Monday, October 31, 2011

All Hallows Eve

Today is the Eve of All Saints, or All Hallows Eve. The Feast of All Hallows (All Saints), used to be celebrated on 13 May until the mid-700s when it was changed to 1 November when All Saints Chapel was dedicated in Rome.

The observance of All Hallows Eve, the vigil of All Saint, depended on where you lived in Christendom. In Brittany, the night was solemn and without any merriment. They prayed by their loved ones’ graves during the day, attended church for “black vespers” in the evening and in some parishes proceeded to the cemetery to pray by the bones of those not yet buried or for whom no room could be found in the cemetery singing hymns. They prayed Psalm 130:

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplications!
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you,
so that you may be revered.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is great power to redeem.
It is he who will redeem Israel
from all its iniquities.

Then, they retired for the night.

In Ireland and Scotland and England, All Hallows' Eve became a combination of prayer and merriment. During the time of Queen Elizabeth I, all observances connected with the day after All Saints Day, All Souls’ Day, were forbidden. In spite of her laws, however, customs survived; even Shakespeare in his Two Gentlemen of Verona has Speed tell Valentine that he knows he is in love because he has learned to speak “puling like a beggar at Hallowmas.”

Begging at the door grew from an ancient English custom of knocking at doors to beg for a “soul cake” in return for which the beggars promised to pray for the dead of the household. Soul cakes, a form of shortbread, with currants for eyes.

Although All Saints always falls on 1 November, the Church in the United States celebrates it on the Sunday immediately following 1 November; therefore, we will celebrate All Saints Day on Sunday, 6 November.

Let us pray: Almighty and everlasting God, who grants us to honor in one feast the merits of all Your saints, we beseech You that You would bestow upon us, through our many intercessors, that abundance of Your mercy for which we long, through our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.

CALENDAR REMINDERS & UPCOMING EVENTS

THE FEAST IF ALL SAINTS, Sunday, 6 November, where all of those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith and who witnessed to us the Risen Christ will be remembered.

WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY: Sundays at 4:00 p.m. in Sutton Hall. Please join Jillian Bain for this prayerful study of Scripture.

THE FISH FRY & YARD SALE: Saturday, 5 November 2011, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (proceeds for Church renovation/maintenance), and we are raffling a 32 inch flat screen TV (for the victims of the wildfires in Texas). We are starting to collect items for the yard sale benefiting the Community Garden so bring in your items. Dinner tickets are $7.50 each and the raffle tickets are $2 each of $5 for 3. The Yard Sale is from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Donations for the yard sale can be brought to the church on Sundays, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. or you can contact Karen at 409-762-0316 to arrange other times.

PLEASE REMEMBER EVERYONE ON OUR PRAYER LIST especially Hugh who is recovering from surgery, all of those who are traveling, all of those seeking work, everyone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, for all who are alone, for those who have no one to pray for them, all parishes with search committees as they seek new rectors, for all of those suffering from the wildfires, and in thanksgiving for all that God has done for us.

“As no darkness can be seen by anyone surrounded by light, so no trivialities can capture the attention of anyone who has his eyes on Christ.” —St. Gregory of Nyssa (c.330-c.395)

Your servant in Christ,

Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sts. Simon & Jude

Today the Church remembers and honors two apostles, Saints Simon and Jude. James Kiefer writes:

On the various New Testament lists of the Twelve Apostles (Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:14-16; Acts 1:13), the tenth and eleventh places are occupied by Simon the Zealot (also called Simon the “Cananean,” the Aramaic word meaning “Zealot”) and by Judas of James, also called Thaddaeus or Lebbaeus. …

Some ancient Christian writers say that Simon and Jude went together as missionaries to Persia, and were martyred there. If this is true, it explains, to some extent, our lack of historical information on them and also why they are usually put together.

Simon is not mentioned by name in the New Testament except on these lists. Some modern writers have used his surname as the basis for conjectures associating him, and through him Jesus and all His original followers, with the Zealot movement described by Josephus, a Jewish independence movement devoted to assassination and violent insurrection. However, there were many movements that were called Zealot, not all alike, and Josephus tells us (Jewish War 4,3,9) that the movement he is describing did not arise until shortly before the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD.

Judas (often called Jude in English, but the Greek has Judas) is variously named, but this is not surprising. Before the Crucifixion, there would be a need to distinguish him among the apostles from Judas Iscariot, and after the Crucifixion there would be an additional reason for being emphatic about the distinction. “Thaddaeus” is possibly a variant of “Theudas,” which in turn is perhaps used as a Greek equivalent of “Judas”. … After the Last Supper it was Jude who asked Our Lord why he chose to reveal Himself only to the disciples. He received the reply: “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:22f).

The New Testament Epistle of Jude was written by “Judas the brother of James,” which could refer to either Jude. In any case, we commemorate on this day (1) Simon the Zealot, one of the original Twelve; (2) Judas of James (also called Thaddaeus or Lebbaeus), also one of the original Twelve; and (3) Jude (or Judas) the brother of James and author of the Epistle, without settling the question of whether (2) and (3) are the same person.

The Epistle of Jude is a brief document addressed to the Church, and warns against corrupt influences that have crept in. It has some obscure and baffling references to old Jewish traditions, but it includes a memorable exhortation to “contend for the faith once delivered to the saints,” and an even more memorable closing: “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding great joy, to the only wise God, or Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”

Let us pray: O God, we thank you for the glorious company of the apostles, and especially on this day for Simon and Jude; and we pray that, as they were faithful and zealous in their mission, so we may with ardent devotion make known the love and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

CALENDAR REMINDERS & UPCOMING EVENTS

WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY: Sundays at 4:00 p.m. in Sutton Hall. Please join Jillian Bain for this prayerful study of Scripture.

JOINT MISSION EFFORT BETWEEN ST. AUGUSTINE & HOLY SPIRIT IN HOUSTON: The Youth from Holy Spirit in Houston will be at St. Augustine’s on Saturday, 29 October at 10:00 a.m. to help us pack snack bags for the visitors at St. Vincent’s House. We will celebrate Eucharist as well. Please join in if you can.

