Anglican Church in America
ANGLICAN CHURCH IN AMERICA
Diocese of the Northeast
Rt. Rev. Brian Marsh, Bishop
Diocese of the Northeast

 

Northeast Anglican, Advent 2014, text edition


From the Bishop’s Chair


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

A Blessed and Holy Advent to you all!

 

Advent is often described as a time of waiting, a time of preparation. It is truly a time of preparation, a time of waiting for God. Too, often, though, we look to what will happen outside of ourselves, outside our communities; we wait for something to happen TO us.

Two thousand years ago, people waited. They had seen the signs and wonders and they just KNEW something big was bound to happen. And so, if they had read and understood the ancient prophesies, they began to prepare for the entrance of God. They just knew He would come to them in spectacular fashion. Just like their emperor, he would appear in glory and splendor, heralded by the most magnificent sounds and voices. They may well have imagined a great panorama of events, a magnificent stage set fit for the creator and ruler of the universe. God would be even greater and more glorious than the latest Caesar. As wonderful as Caesar might appear, the God show would be even greater. After all, God is God.

Well, it doesn't happen that way. It didn't happen that way two thousand years ago; it doesn't happen that way now. Although, in our own way, we do expect God to do something truly spectacular at this time of year; something outside ourselves; something truly awe-inspiring; something we can point to and say to ourselves and others: “look at what our great God is doing!”

But it doesn't happen that way. Christopher Hitchens wrote a book called “God is not so Great.” It may have sold a lot of copies. It certainly caused a stir. Mr. Hitchens' argument attempted to bring God down to size, to de-emphasize His magnificence. Well, Hitchens had this partly right. But he didn't go far enough. He looked at God from a distance and kept Him there. He didn't probe too deeply. After all, that might have wrecked his argument. Christopher Hitchens chose not to embrace God. And Advent cannot happen in that way.

In order for us to appreciate fully the Advent message, we must be prepared to embrace God, to bring Him into our hearts. Advent happens in that way. Advent and Christmastide are times for the heart of God to meet our own hearts, to allow God's message to grow within us, to let the coming of God fill us with the knowledge of God's love seeks to be with us always.

Advent happens in precisely this way, when we let the presence of God in our lives with all of the best in life. Advent, this time of preparation, when our own hopes and fears meet the God of our creation, is a time for us to remove all that is not pleasing to God so that God may enter fully into our being.

Advent happens in this way; Advent happens in precisely this way.

-----Your Brother in Christ,

+Brian

 

ECUMENICAL NEWS

Over the years, many of us have expressed our sadness over the many divisions in the church. Within the Anglican Continuum there are several jurisdictions. The ACA is, of course, one of the largest. But for the last thirty-five years or so, unity among the Classical Anglicans of the Continuum has been elusive. But there is good news to report regarding unity. As many of you know, three years ago the ACA and the APA signed a historic inter-communion agreement. That document affirmed that our two jurisdictions recognize each other’s holy orders and sacraments. This agreement allows for great cooperation in a number of areas. Most recently, the ACA and the APA held concurrent synods in Belleville, Illinois. This synod gave all an opportunity to come together in fellowship, worshipping together as one body of Christians. Though we have not entered into an organic union, we are indeed one spiritual body. And for that we can give thanks.

During the time of our concurrent synod, the Anglican Catholic Church (ACC) held its House of Bishops meeting in Connecticut. During this meeting, the bishops of the ACC voted to remove a barrier to inter-communion with the ACA and the APA. Mutual recognition of each other’s orders and sacraments now seems inevitable. This will allow the three largest Classical Anglican jurisdictions to join together in spiritual unity, seeking greater cooperation in the service of God's holy church.

EDUCATION SUMMIT

As an example of what closer cooperation among the Classical Anglican jurisdictions might accomplish, a summit meeting of the heads of four jurisdictions will be held in Athens, Georgia in early December. Archbishop Mark Haverland, Bishop Walter Grundorf, Bishop Paul Hewett of the Diocese of the Holy Cross and I will discuss ways we can, using our gifts and resources, provide for the education of men for holy orders. Please keep us all in your prayers.

+Brian

 

Around the Diocese


West Seneca NY

Saint Nicholas Anglican Church

 

Advent greetings to you from Saint Nicholas’ Church in West Seneca, NY. We have had a busy fall since our last publication in the last Northeast Anglican Newsletter. The events began in September with a visit from our good friend Aaron James who provided a wonderful concert for about seventy people, some who came very far to hear him. We all wish Aaron well on his new musical mission at Saint Mary’s Parish in Auburn, NY

Also in September we began a Wednesday Night Evening Prayer service at 7 PM which has been well attended by about seven faithful souls. Part of the program is to view and discuss a theologically based DVD on a number of subjects that we all watch together in the undercroft.

Also this fall, we celebrated two marriages at Saint Nicholas Church. Both young couples are members here.

Thomas Goodrich and Julia Lynn Millard were married August 31st in a completely full church sanctuary.

  Brendan Rieman and Francesca Jakubowsky were married on September 20th at a Ukranian Orthodox Church camp in North Collins, NY.

  In October we welcomed Saint Paul’s Cathedral Choir who came at Fr. Ed’s invitation to sing Evensong with us on a Sunday afternoon. We very were pleased to accommodate nearly eighty people, some of whom had never experienced Evensong sung in the Anglican tradition or even attended an Anglican service. It is our hope that events such as these will help heal some of the divisions that continue to exist between the Anglican and Episcopal Churches. We have already discussed the choir’s return.

In November we welcomed back the Ismalia Shrine Chanters who make it a point to come back to Saint Nicholas’ Church on an annual basis. They are a fun group of men who provide a wonderful range of vocal talent.

In December we again plan to invite the neighborhood and celebrate our Seventh Anniversary as a parish on Saint Nicholas Day with the accompaniment of the Buffalo Silver Band. Directed by Bill Cocca, this award winning British Style Brass Band is in its 100th anniversary year and is a wonderful compliment to our ministry here. The band practices in our basement each week and performs two concerts for us each year.

---Fr. Ed Ihde



 Webster, New York

Holy Cross ACA

 

St. Luke’s Camp

“This is my story of the summer of 2013 at St. Luke’s camp in Hillsdale, Massachusetts,” Marguerite E. Bowen e-mailed. “As a first time camper assigned to cabin Jonah, you would have thought of me as a quiet and shy girl, well, not for long.

“Wednesday night the camp store was open and full of souvenirs and candy, I ignored it and went to the tetherball game. As soon as people came out of the store, they saw me and came to play. As they played with me, my secret identity ran off. I screamed my signature word, “RAGE!!” Then, throwing the ball high, it wrapped around the pole. I hit it. I had won.

“Little did I know that tetherball would be one of my favorite games of all times!

“Thursday Around midday, in a boat, a sound was heard well around the lake. “I know a song that gets on everybody’s nerves, everybody’s nerves, everybody’s nerves, and this is how it goes... Bum, bum, bum. I know a song… (Repeat)” My new found friend, Ali, and I could only remember parts of the other songs. While the new friends basked in their new found friendship, Elijah, also, in their boat was so annoyed. He started splashing us with water. What else could he do stuck in the middle of the lake with two crazy girls!

“My story could go on and on, but I am keeping it short. The moral is I love being at camp. It will always be special for the new friends that touched my life, so I encourage you to send your child to St. Luke’s Camp next summer. It will be a place and time forever special.”

NOTE: Margie is the daughter of Chris and Linda Bowen. She also attended the 2014 session of St. Luke’s Camp and experienced another fabulous week of camp life and faith with old and new friends.

Fr. James Ayres

On August 30th, Fr. Jim Ayres (Ordained June 8, 2003) was called home to be with Our Lord. While he leaves behind his wife, Cindy, his son, David, as well as many friends and family, we realize Jim is now where his priestly teachings told us was the salvation we seek.

 

Women of Faith Conference

“Rochester, NY has been fortunate to host the Women of Faith Conference for most of the nineteen years it has existed,” Alison Stone wrote, reflecting upon her experience. “The greatest benefit that my family, my friends, and I walk away with is the realization that one is not alone. I know Christians, particularly conservative Christians, often feel isolated – alone, even when part of a church family. These feelings allow the world to sneak attack us because even the most introverted person in the world needs companionship. Women of Faith transcends denominations, and focuses on the heart of the Christian’s faith. The speakers and artists come from many denominations, each with their own story. Likewise, we who attend come from backgrounds that reflect our own stories and denominations. When these two groups meet and are bonded with Christ, suddenly we are no longer alone, but are with family. When you walk into the conference, each and every time, you can feel the charge immediately.”

