Artemisia Bowden, 1969 (Aug 18)

Using God-given gifts fo serve Church and World

Artemisia Bowden
Artemisia Bowden

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

Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.

Image: Satucket Lectionary Page

Collect: Manteo and Virginia Dare (Aug 17)

You, O God, have created every human being in your image

Baptism of Virginia Dare
Baptism of Virginia Dare

 

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

Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.

Image: Satucket Lectionary Page

Collect: Jonathan Myrick Daniels, Seminarian and Martyr, 1965 (Aug 14)

In the moment of decision he risked and gave his life for another

 

Jonathan Myrick Daniels

Jonathan Myrick Daniels was born in Keene, New Hampshire, in 1939. He was shot and killed by an unemployed highway worker in Hayneville, Alabama, August 14, 1965.

From high school in Keene to graduate school at Harvard, Jonathan wrestled with the meaning of life and death and vocation. Attracted to medicine, the ordained ministry, law and writing, he found himself close to a loss of faith when his search was resolved by a profound conversion on Easter Day 1962 at the Church of the Advent in Boston. Jonathan then entered the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In March 1965, the televised appeal of Martin Luther King, Jr. to come to Selma to secure for all citizens the right to vote drew Jonathan to a time and place where the nation’s racism and the Episcopal Church’s share in that inheritance were exposed.

He returned to seminary and asked leave to work in Selma where he would be sponsored by the Episcopal Society for Cultural and Racial Unity. Conviction of his calling was deepened at Evening Prayer during the singing of the Magnificat: “ ‘He hath put down the mighty from their seat and hath exalted the humble and meek. He hath filled the hungry with good things.’ I knew that I must go to Selma. The Virgin’s song was to grow more and more dear to me in the weeks ahead.”

Read more…

Holy Women, Holy Men

Collect for this Remembrance

O God of justice and compassion, you put down the proud and mighty from their place, and lift up the poor and the afflicted: We give you thanks for your faithful witness Jonathan Myrick Daniels, who, in the midst of injustice and violence, risked and gave his life for another; and we pray that we, following his example, may make no peace with oppression; through Jesus Christ the just one, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

In our prayer, we give thanks for Jonathan, a young man “who, in the midst of injustice and violence, risked and gave hiss life for another.” Jonathan did not die long ago and far away; he died less than 60 years ago right here in the United States. Sadly, the divisions and violence that marked America in his day continue in our own. So we boldly ask the God of justice and compassion to bless us that “we, following [the example of Jonathan], may make no peace with oppression.” May we say and do those things that are right and good and in accord with the mind and heart of Jesus Christ. ~Fr. Dan

Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.

Image: The Encyclopedia of Alabama

Summoning grace to transform death into life

Instruments of shameful death transformed.

Cross of nails and the Bible

Collect for Tuesday in Holy Week

O God, by the passion of your blessed Son you made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life: Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer, 220

What a request we make of God: “to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of Jesus Christ.” And yet, if we are truly ready to follow Christ, this will be our experience at some point along the Way. May we receive the graces we ask so that we will gladly respond as the Christ-followers we are. ~Fr. Dan

Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.

Image: ChurchArt Online

To serve with wisdom, patience and courage

Wisdom, light, love, and Good News. How do you fit in?

Comforting the sad

Heavenly Father, whose blessed Son came not to be served but to serve: bless all who, following in his steps, give themselves to the service of others; that with wisdom, patience and courage, they may minister in his name to the suffering, the friendless and the needy; for the love of him who laid down his life for us, your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.

Source: Edward Lambe Parsons (1868-1960) in Michael Counsell (2002-08-01). 2000 Years of Prayer (Kindle Locations 8344-8347). Church Publishing Inc. Kindle Edition.

Image: GraphicStock.com

Collect: Fabian, Bishop and Martyr of Rome, 250 (Jan 20)

In 236, an assembly was held at Rome to elect a pope as successor to Antherus. In the throng was Fabian, a layman from another part of Italy. Suddenly, according to the historian Eusebius, a dove flew over the crowd and lighted on Fabian’s head.  In spite of the fact that he was both a total stranger and not even a candidate for election, the people unanimously chose Fabian to be pope, shouting, “He is worthy! He is worthy!” Fabian was ordained to the episcopate without opposition.

During his fourteen years as pontiff, Fabian made numerous administrative reforms.  He developed the parochial structure of the Church in Rome, and established the custom of venerating martyrs at their shrines in the catacombs. He appointed seven deacons and seven sub-deacons to write the lives of the martyrs, so that their deeds should not be forgotten in times to come.

Lesser Feasts and Fasts

Probably most of us will never be called upon to lay down our life for the faith. We may be ridiculed, snubbed, ignored, or dismissed because of our faith—small torments compared to the martyrdom of men and women through the ages. Our fervent plea to receive grace to remain “steadfast in the faith” that we may endure “times of trial and persecution” will surely be answered. And God will be glorified. ~Fr. Dan

may we have steadfast faith

St. Fabian, MartyrAlmighty God, you called Fabian to be a faithful pastor and servant of your people, and to lay down his life in witness to your Son: Grant that we, strengthened by his example and aided by his prayers, may in times of trial and persecution remain steadfast in faith and endurance, for the sake of him who laid down his life for us all, Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Like Roman Catholics and the Orthodox, Episcopalians honor our ancestors in the faith, men and women of exceptional character and action as Christ-followers, who inspire and encourage us along the Way. The Collect used on the day they are honored often asks for graces to become a better Christ-follower in our day and in our lives. What did you hear today?

For further reading

Image: Holy Women, Holy Men