Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Man Who Helped Millions Anonymously

Today we recall the life and ministry of the Rev. Dr. Sam Shoemaker who lived very recently, from 1893 to 1963.  He was the rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in New York City (where I am today) which was the headquarters of the Oxford Group which sought to be living Christianity building on the accomplished work of Jesus Christ as set forth in the New Testament. The Oxford Group’s aim was to bring to life and make real for each person the articles of faith.  A man by the name of Bill Wilson would attend meetings of the Oxford Group at Calvary.  Fr. Sam was instrumental in helping Bill write the book Alcoholics Anonymous. 

In 1955 Bill Wilson wrote:

It was from Sam Shoemaker, that we absorbed most of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, steps that express the heart of AA's way of life. Dr. Silkworth gave us the needed knowledge of our illness, but Sam Shoemaker had given us the concrete knowledge of what we could do about it, he passed on the spiritual keys by which we were liberated. The early AA got its ideas of self-examination, acknowledgement of character defects, restitution for harm done, and working with others straight from the Oxford Group and directly from Sam Shoemaker, their former leader in America, and from nowhere else.


Fr. Sam’s life and ministry has impacted the lives of countless individuals the world over.
 
Let us pray:  Holy God, we thank you for the vision of Samuel Shoemaker, priest and co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous; and we pray that we may follow his example to help others find salvation through knowledge and love of Jesus Christ our Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

NEWS FLASH:  Our own Allen Robinson is 1 of 6 candidates to become the next Bishop of the Diocese of New Jersey! 

CALENDAR REMINDERS

164thDIOCESAN COUNCIL: 8 & 9 February in Houston, Texas. The Episcopal Churches on the Island will host the 165th Diocesan Council in 2014.

SEASIDE SENIORS AT ST. AUGSUTINE’S SUTTON HALL, Thursday, 21 February 2013.

REMEMBER TO BRING A FRIEND ON THE 2ND SUNDAY FOR THE CONTEMPORARY JAZZ SERVICE AND ON THE 4TH SUNDAY FOR THE TRADITIONAL JAZZ SERVICE.

The Painted Church Tour—only 6 spots left: We will travel to Schulenburg (about a 2 hour ride), tour 3-4 churches, have lunch and return to St. Augustine. We will be traveling on the bus to each of the churches so there is not a lot of walking expected, but it is recommended that you wear comfortable shoes and dress comfortably.

          Departure Date: Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 7:30 a.m.

          Depart From: St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church, 1410 41st St.

          Cost: $20 to cover tour and lunch

If you are interested in going but may not have the funds, please contact Michelle Allen, there may be some scholarships available.

The bus will only hold 30 passengers, so it is a first come first serve basis. If we have more sign up, Mr. Allen will add you to a waiting list. Please respond to her by email: ms.walk.1@hotmail.com, or call Ms. Allen at 832-244-1817 to let her know if you are interested.

MARDI  GRAS AT ST. AUGUSTINE’S HOSTED BY OUR KING & QUEEN OF MARDI
GRAS, BILL & TAMMIE TAYLOR, in Sutton Hall on Tuesday at 6 p.m., February 12.

ASH WEDNESDAY IS FEBRUARY 13, Ash Wednesday Liturgy with the Imposition of Ashes at 6 p.m.

LENTEN PROGRAM: Starting at 6 p.m. with the Way of the Cross, Eucharist, light supper and then the program with—

Feb. 20: The Rev. Allen Robinson, Rector of St. James in Baltimore, Maryland, and a Galveston native and a son of St. Augustine (1410 41st St.)

Feb. 27: Br. Michael Gallagher, OSB & Fr. Peter Funk, OSB, Benedictine Monks and Co-Founders of Holy Cross Monastery at Grace (1115 36th St.)

Mar. 6: Ms. Kathy Culmer, Storyteller & Diocesan Mission Funding Coordinator, at Trinity (2216 Ball Ave)

Mar. 13: The Rev. Canon John Newton, Diocese of Texas Canon for Lifelong Christian Formation, at St. Augustine (1410 41st St.)