“Thinking of my children brings to mind another gift of the conference,” Alison continued. “My husband and I work very hard to raise our sons to be young men that embrace the Trinity. We want them to be men who love and serve the Lord. Yet, as they learn to make God the most important relationship in their lives, they frequently feel isolated. School and society reject those things we should strive for.

“I still remember the first year my guys dropped me off in downtown Rochester. They were astounded to see the streets overflowing with Christian women. They too felt the electricity and saw thousands of women attending for Christ. Suddenly, they were not alone.

“This is my greatest gift from the Women of Faith conference and the greatest impact to me as a Christian,” Alison concluded. “I am not alone; there are others on earth; there is Christ Jesus in heaven. My lesson: I’m not alone. now, go make others know they are not alone.”

 

Confirmation

On Sunday, October 12th, Bishop Marsh made his annual visit to Holy Cross. He confirmed Michael Bowen, son of Chris and Linda Bowen; Grace Mahoney, daughter of Fr. Martin and Paula Mahoney; Sam Shutt, son of Brian and Catherine Shutt; Thomas (TJ) Stone, son of Thomas and Alison Stone; and Joyce Rice’s granddaughter, Megan Johnson, daughter of Ernest and April Johnson. Fr. Martin Mahoney counselled the five youths during numerous sessions to be sure they would be ready to take this important Rite of Passage into adulthood and all the responsibilities that it encompasses.

 

The Wonder Tree

As you may remember, our church used to be a one-room school house. Once again, our building houses the happy laughter of young children, as The Wonder Tree Pre-K School meets 9:00 – 11:30AM Monday through Friday. Mrs. Christine McNamara is the owner/operator of this program that prepares 4-year olds and 5-year olds to be ready for all-day Kindergarten. Each Sunday, we look for the white board that shares with us the things the children have learned that week.

 

Holy Cross Organists

The Congregation of Holy Cross has been blessed throughout its short history, to have their worship enhanced by talented and gifted people, who are and are willing to share their love of music.

Linda Bosworth began by playing our piano in the late 1970’s. Barb Killian played from 1980-1989 on the small electronic organ which the church acquired.

The first organist that played our present tracker organ was Kurt Sather, who was a graduate student at the Eastman School of Music, where we believe he received both a Master’s Degree and Doctorate in organ performance. He also helped us locate our present organ, which Holy Cross acquired after it had been used as a temporary organ at the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, England (the Queen’s own church). Kurt left us to take a position as choir director and organist at the largest Episcopal Church in Phoenix, Arizona. Later he moved to Europe, but we believe is now back in the United States

Our next organist was Daniel Brondel, from Toulouse, France, who received his Master’s and Doctorate Degrees in performance at the Eastman School of Music. He left us to take a position with St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, where he is now chief organist and music director.

Daniel was followed by Steve Donahue, who was formerly the organist at St. Anne’s Roman Catholic Church in Rochester. He left us after five or more years to become choir master and chief organist at the largest Roman Catholic church in the Town of Greece.

He was succeeded at Holy Cross by Aaron James, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who received both his masters and doctorate degrees in performance from the Eastman School of Music and is now completing his thesis for a PhD Degree in Musicology at Eastman. After five years (October, 2009-September, 2014) with Holy Cross, Aaron has moved on to become music director at a prominent Roman Catholic church in Auburn, New York, while retaining a part time teaching position at the Eastman School of Music.

Aaron is succeeded at Holy Cross by Jacob Fuhrman, a native of South Dakota, who is now a doctoral student at the Eastman School of Music.

Practically from the beginnings of Holy Cross the church has had from time to time other students from the Eastman School who have substituted for our regular organists when the latter were unable to attend. In addition throughout the history of Holy Cross, Dr. Peter Gleason, the son of Harold Gleason, who was for many years chairman of the organ department at the Eastman School and personal organist to George Eastman, has from time to time filled in as a substitute organist.

NOTE: The facts pertaining to the history of our organists were supplied by Eugene VanVorhis, Sr. Warden and Legal Counsel.

 

Jacob Fuhrman

(Drum roll, please.) We’d like to introduce you to our new organist:

Jacob Fuhrman is a DMA candidate in organ performance at the Eastman School of Music, where he studies with Edoardo Bellotti. He has studied piano from age five and organ from age ten, playing for his first church services at First United Methodist Church in Aberdeen, South Dakota, in 2002. His Bachelor of Music degree is from Wheaton College (IL), where he studied organ and harpsichord with Dr. Edward Zimmerman, accompanied the Concert Choir, collaborated with numerous soloists and small ensembles, performed with the Elmhurst (IL) Symphony Orchestra and Elmhurst Choral Union, and served as organist of Grace Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn, IL. He earned the Master of Music degree from Eastman in 2014, studying organ with Edoardo Bellotti and Michel Bouvard and improvisation with William Porter. Additional coachings and masterclasses have been with David Higgs, Christa Rakich, and William Bolcom. He is the organist and director of music at Holy Cross Anglican Church in Webster, NY and at the Fellowship of St. Alban in Henrietta, NY; previously, he was the organist at Rochester Christian Reformed Church in Penfield, NY. At Eastman, he has taught undergraduate aural skills courses and organ lessons, worked as a continuo accompanist in the early music department, and currently serves as Professor Bellotti’s assistant.

Choral Evensong

“The Choral Evensong is like a well-made bed, I mused after one performance of the Dr. Walmisley Folly Choir. “The Bass voices are the sturdy metal frame and legs; the soprano voices fluff the pillows on top of the bed; the Tenors provide the box-springs; while the altos are the top mattress. The organ music is like a quilt blanketing this well-made bed. “ Thank you for enabling us to rest our weary souls upon your wonderful bed of music.”

Btw: Jacob, our new organist, said that he’d like to continue the Choral Evensong. Stay tuned.

 

-In His Hands, Kate Chamberlin, Clerk of the Vestry

 


Concord, N.H.

All Saints

 

For All the Saints … the Church Triumphant, Expectant and Militant!

On September 1, the St. Charles Children Home, Run by the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Healing Love, in Rochester, NH, had their 18th Annual Nun Run, to raise funds for their ministry to heal the heart of the family. Fr. Christian, who has been a volunteer at the Home for 7 years, was present doing his part in checking the 30+ Port-a-potties (ministry takes many different forms!), and helping with the feeding of the thousands that come yearly to support the ministry. A highlight of the day is the reunion of all past residents of St. Charles Home who return for a private BBQ with Nuns and staff. It is a beautiful event in which one sees the fruit of the Sisters’ ministry shining through the faces of the little ones who are flourishing in loving families! If you ever want to join in the run (Fr. Christian does!) or support this excellent ministry go to their website and see the pictures and donate www.runningnuns.com

The celebration for the Feast of All Saints on November 1, was enhanced by the presence of Deacon Al Ryan of St.Augustine’s in Saco, ME, Fr. David Moody of Good Shepherd in Charlestown, NH, and Fr. Robert Smolley of Protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Manchester, NH. Since it was the patronal Feast of the parish, a Solemn High Mass was celebrated. Rarely seen in our parishes in the Diocese of the Northeast, the celebrant was assisted by Deacon, Subdeacon, and assistant Priest. Fr. Robert was guest preacher and gave an excellent sermon on the Communion of the Saints. After the Mass a grand reception was held in the annex. The Vestry created for the event beautiful gift baskets that were raffled off during the luncheon. It is publicly that we give thanks to Almighty God for 10 years of faithful witness of the Parish of All Saints! May He give us many more years!

 

Bishop Marsh made his visitation on Sunday, November 9. Greeted warmly and enjoying a brunch with the parishioners and vestry. He had not visited All Saints for two years, and was impressed with the new reredos and stately atmosphere of the church. The Bishop presided and preached at the Mass, and met with the Vestry to discuss the growth and health of the parish.

Fr. Christian will accompany Governor Mike Huckabee and other prominent Pastors from around the nation on The Journey: The Pope John Paul II, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Regan, Extraordinary Leaders for Extraordinary Times Pilgrimage. This tour is part of a spiritual renewal effort spearheaded by Governor Huckabee, to reinvigorate the faithful in our country to depend on God to raise up godly leaders and join in the effort to reclaim the public arena for Christ. Having been invited, the whole cost of the trip: travel, hotels, and meals are provided by donors in order to give clergy the luxury of following in the footsteps of the above prominent leaders who changed the world in their era.

The Dicken’s Carolers will perform their annual performance of Lessons and Carols at All Saints on December 19, Friday at 7:00 PM. A perennial favorite in the Concord area, the group led by Jane Cormier and Carlos Martinez offers beautiful acapella Christmas Carols in Victorian dress.