THE FISH FRY & YARD SALE: Saturday, 5 November 2011, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (proceeds for Church renovation/maintenance), and we are raffling a 32 inch flat screen TV (for the victims of the wildfires in Texas). We are starting to collect items for the yard sale benefiting the Community Garden so bring in your items. Dinner tickets are $7.50 each and the raffle tickets are $2 each of $5 for 3. The Yard Sale is from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Donations for the yard sale can be brought to the church on Sundays, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. or you can contact Karen at 409-762-0316 to arrange other times.

PLEASE REMEMBER EVERYONE ON OUR PRAYER LIST especially Hugh who is recovering from surgery, everyone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, all parishes with search committees as they seek new rectors, for all of those suffering from the wildfires, and in thanksgiving for all that God has done for us.

“Surely it is worthwhile to lay ourselves out with all our might in promoting the cause and kingdom of Christ.” —William Carey (17 August 1761 – 9 June 1834)

Your servant in Christ,

Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fertile Soil

I am back from our 2011 Diocese of Texas Clergy Conference at Camp Allen which was wonderful, and I bring back greetings from Bishop Doyle and Bishop Harrison! We visited about the wonderful happenings at St. Augustine of Hippo in Galveston, and they could not be more delighted. I also had the opportunity to visit with representatives from the Diocese of Southern Malawi who were present at Clergy Conference, but more on that later.


In today’s Daily Office Gospel selection, we hear from the Gospel according to Matthew where we hear the parable of the sower:

‘Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.’ (Mt. 13: 18-23).

At St. Augustine, the seed is being sown in fertile soil! What a community of faith we have at St. Augustine’s in Galveston. It was with great joy that I was able to convey the wonderful things happening at St. Augustine’s to Bishop Doyle and all of the clergy at conference. One of the most wonderful things is the new Women’s Bible Study with Jillian Bain. What a joy, people being immersed into the Word of God. I also told everyone about our third annual art show and how that event allowed St. Augustine to be a place where different views met. The Bishop and clergy were also very excited to hear about SASS, as well as the upcoming Fish Fry, Yard Sale and TV raffle. St. Augustine is a place where the seed has been planted in fertile soil.

Let us pray: Almighty and everliving God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth, hear our prayers for this parish family. Strengthen the faithful, arouse the careless, and restore the penitent. Grant us all things necessary for our common life, and bring us all to be of one heart and mind within your holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

LINK UP WITH THE LATEST NEWS FROM THE DIOCESE OF TEXAS: It’s easy to do. To sign up for the Diolog E-News here's the link: www.tinyurl.com/diologenews.

CALENDAR REMINDERS & UPCOMING EVENTS

WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY: Sundays at 4:00 p.m. in Sutton Hall. Please join Jillian Bain for this prayerful study of Scripture.

JOINT MISSION EFFORT BETWEEN ST. AUGUSTINE & HOLY SPIRIT IN HOUSTON: The Youth from Holy Spirit in Houston will be at St. Augustine’s on Saturday, 29 October at 10:00 a.m. to help us pack snack bags for the visitors at St. Vincent’s House. We will celebrate Eucharist as well. Please join in if you can.

THE FISH FRY & YARD SALE: Saturday, 5 November 2011, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (proceeds for Church renovation/maintenance), and we are raffling a 32 inch flat screen TV (for the victims of the wildfires in Texas). We are starting to collect items for the yard sale benefiting the Community Garden so bring in your items. Dinner tickets are $7.50 each and the raffle tickets are $2 each of $5 for 3.

PLEASE REMEMBER EVERYONE ON OUR PRAYER LIST especially Hugh who is recovering from surgery, everyone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, all parishes with search committees as they seek new rectors, for all of those suffering from the wildfires, and in thanksgiving for all that God has done for us.

“Remember there's nothing so difficult and no stronghold so impregnable that it can't be broken down (and you built up) by Love.”— St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)

Your servant in Christ,

Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550

Friday, October 21, 2011

"Bring me a letter Mr. Postman."

Today we read the end of Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians. Not how personal he is, especially noting that he is writing the letter in his own hand:

If Timothy comes, see that he has nothing to fear among you, for he is doing the work of the Lord just as I am; therefore let no one despise him. Send him on his way in peace, so that he may come to me; for I am expecting him with the brothers.

Now concerning our brother Apollos, I strongly urged him to visit you with the other brothers, but he was not at all willing to come now. He will come when he has the opportunity.

Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.

Now, brothers and sisters, you know that members of the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints; I urge you to put yourselves at the service of such people, and of everyone who works and toils with them. I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have made up for your absence; for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. So give recognition to such people.

The churches of Asia send greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, greet you warmly in the Lord. All the brothers and sisters send greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.

I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Let anyone be accursed who has no love for the Lord. Our Lord, come! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with all of you in Christ Jesus. (1 Cor. 16: 10-24).


I don’t know about you, but not only like to receive real handwritten letters, but I also like to write them. They are not dashed off quickly like emails which use all sorts of short hand notations. Letters are not like texting which has even more abbreviated language—YKWIM? LOL!

Imagine the Corinthians receiving Paul’s letter. They’re excited to get word from Paul. They open it, and read it to everyone assembled. They read it again when they gather to worship. Every time they gather, they recall his words to them: “Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” They ponder Paul’s words in their hearts waiting to hear from him again. In the meantime, they re-read Paul's letter.

As we read Paul’s words, let us receive them just as the Corinthians did when they first opened the letter written in his own hand.

Let us pray: Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

LINK UP WITH THE LATEST NEWS FROM THE DIOCESE OF TEXAS: It’s easy to do. To sign up for the Diolog E-News here's the link: www.tinyurl.com/diologenews
.

CALENDAR REMINDERS & UPCOMING EVENTS

WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY: Sundays at 4:00 p.m. in Sutton Hall. Please join Jillian Bain for this prayerful study of Scripture.

JOINT MISSION EFFORT BETWEEN ST. AUGUSTINE & HOLY SPIRIT IN HOUSTON: The Youth from Holy Spirit in Houston will be at St. Augustine’s on Saturday, 29 October at 10:00 a.m. to help us pack snack bags for the visitors at St. Vincent’s House. We will celebrate Eucharist as well. Please join in if you can.

THE FISH FRY & YARD SALE: Saturday, 5 November 2011, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (proceeds for Church renovation/maintenance), and we are raffling a 32 inch flat screen TV (for the victims of the wildfires in Texas). We are starting to collect items for the yard sale benefiting the Community Garden. Dinner tickets are $7.50 each and the raffle tickets are $2 each of $5 for 3.

