Tuesday November 22

 Dear Saints of St Peter’s,

On this day in 1963 C.S. Lewis passed away.  His death was hardly noticed in the press, being overwhelmed by the assassination of President Kennedy.  

I wonder how many thousands owe their faith, as do I, to Lewis more than any other single person.  He was also uniquely instrumental in my Anglican journey, and especially in forming the awe and gratitude I feel to be allowed into that great tradition.  Through the Anglican Church I not only connect with my ancestors, and my newer brethren in Africa, but find my way back to the ancient church, all the while honoring the best of my Wesleyan heritage.  What a gift!  I still can hardly believe they would have me!  

N.T. Wright, another great Anglican I am indebted to, remarked in his lecture at Asbury that, “Anglicans are faulted for not having an established theology of their own, but if anything is true, Anglicans believe it.” That got the intended chuckle.  Sadly, I don’t think it is accurate.  Would that it were!  Lewis was devoted to the pursuit and articulation of truth.  Perhaps that is why some people find his writing “too cerebral.”  

For those who do love him (anyway), or don’t yet know if they do or not, here is a link to a “C.S. Lewis Doodle” of lesser-known article, “A Christmas Sermon for Pagans.”  

Lewis begins by asking whether there even are any pagans in England?  What do you think?  Are there any pagans in America?   Lewis asks, when a person ceases to be Christian, does that make them “pagan”?  We hear that the west is now “post- Christian.” Is a pre-Christian person the same as a post-Christian person?   I’ve attached a short paper discussing the sermon for those who are interested.

This Sunday we begin our Advent journey.  The St Peter’s Children’s Choir will teach us a new Advent canticle which we continue to use for the whole season.  Dr. Tom Tumblin will be our preacher.

I’ve been told that the Lexington Rescue Mission is in great need of gloves.  Please bring in all those extras you have cluttering up your closets and drawers.  Or buy some new ones.  And bring them in this Sunday.  See John Heyn or Silas Heart.

Here are the schedule and important changes for the next few weeks:

  • Please try to get your Pledges in to your treasurer, St. Phillip, on or before this Sunday
  • There will be no Morning or Evening Prayer this Thursday and Friday, and no Potluck this Wednesday
  • Advent Christmas Vespers at Asbury Seminary December 4th 6:30 PM
  • Wednesday December 7th 6:00 PM The Stewart Home School Chorus
  • Wednesday December 14th last Wednesday Potluck of 2022
  • Our “Festival of Lessons and Carols” — Sunday Morning, December 18th, followed by special Christmas/Advent snacks during coffee hour. 
  • Christmas Eve Service, December 24th at 7:00 PM
  • Christmas Day Service, December 25h, Sunday at 10:00 AM.  There will be no Adult Education or Children’s Atrium.
  • The church office will be closed during the week of December 26th through January 1st, and there will be no Morning and Evening Prayer.
  • Wednesday January 4th — Potluck and Gospel Sing! to start the New Year right.

Here is a link to last Sunday’s sermon.  “Experiencing Christ, the King.”

Here is a link to the live-stream of N.T. Wright’s lecture mentioned above. His talk begins at about 40:00.

Let’s close with a picture of our newest little Saint of St. Peter’s. 

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Viva Cristo Rey!

Fr. Mark

Tuesday November 15

Dear Saints of St Peter’s,

Many thanks to Heather and Libby for the wonderful Multi-Generational Learning Experience in preparation for Advent last Sunday.  Do you still have your little hazelnut?

I hope many of us will be able to attend some of the special lectures at Asbury Theological Seminary by New Testament Scholar,  N.T. Wright.  

Here are opportunities to hear him speak: 

  • Tuesday, November 15 at 7:30 p.m. for a lecture and Q &A in Estes Chapel; 
  • Wednesday, November 16 at 4:00 p.m. for a Biblical Studies Seminar in McKenna Chapel on the campus of Asbury Seminary, and 
  • Wednesday evening, November 16 at 7:30 p.m. for a lecture in Hughes Auditorium on the campus of Asbury University. 

All events are free and the public is welcome to attend, but seating is limited with first-come, first-served. The chapel services as well as the Tuesday and Wednesday evening lectures will also be livestreamed at asbury.to/live.