The Solemn celebration of the Nativity will commence with Christmas Eve High Mass at 9:00 PM and the Mass of the Shepherds at 9:00 AM Christmas morning. All are welcome to attend our Christmas Services. Please see our website for updates and special service announcements: www.allsaintsnh.com

 

St. Johnsbury, Vt.

Christ Church

 

Warmest greetings from all of us at Christ Church, St. Johnsbury, VT.

We have finally said "Good Bye" to the spectacular fall we enjoyed this year. Just looking at the beauty of God's handiwork was breathtaking.

On August 17, we were honored to have Bishop Hiles visit our parish and lead us in worship and song. After the service, we gathered together for a delicious lunch, and then had the opportunity to spend time with him and to hear his thought-provoking ideas and discussing our church and its future.

On a more somber note, our church has lost one of its most beloved parishioners, Rev. Stanley Nieubregge who died on Nov. 3, 2014. "Stan" was such a fine man, a truly wonderful minister, a lover of music and singing. It was always a delight to hear Stan sing on Sunday mornings...he could harmonize so beautifully. (We think he knew nearly every song in the hymnal.) And when he would volunteer to provide refreshments, we always looked forward to his choice of desserts ...usually a deliciously beautiful cake from his favorite bakery. Generous, thoughtful and kind are j. a few words to describe him. But most of all, he was a true Christian in every sense of the word.  At the end of each service, we always sing "God Be With You". So because 'Christians never say good-bye', we say to Stan, "God Be With You `Til We Meet Again".

We wish all of our Anglican Brothers and Sisters a Joyous Christmas and a Happy New Year.

-----Marlene Steelman


Brooklyn, N.Y.

St. Joseph

 

Greetings in the name of the Lord from St. Joseph’s Anglican Church in Brooklyn, NY.

I am writing to you on behalf of the congregation of St Joseph’s Anglican Church. The following is a quick listing of some of the events that have transpired during the last few months.

Just an update from the last submission: One of our parishioners, Mr. Wallace "Wally Dee" Mitchell passed away from pneumonia on Saturday, August 16, 2014. He didn't see it coming and neither did any of us. Please, if you have any form of cough that just doesn't seem to go away, please go to the doctor and let them check you out. Better to be safe than sorry. If you have kids, think of them. There are way, way too many children whose parents have passed on because they were not diagnosed early enough or not at all. Please don't be one of them. He was a good guy and will be missed. To the right is a picture of him, on his 1 year wedding renewal, taken just this past July 26th with his beautiful wife, Elsa.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

In October we had our Annual Harvest Evening Service in which we thank the Lord for all that He has given us. To the left is a picture of the altar decorated with fruit and vegetables and to the right is a picture of some of the children who marched up to myself and Father Brathwaite with baskets of fruit and vegetables. See the smiles on their faces. The children are our future and we need them in order to grow. If we nurture them by showing them the love of God, maybe they will in turn show it to others. All we can do is try.

Also in October we had the Annual Children’s Halloween Party and the turnout was amazing. With the help of others, we pulled off a party that had all the children having fun. I would like to name names but I’ve learned in the past not to do that because it makes others feel excluded. You know who you are and thanks for all the help. To the left is a picture of the children showing their costumes and posing like the next America’s Top Model. It’s good when they have fun because then they are the ones who remind their parents to come back to St. Joseph. I’ll take whatever I can get in order to fill the pews back up, wouldn’t you?

And before we can wrap up our submission, we have two final birthdays for the month of October.

Pictured to the right is Ms. Evadne Banner (right) and Mr. Egbert Engleton (left) lovingly known as Ham. A birthday prayer was delivered by Archdeacon Allan Koller. If you look at Mr. Engleton’s feet you will see them glow. I thought that it might have had some other meaning but when I asked around no one seems to know what it meant. I’ll just chuck it up to Glow of Love a la Luther Vandross.

  Please keep us in your prayers as we are going through some trials and tribulations as we try to keep our parish afloat. As usual it is because of money or the lack thereof. But we shall overcome it as God will make a way out of no way and if it is meant to be it will be.

With that being said, the Vestry and Congregation of St. Josephs wish all a happy and healthy Advent season.

------------------Sincerely submitted,

Mark Black. Deacon & Webmaster.



 Raymond, Maine

Our Benedictines

 

Fr. Kevin has been busy since we last visited with you. He started October with a blessing of the animals at St. Augustine’s, in the rain, outside of their new meeting place. There were quite a few animals that came to receive their personal blessings. 

Fr. Kevin is at St. Augustine’s about once a month to celebrate mass and do visitations with Deacon Ryan.  They also visit Br. Ignatius, a brother in our community and longtime deacon of St. Paul’s, who now lives at the Veteran’s home in Scarborough, Maine. 

A mass was celebrated, at the Priory chapel, in honor of St. Therese on her feast day (Oct 3rd) and Fr. has just completed the 9 day Novena for all Souls. It is each monk/nun’s honor and privilege to pray for the dead, as it is for the living as well. The list seems to grow longer each year and we thank those of you who send your intentions.

Fr. will be hearing confessions at the Clericus on Dec. 4-5.  He will be celebrating mass and assisting at the Service of Lessons and Carols at St. Augustine’s on Dec. 7th and on Dec. 14th will celebrate mass at St. Margaret’s. He will be at Christmas Eve mass on Dec. 24th at St. Augustine’s. His weekly meditations continue to grow in readership. These are free, internet meditations to anyone that wishes to receive them just send us an email to send them to.

It was also a busy fall at the priory. We found an excellent home for the flock of ducks that we had been fostering. We also had two 14 month old English Pointers that were abused and starved with no manners, not neutered, had never been inside a home, training of any sort etc.  We were able to get them adoptable, with lots of work, and found them a wonderful home with a man in Belfast. He has land and a sister who is a veterinarian. They were neutered immediately and live in his home and are very happy. Sage continues to grow and is trying to be useful, recently helping us drive fence posts.

Sadly, not all stories have

happy endings. Hope and Henry, (the sheep) both passed away at different times, from different causes, relating to unseen birth defects over and

above the ones we knew about. They are buried here on the property. This is one of the hardest things about what we do, in that we are not able to save them all, even when we can get them here. The thing that we hold on to, is that God is always merciful, and these animals at least, had a pleasant life no matter how short it was and a peaceful death, both died in their sleep. All of these things are what takes place here on a regular basis.

We know that there are animal lovers here in our diocese and we need your financial help to be able to continue helping the animals that wind up here with us. We are honored to be able to do this for God and do all the heavy lifting, but this is a costly endeavor requiring consistent financial input. Please consider being an Animal Angel and helping however you can. It is also a great project for churches. Checks must be made out to Servants of the Holy Family and note “for the animals” in order for the money to be used for them. We and all the animals thank you for your part in saving them and we ask God’s blessings for you and yours as we enter the Advent and Christmas season.

-----Sr. Mary Francis OSB

 

Rochester, N.H.

Trinity Procathedral

 

Our Interim priest, Fr. Andrew Faust, arrived at the beginning of September and we are back to something approaching normal. Wednesday Mass has resumed and Father Andrew is in his office and making sick calls several days every week.

Trinity has had a busy fall with sprucing up the grounds and making necessary repair to be ready for the onslaught of winter. We have instituted Ice Cream Sunday on the first Sunday of the month. There are frozen treats, much appreciated by the children of our Sunday School, after the 9.30 service. In addition we celebrated Oktoberfest with  lots of great German food.

On Sunday November 9th we had a parish roast pork dinner and welcomed our Bishop Marsh and Fr. Webb for a parish meeting. Before the bishop arrived our wardens gave a brief presentation about church finances. Due to poor attendance there has been a considerable shortfall this year, but there are sufficient reserves to carry us through. Thanks was given to the ladies of the church and to the Thrift Shop for their extra efforts this year. (Word is just in as I write that a member has made the offer of a handsome matching grant that, if other members pitch in, will go a long way toward closing the gap.)

Bishop Marsh arrived to explain what needs to happen during the interim, especially the Parish Profile that has to be put together so that we can finally call a new rector. This process will take at least a year. The meeting was opened for questions and comments, and a lively discussion followed.

Looking forward, our next parish dinner will be December 21st when we prepare our sanctuary for Christmas.

-----ed pacht

 

Holy Trinity

 

After four and a half years of meeting in the lovely chapel of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Holy Trinity was sad to be informed that, for various reasons, the Catholic parish could no longer rent us the space. Our last service there was on October 26th, when we were again joined by Richard and Shyla Spear from St. Paul’s. We found another space in which to worship, a small theater at the Woodland’s Assisted Living facility, 141 W. River Road, Waterville Me (our web page has further information). So on November 9th, Fr. Ed celebrated Holy Communion there. To our delight, our parishioners were joined by several residents. Even though they came from other denominational backgrounds, they seemed to enjoy the service, so we hope this will be a blessing to them as well as to us.