PLEASE REMEMBER EVERYONE ON OUR PRAYER LIST especially for everyone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, all parishes with search committees as they seek new rectors, for all of those suffering from the wildfires, and in thanksgiving for all that God has done for us.

“Wherever we find the Word of God surely preached and heard, and the sacraments administered according to the institution of Christ, there, it is not to be doubted, is a church of God.” —John Calvin

Your servant in Christ,

Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550

Thursday, October 20, 2011

In Times of Need

Today we hear how church communities help each other in a time of need. Paul writes to the church in Corinth:

Now concerning the collection for the saints: you should follow the directions I gave to the churches of Galatia. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put aside and save whatever extra you earn, so that collections need not be taken when I come. And when I arrive, I will send any whom you approve with letters to take your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me.

I will visit you after passing through Macedonia—for I intend to pass through Macedonia— and perhaps I will stay with you or even spend the winter, so that you may send me on my way, wherever I go. I do not want to see you now just in passing, for I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. (1 Cor. 16: 1-9).

Paul begins with directing the Corinthians about a charitable collection on a particular occasion, the distresses and poverty of Christians in Judea, which at this time were extraordinary, partly through the general calamities of that nation and partly through the particular sufferings to which they were exposed. Paul also did the same with the Galatians. Paul also does the same with us. Our brothers and sisters in Bastrop are in need after the terrible wildfires. We are carrying out Paul’s instructions with our raffle of the TV in conjunction with the Fish Fry where we will send the proceeds of the raffle to help our fellow Christians.

Let us pray: O merciful Father, who hast taught us in thy holy Word that thou dost not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men: Look with pity upon the sorrows of thy servants who are victims of the wildfires for whom our prayers are offered. Remember them, O Lord, in mercy, nourish their souls with patience, comfort them with a sense of thy goodness, lift up thy countenance upon them, and give them peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


LINK UP WITH THE LATEST NEWS FROM THE DIOCESE OF TEXAS: It’s easy to do. To sign up for the Diolog E-News here's the link: www.tinyurl.com/diologenews
.

CALENDAR REMINDERS & UPCOMING EVENTS

WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY: Sundays at 4:00 p.m. in Sutton Hall. Please join Jillian Bain for this prayerful study of Scripture.

JOINT MISSION EFFORT BETWEEN ST. AUGUSTINE & HOLY SPIRIT IN HOUSTON: The Youth from Holy Spirit in Houston will be at St. Augustine’s on Saturday, 29 October at 10:00 a.m. to help us pack snack bags for the visitors at St. Vincent’s House. We will celebrate Eucharist as well. Please join in if you can.

THE FISH FRY & YARD SALE: Saturday, 5 November 2011, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (proceeds for Church renovation/maintenance), and we are raffling a 32 inch flat screen TV (for the victims of the wildfires in Texas). We are starting to collect items for the yard sale benefiting the Community Garden. Dinner tickets are $7.50 each and the raffle tickets are $2 each of $5 for 3.

PLEASE REMEMBER EVERYONE ON OUR PRAYER LIST especially for everyone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, all parishes with search committees as they seek new rectors, for all of those suffering from the wildfires, and in thanksgiving for all that God has done for us.

Your servant in Christ,

Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

St. Luke the Evangelist

Today we remember St. Luke the Evangelist. Here are the opening lines from the Gospel according to Luke:

Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed. (Lk. 1:1-4).


Remember that he also wrote the Acts of the Apostles. Here are the opening lines of the Act of the Apostles:


In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over the course of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. ‘This’, he said, ‘is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’

So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ (Acts 1: 1-8).

Luke’s writing style is that of a historian of his day. In both accounts, he addresses “Theophilus” meaning, “the lover of God.” His account reaches out not only to the Jewish people, but also to the Gentiles, but to all those who love God. The birth narratives are written from the women’s perspective. We read of Mary’s visitation to her cousin Elizabeth. We hear the Magnificant (“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord…”). From Luke we learn about the angel appearing to Mary. Both the Gospel account and Acts are very rich encounters with God, His Christ, and the birth of the Church.

Let us pray: Almighty God, who inspired your servant Luke the physician to declare in the Gospel the love and healing power of your Son: Graciously continue in your Church the same love and power to heal, to the praise and glory of your Name; through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

LINK UP WITH THE LATEST NEWS FROM THE DIOCESE OF TEXAS: It’s easy to do. To sign up for the Diolog E-News here's the link: www.tinyurl.com/diologenews.

CALENDAR REMINDERS & UPCOMING EVENTS

WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY: Sundays at 4:00 p.m. in Sutton Hall. Please join Jillian Bain for this prayerful study of Scripture.

JOINT MISSION EFFORT BETWEEN ST. AUGUSTINE & HOLY SPIRIT IN HOUSTON: The Youth from Holy Spirit in Houston will be at St. Augustine’s on Saturday, 29 October at 10:00 a.m. to help us pack snack bags for the visitors at St. Vincent’s House. We will celebrate Eucharist as well. Please join in if you can.

THE FISH FRY & YARD SALE: Saturday, 5 November 2011, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (proceeds for Church renovation/maintenance), and we are raffling a 32 inch flat screen TV (for the victims of the wildfires in Texas). We are starting to collect items for the yard sale benefiting the Community Garden. Dinner tickets are $7.50 each and the raffle tickets are $2 each of $5 for 3.

PLEASE REMEMBER EVERYONE ON OUR PRAYER LIST especially for everyone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, all parishes with search committees as they seek new rectors, for all of those suffering from the wildfires, and in thanksgiving for all that God has done for us.

