St Paul's | Chimes directory
February 6, 2005
At this time of year, in churchgoing circles, one hears conversations about what folks are going to give up as a Lenten sacrifice. These range from chocolate to meat to coffee to alcohol. Some folks take on a renewed commitment to spend time in prayer or scripture reading. Some folks will try to hold certain days as fast days and take no food at all. All these disciplines can be good and spiritually very rewarding. In a consumer culture like ours, it is important to take time and examine our relationship to the food we eat, and fasting from meals or abstaining from certain kinds of food and drink is a good way to do that. Taking on an added discipline of prayer or scripture reading can be a very renewing way to engage our faith during the Lenten preparation for Easter. It is important though, I think, to take on these varieties of Lenten observances as a joyful discipline and not a self-imposed punishment for our sins.
In Advent John the Baptist in the scripture invited us to "Bear fruit worthy of repentance" In Lent we joyfully put our hands to the task of answering that powerful call. I opened this piece with a quote from an Eastern Orthodox liturgy, because it shows this Lenten joy well. Lent is a spring, because it is a time when seeds of repentance become beautiful flowers of repentance as they are tended and nurtured by the spiritual disciplines which we take on. These disciplines are joyful works of renewal and not harsh repercussions for the sins we have built up since the previous Lent.
We take Lent seriously, because of the magnitude of the feast it precedes. We recall that we are dust and ash because the joy of Easter is that the body of death is transformed into a body of life. We recall that we are sinners because our Easter joy is that the bondage of sin has been broken. The goal of Lenten preparation is to cultivate an inner garden where these special joys of Easter can flourish when they come.
Please consider the broad spectrum of Christian Education offerings available this Lent. The information is enclosed in this edition of The Chimes for bible study, inquirers class, a variety of Sunday forum topics, and a flyer for a very special quiet day on March 19th with Br. Kevin Hackett, a member of the Society of St. John the Evangelist-a monastic order for men in the Episcopal Church. We invite you to use these offerings and attend these classes as part of whatever Lenten discipline you decide take on.
Most of all, be joyful in this Lenten spring and let us together give glory to God who is the Lover of humankind!
Canon Ethan Cole
ESCAPE OR RESPONSIBILITY
One of the most profoundly troubling aspects of the recent mania for End-times or Dispensationalist theology has to do with its practical implications. Holding a vision of Christianity and the future along the lines of the Left-behind theology, which I critiqued in a recent Chimes note, is not just an irrelevant addition to a Christian view of the world, like the question whether or not to celebrate Charles the First's execution as that of a martyr, but it is one that has an effect on the Christian's whole view of life and the world.
Apart from the question whether the notion of the Rapture and the millennial road-map are well grounded in the Bible and in Christian theology (a question, by the way, to which I would respond with a vigorous "No") there is the issue of how one should act in response to that theological vision if it is accepted. The answer here is fairly unambiguous.
In the first place, according to the Dispensationalists, one should support the state of Israel and its expansion into occupied Palestinian territories. That is because in the Dispensationalist world view, the state of Israel must exist and lead the way to the final conflict between the forces of Christ and the forces of Anti-Christ. In particular, Jesus, in the most popular End-times teaching, cannot return to earth until the Temple in Jerusalem is rebuilt, which necessitates the destruction of one of the most sacred Muslim Mosques. Of course, such a bizarre policy would result in a major conflict. But that is precisely what the Dispensationalists want. Please note that this has nothing to do with the right of Israel to exist as a nation, which all major Christian churches support. This has to do with a truly extremist belief held by a few marginal theologians but which has an audience because of the Left-behind novels and fundamentalist television networks which promote their views on a variety of shows.
In the second place, since most of the Dispensationalists believe that the End-times are here, there is no motive for any responsible ethical action by Christians to protect the environment or to support education or government or health care, etc. After all, if one believes, as these End-timers do, that any day now, according to the signs as they interpret them, they and their fellow Christians will be raptured away to heaven, why would there be any concern with those left behind or the world that they inhabit. According to their theology, those who are left behind will inevitably face only destruction, violence and catastrophe. If one believes that, what could possibly be the motivation to care for the environment, since it will be destroyed by divine action, or to be concerned with normal cultural or social activities as they will be plunged into a cosmic battle between the forces of Good and Evil.
