Archive for the ‘September 6’ Category

Feast of Charles Fox (September 6)   Leave a comment

Above:  Map of New Zealand and Melanesia, 1958

Image Scanned and Cropped from Hammond’s World Atlas–Classics Edition (1958)



Anglican Missionary in Melanesia

A New Zealand Prayer Book (1989), of The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia, lists September 6 as the feast of “Charles Fox, Scholar, Missionary, 1977.”

Charles Fox, an Anglican priest, was a missionary in Melanesia.  He was the longest-serving expatriate missionary in the Solomon Islands, regardless of denominational affiliation.  He served in Oceania for 71 years (1902-1973).

Fox, a native in England, grew up in New Zealand.  Our saint, born in Stalbridge, England, on October 1, 1878, was a son of Canon John Eliot Fox and Emma Phillips.  Fox and his family moved to New Zealand in 1884.  Our saint was physically frail, especially when very young, so home-schooling was initially necessary.  Later he studied at Napier Boys’ High School, Napier, then at the University of New Zealand, Auckland (B.A. in geology then M.A. in theology).

Fox discerned his vocation to missionary work in the 1890s then acted accordingly.  In 1895 our saint, still in school, met a cricket team of Melanesian boys.  He resolved to serve as a missionary to Melanesians.  Years later, after a brief stint as a science teacher in New Zealand, Fox joined the Melanesian Brotherhood at Norfolk Island (east of Australia and north of New Zealand) in 1902.  He took Holy Orders the following year.

Above:  Map Showing Norfolk Island

Fox was initially a teacher at St. Barnabas School, Norfolk Island, the Brotherhood’s main school.

Above:  Map Showing Norfolk Island, New Caledonia, and the New Hebrides

Then Fox spent a few moths on Mota Island, in the New Hebrides.

Above:  Map Showing the Solomon Islands

Next Fox went to Pamua, on Makira Island/San Cristobal Island, in the Solomon Islands.  There he remained until 1905, when he returned to teach on Norfolk Island.  From 1908 to 1918 our saint lived and worked on Makira Island/San Cristobal Island again.  There he opened St. Michael’s School, the first boarding school in the Solomon Islands, in 1911.  The setting was dangerous during the early years; guards were necessary, to protect staff and students from bushmen who beheaded victims.  On the island Fox also became an adopted member of the Arosi tribe and a member of the chief’s household.  Our saint’s exchange name was ‘Takibaina.”  Due to Fox’s short stature, his nickname was “Kakamora.”

Fox earned his Ph.D. in literature from the University of New Zealand in 1922 for his ethnographic study of the Arosi region of Makira Island/San Cristobal Island.

In 1922 the Melanesia Mission closed St. Barnabas School, Norfolk Island, and established its new main school, All Hallows’ School, Pawa, Ugi Island, Solomon Islands.  (Ugi Island is a small isle north of Makira Island/San Cristobal Island.)  From 1924 to 1932 Fox served as the principal of the school.

Fox remained a priest in Melanesia.  In 1932 he declined an opportunity to become the Bishop of Melanesia.  He served at Guadalcanal (1933-1944) then Malaita (1944-1950).  While on Malaita Island Fox served as a coast watcher during World War II.  He also paid pastoral and sacramental visits to villages in the jurisdiction of the anti-colonial Maasina Rule (1944-1952) when his bishop refused to do so.  From 1950 to 1952 Fox was the principal of the diocesan catechists’ school.  He, briefly the chaplain at the headquarters of the Diocese of Melanesia in 1952, went on to serve as the chaplain of the Melanesian Brotherhood at the school at Tabalia in 1952-1954.  Fox, from 1956 the Canon of Melanesia, was again a chaplain, based at Taroaniara, from 1968 to 1970.

Fox retired to New Zealand in 1973.  He, a Member of the Order of the British Empire since 1952, became a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1974.  He died in Waipukurau, New Zealand, on October 28, 1977.  He was 99 years old.

Fox’s legacy included not just the usual fruits of missionary work, but also books about the Solomon Islands and dictionaries of several islands.





Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Charles Fox,

whom you called to preach the Gospel in the Solomon Islands.

