Month: November 2011

ADVENT WISDOM FROM ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI

Day 4

The Simplicity of Poverty

When the brothers go through the world, let them take nothing for the journey, neither knapsack, nor purse, nor bread, nor money, nor walking stick.  Whatever house they enter, let them first say: Peace to this house.  They may eat and drink what is placed before them for as long as they stay in that house. (…) Whoever takes their cloak, let them not withhold their tunic.  Let them give to all who ask of them and whoever takes what is theirs, let them not seek to take it back.

– St. Francis of Assisi, The Earlier Rule, (XIV: How the Brothers Should go through the World), 73

Scripture Reading

Luke 18:18-23

Prayer

Lord of all simplicity, so many people have made gettingn things the focus of this season of your birth.  material things are only good to the degree that they help us grow in our relationship with you.  Help us learn from the example of Francis: the less we have, the less we have to worry about and the more we can keep a focus on what is really important  — you.  Amen.

Advent Action

Can’t think of what to buy for the friend or loved one who has everything?  Instead of purchasing something, let that special person know how much he or she means to you in a card or letter.

30 NOVEMBER 2011, FEAST OF ST ANDREW THE APOSTLE

Today is the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle.  Holy Eucharist will be celebrated at 12:00 p.m. (noon).

THE LIFE OF ST. ANDREW THE APOSTLE

Most biographical notes on this Apostle begin “Andrew was Simon Peter’s brother,” and he is so described in the Gospels.  Indentifying Andrew as Peter’s brother makes it easy to know who he is, but it also makes it easy to overlook the fact of Andrew’s special gift to the company of Christ.  The Gospel according to John tells how Andrew, a disciple of John the Baptist, was one of two disciples who followed Jesus after John had pointed him out, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God” (John 1:29).  Andrew and the other disciple went with Jesus and stayed with him, and Andrew’s first act afterward was to find his brother and bring him to Jesus.  We might call Anddrew the first missionary in the company of disciples.

Though Andrew was not a part of the inner circle of disciples (Peter, James, and John), he is always named in the list of disciples, and appears prominently in several incidents.  Andrew and Peter were fishermen, and Mathew’s Gospel records Jesus’ calling them from their occupation, and their immediate response to his call.  Andrew was the disciple who brought the boy with the loaves and fishes to Jesus for the feeding of the multitude.

We hear little of Andrew as a prominent leader, and he seems always to be in the shadow of Peter.  Eusebius, the Church historian, records his going to Scythia, but there is no reliable information about the end of his life.  Tradition has it that he was fastened to an X-shaped cross and suffered death at the hands of angry pagans.

Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland.

COLLECT FOR ST. ANDREW THE APOSTLE

Almighty God, who gave such grace to your apostle Andrew that he readily obeyed the call of your Son Jesus Christ, and brought his brother with him: Give us, who are called by your holy Word, grace to follow him without delay, and to bring those near to us in to his gracious presence; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

ADVENT WISDOM FROM ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI

Day 3

The Humility of God in the Incarnation

The most high Father made known from heaven through His holy angel Gabriel this Word of the Father — so worthy, so holy and glorious — in the womb of the glorious Virgin Mary, from whose womb He received the flesh of our humanity and frailty.  Though He was rich, He wished, together with the most Blessed Virgin, His mother, to choose poverty in the world beyond all else.

– St. Francis of Assisi, “Later Admonition and Exhortation to the Brothers and Sisters of Penance,” 46

Scripture Reading

Philippians 2:5-8

Prayer

Humble God, in your humility, you reached out to the human race in order to draw us into a communion that could not have been possible through any other means.  May Jesus be a friend who can identify with all that we go through in life, who brings us into a relationship with his Father, and who, by his humility and self-sacrificing love, shows us what it means to live human life to its fullest.  Amen.

Advent Action

Take time to reflect on the significance of what it means that God took on human flesh to share himself with us.  As you move through your day, with all of its ups and downs, remember that Christ can truly identify with all that you experience because of the humility of the Incarnation.