“Let us remember the poor, and not forget kindness to strangers; above all, let us love God with all our soul, and might, and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves.” —St. Athanasius (296-373)

Your servant in Christ,

Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550

Monday, October 17, 2011

St. Ignatius of Antioch

Today the Church remembers one of the early bishops of the Church, Ignatius of Antioch who died on this day in 107. James Kiefer writes:

After the Apostles, Ignatius was the second bishop of Antioch in Syria. His predecessor, of whom little is known, was named Euodius. Whether he knew any of the Apostles directly is uncertain. Little is known of his life except for the very end of it. Early in the second century (perhaps around 107 AD, during the reign of the Emperor Trajan), he was arrested by the Imperial authorities, condemned to death, and transported to Rome to die in the arena. By thus dealing with a leader, the rulers hoped to terrify the rank and file. Instead, Ignatius took the opportunity to encourage them, speaking to groups of Christians at every town along the way. When the prison escort reached the west coast of Asia Minor, it halted before taking ship, and delegations from several Asian churches were able to visit Ignatius, to speak with him at length, to assist him with items for his journey, and to bid him an affectionate farewell and commend him to the grace of God. In response he wrote seven letters that have been preserved: five to congregations that had greeted him, en masse or by delegates (Ephesians, Magnesians, Trallians, Philadelphians, and Smyrnaeans), one to the congregation that would greet him at his destination (Romans), and one to Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna and disciple of the Apostle John.

His letters are available in several modern translations. Perhaps the most accessible is the Penguin Paperback, Early Christian Writings, translated by Maxwell Staniforth. The themes with which he is chiefly concerned are (1) the importance of maintaining Christian unity in love and sound doctrine (with warnings against factionalism and against the heresy of Docetism -- the belief that Christ was not fully human and did not have a material body or really suffer and die), (2) the role of the clergy as a focus of Christian unity, (3) Christian martyrdom as a glorious privilege, eagerly to be grasped.


Let us pray: Almighty God, we praise you for your bishop and martyr Ignatius of Antioch, who offered himself as grain to be ground by the teeth of wild beasts that he might present to you the pure bread of sacrifice. Accept the willing tribute of our lives, and give us a share in the pure and spotless offering of your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

CALENDAR REMINDERS & UPCOMING EVENTS

WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY: Sundays at 4:00 p.m. in Sutton Hall. Please join Jillian Bain for this prayerful study of Scripture.

THE FISH FRY & YARD SALE: Saturday, 5 November 2011, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (proceeds for Church renovation/maintenance), and we are raffling a 32 inch flat screen TV (for the victims of the wildfires in Texas). We are starting to collect items for the yard sale benefiting the Community Garden. Dinner tickets are $7.50 each and the raffle tickets are $2 each of $5 for 3.

PLEASE REMEMBER EVERYONE ON OUR PRAYER LIST especially for everyone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, all parishes with search committees as they seek new rectors, for all of those suffering from the wildfires, and in thanksgiving for all that God has done for us.

“The cross of Christ is the true ground and chief cause of Christian hope.” —Leo the Great (400-461)

Your servant in Christ,

Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550

Friday, October 14, 2011

Hand It Down!

In the Epistle reading from the Daily Office, Paul gives a concise summary of the faith that he handed on to the Corinthians, a “creed”:

Now I should remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless you have come to believe in vain.

For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas [Peter], then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to someone untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace towards me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them—though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe. (1 Cor. 15: 1-11).

“Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures.” That pretty much says it all in a nutshell. Paul wants the Corinthians, and us, to hold on to that faith, to make it their own, our own. Paul knew that he was saved by God’s grace. As he says, he persecuted those who believe in Jesus, but after Paul encountered the forgiveness of the Risen Christ, he was transformed and lived into his call to be an Apostle.

The faith that we share was handed down to you and to me by others, others whose lives were transformed by Jesus. Now it is our turn to pass along the Good News of Jesus, to tell others, as Paul did, that “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures.”

Let us pray: Everliving God, whose will it is that all should come to you through your Son Jesus Christ: Inspire our witness to him, that all may know the power of his forgiveness and the hope of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

WE HAVE MADE OUR CONTRIBUTION TO NETSFORLIFE! Thank you to everyone who worked to reach this goal. You have helped to make a difference in the lives of people remembering that Jesus called us to love one another as He has loved us.

CALENDAR REMINDERS & UPCOMING EVENTS

WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY: Sundays at 4:00 p.m. in Sutton Hall. Please join Jillian Bain for this prayerful study of Scripture.

THE FISH FRY: Saturday, 5 November 2011, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (proceeds for Church renovation/maintenance), and we are raffling a 32 inch flat screen TV (for the victims of the wildfires in Texas).

PLEASE REMEMBER EVERYONE ON OUR PRAYER LIST especially for everyone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, all parishes with search committees as they seek new rectors, for all of those suffering from the wildfires, and in thanksgiving for all that God has done for us.

“Let us, therefore, forsake the vanity of the crowd and their false teachings, and turn back to the word delivered to us from the beginning.” — St. Polycarp of Smyrna (69 – 155)

Your servant in Christ,

Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Let Us Do Our Best in Worship

Today Paul picks up where he left off yesterday. He continues his discussion on the liturgy. Paul writes:

What should be done then, my friends? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn; and let one interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let them be silent in church and speak to themselves and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. If a revelation is made to someone else sitting nearby, let the first person be silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged. And the spirits of prophets are subject to the prophets, for God is a God not of disorder but of peace.

As in all the churches of the saints, anyone who claims to be a prophet, or to have spiritual powers, must acknowledge that what I am writing to you is a command of the Lord. Anyone who does not recognize this is not to be recognized. So, my friends, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues; but all things should be done decently and in order. (1 Cor. 26-33, 37-40).

Once again, Paul says that the liturgy is to build up the community of faith and to praise God. Although we are far from perfect, I believe that we are faithful to Paul’s words at St. Augustine. Our liturgy strives to praise God. I believe we also work to build up the community of faith through preaching. Let us do the best that we can at every worship service!

Let us pray: Almighty and everlasting God, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift: Send down upon our bishops, clergy, and upon the congregations committed to their charge, the healthful Spirit of thy grace: and, that they may truly please thee, pour upon them the continual dew of thy blessing. Grant this, O Lord, for the honor of our Advocate and Mediator, Jesus Christ. Amen.

CALENDAR REMINDERS & UPCOMING EVENTS

WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY: Sundays at 4:00 p.m. in Sutton Hall. Please join Jillian Bain for this prayerful study of Scripture.

THE FISH FRY: Saturday, 5 November 2011, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (proceeds for Church renovation/maintenance), and we are raffling a 32 inch flat screen TV (for the victims of the wildfires in Texas).