Raise up in this and every land evangelists and heralds of your kingdom,

that your Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Isaiah 52:7-10

Psalm 96 or 96:1-7

Acts 1:1-9

Luke 10:1-9

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 716


Devotion for Labor Day (U.S.A.)   1 comment

Above:  Labor Day, by Samuel D. Ehrhart

Published in Puck Magazine, September 1, 1909

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsca-26406

Affirming the Dignity of Work in Words and Deeds



The Book of Common Prayer (1979) contains a collect and assigned readings for Labor Day.

Interdependence is a cardinal virtue in the Law of Moses.  Interdependence is also obvious, or should be.  Somehow, especially in the global West, the idea of rugged individualism persists.  Yet, no matter how hard or well one works, one drives on roads other people built, relies on technology other people invented or maintain, and depends on many other people might guess at first thought.  Anyone who can read this post with comprehension relies on hosts of educators, for example.

As I affirm that I depend on the work of others, just as others depend on my work, I also affirm the dignity of work.  Therefore, I argue for certain propositions:

  1. Nobody should have to work in a death trap or a sweatshop;
  2. All wages should be living wages;
  3. People should work to live, not live to work;
  4. Union organizing and collective bargaining should be inviolable rights; and
  5. Access to affordable, quality health care is an inalienable right.

Nobody has a moral right to exploit anyone else.  No institution has a moral right to exploit any person.  After all, people should be more important than profits.

Furthermore, all work should benefit societies or communities.  By this standard most jobs pass the test.  We need plumbers and bus drivers, for example, but we also need actors, poets, and novelists.  In a just world teachers, librarians, police officers, and fire fighters would be some of the best paid professionals, but that is not the world in which we live, unfortunately.  It can be, however.  A society is what its members make it.  Sufficient force of public opinion, applied well, changes policies.  The major obstacle to positive social change is resignation to the current reality.

Furthermore, the best kind of work is also indistinguishable from play.  Work ought not only to provide financial support for one but also fulfill intangible needs.  Work, at its best, is something one who performs it enjoys.  Work should improve, not detract from, one’s quality of life.

Work does, of course, assume many forms, at home and out like the home.  One should never forget that a stay-at-home parent is a working parent.  One should never forget that one who leaves the labor force to become a caregiver for a relative is still working, just without wages.  One should acknowledge that those who, for various reasons, cannot join the labor force, are valuable members of society, and that many of them can contribute greatly to society, if others will permit them to do so.  Whenever a society holds back any of its members, it prevents itself from achieving its potential.

May we remember also that, as valuable as work is, rest and leisure are vital also.  Ideally one will balance the three properly.  We know that the brain requires a certain amount of sleep–especially REM sleep–to function properly.  We know that the correct amount of rest is necessary for the body to function properly.  We know that leisure makes for better employees.

Work, at its best, is a gift from God.  It is a gift for divine glory and the meeting of human needs.  Work, at its best, builds up (sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively) individuals, families, communities, societies, nation-states, and the world.  One’s work, at its best, is a vocation from God; it occupies the intersection of one’s greatest joys and the world’s deepest needs.

May you, O reader, find your work fulfilling in every way.





Almighty God, you have so linked our lives with one another

that all we do affects, for good or ill, all other lives:

So guide us in the work we do, that we may do it not for self alone, but for the common good;

and, as we seek a proper return for our own labor,

make us mindful of the rightful aspirations of other workers,

and arouse our concern for those who are out of work;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Ecclesiasticus/Wisdom of Sirach 38:27-32

Psalm 107:1-9 or 90:1-2, 16-17

1 Corinthians 3:10-14

Matthew 6:19-24

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), 261, 932


We invoke thy grace and wisdom, O Lord, upon all men of good will

who employ and control the labor of men.

Amid the numberless irritations and anxieties of their position,

help them to keep a quite and patient temper,

and to rule firmly and wisely, without harshness and anger.

Since they hold power over the bread, the safety, and the hopes of the workers,

may they wield their power justly and with love,

as older brothers and leaders in the great fellowship of labor.

Suffer not the heavenly light of compassion for the weak and the old to be quenched in their hearts.

When they are tempted to sacrifice human health and life for profit,

do thou strengthen their will in the hour of need,

and bring to nought the counsels of the heartless.

May they not sin against thee by using the bodies and souls of men as mere tools to make things.

Raise up among us employers who shall be makers of men as well as of goods.

