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

Collect: Ini Kopuria, Founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood, 1945 (Jun 6)

A prayer for strength to fulfill our Baptismal Covenant

Ini Kopuria. Chapel at Tabalia.

Collect for the Commemoration

Loving God, we bless your Name for the witness of Ini Kopuria, founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood: Open our eyes that we, with these Anglican brothers, may establish peace and hope in service to others; for the sake of Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

“Open our eyes that we … may establish peace and hope in service to others.” Read a short summary of the story of Ini Kopuria to understand better what we are asking of God. Then, remember your (Baptismal) Covenant with God and other Christ-followers: With the help of God I will strive for justice and peace among all people and will respect the dignity of every human being. Finally, know that God will surely answer this prayer in our own lives. ~Fr. Dan

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

Image: The Melanesian Brotherhood. “The picture on the left is of the stained glass window from the chapel at Tabalia The picture is of Ini Kopyria (in the middle) flanked by (left) non Christian – heathen; and on the right by a (female) companion – praying for the work of the brothers.”

Collect: Frances Jane (Fanny) Van Alstyne Crosby, Hymnwriter, 1915 (Feb 11)

Echoes of mercy, whispers of love … words that still touch the heart

Fanny Crosby and Blessed Assurance

Fanny Crosby was the most prolific writer of hymn texts and gospel songs in the American evangelical tradition of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She wrote more than eight thousand sacred texts in addition to other poetry.

Frances Jane Crosby was born in Putnam County, New York, on March 24, 1820. Although not born blind, she lost her sight as an infant as a result of complications from a childhood illness. At the age of fifteen, she entered the New York Institute for the Blind where she would later teach for a number of years. In 1858, she married Alexander van Alstyne, a musician in New York who was also blind. Crosby was a lifelong Methodist.

Read more…

Holy Women, Holy Men

O God, the blessed assurance of all who trust in you: We give you thanks for your servant Fanny Crosby, who, though blind from infancy, beheld your glory with great clarity of vision and spent her life giving voice to your people’s heartfelt praise; and we pray that we, inspired by her words and example, may rejoice to sing of your love, praising our Savior all the day long; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God in perfect harmony, now and for ever. Amen.

In our prayer we give thanks for Fanny Crosby who, “though blind from infancy, beheld [God’s] glory with great clarity of vision.” We pray that, “inspired by her words and example” we may sing God’s praises—in our words and example—all the day long. May it be so. ~Fr. Dan

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

Image: Church Marketing Sucks

Collect: Samuel Shoemaker, Priest and Evangelist, 1963 (Jan 31)

The Rev. Samuel ShoemakerBorn in Baltimore in 1893, Sam Shoemaker was a highly influential priest of the Episcopal Church and is remembered for his empowerment of the ministry of the laity.

While attending Princeton University, Shoemaker came under the influence of several major evangelical thinkers, among them Robert Speer and John Mott. After  college he spent several years in China and came under the influence of Frank Buchman, founder of The Oxford Group, a group initially oriented toward the personal evangelization of the wealthy and influential. Although he would eventually break from Buchman, aspects of the Oxford Group’s approach would influence Shoemaker for the rest of his life. […]

Two significant movements—Faith at Work and Alcoholics Anonymous—have their roots in Shoemaker’s work at Calvary Church, New York City. Read more…

Holy Women, Holy Men

Holy God, we thank you for the vision of Samuel Shoemaker, priest and co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous; and we pray that we may follow his example to help others find salvation through knowledge and love of Jesus Christ our  Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Do you really want to “help others find salvation through knowledge and love of Jesus Christ”? Does the vision of Samuel Shoemaker resonate with you? Is this your calling? Is this our calling? How does his work inspire our work today in the Jesus Movement? Just a few questions Sam’s life and example and this Collect raise for us today. ~Fr. Dan

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Collect: Lydia, Dorcas, and Phoebe; Witnesses to the Faith (Jan 27)

Collect for Lydia, Dorcas, Phoebe

The commemoration of these three devout women follows directly on the observance of three of Paul’s male co-workers in the Lord. It is a reminder that though the first century was a patriarchal time from which we have very few women’s voices, the apostles and indeed the whole early church depended on women for sustenance, protection and support. Read more…

Holy Women, Holy Men

Filled with your Holy Spirit, gracious God, your earliest disciples served you with the gifts each had been given: Lydia in business and stewardship, Dorcas in a life of charity and Phoebe as a deacon who served many. Inspire us today to build up your Church with our gifts in hospitality, charity and bold witness to the Gospel of Christ; who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Dare we ask God to “inspire us today to build up your Church with our gifts” without expecting God to answer “Yes”? And isn’t it equally true that God expects us to use our gifts of time and talent in witness to the Gospel of Christ? ~Fr. Dan

For further reading

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