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....

In Celebration of Clare of Assisi, Florence Nightingale & All Who Care for Others

As you’ve no doubt noticed, I often like to use this space to write about the feast day of some saint or another – and this week I struggled to decide between two: Clare, Abbess of Assisi (1253) on August 11, and Florence Nightingale, Nurse and Social Reformer (1910), on August 12. In good Anglican fashion, I decided not to address this in an “either/or” fashion, but instead with a “both/and” mentality – and so talk about both of them!...

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....

In Celebration of St. Mary Magdalene

Tomorrow is the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene, First Witness to the Resurrection of Jesus, and also “the Apostle to the Apostles.” She has certainly earned her place in the list of major saints’ days in the Book of Common Prayer. It is a day personally important to me since on this feast day in July 1995 I was consecrated a Bishop in the Church of God by the Archbishop of Melbourne and 18 other bishops in St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne. The choice of that date for my consecration had been mine. The custom is for an episcopal consecration to take place on a major feast day. The Archbishop had suggested to me several suitable days....

Remembering Benedict of Nurisa

This past Tuesday was the feast day of Benedict of Nursia -- traditionally remembered as the founder of western monasticism. Born in Umbria, Italy, in 480 A.D., Benedict founded twelve monastic communities over the course of his life. His greatest impact on modern Christianity is the Rule of Life that he developed for his monks, which laid out how the monastery and the monk’s lives were to be ordered. He called his rule “a school of the Lord’s service, in which we hope to order nothing harsh or rigorous.” You can decide for yourself if the monks’ lives were harsh or rigorous: every day they spent an average of four hours in worship, five hours in spiritual reading and study, six hours of labor, one hour for eating, and eight hours sleeping.....

Celebrating Milestones

Most of us enjoy remembering and celebrating anniversaries. They are part of life. On July 1, I celebrated my first anniversary as Interim Pastor here at Holy Apostles. I am indeed thankful for the opportunity to minister in this wonderful parish and to be associated with the remarkable work of the Soup Kitchen. I need to remind myself and indeed all parishioners that I am only here as an Interim! The important work of the Search Committee is continuing and will bear fruit in due course. In October, we will be celebrating the 35th Foundation of the Soup Kitchen and in 2019 the 175th Anniversary of Holy Apostles....

The Depth & Quality of Welcome

This Sunday's Gospel message from Matthew invites us to explore in depth the quality of the welcome that we offer to one another within the Body of Christ, the church. But with it we must also reflect on the welcome we offer to those who are not yet a part of this body. As Jesus speaks to the disciples here, He is preparing to send them out to preach the message that "the kingdom of Heaven is near." He is giving them authority to heal the sick, to raise the dead, and to drive out demons in His name....

Welcoming Summer

Summer officially began on Wednesday with the Summer Solstice. With the Summer comes warmer weather, humidity, outdoor activities and events, Summer reading, vacation days, less meetings, a more relaxed schedule, and a time to catch up with family and friends. I love the Summer in New York and choose to stay in the city preferring to take my vacations at other times....

In Celebration of Fathers Both Biblical & Your Own

This Sunday, June 18, is Father's Day -- the day when we honor fathers, father figures, and paternal bonds. I did a little research (thank you, Wikipedia!), and found out that the holiday was founded by Sonora Smart Dodd as a complement to Mother's Day. Dodd and her five siblings were raised by her single father. When she heard a Mother's Day sermon at Central Methodist Episcopal Church in 1909, she told the pastor that there should be a similar holiday honoring fathers. The first celebration was held at a YMCA in Spokane, WA, on June 19, 1910....