-----Linda Kalish

 

Ellsworth, Maine

St. Thomas Anglican Church

 

Greetings from St. Thomas!

On August 31, we held our drawing for the beautiful quilt knit by Pat Taniashvili. The winner was Brenda Jones of Bangor. The raffle for the quilt raised approx. $500.00, which our parish donated to the International Anglican Fellowship for its work in Africa. Our parishioner Kevin Kelly delivered the quilt to the winner; the photograph shows Brenda Jones with the quilt.

Our organist Ann Geary and Fr. Frank Gray attended the Synod in Mahwah, New Jersey. The service took place at St. Elizabeth Church in nearby Tuxedo Park, New York, which sponsored this year's Synod. Also attending was our diaconal student Kevin Kelly. We had a wonderful time!

Our congratulations to our diaconal student Kevin Kelly on passing his canonical exams at St. Luke's Church in Amherst, New Hampshire. He described the exam as highly uplifting, helpful, and even enjoyable! He has led Sunday Morning Prayer once each month in September, October, and November.

We are still in transition at St. Thomas. Fr. Frank Gray, Fr. Amos Mihanda, and Fr. James Dumond have graciously served our parish alternating Sundays, and we are grateful to them. More recently Fr. Ed Kalish has agreed to serve, and was scheduled for November 2, though an unseasonably severe store storm that day resulted in cancellation of the service.

A blessed Advent season to all!

 

Portland, Maine

St. Paul’s

 

Things have been very quiet lately at St. Paul’s. We are still admiring our newly painted white walls, as the setting for our Sunday Sung High Mass. But there are two things we have been commanded by God to do, love one another and go out into the world and tell the Good News.

Most of our new members recently have been people who were not content at their previous church home. We have no desire to steal or lure people who are content with their current church home. The search for new members, as God commands, must come from the people who do not know Jesus. In Maine, and especially in Portland there are many who have never had a church home. Children walk by the church every day who have not been confirmed, and maybe not even baptized. Young adults in large numbers are without faith.

Our parish must develop plans for how to draw these people to us. In the next few months we are going to be talking about how we might do that. In fact I think the diocese should offer help, diocese wide, or for individual parishes in how to attract secular people.

Of course we are also now starting to prepare for Christmas. It is a time for soul searching, as well as for preparations for celebrating the Birth. Lessons and Carols at 10PM Christmas Eve and the First Mass of Christmas at 11 PM.

We at St. Paul’s wish everyone in the diocese a blessed and fulfilling Christmas and a Happy and Productive New Year.

-----John Serrage

 

ed note: Wise words! What John says about his church is just as true for each of us. It is our mission. Lord, help us to do it!


Mystic, Connecticut

St. Matthias Church

 

As I soldiered on with my Canonical Examinations for the Priesthood, the good people at St. Matthias Church have themselves soldiered on with sharing the light of Christ in this corner of southern New England.

We had our second Annual Blessing of Pets ceremony on Saturday, October 4, at the Olde Mistick Village gazebo; it was a damp day, only a few souls showed up with their beloved pets, and several stopped by to request a prayer for a named pet at home.

We then processed to the Duck Pond which is in front of the Chapel, as I shook holy water at the ducks and geese they came running toward me, thinking I was tossing them some food!

On a recent Sunday morning, we arrived to find that one of the driveway signs was on the ground, the wood post had rotted in the ground and toppled over. As long as the post needed to be replaced, I took the time to freshen up both signs with a new coat of paint and seal-coat.

We also plan to get a new sign to place out along the main road by the Village, and install new signs on the outside of the Chapel upon my ordination.

By the grace of God, I am to be ordained on Saturday, December 20 at 11am, at the Olde Mistick Village Chapel where we hold our worship services. As there is to be a wedding there later that day (an outside party), we will not be able to have a reception there following the service, but will have a luncheon at the nearby Steak Loft. On account of limited seating in their banquet room, we will need to limit the luncheon to parish members and invited guests; please contact me at 860-581-0484 if you are planning to come to the ordination, and plan to stay for lunch.

Please keep me in prayer as the ordination date approaches!

-----Yours in the faith, Deacon Merrill Perkins

 

Lebanon, N.H.

Trinity

 

Here we are again sliding to the end of the Great Green Season and on into the church new year, coming, as it does, slightly earlier than our temporal new year.

As is usual for our small parish, the weekly worship of our Lord constitutes the meat of what goes on here at Trinity.  It is that constant and faithful worship which sustains us and is most notable.

That said, we are looking forward to Dcn. Rob Philp completing his canonical examinations with a consequent advancement to the priesthood.  As those who have heard him know, Dcn. Rob is an excellent preacher.  He is consistently able to attach scholarly interpretations of the Gospel to our everyday lives in a simple and straightforward manner.  We deem this a great gift and look forward to the completion of his studies and exams.

The recent elections, in which I was involved, have offered me an interesting perspective on the value of our parish life.  I watched a good friend run an innovative, imaginative and highly energetic campaign which he ultimately lost.  Some post-election analysis showed that, while he was successful in a large part of the constituency, he barely moved the needle in the town where I live, despite having devoted significant effort here.  For this and other reasons the message seems clear that it did not matter what he might have done—voters here were not going to be changed.  Though the undeniable truth was placed before them, these voters did not wish to act on it.

It strikes me that here in the land of the frozen chosen, we encounter the same intransigence in the temporal world, and this highlights the importance of our parish life.  We, as the Body of Christ, need our regular coming together in worship to sustain and renew our faith through the Mass and the preaching of the Gospel.  We are surrounded by the world and the world does not know Him, nor, apparently does it want to know Him just as it did not wish to know the truth in the election.  This sustaining power of faithful worship is the center of parish life.  Here at Trinity, though we are small, our regular worship is central for each one of us.

-----Allan Wylie

 

Conway, N.H.

St. Margaret

of Scotland

Greetings from St. Margaret’s in Conway. Well, I am looking out my window this morning and seeing the white stuff on the ground. It’s not even Thanksgiving, for goodness sakes. Fortunately, I got the 4 studded snow tires put on last Saturday, so we are all set to climb Mount Washington!

Where did the summer go? As always, we had a lovely fall season here, despite some freezing cold weather in the rest of the country. Rebecca Harrington was busy as always putting in the bulbs for the spring show in 6 months or so.

At the end of August the church held the annual Meadow Mass and picnic, again at the home of James and Rebecca Harrington. As always, a great time was had by all. In September, several parishioners took part in the annual Jen’s Friends Climb Against Cancer, which raises money to support local cancer patients. The climb is up Mt. Cranmore. Allison Bergeron participated as usual, as well as a team called Mickey’s Orphans, in memory of the late Mickey Kropac long time church member. All proceeds from this event go to assist the organization in their charitable work with cancer patients in the Mt. Washington Valley. September also saw another parish pot luck picnic, this one held at the church. Hot dogs, hamburgers and fixings were in abundance, and everyone contributed desserts and salads.

The passing of summer also saw the passing of other church members. Ida MacKinney, whose husband Herb recently died, also passed away. This was a loving couple in their early 90’s, who had been long time members of St. Margaret’s. They had been married 56 years this past summer. Ida had contributed for many years to the altar guild, taking care of the Liturgical vestments and linens. Both of them are greatly missed.

We were also saddened to learn of the sudden death of Gleb Grigorovich-Barsky, husband of Rosemary Grigorovich-Barsky, who has served as a Vestry and Finance Committee member. A beautiful service was held at St. Margaret’s, with interment in our Memorial Garden.

In November the Church honored our Veterans with a special Mass. Members of Post #46 of the American Legion attended and presented the church with a memorial plaque consisting of medals won from the Vietnam war.

Members of Post #46 American Legion

On Veteran’s Sunday a beautiful rendition of “Where Could I Go ” was sung by several choir members. Katy Jones, Wendy Kropac, and Rebecca Harrington sang while Michelle Hamilton accompanied them on the autoharp.

Also in November Jamie Bergeron was officially inducted into the service of Acolyte by Fr. Monroe. Jamie is the husband of Allison Bergeron, Vestry member and has stepped up to help out Bob Whitehead, who has been our only Acolyte for some time.

St. Margaret’s continues to extend its generosity to the community. We are gathering toys for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots drive under the sponsorship of the American Legion post #46. We are also collecting food for Thanksgiving baskets for the Legion to donate to needy families in the area. We are also regular contributors to the local food pantry.

