About Bishop Andrew St. John

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So far Bishop Andrew St. John has created 30 blog entries.

The Selection of Matthias The Apostle

Tomorrow happens to be the Feast of St. Matthias, the apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas. You can read the account of the search process and outcome in Acts 1: 15-26. With the death of Judas by his own hand it was seen as important to maintain the 12-fold Apostolic leadership as founded by Jesus. In terms of qualifications it was deemed that a person who had known Jesus throughout his earthly ministry should “become with us a witness to his resurrection.” That is not a bad description of what Christian ministry is all about. We are all called by our baptism to be “witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus.”

Ways To A More Spiritual Lent

As a child I was always fascinated by my maternal grandmother’s rather ostentatious observance of Lent. She would make sure that we all knew that she had given up sugar in her many cups of tea for Lent! Even as a boy I found this somewhat amusing and questioned whether it had much to do with God. There is nothing wrong with the practices of self-denial and of abstinence from certain foods or alcohol or other activities during Lent....

A Few Words on the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple

Today is the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, often known by its nickname, Candlemas. It is the third feast of light along with Christmas and Epiphany illuming the darkness of winter. However, I will be celebrating it in Australia where it is summer time with long light-filled days! I had always found it a difficult feast to celebrate and make full sense of in the southern hemisphere. It took my time in London in the 1970s to really appreciate the full meaning of the feast....

Elections in the Episcopal Church & The Parish

As we prepare for our Annual Meeting this Sunday it is helpful to look back at the history of the Episcopal Church and give thanks for the institution it is today. Some of us have been enjoying studying this history in recent Adult Education classes. I certainly found it helpful in realizing the distinctiveness of the Episcopal Church within the family of churches which make up the Anglican Communion....

As Christmas Ends…Epiphany Begins

Today (January 5) is the Twelfth Day of Christmas and tomorrow (January 6) is the Feast of the Epiphany (we will keep it on Sunday). The Epiphany or to give it its alternative name, The Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles, is the second of the Feasts of Light that illuminate the darkness of Winter. Christmas, Epiphany and Candlemas (the Feast of the Presentation on February 2) all celebrate the Light of Christ which scatters the darkness of sin, evil and death. I can remember so clearly my first Northern winter in England in the early Seventies when I experienced these three festivals in their traditional setting....

Marking Time & Holy Days

...There is a sort of happy routine linked to the passing of time which is comforting in a funny sort of way. Holy Apostles produces a calendar each year using the Episcopal Church Calendar. Not only does this calendar give you the date but it each day is color-coded to the Season of the Church’s year. Looking at my calendar today I noticed (not for the first time to be sure) that the Christmas white (for Christmas Day) is surrounded by lots of red days (depicting martyrdom). These red days mark St Thomas the Apostle (Doubting Thomas) on December 21; St Stephen the Deacon and Protomartyr on December 26; and the Holy Innocents of Bethlehem on December 28. Christmas, as we all enjoy it, is a magic time, full of tidings of peace and joy; focusing on the birth of the baby Jesus in Bethlehem long ago. We all enjoy the romance, the beauty and the good feelings which the nativity story brings. After all there is nothing quite like a new birth in a family to give pleasure, joy and a sense of a hopeful new beginning. We associate all those elements with the Christmas story. But the Christmas story is so much more than a beautiful birth story. The angels tell the shepherds “To you is born this day a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” In other words, the new baby whose birth they are to witness is the One, God’s One, who is to save the world through his life, death and resurrection. The infant Christ if you like contains the total story of God’s Saving Love.....

“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....