Thursday, December 22, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Long before marketing created Santa Claus, there really was a St. Nicholas. The church celebrates his feast day on December 6th.
To his beloved memory.
The photos above come from Miss Jan's (the bishop's wife) collection of St Nicholas figures.
To read more about the real St. Nicholas.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
The word Advent derives from the Latin word meaning coming. The Lord is coming. We may reflect that every year at this time we celebrate his coming , so that in a sense we can lose the feeling of expectancy and joyful anticipation, because at the end of the season, everything seems to return to pretty much the same routine. If that is the case, then our preparation may have been lacking and we have therefore been robbed of much of the true meaning of this season.
During Advent we recall the history of God's people and reflect on how the prophecies and promises of the Old Testament were fulfilled. This gives us a background for the present. Today we can reflect on the past track record of God and so begin to understand what it means to us now for the sake of what is to come, in our own future and that of our world.
© Liguori Publications Excerpt from Advent - A Quality Storecupboard The Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer
Monday, November 14, 2011
Proclamation of ThanksgivingWashington, D.C.
October 3, 1863
This is the proclamation which set the precedent for America's national day of Thanksgiving. During his administration, President Lincoln issued many orders similar to this. For example, on November 28, 1861, he ordered government departments closed for a local day of thanksgiving.
Sarah Josepha Hale, a 74-year-old magazine editor, wrote a letter to Lincoln on September 28, 1863, urging him to have the "day of our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival." She explained, "You may have observed that, for some years past, there has been an increasing interest felt in our land to have the Thanksgiving held on the same day, in all the States; it now needs National recognition and authoritive fixation, only, to become permanently, an American custom and institution."
Prior to this, each state scheduled its own Thanksgiving holiday at different times, mainly in New England and other Northern states. President Lincoln responded to Mrs. Hale's request immediately, unlike several of his predecessors, who ignored her petitions altogether. In her letter to Lincoln she mentioned that she had been advocating a national thanksgiving date for 15 years as the editor of Godey's Lady's Book.
The document below sets apart the last Thursday of November "as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise." According to an April 1, 1864, letter from John Nicolay, one of President Lincoln's secretaries, this document was written by Secretary of State William Seward, and the original was in his handwriting. On October 3, 1863, fellow Cabinet member Gideon Welles recorded in his diary how he complimented Seward on his work. A year later the manuscript was sold to benefit Union troops.
By the President of the United States of America.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.
No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. 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, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, 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, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln
William H. Seward,
Secretary of State
Friday, November 11, 2011
These are great. A time in our recent past when the American Government reminded people to be self sufficient , that their "entitlement " was about being active in their own lives. Instead of worrying about what everyone else was doing, what they had, one was encouraged to do something about their own situation. Not only encouraged, but affirmed that it was indeed, their responsibility to care for themselves. Fr. Rusty Matheny
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Years ago, while visiting the Cross In The Woods Shrine, Indian River, Michigan, we walked the paths of the outdoor Stations of the Cross and then headed toward the giant cross. On the way, we passed by the statue of St Francis of Assisi. It was there that our granddaughter paused awhile. As she was the last to return to the group, her mother noticed she had a stone in her hand. And, as it seems inappropriate to pick up stones at a national shrine, her mother said, "Oh, sweetie, please put that stone back. You shouldn't pick up stones here."
Monday, September 26, 2011
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
“At our recently concluded Society Gathering, we were blessed to have Canon Jon Lumanog as our featured guest teacher,” says the Rt. Rev. Frederick G. Fick, “As the MSJ [Missionaries of St. John] gathered for encouragement, refreshment, instruction, worship and fellowship, the Holy Spirit ministered among us, re-charging us for the works He has given us to do. We left our gathering as people more committed and greatly empowered to continue our many works, our church planting, and our witness for our Savior. We were so honored to have Canon Lumanog among us to teach, instruct and inspire us. The messages were most timely as we are launching two new church plants in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky and the Lake Villa area of northern Illinois.”
The Venerable Dr. Jon I. Lumanog, the Canon for Provincial and Global Mission for ACNA, was the featured speaker at a recentMissionaries of St. John gathering in Clinton Township, MI. Canon Lumanog brought greetings from Archbishop Robert Duncan and then taught leaders from Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Kentucky and Illinois on church planting, community ministry along with overcoming clergy burnout.
The Missionaries of St. John is an evangelical catholic religious order that expresses its rule of life by living out the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in the venerable tradition of Anglican missionary societies. The order is canonically resident in the ACNA’s Missionary Diocese of All Saints.
Canon Lumanog recently joined Archbishop Duncan in carrying out the work of the Province with its missionary partners. He challenged MSJ to be a part of the Anglican 1000 movement to raise up 1,000 Anglican congregations and communities of faith across North America to reach people with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.
The gathering ended on Friday night with a Holy Communion service led by Bishop Frederick G. Fick, MSJ Father General. It was a spirited time of praise that included a reception of new members. The gathering was hosted by Church of St. John the Apostle in Clinton Township, MI, Fr. Terry Moore, Rector.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
The Venerable Dr. Jon (Jack) Lumanog, the new Canon for Provincial and Global Mission (ACNA), was the featured speaker at the annual Synod of The Missionary Society of St John the Evangelist (MSJ), held 11-13 August at St John the Apostle Anglican Church, Clinton Township, Michigan.
Canon Jack offered a realistic but inspiring review of his experiences in church planting and ministry. He shared with the clergy and lay delegates the keys that he personally had found valuable in navigating the challenges of starting with a church of just nine members and growing it to well over 70 members and a variety of strong lay-led ministries. Many of the strategies began as his personal involvement with the community beyond the “parish borders,” including ministry on the campus of the University of Michigan in Lansing, and working with other, much larger, churches to supply food for the hungry. Among the achievements he holds dearest is his fellowship with Sudanese refugees and the result that they have established their own growing Christian fellowship. He encouraged MSJ members to maintain a balance between ministry and family, noting that sacrificing family time for the work of the ministry often destroys both, but that keeping the proper borders and boundaries can give new life and energy to both as well, especially as one comes to know, trust and rely on the laypeople who take on the Work of the Kingdom within and without the “normal parish” paradigm. His simple re-telling of the basic principles of church-evangelism and then the imaginative ways he put them into practice, often by what appeared to be “God's back door,” offered members of the Society refreshment for their souls and inspiration for the work of the coming year.
Although not yet relocated from Lansing to Pittsburgh, speaking to the delegates of the MSJ Synod was Canon Jack’s first function in his new role, and those in attendance felt his sincerity and passion for the missionary vision which is at the Society's heart and the heart of his new post at the Archbishop's side. The members present remain deeply grateful to Abp. Robert Duncan for encouraging Canon Jack to spend this time with us, that the bonds of affection between the Society and the Primate may be further developed by our common vision for the salvation of the lost and our commitment to the up-building of the faithful. The Society offers Canon Jack its heartiest congratulations and prayers for God's rich blessing on his new service within the larger Church.