Bible study continues after services on Sunday. Deacon Wellsman leads a Rosary group on the second Thursday of the month following the noon healing Mass. St. Margaret’s also offers the undercroft regularly to community groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.

We are looking forward to our “ Kirkin’ o the Tartan ” on Sunday, November 23 in anticipation of the feast of St. Andrew, the patron Saint of Scotland. The service recounts the days when the wearing of the Tartan was restricted by the English during the English-Scot wars. All those of Scottish descent ( or wish they were ) are invited to wear their clan tartans in the form of tams, skirts, kilts and scarves. Bagpipe music will, of course, be played!

On Saturday, the 22 of November we will hold our annual Christmas Fair, with a lunch being served, as well as our famous Christmas baskets and baked goods being for sale. The Ladies Guild under Mary Thomas and Ann Wilcox is planning an outing on the 6th of December to Wolfeboro to see a decorated tree display and to have lunch. All of these activities are sure to get us in the holiday spirit, in anticipation of the celebration of the birth of the baby Jesus. After all “ Jesus is the reason for the season’!

  St. Margaret’s wishes all a merry, happy, and holy Christmas, and a safe, joyful and healthy New Year. -----Maureen Ferguson

 

ed note: Our faithful correspondent Maureen got this to me in spite of having just broken a leg. Thanks and prayers go out to her.

 

Saco, Maine

St. Augustine of Canterbury

 

I sing a song of the saints of God,
Patient and brave and true,
Who toiled and fought and lived and died
For the Lord they loved and knew.
And one was a doctor, and one was a queen,
And one was a shepherdess on the green;
They were all of them saints of God, and I mean,
God helping, to be one too.

 

This is the hymn that comes to mind as I begin to describe the work of St. Augustine since our last epistle. There are so many of us, all so different and diverse, yet on the same mission – to establish Christ’s Church in Saco, Maine.

When last I wrote we had just moved to our new quarters in the Saco Grange. That was August. Our new location offers us some opportunities that we didn’t have before. A nice, big kitchen, room to grow, and a better spot within the community. It has its challenges, too, though. We share the space with whoever the Grange wants to rent to hall to so we frequently have to move our altar out of the way for other events. No easy task. But we’re managing.

And we’ve had a new addition to our clergy! Well, not really new and not really even new to us – but new since August. Father Jeff Monroe has been assigned to us by the Bishop to be our Vicar. We all know and love Father Jeff. He was one of the original organizers of the parish. But we’ve all come a long way in five years and now he’s with us again. He remains with St. Margaret’s in Conway, too, but he is with us to help us take our next steps in organizing and growing.

We didn’t have any special events in September but began in October with our 4th annual Feast of St. Francis Blessing of the Animals.

Father LaMarre joined us and was a hit with all of the pets – getting lots of canine kisses. We held the service outside and wouldn’t you know it decided to rain that day. But we made it through with some new visitors.

October was a very busy month. Just to test the waters, to see if anyone noticed us in our new location, we held a bottle drive in October. This time it rained bottles! What a success! We had a stack of bottles at least eight feet high! All of the funds benefit the parish outreach projects which are gearing up for Christmas events, so the timing was wonderful.

We wanted to make contact with the service agencies that we would now be working with from our new location so we quickly contacted the Saco Food Pantry and took to them a car load of jelly and salad dressing – items they were out of at the time. We also contacted the York County Homeless Shelter and visited them with a donation of socks, flip flops and other personal items. “Aw, Man! Socks!” one man exclaimed as he spotted the donation. Such a simple thing to so many but an absolute fundamental need to some. It was a heartwarming day.

Also in October we had our first Crafty Sundays. We decided, like most parish do, to have a Christmas Fair and Yard Sale. On three Sundays in October we stayed after church and worked on Christmas crafts to be sold at the Fair. We spent time, too, organizing and planning a yard sale. Right now we are up to our eyebrows in these projects. The Fair/Yard Sale is planned for Saturday, November 22, one week after this article is turned in. We’ll let you know how it went in the Lenten edition.

Finally, we are very excited that we were able to elect our first real vestry! We have met a couple of times and are still getting used to the rules, but step by step we are going to become a “real little boy” just like Pinocchio – we will be a real little church. One day, just as they are in Brockton, we will be building our own church building.

So much toiling continues in the name of Christ.

-----Pax. Sister Mary Raphael, O/OSB

 

Charlestown, NH

Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd

 

Although the calendar says that we are still a month away from Winter Solstice, we have had snow and sleet in Charlestown with nighttime temperatures dipping into the low teens.

Last week was a busy one. Our junior warden, Scott Chase, supervised the removal of several large (and dying) trees from the churchyard and met with a contractor to look at our 100 year-old plus roof to make sure that there were no loose slate shingles that might fall off. Alas, we must start thinking about a new roof because the battens to which the slates are fastened have suffered decay over the years. However, temporary repairs will tide us over the winter.

On the same day, Fr. David met with the President of the Charlestown Historical Society, a former president of the Connecticut River Bank, and a videographer to give a tour of the church building. The building was built and designed by Stephen Hassam, a local builder famous for his tower clocks, in 1824. The building served as a bank for the Connecticut River Bank and its predecessor institutions until 1967 when the bank moved to new quarters on Main Street. Good Shepherd purchased the building in 1993. Because the Connecticut River Bank is merging with the Mascoma Savings Bank, bank officials wished to provide visual documentation of the history of the Connecticut River Bank. This provided us a chance to retell the story of the bungled burglary of the bank in June 1850 in which two ne’er-do-wells from Massachusetts broke into the bank and “opened by the agency of powder.” They stole $11,750 (about $362,000 in today’s purchasing power) only to lose their horse, wagon, and the loot on hill road in the dark, during their escape. The money was recovered. The vault door on the north side of the sanctuary has one of the first mechanical time locks patented in 1877. We give tours of the vault on Memorial Day, Columbus Day, and on other occasions in cooperation with the Charlestown Historical Society.

In October, six parishioners attended our annual retreat at The Weston Priory in Weston, Vermont. The day was gorgeous, and the fall foliage was in full color reminding us of the beauty of God’s creation.

Later that month, some of us participated in the Charlestown Harvest Walk – an annual ecumenical event that raises money for the Fall Mountain Food Shelf. To give a bit more visibility to the event this year, Bonnie Turner designed a colorful, 2 x 3- foot banner to be carried by two rustic poles during the walk. It added much to the walk by calling attention to passers the purpose of the walk. Collectively, our community churches raised $3,734 for the Food Shelf.

In November, four of us attended the annual Fort at No. 4 Harvest Dinner. Dressed in colonial garb, Fr. Art Bennett blessed the meal in the Great Hall while Fr. David blessed the meal in the Hasting’s House. We are always struck how much light the candles give off after ones eyes become adjusted. The meal was home cooked by a small army of volunteers and virtually all the proceeds go to support the educational programs of the Fort.

At the end of November, Good Shepherd participated in the Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service held this year at the Charlestown Congregational Church. Phil Turner led one of the prayers and Fr. David provided brief remarks about the Fall Mountain Food Shelf before the offering was taken up. Aare Ilves served as one of the ushers. As a small parish located in a small town, we have found, that by working together with other Christian communities and organizations in the area, we can have a far greater impact on the world than we could if acting alone.

We wish all our friends in the Dioceses of the Northeast a blessed Advent. This is the time in Church year where our attention is drawn to the great mystery of the Incarnation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  We eagerly await his coming in anticipation of the great joy of His birth on Christmas Day.

-----Submitted by The Rev. David W. Moody

 

Brockton, Mass.

St. Paul’s

 

Progress on the new church

Ran a couple of pictures. The exterior shell of the building is up. One can see the framing of the interior.


Canandaigua, New York

Holy Redeemer Anglican Church

 

In early August, we got word of the stunning death of Fr. Jim Ayers, our Rector.  Fr. Jim was not a youngster, but he was nevertheless a young man (especially to those of us well over 60,) who left us much too soon.  Fr. Jim had, for many years, suffered a progressive disability of the throat which, little by little, reduced his speech to a garble.  Imagine the pain of that for a preacher.  Additionally, for the last few years, Fr. Jim was afflicted by Parkinson’s Disease, making it increasingly difficult and awkward for him to mount the altar on Sundays.  Fr. Jim’s greatest ambition, in his middle years, was to be an Anglican priest, and, having achieved the priesthood, I know he must have felt that it was all being taken away from him.  He wrote beautiful, thought-provoking sermons (copies of which I occasionally shared with Bishop Marsh,) which, by dispensation, various members of the parish would read to the congregation, for Fr. Jim, on Sunday mornings, because he could no longer be understood.  But Fr. Jim continued to communicate powerfully with all who knew him, through his sermons, through his courage, through his determination, through his absolute refusal to give up.  He may have believed that his ministry was at an end, but, Job-like, he continued to smile, to serve his parish, his church, and his Lord, and to be faithful to the end.  To the end, he was an example to every one of us at Holy Redeemer.  His was an example that now, through this report, I hope each of us can admire and follow.  Rest in peace, Fr. Jim.  I hope that God will not think me presumptuous if I say that Fr. Jim was truly a saint.  We remembered him on All Saints Sunday, when we sang that inspiring hymn that begins with the phrase, “For all the saints, who from their labors rest. . . .”