Mar. 20: The Rev. Pittman McGehee, Priest, Author & Jungian Analyst, at Grace (1115 36th St.)

Mar. 27: The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, Bishop of the Diocese of Texas, at Trinity (2216 Ball Ave)

Please remember everyone on our Prayer List, especially Marilyn and her entire family and Dave.

Your servant in Christ,

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

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

God Is Always Present In Our Lives


I am in New York City, so today I went to the noon Eucharist at Trinity Episcopal Church in Lower Manhattan.  It is commonly known as “Trinity Wall Street.”  The Eucharist was well attended.  This Church is in the midst of the Financial District of New York, a small area of the city which impacts every corner of the world.  And in the midst of this, the people of Trinity live out the Gospel’s call to love God, neighbor and self reaching out to those who, in the midst of such wealth, have no place to live and little to eat. 

The appointed Gospel for the Eucharist was the well known parable of the sower and the seeds taken from the first 20 verses of the 4th chapter of the Gospel according to Mark.  The celebrant and preacher, the Rev. Mark Bozzuti-Jones, likened the seeds that are sown in the soil to the event in our lives, and how there are times when things go well and our lives are blooming, but there are other times when life may be very difficult, when we find that we are choked by what happens in life.  Nevertheless in both times, God is ever present and never leaves us.

Let us pray:  Gracious God we are ever thankful for your constant presence in our lives no matter what the circumstances.  You Son, Jesus, lived as one of us in all things, except sin, even suffering and dying.  Through Your Holy Spirit, give us the grace to accept what lies ahead in our lives and to know with certainty that even in the darkest of nights, light comes in the morning.  Amen.

Please remember everyone on our prayer list especially Marilyn and Dave.

Your servant in Christ,

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

Monday, January 28, 2013

St. Thomas Aquinas: Theologian


 
Today the Church remembers a great scholar from the Middle Ages, Thomas Aquinas, O.P., who was born in 1225 and died on this day in 1274.

He came from a noble family in the area of Naples, Italy.  At the age of 19, Thomas decided that he would join the Dominicans, the Order of Preachers (O.P.); however, his family was not thrilled with the idea.  They kidnapped Thomas and held him in the family’s castle for 2 years.  Thomas escaped (although it is believed that his family allowed him to escape in order to save face).  Thomas joined the Dominicans and was sent to the University of Paris to study theology. 

Aquinas took the newly rediscovered works the Greek philosopher, Aristotle, and used Aristotle’s thinking theologically.  For example, Thomas' ethics are based on the concept of "first principles of action" and in his great work on theology, Summa Theologiae, he wrote: “Virtue denotes a certain perfection of a power. Now a thing's perfection is considered chiefly in regard to its end. But the end of power is act. Wherefore power is said to be perfect, according as it is determinate to its act.”

Thomas defined the 4 cardinal virtues as prudence, temperance, justice, and fortitude. The cardinal virtues are natural and revealed in nature, and they are binding on everyone. There are, however, 3 theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity. These are somewhat supernatural and are distinct from other virtues in their object, namely, God: “Now the object of the theological virtues is God Himself, Who is the last end of all, as surpassing the knowledge of our reason. On the other hand, the object of the intellectual and moral virtues is something comprehensible to human reason. Wherefore the theological virtues are specifically distinct from the moral and intellectual virtues.”

Furthermore, Thomas distinguished 4 kinds of law: eternal, natural, human, and divine. Eternal law is the decree of God that governs all creation. Natural law is the human "participation" in the eternal law and is discovered by reason.  Human law is positive law: the natural law applied by governments to societies. Divine law is the specially revealed law in the scriptures.

Thomas serves as an example of the rigorous study of theology and one who believed that truth is truth; therefore, science and theology do not conflict.

Let us pray:  Almighty God, you have enriched your Church with the singular learning and holiness of your servant Thomas Aquinas: Enlighten us more and more, we pray, by the disciplined thinking and teaching of Christian scholars, and deepen our devotion by the example of saintly lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

CALENDAR REMINDERS

164th DIOCESAN COUNCIL: 8 & 9 February in Houston, Texas.

