Author: Church

October Schedule

October Schedule

  • Christian Education Classes: The Adult & Children/Youth Sunday morning Christian Education classes meet each Sunday at 9:15 a.m. The adult class is studying the Pentateuch (the first five Books of the Bible) and is currently examining the Book of Exodus.
  • Choir Practice: The choir practices every Sunday after the 10:30 a.m. Mass.
  • Wednesday Evening Service: Holy Eucharist with Unction at 6:30 p.m. followed by a study of the History of the Church during the Modern Period (1650-1900).
  • Men of St. John’s Group: Monthly breakfast/meeting will be held on October 28 at 8:45 a.m.
All Saints Day & All Souls’ Day

All Saints Day & All Souls’ Day

 

Wednesday, November 1 is All Saints’ Day. This is the day we celebrate the lives as all the canonized Saints as well as saints who lived exemplary lives known by the Church who are now in the presence of God in heaven. We will observe this important Holy Day with a special Eucharist at 6:30 p.m. on that Wednesday.

Thursday, November 2 is All Souls’ Day. This is the day we celebrate and honor the souls of every person who has ever died in faith and fear (both known and unknown to us). We will observe this important Holy Day with a (Said) Eucharist that will include a unique liturgy for All Souls’ Day at 6:30 p.m. on that Thursday. We will offer special prayers for our loved ones who are with the Lord.

Episcopal Visit – November 5

Episcopal Visit – November 5

We are excited that the Rt. Rev. Jack L. Iker will be making his Episcopal visit to St. John’s on November 5 (All Saints’ Sunday). Bishop Iker will be the homilist and celebrant at a special 10:30 a.m. Eucharist. Four parishioners will be confirmed and one parishioner will be received that morning. After the 10:30 a.m. Eucharist, there will be a special pot-luck lunch in honor of the Bishop’s visit and the confirmands. This will be a very special Sunday in the life of our parish, so please make every effort to be here on that Sunday as our Bishop ministers to us!

 

Chili Supper Fundraiser

Chili Supper Fundraiser

Join us this Saturday, October 21 (5:30-7:00 p.m.) for a chili supper fundraiser. We will serve chili with toppings, deserts, and drinks. Tickets are $8.00 (children under the age of 5 are free). You can eat in the parish hall or get your order to go.

THE FEAST OF ST. MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS

THE FEAST OF ST. MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS

There will be a (Said) Eucharist celebrating this important feast this Friday, September 29 at 12:00 noon.

THE FEAST OF ST. MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS

“The scriptural word “angel” (Greek: angelos) means, literally, a messenger. Messengers from God can be visible or invisible, and may assume human or non-human forms. Christians have always felt themselves to be attended by healthful spirits—swift, powerful, and enlightening. Those beneficent spirits are often depicted in Christian art in human form, with wings to signify their swiftness and spacelessness, with swords to signify their power, and with dazzling raiment to signify their ability to enlighten. Unfortunately, this type of pictorial representation has led many to dismiss the angels as “just another mythical beast, like the unicorn, the griffin, or the sphinx.

St. Michael, who ranks among the seven archangels, is also one of the four angels mentioned by name in the Scriptures, the others being St. Raphael, St. Gabriel, and St. Uriel. The Archangel Michael is the powerful agent of God who wards off evil from God’s people, and delivers peace to them at the end of life’s mortal struggle. “Michaelmas,” as his feast is called in England, has long been one of the popular celebrations of the Christian Year in many parts of the world.”

“St. Michael is spoken of twice in the Old Testament, and twice in the New. The first reference occurs in the Book of Daniel (chapter 10), where Michael comes to comfort Daniel after he has had a vision, and promises to be his helper in all things. In Daniel 12, Michael is called “the great prince who standeth for the children of Thy people.” In these references Michael is represented as Israel’s great support during the seventy years of the Babylonian captivity. Daniel, wise and holy leader that he was, wanted his people to understand that God had not forgotten them, and that, even though enslaved, they had a royal champion. In the New Testament (Jude 9), we are told that Michael disputed with the devil over the body of Moses; this episode is not mentioned elsewhere in the Bible.

