The Week Ahead…
April 24 – NO Ecumenical Bible Study
April 28 – 10am – Children’s Education Living the Good News
April 28 – 10am – Adult Education – 1st Corinthians
April 28 – 11:00am – Holy Eucharist, Rite II
Holy Week and Easter retrospective April 14 -21
Links to what went on here last week for each service, below. The full Holy week page is here with all the Holy Week related scriptures and services.
From Palm Sunday to Easter, 2019 we held 5 services. The services varied as well as mood – Psalm Sunday with the procession, the darkness and shadows of Tenebrae, the communal footwashing of Maundy Thursday, the musical meditation and tapers of Good Friday and then the wonderful attendance of Easter day. We also participated in the Port Royal Sunrise service on Sunday morning. Yes, we did walk with Jesus in his suffering and hardships and then sharing and proclaiming the resurrection.
- Palm Sunday, April 14, 2019
- Tenebrae, April 17, 2019
- Maundy Thursday, April 18
- Good Friday, April 19, 2019
- Sunrise Service, April 21, 2019
- Easter Sunday April 21, 2019
We are in Eastertide until Pentecost, June 9
Eastertide is the period of fifty days, seven Sundays from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday. Easter is not a day but a season and it is one to examine the Resurrection, more broadly and deeply. There are a number of questions.
Is Resurrection just about death has been swallowed up in victory (1 Corinthians 15:54-56) ? Is Resurrection of Jesus is a precursor to your own resurrection (1 Corinthians 15) ? Does it say something about our own ability to expect to see Jesus (Luke 24) ? How does the new Christian community begin to function making Christ the central part of daily life ? (Acts 2)
Jesus physically appears in Easter 2 and 3 making the Resurection tangible. The shepherding part of his ministry is explored in Easter 4. From Easter 5-7, Jesus must prepare the disciples for his departure. He is going to leave them. Jesus prepares his disciples for continuing his ministry without his physical presence. Themes explored include the holy spirit, the Prayer of Jesus and God’s glory through His Son and the church.
Christ ascends on the 40th day with his disciples watching (Thursday, May 5th). The weekdays after the Ascension until the Saturday before Pentecost inclusive are a preparation for the coming of the Holy Spirit.This fifty days comes to an end on Pentecost Sunday, which commemorates the giving of the Holy Spirit to the apostles, the beginnings of the Church and its mission to all peoples and nation. Note that the Old Testament lessons are replaced by selections from the Book of Acts, recognizing the important of the growth of the church.
Earth Day, 2019 – April 22
Earth Day was founded in 1970 and included environmental teach-ins that educated Americans about environmental and species conservation issues, and connected those issues to their health and well-being.
On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to call for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized demonstrations and teach-ins against the deterioration of the environment.
Earth Day 1970 activated a bipartisan spirit that motivated the passing of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. 2019 is the 50th Earth Day
This year’s focus is the threat to species on the planet.
Lectionary, Easter 2
I.Theme – Joining resurrection faith with experiences of community
"Incredulity of Thomas" – Duccio, di Buoninsegna (1308-1311)
The lectionary readings are here or individually:
Today’s readings celebrate the power of the risen Christ demonstrated in the faith and life of the early Christian community.
As we enter into the season of Easter, we read from the Acts of the Apostles, remembering how the early Christians fared in the days after Jesus’ resurrection. We hear the beginnings of the early church, the house-meetings, the agape love feasts, the witnesses and martyrs, and all of the disciples of Jesus. John, in his Revelation, attests to the love of the triumphant Christ for the faithful. In today’s gospel, Jesus promises greater blessings for those who believe in him though they do not see him.
Divided into two major segments, the Festival Half, and Ordinary Time, the Church Year has now reached the mid-point of the Paschal Cycle in the Festival Half of the year. Eastertide extends from the Great Vigil of Easter to Pentecost, some fifty days later. Eastertide is constructed as a “Great Lord’s Day” with each of seven Sundays named as a “Sunday of Easter”
The first two Sundays emphasize appearance stories Details introduced into appearance stories are generally limited to making one of two essential points. Some stress discontinuity between Jesus’ risen body and his previously imperfect, earthly frame. Other details, emphasize essential continuity of the glorified Lord with the historical Jesus of Nazareth — here, gaping wounds which recall His Passion.
Jesus came not to upbraid us for faithlessness or to condemn but only to bestow "peace," full reconciliation with God that replaces fear of deserved judgment, with eschatological "joy." This is accomplished through an efficacious sign — "breathed upon them" — interpreted by words. The same divine life by which Jesus had been resurrected was not passed on to His disciples, through whom it is further mediated. These represent the Church, the divinely intended means through which Jesus offers forgiveness to all willing to accept it. Thus, the Church’s mission of bringing reconciliation to the world comes to concrete expression through word and sacraments.
Thomas represents all who would demand a personal appearance of the risen Lord in order to ground their own faith commitment. Jesus summoned Thomas — and through him, all succeeding generations — to a mature and well-grounded belief founded on the testimony of reliable eyewitnesses, rather than a personal encounter. Today’s reading makes two foundational statements about the Church. First, it is the official witness to the reality of Jesus’ Resurrection for every generation. Second, the Church alone is empowered to determine the requisite conditions for reconciliation, and even more, the only means to effectively bestow it upon an alienated humankind.
Who was Thomas ?
Thomas’ name has come down to us as "Doubting Thomas. " He’s been labeled a "doubter" for his inability to understand Christ’s resurrection from the dead following his crucifixion. It’s not so much that he doubted the resurrection but that he needed a personal encounter with Jesus to make the resurrection real. His request that he see the wounds on Jesus’s hand left by the nails before he would actually believe that he was speaking to the risen Christ, has provide/ad us with the phfont-family: Georgia; font-size: 18pxrase "Doubting Thomas." That makes it appear to doubt is not a part of faith which it is.