PLEASE REMEMBER EVERYONE ON OUR PRAYER LIST especially for everyone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, all parishes with search committees as they seek new rectors, for all of those suffering from the wildfires, and in thanksgiving for all that God has done for us.

“The future is as bright as the promises of God.” —Adoniram Judson, (1788-1850)

Your servant in Christ,

Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Liturgical Prayer

Today we hear from Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians. There is a lot to unpack here, so fasten your seat belt! Paul writes:

Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unproductive. What should I do then? I will pray with the spirit, but I will pray with the mind also; I will sing praise with the spirit, but I will sing praise with the mind also. Otherwise, if you say a blessing with the spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say the ‘Amen’ to your thanksgiving, since the outsider does not know what you are saying? For you may give thanks well enough, but the other person is not built up. I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you; nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind, in order to instruct others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.

Brothers and sisters, do not be children in your thinking; rather, be infants in evil, but in thinking be adults. In the law it is written,

‘By people of strange tongues
and by the lips of foreigners
I will speak to this people;
yet even then they will not listen to me,’
says the Lord. Tongues, then, are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is not for unbelievers but for believers. If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your mind? But if all prophesy, an unbeliever or outsider who enters is reproved by all and called to account by all. After the secrets of the unbeliever’s heart are disclosed, that person will bow down before God and worship him, declaring, ‘God is really among you.’ (1 Cor. 14: 13-25).

The purpose of liturgical prayer (like the Eucharist), is (1) to worship God, (2) to build up the community of faith, and (3) to instruct the faithful. So today Paul is telling us that praying in tongues is certainly a gift from God and can be a valuable aspect of one’s prayer life; it was a part of his prayer life. However, Paul discourages it in the liturgical setting because he questions whether it builds up the community. If there is no one to interpret, how do the other present, especially those who do not have the gift, understand what is being prayed?

Take this as an example, if the priest was to pray the Eucharist prayer of consecration in tongues, Paul would say that was not appropriate for the liturgy because there would be those, especially outsiders who would not understand the prayer and its significance. On the other hand, Paul would say that praying in tongues during an individual prayer for healing would be appropriate because that prayer is particular to the individual.

So, let us pray for our community at St. Augustine’s: Almighty and everliving God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth, hear our prayers for this family of faith. Strengthen the faithful, arouse the careless, and restore the penitent. Grant us all things necessary for our common life, and bring us all to be of one heart and mind within your holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO GLADYS ON HER 93RD BIRTHDAY: Watch over thy child Gladys, O Lord, as her days increase; bless and guide her wherever she may be. Strengthen her when she stands; comfort her when discouraged or sorrowful; raise her up if she falls; and in her heart may thy peace which passeth understanding abide all the days of her life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

CALENDAR REMINDERS & UPCOMING EVENTS

WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY: Sundays at 4:00 p.m. in Sutton Hall. Please join Jillian Bain for this prayerful study of Scripture.

THE FISH FRY: Saturday, 5 November 2011, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (proceeds for Church renovation/maintenance), and we are raffling a 32 inch flat screen TV (for the victims of the wildfires in Texas).

CLOTHING DRIVE FOR VICTIMS OF THE WILDFIRES: We will begin a clothing drive for the victims of the wildfires, especially the people of Bastrop and Calvary Episcopal. Please bring only CLEAN CLOTHES, SORT THEM BY SIZE, MALE/FEMALE, AND BOX THEM. Thank you in advance.

PLEASE REMEMBER EVERYONE ON OUR PRAYER LIST especially all parishes with search committees as they seek new rectors, for all of those suffering from the wildfires, and in thanksgiving for all that God has done for us.

“We are taught in an especial manner to pray that God would give his Holy Spirit unto us, that through his aid and assistance we may live unto God in that holy obedience which he requires at our hands.” —John Owen, Pneumatologia (reprinted as The Holy Spirit), 1664

Your servant in Christ,

Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sometimes It's Not So Easy

In today’s Gospel selection from the Daily Office, we hear from the Gospel according to Matthew:

“See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly I tell you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.” (Mt. 10: 16-23)

Jesus knew that there would be times when the culture as a whole would be hostile to Christianity. It was certainly that way in the Early Church which experienced persecutions. It was a time when people were put to death because of their faith in Christ. To be sure, there are parts of the world where Christians are put to death because of their faith in Christ. Just this past Sunday, 17 Coptic Christians were killed in Cairo, Egypt. They were protesting the torching of a Christian Church and the burning and looting of Christian-owned homes and businesses by a Muslim mob in Aswan, Upper Egypt, on 30 September 2011. Thousands of Christians and Muslim sympathizers held demonstrations in Cairo to demand equal treatment, protection of the property of Christians and restraint on military rule.

However, Christian persecution can be subtle at times, maybe even not so subtle, especially in the West. Many in our modern culture reject the values of Christianity thinking them outdated, or even the adherents to be ignorant and na├»ve. We are called to stand up as Christians and to profess our faith. That’s not so easy to do sometimes. Jesus knew that living out the Gospel’s call to love God, neighbor and self would run into opposition. Doing the right thing, the loving thing, is not free. Sometimes the price is very high. Just ask Jesus.

Let us pray: O God our Father, whose Son forgave his enemies while he was suffering shame and death: Strengthen those who suffer for the sake of conscience; when they are accused, save them from speaking in hate; when they are rejected, save them from bitterness; when they are imprisoned, save them from despair; and to us your servants, give grace to respect their witness and to discern the truth, that our society may be cleansed and strengthened. This we ask for the sake of Jesus Christ, our merciful and righteous Judge. Amen.

CALENDAR REMINDERS & UPCOMING EVENTS

WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY: Sundays at 4:00 p.m. in Sutton Hall. Please join Jillian Bain for this prayerful study of Scripture.

ECW ANNUAL RETREAT 14-15 OCTOBER 2011 at Camp Allen.

THE FISH FRY: Saturday, 5 November 2011, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (proceeds for Church renovation/maintenance), and we are raffling a 32 inch flat screen TV (for the victims of the wildfires in Texas).

CLOTHING DRIVE FOR VICTIMS OF THE WILDFIRES: We will begin a clothing drive for the victims of the wildfires, especially the people of Bastrop and Calvary Episcopal. Please bring only CLEAN CLOTHES, SORT THEM BY SIZE, MALE/FEMALE, AND BOX THEM. Thank you in advance.