In the Apocalypse (chapter 12) we find the most dramatic reference to St. Michael. Here John recounts the great battle in Heaven, when the wicked angels under Lucifer revolt against God, and how Michael, leading the faithful angels, defeats the hosts of evil and drives them out. In this role he has been painted by many artists, and the poet Milton, in book four of Paradise Lost, recounts the famous struggle. Because of this victory, St. Michael is revered in Catholic tradition and liturgy as the protector of the Church, as once he was regarded as the protector of the Israelites. In the Eastern Church, as well as among many theologians in the West, St Michael is placed over all the angels, as prince of the Seraphim. His emblems are a banner, a sword, a dragon, and scales. The name Michael is a variation of Micah, meaning in Hebrew, ‘Who is like God?’ ” (Sources: The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and Fasts, Third Edition, p. 330 and ewtn.com/library/mary/michael.htm).

St. Francis Day Blessing of the Animals

St. Francis Day Blessing of the Animals

We will celebrate this wonderful event this Saturday, September 30 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.

THE CREEDS

THE CREEDS

 

“The title creed comes from the Latin word Credo which means ‘I believe.’ The creeds sum up the Church’s formulated faith and belief in the Gospel revelation. Its personal form – notice the ‘I,’ not ‘we’ – is a reminder of the individual profession of faith in the Gospel made by each of us at our baptism.

In reciting the creeds together, we declare that we receive, believe and are one with the teaching of God and His Church. We stand to show our respect for this faith and to show our willingness to act in defense of that faith whenever we are granted that privilege.

The practice of turning to the East when the creeds are recited is an ancient tradition in Christianity. From the earliest days, Christians worshipped and reverenced God facing the East to emphasize their belief in the Resurrection of their Living Lord Jesus. As the sun rose in the east, the Son of God rose from the dead. For this reason churches were built facing the East and are always considered to be liturgically facing the East even if they were built in a Westward direction. Also, this Resurrection theme explains why ministers in some parishes face the East to conduct services.

During the recitation of the creeds, many will bow their head at the mention of the name Jesus Christ. This practice is based on the scriptural statement, “. . . at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow” (Philippians 2:10). Also many will make the sign of the cross at the end of the creeds. Of course the cross is the most basic, central, and ancient symbol of the work of salvation. From the earliest days of Christianity, baptism was the point at which first commitment to Christ was pledged with creedal statements. The sign of the cross was made on the forehead of the one who had been baptized. This symbolic gesture was to remind the person that the only way to God was through the cross, faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ for payment of sin. Since reciting the creeds is a rehearsing of baptismal commitments, the sign of the cross is made at the end of the creeds in the same way it was first received at baptism as part of the covenant renewal process.

The Church recognizes three creeds: The Apostles’ Creed; the Nicene Creed; and the Athanasian Creed. We will look at each of these in the coming weeks.”

(Sources: Bishop Ray R. Sutton, An Instructional Commentary of the Order of Daily Morning Prayer, pp. 12-13; Bishop Ray R. Sutton, An Instructional Commentary of the Order of Holy Communion, p. 10; Rev. Brad Cunningham, The Holy Eucharist: An Instructed Celebration, p. 5)

C.S. Lewis and the Liturgy

C.S. Lewis and the Liturgy

“The advantage of a fixed form of service is that we know what is coming. Ex tempore public prayer has this difficulty; we don’t know whether we can mentally join in it until we’ve heard it – it might be phony or heretical. We are therefore called upon to carry critical and devotional activity at the same moment: two things hardly compatible. In a fixed form we ought to have ‘gone through the motions’ before in our private prayers; the rigid forms really set our devotions free. I also find the more rigid it is, the easier it is to keep one’s thoughts from straying. Also, it prevents getting too completely eaten up by whatever happens to be the preoccupation of the moment (i.e., war, an election, or what not). The permanent shape of Christianity shows through. I don’t see how the ex tempore method can help becoming provincial, and I think it has a great tendency to direct attention to the minister rather that to God.”                                                                       (Source: C.S. Lewis, Letters, 1 April 1952)