The Painted Church Tour—only 6 spots left: We will travel to Schulenburg (about a 2 hour ride), tour 3-4 churches, have lunch and return to St. Augustine. We will be traveling on the bus to each of the churches so there is not a lot of walking expected, but it is recommended that you wear comfortable shoes and dress comfortably. Of course it is too early to predict the weather, but we hope it will be pleasant.

Departure Date: Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 7:30 a.m.

Depart From: St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church, 1410 41st St.

Cost: $20 to cover tour and lunch

If you are interested in going but may not have the funds, please contact Michelle Allen, there may be some scholarships available.

We will be using the Galveston County Senior Citizen Program bus and they require everyone to be 55 years of age to ride the bus. The bus has some additional requirements that we must follow:
 
          No eating or drinking (except water)

          Mobile phones are for emergencies only

          No smoking

The bus will only hold 30 passengers, so it is a first come first serve basis. If we have more sign up, Mr. Allen will add you to a waiting list. Please respond to her by email: ms.walk.1@hotmail.com, or call Ms. Allen at 832-244-1817 to let her know if you are interested.

MARDI GRAS AT ST. AUGUSTINE’S HOSTED BY OUR KING & QUEEN OF MARDI GRAS, BILL & TAMMIE TAYLOR, in Sutton Hall on Tuesday at 6 p.m., February 12.

ASH WEDNESDAY IS FEBRUARY 13, Ash Wednesday Liturgy with the Imposition of Ashes at 6 p.m.

LENTEN PROGRAM: Starting at 6 p.m. with the Way of the Cross, Eucharist, light supper and then the program with—

Feb. 20: The Rev. Allen Robinson, Rector of St. James in Baltimore, Maryland, and a Galveston native and a son of St. Augustine (1410 41st St.)

Feb. 27: Br. Michael Gallagher, OSB & Fr. Peter Funk, OSB, Benedictine Monks and Co-Founders of Holy Cross Monastery at Grace (1115 36th St.)

Mar. 6: Ms. Kathy Culmer, Storyteller & Diocesan Mission Funding Coordinator, at Trinity (2216 Ball Ave)

Mar. 13: The Rev. Canon John Newton, Diocese of Texas Canon for Lifelong Christian Formation, at St. Augustine (1410 41st St.)

Mar. 20: The Rev. Pittman McGehee, Priest, Author & Jungian Analyst, at Grace (1115 36th St.)

Mar. 27: The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, Bishop of the Diocese of Texas, at Trinity (2216 Ball Ave)

Please remember everyone on our Prayer List, especially Marilyn and her entire family and Dave.

Your servant in Christ,

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

 

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Conversion of St. Paul: Anyone Can Change

Today the Church remembers the conversion of Paul which is recorded in the Acts of the Apostles:

‘Indeed, I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things against the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And that is what I did in Jerusalem; with authority received from the chief priests, I not only locked up many of the saints in prison, but I also cast my vote against them when they were being condemned to death. By punishing them often in all the synagogues I tried to force them to blaspheme; and since I was so furiously enraged at them, I pursued them even to foreign cities.

‘With this in mind, I was travelling to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests, when at midday along the road, your Excellency, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and my companions. When we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It hurts you to kick against the goads.” I asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The Lord answered, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But get up and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you to serve and testify to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you. I will rescue you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”

‘After that, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout the countryside of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God and do deeds consistent with repentance. For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me.  (Acts. 26:9-21).

Anyone can change; just ask Paul and he will tell you.  With God, nothing is impossible.  God can take our lives and turn them around 180 degrees.  With God’s grace, we can do an “about face.”  Paul’s encounter with the Risen Christ was powerful and profound.  Paul went from being a persecutor of Christians to one of Christianity’s most powerful advocates.  Put your life in Jesus’ hands, and be prepared to have your life turned around!