PLEASE REMEMBER EVERYONE ON OUR PRAYER LIST especially all parishes with search committees as they seek new rectors, for all of those suffering from the wildfires, and in thanksgiving for all that God has done for us.

“By everything true, everything holy, you are your brother's keeper.” —Seventh Earl of Shaftesbury (1801-1885)

Your servant in Christ,

Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550

Monday, October 10, 2011

What Is Love?

Today’s Epistle reading for the Daily Office is well known and is often used at weddings. It is a beautiful description of what love really is:

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. (1 Cor. 13: 1-13).


Love never ends and it can endure all things because God is love. Love is God’s gift to us; it is a gift of Himself in the person of Jesus Christ who gave his all for you and for me, and the expression of the eternal aspect of that love is made real in his Resurrection. The relationships that count are eternal.

Let us pray: Eternal Father, you gave to your incarnate Son the holy name of Jesus to be our salvation who by his death and resurrection showed us Your love o Father: Plant in every heart, we pray, the love of him who is the Savior of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

CALENDAR REMINDERS & UPCOMING EVENTS

WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY: Sundays at 4:00 p.m. in Sutton Hall. Please join Jillian Bain for this prayerful study of Scripture.

ECW ANNUAL RETREAT 14-15 OCTOBER 2011 at Camp Allen.

THE FISH FRY: Saturday, 5 November 2011, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (proceeds for Church renovation/maintenance), and we are raffling a 32 inch flat screen TV (for the victims of the wildfires in Texas).

CLOTHING DRIVE FOR VICTIMS OF THE WILDFIRES: We will begin a clothing drive for the victims of the wildfires, especially the people of Bastrop and Calvary Episcopal. Please bring only CLEAN CLOTHES, SORT THEM BY SIZE, MALE/FEMALE, AND BOX THEM. Thank you in advance.

PLEASE REMEMBER EVERYONE ON OUR PRAYER LIST especially all parishes with search committees as they seek new rectors, for all of those suffering from the wildfires, and in thanksgiving for all that God has done for us.

“May the Holy Spirit be my personal guide always so that I will live only for Him. May I overflow in love so as to draw others to Christ and may His strength be perfected in my weakness.” —A prayer Cameron Townsend (1896-1982) learned from his father

Your servant in Christ,

Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550

Friday, October 7, 2011

We Are Co-Laborers with God

We hear from the Gospel according to Matthew in today’s Daily Office selection:

As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, crying loudly, ‘Have mercy on us, Son of David!’ When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ They said to him, ‘Yes, Lord.’ Then he touched their eyes and said, ‘According to your faith let it be done to you.’ And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus sternly ordered them, ‘See that no one knows of this.’ But they went away and spread the news about him throughout that district.

After they had gone away, a demoniac who was mute was brought to him. And when the demon had been cast out, the one who had been mute spoke; and the crowds were amazed and said, ‘Never has anything like this been seen in Israel.’ But the Pharisees said, ‘By the ruler of the demons he casts out the demons.’ (Mt. 9: 27-34)

As it happens so often when there is a miraculous cure, Jesus tells the person that it is by their faith that they are cured. What this points to is that you and I are “co-operators” with God’s grace; we are “co-laborers” with God. God does not impose himself on the believer. Rather God invites us into fellowship with him; God invites us into his savings acts. The ultimate act of co-operation or co-laboring is the Incarnation where God and man become one in the person of Jesus Christ to accomplish the salvation of the world. God invites us to work with him.

Let us pray: Almighty God, you have given your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and to be born of Mary: Grant that we, who have been born again and made your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit; through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

CALENDAR REMINDERS & UPCOMING EVENTS

ECW & DOK QUIET DAY RETREAT: Tomorrow starting at 9:30 a.m. at St. Augustine with the Rev. Helen Appelberg.

BLESSING OF THE AMINALS: Tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. on the lawn in front of Sutton Hall.

THIRD ANNUAL ART SHOW: This is the last weekend!

WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY: Sundays at 4:00 p.m. in Sutton Hall. Please join Jillian Bain for this prayerful study of Scripture.

ECW ANNUAL RETREAT 14-15 OCTOBER 2011 at Camp Allen.

ST. AUGUSTINE IS GOING GREEN (WITH OUR COFFEE CUPS). St. Augustine is going green (with our coffee cups). In order to cut down on the use of Styrofoam cups, please bring a coffee cup for the Fellowship hour, and maybe even 2 or 3 to share with our visitors. We will store them in Sutton Hall and wash them in our dishwasher.

CLOTHING DRIVE FOR VICTIMS OF THE WILDFIRES: We will begin a clothing drive for the victims of the wildfires, especially the people of Bastrop and Calvary Episcopal. Please bring only CLEAN CLOTHES, SORT THEM BY SIZE, MALE/FEMALE, AND BOX THEM. Thank you in advance.

PLEASE REMEMBER EVERYONE ON OUR PRAYER LIST especially all parishes with search committees as they seek new rectors, for all of those suffering from the wildfires, and in thanksgiving for all that God has done for us.

“I believe in Christianity as I believe in the rising sun; not because I see it, but by it I can see all else.”—C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)

Your servant in Christ,

Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Scripture for All: William Tyndale

Today the Church remembers a man who was a reformer of the Church and who put Scripture at the center of his life and the life of many others, William Tyndale.

Tyndale was born in 1495 in Slymbridge near Wales. He studied at Magdalen College, Oxford, and at Cambridge. In 1521 he was ordained a priest.

A focus of his life and work as a scholar and priest was to translate the Bible into English. In 1525, Tyndale went to Germany and there he visited Martin Luther. Tyndale travelled from city to city, in exile, poverty, persecution, and constant danger. Tyndale wrote eloquently in favor of the view that salvation is a gift of God, freely bestowed, and not a response to any good act on the part of the receiver. His views are expressed in numerous pamphlets, and in the introductions to and commentaries on various books of the Bible that accompanied his translations.

In 1525, Tyndale’s translation of the New Testament was printed in Germany and smuggled into England. Of 18,000 copies, only two survive. In 1534, he produced a revised version, and began work on the Old Testament. In the next two years he completed and published the first five books of the Old Testament and the Book of Jonah. He then translated the books from Joshua through Second Chronicles; however, that ended because he tried for heresy, and put to death for having translated God’s Word into English.