ACTION ON OUR ADVENT CONSPIRACY

Brothers and Sisters of Christ our Hope:

This past Sunday I was asked to post some suggested organisations to which you might consider donating your financial resources.  You may also consider setting aside some financial resources to help some of our young men and women go on a mission to Bangladesh this next Summer to work with Dr. Kris Prenger.  More information will be provided in the very near future as to how you can help support this missionary endeavour.

Heifer International

http://heifer.org/

World Vision

www.worldvisiongifts.org

Living Water International

http://www.water.cc/

Anglican Relief and Development Fund

http://anglicanaid.net/

Additionally, there are some local organizations you may consider assisting with your time and talents.

Target Dayton

http://targetdayton.com/

Dayton Gospel Mission

http://www.gmission.org/

Let us remember that we, as Christians, are working to be salt and light in our culture and throughout the world.  Our work is one of subversion to the prevailing secular culture.  We are to be radical witnesses to the love, mercy, and grace of Jesus Christ.

Advent Blessings!

Fr. Greg

28 NOVEMBER 2011, KING KAMEHAMEHA AND QUEEN EMMA

On this day, we commemorate King Kamehameha and Queen Emma.

Within a year of ascending the throne in 1855, the twenty year old King Kamehameha IV and his bride, Emma Rooke, embarked on the path of altruism and unassuming humility for which they have been revered by their people.  The year before, Honolulu, and especially its native Hawaiians, had been horribly afflicted by smallpox.  The people, accustomed to a royalty which ruled with pomp and power, were confronted instead by a king and queen who went about, “with notebook in hand,” soliciting from rich and poor the funds to build a hospital.  Queen’s Hospital, named for Emma, is now the largest civilian hospital in Hawaii.

In 1860, the king and queen petitioned the Bishop of Oxford to send missionaries to established the Anglican Church in Hawaii.  The king’s interest came through a boyhood tour of England where he had seen, in the stately beauty of Anglican liturgy, a quality that seemed attuned to the gentle beauty of the Hawaiian spirit.  England responded by sending the Rt. Rev. Thomas N. Staley and two priests.  They arrived on October 11, 1862, and the king and queen were confirmed a month later, on November 28, 1862.  They then began preparations for a cathedral and school, and the king set about to translate The Book of Common Prayer and much of the Hymnal.

Kamehameha’s life was marred by the tragic death of his four year old son and only child, in 1863.  He seemed unable to survive his sadness, and although a sermon he preached after his son’s death expresses hope and faith that is eloquent and profound.  His own death death took place only a year after his son’s, in 1864.  Emma declined to rule; instead, she committed her life to good works.  She was responsible for schools, churches, and efforts on behalf of the poor and sick.  She travelled several times to England and the Continent to raise funds, and became a favorite of Queen Victoria’s.  Archbishop Longley of Canterbury, remarked upon her visit to Lambeth: “I was struck by the cultivation of her mind…but what excited my interest most was her almost saintly piety.”

The Cathedral was completed after Emma died.  It was named St. Andrew’s in memory of the king, who died on that Saint’s day.  Among the Hawaiian people, Emma is stilled referred as “our beloved Queen.”

THE COLLECT FOR KING KAMEHAMEHA AND QUEEN EMMA

O Sovereign God, who raised up King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma to be rulers in Hawaii, and inspired and enabled them to be diligent in good works for the welfare of their people and the good of your Church: Receive our thanks for their witness to the Gospel; and grant that we, with them, may attain to the crown of glory that never fades away; through Jesus Christ our Saviour and Redeemer, who with you and the Holy Spirit is alive and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

FROM THE NATIONAL POST

Rex Murphy: What the tolerant must tolerate

  Nov 26, 2011 – 5:45 AM ET | Last Updated: Nov 26, 2011 11:29 AM ET

Handout

Handout

Left to Right: Russell Peters and Pamela Anderson as the Virgin Mary in A RUSSELL PETERS CHRISTMAS.

To be a serious Christian in modern Western culture is to be the favoured easy target of every progressive thinker and every half-witted comedian. It is to have your sensibilities and your deepest beliefs on perpetual call for taunts, mockery and desecration. At a time when all progressives preach full volume for inclusivity and sensitivity, for the utmost care in speech when speaking of others with differing views or hues, Christians, as Christians, are under a constant hail of abuse and disregard. There is nothing too low or too vulgar.

