The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you Peace. (Numbers 6: 24-26)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Adult Christian Formation Offering

Wednesday Night Book Study

Every Wednesday night, Fr. Michael will lead a study of interest to our shared Christian lives. Currently, we are studying Celtic Spirituality as a way of understanding and broadening our own spiritual walk with Christ. By studying the spirituality of the ancient Christians in Ireland, and then moving on to a study of spirituality in ancient England, we will strive to develop and strengthen our spiritual lives through an appreciation of traditional prayer, exploration of God’s Holy Word and the way we live our lives in accordance with God’s Will.

The evening begins with the Mass offered to the glory of God in the Chapel beginning at 6:00 PM followed by a meal and our study. Each study will be firmly grounded in Holy Scripture and in our shared Anglican Tradition. Everyone is invited to attend, and no one should be hesitant if they have missed a class or two. This class is fun, the people are warm and welcoming, the food is good and everyone gets a passing grade.

What:       Wednesday Night Book Study
Where:      Parish House
When:       Every Wednesday Night
                         Mass begins at 6:00 PM
                         Meal begins at 6:45 PM
                         Class begins around 7:15 PM

What is the Cost of Freedom?

Dominus vobiscum....

“Lord God Almighty, in whose Name the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us, and lit the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant, we beseech thee, that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain these liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever.”

What is the cost of freedom? As Americans, we believe in a freedom that has rarely been experienced in the world. That freedom, ordained by our Creator and preserved by the sacrifice of many brave souls who have fought to defend our great nation, comes at a cost that is sometimes very high indeed. With that freedom comes a great responsibility, for it is incumbent upon us to remember the sacrifices that have been made to secure our freedom; to show the honor and respect that is due to those who have served their country; and to prepare our children so that they may appreciate and, if necessary, defend it against those who would see it destroyed.

What is the cost of freedom? As Christians, we believe that it is the life of one Man. The blood that was spilled by our Savior, Jesus Christ, was and is enough to guarantee the freedom from sin and death of the entirety of Creation. We did nothing to earn that gift which God so freely gave to a world that was not worthy; but we are called to remember that gift and to do in His Name those things which He calls us to do, so that the Word of God may be on the lips and in the hearts of all of His children. That is our responsibility. We are called to believe, and we are called to live according to that belief.

This month we celebrate the 234th anniversary of the birth of this nation. Let us give thanks to all those who have given of themselves to defend our freedom. Let us give thanks to God for His Son who gave himself up to death so that the whole world might share in his eternal Resurrection. Let us rededicate ourselves to an appreciation of all the blessings that God pours out upon us every day. Let us never lose sight of the eternal blessing of the everlasting life that is to come.

What is the cost of freedom? That we believe.

Your brother in Christ,
Fr. Michael+

Friday, June 18, 2010

A New Priest Arrives

It is hard to convey in mere words the joy that I feel every time I tell someone that I am the Priest in Charge at Christ Memorial, Mansfield.  Many long years of discernment, prayer, education and patience have led me to this small town with its large history and promising future.  The people of Christ Memorial have opened their arms and their hearts to myself and my family, and for that I am eternally grateful.  We have been made to feel right at home, and if feelings are any indeed an indication of things, then we are in just the right place.

I owe thanks to my bishop, the Rt. Rev'd D. Bruce MacPherson, who not only put up with me during those long years of discernment and training but has been a constant source of stability and strength to us all.  I have not known a time in the last seven years when I was not in his prayers, and he in mine. 

I owe more thanks and praise than I can ennumerate in this space to my loving wife who has given of herself so often and so readily since we met seventeen years ago.  More than anything, she has been a constant source of love and wise words to me, and a magnificent mother to our children.  And to my children, I owe thanks for putting up with all the moves, the cold winters in Wisconsin and, at times, the uncertainty.  God has truly blessed us with smart and loving children.

Saving the most important for last, I owe everything to God, my Creator and my Savior.  He knew me long before I knew myself; He alone has saved me and the whole world; He continues to pour out His Grace and His Love upon all of His Creation.  To Him be all honor, glory and praise.

I hope to use this blog as a way of communicating the Good News to the people of this parish, this city, this state, this country and even this darkened world.  Do I think my words will somehow change the world?  Not hardly, His Word has already done that.  Rather, I hope to offer interesting tidbits, commentary, news and an occasional original thought every now and then. 

So, dear reader, let's explore what God has in store for us!

Fr. Michael+