Thursday, November 11, 2021
Dear Family and Friends of St. Philip’s, Happy Veterans’ Day! This Sunday at 10 am we will be honoring the veterans in our midst. This day always reminds me that freedom isn’t free. Men and women have sacrificed much by serving in our Armed Forces. As we appreciate and want to advance liberty, we must remember that liberty’s constant companion is that of responsibility. To retain what we have, we must stay vigilant in protecting our Constitution against foreign and domestic enemies.
Every now and then something happens that is so good you have enough sense to stop and savor the moment. Instead of seeing what could be better or planning for the next event, you just stop and give thanks. I have had several such occasions in my life, perhaps as many as ten. I put last Sunday, my first with you as your new rector, in this category. God’s matching of me with you came forth in that 10 am service. I could feel the Holy Spirit crackling through the air! In driving home with May Ruth I felt a pure joy that I know I will cherish forever. I thank you for being so gracious to me! Yesterday, I had three meetings. The first was a UBE meeting at the Cathedral. I got to meet Dean Kate for the first time. At this meeting we planned observances for Martin Luther King on Saturday, January 15, from 11 am to 2 pm and for Absalom Jones, Saturday, February 12, from 11 am to 2 pm. Both events will include lunch. The Absalom Jones observance is a worship service with Holy Eucharist. The Martin Luther King event is a workshop. More details of both occasions will be coming to you before the end of the calendar year.
We also had by Zoom a Covid 19 Committee meeting. Recommendations have been given to the Vestry. The Vestry will decide to approve or alter the Committee’s advice at a special meeting this Sunday at 6 pm. After the Covid Committee, there was a Zoom meeting of the Finance Committee. From this meeting, I believe the stewardship numbers are going to be quite good for 2022. We are on a strong pace up to this point. This evening I attended my first Men’s Club event at St. Philip’s. This is a fun group of guys! I think they would like to convert the auditorium into a Man Cave! Seriously I had a great time with them. They selected officers for the coming year and shared a few experiences of military service on this Veterans’ Day. For the first time, I learned of the Montford Marines—the African Americans who served in the Marine Corps during World War II. Montford Point was the name of the segregated USMC Camp in North Carolina that was designed for the training of the African American Defense Battalions. Many of these Marines fought valiantly against the Japanese in the Pacific Theater. Montford Point is now known as Camp Gilbert H. Johnson. It is a part of the Marine Corps’ Camp Lejeune complex.
With all that was going on last Sunday, I forgot the birthday blessings! To make up for it, I ask all who normally would have come forward last week to come this week. It’s all part of my getting adjusted to new patterns. In a little time, I will get it down.
We will have a Thanksgiving service at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, November 24. It will include Holy Eucharist. Last Sunday we began worshiping with Eucharistic Prayer D. This is known as the Prayer of St. Basil. St. Basil died in 379 A.D. Prayer D is known as the Ecumenical Prayer because it is used by the Anglicans, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholics, and many Protestants. It is the fullest expression of the Eucharist that we have—even more complete than our traditional Rite 1 Holy Eucharist. As your new rector, I will stay with Prayer D through Thanksgiving.
Beginning in Advent, I will use Rite 1. From Christmas Eve through the Baptism of Jesus on 1 Epiphany I will celebrate with Eucharistic Prayer B. For the remainder of Epiphany, we will use Prayer C. In Lent, we will return to Rite 1. In Easter season through the Feast of Pentecost I will have us use Prayer D. In the summer we will start with Prayer C In the month of June, but starting in July I will use Prayer A through the Sunday before Labor Day. From early September until just before All Saints we will be in Prayer B. This rotation will give you full immersion in all our Eucharistic Prayers. I have done this for many years and have had members tell me that when they visit other Episcopal parishes while on vacation they feel right at home with any Eucharistic Prayer those congregations may choose. In addition, I want gently to transition away from having the full service printed in the bulletin. I hope to return to our using the Book of Common Prayer and the two hymnals (Hymnal 1982 and Lift Every Voice) for worship. All three books are valuable resources, and I want you to be familiar with all of them.
I hope you have a good weekend! Perhaps the Jags can come away with another win! With my love and best wishes, I remain, Your Brother in Christ, Jay