Something as inconsequential as a Christmas special, for example, will have — almost as an essential element, it being “Christ’s” birthday after all — something determinedly offensive to Christians. Russell Peters, the Canadian joker, for his special this year has invited Pamela Anderson, pinup queen and soft porn actress, to play the Virgin Mary.

Pamela Anderson as Mary the Immaculate: I know — the wit, the daring, the originality — hell, the bravery of it all. No wonder Peters is at the very top of the yuk-heap. Can it be that it’s only 30 years since Monty Python and The Life of Brian? Talk about “cutting-edge.” The casting is so, so clever — getting a lewd exhibitionist to play Mary, to call in a pop-culture tart to play the very Mother of God.

But for believers to object, well that would be irksome and stuffy and high-handed and parochial — it being another of this age’s curious predisposition that Christians are supposed, if not to like the jeers hurled at them, to at least be good enough to suffer the insults, blasphemies and mockeries in silence, if not secret approval. To actually object to Russell Peters going for a cheap, unintelligent and vulgar laugh would probably get categorized as “intolerance” or “censorship.” Go for it, Russell — Pam Anderson as the Virgin Mary will tickle the funnybone of every single digit IQ from St. John’s to Victoria.

There was another example in the now nearly defunct occupy movement. In Vancouver they lit a “sacred fire” on the lawn of the art gallery — I think the “sacred flame” itself was kept in an oil drum (a curious temple, but leave that go). When the Vancouver fire brigade arrived to put it out, there being bylaws about fires in public places, there were ululations of the most ferocious kind accusing the firemen of committing a grave offence against native spirituality.

Meantime, overseas, their occupy brethren in London were found to be defecating (I could use the vulgar term here as it so matches the act, but let us retain some respect) within — not on the steps or in the precincts, but within — St. Paul’s Cathedral. St. Paul’s — in ancient times the cathedral where John Donne preached, where Lancelot Andrews, one of the fathers of the King James Bible, was dean, a cathedral arguably second in importance in Christianity only to the Vatican — treated as a sewer.

A report for the cathedral summed up the mischiefs and abuse: “Desecration: Graffiti have been scratched and painted on to the great west doors of the cathedral, the chapter house door and most notably a sacrilegious message painted on the restored pillars of the west portico. Human defecation has occurred in the west portico entrance and inside the cathedral on several occasions.”

In short, they turned St. Paul’s Cathedral into a public toilet and used its sacred walls as a crude bulletin board. However, there was no vast outcry at the appalling disrespect, the deep contumely such acts represent. Put out a “sacred fire,” set in the first place mainly to provoke, and it’s shock and petty scandal. Defecate in St. Paul’s, and I’ll bet this is the first time many reading this have heard of the outrage.

Of episodes of this kind there is no end, and it will surely be accounted a kind of prudery or humourlessness to make objection to them. Let it be so. However, there is a radical inconsistency to the treatment afforded to Christian believers and that of most other religious groups and it is not idle to insist on this point. It would be rather nice if so many people, the Christians of the West, who offer respect, tolerance and regard for beliefs other than their own, could be treated with equal civility and courtesy.

And nice, too, if Russell Peters could see the cheapness of his ever-so-hilarious casting call.

National Post

Rex Murphy offers commentary weekly on CBC TV’s The National, and is host of CBC Radio’s Cross Country Checkup.

ADVENT WISDOM FROM ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI

Day 2

Growing in the Virtue of Patience

Where there is patience and humility, there is neither anger nor disturbance.

-St. Francis of Assisi, The Admonitions (XXVII: Virtue Puts Vice to Flight), 136

…Let them (the brothers) pay attention to what they must desire above all else: to have the Spirit of the Lord and Its holy activity, to pray always to Him with a pure heart, to have humility and patience in persecution and infirmity…

-St. Francis of Assisi, The Later Rule (X: The Admonition and Correction of the Brothers), 105

Scripture Reading

James 5:7-8

Prayer

Lord of all longing, in our society of instant gratification, patience is not a cultivated virtue.  Remind me that I do not need to immediately have all the things I long for and all the answers to my questions.  In the waiting, we often learn much about ourselves, come to a greater awareness of what is truly important in life, and gain a better appreciation for the things we must await.  Amen.

