Therefore, open your eyes, alert the ears of your spirit, open your lips and apply your heart so that in all creatures you may see, hear, praise, love and worship, glorify and honor your God. ~St. Bonaventure (13th century)
Do you have a special bond with your pet? Does your child or grandchild delight in the presence and company of your dog, your cat, your horse, your Iguana? As you come home from work or play: is your pet there to greet you (sometimes with a wagging tail or a sloppy kiss)? Then, come celebrate their presence in your life in a Blessing of the Animals at St. Hugh’s Episcopal Church on Saturday, October 7, 2017, at 9:00am.
We’ll gather outdoors on our Labyrinth. Please provide for the safety of your animals (dogs on leashes, cats, and smaller pets in carriers, birds in cages and so on). All pets are welcome. Even a Teddy Bear or other stuffed animal that “speaks” of a mutual love among creatures will be blessed for those children who want to present their special friend for a blessing. Pictures of beloved pets who don’t travel well are also welcome. It’s a celebration of the diversity of life and the lessons of love learned from our animal companions. All are welcome, you (and your animal companion) are invited.
We join with the people of God in fervent prayer that our country will honor those murdered and wounded in Las Vegas by joining in acts of repentance, healing, and public conversation about the gun violence that has ripped us apart, yet again.
Episcopal Relief & Development Provides Emergency Assistance to the British Virgin Islands after the Hurricanes
Episcopal Relief & Development is providing critical emergency supplies to the British Virgin Islands in collaboration with Convoy of Hope and the Episcopal Diocese of the Virgin Islands following the devastating impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Convoy of Hope is a faith-based humanitarian organization located in Missouri. The Episcopal Diocese of the Virgin Islands is present on St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John in the US Virgin Islands and Tortola and Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands.
Critical supplies, including food, two portable kitchens, two refrigeration containers, 350,000 gallons of drinking water, 9,900 gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel, tarps, plywood and nails as well as hygiene and infant care kits, arrived in Tortola on September 28th. Clergy and lay leaders of the diocese collaborated with Convoy of Hope staff to gather and allocate supplies and ensure that necessary items were shared with vulnerable families with the greatest needs.
“Distributions continue being coordinated with our church partners,” noted Abagail Nelson, Episcopal Relief & Development’s Senior Vice President for Programs. “The damage is catastrophic throughout the Virgin Islands and people are greatly in need of the most basic necessities. Getting supplies to people on Tortola and Virgin Gorda has been a particular challenge and working with Convoy of Hope together with the Episcopal leadership has been a blessing.”
Many residents are still without electricity, running water and telephone service, leaving them isolated after both hurricanes devastated the Virgin Islands. Homes, hospitals and other buildings were destroyed, roads damaged beyond repair, trees uprooted, and essential services wiped out by the ferocity of these storms. After Hurricane Irma made landfall in early September, Episcopal Relief & Development has been working closely with the Diocese of the Virgin Islands to provide immediate assistance where the Church has a presence. The islands rely heavily on tourism and with restaurants, docks and resorts destroyed, the path to recovery is expected to be a long one.
“Through our partnerships with the diocese and Convoy of Hope, we are offering emergency support to communities that have lost almost everything,” Nelson said. “There’s so much more work that needs to be done, and we are deeply committed to accompanying our partners on the long road ahead.”
Contributions to Episcopal Relief & Development’s Hurricane Relief Fund will help support church and other local partners as they provide critical emergency assistance to those most in need.
The Rt. Rev. James Steptoe Johnston, Bishop of the Missionary District of Western Texas (1888–1916), desired to provide education and skill development for newly emancipated blacks in the mission field. Bishop Johnston traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina, in search of a young, black, female teacher. In 1902, Ms. Artemisia Bowden courageously accepted Bishop Johnston’s invitation and assumed leadership of the St. Philip’s Vocational Day School for Colored Children in San Antonio, Texas.
