Archive for the ‘July 19’ Category

Feast of Lemuel Haynes (July 19)   Leave a comment

Above:  Lemuel Haynes

Image in the Public Domain

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LEMUEL HAYNES (JULY 18, 1753-SEPTEMBER 28, 1833)

First Ordained African-American Minister

The Reverend Lemuel Haynes comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year With American Saints (2006).

Haynes served God and resisted racism, slavery, the colonization movement, and Universalism.  That life started in a socially inauspicious context.  Our saint, born in West Hartford, Connecticut, on July 18, 1753, never knew his father and saw his mother only once that he recalled.  Hayne’s father was an African American.  Our saint’s mother, who was white, worked as a washer woman on a farm.  She, refusing to acknowledge her son, abandoned him when he was a few days old.  In time, she married and started a new life.  Haynes saw her from a distance, eventually, and her flight from the scene indicated that she still refused to accept him.  Our saint spent his first five months in the home of a farmer, Mr. Haynes, who named the child Lemuel, literally “Consecrated to God.”

Mostly, though, our saint grew up (until the age of 12 years) in the home of David Rose, of Granville, Massachusetts.  Young Lemuel, an indentured servant, grew up as one of the children in a white family.  The Roses of Granville were a devout Congregationalist family in an intellectual backwater.  The town had a terrible school and no public library.  Haynes, baptized in the local Congregational church, spent much of his life piecing together an education, often via tutoring and reading.  In time, for example, our saint studied Greek and Latin under tutors.

Note:  The First Congregational Church of Granville, Massachusetts, joined with the Granville Baptist Church to form the Granville Federated Church (United Church of Christ and American Baptist Churches U.S.A.) in 1937.

Haynes joined the revolutionary cause.  He became a minuteman in 1774 then joined the Continental Army the following year.  In 1776, our saint condemned the hypocrisy of slaveholding Patriots in an essay, “Liberty Further Extended.”

Above:  Granville, New York, and Environs

Image Source = Google Earth

After Haynes left the Continental Army, he became a licensed Congregationalist preacher at Middle Granville, New York, on November 29, 1780.  Our saint married Elizabeth “Bessie” Babbitt (1763-1836), a white teacher, on September 23, 1783.  The couple had nine children.  Haynes became the first ordained African-American minister on November 9, 1785, at Middle Granville Congregational Church.  The Haynes family departed for Torrington, Connecticut, the following year.

Note:  The Congregational church in Middle Granville, New York, no longer exists.  However, North Granville, South Granville, and Granville are short drives away and also in Washington County.

Haynes spent 1786-1788 as a pastor in Torrington.  The congregation, founded in 1741, was the First Church of Christ until 1787, when it became the First Congregational Church.

Note:  The First Congregational Church of Torrington, Connecticut, is an affiliate of the Evangelical Association of Reformed and Congregational Christian Churches.

Haynes was a pastor in West Rutland, Vermont, from March 28, 1788, to April 27, 1818.  During this time, in 1804, Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont, awarded our saint an honorary M.A.  He, therefore, became the first African American to receive such a degree.  Our saint’s departure from that ministry was unhappy; racism was one of the reasons for it.

Note:  That congregation is now the United Church of West Rutland, an affiliate of the United Church of Christ.

Haynes ministered at the First Congregational Church, Manchester, Vermont, from 1818 to 1822.

Note:  The First Congregational Church, Manchester, Vermont, is an affiliate of the United Church of Christ.

Haynes served as the pastor of South Granville Congregational Church, South Granville, New York, from 1822 to 1833.  There he remained until, at the age of 80 years, he died of natural causes on September 20, 1833.

Note:  As far as I can tell, based on its website, South Granville Congregational Church is independent.

Above:  Lee-Oatman Cemetery

Image Source = Google Earth

Haynes’s legacy continues.  His mortal remains rest in the Lee-Oatman Cemetery, between South Granville and Granville, New York.  His home in South Granville is a National Historic Landmark.  The current edifice of the South Granville Congregational Church slightly postdates Haynes’s lifetime.  Next to that building sits the Haynes House of Hope, where up to two terminally ill people may live.  The legacy of Lemuel Haynes also persists anywhere Christians resists racism and confront hypocrisy.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 7, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS RALPH MILNER, ROGER DICKINSON, AND LAWRENCE HUMPHREY, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS, 1591

THE FEAST OF FRANCIS FLORENTINE HAGEN, U.S. MORAVIAN MINISTER AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF SAINT HEDDA OF WESSEX, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF LEO SOWERBY, EPISCOPAL COMPOSER AND “DEAN OF CHURCH MUSIC”

THE FEAST OF THOMAS HELMORE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND ARRANGER AND COMPOSER OF HYMN TUNES

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Almighty God, we praise you for the men and women you have sent

to call the Church to its tasks and renew its life [such as your servant Lemuel Haynes].

Raise up in our own day teachers and prophets inspired by your Spirit,

whose voices will give strength to your Church and proclaim the reality of your kingdom;

through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:35-45

–Adapted from Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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Feast of John Hines (July 19)   1 comment

Above:  The Flag of The Episcopal Church

Photograph by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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JOHN ELBRIDGE HINES (OCTOBER 10, 1910-JULY 19, 1997)

Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church and Witness for Civil Rights

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Justice is the corporate face of love.