Advent Action

When someone or some circumstance causes you to wait today, slow down and view that person or circumstance as a blessing.  Is it really that important that  you immediately have what you want?  What do you learn about yourself as you wait?  What do you notice around you when you slow down to wait?

PRAY FOR FR. KHANNA AND THE CHRISTIANS OF KASHMIR

INDIA: Kashmir life of the Anglican clergyman who christened 7 young Muslims at risk

by Nirmala Carvalho
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/
November 25, 2011

The son of Mani Khanna warns of the deteriorating health of his father, arrested on November Chander 19 on charges of forced conversion. A video spreads hatred against Christians. On Youtube and Facebook Muslims vow to burn buildings, churches and Christian schools.

Srinagar (AsiaNews) – “My father is seriously ill, suffering from diabetes and needs constant care. We fear for his life. ” This is what Nathan Khanna, 28, told AsiaNews, son of Chander Mani Khanna, pastor of All Saints Anglican Church in Kashmir, accused by the Grand Mufti of the region of having forced the conversion of young Muslims in exchange for money. The pastor was arrested on November 19 last after a complaint filed by a local Islamic court. As proof, the Muslims have shown a video, posted on Yuotube and Facebook, showing the pastor baptizing seven young Muslims.

“The accusations against him are false – says Nathan Khanna – the images show only a ceremony it is not an attempt at forced conversion.” The rapid spread of the video on Internet has triggered a witch hunt against Christian, likely to provoke clashes between Christian and Muslim communities.

On Facebook, several hate-filled comments have appeared regarding the Pastor: “We swear to kill all Christian missionaries and burn their buildings, churches and schools, I offer myself volunteer to find this man, this priest should burn .. etc”. Nathan says this happens in the total indifference of the authorities, who have no intention to remove the video. “I have no doubt that my phone and my mother’s phone are under control – he says – it is clear that someone is trying to provoke Muslims against my father in the name of religion.” Despite the charges, the young man is proud to be the son Chander Mani Khanna, a man strong in faith and in his mission to witness to the truth.

The offending ceremony took place on 1 August and was filmed with a cell phone. The video appeared on the Internet after the refusal by Chander Mani Khanna to give an acquaintance of the Grand Mufti a place at the prestigious Christian school, the same Mufti who 12 days later issued a fatwa against the Pastor.

Kanta Khanna, wife of an Anglican pastor, said that the accusation of forced conversion was false. “My husband – she says – has appeared before the Islamic court even if it is only for Muslims. When he entered the room all present shouted Allah Akbar. ” She said that young Muslims attended a course for a year to prepare for baptism, who had asked for it without any constriction after witnessing some of the activities of the Christian community. “In these years – she adds – my husband has participated in the rehabilitation of earthquake victims working with the NGO Help Age. He moved with the approval of the local administration to coordinate the rehabilitation of people affected by the earthquake and this had nothing to do with church activities. ”

To date Khanna is still in prison. Kashmir is the only Muslim-majority state of India and has no anti-conversion laws. Police arrested the pastor according to art. 153A (people who promote disharmony, enmity or hatred based on religion, race, residence, language or caste) and 295A (people who offend the religious feelings of any class, with deliberate and malicious acts).

27 NOVEMBER 2011, FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT

Good morning!  Today is the First Sunday in Advent and the beginning of a new ecclesiastical year.  Today’s theme is “Be Watchful!”  Sunday School for all ages is provided at 9:30 a.m.  The Adult Forum will continue the study of Advent Conspiracy as we look at chapter 6 entitled “Love All.”  The celebration of Holy Eucharist begins at 10:30.

 

 

 

ADVENT WISDOM FROM ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI

Day 1

The Will of God

Most High, glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart and give me true faith, certain hope, and perfect charity, sense and knowledge, Lord that I may carry out Your holy and true command.  Amen.