From the point of view of most theologians and Biblical scholars this whole scheme is fantastic and rests on a wholly mistaken idea of God, of human free-will, of reason and, above all, of human responsibility. According to Christian doctrine, Christianity is not an escape from the hard work and rather unglamorous toil of reasoning and taking account of the results of science and historical research. Nor is it an escape from ethical responsibility for other human beings or for the earth as God's good creation.
Christianity is a religion that stresses the incarnation of the world of the Spirit and the responsibilities that that incarnation brings. It is emphatically not a religion that attempts to escape from these responsibilities into a fantasy world of divine timetables and cosmic wars. Whenever such a view was articulated in Christian history, as in Manichaeism, it was decisively rejected as a heresy. May we have the grace to recognize our responsibilities in our own day.
Rev. Dr. Max A. Myers
The Vestry meeting opened at 5:35 p.m. with devotions
led by Kristen Looney. Bishop Fricker reported that a Staff Development
day held on Tuesday, January 11th for all staff members was very successful.
Roger Seifert announced that the Profile committee has been formed and that it will begin meeting immediately. The Search committee for a new Dean is in place and will begin its work as soon as the Profile committee has completed its task.
Gilbert Hernandez, treasurer, gave an extensive Finance committee report. The Vestry will finalize the 2005 budget at the March Vestry meeting.
Acknowledgement was given to the outgoing Vestry members: Cheryl Fisher, Reid Heffner, Vanessa Scinta, and Gary Thomas; and Youth representatives Amy Keresztes and Stefana Scinta.
Compline was said at 7:15 followed by a Potluck Supper.
A new plaque has been installed in the Oratory Chapel commemorating a gift. It reads as follows:
The donor of this beautiful addition to St. Paul's Cathedral in 1934 was Mrs. Norman E. Mack. In 2004, her grandson, Norman E. Mack, II, rededicated it. Designed by Wilfred W. Anthony, Architect.
INTERGENERATIONAL PROJECT FOR
The Christian Education Committee is sponsoring the Pence
Can Project this Lent. On Sunday, February 6th, children, families,
and youth will be encouraged to take home a "pence can". Every
day during Lent when the family gathers together for a meal, we encourage
each person to share a blessing of the day, an intercession, or just
a highlight of their day at work, school or play. As people share, they
take turns putting coins into the "pence can".
BRING US YOUR CANS fundraiser. Tired of taking your pop cans to the
store for a refund? Bring them to church on Sunday, and the choirs will
take them in for you. All monies will go into the general fund for all
of the choirs.
IF you are a Parishioner of St. Paul's and an active volunteer with a Western New York charity, you may request a grant for your charity with the Hunger/Outreach Committee. St. Paul's wants to help your mission. Contact Greg Kay, the Cathedral Office, or any member of the Hunger/Outreach Committee for details.
The Robert Burns Supper has been rescheduled due to bad weather to Saturday, February 12th from 7:00 - 9:00 pm in the Walker Room. Kilts will be worn, bagpipes will be played, swords will be drawn, and there is room for more people. This is a Place At the Table event with a $20.00 donation. The funds raised at this event support the mission of St. Paul's.
Pancake Breakfast, February 6, to benefit the Choir will be served
from 8:00 to 1:00. $6-adults; $4-youth 6-16, 5 yrs. and under - free.
Be sure to join us in this pre-Lenten tradition!
There will be an Archives Meeting on Tuesday, February 8, 2005, 7 pm in the Archives on the top floor of the parish house. New members, as well as anyone who is interested in seeing our collection, are welcome to attend.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED to serve at Friends of Night People - We are forming Serving Teams for each month of the next six months, beginning Sunday February 6th.We need seven volunteers per month. Please contact Greg Kay AT 773-7743 if you wish to serve. To form a Serving Team with friends in and/or out of the Cathedral let us know.
THE ROAD TO RESURRECTION:
PRAYING WITH JESUS
We are thrilled to announce that Brother Kevin Hackett,
will join us Palm Sunday weekend, March 19th and 20th. Brother Kevin
Hackett, SSJE, is a member of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist,
a monastic community for men in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican
Church of Canada. Br. Kevin is a priest, spiritual director, and retreat
leader; he presently has oversight of the monastery's worship life in
his capacity as Precentor.