John Hines, 1981

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John Elbridge Hines will probably receive his pledge on The Episcopal Church’s calendar eventually.  The appendix to A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  A Calendar of Commemorations (2016) lists him as one of those

people worthy of commemoration who do not qualify under the “reasonable passage of time” guideline.

–Page A3

That makes sense as a denominational policy.  Nevertheless, more than a reasonable amount of time has passed for inclusion on my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.

John Elbridge Hines was a prophet, in the highest sense of that word.  He, born in Seneca, South Carolina, on October 10, 1910, graduated from The University of the South then from Virginia Theological Seminary.  Our saint, ordained during the Great Depression, served in the Diocese of Missouri for a few years, during which he imbibed deeply of Social Christianity.  He also married Helen Orwig (1910-1996).  The couple had five children.  As the Rector of St. Paul’s Church, Augusta, Georgia, from 1937 to 1941, Hines was an outspoken critic of racial segregation.  Our saint’s final parish (from 1941 to 1945) was Christ Church, Houston, Texas.

Hines was a bishop most of his life.  From 1945 to 1955 he was the Bishop Coadjutor of Texas; then he was the Bishop of Texas for another nine years.  In Texas Hines helped to found the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the West, in Austin, in 1953.  He also integrated schools.  Then, in 1965, at the age of 54 years, Hines became the Presiding Bishop of the denomination.

Change was in the air, and much of that change was morally correct yet no less jarring and offensive to many.  Civil rights for African Americans were difficult for many white Americans to accept, for racism ran deeply.  Likewise, feminism was challenging patriarchy, which also ran deeply.  The Episcopal Church, long known as “the Republican Party at prayer,” was engaging the winds of change.  Many of the leaders were liberal–pro-civil rights, pro-equal rights for women.  Elements of the church resisted these changes, however.  Hines, with his social conscience fully engaged with regard to race, gender, and economics, had to contend with much strong opposition within The Episcopal Church.  He built on the legacies of his two immediate predecessors–Henry Knox Sherrill (1947-1958) and Arthur Carl Lichtenberger (1958-1964).

Much of what was revolutionary in 1965-1974 became mainstream subsequently.  The new Presiding Bishop marched at Selma, Alabama, in 1965; that was a controversial decision.  In 1971 Hines led a campaign to divest from South Africa, a proposition that aroused much opposition in much of U.S. Right Wing as late as the early 1990s.  In the 1980s, when President Ronald Reagan, who told Archbishop Desmond Tutu that the dark-skinned majority of South Africa would have to wait for their rights, Reagan opposed divestment.  Yet, according to Tutu, divestment was crucial to ending Apartheid.  Hines also favored expanding roles for women in the church–including as lectors, as delegates to the General Convention, and as deacons, priests, and bishops.  He retired in 1974, just as the dispute over the ordination of women as priests became more of an issue.  Also, there were no female bishops in The Episcopal Church or the wider Anglican Communion until 1989.  for a few years after that the election and consecration of a female bishop was a major story in the ecclesiastical press.  As of 2018, however, it has become routine.  Hines also presided over the early stages of liturgical revision, early steps toward The Book of Common Prayer (1979), a volume objectionable to many conservatives at the time, as now.  Some of them found all or much of this change so offensive that they committed schism from The Episcopal Church.  Then many of them committed schism from each other, hence the confusing organizational mess that is Continuing Anglicanism in the United States.  Many of the allegedly theologically pure were apparently purer than others of their number.  Donatism ran amok and became cannibalistic.  (I, an ecclesiastical geek, have a long attention span and a tendency to pay attention to minor details, but even I find divisions in Continuing Anglicanism confusing.  Most of the divisions are over minor theological points, actually.  Collegiality, one of the great traditions of Anglicanism, is in short supply.)

Hines, invoking hindsight, was honest about the lofty goals and mixed legacy of the General Convention Special Program (GCSP), created in 1967.  The GCSP awarded grants, with the purpose of fostering racial justice, economic justice, and self-determination.  One of the conditions for a grant was not to advocate for violence.  The initial lack (in 1967-1970) of veto power by the local bishop was an especially controversial point.  In 1970 the establishment of that veto power, with a mechanism for overriding it, meant that no grants led to embarrassing headlines, as during the first three years of the program.  The GCSP, cut back in 1973, did not survive the 1970s.  After 1973, however, funding for work among Hispanics and Native Americans increased.  Nevertheless, the damage from 1967-1970 was done.  Many people had left The Episcopal Church in protest, and many parishes and some dioceses had, for a few years, withheld funding from the national church.

Hines, who understood that the institutional quest for justice was important than complacent, oblivious tranquility and internal reconciliation, retired three years early, in 1974.  He and Helen moved to North Carolina before relocating to Texas in 1993.  She, aged 85 years, died on May 17, 1996.  Our saint, aged 86 years, died in Austin on July 19, 1997.