-St. Francis of Assisi, “The Prayer Before the Crucifix”

Reading

Luke 1:30-31, 34-38

Prayer

Lord, being a Christian means that I am called to live a life that involves a degree of uncertainty.  Like Mary, I am unsure what your call will require of me in the next moment, tomorrow, or many years from now.  Strengthen my trust in you so that I may be your faithful servant in the world.  Amen.

***From Advent and Christmas Wisdom from St. Francis of Assisi, compiled by John V. Kruse, Ligouri, Ligouri, MO***

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Brothers and Sisters of Christ our Hope:

As of sundown we have entered the holy season of Advent, also marking the beginning of the new ecclesiastical year.  Brother Antony, Sr. Sarah, and I would like to wish you a very blessed, holy and happy New Year.

Fr. Greg

26 NOVEMBER 2011

FINAL PREPARATIONS FOR ADVENT

Advent, meaning “the coming,” is a time when we wait expectantly.  Christians began to celebrate it as a season during the fourth and fifth centuries.  Like Mary, we celebrate the coming of the Christ child, what God has already done.  And we wait in expectation of the full coming of God’s reign on earth and for the return of Christ, what God will yet do.  But this waiting is not passive waiting.  It is an active waiting.  As any expectant mother knows, this waiting also involves preparation, exercise, nutrition, care, prayer, work; and birth involves pain, blood, tears, joy release, community.  It is called labour for a reason.  Likewise, we are in a world pregnant with hope, and we live in the expectation of the coming of God’s kingdom on earth.  As we wait, we also work, cry, pray, ache; we are the midwives of another world.

Just as red, white, and blue have meaning in the world (as in “These colours don’t run”), colours also have meaning in the Church (though a different sort of meaning, needless to say).

Advent is often marked with purple, signifying royalty; in earlier times, purple often marked the coming of a king or Caesar.  (Often, members of the royal family were the only people allowed to wear it.)  Many Christians celebrate Advent by lighting a purple candle each week for the four weeks leading up to Christmas, and then lighting a “Christ candle” (usually white or red) on Christmas Eve.

As you will note…, many Christians also remember St. Nicholas, who was a faithful man of God before he was a cultural icon.  Today, the season between Thanksgiving and Christmas that many of us recognize as Advent is the biggest frenzy of retail spending.  More than half of it, hundreds of billions of dollars a year, is spent as we celebrate the birth of the homeless Son of God in that stinky manger.  (And he got only three measly present.  One of them was myrrh.  What baby wants myrrh?)  Hundreds of Christian congregations are now rethinking the Advent season as a time for compassion rather than consumption.  (Check out www.adventconspiracy.org.)

***From “Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals”***

On this day we also commemorate St. Sylvester, Abbot, as well as St. Peter of Alexandria, Bishop and Martyr.

THE LIFE OF ST. SYLVESTER, ABBOT

This Sylvester was born of the noble family of Gozzolini, at Osimo, Italy, and in his youth was a wonderful example both in regard to letters and good living.  He was sent to study law at Bologna and Padua, but soon abandoned this for sacred learning.  Whereat it is said that his father refused to speak to him for ten years.  On account of his eminent graces he was elected an honourary Canon of the Cathedral of Isimo, in the which dignity he ministered to the people by his prayer, his example, and his sermons.

It is related that at a funeral he happened to see in a re-opened grave the decayed corpse of a kinsman who had been very comely in his lifetime, and that he said to himself: I am what he was, and what he is I shall be.  Thereupon he withdrew into a solitude to seek after perfection, and then gave himself up to watching, praying and fasting.  In order, however, to cut himself off the more from men, he moved from one place to another, and at length came to Mount Fano.  There he built a Church in honour of the holy Father Benedict, and founded the Congregation of Sylvestrians.  These are a most strict Congregation, which hath never affiliated with other religious of Saint Benedict, the monks whereof, because of their blue habit, are sometimes called Blue Benedictines.