For Potluck this Wednesday please bring soup, chili, or things that go well with them.  Michael will be wrapping up our study of Joseph.  We will not meet next Wednesday the 23rd because of Thanksgiving.  Then the following Wednesday we will be back in our homegroups.  

Please remember to bring in your Pledge Form for 2023 no later than November 27th, the first Sunday of Advent.  I am attaching an electronic copy, which you can print and bring in, or send electronically to Phillip at pkring@bellsouth.net.

As we anticipate a new church year together, I want to focus on the wonderful word, “Encouragement.”  St. Paul talked about encouragement all the time in his letters.  He saw himself as an agent of encouragement.  And he calls fellow Christians to do the same for each other.  We could choose from many Scriptures, but let’s make 1 Thessalonians 5:11 the theme of Year A 2022-23: Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”  It’s true we are already an encouraging bunch, but let’s do more and better.  “Lord, who do you want me to encourage today?”

Have you been thinking about the idea that the primary purpose for our existence is to love? That’s why we were made; to love all that God is, all that He has done, all that He has made.  It’s easy to love creation, it’s easy to love God, mostly. But what about all the bad stuff in the world and especially the bad people?  That stumped me for a minute.  But who needs love most of all?  Good people? No, people like us, like all of us.  

The world preaches the “gospel” of tolerance (and is, as you know, viciously intolerant of intolerance).  Doesn’t it just warm your heart to be “tolerated”?  Tell your spouse, “Honey, I find you tolerable.”  Aren’t you glad that the Bible doesn’t say “God is tolerance”?  Christ calls us to love.  Would you rather be tolerated or loved?  Would you rather tolerate or love?  I’m not sure our civilization can stand much more “tolerance”.  What we need is love.  That’s what we were designed to do, it is our purpose and calling, and God has given us the Holy Spirit to make it possible.  Would you like to lay down all those other burdens?  Love will call you to do lots of things, but when the motive and fuel is love, it’s amazing how much easier they are to do, and how much cleaner the results of our efforts are.  May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Romans 15:5-6

Viva Cristo Rey!

Fr. Mark

Tuesday November 8th

Dear Saints of St Peter’s,

Tomorrow Potluck entree is Fried Chicken and your fixins’.  Can’t wait!  Michael will continue with our study of the life of Joseph this week and next. There will be no Potluck on the 23rd.

We had an excellent Synod this year with a special speaker, Vaughn Roberts, Vicar of St. Ebbes in Oxford and a fine expository preacher.  Our bishops have set the theme for this year, “Preaching, Teaching and Living the Word.” Let us make this beautiful collect the prayer of our heart this season:

“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.”

As you pray this prayer, remember that “everlasting life” does not begin when we die, but when we enter our new life in Christ and as we grow in the new consciousness of His Kingdom.

Advent begins Sunday November 27th.  We will be starting Year A in our Lectionary, which means our weekly Gospel Lessons will be from the Gospel of Matthew.

On Wednesday December 7th the Stewart Home School Chorus will be with us.

In Adult Ed last Sunday we discussed the notion from Wilder’s book, The Other Half of Church, that shame can be (and usually is) toxic, but that there may be a beneficial aspect to shame.  Here is a link to a podcast in which the author goes into more detail.  In this episode, Jeremy discusses with Jim Wilder the importance of healthy correction.  Jim explains that healthy correction is like pulling weeds in a garden as well as the role of shame in changing behavior.  Michael describes how leaders can model healthy correction and important guardrails around the topic of shame.

Our dear Julie Tennent has just completed a monumental project– a new Hymnal!  Here is a link to more information.  Congratulations, Julie! (and the rest of the team).

In the spirit of “something to think about” I am sharing this Youtube with you on this election day.  The title: “Why We Can’t Vote Our Way to Freedom.” Please note: this does not represent the views of St. Peter’s, the ACNA.  It may or may not be biblical.  It’s just something I found interesting, and stimulating to the “little grey cells,” as Poirot would say.  It does make sense, to me, out of where we find ourselves as a nation. It closes with a quote for H.L. Mencken in which he mentions a need for a miracle.

Viva Cristo Rey!

Fr. Mark


Tuesday November 1

Dear Saints of St Peter’s,

 Many thanks to Emily Roberts and the St. Peter’s Choir for their great blessing to us last Sunday.  You all put in a lot of time and effort.  We are so grateful.  Thanks also to Linda Pickerill for filling in for our beloved Yvonne.