Let us pray: Almighty God, you planted in the heart of your servant William Tyndale a consuming passion to bring the Scriptures to people in his native tongue, and endowed him with the gift of powerful and graceful expression and with strength to persevere against all obstacles: Reveal to us your saving Word, as we read and study the Scriptures, and hear them calling us to repentance and life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


CALENDAR REMINDERS & UPCOMING EVENTS

THIRD ANNUAL ART SHOW: It last for 1 more week: Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. during Art Walk.

WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY: Sundays at 4:00 p.m. in Sutton Hall. Please join Jillian Bain for this prayerful study of Scripture.

ECW & DOK QUIET DAY RETREAT: Saturday, 8 October starting at 9:30 a.m. at St. Augustine with the Rev. Helen Appelberg. Please call 409.762.9676 or email judyricketts100@gmail.com to let them know you will attend.

BLESSING OF THE AMINALS: Saturday, 8 October at 9:00 a.m. on the lawn in front of Sutton Hall.

ECW ANNUAL RETREAT 14-15 OCTOBER 2011 at Camp Allen.

ST. AUGUSTINE IS GOING GREEN (WITH OUR COFFEE CUPS). St. Augustine is going green (with our coffee cups). In order to cut down on the use of Styrofoam cups, please bring a coffee cup for the Fellowship hour, and maybe even 2 or 3 to share with our visitors. We will store them in Sutton Hall and wash them in our dishwasher.

CLOTHING DRIVE FOR VICTIMS OF THE WILDFIRES: We will begin a clothing drive for the victims of the wildfires, especially the people of Bastrop and Calvary Episcopal. Please bring only CLEAN CLOTHES, SORT THEM BY SIZE, MALE/FEMALE, AND BOX THEM. Thank you in advance.

PLEASE REMEMBER EVERYONE ON OUR PRAYER LIST especially all parishes with search committees as they seek new rectors, for all of those suffering from the wildfires, and in thanksgiving for all that God has done for us.

“The Church is the one institution that exists for those outside it.” –William Tyndale

Your servant in Christ,

Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Sacred

In today’s Daily Office reading from the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians, we read about one of the first Eucharistic prayers:

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord. Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgment against themselves. For this reason many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

So then, my brothers and sisters, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. If you are hungry, eat at home, so that when you come together, it will not be for your condemnation. About the other things I will give instructions when I come. (1 Cor. 11: 23-34).

The words of the first paragraph are familiar to each of us; they are the same words that we hear at our Sunday Eucharistic celebration.

What about the second and third paragraphs? These words may not be as familiar to us. What is Paul saying here? He is telling the Corinthians and us that when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, we must realize the sacredness of our actions. This is not an ordinary meal; rather, Christ is present among us and we become one body in Christ.

Let us pray: Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy
mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

CALENDAR REMINDERS & UPCOMING EVENTS

THIRD ANNUAL ART SHOW: It last for 1 more week: Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. during Art Walk.

WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY: Sundays at 4:00 p.m. in Sutton Hall. Please join Jillian Bain for this prayerful study of Scripture.

ECW & DOK QUIET DAY RETREAT: Saturday, 8 October starting at 9:30 a.m. at St. Augustine with the Rev. Helen Appelberg. Please call 409.762.9676 or email judyricketts100@gmail.com to let them know you will attend.

BLESSING OF THE AMINALS: Saturday, 8 October at 9:00 a.m. on the lawn in front of Sutton Hall.

ECW ANNUAL RETREAT 14-15 OCTOBER 2011 at Camp Allen.

ST. AUGUSTINE IS GOING GREEN (WITH OUR COFFEE CUPS). St. Augustine is going green (with our coffee cups). In order to cut down on the use of Styrofoam cups, please bring a coffee cup for the Fellowship hour, and maybe even 2 or 3 to share with our visitors. We will store them in Sutton Hall and wash them in our dishwasher.

CLOTHING DRIVE FOR VICTIMS OF THE WILDFIRES: We will begin a clothing drive for the victims of the wildfires, especially the people of Bastrop and Calvary Episcopal. Please bring only CLEAN CLOTHES, SORT THEM BY SIZE, MALE/FEMALE, AND BOX THEM. Thank you in advance.

PLEASE REMEMBER EVERYONE ON OUR PRAYER LIST especially all parishes with search committees as they seek new rectors, for all of those suffering from the wildfires, and in thanksgiving for all that God has done for us.

"Through Christ we see as in a mirror the spotless and excellent face of God." —Clement of Rome

Your servant in Christ,

Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

St. Francis of Assisi

Today the Church remembers a favorite saint, Francis of Assisi. He was born in 1181 and died on this day in 1226. Francis was born into a fairly well to do family, and he spent his early years living a life of wine, women and song. He served in the military and had endured a serious illness. This prompted him to rethink his earlier years of a carefree life style.

Prayer, lengthy and difficult, led Francis to a self-emptying like that of Christ, climaxed by embracing a leper he met on the road. It symbolized his complete obedience to what he had heard in prayer: “Francis! Everything you have loved and desired in the flesh it is your duty to despise and hate, if you wish to know my will. And when you have begun this, all that now seems sweet and lovely to you will become intolerable and bitter, but all that you used to avoid will turn itself to great sweetness and exceeding joy.”

Francis ultimately rejected all material goods after taking not only to heart, but literally, Jesus’ words to the rich man to sell all that he had and to follow Jesus.

Francis got his meals, not by begging for money, but by scrounging crusts and discarded vegetable from the trash, and by working as a day laborer, insisting on being paid in bread, milk, eggs, or vegetables rather than in money.

He was fond of saying that one should preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words.

Francis rebuilt an old church, San Damiano. He cared for the sick, especially lepers, who were outcasts during his day. He is also known for his love of animals and the environment.

Soon people gathered around him realizing that Francis lived as fully as one possibly could the Gospel of Christ. In 1210 he formed a religious order known as the Order of Friars Minor (quite literally, the “order of young or lesser brothers”). Today they are known as the Franciscans.