He shone with the spirit of prophecy and other gifts.  These things he always preserved by the deepest lowliness, whereby he so stirred up against him the ill-will of the evil one, that from the same he suffered much.  He resigned himself to God in the year of Salvation 1267, in the ninetieth year of his own age.  He was never formally canonized, but in 1598 his age-long cultus was recognized by the insertion of his name in the Martyrology, and later by the institution of this feast in his honour.

THE COLLECT FOR ST. SYLVESTER, ABBOT

Most merciful God, we humbly pray thee: that, like as when thy blessed Abbot Sylvester was devoutly meditating over an open tomb on the vanity of this life, thou didst vouchsafe to call him thence unto the desert, and to adorn him with a life of wondrous merit; so thou wouldest enable us after his example, to despise all earthly things, and hereafter to rejoice in his eternal fellowship.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

THE LIFE OF ST. PETER OF ALEXANDRIA, BISHOP AND MARTYR

This Peter, of whom the historian Eusebius hath written, succeeded that eminent man, Saint Theonas, as Pope of Alexandria, in the year of our Lord 300.  And the glory of his holiness and teaching hath enlightened not Egypt only, but the whole Church of God.  The wondrous patience wherewith he bore the roughness of the times in the persecution under Maximian Galerius caused many greatly to increase in Christian grace.  He was the first who cut off Arius, then a Deacon of Alexandria, from the Communion of the faithful on account of his leaning to the Meletian schism.  He was condemned to death by Maximian, and was in prison when there came to him the two priests Achilles and Alexander to plead for Arius.  But Peter told them that Jesus had appeared to him in the night clad in a rent garment, and had said: Arius hath torn my vesture, which is the Church.  Also, he foretold to them that they should be Popes of Alexandria after him, and strictly commanded them never to receive Arius into Communion, because he knew him to be dead in the sight of God.  That this was a true prophecy the event did shortly prove.  At length, in the twelfth year of his episcopate, on November 26th, 311, his head was cut off, and he went hence to receive the crown of his testimony.

THE COLLECT FOR SAINT PETER OF ALEXANDRIA, BISHOP AND MARTYR

Almighty God, mercifully look upon our infirmities: that whereas we are afflicted by the burden of our sins; the glorious example of thy Martyr and Bishop blessed Peter may be our succour and defence.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

***From “The Anglican Breviary”***

A FRANCISCAN THANKSGIVING

THE CANTICLE OF THE CREATURES

(The Canticle of Brother Sun)

 

Most High, omnipotent, good Lord,

To thee be ceaseless praise outpoured,

And blessing without measure.

From thee alone all creatures came;

No man is worthy thee to name.

 

My Lord be praised by brother sun,

Who through the skies his course doth run,

And shines in brilliant splendour:

With brightness he doth fill the day,

And signifies thy boundless sway.

 

My Lord be praised by sister moon

And all the stars, that with her soon

Will point the glittering heavens.

Let wind and air and cloud and calm

And weathers all, repeat the psalm.

 

By sister water be thou blessed,

Most humble, useful, precious, chaste:

Be praised by brother fire;

Jocund is he, robust and bright,

And strong to lighten all the night.

 

By mother earth my Lord be praised;

Governed by thee she hath upraised

What for man’s life is needful.

Sustained by thee through every hour,

She bringeth forth fruit, herb, and flower.

 

My Lord be praised by those who prove

In free forgivingness their love,

Nor shrink from tribulation.

Happy, who peaceably endure;

With thee, lord, their reward is sure.

 

For death our sister, praised be,

From whom no man alive can flee.

Who to the unprepared!

But blest be they who do thy will

And follow thy commandments still.

 

Most High, omnipotent, good Lord,

To thee be ceaseless praise outpoured,

And blessing without measure.

Let creatures all give thanks to thee,

And serve in great humility.  Amen.

A BLESSED THANKSGIVING

Brother and Sisters of Christ our Hope:

At t his time wherein we celebrate our National Day of Thanksgiving, I wanted to express my thanks to Almighty God for the generous blessings He has given us as a parish.  I found the following posted at VirtueOnline and thought you might find it thought provoking.