Our Halloween at St. Peter’s was GREAT! I’ve never seen so many Trick or Treaters.  Folks said they were making up for the lock-downs.  We gave out tons of candy and dental hygiene kits!  Thanks to all who helped, especially Heather for facilitating the very meaningful luminaria commemorations and Amy B for the fiddle music.  

Remember tomorrow evening the All Souls Day celebration at the Morgan home — potluck–6:00 PM.  RSVP.  Note: no potluck or Bible study at church this week.

I’ll be handing out Pledge Forms next Sunday to help us plan next year’s budget.  Keep your Vestry in prayer as they enter this very important time of deliberation.

Our Annual Synod of the Diocese of the South will be held this week, Thursday – Saturday, in Loganville, Georgia.  I will be there, but will be back in time for Sunday.

Dr. Tom Wright will be at Asbury Seminary in a couple of weeks.  The following lectures are open to the public. Click here for schedule.  Needless to say this is a rare and likely unique opportunity to hear him in person.

Finally, here is a link to a very interesting book summary.  Only 8 minutes.  It is from a secular perspective, but I think it provides insight into the discipleship process.  See what you think.

Viva Cristo Rey!

Fr. Mark


Tuesday October 25th

 Dear Saints of St Peter’s

This memo will also be posted on the website as mentioned last week in case it gets lost in your inbox.  If you would rather be taken off the mailing list entirely, please let us know.

Thanks to all who came out to help with the Fall Clean-up Day.  We had a grand time together.

Reminder: All men of St. Peter’s (and even those who attend other churches) are invited to the regular Thursday Men’s Lunch at the Chinese Buffet, 12:00 Noon.

For Halloween, come help hand out candy and good cheer at St. Peter’s this Monday.   Weather permitting, we will also have our bonfire.  Bring musical instruments.

We are still receiving offerings of gratitude for our mother church in Uganda.  Make your checks to St. Peter’s, with Uganda in the memo line.

“See something, say something.” If you are aware of repairs or renovations or touch-ups that need to be made or might be considered, please don’t hesitate to mention them to your Vestry.  The Vestry’s primary responsibility is the stewardship of our church funds and facilities.

We will be in our Home Groups this Wednesday, tomorrow.  

Next Wednesday, Nov 2 we are all invited to the Morgan place for a special All Souls celebration potluck.  RSVP Heather.

Here’s a proposition to consider: True or False?  “Every person is doing the best he or she can, at this particular moment, under these particular circumstances.”

Obviously, only God knows the answer to that question. Yet, we all have our answer just the same, and chances are we hold our answer pretty firmly.  How did you come to your answer? Did God tell you?  How does your answer affect your life?  How does your answer affect the lives of those close to you? 

Viva Cristo Rey!

Fr. Mark


Tuesday October 18th

Dear Saints of St. Peter’s

This week we begin a new format. Instead of the email Memos I want to transition to a page which anyone can access anytime. I can also update (or correct) this page without having to send another email to clutter up your inbox.

So, here we are looking ahead to Sunday October 23rd, which is going to be extra special as Abigail will be Baptized and both she and Elsie will receive their First Communion. Please keep these precious ones in your prayers this week especially. Many thanks to Heather for her great work in preparing them.

From time to time a major Feast Day of the church calendar falls on a Sunday and the lectionary gives us the option of proceeding with the regular lessons for the day or the special lessons. Such is the case this Sunday with the commemoration of the James of Jerusalem. Click on his name for link to the lessons.

As we prepare for Sunday here is a great, short teaching by our beloved Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on the wonderful gift of Sabbath.

In the meantime...

Wednesday Potluck — Entree will be fried fish and chicken fingers. Michael will continue our study of the life of Joseph.

Saturday Morning is Fall Clean Up Day. It’s always fun, and who knows, there might be some yummies from Andy’s Bakery to keep us energized!

Looking ahead…

We will need candy givers and greeters for Halloween. If the weather permits let’s bring our instruments and play and sing around the fire pit.

Remember to mark your calendar for All Souls commemoration at the Morgan’s home on November 2nd.

Here is a link to the master schedule for Family Ministry.

Viva Cristo Rey!