The legacy of John Elbridge Hines should remind us of the moral necessity of applying Christian principles to pressing social issues, of creating justice, and of recognizing our individual, collective, and institutional complicity in injustice.  His legacy should also remind us that strong opposition to confronting injustice exists even within the church, and that doing the right thing will often come at a high cost.  We must still do the right thing, though.  The legacy of Bishop Hines should teach us these lessons.  Whether it does is up to us.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 20, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE DAY OF PENTECOST, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALCUIN OF YORK, ABBOT OF TOURS

THE FEAST OF SAINTS COLUMBA OF RIETI AND OSANNA ANDREASI, DOMINICAN MYSTICS

THE FEAST OF JOHN ELIOT, “THE APOSTLE TO THE INDIANS”

THE FEAST OF SAINT ROSE HAWTHORNE LATHROP, FOUNDRESS OF THE DOMINICAN SISTERS OF HAWTHORNE

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Almighty God, we praise you for your servant John Elbridge Hines,

through whom you have called the church to its tasks and renewed its life.

Raise up in our own day teachers and prophets inspired by your Spirit,

whose voices will give strength to your church and proclaim the reality of your reign,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:35-45

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

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Feast of Blessed Jozef Puchala (July 19)   Leave a comment

Above:  Poland, 1914

Scanned and Cropped from Hammond’s World Atlas–Classics Edition (1957), H-36

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BLESSED JÓZEF PUCHALA (MARCH 18, 1911-JULY 19, 1943)

Polish Roman Catholic Franciscan Friar, Priest, and Martyr

Alternative feast day (as one of the 108 Martyrs of World War II) = June 12

Blessed Józef Puchala served God for most of his 32 years of life.  Our saint, born a subject of the Austro-Hungarian Empire on March 18, 1911, in Kosina, and baptized on the day of his birth, lived for most of his days in independent Poland, restored to sovereignty after World War I.

Above:  Poland at the Beginning of September 1939

Scanned and Cropped from Hammond’s New Era Atlas of the World (1945), 24

Puchala pursued a religious life.  In 1924 he matriculated at the minor seminary in Lwów/Lviv (now in Ukraine).  He made his vows as a Franciscan friar and became Achilles on May 22, 1932.  Ordination to the priesthood followed on July 5, 1936.  Puchala served at friaries in Grodno and Iwieniec.

Above:  Poland, 1941, Prior to the German Invasion of the Soviet Union

Scanned and Cropped from Hammond’s World Atlas–Classics Edition (1957), H-43

Then the European Theater of World War II started in September 1939.  Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned Poland, and the Gestapo began to persecute the Roman Catholic Church in the German-occupied zone.  This persecution created a shortage of priests to serve in parishes.  Puchala went into parish ministry in Pierszaje in early 1940.  Gestapo agents arrested and tortured our saint in 1943.  On July 19, 1943, they executed him to trapping him in a barn outside Borovikshchina/Borowikowszczyna (now in Belarus) then setting the structure on fire.

Pope St. John Paul II declared Puchala and Venerable then a Blessed in 1999.

Puchala knew that fidelity to Christ and his priestly vocation placed him in mortal danger yet took that risk anyway.  He took up his cross and followed Jesus, all the way to a burning barn.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 19, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JACQUES ELLUL, FRENCH REFORMED THEOLOGIAN AND SOCIOLOGIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT CELESTINE V, BISHOP OF ROME

THE FEAST OF SAINT DUNSTAN OF CANTERBURY, ABBOT OF GLASTONBURY AND ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

THE FEAST OF SAINT IVO OF KERMARTIN, ROMAN CATHOLIC ATTORNEY, PRIEST, AND ADVOCATE FOR THE POOR

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Gracious God, in every age you have sent men and women

who have given their lives in witness to your love and truth.

Inspire us with the memory of Blessed Józef Puchala,

whose faithfulness led to the way of the cross,

and give us courage to bear full witness with our lives to your Son’s victory over sin and death,

for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 20:40-42

Psalm 5

Revelation 6:9-11

Mark 8:34-38

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 59

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Feast of St. John Plessington (July 19)   2 comments

Above:  The Flag of England

SAINT JOHN PLESSINGTON (CIRCA 1637-1679)

Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr

Having written against the practice of professing Christians martyring each other, I permit the saint’s life to speak for itself.

St. John Plessington (circa 1637-1679) studied at St. Omer’s Monastery in France then at the English seminary at Valladolid, Spain.  Ordained a priest at Segovia, Spain, in 1662, the saint returned to his homeland the following year.  Until 1670 he lived under aliases and worked in the Cheshire area.  Then he became a tutor to the children of one Mr. Massey at Puddington Hall near Chester.  The end came in 1679, after an arrest on trumped-up charges of having participated in a plot (an imaginary one!) to assassinate King Charles II.  The saint’s real crime was to be a Roman Catholic priest.

On the gallows the saint made a historically accurate statement:

But I know it will be said that a priest ordained by authority from the See of Rome is, by the law of the nation, to die as a traitor.  But if that be so, what must become of all the clergymen of The Church of England?  For the first Protestant bishops had their ordination from those of the Church of Rome, or not at all, as appears by their own writers so that ordination comes derivatively from those not living.