-----By Walter W. Jones, Jr.

 

Fr. Jim will be missed by all.  Fr. Jim was a very Christian man.  Despite his disability of Parkinson’s Disease, he had a very positive attitude:  never negative, very independent, and he spoke his mind often.  I served as an acolyte under Fr. Jim, and Fr. Jim served God.  Fr. Jim gave me an understanding of what church really is.  Church is a place to pray, speak your mind, be comforted, and loved.  Fr. Jim gave everyone comfort, compassion, and, even though he couldn’t speak verbally, we always knew what he was saying.  Fr. Jim was very special to me.  He showed me how to have a positive attitude despite having obstacles in your Christian life.  Fr. Jim avoided those obstacles every day, and he taught me and the whole congregation, too.  In his sermons, each had a special message.  These messages were put in ways that we could understand.  Even though Fr. Jim could not read them himself, he wanted other people to read them for him.  Fr. Jim enlightened us all in each of our own ways and lives.  He taught me to have a positive attitude even in the worst case scenario, and also taught me to be an acolyte and a Christian.  I’m still learning how to be one, but he gave me a head start in learning how to be a Christian.  Fr. Jim will be missed by all.

-----By Cameron M. Jones

 

Fr. Jim Ayers, RIP

 

The Rev James Ayers, faithful priest in the Anglican Church in America, Diocese of the Northeast, passed to eternal life on August 30. He had served as Rector of Holy Redeemer in Canandaigua, New York, for several years. Father Jim had been battling with Parkinson's Disease for several years. Although progressively infirm during the past several months, he had maintained his faithfulness to God's church by continuing to preach and celebrate Holy Communion. His witness has been an example to us all and he will be remembered as a faithful man of God who used his gifts in the service of his church.

Please pray for the repose of his soul, also for his wife, Cindy and son, David.

"Rest eternal grant him, O Lord, and light perpetual shine upon him."

 

I didn’t know Fr. Ayers well, but do have fond memories. This photo was taken at St. Nicholas, West Seneca a year ago when I saw him last. Father was unable to speak and moved with difficulty, but there was about him a peace and a kindness that I won’t forget. He will be missed. -----ed pacht

 

Tuxedo, N.Y.

Saint Elizabeth’s

 

It seems like it was a very short time ago that we were hosting the mid-September DNE Synod here in Tuxedo, and yet, here we are now making plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas – time marches on! Re the Synod, our parishioner, Linnea Shaver, did an amazing job handling all of the synod arrangements in addition to her many duties as DNE secretary. We extend a very big “thank you” to Linnea for all of her hard work. The synod was extra special for all of us here at St. Elizabeth’s, as we shared the joy of David Koller’s ordination to the deaconate at the synod mass in our chapel. Congratulations, Dcn. Dave, and may God continue to bless your journey in the ministry. We are so blessed to have you as a part of our St. Elizabeth’s family.

November and December are very busy months here at St. Elizabeth’s. Our annual roast beef dinner fund-raiser was held on November 8th. Our thanks go out to Skip Briggs, who volunteered to head up the kitchen this year. Ken Magar, who has been our head chef for many years, is home recuperating from ankle surgery and is ever-so grateful for Skip’s willingness to take on this major effort. Skip and his crew of faithful volunteers did a superb job of preparing and serving a delicious meal, and parishioners once again donated a wonderful array of homemade desserts to top off the meal. Great job!

Along with our thanks to Skip, we also send congratulations and best wishes to him and his wife, Doreen, for two recent happy events in their family. On October 18th, their daughter, Kayla, married Michael Weber at St. Elizabeth’s and on November 11th, Skip and Doreen welcomed their newest grandchild, Siena Lynn Clemenza, born to daughter Amanda and her husband, Justin. Our prayers go out to all for much happiness in the years ahead

We are looking forward to participating in our community’s annual Thanksgiving Ecumenical Service, joining our neighboring Christians to thank God for His many blessings. Our volunteers at the local food pantry are extra busy this time of year, collecting and distributing special holiday meal items in addition to the other foods provided to needy families throughout the year. We thank God for all of our volunteers who so willingly give of their time year round in support of this wonderful outreach endeavor.

In December, we have our annual wreath and poinsettia sale December 4th – 6th, an ecumenical benefit concert for the food pantry at St. Mary’s in Tuxedo on December 13th, a visitation from Bishop Marsh on December 14th, and our Sunday School Christmas Pageant on December 21st. In addition to these activities, our “green team” will be hard at work beautifully decorating our chapel for the Christmas services at St. Elizabeth’s. Add to that everyone’s personal holiday schedules and you have some very busy weeks ahead! I’m sure many of you are bracing for similar scenarios this time of year. An important reminder, though…….through it all, let us not forget to step back and set aside ample quiet time for prayer, meditation and reflection during Advent, as we prepare for the joyous season celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

In closing, we wish you a blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas, and peace, good health, and happiness in the year ahead. May the Holy Spirit be with us all as we worship together and strive to better serve our Lord and Savior in 2015.

-----Ingrid Magar

 

Clergy Notes

 

The Rev. Mr. David M. Koller has been ordered deacon. He will serve as deacon at St. Elizabeth's Church. Deacon Koller has an active youth ministry and we pray that his ministry will bear much fruit.

The Rev. James Ayers passed to eternal life in late August. A requiem Mass was held at Holy redeemer Anglican Church in Canandaigua, New York on September 4. We pray for the repose of the soul of our Brother Jim. We pray also for his wife, Cindy, and his two children.

The Rev. Andrew Faust has begun service as interim at Trinity Church in Rochester, New Hampshire. We pray for his ministry as he leads the parish during this time of transition.

The Rt. Rev. Owen Williams has taken up new responsibilities at St. Mary of the Angels in Hollywood, California. We wish he and Marilyn a successful transition to the “left coast” and a rich ministry at their new parish home.

The Rev. Ian Dunn has, as most of us know, moved to the Sacramento area. He is assisting at an ACA parish in that area and may begin a mission shortly. We miss Ian+ in this diocese, but know that God has called him to a good work.

The Rev. Mr. Merrill Perkins has passed his canonical exam for the priesthood. He will, by the grace of God, be ordained to the sacred priesthood at 11:00 a.m. on December 20 at St. Matthias Anglican Church in Mystic, Connecticut.

Mr. Kevin Kelley has passed his canonical exam for the diaconate. His ordination date will be announced soon.

The Rev. Martin Mahoney has been appointed to the Board of Examining Chaplains.

 

DNE Synod

 

On September 18-20, several of us from Trinity were present at the annual Synod of our diocese hosted by St. Elizabeth’s in Tuxedo NY, and meeting just over the line in Mahwah NJ. St. Elizabeth’s worships in a beautiful stone chapel built early in the last century in memory of a little girl named Elizabeth who died in the great flu epidemic. It is a truly lovely spot.

Synod opened with Mass in the chapel with four bishops and several rows of vested priests and deacons.

At this Mass Bishop Marsh ordained yet another deacon, the Rev. Mr. David Koller, son of Archdeacon Koller.

May his ministry, especially to the youth of the church, be long and fruitful.

One of the blessings of attending Synod is the opportunity to spend time with Anglican brothers and sisters of other parishes, to renew old acquaintances and to get to know those we haven’t known. This synod was no exception. During meals and before and after events the fellowship was sweet and rewarding. It is the personal contact that binds the Church together around its Lord.

The business of the diocese: the reception of reports and the discussion of finances sounds like it should be either boring or argumentative, but it was neither. All went forward in a smooth and orderly fashion and the approval of a budget and election of officers were taken care of easily.

For the last few years the Synod has been punctuated by separate meetings of the House of Clergy and the House of Laity. At the lay meeting our own Bob Lovo gave a presentation and led a discussion regarding the computer tools and programs available for the business of our parishes and missions. This should be very helpful to the ongoing local ministries. There was considerable discussion in both Houses of the various provisions for child protection and especially of the need for better instruction and training. These issues will continue to be discussed and refined as time goes on.

In my view, and in that of many who attended, the real highlight of the Synod came late, in two events, one at the very end of the business session and the other that evening at the banquet.

