Deborah Drive,  Monroe 71201, and will all go to Camp Hardtner.

UPDATE from Bishop Jake

 


COVID Update From Bishop Owensby

Friday, May 14, 2021

Dear Friends,

Yesterday’s CDC announcement comes as a relief to many of us. With a few exceptions, fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks or maintain social distance outdoors or indoors. The few exceptions outlined by the CDC do not include churches.

Accordingly, masks and social distancing are no longer required for those who are fully vaccinated in worship, study, or fellowship settings in our congregations. Those who are not yet vaccinated should continue wearing masks and observing social distancing for their own protection and to prevent infecting other unvaccinated persons. Congregations will not verify anyone’s vaccination status.

Because many of our young people have only recently been given access to the vaccine, I am implementing interim measures to continue to protect them until full vaccination could reasonably have been achieved. Independence Day will mark our pivot to the full lifting of pandemic restrictions barring unforeseen setbacks. Below is an outline of these interim guidelines.

For the Holy Eucharist: We may now return to the altar rail to receive communion. We will receive the wine by intinction until Independence Day. A customary passing of the Peace will resume on Independence Day.

Sanitation: Return now to normal sanitation practices and keep hand sanitizer available. Surfaces have not been shown to spread the virus.

Social Gatherings: Coffee hour and receptions may now resume indoors and out. Potluck meals and other gatherings with a sit-down meal will resume on Independence Day.

Children’s and Youth Christian Formation: For now follow the guidance provided by the state for schools when inside and outside.

Singing: For the fully vaccinated, congregational and choral singing without masks and distancing is allowed. Others should wear masks and observe distance until Independence Day.

As always, local variations are permissible. Each congregation exists in its own ministry context. Depending upon local conditions and the health of those involved, clergy and lay leadership may require continued mask wearing and social distancing.

We are aiming for Independence Day as our Pivot Day to the new normal. Unforeseen developments can change this, but optimism is called for. We have learned much about building virtual community, discovered new ministries, and recognized that some ministries have run their course. Now it’s time to apply this learning to plans for Rally Day as well as for a full Program and Liturgical Year.

Faithfully in Christ,

 

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

Note: Per the above guidelines, we will no longer require social distancing or masks for anyone fully vaccinated. All those who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear masks, and social distance for their own safety and the safety of others. 

From the Presiding Bishop

From our Presiding Bishop - click here.



Friday Love

 

Thursday, May 13, 2021

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.

The Collect:

Grant, we pray, Almighty God, that as we believe your only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into heaven, so we may also in heart and mind there ascend, and with him continually dwell; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. 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 over the course of 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 towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards 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 12, 2021

Eve of Ascension Day - Zoom Evening Prayer & Bible Project Class

 Eve of Ascension Day

Ascension Day always falls forty days after Easter and marks the end of Jesus’ post resurrection appearances to his disciples. Since today is the Eve of Ascension Day, we will use the propers for Zoom Evening Prayer tonight, Wednesday, May 12, at 5:30 p.m. Our Bible Project Class follows.
 
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.
 
or this
 
Grant, we pray, Almighty God, that as we believe your only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into heaven, so we may also in heart and mind there ascend, and with him continually dwell; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
 
Join us…
Zoom Evening Prayer & Bible Project Class
Wednesday, 5:30 p.m.
 
Join Zoom Meeting
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

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Johann Arndt and Jacob Boehme

 Johann Arndt and Jacob Boehme, Mystics, 1621 and 1624

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.

Jakob Boehme ( 24 April 1575 – 17 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.

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.


Boehme
Arndt

Monday, May 10, 2021

Father Lee













Dear Friends,

I share with you all a message from Bishop Jake Owensby to the clergy of the Diocese, because I can't let you know this sad news with words any better...

Dear Friends,

I am sad to share with you the news that our brother Fr. Lee Jefferson passed into eternal life today. It is a terrible loss for us all, especially for his spouse Deacon Rita and the rest of the family.

O Lover of Souls, receive our friend Lee into the arms of your mercy. May he rest this day in peace and dwell forever in the warmth of your eternal light. Amen.

Holy One, in your mercy grant consolation and comfort to those who grieve, especially Rita and all of Lee’s family and friends. Amen.

Funeral arrangements will be made in due course. Once details have been finalized, I will let you know. In the meantime, hold Lee’s loved ones in your heart and in your prayers.

In Christ’s Peace,
+Jake

More information will follow.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Join us Tomorrow

 

Join us for “at church” or “virtually” for worship this Sunday, May 9, 2021, The Sixth Sunday of Easter and 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. or at 10:30 a.m.*
St. Thomas' - 10:00 a.m.*
St. Patrick’s – 1:30 p.m.*
 
* These liturgies will be Live-Streamed on Facebook for those who choose to remain at home. A pdf of the leaflet that can be used on your phone or tablet is available at this link – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pxXgQ0a4EA0f_rEgTZLjmtVJOISlq9Zo/view?usp=sharing
Please contact the clergy if you wish to receive a home communion visit.
 
La Santa Eucaristía: Rito Dos, el Sexto domingo de Pascua y el Día de la Madre.
Iglesia Episcopal La Esperanza de Familias Unidas – Domingo - 5:00 p.m.
y vía transmisión en vivo en nuestra página de Facebook.
 
Zoom Compline
Sunday -  8:00 p.m.
 
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83861688528?pwd=WFdBcndxV3hzbUpETDNTSFFzc3Z0QT09
Meeting ID: 838 6168 8528
Passcode: 800
Dial by your location +1 312 626 6799 or +1 346 248 7799
 
We hope to “see” you all on Sunday as you are most comfortable!
 
Dawnell+, Whit+, Lee+, Deacon Rita, and Deacon Rob
 
Art from Clip Art, Steve Erspamer, Liturgy Training Publications – ltp.org