I argue with the “Protestant” description, unless one considers any Christian who is neither Orthodox nor Roman Catholic to be Protestant.  But I, as an Episcopalian, am neither fish nor fowl.  I am more Catholic than Protestant without being Roman Catholic.  And I am more Protestant than Catholic without belonging to a communion descended from the era of the Protestant Reformation on the European mainland.  Anglicanism, with its Elizabethan origin, is the Via Media in Western Christianity.  And I acknowledge the historical connection to Roman Catholicism.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 18, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS DELPHINUS OF BORDEAUX, AMANDUS OF BORDEAUX, SEVERINUS OF BORDEAUX, VENERIUS OF MILAN, AND CHROMATIUS OF AQUILEIA, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS

THE FEAST OF ANSON DODGE, EPISCOPAL PRIEST

THE FEAST OF BERNARD MIZEKI, ANGLICAN CATECHIST AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF VERNARD ELLER, CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN THEOLOGIAN

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Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyr Saint John Plessington

triumphed over suffering and was faithful even to death:

Grant us, who now remember him with thanksgiving,

to be so faithful in our witness to you in this world,

that we may receive with him the crown of life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 51:1-12

Psalm 116 or 116:1-8

Revelation 7:13-17

Luke 12:2-12

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 714

Feast of Sts. Poemen, John the Dwarf, and Arsenius the Great (July 19)   3 comments

Above:  Egypt and Palestine in 395 Common Era

SAINT POEMEN (DIED CIRCA 450)

Roman Catholic Abbot

His feast transferred from August 27

mentor of

SAINT JOHN THE DWARF (BORN CIRCA 399)

Roman Catholic Monk

His feast transferred from October 17

mentor of

SAINT ARSENIUS THE GREAT (CIRCA 355-CIRCA 450)

Roman Catholic Monk

Each of these saints has a separate feast day on the Roman Catholic calendar, but to tell their collective story in one post makes much sense to me.  The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Our story begins with St. Poemen (died circa 450).  He and other hermits settled at Skete, in the Libyan desert.  In 408 Berber raids forced them to relocate.  So the hermits moved to the ruins of a pagan temple at Terenuthis, Egypt.  St. Poemen and Anubis, his brother, alternated as abbot until the latter died.  The saint loved austerity, insisted on the frequent taking of the Holy Eucharist, had a reputation for holiness, and uttered many pithy and wise sayings, for which he was famous.

St. Poemen mentored St. John the Dwarf (born circa 399).  Born into a poor family at Basta in Lower Egypt, St. John went into the desert while a young man.  There he met St. Poemen.  Initially conceited and short-tempered, St. John grew spiritually, became gentle and humble, and lived most of his life austerely.  Late in life he was so spiritually-minded as to be absent-minded.  St. John died at Mount Quolzum, where he had lived since Berber raids had forced him to leave Skete.

While preparing for this post I read that St. John was also a disciple of one St. Ammoes.  I can find no other information about this saint, certainly a holy hermit in the north African desert.  Undoubtedly his positive influence was evident in St. John’s spiritual maturation.

St. Arsenius the Great (circa 335-circa 450) tutored the Roman Emperors Arcadius (reigned in the East from 395 to 408) and Honorius (reigned in the West from 395 to 423), sons of Theodosius I “the Great” (reigned in the East from 379 to 395 and in the West from 392 to 395), for a decade.  Then he left Constantinople to live in a monastic community at Alexandria, Egypt.  From there he moved to Skete, where St. John the Dwarf taught him how to live a holy hermit.  St. Arsenius chose this life over the alternative, luxury.  Circa 434 Marizi tribal raids forced him to leave Skete.  So St. Arsenius moved to the rock of Troe, Memphis, Egypt, where he lived for a decade.  Later he spent time on the island of Canopus, near Alexandria, before returning to Troe, where he died.  St. Arsenius also wrote a commentary on the Gospel of Luke.

In the lives of these saints we see wisdom, holiness, humility, and erudition.  We also witness the opposite of materialism.  How much does one person need?  I can answer that question only for myself.  It is a question the answer to which I continue to seek.  And I encourage you, O reader, to seek your own answer with God’s help and direction.

Regardless of the personalized answer to that question, I am certain of one universal rule:  Rust, moths, and thieves cannot deprive us of intangible blessings.  St. Poemen, starting a chain reaction  of holiness, passed along such blessings. Maybe you, O reader, can identify someone who has blessed you intangibly.  And maybe you will bless others in the same way.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 18, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS DELPHINUS OF BORDEAUX, AMANDUS OF BORDEAUX, SEVERINUS OF BORDEAUX, VENERIUS OF MILAN, AND CHROMATIUS OF AQUILEIA, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS

THE FEAST OF ANSON DODGE, EPISCOPAL PRIEST

THE FEAST OF BERNARD MIZEKI, ANGLICAN CATECHIST AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF VERNARD ELLER, CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN THEOLOGIAN