Give us men of faith who will look beyond the strife of the present,

and catch a vision of a nobler organization of our work,

when all shall still follow the leadership of the ablest,

no longer in fear, but by the glad will of all,

and when all shall stand side by side in a strong and righteous brotherhood of work;

according to thy will in Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

–Evangelical and Reformed Church, Book of Worship (1947) 382-383


Ecclesiasticus/Wisdom of Sirach 38:24-34 or Nehemiah 2:1-18

Psalms 124 and 125 or 147

2 Timothy 2:1-15 or Matthew 7:15-27

–General Council of the Congregational Christian Churches in the United States, A Book of Worship for Free Churches (1948), 409



Feast of Joseph and Mary Gomer (September 6)   Leave a comment

Above:  Sierra Leone, 1951

Image Scanned from Hammond’s Complete World Atlas (1951), 94



husband of


U.S. United Brethren in Christ Missionaries in Sierra Leone

This feast comes to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days via Orlo Strunk, Jr., In Faith and Love (1968), a U.S. Methodist Sunday School resource for adults.  The volume profiles 11 people, including the then-recently deceased St. John XXIII, listed under this other name, Angelo Roncalli.  The book contains a biography of Joseph Gomer, but I extend this feast to include Mary Green Gomer, whose story comes bound up with that of her husband.  Unfortunately, little information about her is available.

The Gomers were the first African-American missionaries the former Church of the United Brethren in Christ (one of the predecessors of The United Methodist Church) commissioned.  For more than two decades the Gomers worked as missionaries in Sierra Leone, building the first successful relationship between Christianity and the people of Shenge, Sherbro Island, and laying the foundation for faith in members of generations alive today.

Joseph Gomer seemed like an unlikely choice for missionary work.  He, born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on July 20, 1834, grew up on a farm near Battle Creek, Michigan.  He attended school with white youth, but had to endure racist insults daily.  At the age of 16 years Gomer left home and moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he found a job in a furniture store.  In the Windy City our saint also joined the Church of the United Brethren in Christ.  During the Civil War he served as a cook in the U.S. Army.  After the war, on a steamboat from New Orleans, Louisiana, to Dayton, Ohio, Gomer met Mary Green, a widow traveling with her adolescent daughter to home in Chillicothe, Ohio.  The couple had become engaged to marry before the steamboat docked in Dayton.  That year they married in Third United Brethren Church, Dayton.  Joseph worked as a foreman in a large mercantile house.  His responsibilities were in the purview of measuring and fitting carpets.  The Gomers were active in Third Church, holding formal and informal leadership positions.  Joseph, for example, often had more than one title simultaneously.

The Gomers’ lives changed in 1870.  The denomination had established a mission on Sherbro Island, Sierra Leone, in the late 1850s.  The mission grew coffee and rubber trees.  After the missionary assigned there died in 1870, the Gomers applied to fill the vacancy.  They were lay members.  They were relatively uneducated and lacked missionary training.  Furthermore, the denomination had not yet commissioned any African-American missionaries.  The United Brethren commissioned the Gomers and sent them to Sherbro Island, however.  The Gomers sailed on November 8, 1870, and arrived in January 1871.

The challenges facing the Gomers were daunting, and their frustrations were also numerous and great.  For starters, they arrived at a mission post consisting of rundown buildings and few people who cared about the mission.  After all, there had been no missionary there most of a year.  Many of the local people thought of Christianity as a religion just for white people.  Competition among missionaries of various denominations was a drawback, and local feuding chiefs created civil strife.

Nevertheless, the Gomers accomplished much.  They introduced more efficient farming techniques, built a thriving industrial school, fought superstition and ignorance, eschewed denominational competition, convinced many locals that Christianity was a religion for Africans, converted many people, inspired people to repair buildings and construct new ones, and reconciled mutually hostile chiefs.  Mary focused on working with women and children.  Joseph became an ordained minister during his years as a missionary.  The Gomers cared about the people among whom they labored for the glory of God.  The couple’s skin color helped them to build relationships with people on Sherbro Island.  The Gomers served three terms in Sierra Leone, with breaks in the United States from November 1875 to November 1876 and from April 1889 to November 1889.

During the third term of service Joseph was planning to retire, given his failing health.  He never retired, for he died in Freetown on September 6, 1892.  He was 58 years old.

