Sunday, October 31, 2004

The Feast of All Saints Nov. 1

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This Festival so beautifully summing up the special Saints' Day celebrations, dates from about A.D. 610, when the Pantheon, turned into a Christian Church, was appropriately dedicated to "the Blessed Virgin and to All Saints." Its great idea is the Unity of Christians of all ages, countries, and races in Christ, and the perfection of that unity in the bliss of Heaven. It is what we confess in the Creeds of the Church.

Collect: Almighty God, who hast knit together thine elect in one
communion and fellowship in the mystical body of Your Son
Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow Your blessed
saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to
those ineffable joys that thou hast prepared for those who
unfeignedly love thee; through the same Jesus Christ our
Lord, who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth,
one God, in glory everlasting. Amen

A Prayer for Saintly Grace Almighty and Everlasting God,
who dost enkindle the flame of Thy love in the hearts of the saints,
grant unto us the same faith and power of love;
that, as we rejoice in their triumphs
we may profit by their examples, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen+
Gothic Missal
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Saturday, October 30, 2004

The Proposition Head

The figure below is from a friend's site. After all the harrassing that John Robbins has given people through the years and the utter foolishness of stuff he actually places in his 'Horror Files' on his internet site, which claims to be the "clearest expression of biblical truth" by the way; finally there is something that deals with him and others who are forever chastising faithful Christians in the best way possible. It's called the Proposition Head. This is the funniest and one of the most creative things I think I have read in a long time! Enjoy
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Nigerian President says Stand Firm

Here is a great article that all readers need to take the time to see what is happening in other places in the Church around the world. The Anglican Church in Africa really is coming of age and very well may become the centre of Anglicanism in the future if it is not already. Do western leaders in the Church know how to respond to this type of faith?

Friday, October 29, 2004

28 Oct. The Feast of St. Simon and St. Jude

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The texts for readings: Ephesians 2:19-22; John 15:17-27
Father, you revealed yourself to us through the preaching of your apostles Simon and Jude. By their prayers, give your Church continued growth and increase the number of those who believe in you. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The feast of these two apostles is kept on this one day, the anniversary of the reception of some of their relics into St. Peter’s in Rome in the 7th century. Simon is called in the Gospels either the ‘Canaanite’ or the ‘Zealot’, the latter title possibly indicating that he belonged to a strict Jewish sect. There is more than one tradition as to what happened to him after Our Lord’s Ascension: in one version he preached the Gospel in Syria, while according to another he began in Egypt, then joined St. Jude in Mesopotamia in order to proceed to Persia, where both were martyred. He is represented in art by a fish, or by a curved sword, the alleged weapon of his martyrdom. Jude is identified with the apostle recorded by the Gospels as Thaddaeus, and is named as the author of the short New Testament letter of St. Jude – though almost certainly that somewhat hair-raising apocalyptic text is by another and later hand. Jude is the patron of ‘desperate causes’, possibly because for a long time nobody turned to him for intercession on the grounds that his name was too easily confused with Judas (Iscariot) the betrayer of Christ. His emblem is a club, used to bludgeon him to death, or a boat, for he is recorded as being a ‘brother of James’, and therefore a relative of the fisherman Zebedee.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

+Tom Wright in the Guardian

Here is The Rt. Rev. Dr. N.T. Wright's comments on the recent report out of the Eames Commission on which he served. Any comments welcomed.

Bishop Wright on Eames Report

Bishop N.T. Wright, the New Testament scholar and Bishop of Durham, has given an interview with Christianity Today that helps define further his thoughts on the commission's work. There will be a forthcoming article in the Guardian this Saturday morning that I will post for your reading as well. I think it is clear to the world and every member of the Commission that the Bishop of ECUSA and those in New Westminster in Canada have not responded to the way the Commission has called upon them to respond. It has to be remembered most of all that the Commission was not to meet and discuss the issue of homosexuality but the actions of ECUSA bishops in going forward with their actions. The Lambeth Commission of 1998 has already decided that marriage is the monogamous relationship between a man and a woman and there was really no need to do more than reemphasise that and it was clearly done. What has to be settled now it seems is what their sinful action has done to the unity of the communion. That was the Commission's task as I understand it. More forthcoming! Let us continue in prayer.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

On The Move and in our New Home

Well, now that I wrote to my presbytery and made it official, I figured I could announce it here. I have requested transfer of my family's membership to join St. Margaret's Church in Durham City and my ordination to the Church of England. I will be serving as a priest here D.V., at some point in the future. I am in the acculturation process of learning the CofE (Church of England) and that is basically all that they will require. Since I am working on my PhD in Anglican Studies concerning Eucharistic Sacrifice of Lancelot Andrewes and have done two years of Advanced Liturgics and Anglican Studies in the States I will not need any more education. We look forward to our ministry in England in the future and I have begun serving at St. Margaret's Church with Father David Glover. I will be licensed to preach soon as well. The reason that there is not an immediate move is the wisdom to wait for a year and half or so to make sure that this is where I want to be since I am a foreigner. Since I have so much studying to do, I am glad for the time to slowly prepare actually. I will keep all of you posted as to my progress. England will be home for a good long while.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

St. John's High Table Formal

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Last evening I attended my college's 'Fresher's' formal for all the new students at John's. I was seated along with my students who were wearing their academic undergrad gowns and the reason mine looks different is because it is a graduate gown since I have my Masters Degree. It was a great time and a wonderful evening. If you absolutely had to exit the room, you must first approach the "High Table" and bow to the Principal before exiting the room. It was just a blast and a great experience in English collegiate life. It reminded me of Harry Potter in a number of ways.
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Thursday, October 14, 2004

Afternoon at Auckland Castle

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I had a lovely afternoon at Auckland Castle today with Bishop Tom Wright, the Lord Bishop of Durham, England. It was a great time and we were able to have some wonderful discussions. I was able to get a brief tour of the home and learn of some castle details that I had not known before. It is quite a fascinating place and the Bishop was quite hospitable in my 1 1/2 hours visit. We were able to discuss many items pertaining to my being here and numerous issues surrounding Pauline Studies and other matters pertaining to Church life. It was a tremendous blessing and privilege to be with +N.T. Wright this afternoon. He is a breath of fresh air in many ways and Durham is blessed to have him in my opinion. For any of you wondering and dying to know, no, we didn't talk about the Eames Commission and I do not have any more knowledge about the outcome than I had before our meeting. So, we'll all wait together. He didn't offer and I surely didn't feel it was my place to ask any questions. The report will be out on Monday.