Let us pray:  O God, who by the preaching of your apostle Paul have caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world: Grant, we pray, that we, having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may show ourselves thankful to you by following his holy teaching; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

CALENDAR REMINDERS

The Painted Church Tour: We will travel to Schulenburg (about a 2 hour ride), tour 3-4 churches, have lunch and return to St. Augustine. We will be traveling on the bus to each of the churches so there is not a lot of walking expected, but it is recommended that you wear comfortable shoes and dress comfortably. Of course it is too early to predict the weather, but we hope it will be pleasant.

Departure Date: Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 7:30 a.m.

Depart From: St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church, 1410 41st St.

Cost: $20to cover tour and lunch

If you are interested in going but may not have the funds, please contact Michelle Allen, there may be some scholarships available.

We will be using the Galveston County Senior Citizen Program bus and they require everyone to be 55 years of age to ride the bus. The bus has some additional requirements that we must follow:

No eating or drinking (except water)

Mobile phones are for emergencies only

No smoking
 
The bus will only hold 30 passengers, so it is a first come first serve basis. If we have more sign up, Mr. Allen will add you to a waiting list. Please respond to her by email: ms.walk.1@hotmail.com, or call Ms. Allen at 832-244-1817 to let her know if you are interested.

MARDI GRAS AT ST. AUGUSTINE’S HOSTED BY OUR KING & QUEEN OF MARDI GRAS, BILL & TAMMIE TAYLOR, in Sutton Hall on Tuesday at 6 p.m., February 12.

ASH WEDNESDAY IS FEBRUARY 13, Ash Wednesday Liturgy with the Imposition of Ashes at 6 p.m.

LENTEN PROGRAM: Starting at 6 p.m. with the Way of the Cross, Eucharist, light supper and then the program with—

Feb. 20: The Rev. Allen Robinson, Rector of St. James in Baltimore, Maryland, and a Galveston native and a son of St. Augustine (1410 41st St.)

Feb. 27: Br. Michael Gallagher, OSB & Fr. Peter Funk, OSB, Benedictine Monks and Co-Founders of Holy Cross Monastery at Grace (1115 36th St.)

Mar. 6: Ms. Kathy Culmer, Storyteller & Diocesan Mission Funding Coordinator, at Trinity (2216 Ball Ave)

Mar. 13: The Rev. Canon John Newton, Diocese of Texas Canon for Lifelong Christian Formation, at St. Augustine (1410 41st St.)

Mar. 20: The Rev. Pittman McGehee, Priest, Author & Jungian Analyst, at Grace (1115 36th St.)

Mar. 27: The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, Bishop of the Diocese of Texas, at Trinity (2216 Ball Ave)

Please remember everyone on our Prayer List, especially Marilyn and her entire family.

Your servant in Christ,
 
The Rev. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550

 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Be Careful How You Live...Understand What the Will of the Lord Is

The selected Epistle for today is taken from Paul Letter to the Ephesians.  Paul writes:

Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, so as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind—yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish. In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, because we are members of his body. ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church. Each of you, however, should love his wife as himself, and a wife should respect her husband.  (Eph. 5: 15-33).

Our faith is expressed by the way you and I live.  If we proclaim salvation through Christ’s death and resurrection, then we will conduct ourselves in accordance with that proclamation.  All things are to be done in moderation. For example, there is nothing wrong with enjoying wine with friends; however, drinking to the point of losing one’s ability to make rational decisions, to render one’s free will ineffective, is to make a mockery of our being made in God’s image and likeness.

Paul’s tells us that marriage is a two way street; husbands and wives are to love each other as Christ loves his Church, being selfless in all things.  For those of us who are married, the way we lived our married lives is also an expression of our faith.

Let us pray:  Gracious God, you have made us in Your image and likeness, and have brought us to Your side through Jesus Christ, Your Son, who has redeemed us and made us whole.  Send Your Holy Spirit to shower us with grace empowering us to live as Your Son would have us live, in union with You.  Amen.

CALENDAR REMINDERS

The Painted Church Tour: We will travel to Schulenburg (about a 2 hour ride), tour 3-4 churches, have lunch and return to St. Augustine. We will be traveling on the bus to each of the churches so there is not a lot of walking expected, but it is recommended that you wear comfortable shoes and dress comfortably. Of course it is too early to predict the weather, but we hope it will be pleasant.