Fr. Greg

“Wee ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.” — Charter of Berkley Plantation, December 4th, 1619

Thanksgiving and National Repentance

By S. Michael Craven
Inner voice Ministries
November 23, 2011

As we approach this national day of thanksgiving I thought it necessary to reflect upon our nation’s long history of acknowledging and giving thanks to Almighty God.

On October 3, 1789, George Washington issued the nation’s first presidential proclamation in which he called the nation to set aside a day for giving thanks to that “great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be …”

President Washington gave under his official hand the following words:

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor…

Furthermore, President Washington acknowledged that he was joined by the Congress in his appeal to the nation:

Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to “recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness” … that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

This presidential proclamation represented, in unequivocal terms, the government’s call upon the people of this nation to acknowledge and give thanks to God for His many and abundant blessings. These were not benign religious platitudes but absolute statements reflecting the consensus view of life and reality which acknowledged that there is one God; the God who has revealed Himself in Scripture, in nature and in the person of Jesus Christ. It is this God that the nation once acknowledged and it is this God, the one true God that the people of this nation have turned against and today refuse to acknowledge and serve.

President Washington concluded his proclamation with these words:

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Seventy-four years later, in the midst of the great Civil War, President Lincoln would issue a similar call to the nation acknowledging the nation’s many blessings from the Lord, “Who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.” President Lincoln, like our first president, would once again call the nation to national thanksgiving and repentance with these words:

And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience…and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.

America, in its folly, has been in the process of severing its national identity and dependence from the God who has given it birth and blessed it for so long. Therefore, it seems to me that we might be well served to recall the proclamation of these great men set aside for this Thanksgiving holiday and once again give thanks to Almighty God for His longsuffering patience and mercy toward this nation and humbly repent of our national rebellion and wanton disregard for all that is holy and just.

This national repentance begins in the church of Jesus Christ, which has seemingly lost its way; abandoned [practically] its first love and so often conformed to the world. May we on this Thanksgiving Day acknowledge the many and abundant blessings of Almighty God accompanied by a deep and sorrowful repentance for our individual, corporate and national sins. This, my dear brothers and sisters, is our only hope and it is for this real hope and the promise of forgiveness that we can give thanks indeed.

May the Lord, in His great mercy, pour out His spirit upon you, your families, His church and this nation this Thanksgiving Day.

THE COLLECT FOR THE NATIONAL DAY OF THANKSGIVING

O most merciful Father, who hast blessed the labours of the husbandman in the returns of the fruits of the earth; We give thee humble and hearty thanks for this thy bounty; beseeching thee to continue thy loving-kindness to us, that our land may still yield her increase, to thy glory and our comfort; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Game Night For Anyone

A number of us who have been meeting for Alpha these past weeks are meeting to play some really cool games on Saturday night at 7pm at the church.  You are most welcome to join us.  It will be lots of fun. 

Fr. Chris

THANKSGIVING HOLY EUCHARIST CANCELLED

I have made the decision to cancel tonight’s Holy Eucharist in celebration of our National Day of Thanksgiving.  Again, there will be no Holy Eucharist tonight at 6 p.m.

Fr. Greg

Pizza, Praise and Thanksgiving

PIZZA, PRAISE, AND THANKSGIVING!

On Wednesday, November 23, the day before Thanksgiving,

Christ our Hope will have its 2nd Annual Pizza, Praise, and Thanksgiving at the church beginning at 6:00 p.m.

We will provide pizza and beverages for all (so moms don’t have to worry about dinner along with all their other cooking for Thursday!)

Soup recipes

Hello,

Please email Anita Evanhoe your soup recipe from our soup lunch on the 20th. Several parishioners would like to be able to make your soup. They were all very good. Anita will make copies for anyone who wants one.

Karla Herman

From: Anita Evanhoe [mailto:verbalchild@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, November 21, 2011 8:28 PM
To: ‘Karla Herman’
Subject: FW: blog post

I sent this to Fr. Mashburn already but thought I should send it to you also.

Hey, a couple of us were talking about we needed some of the soup recipes (yum, yum) from yesterday.

Would you put something on the blog asking people to bring to church or email their recipes to me and I will make a bunch of copies for anyone who wants to take one. Thanks!