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O God, by whose grace your servants

Saint Poemen,

Saint John the Dwarf, and

Saint Arsenius the Great,

kindled with the flame of your love,

became a burning and a shining light in your Church:

Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline,

and walk before you as children of light,

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Acts 2:42-47a

Psalm 133 or 34:1-8 or 119:161-168

2 Corinthians 6:1-10

Matthew 6:24-33

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 723

Saints’ Days and Holy Days for July   1 comment

Water Lily

Image Source = AkkiDa

1 (Lyman Beecher, U.S. Congregationalist and Presbyterian Minister, and Abolitionist; father of Harriet Beecher Stowe, U.S. Novelist, Hymn Writer, and Abolitionist; sister of Henry Ward Beecher, U.S. Presbyterian and Congregationalist Minister, and Abolitionist)

  • Antonio Rosmini, Founder of the Institute of Charity
  • Catherine Winkworth, Translator of Hymns; and John Mason Neale, Anglican Priest, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • John Chandler, Anglican Priest, Scholar, and Translator of Hymns
  • Pauli Murray, Civil Rights Attorney and Episcopal Priest

2 (Washington Gladden, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Hymn Writer, and Social Reformer)

  • Arthur Henry Messiter, Episcopal Musician and Hymn Tune Composer
  • Ferdinand Quincy Blanchard, U.S. Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Henry Montagu Butler, Educator, Scholar, and Anglican Priest
  • Jacques Fermin, Roman Catholic Missionary Priest

3 (Flavian and Anatolius of Constantinople, Patriarchs; and Agatho, Leo II, and Benedict II, Bishops of Rome; Defenders of Christological Orthodoxy)

  • Dionysius of Alexandria, Patriarch of Alexandria, and Church Father; Eusebius of Laodicea, Bishop of Laodicea; and Anatolius of Alexandria, Bishop of Laodicea
  • Heliodorus of Altinum, Associate of Saint Jerome, and Bishop of Altinum
  • Immanuel Nitschmann, German-American Moravian Minister and Musician; his brother-in-law, Jacob Van Vleck, U.S. Moravian Bishop, Musician, Composer, and Educator; his son, William Henry Van Vleck, U.S. Moravian Bishop; his brother, Carl Anton Van Vleck, U.S. Moravian Minister, Musician, Composer, and Educator; his daughter, Lisette (Lizetta) Maria Van Vleck Meinung; and her sister, Amelia Adelaide Van Vleck, U.S. Moravian Composer and Educator
  • John Cennick, British Moravian Evangelist and Hymn Writer

4 (Independence Day (U.S.A.))

  • Adalbero and Ulric of Augsburg, Roman Catholic Bishops
  • Charles Albert Dickinson, U.S. Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Elizabeth of Portugal, Queen and Peacemaker
  • Pier Giorgio Frassati, Italian Roman Catholic Servant of the Poor and Opponent of Fascism

5 (Anthony Mary Zaccaria, Founder of the Barnabites and the Angelic Sisters of Saint Paul)

  • George Nichols and Richard Yaxley, English Roman Catholic Priests and Martyrs, 1589; Humphrey Pritchard, Welsh Roman Catholic Martyr, 1589; and Thomas Belson, English Roman Catholic Martyr, 1589
  • Georges Bernanos, French Roman Catholic Novelist
  • Hulda Niebuhr, Christian Educator; her brothers, H. Richard Niebuhr and Reinhold Niebuhr, United Church of Christ Theologians; and Ursula Niebuhr, Episcopal Theologian
  • Joseph Boissel, French Roman Catholic Missionary Priest and Martyr in Laos, 1969

6 (John Wycliffe and Jan Hus, Reformers of the Church)

  • George Duffield, Jr., and his son, Samuel Duffield, U.S. Presbyterian Ministers and Hymn Writers
  • Henry Thomas Smart, English Organist and Composer
  • Josiah Conder, English Journalist and Congregationalist Hymn Writer; and his son, Eustace Conder, English Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Oluf Hanson Smeby, U.S. Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer

7 (Ralph Milner, Roger Dickinson, and Lawrence Humphrey, English Roman Catholic Martyrs, 1591)

  • Francis Florentine Hagen, U.S. Moravian Minister and Composer
  • Hedda of Wessex, Roman Catholic Bishop
  • Leo Sowerby, Episcopal Composer and “Dean of Church Music”
  • Thomas Helmore, Anglican Priest and Arranger and Composer of Hymn Tunes

8 (Gerald Ford, President of the United States of America and Agent of National Healing; and Betty Ford, First Lady of the United States of America and Advocate for Social Justice)

  • Albert Rhett Stuart, Episcopal Bishop of Georgia and Advocate for Civil Rights
  • Alice Paul, U.S. Quaker Women’s Rights Activist
  • Georg Neumark, German Lutheran Poet and Hymn Writer
  • Giovanni Battista Bononcini and Antonio Maria Bononcini, Italian Composers

9 (Augustus Tolton, Pioneering African-American Roman Catholic Priest in the United States of America)