The Sign of the Cross

The Sign of the Cross

The cross is the most basic, central, and ancient sign of the work of salvation by Jesus Christ. Therefore, from the earliest days of Christianity the sign of the cross has been used as a symbol marking someone or something as belonging to Christ. It was once used among persecuted Christians to identify themselves to each other. Now it is a public announcement declaring Christ’s ownership of us and our allegiance to Him.

The sign of the cross is made for the first time on a person when he or she is baptized by the minster on his or her forehead. This symbolic gesture is to remind the person that the only way to God is through the cross; that is, faith in the finished work of Christ for payment of sin.

Since the reciting of the Creeds (Apostles’ and Nicene) are a rehearsing of our baptismal commitments, the sign of the cross is made at the end of the creed in the same way it the same way it was first received at baptism as part of the covenant renewal process. It is also appropriate to sign oneself at the absolution of sins as a gesture of receiving the forgiveness offered by Christ to all those who truly repent and at the final blessing as a sign of receiving this blessing. We also make the sign of the cross on the forehead, the lips, and the center of the chest at the introduction of the Gospel Lesson during the Eucharist as a prayer that the Gospel with be in our minds, on our lips, and in hearts.

 

 

Trinity Sunday

Trinity Sunday

This week it may appear on the surface that the Church calendar is a bit disjointed. One week after celebrating the Pentecostal feast commemorating the giving of the Holy Spirit to the Church the calendar jumps to a feast that celebrates the Doctrine of the blessed Holy Trinity. Over the first half of the Church year, we have been focusing upon and recapitulating the historical events in the life of Jesus Christ (His incarnation and birth, His earthly ministry, His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, His passion and sacrificial death, His victorious resurrection, His glorious ascension and His sending of the Holy Spirit). Now it seems that we abruptly change themes by focusing upon a theological, biblical truth.

However, it really is quite appropriate for us to focus our attention upon the Triune Godhead the Sunday after the Holy Ghost has come upon the Church. You see, now the fullness of God has been revealed to us with the giving of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Trinity has, of course, always existed, but after God the Father (the First Person of the Trinity) sent God the Son (the Second Person of the Trinity) into the world to redeem the world, and God the Father and God the Son sent God the Holy Spirit (the Third Person of the Trinity) to indwell and empower His Church; the Church came to understand in a deeper way the God they were called to worship and serve.

As Rev. Dr. Peter Toon puts it, “In the great work of divine [progressive] revelation and redemption, salvation and sanctification, the Holy Trinity is wholly involved, as the Father sends the Son into the world where he assumed human nature by the presence of the Holy Ghost, and where the Holy Ghost acts in the Name of the Son.” Therefore, since the Holy Trinity has been involved with every aspect of the historical, redemptive acts and events that we have been reliving through the various church seasons; it was very wise for the Church to appoint this Sunday as Trinity Sunday – a day on which we focus our devotion and meditation upon the Triune God. (The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost, Three Persons One God, a Trinity in Unity and a unity in Trinity).

In the older lectionaries, the remainder of the Church year bore the name of the Holy Trinity because of what Jesus said in our Gospel lesson from last week. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” Now that the Holy Spirit has come upon the Church, God the Father through the redeeming work of God the Son and by the power and strength given to us by the Holy Spirit will mature us in the Christian faith.

Consequently, the Season of Pentecost/Trinity into which we are about to enter is a season for our spiritual growth. This is represented by the liturgical color of green. Pentecost Season is a time when we are to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth that God the Father and God the Son want to teach us through the written Word (Old Testament, Psalm, Epistle, and Gospel readings) and the Sacraments.

 

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