We are thankful every day for our time here and taking all of Durham in is simply hard to put into words. At times I wish I had a video camera that I could put on my chest for everyone to see what I am able to see each day. This morning was especially beautiful, though cool, as I watched the sun shining on the east end of the Cathedral as I walked to my Latin course. It was remarkable! It is moments like that, where you wish others could share in the moment of wonderful beauty, and one cannot but believe in the glorious reign of Christ! As the sun is rising later and later every day, it makes for a great celebration of Mattins as the sun brightly shines in the rose window of the cathedral. I hope many of you can come for a visit. You may be like us and not want to go back!

Monday, October 11, 2004

Jeff's St. John's College Students

Image hosted by ImageHost.orgHere is a nice shot of me with 5 of my tutees from St. John's College. We have a larger group but many were away and some were sick this weekend and could not make the photo. We will have another chance together this Friday evening at our High Table Formal at 7:00 p.m. These are some really neat students and I am glad to get to know them and look forward to our time together. Rhea and I will continue our tradition of having college students over during the week or on Sunday evenings. We really benefited from that in the States and miss the fellowship with college students. We are glad to continue in it here in England.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Interests and Waiting

Well, I turned in a paper that I have been working on for the past month yesterday on Andrewes' Eucharistic Theology in his Nativity sermons that were preached before King James I at Whitehall spanning the years of 1605-1624. What do I think about what I turned in? I don't know! I imagine that in three years it will embarass me. But it turned into a paper of 28 pages single-spaced including the one page bibliography. I meet with my advisor on Friday next week to discuss the paper and my direction of the thesis proposal.

Since I have a week before we meet, I will be working on my two Latin courses that I am taking and reading one of my advisor's books "Tradition and Imagination: Revelation & Change" Oxford Press written by The Rev. Canon Professor David Brown. I will also be looking at St. Cyril's lectures on Sacramental Theology this week. In my studies of the Nativity sermons I found Andrewes' very close connection with the early Fathers and I probably need to have a chapter in my thesis that concerns the Patristic Tradition in the Eucharistic Theology of Andrewes. It sounds like a dissertation in and of itself, but it is something that I will need to look at in order to have a useful thesis.

At this point I feel like somebody has tossed me into the ocean on a very foggy morning with the visibility being about 10 feet and said, "the shore is just 250 meters away, swim to it and you will be safe." Well, which way? I imagine that most get these feelings and it is why we have advisors. So, I'll keep you informed more as the fog lifts!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

The Liturgical Reality

Here is a quote from a modern theologian that I came across in Nicholas Lossky's book on Andrewes. "Reiteration is not repetition, but the ever-renewed accomplishment of a unique moment." It is used in context to discuss the liturgical cycle. What is interesting about it is its Eucharistic insights. In what way can we describe the Eucharistic sacrifice in this sort of language?

St. Francis of Assissi

The following was written by G.K. Chesterton remembering St. Francis on October 4th. Though I didn't blog about this fine Saint on his day, I thought I would put this on today. Chesterton was clearly a prophet for our day as well as the Apostle of Common Sense!

FOR most people there is a fascinating inconsistency in the position of St. Francis. He expressed in loftier and bolder language than any earthly thinker the conception that laughter is as divine as tears. He called his monks the mountebanks of God. He never forgot to take pleasure in a bird as it flashed past him, or a drop of water as it fell from his finger; he was perhaps the happiest of the sons of men. Yet this man undoubtedly founded his whole polity on the negation of what we think of the most imperious necessities; in his three vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience he denied to himself, and those he loved most, property, love, and liberty. Why was it that the most large-hearted and poetic spirits in that age found their most congenial atmosphere in these awful renunciations? Why did he who loved where all men were blind, seek to blind himself where all men loved? Why was he a monk and not a troubadour? We have a suspicion that if these questions were answered we should suddenly find that much of the enigma of this sullen time of ours was answered also.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Welcoming Students

Tonight I was able to welcome a number of my students into University life at St. John's College. I look forward to getting to know them and working with them over the next year. Tomorrow there will be a formal meeting where I will have all of them together for coffee and tea to discuss our year together and get to know one another. My plate is getting quite full these days with term kicking off formally this week and a lot to be done over the next months ahead. I will also be registering for classes tomorrow. It's been a good week and all seems to be going well. I will take some pictures tomorrow of my students and place them on the blog.
    O God, most glorious, most bountiful, accept, we humbly beseech thee, our praises and thanksgivings for thy holy Catholic Church, the mother of us all who bear the name of Christ; for the faith which it hath conveyed in safety to our time, and the mercies by which it hath enlarged and comforted the souls of men; for the virtues which it hath established upon earth, and the holy lives by which it glorifieth both the world and thee; to whom, O blessed Trinity (+), be ascribed all honour, might, majesty and dominion, now and for ever. Amen.
    --Bishop Lancelot Andrewes

Societas Sanctae Crucis

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