We will celebrate this wonderful event on Saturday, October 3, 2015, at 11:00 a.m. on the parish grounds. St. Francis of Assisi so loved animals and all of God’s creation that we remember him as a friend and protector of them. Every member of the community is invited to bring their pets to be blessed. To ensure that all the pets get along peaceably and for their safety, pet owners are asked to have their animals on a leash or in a secure pen.
Our Second Annual Rally Day was a wonderful day of worship, fun and fellowship. The purpose of this day was for us to rally around the importance of Biblical and Christian Education with a renewed commitment to be involved in the many wonderful opportunities that we have in our parish to learn more about our Triune God in various studies for children, youth, and adults. Many parishioners as well as visitors participated as we gathered for ice cream sundaes and games and prizes. One of the highlights this year was a skit that was performed by the kids and several adults. Many of our parishioners played key roles in the success of Rally Day 2015. Thank you all so much for all your hard work, dedication, and participation!!
The Order of St. Luke the Physician is an international ministry of intercessory prayer, and in particular, prayers for healing. The Diocese of Fort Worth has a chapter of this international ministry and our parish has been participating in this ministry for several years now with its own group. We are told in Scripture that we are to pray without ceasing, and that we should pray for one another especially in times of need and sickness. If you would like to become a person of deeper and more dedicated intercessory prayer, then OSL is for you. Members of the St. John’s OSL meet on the second Sunday of every month for lunch and a time of study and learning (after all, continual study and education through the guidance of the Holy Spirit is necessary to become well-equipped prayer warriors for God). Additionally, some members meet immediately after the 10:30 a.m. Eucharist each week in the chapel for a short time of intercessory prayer. Beginning at the October meeting, Suzanne Prosise will begin a study that will provide step by step directions and guidance for praying based upon the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. This will be a wonderful study on prayer and the spiritual life for busy people and a great time to join OSL.
A very important, but sometimes overlooked, aspect of liturgical worship is that of ascension in worship. You may be unfamiliar with this concept, yet it has been part of the Church’s teaching on worship from the earliest days. The Early Church Fathers set forth a doctrine called the Ascension of the Church. The Ascension they were talking about was neither Christ’s bodily ascension after His Resurrection, nor the Second Coming at the end of time. Rather it was the Church’s constant and progressive drawing nigh to Christ in worship in order to behold His glory, rejoice in His presence, and receive His grace.
The Orans posture refers to “standing in prayer with hands extended.” Orans means “one who prays” and comes from the Latin “oro” meaning “to pray, beg, supplicate, beseech.” It is one of the most ancient Christian prayer positions, represented 153 times by pictures in the Roman catacombs.
The Orans position or some variation of it, was common to almost all ancient religions as an outward sign of supplicating God (or if a pagan religion, the gods). Consider what we do when we plead with someone. We might put our arms out in front of us as if reaching for the person and say “I beg you, help me.” This seems to be a natural human gesture coming from deep within us – like kneeling to adore or to express sorrow. Now, turn that reach heavenwards and you have the Orans position.