Departure Date: Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 7:30 a.m.

Depart From: St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church, 1410 41st St.

Cost: $20 to cover tour and lunch

If you are interested in going but may not have the funds, please contact Michelle Allen, there may be some scholarships available.

We will be using the Galveston County Senior Citizen Program bus and they require everyone to be 55 years of age to ride the bus. The bus has some additional requirements that we must follow:

No eating or drinking (except water)

Mobile phones are for emergencies only

No smoking

The bus will only hold 30 passengers, so it is a first come first serve basis. If we have more sign up, Mr. Allen will add you to a waiting list. Please respond to her by email: ms.walk.1@hotmail.com, or call Ms. Allen at 832-244-1817 to let her know if you are interested.

MARDI GRAS AT ST. AUGUSTINE’S HOSTED BY OUR KING & QUEEN OF MARDI GRAS, BILL & TAMMIE TAYLOR, in Sutton Hall on Tuesday at 6 p.m., February 12.

ASH WEDNESDAY IS FEBRUARY 13, Ash Wednesday Liturgy with the Imposition of Ashes at 6 p.m.

LENTEN PROGRAM: Starting at 6 p.m. with the Way of the Cross, Eucharist, light supper and then the program with—

Feb. 20: The Rev. Allen Robinson, Rector of St. James in Baltimore, Maryland, and a Galveston native and a son of St. Augustine (1410 41st St.)

Feb. 27: Br. Michael Gallagher, OSB & Fr. Peter Funk, OSB, Benedictine Monks and Co-Founders of Holy Cross Monastery at Grace (1115 36th St.)

Mar. 6: Ms. Kathy Culmer, Storyteller & Diocesan Mission Funding Coordinator, at Trinity (2216 Ball Ave)

Mar. 13: The Rev. Canon John Newton, Diocese of Texas Canon for Lifelong Christian Formation, at St. Augustine (1410 41st St.)

Mar. 20: The Rev. Pittman McGehee, Priest, Author & Jungian Analyst, at Grace (1115 36th St.)

Mar. 27: The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, Bishop of the Diocese of Texas, at Trinity (2216 Ball Ave)

Please remember everyone on our Prayer List.

Your servant in Christ,

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

 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Rt. Rev. Phillips Brooks: My Only Ambition In Life Is To Be A Parish Priest


 
Today the Church remembers the Rt. Rev. Phillips Brooks who was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1835 and died on this day in 1893 having only served 15 months as Bishop of Massachusetts.

Brooks came from a very devout family; 3 of his 6 brothers, Frederic, Arthur and John, were also ordained Episcopal priests. 

Brooks went to Harvard and graduated when he was 20.  Thereafter, he taught at the famous Boston Latin School for a brief period and then went off to seminary at Virginia Theological Seminary (the same seminary many of the clergy of this Diocese, including Bishop Doyle attended).  He was ordained deacon in 1859 and priest thereafter.  He served as rector of 2 churches in Philadelphia, the Church of the Advent and Holy Trinity where Brooks became noted as a preacher.  At the Eucharist, Brooks would preach, not from the pulpit, but from the chancel steps.

He was opposed to slavery much to the dismay of many of the members of his congregation.  Brooks once wrote that his only ambition in life was “to be a parish priest.”

Here is a bit of trivia for the day; Brooks wrote the Christmas hymn: “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”

Let us pray:  O everlasting God, who revealed truth to your servant Phillips Brooks, and so formed and molded his mind and heart that he was able to mediate that truth with grace and power: Grant, we pray, that all those whom you call to preach the Gospel may steep themselves in your word, and conform their lives to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

CALENDAR REMINDERS

The Painted Church Tour: We will travel to Schulenburg (about a 2 hour ride), tour 3-4 churches, have lunch and return to St. Augustine. We will be traveling on the bus to each of the churches so there is not a lot of walking expected, but it is recommended that you wear comfortable shoes and dress comfortably. Of course it is too early to predict the weather, but we hope it will be pleasant.
Departure Date: Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 7:30 a.m.
Depart From: St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church, 1410 41st St (Jack Johnson Blvd)

Cost: $20.00 to cover tour and lunch
 
If you are interested in going but may not have the funds, please contact Michelle Allen, there may be some scholarships available.