  • Johann Rudolph Ahle and Johann Georg Ahle, German Lutheran Organists and Composers
  • Johann Scheffler, Roman Catholic Priest, Poet, and Hymn Writer
  • Martyrs of Gorkum, Holland, 1572
  • Robert Grant, British Member of Parliament and Hymn Writer

10 (Myles Horton, “Father of the Civil Rights Movement”)

  • Eumenios and Parthenios of Koudoumas, Monks and Founders of Koudoumas Monastery, Crete
  • Joseph of Damascus, Syrian Orthodox Priest and Martyr, 1860
  • Nicholas Spira, Roman Catholic Abbot
  • Rued Langgaard, Danish Composer

11 (Nathan Söderblom, Swedish Ecumenist and Archbishop of Uppsala)

  • David Gonson, English Roman Catholic Martyr, 1541
  • John Gualbert, Founder of the Vallombrosan Benedictines
  • Thomas Sprott and Thomas Hunt, English Roman Catholic Priests and Martyrs, 1600
  • Valeriu Traian Frentiu, Romanian Roman Catholic Bishop and Martyr, 1952

12 (JASON OF TARSUS AND SOSIPATER OF ICONIUM, COWORKERS OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE AND EVANGELISTS OF CORFU)

13 (Clifford Bax, Poet, Playwright, and Hymn Writer)

  • Alexander Schmorell, Russian-German Orthodox Anti-Nazi Activist and Martyr, 1943
  • Eugenius of Carthage, Roman Catholic Bishop
  • Johannes Renatus Verbeek, Moravian Minister and Composer
  • Peter Ricksecker, U.S. Moravian Minister, Missionary, Musician, Music Educator, and Composer; student of Johann Christian Bechler, Moravian Minister, Musician, Music Educator, and Composer; father of Julius Theodore Bechler, U.S. Moravian Minister, Musician, Educator, and Composer

14 (Justin de Jacobis, Roman Catholic Missionary Bishop in Ethiopia; and Michael Ghebre, Ethiopian Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr)

  • Camillus de Lellis, Italian Roman Catholic Priest and Founder of the Ministers of the Sick
  • Leon McKinley Adkins, U.S. Methodist Minister, Poet, and Hymn Writer
  • Matthew Bridges, Hymn Writer
  • Samson Occom, U.S. Presbyterian Missionary to Native Americans

15 (Bonaventure, Second Founder of the Order of Friars Minor)

  • Athanasius I of Naples, Roman Catholic Bishop
  • Duncan Montgomery Gray, Sr.; and his son, Duncan Montgomery Gray, Jr.; Episcopal Bishops of Mississippi and Advocates for Civil Rights
  • George Tyrrell, Irish Roman Catholic Modernist Theologian and Alleged Heretic
  • Swithun, Roman Catholic Bishop of Winchester

16 (Righteous Gentiles)

  • Catherine Louisa Marthens, First Lutheran Deaconess Consecrated in the United States of America, 1850
  • George Alfred Taylor Rygh, U.S. Lutheran Minister and Hymn Translator
  • Henry Williams, Anglican Missionary in New Zealand; his wife, Marianne Williams, Anglican Missionary and Educator in New Zealand; her sister-in-law, Jane Williams, Anglican Missionary and Educator in New Zealand; and her husband and Henry’s brother, William Williams, Anglican Bishop of Waiapu
  • Mary Magdalen Postel, Founder of the Poor Daughters of Mercy

17 (William White, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church)

  • Carmelite Martyrs of Compiègne, 1794
  • Bennett J. Sims, Episcopal Bishop of Atlanta
  • Nerses Lampronats, Armenian Apostolic Archbishop of Tarsus
  • R. B. Y. Scott, Canadian Biblical Scholar, Hymn Writer, and Minister

18 (Bartholomé de Las Casas, “Apostle to the Indians”)

  • Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, Anglican Dean of Westminster and Hymn Writer
  • Edward William Leinbach, U.S. Moravian Musician and Composer
  • Elizabeth Ferard, First Deaconess in The Church of England
  • Jessamyn West, U.S. Quaker Writer

19 (John Hines, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church)

  • John Plessington, Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr
  • Józef Puchala, Polish Roman Catholic Franciscan Friar, Priest, and Martyr
  • Lemuel Haynes, First Ordained African-American Minister
  • Poemen, Roman Catholic Abbot; and John the Dwarf and Arsenius the Great, Roman Catholic Monks

20 (Leo XIII, Bishop of Rome)

  • Ansegisus of Fontanelle, Roman Catholic Abbot
  • Flavian II of Antioch and Elias of Jerusalem, Roman Catholic Patriarchs
  • Samuel Hanson Cox, U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Abolitionist; and his son, Arthur Cleveland Coxe, Episcopal Bishop of Western New York, Hymn Writer, and Translator of Hymns
  • Vicar Earle Copes, U.S. Methodist Minister, Liturgist, Composer, and Organist

21 (Albert John Luthuli, Witness for Civil Rights in South Africa)