Mary retired from missionary service in May 1894.  Then she returned to Dayton, Ohio, where she died on December 1, 1896.

Men and women such as Joseph and Mary Gomer have been essential to the building up of the Church.

One lesson from the story of the Gomers is that sometimes the people best suited for a particular role are the ones who seem most unlikely.  As the Bible teaches, God qualifies the called.








Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servants Joseph Gomer and Mary Green Gomer,

whom you called to preach the Gospel to the people of Sherbro Island, Sierra Leone.

Raise up in this and every land evangelists and heralds of your kingdom,

that your Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Isaiah 52:7-10

Psalm 96 or 96:1-7

Acts 1:1-7

Luke 10:1-9

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 716


Feast of Aaron Robarts Wolfe (September 6)   1 comment


Image Source =


U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer

Aaron Robarts Wolfe, U.S. Presbyterian (New School) minister and educator, also wrote a few hymns.  He, born at Mendham, New Jersey, in 1821, graduated from Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, in 1844 and from Union Theological Seminary, New York, New York, seven years later.  Our saint, whom the Third Presbytery of New York licensed to preach in 1851, served as principal of a school for young women in Tallahassee, Florida, from 1852 to 1855.  Then he returned to the North, where he founded the Hillside Seminary for Young Ladies, Montclair, New Jersey, and served as its principal, retiring finally in 1872 due to ill health.

In 1858 Wolfe submitted seven hymns to Church Melodies:  A Collection of Psalms and Hymns, with Appropriate Music, edited by Thomas Hastings and Thomas S. Hastings.  I have added some of these texts to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.  The other titles were:

  1. “Draw Near, O Holy Love, Draw Near;”
  2. “How Blest Indeed are They;”
  3. “My God, I Thank Thee for the Guide;” and
  4. “Mysterious Influence Divine.”

One of Wolfe’s stanzas has stood out in my mind more than any other:

Complete in thee, each want supplied,

And no good thing to me denied,

Since thou my portion, Lord, wilt be,

I ask no more, complete in thee.

–from “Complete in Thee.”

Those words of trust in God speak to my life.








Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Aaron Robarts Wolfe and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20








Feast of Allan Crite (September 6)   Leave a comment

Douglass Square, Boston (1936), by Allan Crite



There are many gifts from God, and art is among them.  Allan Crite received this gift and shared with others.

When The Episcopal Church’s 2009 General Convention approved an overhaul and expansion of the denominational calendar of saints, it replaced the old Lesser Feasts and Fasts book (which became thicker with each successive edition) with Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010).  Page 708 of this volume is an appendix, a list of names of people who might join the calendar, given the passage of sufficient time.  This is where I found the name of Allan Crite.  The General Convention might wait to add him to the official calendar, but I wait no longer than today to add him to mine.

Crite spent almost all of his life in the Boston, Massachusetts, area, where he grew up attending St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, Cambridge.  Later, as an adult, he was an integral part of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Boston.  Crite, a liturgical artist, designed banners and vestments, painted bulletin covers, and drew stations of the cross.  Much of his work reflected the influence of African-American spirituals and urban settings.  During his long life Crite encouraged artists via various means, including the Artists Collective and the Allan Crite Research Institute, run out of his home.

How did Crite come to arrive at that point?

Crite’s father, Oscar, was an engineer.  His mother, Annamae, was a poet who encouraged her young and talented son to draw.  Crite studied at the Museum of Fine Arts, preferring to attend the school there rather than go to Yale, which had also accepted him.  He graduated in 1936, during the Great Depression, so he worked for Public Works Art Project then the Works Progress Administration, which paid him to paint.  This work was also important because his father, who had  suffered a stroke and become an invalid, died in 1937; somebody had to support Annamae.

From 1940 to 1970 Crite worked as a draftsman at the Boston Naval Shipyard.  It was steady work which enabled him to paint during his spare time.  Later, Crite worked at Grossman Library, Harvard University.

The port draftsman was a noted artist, for, as early as 1936, the Museum of Modern Art showed his work.  And today one can see his work at such noted places as the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Fine Arts (his alma mater), the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Corcoran Gallery of American Art.

