Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Rev. John Roberts: Selfless Love

Image result for the rev. john roberts
Today the Episcopal Church remembers the life and ministry of the Rev. John Roberts.  During this season of Lent, Fr. Roberts is a reminder to us of personal sacrifice for the sake of others.
Assigned to minister to the Shoshone and Arapahos on the Wind River Reservation, he set about his work by learning all he could about Native American customs and beliefs, believing that by knowing the people he hoped to minister to he would be more effective. He also learned the native languages, eventually translating the gospel for his Native American congregates.
Roberts often said the object of his work among the Indians was to make them self-supporting. With this in mind he established two schools, the Indian Boarding School at Ft. Washakie and the Shoshone Indian Mission Boarding School. Roberts cultivated friendships with tribal leaders, including Chief Black Coal and Chief Washakie, whom he later baptized. He earned the trust of the tribal leadership and was often involved in their negotiations with the agents of the federal government. The Indians rewarded Roberts for his fairness in dealing with them by giving him the name "Elder Brother."
Roberts also ministered to the non-natives of the state, establishing Episcopal churches in towns across Wyoming. Roberts retired from active missionary work in 1921 but continued to live on the reservation until his death in 1949 at the age of ninety-seven. (Taken from the University of Wyoming)
Let us pray: Almighty God, who raised up your servant John Roberts to be a witness among the Shoshone and Arapahoe peoples: May we, inspired by his example and prayers, invite all people to the riches of your grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
What follows is a letter from Bishop Doyle:
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, 

I'm sending this special note to make you aware that I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in October. 
JoAnne and I have been assured by my very capable doctors that this particular cancer is completely treatable with surgery and medication.  I will undergo surgery on March 3, and I look forward to a full recovery. 
The shock of this kind of news at any time is upending, to say the least. The cancer diagnosis reminded me, and underscored for me, my complete dependence on a compassionate and merciful God who removes fear and uncertainty. 
I have been in prayer, under spiritual direction and on retreat. I am ready for the surgery and what comes after. We have asked a few close friends to be present during my short stay in the hospital.
I am grateful for a talented and dedicated diocesan team, who, along with Bishop Dena Harrison and Bishop Jeff Fisher, will be able to manage our ministry very well during my brief absence. I should be back to my regular schedule in a month's time. I plan to return to work April 1, with a renewed appreciation for all of our ministry and gratitude for the ability to be God's hands in the world. 
I ask your prayers for my physicians, nurses and family as well as for me during this time. Be assured of my prayers for you.
The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, IX Bishop of Texas
Next Wednesday, 2 March 2016 at 6 PM at Trinity Episcopal Church, the Benedictine Monks of Holy Cross Monastery, Fr. Peter and Br. Michael, in Beaumont will be our speakers.
Please remember everyone on our Prayer List, especially Bob as he is recovering from foot surgery, Audrey, John, Katie, for all those to be baptized, for the Anglican Communion, and for reconciliation.
Your servant in Christ,
Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550

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