Category: Announcements

The Stewardship of Life, Time, Health, and Talents

The Stewardship of Life, Time, Health, and Talents

“Life itself is a stewardship. Human life is the first and greatest gift of all and carries great responsibilities with it. As Christians, we know that our lives are sacred trusts. We are the stewards of those lives; God depends on us to use them to accomplish His purposes.

          Next, is the stewardship of time. When God gives us life, we don’t know how much time we have to use that life. But, whatever time we have is a gift from God, and we must use it wisely in every activity throughout the day. We must budget our hours so that we are able to give of our time to fulfill God’s plan.

          Then follows the stewardship of health of body and mind. God gave human beings superior minds to be used to fullest capacity in discovering God’s plan in understanding self and others. We are also given bodies in which to accomplish God’s work – bodies to be treated with respect (taken care of), not abused (harmed). We are to present our bodies and we renew our minds as offerings to God.

          And then there is the stewardship of talents. God gives all people potential talents when they are born. Each of us can share in God’s plan in his or her own way. The Bible tells us that if we use our talents wisely, we will be better able to use than and will develop others. But, if we don’t, we may lose even those talents we do have. (Excerpt taken from the booklet Stewardship and You)

 

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.

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.

 

The Athanasian Creed

The Athanasian Creed

The Athanasian Creed (Quicumque Vult) is a statement of Christian Trinitarian doctrine and Christology which has been used in Western Christianity since the sixth century A.D. Its Latin name comes from the opening words Quicumque vult, “Whosoever wishes.” It is the first creed to explicitly state equality of the persons of Trinity.

The first half of the creed confesses the Trinity (one God in three persons). With didactic repetition it ascribes divine majesty and characteristics to the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, each individually. At the same time it clearly states that, although all three are individually divine, they are not three gods but one God. Furthermore, although one God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct from each other. For the Father is neither made nor begotten; the Son is not made but is begotten from the Father; the Holy Spirit is neither made nor begotten but proceeds from the Father and the Son.

Didactic as its content appears to contemporary readers, its opening sets out the essential principle that the catholic faith does not consist in the first place in assent to propositions, but ‘that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity and Unity’. All else flows from that orientation.

Its teaching about Jesus Christ is more detailed than in the Nicene Creed, and reflects the teaching of the Council of Ephesus (A.D. 431) and the definition of the Council of Chalcedon (A.D. 451). The Athanasian Creed boldly uses the key Nicene term homoousios (‘one substance’, ‘one in Being’) not only with respect to the

relation of the Son to the Father according to his divine nature, but that the Son is homoousios with his mother Mary, according to his human nature.

The Creed’s wording thus excludes not only Sabellianism (the nontrinitarian belief that the Heavenly Father, Resurrected Son and the Holy Spirit are different modes or aspects of one God, as perceived by the believer, rather than three distinct persons in God himself) and Arianism (the heresy that taught that Jesus was not one with the Father, and that he was not fully divine in nature), but also the Christological heresies of Nestorianism (the heresy that taught that Christ exists as two persons, the man Jesus and the divine Son of God, or Logos, rather than as two natures [True God and True Man] of one divine person) and Eutychianism (the heresy that taught that the human nature of Christ was overcome by the divine, or that Christ had a human nature but it was unlike the rest of humanity). A need for a clear confession against Arianism arose in western Europe when the Ostrogoths and Visigoths, who had Arian beliefs, invaded at the beginning of the fifth century (excerpt taken from Wikipedia). Today, Trinity Sunday, we will say the Anthansian Creed in place of the Nicene Creed.

 

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday

 

 The passion begins. Ironically, the journey toward the most intense suffering is launched at the moment of greatest accolade. This is always the insidious deception associated at times with human approval. It is often fickle, shallow and insincere. Perhaps the Jubilation of Palm Sunday was not insincere. No doubt it was spontaneity without commitment, which usually leads to disaster in this life. Much has been written about the meaning of the palms. In the Jewish world, the palms would have probably come from Jericho, not an insignificant piece of information. Old Testament prophets foretold of a day when a new Joshua, an Elijah figure, would enter the land and retake it from the Gentiles. Remember, Joshua of old was the great military leader who brought down the walls of Jericho, the entry point for conquering the Canaanites The remarkable general of the army of God led the nation of Israel on to a complete route the land that had been given them by God. By the time of Jesus’ day, the Jews were in the land. Now they were dominated by the Gentiles, the Romans. It was in one sense the total upending of what Joshua, by the way the Old Testament name for Jesus, had accomplished.  In the former day, the Israelites had come into the land of the Gentiles and established the rule of God. At a later day, Jesus’ time, the Gentiles had overrun the people of God and set up their image over the land. The prophets had anticipated this moment. Under the inspiration of God, they had revealed, however, that a new Joshua would arrive in history. Like the Joshua of old, he would start at Jericho and take the land. Thus, the palms from Jericho were a symbol of the kind of conquest that they thought was about to occur, military triumph. Unfortunately, they forgot the rest of the teachings of the prophets. The new Joshua was to be the suffering servant of Isaiah, He would be stricken and smitten on His back for the sins of the world. Through sufferings and death, not power and might, the Gentiles, and even Jesus’ own people, would be overcome. What the people declared was true. It just did not come about the way they thought it would. Indeed, that first week long ago, had it not been for God’s purposes in the midst of the catastrophe, would have ended in complete defeat. But the darkness shrouding the cross on Good Friday was actually the beginning of victory. Just as the ecstasy of Palm Sunday was the start of something opposite, so was the darkest moment of the Christ’s passion. For, to put Christ on the cross, He had to be raised up high. And that raising up hinted at an even greater rising, the Resurrection!

 

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