We will be using the Galveston County Senior Citizen Program bus and they require everyone to be 55 years of age to ride the bus. The bus has some additional requirements that we must follow:

         No eating or drinking (except water)

         Mobile phones are for emergencies only

         No smoking

The bus will only hold 30 passengers, so it is a first come first serve basis. If we have more sign up, Mr. Allen will add you to a waiting list. Please respond to her by email: ms.walk.1@hotmail.com, or call Ms. Allen at 832-244-1817 to let her know if you are interested.


MARDI GRAS AT ST. AUGUSTINE’S HOSTED BY OUR KING & QUEEN OF MARDI GRAS, BILL & TAMMIE TAYLOR, in Sutton Hall on Tuesday at 6 p.m., February 12.

ASH WEDNESDAY IS FEBRUARY 13, Ash Wednesday Liturgy with the Imposition of Ashes at 6 p.m.

LENTEN PROGRAM: Starting at 6 p.m. with the Way of the Cross, Eucharist, light supper and then the program with--

Feb. 20: The Rev. Dr. Allen Robinson, Rector of St. James in Baltimore, Maryland and from Galveston at St. Augustine (1410 41st St.)

Feb. 27: Br. Michael Gallagher, Benedictine Monk and Co-Founder of Holy Cross Monastery at Grace (1115 36th St.)

Mar. 6: Ms. Kathy Culmer, Storyteller& Diocesan Mission Funding Coordinator at Trinity (2216 Ball Ave)

Mar. 13: The Rev. Canon John Newton, Diocese of Texas Canon for Lifelong Christian Formation at St. Augustine (1410 41st St.)

Mar. 20: The Rev. Pittman McGehee, Priest, Author & Jungian Analyst at Grace (1115 36th St.)

Mar. 27: The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, Bishop of the Diocese of Texas at Trinity (2216 Ball Ave)

Please remember everyone on our Prayer List.

Your servant in Christ,

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

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

St. Vincent: A Deacon Speaking Truth to Power

Today the Church remembers a man named Vincent from present day Spain who died as a martyr in 304. (He is not to be confused with the patron saint of St. Vincent’s House, Vincent De Paul, who lived in France in the late 1500s.)

Vincent was born in Huesca but lived in Saragossa, and he served as the deacon of Bishop Valerius of Saragossa.  Vincent was imprisoned in Valencia for his faith and he was tortured to death during the persecution of the Christians by the Emperor Diocletian around the year 304.  Vincent was brought to trial along with Bishop Valerius, who had a speech impediment. Vincent spoke for both of them; Vincent’s outspoken fearless manner made the governor so angry that he ordered Vincent to be tortured and executed.  Bishop Valerius fared better; he was exiled.  Legend has it that Vincent succeeded in converting his jailer to Christianity.

Vincent is an example of the deacon’s role in the Church and in the world, to speak truth to power no matter what the cost.

Let us pray:  Almighty God, whose deacon Vincent, upheld by you, was not terrified by threats nor overcome by torments: Strengthen us to endure all adversity with invincible and steadfast faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

CALENDAR REMINDERS

The Painted Church Tour:  We will travel to Schulenburg (about a 2 hour ride), tour 3-4 churches, have lunch and return to St. Augustine.  We will be traveling on the bus to each of the churches so there is not a lot of walking expected, but it is recommended that you wear comfortable shoes and dress comfortably.  Of course it is too early to predict the weather, but we hope it will be pleasant.
 
Departure Date: Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 7:30 am

Depart From: St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church, 1410 41st St (Jack Johnson Blvd)

Cost: $20.00 to cover tour and lunch

If you are interested in going but may not have the funds, please contact Michelle Allen, there may be some scholarships available.