Crite said of himself,

As a visual artist, I am in the communication business, as are all the disciplines of the arts:   the performing arts in music and drama, the written arts from poems, sagas, news items, and all the broadcast media, from talking drums to broadcast networks.  As a visual artist, I am part of that tradition, a storyteller of the drama of man.  This is my small contribution–to tell the African-American experience–in a local sense, of the neighborhood, and, in a larger sense, of its part in the total human experience.

Allan Crite did this well.  He found ways to live his vocation, to glory of God and the benefit of his fellow human beings.  May you, O reader, also live your vocation well, to the glory of God and benefit your fellow human beings.






I drew information from the following websites, which contain more details:


The collect for the feast is a slightly adapted version of that for “Artists & Writers,” from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 728.  The readings are those for this common of the saints.

Eternal God, light of the world and Creator of all that is good and lovely:

We bless your name for inspiring Allan Crite

and all those who with images and words

have filled us with desire and love for you;

through Jesus Christ our Savior,

who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 29:14b-19

Psalm 90:14-17

2 Corinthians 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

Saints’ Days and Holy Days for September   Leave a comment


Image Source = Wilder Kaiser

1 (Dionysius Exiguus, Roman Catholic Monk and Reformer of the Calendar)

  • David Pendleton Oakerhater, Cheyenne Warrior, Chief, and Holy Man, and Episcopal Deacon and Missionary in Oklahoma
  • Fiacre, Roman Catholic Hermit
  • François Mauriac, French Roman Catholic Novelist, Christian Humanist, and Social Critic

2 (Martyrs of New Guinea, 1942 and 1943)

  • David Charles, Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Dianna Ortiz, U.S. Roman Catholic Nun and Anti-Torture Activist
  • William of Roskilde, English-Danish Roman Catholic Bishop

3 (Jedediah Weiss, U.S. Moravian Craftsman, Merchant, and Musician)

  • Arthur Carl Lichtenberger, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, and Witness for Civil Rights
  • F. Crawford Burkitt, Anglican Scholar, Theologian, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • James Bolan Lawrence, Episcopal Priest and Missionary in Southwestern Georgia, U.S.A.
  • Sundar Singh, Indian Christian Evangelist

4 (Paul Jones, Episcopal Bishop of Utah, and Peace Activist; and his colleague, John Nevin Sayre, Episcopal Priest and Peace Activist)

  • Birinus of Dorchester, Roman Catholic Bishop of Dorchester, and the “Apostle of Wessex”
  • E. F. Schumacher, German-British Economist and Social Critic
  • Gorazd of Prague, Orthodox Bishop of Moravia and Silesia, Metropolitan of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, Hierarch of the Orthodox Church in Czechoslovakia, and Martyr, 1942
  • William McKane, Scottish Presbyterian Minister and Biblical Scholar

5 (Carl Johannes Sodergren, U.S. Lutheran Minister and Theologian; and his colleague, Claus August Wendell, Swedish-American Lutheran Minister and Theologian)

  • Athol Hill, Australian Baptist Biblical Scholar and Social Prophet
  • Teresa of Calcutta, Founder of the Congregation of the Missionaries of Charity
  • William F. Albright and G. Ernest Wright, U.S. Biblical Scholars and Archaeologists
  • William Morton Reynolds, U.S. Lutheran Minister, Episcopal Priest, Educator, and Hymn Translator

6 (Charles Fox, Anglican Missionary in Melanesia)

  • Aaron Robarts Wolfe, U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Allen Crite, Artist
  • Joseph Gomer and Mary Gomer, U.S. United Brethren Missionaries in Sierra Leone

7 (Beyers Naudé, South African Dutch Reformed Minister and Anti-Apartheid Activist)

  • Elie Naud, Huguenot Witness to the Faith
  • Hannah More, Anglican Poet, Playwright, Religious Writer, and Philanthropist
  • Jane Laurie Borthwick and Sarah Borthwick Findlater, Scottish Presbyterian Translators of Hymns
  • John Duckett and Ralph Corby, Roman Catholic Priests and Martyrs in England, 1644
  • Kassiani the Hymnographer, Byzantine Abbess, Poet, Composer, Hymn Writer, and Defender of Icons

8 (Nikolai Grundtvig, Danish Lutheran Minister, Bishop, Historian, Philosopher, Poet, Educator, and Hymn Writer)