  • J. B. Phillips, Anglican Priest, Theologian, and Bible Translator
  • Stephen Theodore Badin, First Roman Catholic Priest Ordained in the United States of America, 1793
  • Wastrada; her son, Gregory of Utrecht, Roman Catholic Bishop of Utrecht; and his nephew, Alberic of Utrecht, Roman Catholic Bishop of Utrecht

22 (MARY MAGDALENE, EQUAL TO THE APOSTLES)

23 (Bridget of Sweden, Founder of the Order of the Most Holy Savior; and her daughter, Catherine of Sweden, Superior of the Order of the Most Holy Savior)

  • Albert Frederick Bayly, English Congregationalist then United Reformed Minister, Librettist, and Hymn Writer
  • Jane Holmes Dixon, Episcopal Suffragan Bishop of Washington and Bishop of Washington Pro Tempore
  • Philip Evans and John Lloyd, Roman Catholic Priests and Martyrs
  • Theodor Liley Clemens, English Moravian Minister, Missionary, and Composer

24 (Thomas à Kempis, Roman Catholic Monk, Priest, and Spiritual Writer)

  • Amalie Wilheimine Sieveking, Foundress of the Women’s Association for the Care of the Poor and Invalids
  • Flora MacDonald, Canadian Stateswoman and Humanitarian
  • John Newton, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Walter Rauschenbusch, U.S. Baptist Minister and Theologian of the Social Gospel

25 (JAMES BAR-ZEBEDEE, APOSTLE AND MARTYR)

26 (ANNE AND JOACHIM, PARENTS OF MARY OF NAZARETH)

27 (Brooke Foss Westcott, Anglican Scholar, Bible Translator, and Bishop of Durham; and Fenton John Anthony Hort, Anglican Priest and Scholar)

  • Christian Henry Bateman, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Johan Nordahl Brun, Norwegian Lutheran Bishop, Author, and Hymn Writer
  • Vincentia Gerosa and Bartholomea Capitanio, Cofounders of the Sisters of Charity of Lovere
  • William Reed Huntington, Episcopal Priest and Renewer of the Church; and his grandson, William Reed Huntington, U.S. Architect and Quaker Peace Activist

28 (Pioneering Female Episcopal Priests, 1974 and 1975)

  • Antonio Vivaldi, Italian Roman Catholic Priest, Composer, and Violinist
  • Isabella Graham, Scottish-American Presbyterian Educator and Philanthropist
  • Mechthild of Magdeburg, German Beguine, Mystic, and Nun; Mechthild of Hackeborn, German Mystic and Nun; and Gertrude the Great, German Mystic and Abbess of Helfta, Saxony
  • Nancy Byrd Turner, Poet, Editor, and Hymn Writer

29 (MARY, MARTHA, AND LAZARUS OF BETHANY, FRIENDS OF JESUS)

30 (Clarence Jordan, Southern Baptist Minister and Witness for Civil Rights)

  • Peter Chrysologus, Roman Catholic Bishop of Ravenna and Defender of Orthodoxy
  • Vicenta Chávez Orozco, Foundress of the Servants of the Holy Trinity and the Poor
  • William Pinchon, Roman Catholic Bishop

31 (Ignatius of Loyola, Founder of the Society of Jesus)

  • Franz Liszt, Hungarian Composer and Pianist, and Roman Catholic Priest
  • Helen Barrett Montgomery, U.S. Northern Baptist President, Social Reformer, Biblical Translator, and Supporter of Foreign Missions
  • Horatius Bonar, Scottish Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Marcel Denis, French Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr in Laos, 1961

Lowercase boldface on a date with two or more commemorations indicates a primary feast.

Proper 11, Year A   Leave a comment

Above:  Tares

Leaving Divine Judgment to God

The Sunday Closest to July 20

Seventh Sunday After Pentecost

JULY 19, 2020

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FIRST READING AND PSALM:  OPTION #1

Genesis 28:10-19a (New Revised Standard Version):

Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And the LORD stood beside him and said, “I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring; and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring. Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place– and I did not know it!” And he was afraid, and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

So Jacob rose early in the morning, and he took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. He called that place Bethel.

Psalm 139:1-11, 22, 23 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

1 LORD, you have searched me out and known me;

you know my sitting down and my rising up;

you discern my thoughts from afar.

You trace my journeys and my resting-places

and are acquainted with all my ways.

Indeed, there is not a word on my lips,

but you, O LORD, know it altogether.

You press upon me behind and before

and lay your hand upon me.

5 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;

it is so high that I cannot attain to it.

6 Where can I go then from your Spirit?

where can I flee from your presence?

If I climb up to heaven, you are there;

if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.

If I take the wings of the morning

and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

9 Even there your hand will lead me

and your right hand hold me fast.

10 If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me,

and the light around me turn to night,”

11 Darkness is not dark to you;

the night is as bright as the day;

darkness and light to you are both alike.

22 Search me out, O God, and know my heart;

try me and know my restless thoughts.

23 Look well whether there be any wickedness in me

and lead me in the way that is everlasting.

FIRST READING AND PSALM:  OPTION #2

Wisdom of Solomon 12:13, 16-19 (New Revised Standard Version):

For neither is there any god besides you,

whose care is for all people,

to whom you should prove that you have judged unjustly….