Let us pray: Most high, omnipotent, good Lord, grant your people grace gladly to renounce the vanities of this world; that, following the way of blessed Francis, we may for love of you delight in your whole creation with perfect joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

CALENDAR REMINDERS & UPCOMING EVENTS

THIRD ANNUAL ART SHOW: Please sign up to host. The annual art show allows us to share our facilities with others and to showcase the creativity of artists. It last for 1 more week: Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and until 9 p.m. during Art Walk.

WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY: Sundays at 4:00 p.m. in Sutton Hall. Please join Jillian Bain for this prayerful study of Scripture.

ECW & DOK QUIET DAY RETREAT: Saturday, 8 October starting at 9:30 a.m. at St. Augustine with the Rev. Helen Appelberg. Please call 409.762.9676 or email judyricketts100@gmail.com to let them know you will attend.

BLESSING OF THE AMINALS: Saturday, 8 October at 9:00 a.m. on the lawn in front of Sutton Hall. Please pass the word along to those you know.

ECW ANNUAL RETREAT 14-15 OCTOBER 2011 at Camp Allen. Please sign up.

ST. AUGUSTINE IS GOING GREEN (WITH OUR COFFEE CUPS). St. Augustine is going green (with our coffee cups). In order to cut down on the use of Styrofoam cups, please bring a coffee cup for the Fellowship hour, and maybe even 2 or 3 to share with our visitors. We will store them in Sutton Hall and wash them in our dishwasher.

CLOTHING DRIVE FOR VICTIMS OF THE WILDFIRES: We will begin a clothing drive for the victims of the wildfires, especially the people of Bastrop and Calvary Episcopal. Please bring only CLEAN CLOTHES, SORT THEM BY SIZE, MALE/FEMALE, AND BOX THEM. Thank you in advance.

FELLOWSHIP ON SUNDAYS: If you haven’t signed up yet, please do.

PLEASE REMEMBER EVERYONE ON OUR PRAYER LIST especially all parishes with search committees as they seek new rectors, for all of those suffering from the wildfires, and in thanksgiving for all that God has done for us.

“Where there is Love and Wisdom, there is neither Fear nor Ignorance.
Where there is Patience and Humility, there is neither Anger nor Annoyance.
Where there is Poverty and Joy, there is neither Cupidity nor Avarice.
Where there is Peace and Contemplation, there is neither Care nor Restlessness.
Where there is the Fear of God to guard the dwelling, there no enemy can enter.
Where there is Mercy and Prudence, there is neither Excess nor Harshness.”

—Francis of Assisi


Your servant in Christ,

Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Man of Courage in Our Time: Bishop George Bell

Today we remember and honor a person of courage, George Kennedy Allen Bell who was born on 4 February 1883 and died on this day in 1958. Bell was an Anglican theologian, Dean of Canterbury, Bishop of Chichester, a member of the House of Lords and a pioneer of the Ecumenical Movement.

After the first World War, Bell became an initiator and promoter of the ecumenical movement. In 1919, at the first postwar meeting of the World Council of Churches in the Netherlands, Bell successfully encouraged the establishment of a commission for religious and national minorities. At the world churches conference in Stockholm in 1925, he helped in the realization of the “ecumenical advice for practical Christianity (Life and Work)”.

In 1929, Bell was appointed Bishop of Chichester. As Bishop, Bell linked his diocese and workers affected by the Great Depression.

After 1933, Bell became the most important international ally of the Confessing Church in Germany. In April of 1933, he publicly expressed the international church’s worries over the beginnings of the Nazis’ anti-semitic campaign in Germany. On 1 June 1934, Bell signed the Barmen Declaration which proclaimed that Christian belief and National Socialism were incompatibile and stated that pro-Nazi German Christians were false teachers.

During World War II, Bell condemned the Allied practice of area bombing. Bell was also one of the first British bishops to protest against the inhumane treatment of approximately 14 million Silesian, Pomeranian, East Prussian and Sudeten Germans expelled from their homes in East Germany.

In the 1950s, Bell opposed the atomic arms race and supported many Christian initiatives of the time opposed to the Cold War.

He was a man of our times and an example of Christian courage.

Let us pray: God of peace, you sustained your bishop George Bell with the courage to proclaim your truth and justice in the face of disapproval in his own nation: As he taught that we, along with our enemies, are all children of God, may we stand with Christ in his hour of grieving, that at length we may enter your country where there is no sorrow nor sighing, but fullness of joy in you; through Jesus Christ our Redeemer, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

CALENDAR REMINDERS & UPCOMING EVENTS

THIRD ANNUAL ART SHOW: Please sign up to host. The annual art show allows us to share our facilities with others and to showcase the creativity of artists. It last for 1 more week: Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and until 9 p.m. during Art Walk.

WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY: Sundays at 4:00 p.m. in Sutton Hall. Please join Jillian Bain for this prayerful study of Scripture.

ECW & DOK QUIET DAY RETREAT: Saturday, 8 October starting at 9:30 a.m. at St. Augustine with the Rev. Helen Appelberg. Please call 409.762.9676 or email judyricketts100@gmail.com to let them know you will attend.

BLESSING OF THE AMINALS: Saturday, 8 October at 9:00 a.m. on the lawn in front of Sutton Hall. Please pass the word along to those you know.

ECW ANNUAL RETREAT 14-15 OCTOBER 2011 at Camp Allen. Please sign up.

ST. AUGUSTINE IS GOING GREEN (WITH OUR COFFEE CUPS). St. Augustine is going green (with our coffee cups). In order to cut down on the use of Styrofoam cups, please bring a coffee cup for the Fellowship hour, and maybe even 2 or 3 to share with our visitors. We will store them in Sutton Hall and wash them in our dishwasher.

CLOTHING DRIVE FOR VICTIMS OF THE WILDFIRES: We will begin a clothing drive for the victims of the wildfires, especially the people of Bastrop and Calvary Episcopal. Please bring only CLEAN CLOTHES, SORT THEM BY SIZE, MALE/FEMALE, AND BOX THEM. Thank you in advance.

FELLOWSHIP ON SUNDAYS: If you haven’t signed up yet, please do.

PLEASE REMEMBER EVERYONE ON OUR PRAYER LIST especially all parishes with search committees as they seek new rectors, for all of those suffering from the wildfires, and in thanksgiving for all that God has done for us.

“The cross of Christ is the true ground and chief cause of Christian hope.”—Leo the Great (400-461)

Your servant in Christ,

Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550