  • Gottfried Wilhelm Sacer, German Lutheran Attorney and Hymn Writer; and Frances Elizabeth Cox, English Hymn Writer and Translator
  • Shepherd Knapp, U.S. Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Søren Kierkegaard, Danish Philosopher and Theologian, and Father of Existentialism
  • Wladyslaw Bladzinski, Polish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1944

9 (Martyrs of Memphis, Tennessee, 1878)

  • Francis Borgia, “Second Founder of the Society of Jesus;” Peter Faber, Apostle of Germany, and Co-Founder of the Society of Jesus; Alphonsus Rodriguez, Spanish Jesuit Lay Brother; and Peter Claver, “Apostle to the Negroes”
  • Lucy Jane Rider Meyer, Novelist, Hymn Writer, Medical Doctor, and Founder of the Deaconess Movement in the Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Sarah Mapps Douglass, U.S. African-American Quaker Abolitionist, Writer, Painter, and Lecturer
  • William Chatterton Dix, English Hymn Writer and Hymn Translator

10 (Alexander Crummell, U.S. African-American Episcopal Priest, Missionary, and Moral Philosopher)

  • Lynn Harold Hough, U.S. Methodist Minister, Theologian, and Biblical Scholar
  • Mordecai Johnson, Educator
  • Nemesian of Sigum and His Companions, Roman Catholic Bishops and Martyrs, 257
  • Salvius of Albi, Roman Catholic Bishop

11 (Paphnutius the Great, Roman Catholic Bishop of Upper Thebaid)

  • Anne Houlditch Shepherd, Anglican Novelist and Hymn Writer
  • Jean-Gabriel Perboyre, French Roman Catholic Priest, Missionary, and Martyr in China, 1840
  • John Stainer and Walter Galpin Alcock, Anglican Church Organists and Composers
  • Patiens of Lyons, Roman Catholic Archbishop

12 (Kaspar Bienemann, German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer)

  • Ernest Edwin Ryder, U.S. Lutheran Minister, Hymn Writer, Hymn Translator, and Hymnal Editor
  • Franciscus Ch’oe Kyong-Hwan, Korean Roman Catholic Catechist and Martyr, 1839; Lawrence Mary Joseph Imbert, Pierre Philibert Maubant, and Jacques Honoré Chastán, French Roman Catholic Priests, Missionaries to Korea, and Martyrs, 1839; Paul Chong Hasang, Korean Roman Catholic Seminarian and Martyr, 1839; and Cecilia Yu Sosa and Jung Hye, Korean Roman Catholic Martyrs, 1839
  • William Josiah Irons, Anglican Priest, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator; and his daughter, Genevieve Mary Irons, Roman Catholic Hymn Writer

13 (Peter of Chelcic, Bohemian Hussite Reformer; and Gregory the Patriarch, Founder of the Moravian Church)

  • Frederick J. Murphy, U.S. Roman Catholic Biblical Scholar
  • Godfrey Thring, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Jane Crewdson, English Quaker Poet and Hymn Writer
  • Narayan Seshadri of Jalna, Indian Presbyterian Evangelist and “Apostle to the Mangs”
  • Robert Guy McCutchan, U.S. Methodist Hymnal Editor and Hymn Tune Composer


15 (Martyrs of Birmingham, Alabama, September 15, 1963)

  • Charles Edward Oakley, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer
  • George Henry Trabert, U.S. Lutheran Minister, Missionary, and Hymn Translator and Author
  • James Chisholm, Episcopal Priest
  • Philibert and Aicardus of Jumieges, Roman Catholic Abbots

16 (Cyprian of Carthage, Bishop and Martyr, 258; and Cornelius, Lucius I, and Stephen I, Bishops of Rome)

  • James Francis Carney, U.S.-Honduran Roman Catholic Priest, Missionary, Revolutionary, and Martyr, 1983
  • Martin Behm, German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer

17 (Jutta of Disibodenberg, Roman Catholic Abbess; and her student, Hildegard of Bingen, Roman Catholic Abbess and Composer)

  • Zygmunt Szcesny Felinski, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Warsaw, Titutlar Bishop of Tarsus, and Founder of Recovery for the Poor and the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of the Family of Mary
  • Zygmunt Sajna, Polish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1940

18 (Dag Hammarskjöld, Secretary-General of the United Nations)