We will be using the Galveston County Senior Citizen Program bus and they require everyone to be 55 years of age to ride the bus.  The bus has some additional requirements that we must follow: 

No eating or drinking (except water)

Mobile phones are for emergencies only

No smoking

The bus will only hold 30 passengers, so it is a first come first serve basis.  If we have more sign up, Mr. Allen will add you to a waiting list.  Please respond to her by email: ms.walk.1@hotmail.com, or call Ms. Allen at 832-244-1817 to let her know if you are interested. 

MARDI GRAS AT ST. AUGUSTINE’S HOSTED BY OUR KING & QUEEN OF MARDI GRAS, BILL & TAMMIE TAYLOR, in Sutton Hall on Tuesday evening, February 12.

ASH WEDNESDAY IS FEBRUARY 13, Ash Wednesday Liturgy with the Imposition of Ashes at 6 p.m.

LENTEN PROGRAM:  WEDNESDAYS AT 6 PM

Feb. 20: The Rev. Dr. Allen Robinson, Rector of St. James in Baltimore, Maryland and from Galveston at St. Augustine (1410 41st St.)

Feb. 27: Br. Michael Gallagher, Benedictine Monk and Co-Founder of Holy Cross Monastery at Grace (1115 36th St.)

Mar. 6: Ms. Kathy Culmer, Storyteller & Diocesan Mission Funding Coordinator at Trinity (2216 Ball Ave)

Mar. 13: The Rev. Canon John Newton, Diocese of Texas Canon for Lifelong Christian Formation at St. Augustine (1410 41st St.)

Mar. 20: The Rev. Pittman McGehee, Priest, Author & Jungian Analyst at Grace (1115 36th St.)

Mar. 27: The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, Bishop of the Diocese of Texas at Trinity (2216 Ball Ave)

Please remember everyone on our Prayer List.

Your servant in Christ,

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

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Time to Remember

On this holiday of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we remember all of those who worked during the Civil Rights movement to bring this nation a step closer to justice and equality. Today, we especially remember Dr. King, and so we pray:
 
Almighty God, by the hand of Moses your servant you led your people out of slavery, and made them free at last; Grant that your Church, following the example of your prophet Martin Luther King, may resist oppression in the name of your love, and may secure for all your children the blessed liberty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
 

Dr. King's birthday also coincides with the Inauguration of the President, and so we also pray:
 
O Lord our Governor, whose glory is in all the world: We commend this nation to your merciful care, that, being guided by your Providence, we may dwell secure in your peace. Grant to the President of the United States, the Governor of this State , and to all in authority, wisdom and strength to know and to do your will. Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness, and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve this people in your fear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
 

Your servant in Christ,

The Rev. Chester J. Makowski, Vicar
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
1410 Jack Johnson Blvd. (41st Street)
Galveston, Texas 77550

Thursday, January 17, 2013

St. Antony: A Reminder to the Church of What It Means to be Truly Relevant

Today the Church honors and remembers St. Antony, considered to be one of the founders of monasticism who lived at a time when Christianity not only became legal, but the religion of the Empire. Antony believed that when the Church became mainstream, a part of the culture around it, that it would be lost. So he went out into the dessert.
 
Antony was born in Egypt to Christian parents around the year 251. When they died, he inherited a large estate. Like St. Francis some 900 years later, Antony took Jesus; words to heart: “Sell all that you have, give it to the poor, and come, follow me.” He did just that. 
 
At the age of 21, Antony became a hermit. During his time in the dessert, Antony was assailed by the devil who constantly reminded him what a life filled with pleasure he would have enjoyed if he had not given his wealth away.
 
When he was 55, Antony founded his first monastery; it consisted of scattered cells, each inhabited by a solitary monk. Antony did not stay with any of his monasteries long; rather, he visited them on occasion. Antony found that the interruptions to his solitude disturbed him at which point he would be tempted to despair. He overcame his temptations by prayer and hard work. Even though he mortified himself, Antony always maintained that perfection consisted not in mortification of the flesh but in love of God, and he taught his monks to have eternity always present to their minds and to perform every act with all the fervor of their souls, as if it were to be their last.
 