February 6: The Pence Can Project: The dinner table, spare change, grace, family fundraising. Started in The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago back in the 1960's, a Pence Can is a Calumet Baking Powder can transformed into a bank for spare change. This is an intergenerational Lenten event.
February 13: Our Lenten Adult Forum Series will focus on the music, art and architecture of the church, we will begin with a look at traditional church music-maybe we can find out what hymns made the cut for the choir's CD?!
Monday Evenings at the Cathedral This VERY popular gathering returns in Lent-we will begin with a family-friendly discussion of the history of kissing! Join us for crafts, food and light-hearted look at Love Romance and Kissing, on Monday February 14th beginning at 5:45 pm in the Walker Room!
NEW MOTHERS' GROUP
Are you a mom with a baby or toddler? We know how hard it is for you
to get to church some Sundays
to get your child dressed, fed, get
the diaper bag packed with snacks, toys, and then the inevitable frantic
search for the binkey or blanky before you leave the house. It feels
like a miracle when you have actually arrived at church!
Wednesday, 2 February, is the feast of Candlemas, or the Presentation of our Lord Jesus Christ, and evensong will be offered at 5:45 pm by the Girl Choristers of the Cathedral Choirs. The liturgy will include the Candlemas Ceremony, which takes the form of a procession with plainsong and the lighting of candles.
According to the Mosaic law, a mother who had given birth to a boy was considered unclean for 7 days; moreover she was to remain 33 days "in the blood of her purification"; for a girl baby, the time which excluded the mother from sanctuary was doubled. When the time (40 or 80 days) was over, the mother was to "bring to the temple a lamb for a holocaust and a young pigeon or turtle dove for sin"; the priest prayed for her and so she was cleansed (Leviticus 12:2-8). Forty days after the birth of Jesus, Mary complied with this precept of the law. She redeemed her first-born from the temple (Numbers 18:15), and was purified by the prayer of Simeon the Just (Luke 2:22).
Exactly a week later, on Wednesday 9 February, we will observe Ash Wednesday with a Choral Eucharist at 5:45. The music will include Allegri's magical setting of Psalm 51, the 'Miserere mei'.
Organ Recital: Michael Bloss, Organist of St James' Cathedral, Toronto,
will present a recital in the cathedral after Choral Evensong on Sunday
20 February 2005. The concert will start at approximately 5:30 pm. Tickets
are available before or after Evensong for $10 ($5 students/children).
Michael's program includes Hindemith's Third Sonata and Vierne's Fifth
Symphony. Please join us for a very special concert by Canada's foremost
Welcome to Brian Horne, Bass-Baritone, who joins the Men of the Cathedral Choirs. Brian is a recent Theater Arts graduate of SUNY Fredonia and is a singing pupil of Gerald Grey. Congratulations to Doug Giordano who gained his surplice and to Michael Gorham and Timothy Stachowiak who have been made Senior Choristers. Jonathan Gidley has been promoted to Templeton Chanter.
Thanks to a generous donation from a parishioner, Boston-based organ consultant Jonathan Ambrosino was able to made a visit to St Paul's in October 2004 to inspect the cathedral organs. Jonathan has an international reputation as a consultant and is a specialist in the organs of the 19th and early 20th centuries. He has recently presented an excellent report, included in which are short- and long-term strategies for the care of the instruments. Please talk to one of the cathedral organists if you are interested in further information.
The music department website has been updated. Please visit us at http://musicatstpauls.org
SUNDAY, February 6
8:00 am Eucharist
12:15 Confirmation Class begins
AT THE CATHEDRAL THIS WEEK
Tuesday, Feb. 8,
ASH WEDNESDAY, Feb. 9
Thursday, Feb. 10,
Friday, Feb. 11,
Saturday, Feb. 12
SUNDAY, February 13
8:00 am Eucharist
12:15 Confirmation Class
AT THE CATHEDRAL THIS WEEK
Monday, Feb. 14,
Tuesday, Feb. 15,
Wednesday, Feb. 16,
Thursday, Feb. 17,
Friday, Feb. 18,
Saturday, Feb. 19,
The mission of St. Paul's Cathedral is to offer hospitality, healing and hope in the Name of Jesus Christ, in the City of Buffalo and the Diocese of Western New York.
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