The first of these was the reading (by Fr. Ed Kalish) of a stirring letter from Emily Mae Dibble, 18 year old daughter of Fr. Rich Dibble and big sister to Elijah Dibble who died so tragically last year. Emily is a thoughtful and committed Christian with a passion for the Gospel and a love for our tradition. She observes (as have many of us) how few of the youth are in our churches. She does not see this as a call for ‘modernization’, the very thing we fled in our previous churches, but rather as a sign that we do not understand our own faith well enough to share it with modern youth and with the world around us. Hers is a challenge we need to hear and heed: to do more than simply maintaining what we have vowed to preserve, but to learn it, to absorb it, and to advance with it to a world that needs to hear and to have what we have preserved, carrying the message of Christ into future generations. Her letter appears in this issue. Be sure to read it.

The Keynote speaker at the Friday evening banquet was equally challenging. Bishop Stephen Strawn of the Diocese of the Missouri Valley was Keynote Speaker. In his gentle Texas accent he gave a moving presentation of the power given by Christ to His Church for the healing of body, mind, and spirit. He, too, was critical of our maintenance attitudes, declaring that Christ’s Church can do more than that, and, indeed, is called to do so. He centered his talk on a pair of testimonies about the power of a much neglected sacrament, that of Holy Unction, the anointing with oil for the healing of the whole person. He began with his own story of a truly miraculous healing from cancer, a cancer that should have taken his life, and the results of his own anointing. He went on with a distinctly different story of a man who was dying, who had made enemies, having both done and received wrongs. Though he was anointed, he did pass from this life, but not without the equally great miracle of a changed heart and mind, spending his last days calling his ‘enemies’ to himself to declare forgiveness and love.

It is my opinion that if the people of this diocese will receive even a fraction of what we were given at Synod, we will be transformed from struggling survivors to a God-led advancing force in the midst of a world that needs what it doesn’t know it needs.

Saturday morning an informal Morning Prayer was held at the hotel.

-----ed pacht, editor



 Wise Words from a Young Woman

 

By Emily Mae Dibble, 18 year old daughter of Fr. Rich Dibble, this was read at Synod and taken very seriously by all present. This editor agrees that we need these words, and need to take them into the center of our existence as a church.

 

Would it be wise to consider some of the things people consider problems with our church? We need the courage to face that it comes across as more of a social club to nurse insensitive people in their ways than the family group is was intended to be – to most people, especially young people. Maybe it’s not just because people aren’t attracted to our old ways anymore. There are things we can change, and things we can’t change. I think it would be worth taking a good hard look at how we are perceived, and realizing people are not likely to reach to us. The onus is on us to reach to them.

In many areas we do not know what we believe. Yes, our ignorance. What does the Anglican Church teach about life after death? How does salvation work? What is the traditional Anglican position on abortion, homosexuality, mysticism, and evolution? Some of these things may seem obvious to you, but if someone were to ask you why you believe what you believe about any of the aforementioned, would you be able to give them a clear, concise answer with logical support?

Now, I know that there are few young people in our church. I know that it seems hopeless to me, and there doesn’t seem to be any way to reach people and bring them into the church. Please, I beg you, listen to me!

We don’t need to reinvent our services and throw out the hymnal and prayer book and liturgy; God forbid! But what about a Eucharist service explained? Bishop Williams was great at this. Instead of going through the motions like every other Sunday before, explain what you are doing and why. Interact with your congregation in the sanctuary of your churches! Tell them the altar rail was originally used to keep the animals people brought for their alms away from the altar. Tell them the reasons you wear the vestments you wear, and their original purposes. Tell them why we stand when we say the creed (My dad says, “Them’s fightin’ words!”) and exactly when the presence of Christ comes into the elements on the altar. Explain to them. Help them understand. If people understand the beauty and the purpose behind our services, they will embrace them more fully and be able to live more purposeful, God-centered lives. And when someone asks them why they do something, they will be able to tell them. Can you imagine that: Having an educated congregation of faithful? I’m not trying to offend, but I mean it. People. especially young people, are hungry for real knowledge.

You all may know that last year (2013) was the worst and hardest year for my family. There were multiple times when I was ready to walk away from the Church and God entirely. Do you know what kept me from it? The Apologetics course I took in school. When people ask me, "If “God is so good, why does he let bad things happen?” I know how to answer them. I may not argue with non-Christians every day, but having that answer ready to give them not only gives me a way to defend myself, but it gives me a way to understand why I still cling to God when I don’t want to. God is a god of justice, and things will be made right – maybe not today, but eventually. He is a scary God who is not confined to our ideas of how a god should be. C.S. Lewis, using a lion named Aslan to depict Jesus in one of his children’s stories, said, “He is not a tame lion.”

Studying apologetics helped me to see the problems of our world and their roots more clearly. It also helped me to see the solutions and the person of God. The difference between pro-abortionists and pro-lifers is that pro-lifers believe that we are made in the image of God from the moment of conception. Pro-abortionists aren’t even on the same playing field. They believe we’re just a beautiful mistake, put together by chance, and this life is the only life we have. For them, it’s all about themselves and the here and now. What a sad and unfulfilling existence they must live.

This is how it works, though; Seculaf humanism, Marxism-Leninism, Postmodernism, and even Cosmic Humanism (mysticism) all hold that the here and now is all there is. Seeing the way they view the world, it’s no wonder there is so much depression and suicide in our world today. If I had no hope of seeing my brother again, I would go mad. What a hopeless, terrifying life it must be. But at the same time it’s natural, because we are by nature selfish beings. It’s easy to understand how these worldviews (especially Postmodernism) have taken root in our culture, and even in our church.

How can we combat these views if we do not understand them? How can we reach people if we avoid the discomfort of reasonable engagement?

And still, as Christians we are treated as if we are the stupid ones, because we believe in something we cannot put our hands on. I say no. We are the ones with hope, we are the ones with the redemption that the world so desperately needs. We are the ones with purpose, with access to the bigger picture, and the hope of better things to come. Christ is no longer here physically, so who else can bring the light to these people but us? And how are we to bring the hope of Christ to people if we do not know it well ourselves? Yes, Christ took sinners and uneducated humans and used them. Peter, Mary Magdalene, and Paul are just a few examples. But as much of an idiot as Peter seems in the Gospels sometimes, reading his epistles you cannot say that he remained unchanged. Mary Magdalene, a prostitute, changed her life because of Christ. Do I even need to mention Paul?

What I am proposing is that we implement and (dare I say it?) REQUIRE apologetics to be taught in our churches. No, it was not commanded in the Bible as a specific command by that name, but I firmly believe that it is a necessary step to evangelization. Apologetics will not only equip you with the tools you need to bring the Gospel to others, it will strengthen you in your own faith and you may very well be able to share the Gospel through your actions more than you ever will through your words. And what will we say, when we’re before the throne and asked about our lives? “I didn’t know how to reach the people?” Well, here is one way to reach them. We will be held accountable for our ignorance and inaction.

Something needs to be done. If not now, when? And if not us, who?

Thank you for your time and attention.

Emily Mae Dibble

September 19, 2014

 

General Synod

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Several of us attended our General Synod at Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, Illinois in October.

This thrice-annual meeting is the governing body of our national church. The General Synod is empowered to pass canonical amendments of the ACA, amendments to the Concordat of the Traditional Anglican Communion and to elect and affirm officers for the national church.

This particular synod was important for an-other reason:

we joined with our sister jurisdiction, The Anglican Province of America, in a Concurrent Synod that symbolizes our sacramental union. Three years ago, the ACA and the APA signed an agreement of reconciliation that recognizes the holy orders and sacraments of each others' jurisdiction. During this synod, the synod Mass was concelebrated by Bishop Grundorf and myself. Clergy processed in union and shared responsibilities of the service. Overall, it was a festive occasion. Several photos of this service have been posted on Facebook, on our website and here.

Among the tasks accomplished during the business meetings:

- A balanced budget was passed, one that included an increase in the education line item.

- Mr. Fred Joseph of St. Dunstan's Anglican Church was awarded the Walter Killian Award.

- Your bishop was elected to another three-year term as Presiding Bishop

- The International Anglican Fellowship has increased its number of sustaining members, as well as the amount given to missions worldwide. Four new missions were begun recently in the Dominican Republic. These are being supported by the IAF.

- A Proposed Constitution was presented, along with proposed canons. These will be reviewed and acted upon at subsequent synods.

- A proposal to amend the TAC Concordat was passed unanimously. It is important to note that any amendments to the Concordat require the ratification of the national synods of every constituent church. The ACA is the first church to ratify the Concordat amendments.