  • Amos Niven Wilder, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Poet, Literary Critic, and Biblical Scholar
  • Edward Bouverie Pusey, Anglican Priest
  • Henry Lascelles Jenner, Anglican Bishop of Dunedin, New Zealand
  • Henry Wellington Greatorex, Anglican and Episcopal Organist, Choirmaster, and Hymnodist
  • John Campbell Shairp, Scottish Poet and Educator

19 (Gerard Moultrie, Anglican Priest, Hymn Writer, and Translator of Hymns)

  • Clarence Alphonsus Walworth, U.S. Roman Catholic Priest, Poet, Hymn Translator, and Hymn Writer; Co-Founder of the Missionary Society of Saint Paul the Apostle (the Paulist Fathers)
  • Emily de Rodat, Founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family of Villefranche
  • Walter Chalmers Smith, Scottish Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer
  • William Dalrymple Maclagan, Archbishop of York and Hymn Writer

20 (Henri Nouwen, Dutch Roman Catholic Priest and Spiritual Writer)

  • Elizabeth Kenny, Australian Nurse and Medical Pioneer
  • John Coleridge Patteson, Anglican Bishop of Melanesia, and His Companions, Martyrs, 1871
  • Marie Therese of Saint Joseph, Founder of the Congregation of the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus
  • Nelson Wesley Trout, First African-American U.S. Lutheran Bishop


22 (Philander Chase, Episcopal Bishop of Ohio, and of Illinois; and Presiding Bishop)

  • C. H. Dodd, Welsh Congregationalist Minister, Theologian, and Biblical Scholar
  • Charlotte Elliott, Julia Anne Elliott, and Emily Elliott, Anglican Hymn Writers
  • Justus Falckner, Lutheran Pastor and Hymn Writer
  • Stephen G. Cary, U.S. Quaker Humanitarian and Antiwar Activist

23 (Francisco de Paula Victor, Brazilian Roman Catholic Priest)

  • Churchill Julius, Anglican Bishop of Christchurch, and Primate and Archbishop of New Zealand
  • Émelie Tavernier Gamelin, Founder of the Sisters of Providence
  • Jozef Stanek, Polish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1944

24 (Anna Ellison Butler Alexander, African-American Episcopal Deaconess in Georgia, and Educator)

  • Henry Hart Milman, Anglican Dean, Translator, Historian, Theologian, and Hymn Writer
  • Juvenal of Alaska, Russian Orthodox Martyr in Alaska, and First Orthodox Martyr in the Americas, 1796
  • Peter the Aleut, Russian Orthodox Martyr in San Francisco, 1815
  • Silouan of Mount Athos, Eastern Orthodox Monk and Poet

25 (Sarah Louise “Sadie” Delany, African-American Educator; her sister, Annie Elizabeth “Bessie” Delany, African-American Dentist; and their brother, Hubert Thomas Delany, African-American Attorney, Judge, and Civil Rights Activist)

  • Bernhard W. Anderson, U.S. United Methodist Minister and Biblical Scholar
  • Euphrosyne and her father, Paphnutius of Alexandria, Monks
  • Herman of Reichenau, Roman Catholic Monk, Liturgist, Poet, and Scholar
  • Judith Lomax, Episcopal Mystic and Poet
  • Sergius of Radonezh, Abbot of the Monastery of the Holy Trinity, Sergiyev Posad, Russia

26 (Paul VI, Bishop of Rome)

  • Frederick William Faber, English Roman Catholic Hymn Writer
  • John Bright, U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Biblical Scholar
  • John Byrom, Anglican then Quaker Poet and Hymn Writer
  • Joseph A. Sittler, U.S. Lutheran Minister, Theologian, and Ecumenist
  • Lancelot Andrewes, Anglican Bishop of Chichester then of Ely then of Winchester

27 (Francis de Sales, Roman Catholic Bishop of Geneva; Vincent de Paul, “The Apostle of Charity;’ Louise de Marillac, Co-Founder of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul; and Charles Fuge Lowder, Founder of the Society of the Holy Cross)

  • Edward McGlynn, U.S. Roman Catholic Priest, Social Reformer, and Alleged Heretic
  • Eliza Scudder, U.S. Unitarian then Episcopalian Hymn Writer
  • Joanna P. Moore, U.S. Baptist Missionary and Educator
  • Martyrs of Melanesia, 1864-2003
  • Thomas Traherne, Anglican Priest, Poet, and Spiritual Writer

