My sisters and brothers in Christ:
We worship as usual this weekend: Our convenient community Holy Eucharist service on Saturday (Sept. 24) at 5 p.m. and on the 19th Sunday After Pentecost at 8 and 10 a.m. We’ll reflect on our LORD’s parable of the rich man who persistently overlooked a hungry, desperately ill man named Lazarus. You probably remember how it turned out for them in the afterlife. Suffice it to say that the tables were turned. It’s a story about moral accountability, for sure. But it also teaches us to think carefully about where we look and how we listen for authority, guidance, and truth.
A time-tested truth in our Anglican-Episcopal tradition is lex orandi lex credendi, a Latin phrase which can be loosely translated as follows: â€œHey, Christendom! You looking at us? You want to know what our denomination — so diverse and even divided in our viewpoints about a wide range of matters theological and cultural — really believes in deep down? It’s easy. You will know us by our corporate and personal prayer life. As we pray, so we believe. To see who we are, come see how we talk to God.
So what unites Episcopalians is neither doctrine nor earthly covenant. It’s the Book Of Common Prayer, the source of almost all our liturgy and the anchor of our spiritual practice. For two weeks beginning this Sunday, Sept. 25 at 9 a.m. in the Bishop’s Room, our own William Kelley, assisted by your vicar, will lead a discussion about the BCP’s history and the ways individuals can use it for their personal spiritual journeys. Bring your own BCP from home, or borrow one of ours. But please join us – for we are all people of the bbook.
Hospitality is another ancient value for those who follow the way of Abraham (who figures prominently in the story of Lazarus and the rich man). After the second service this Sunday, beginning at about 11:30 a.m., your parish leaders will host a brunch for newcomers in the multipurpose room. You’re warmly invited if you’re new, relatively new, or even not especially new at St. John’s. Members of the Bishop’s Committee and leaders of key ministries will be with us to get to know you better and fill you in our what’s up at our busy church. Please join us – >for we are all people of brunch!
Newcomers to The Episcopal Church are also especially welcomed to the prayer book class at 9 a.m.!
Yours in Christ’s love,