About Bishop Andrew St. John

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So far Bishop Andrew St. John has created 24 blog entries.

“Ye holy angels bright” & Richard Baxter

As Anglicans and Episcopalians, we tend to think that not a great deal positive happened in English church history during the English Civil War and the period known as the Interregnum between the reigns of the beheaded Charles the First and the monarch of the Restoration in 1660, Charles the Second when the Church of England with its bishops was suspended. However, today, December 8, in our church calendar, we commemorate Richard Baxter (1615-1691), a Puritan divine and theologian, whose hymn “Ye holy angels bright” we happily enjoy singing....

Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart!

In the spirit of yesterday’s holiday, I am deeply aware of the importance of thanksgiving not only as the theme of the favorite national holiday but as an integral part of the Christian life. After all our main act of worship, the Eucharist, simply means thanksgiving: thanksgiving for all God has done for us and especially in and through his Son, Jesus Christ. The Bible and Prayer book offer many resources for giving thanks to God, which is one of the four basic forms of prayer (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication – ACTS)....

Honoring All Who Serve — Past & Present

Tomorrow, November 11 is Veterans Day, a federal holiday, dating back to the First World War. It was originally called Armistice Day to mark the armistice that ended hostilities between the Allies and the German, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires which was signed at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 on a rail carriage in the Compiegne Forest in France. It original purpose was to honor all soldiers who had died in that conflict from 1914-1918. In 1954 Congress passed legislation to rename the day as Veterans Day to honor all veterans of war living and departed....

Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen and All Who Serve & Are Served

The 35th Anniversary of the Soup Kitchen is a great cause for Thanksgiving. I am only sad that I shall not be part of the formal celebrations since I will be in Australia for my elder sister Jenifer’s funeral and subsequent interment. Having known about the Soup Kitchen since 1983 when I first met Father Rand Frew while I was pursuing post graduate studies at General Seminary, and having been a supporter of its remarkable work since returning to New York in 2003, you can imagine my delight when the Bishop of New York asked me to consider being Interim Pastor of Holy Apostles and Interim Director of the Soup Kitchen....

Lay Up for Yourselves Treasure in Heaven

When I was a young priest working in my first parish as an assistant to a training Rector I was taught many things which I had not learnt in seminary. Thankfully my Rector, although not an easy man to work for, was a very good teacher. One thing he insisted on was that I learned by heart various parts of the communion service....

The Feast of St. Michael & All Angels

Today is the Feast of St Michael and All Angels. When I was a seminarian back in the far-off Sixties, angels were distinctly out of fashion. It was the time of Bishop John Robinson’s controversial book “Honest to God” and of the “God is Dead” debate. Everything that did not accord with the rational was under suspicion. So angels and miracles, mystery and heaven, and much more were side-lined in favor of a “religionless Christianity,” a religion shorn of all the fun bits (or so it seemed to me!)....

Celebrating Holy Cross Day

Yesterday was Holy Cross Day, a major feast day in The Book of Common Prayer. Although only restored to the Episcopal Church Calendar in the 1979 Book, the feast itself is one of the more ancient feasts of the church dating back to the Fourth Century. It was first celebrated to mark the dedication of the first Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem built by the Emperor Constantine the Great in 335 on the site where his mother, Helena, had discovered the True Cross in 326.

The Feast of the New Guinea Martyrs

Tomorrow is the Feast of the New Guinea Martyrs who died as a consequence of the Japanese invasion of 1942. Growing up in Australia post war and as an active Anglican I was well aware of the 11 Anglican martyrs, priests, nurses, teachers and an indigenous lay catechist, one of whom came from a nearby parish in Melbourne and was memorialized there. The stories of their deaths were still very fresh and as a young person I was deeply impressed with the fact that people could still die for the faith in the 20th century. Given that Papua New Guinea before independence in 1975 was the main mission field for the Australian Anglican Church, big services commemorating the New Guinea Martyrs were held annually in the major Australian cities.....

In Celebration of St. Mary the Virgin

You may have registered on Tuesday that alternate side of the street parking was suspended for the day. Now that is hardly an unusual experience in this multi-cultural, multi-faith city where some group or another is regularly celebrating some special day. Of course, as world weary Manhattanites you might have simply thought “oh, the President is in town: more traffic chaos!” However, Tuesday August 15 happens to be the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Roman Catholic Church which as Episcopalians we keep as the Feast of St Mary the Virgin and the Orthodox as “the Dormition of the Virgin Mary.” In Catholic Europe, it is a major religious holiday and in places like Mexico it is kept with processions and fireworks....

Exploring Transfiguration

On Sunday we will be observing the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord since the August 6 feast falls on that day. By ancient tradition Feasts of Our Lord (those pertaining to events in the life of Jesus) take precedence over the regular Sunday observance (Pentecost 9 this year). Having been Rector of the Church of the Transfiguration (the Little Church Around the Corner) on East 29th Street for 11 years I am well up on the Transfiguration which we celebrated every year on the nearest Sunday as our Feast of Title....