- Bishop Rodriguez has requested that two bishops be approved by the College of Bishops to assist him in his work. Recently, two men from Guatemala have been elected to that office. The ACA House of Bishops, the Executive Council and the Synod all voiced approval for the two new bishops-elect. Their credentials will now be forwarded to the Secretary of the College of Bishops in preparation for action by the College.

- Our synod guests included Bishop Shane Janzen of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada, Bishop Ruben Rodriguez of Guatemala and Father Ramon Suero of the Dominican Republic.

  One of the unique features of this synod was the silent auction sponsored by the IAF. Erv Lische, the Executive Director of the IAF, promoted the silent auction for the purpose of funding the reprinting of Ritual Notes and The Practice of Religion. Funds raised by the silent auction and free will donations will go a long way toward funding the reprinting of these popular books. Above all, the silent auction was great fun for all who observed and participated in the bidding.

The Synod banquet was held on Thursday evening, October 16. One hundred and fifty people attended this festive event. Our own Bishop George Langberg provided the musical entertainment.

-----Bishop Marsh

 

Notes from the Secretary

 

Year end 2014 is fast approaching. One last reminder regarding support obligations. Faithful stewardship ensures the financial stability of the diocese and the national church. Please honor your commitment and send checks to Kathy by the end of this year.

Diocesan Support – 12.5% of the current year plate and pledge collections or $250 per year, whichever is greater (waivers at the discretion of the Bishop Ordinary).

National Church Support – $30 per Voting Communicant as reported on your year 2013 annual parochial report

All checks should be made payable to the Diocese of the Northeast with a notation (i.e., National or DNE support) in the memo.

Contact Kathy Lippman or me if you have any questions.

Thank you for your stewardship in helping the diocese meet its financial obligations

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving and a Joyful Christmas season.

-----Peace, Linnea

 

A Good End

 

He knelt in silence before the great Rood-Cross, mumbling the prayers the priest had given him to say. He had lived a long and dissolute life, in which he had brought great harm to many, even death to some. He had become a very wealthy man at the expense of all those others, and had enjoyed a great deal of luxury in all those years, if “enjoyed” is the right word, which it probably isn’t. You see, it surely looked as though he enjoyed the life he was living, and there were very many who envied him that life, but no one but he himself could see inside and know the gaping emptiness and gnawing pain of that life.

He was very, very good at business, if that is what one calls the legal (and not-so-legal) fraud, deception, and outright theft on which he built his fortune, a not inconsiderable fortune built on the misfortune of others. Yes, the pleasures he enjoyed had left behind him a trail of sorrows: bankrupts, widows, orphans and workers who labored hard, not quite making a living. He had been married and divorced several times, and all the while had had countless women, men, and boys secretly in secret places. Many envied him these pleasures, but nothing satisfied his soul.

He was empty inside. None of the things he did could satisfy, but brought him only pain. Ah, yes, sometimes he thought it was a good life, but always the emptiness returned, and the deep aching pain that it brought. Always he needed (or felt he needed) something more to assuage his pain, and his excesses grew larger and fiercer until the management of his business affairs ceased to be a joy and began to be a burden. Something was dying inside.

He had always had ties to the church, having been brought up in a very devout family, had never ceased showing up for Mass, and was very generous in his giving, but none of what he’d been taught had really stuck. It was all a matter of form. He did not go to Confession, not being willing to admit what he knew so well, that he was indeed a sinner, and rarely, if ever, received Communion, knowing somehow that he was not welcome if he wanted to hold on to his sin. And then one Sunday …

It was after his third heart attack, and he was beginning to be really worried about the end of his life. He’d managed, even after two attacks, to keep on thinking of himself as immortal, but now … well, now he was worrying. As he sat, rather uncomfortably in a back pew, he recognized a woman who entered the church with a boy dressed all in white. She was the mistress he had abandoned seven years ago when she turned up pregnant with his child. He wanted no part of it, but now, here she was, with her son … his son that he could not claim as his own … and had brought him today for his First Communion. He watched as all the children lined up to receive the Body of Christ, and, for the first time he could remember, he began to sob. Some dam inside his spirit had broken. This was flesh of his flesh and he could not even speak to him. This was evidence of damage he had done not only to others, but to himself. The inner aching that he had lived with for so long came to a crescendo and he could bear it no more. He ran to his limousine, but could not say a word to his chauffeur, who shrugged and drove him home.

There was much to do, today, even if it was a Sunday. He called his lawyer and his accountant. insisting that they come to him that evening, and sat down to pore through his years of diaries. (He’d been meticulous in this as in everything else, and it was all there, his whole life, all of his dalliances and all of his shady deals.) He made a very long list of those he had injured, several pages of them, and was ready when his men arrived. The task he gave them was to remake his will, placing over half of his fortune in a trust. The remainder was still to be divided among his apparent heirs as previously outlined, but this trust was to be something different. The trustees were instructed to divide the trust among all those he had listed, and to distribute it as anonymous gifts. Under no circumstances were they to reveal its source. He dismissed the men, sternly insisting that he had to have the revised will by Tuesday morning at the latest.

He spent Monday alone in his mansion, trying (rather clumsily and unsuccessfully) to pray, the fires of pain still raging inside him. How he hurt! At last he really knew and fully admitted to himself what a vile life he had led. Was there no way he could atone for his sins? Surely God was angered by what he had done. Surely he was not worthy of any of God’s blessings. It was a miserable day.

Tuesday dawned. The accountant and the lawyer showed up, bringing with them, as instructed, a Notary and two witnesses. Yes, the will was done. He read it carefully, nodded his approval, signed it, had the witnesses do likewise, and handed it over to be notarized. “Now,” he thought “I can go to the priest.” He called the church to be sure a priest was in the confessional, and set out on foot, not telling a soul. He arrived, knelt for a few moments in a pew, then got up, squared his shoulders and entered the dark and forbidding box. “Bless me, father, for I have sinned …,” he began, and for the next hour described all the things he had done, ending with the description of the last few days. Father had never heard such a confession in his many years of ministry and sat for a few moments in stunned silence, finally telling him that Our Lord is merciful, that he accepts the penitence of His people, and died to bring forgiveness to the worst of sinners. “You’ve started well in showing your repentance by what you did today,” he said, assigned him a few prayers to say at the altar, and pronounced God’s absolution.

He was grateful for what was promised, but felt nothing. His guilt had not vanished, and his spirit was still full of pain

He knelt in silence before the great Rood-Cross, mumbling the prayers the priest had given him to say, but still feeling so very unworthy and so very unforgiven. As he knelt there was a motion beside him. A young boy slid into the pew next to him, a beautiful African-American child, very dark of skin, with tightly curled hair, and a radiance about him almost too bright to behold. He knelt next to him, silently mumbling himself. Perhaps he too had just been to Confession. After a while the boy looked at the man, still kneeling with tears pouring down his face. “Jesus loves you,” he said, “really, really loves you, and there ain’t nothing you ever did that can stop Him. He wants you, now.”

The boy took the man by the hand and led him from the pew, under the great Rood, the length of the choir, up to the altar rail. “He’s here. Go on and let Him hold you, right now.” The man stood a while, trembling, then took a step forward through the gate into the sanctuary, lifted up his arms, and shouted, “Yes!” At that moment he collapsed, a huge smile on his face. The boy ran back to the confessional, shouting, “Father, come quick.”

The old priest hurried forward, found the man lying there, told the boy to call 9-1-1, then went to the aumbry for the holy oil and to the tabernacle for the Blessed Sacrament, and administered the Last Rites then and there. The angels sang.

 

Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth more than over ninety and nine just persons which need no repentance.” Luke 15:7

 

Epilogue: The ambulance arrived quickly and he was declared dead. The boy was never seen again. And, though some of the family contested it, the will held up and its provisions were fulfilled.

 

-----ed pacht

 

Clergy Anniversaries

 

My list is woefully incomplete and probably inaccurate. Please help me get it right. ed.

 

Dec

06 - Bp Brian Marsh, D 1997

06 –Fr. Frank Grey, D 1997

08 - Fr. Christian Tutor, vows 1987

14 - Bp George Langberg, D 1985

Jan

10 – Fr. Ed Ihde, birthday 1950

Feb

02 - Fr. Christian Tutor OSA, D 2007

09 - Bp Robert Harvey birthday 1916

12 - Fr. Frank Bartlett, P 2011

13 – Fr. Ed Ihde, D 1988

22 - Bp. Owen Williams, D 1998

23 - Fr. Kevin LaMarre OSB, birthday

24 - Fr. Alexander Stringer, P 1953

 


Next Issue in March

Deadline for submissions will be
around February 15.

 




 



 


 




 

---ed pacht, ed