For your strength is the source of righteousness,

and your sovereignty over all causes you to spare all.

For you show your strength when people doubt the completeness of your power,

and you rebuke any insolence among those who know it.

Although you are sovereign in strength, you judge with mildness,

and with great forbearance you govern us;

for you have power to act whenever you choose.

Through such works you have taught your people

that the righteous must be kind,

and you have filled your children with good hope,

because they give repentance for sins.

Or This First Reading:

Isaiah 44:6-8 (New Revised Standard Version):

Thus says the LORD, the king of Israel,

and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts;

I am the first and I am the last,

besides me there is no god.

Who is like me?  Let them proclaim it,

let them declare and and set if forth before me.

Who has announced from of old the things to come?

Let them tell us what is yet to be?

Do not fear, or be afraid;

have I not told you from of old and declared it?

You are my witnesses!

Is there any god besides me?

There is no other rock; I know not one.

Then This:

Psalm 86:11-17 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

11 Teach me your way, O LORD,

and I will walk in your truth;

knit my heart to you that I may fear your Name.

12 I will thank you, O LORD my God, with all my heart,

and glorify your Name for evermore.

13 For great is your love toward me;

you have delivered me from the nethermost Pit.

14 The arrogant rise up against me, O God,

and a band of violent men seeks my life;

they have not set you before their eyes.

15 But you, O LORD, are gracious, and full of compassion,

slow to anger, and full of kindness and truth.

16 Turn to me and have mercy upon me;

give your strength to your servant;

and save the child of your handmaid.

17 Show me a sign of your favor,

so that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed;

because you, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me.

SECOND READING

Romans 8:12-25 (New Revised Standard Version):

Brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh– for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ– if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

GOSPEL READING

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 (New Revised Standard Version):

Jesus put before the crowd another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, `Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’ He answered, `An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, `Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he replied, `No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”

Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!”

The Collect:

Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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The reading from Genesis occurs also here:  http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/week-of-proper-9-monday-year-1/. I refer you, O reader, to that post for a different emphasis.

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The tares were probably darnel, a species of plant parasitic to wheat.  Darnel looks very much like wheat, with the distinction becoming clear beyond a shadow of a doubt when the ear develops.  So premature weeding of a wheat field containing darnel will lead to the destruction of wheat.

During the First Crusade (1096-1099) against the Muslims, many Crusaders killed Jews in Europe and Christians in Asia, as well as Muslims in many cities.  These Crusaders did all this in the name of God and Jesus.  They had a “kill them all and let God sort them out” mentality,” which is antithetical to divine compassion.

In 2002, in Statesboro, Georgia, I saw a horrifying bumper sticker.  It said, “KILL THEM ALL AND LET ALLAH SORT THEM OUT.”  Indignation over the attacks of September 11, 2001, was and is understandable, but nothing justifies the attitude in that bumper sticker.

Or shall I mention the Albigensian Crusade of 1209-1213, in which the Pope authorized mercenaries to slaughter the Cathar (Gnostic) heretics in France?  Men killed many people (not just Cathars and each other) and fought over land claims, to enrich themselves.  They did this in the name of God.

Who is darnel and who is wheat?  Do we even know which we are?  The parable from Matthew contains a powerful corrective lesson for those who presume to know the mind of God and to think they have the right to persecute and/or kill those they deem to be darnel.  Puritans in Seventeenth-Century New England hanged Quakers as a threat to society.  I think that the Quakers were the wheat and their executioners the darnel, but the Puritan authorities thought otherwise.  Alas, those who need to learn the lesson of this parable are the least likely to do so.

The Biblical texts, including those read this day, speak of divine judgment and mercy.  Both are attributes of God, who knows far more than we ever will.  And I dare say that God’s targeting is more exact than ours.  We tend to write people off when God gives them second, third, fourth, and fifth chances.  Consider Jacob, a schemer too clever for his own good and that of some people around him.  He had mystical encounters with God and matured spiritually, becoming the patriarch Israel, for whom the people and nation-state are named.  God did not write him off.  Jacob/Israel was wheat, not darnel, despite early appearances to the contrary.

There is great virtue in religious toleration and the separation of the state mechanisms and religious establishments.  When the church and the state (or the mosque and the state) become united, one becomes an arm of the other, which is detrimental.  James Madison, Father of the U.S. Constitution, believed fervently in the separation of church and state, mainly for the protection of the churches.  And theocracy is notoriously detrimental to dissenters, whom the establishment considers darnel.  But the theocrats act more like darnel than wheat–and always in the name of God.

As the Wisdom of Solomon 12:19 says, “…the righteous must be kind….”  A great part of righteousness consists of loving our neighbors as ourselves and leaving divine judgments to God alone.  Otherwise, we run the risk of doing more harm than good.  We need not pretend to agree with others when we disagree with them, but civilized people can differ without resorting to persecution and bloodshed.  Besides, we are mistaken about some points, too, and those with whom we disagree are partially correct as well.  The judgment in this matter resides only with God.

KRT

Published originally at ORDINARY TIME DEVOTIONS BY KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR on December 31, 2010