National Geographic – "Thomas’s moment of incredulity has proved a two-edged sword in the history of Christian thought. On the one hand, some theologians are quick to point out that his doubt is only natural, echoing the uncertainty, if not the deep skepticism, felt by millions in regard to metaphysical matters. How can we know? That Thomas challenged the risen Christ, probed the wounds, and then believed, some say, lends deeper significance to his subsequent faith. On the other hand, his crisis of doubt, shared by none of the other Apostles, is seen by many as a spiritual failure, as a need to know something literally that one simply cannot know. In the Gospel of John, 20:29, Christ himself chastises Thomas, saying, "Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
Loyalty was closer to his character. As one of the disciples, when Jesus announced His intention of going to the Jerusalem area, brushing aside the protests of His disciples that His life was in danger there, at which Thomas said to the others: "Let us also go, that we may die with him." (John 11:7,8,16) If Thomas was pessimistic, he was also sturdily loyal and determined. He wanted to get it right
Before the Doubting Thomas episode, he was honest and sincere. At the Last Supper, Jesus said: "I go to prepare a place for you…. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know." Thomas replied: "Lord, we know not whither thou goest, and how can we know the way?" To this Jesus answered: "I am the way, the truth and the life." (John 14:1-6)
Thomas is mentioned again (John 21) as one of the seven disciples who were fishing on the Sea of Galilee (Sea of Tiberias) when the Risen Lord appeared to them. Aside from this he appears in the New Testament only as a name on lists of the Apostles. A couple of centuries later a story was circulating in the Mediterranean world that he had gone to preach in India; and there is a Christian community in India (the Kerala district) that claims descent from Christians converted by the the preaching of Thomas.
Following Christ’s ascensio, the apostles divided the world for missionary purposes. Thomas was assigned to travel to India to spread Christianity. He objected to this group decision. He said he wasn’tt healthy enough to travel. But he couldn’t possibly be successful there, he told the others, contending that a Hebrew couldn’t possibly teach the Indians. It’s even said that Christ appeared to him in a vision encouraging him to travel to India. Thomas remained unmoved by this revelation as well.
A merchant eventually sold Thomas into slavery in India. It was then, when he was freed from bondage that this saint began to form Christian parishes and building churches. It’s not surprising that to this day, St. Thomas is especially venerated as The Apostle in India. According to legend, Thomas built a total of seven churches in India, as well as being martyred during a prayer session with a spear near Madras around the year 72 C.E.
He is often pictured holding a spear. Paintings of martyrs often show them holding or accompanied by the instruments with which they were put to death.
A recently discovered work called the Gospel of Thomas is a collection of sayings attributed to Jesus,
The Legacy of Thomas in India
The National Geographic -"He traveled farther than even the indefatigable Paul, whose journeys encompassed much of the Mediterranean. Of all the Apostles, Thomas represents most profoundly the missionary zeal associated with the rise of Christianity—the drive to travel to the ends of the known world to preach a new creed."
"Thomas is said to have raised the first cross in India and performed one of his earliest miracles: When he encountered a group of Brahmans throwing water into the air as part of a ritual, he asked why the water fell back to Earth if it was pleasing to their deity. My God, Thomas said, would accept such an offering. He then flung a great spray into the air, and the droplets hung there in the form of glistening white blossoms. Most onlookers converted on the spot; the rest fled."
"St. Thomas still stands as the direct link between his converts in Kerala and the founding Christian story on the shores of the Mediterranean, clear across the known world of the first century. Unlike later Christian groups in Asia who were converted by missionaries, Thomas Christians believe their church was founded by one of Christ’s closest followers, and this is central to their spiritual identity. "They are an apostolic church," Stewart said, "and that’s the ultimate seal of approval for a Christian group."
"The community was historically united in leadership and liturgy, but since the 17th century have been split into several different church denominations and traditions.
"Historically the Saint Thomas Christian community was part of the Church of the East, centred in Persia.They are a distinct community, both in terms of culture and religion. Though their liturgy and theology remained that of East-Syrian Christians of Persia, their life-style customs and traditions were basically Indian.
"In the 16th century the overtures of the Portuguese padroado to bring the Saint Thomas Christians into the Catholic Church led to the first of several rifts in the community and the establishment of Syrian Catholic and Malankara Church factions. Since that time further splits have occurred, and the Saint Thomas Christians are now divided into several different Eastern Catholic, Oriental Orthodox, and independent bodies, each with their own liturgies and traditions."
10. Recent Services:
Fourth Lent, March 31 Photos from March 31
Fifth Lent, April 7 Photos from April 7
Palm Sunday, April 14 Photos from April 14
Block Print by Mike Newman
|White||Gold||Christmas||Dec 25-Jan 5|
|Green||After Epiphany||Jan 7-March 2|
|Purple||Ash Wednesday||Mar 6-9|
|Purple||Lent||Mar 6-Apr 20|
|Rose*|| [Laetere Sunday]
|Purple||Palm Sunday||Apr 14-17|
|Purple||Maundy Thursday||Apr 18|
|Purple||Black||Good Friday||Apr 19|
|Black||Holy Saturday||Apr 20|
|White||Gold||Eastertide||Apr 27-June 8|
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Saints of the Week, – April 21 -April 28
|Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1109|
|Hadewijch of Brabant, Poet & Mystic, 13th c.|
|Toyohiko Kagawa, Prophetic Witness in Japan, 1960
George, Martyr, 304
|Saint Mark the Evangelist|
|Robert Hunt, Priest, 1607|
|Zita of Tuscany, Worker of Charity, 1271
Christina Rossetti, Poet, 1894