She began with less than ten students. After leading the school for 52 years, a small day school was transformed into a fully accredited junior college offering over 100 degree and certificate programs. In 2016, St. Philip’s College has an enrollment of over 11,000 students. St. Philip’s College carries the dual designation of being a Historically Black College and a Hispanic Serving Institution Bowden’s work, which began more than 110 years ago, continues to be an essential piece of the educational system in South Texas.
Her participation in various social causes included the Texas Commission on Interracial Relations, the Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club, the City Federation of Clubs, the Southern Conference of Christians and Jews, the Coordination Council of Juvenile Delinquency in the Texas Social Welfare Association, the American Friends Service Commission, the Texas T.B. Association of Bexar County, and the National Association of College Women’s Clubs.
Her visionary leadership at St. Philip’s, as well as in the community, earned her honorary degrees, and recognition as one of ten outstanding women in the field of education by the National Council of Negro Women in 1946; she was honored as Zeta Phi Beta’s Woman of the Year in 1955. Dr. Bowden died in 1969, after a full and rich life of faith in Christ and fidelity to Christ’s Church, having served both the School and St. Philip’s Church in the Diocese of West Texas for more than sixty-seven years.
Great Cloud of Witnesses
Collect for this Remembrance
O God, by your Holy Spirit, you give gifts to your people so that they might faithfully serve your Church and the world: We give you praise for the gifts of perseverance, teaching, and wisdom made manifest in your servant, Artemisia Bowden, whom you called far from home for the sake of educating the daughters and granddaughters of former slaves in Texas. We thank you for blessing and prospering her life’s work, and pray that, following her example, we may be ever mindful of the call to serve where you send us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Here is an example of what faithful discipleship looks like. Here is our prayer to “be ever mindful of the call to serve where you [O God] send us.” Here is our request to be as faithful in our ministry. Surely our God will answer such a prayer and bless us for ministry. ~Fr. Dan
You, O God, have created every human being in your image
In the late sixteenth century, Sir Walter Raleigh established three colonies along the northeastern coast of what is now the state of North Carolina. In July 1587, the third and final settlement, consisting of 120 men, women, and children under the leadership of John White, landed on Roanoke Island, near the present-day community of Nags Head.
With the colonists was Manteo, a Native American of the Algonquian nation and resident of Croatoan who had traveled to London in an earlier expedition to become a liaison between the English and the Native Americans. On August 13, 1587, Manteo was baptized, the first recorded baptism of the Church of England in the American colonies and the first recorded baptism of a Native American person in the Church of England. On August 18, Governor White’s daughter Eleanor and her husband Ananias Dare celebrated the birth of their first child, Virginia. The first child born to English settlers on the North American continent, Virginia’s baptism on August 20 was the second recorded baptism in the Church of England in North America.
Governor White returned England in late August 1587 to obtain badly needed supplies. It was understood that if the colonists were forced to abandon the settlement in White’s absence, they would carve the name of their destination on a tree. If their departure were due to attack, a Maltese cross would be carved beneath. Delayed by events beyond his control, White was unable to return to the colony for three years. It was not until August 18, 1590 that White finally arrived at the site of the village. White found the word “Croatoan,” with no carved cross or other signs of distress, carved into a post of the fort. Little certainty surrounds the fate of the English settlers, who remain known to history as the “Lost Colony.”
Holy Women, Holy Men
Collect for this Remembrance
O God, you have created every human being in your image and each one is precious in your sight: Grant that in remembering the baptisms of Manteo and Virginia Dare, we may grow in honoring your gift of diversity in human life; become stronger in living out our baptismal vow to respect the dignity of every human being; and bring into the fellowship of the risen Christ those who come to him in faith, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
In the light of recent events in Charlottesville, VA (August 12+, 2017) this prayer is very timely. May we who follow Jesus “become stronger in living out our baptismal vow to respect the dignity of every human being” —with the help of God. ~Fr. Dan