Antony died in 356.
 
Antony’s thinking about the place of Christianity in society is worth contemplating. When the Church adapts what secular society holds dear and important to the point that the Church approves what secular society does, it is time for the Church to engage in serious self-reflection asking itself whether it is being a witness to the Good News of Christ to the world. In an effort to become what they perceive as "relevant," many Churches have lost their true relevance, to be faithful to the Word made flesh whatever the cost. Antony is a reminder to us that the Church is called to be a witness to Christ in the world.
 
 Let us pray: O God, who by your Holy Spirit enabled your servant Antony to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil: Give us grace, with pure hearts and minds, to follow you, the only God; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
 
Please pray for the Family of Robert Hacker whose mother died yesterday and for the Family of Frank LaBelle who died on Monday. Let us pray: Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servants Mary and Frank. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, sheep of your own fold, a lambs of your own flock, sinners of your own redeeming. Receive them into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen.
 

CALENDAR REMINDERS
 
 17 January 2013: Seaside Seniors at St. Augustine.
 
 21 January 2013: MLK Day at St. Vincent’s House: Noon day prayers and celebration.
 
Please remember everyone on our Prayer List, especially, Lee Runion and Randy Furlong.
 
Your servant in Christ,
 
 
The Rev. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

By Grace You Have Been Saved

The daily prayer of the Church continues with Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians: 

You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. (Eph. 2: 1-10).

The recipients of Paul’s letter have experienced in their redemption from sin, the effect of Christ’s supremacy over the power of the evil and the devil, who rules not from the netherworld but interposes himself between Gods and humans. Both Jews and Gentiles have experienced, through Christ, God’s free gift of salvation that already marks them for a future heavenly destiny, and the language Paul uses here parallels Jesus’ own passion and Easter experience. This section describes salvation in the way Paul, in Galatians and Romans, speaks of justification: by grace, through faith, the gift of God, not from works. Christians, you and I, are a newly created people in Christ, fashioned by God for a life of goodness.

Let us pray:  Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ's glory, that he may be known, worshiped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Please pray for the Family of Robert Hacker whose mother died this morning.  Let us pray:  Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant Mary. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive her into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen.
 
CALENDAR REMINDERS

17 January 2013: Seaside Seniors at St. Augustine.

21 January 2013: MLK Day at St. Vincent’s House: Noon day prayers and celebration.

Please remember everyone on our Prayer List, especially, Lee Runion and Randy Furlong.

Your servant in Christ,

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

 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Letter to the Whole Church

The appointed New Testament Epistle for the Church’s daily prayer is taken from Paul’s Letter to the Church in Ephesus; he writes:

I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.  (Eph. 1:15-23).

Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians is about the worldwide Church, whose head is Christ, and whose purpose is to be the instrument for making God’s plan of salvation known throughout the universe. Paul’s view of the church is anchored in God’s saving love, shown in Jesus Christ, and the whole of redemption is rooted in the plan and accomplishment of the triune God. Paul’s language is of doxology and prayer, of liturgy and hymns.  It describes what we as Church are called to be.  In today’s passage we see that prayer moves from God and Christ to the Church. Paul asks that the blessing imparted by God the Father to the Church who will be strengthened through the message of the Gospel. Those blessings are seen in the context of God’s might in establishing the sovereignty of Christ over all other creatures and in appointing Christ head of the church where everything is made subject to him.  As we move through our daily lives, let us contemplate the role of the Church, our role, as expressed by Paul in his Letter to the Church in Ephesus.

Let us pray:  Gracious Father, we pray for your holy Catholic Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son our Savior. Amen.

CALENDAR REMINDERS

17 January 2013: Seaside Seniors at St. Augustine.
 
21 January 2013: MLK Day at St. Vincent’s House: Noon day prayers and celebration.

Please remember everyone on our Prayer List, especially Robert Hacker’s mother and family, Lee Runion and Randy Furlong, and all those celebrating birthdays today, especially Adam who is turning 25.

Your servant in Christ,

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