28 (Jehu Jones, Jr., African-American Lutheran Minister)

  • Francis Turner Palgrave, Anglican Poet, Art Critic, and Hymn Writer
  • Joseph Hoskins, English Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Lorenzo Ruiz and His Companions, Roman Catholic Missionaries and Martyrs in Japan, 1637


30 (Honorius, Archbishop of Canterbury)

  • Mary Ramabai, Prophetic Witness and Evangelist in India
  • Richard Challoner, English Roman Catholic Scholar, Religious Writer, Translator, Controversialist, Priest, and Titular Bishop of Doberus


  • Labor Day


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

Proper 18, Year A   Leave a comment

Above: The Israelites Leaving Egypt, by David Roberts (1828)

Of Sin and Repentance

The Sunday Closest to September 7

Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost




Exodus 12:1-14 (New Revised Standard Version):

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the LORD. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD. The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.

Psalm 149 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):


Sing to the LORD a new song;

sing his praise in the congregation of the faithful.

2 Let Israel rejoice in his Maker;

let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.

3 Let them praise his Name in the dance;

let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.

For the LORD takes pleasure in his people

and adorns the poor with victory.

5 Let the faithful rejoice in triumph;

let them be joyful on their beds.

6 Let the praises of God be in their throat

and a two-edged sword in their hand;

To wreak vengeance on the nations

and punishment on the peoples;

To bind their kings in chains

and their nobles with links of iron;

9 To inflict on them the judgment decreed;

this is the glory for all his faithful people.



Ezekiel 33:7-11 (New Revised Standard Version):

You, mortal, I have made a sentinel for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, “O wicked ones, you shall surely die,” and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from their ways, the wicked shall die in their iniquity, but their blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn from their ways, and they do not turn from their ways, the wicked shall die in their iniquity, but you will have saved your life.

Now you, mortal, say to the house of Israel, Thus you have said: “Our transgressions and our sins weigh upon us, and we waste away because of them; how then can we live?” Say to them, As I live, says the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from their ways and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?

Psalm 119:33-40 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes,

and I shall keep it to the end.

34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep your law;

I shall keep it with all my heart.

35 Make me go in the path of your commandments,

for that is my desire.

36 Incline my heart to your decrees

and not to unjust gain.

37 Turn my eyes from watching what is worthless;

give me life in your ways.

38 Fulfill your promise to your servant,

which you make to those who fear you.

39 Turn away the reproach which I dread,

because your judgments are good.

40 Behold, I long for your commandments;

in your righteousness preserve my life.


Romans 13:8-14 (New Revised Standard Version):

Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet”; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.

Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.


Matthew 18:15-20 (New Revised Standard Version):

Jesus said, “If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

The Collect:

Grant us, O Lord, to trust in you with all our hearts; for, as you always resist the proud who confide in their own strength, so you never forsake those who make their boast of your mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


This Sunday’s readings pertain to sin, especially with in a faith community.  The community context is appropriate, for however appealing Western notions of individualism, especially when paired with Horatio Alger-like stories, are, people tend to overestimate them.  In reality, all of us live in community, for what one person does or does not do affects another and others directly and/or indirectly, for good or for ill.  We rise together and we fall together; we need to support each other for the common good.  The economic debacle arising from subprime mortgages has taught many lessons, including that one.

Sometimes we need deliverance from the sins of others.  That was the function of the blood of a Passover lamb in Exodus.  And the reading from Matthew discusses how to handle grievances among members of a faith community.  The offender receives more than one chance to restore peace before facing the penalty, which is ecclesiastical exile.  The common good is the chief end, with attempts to rehabilitate the offending party.

And sometimes the sin is one’s own.  Fortunately, God is present, offering forgiveness in exchange for repentance, that is the act of changing one’s mind, or, to state the matter differently, turning around.  Repentance is far more than apologizing, although nobody ought to underestimate the value of a sincere apology.  No, repentance is active.  And we humans ought to welcome repentance at least as much as God does.

Dare we try it?


Published originally at ORDINARY TIME DEVOTIONS BY KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR on March 12, 2011

Posted May 9, 2011 by neatnik2009 in Revised Common Lectionary Year A, September 6

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