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

Keep learning

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

Collect: Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester, 1095 (Jan 19)

Wulfstan was one of the few Anglo-Saxon bishops to retain his see after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. Beloved by all classes of society for his humility, charity, and courage, he was born in Warwickshire about 1008, and educated in the Benedictine abbeys of Evesham and Peterborough. He spent most of his life in the cathedral monastery of Worcester as monk, prior, and then as bishop of the see from 1062 until his death on January 18, 1095.  He accepted the episcopate with extreme reluctance, but having resigned himself to it, he administered the diocese with great effectiveness.

~Lesser Feasts and Fasts

Our plea in this commemoration is for an abundance of “faithful pastors.” As our world seems more divided than ever, we also pray for pastors who will give courage “to those who are oppressed and held in bondage.” May it be so. ~Fr. Dan

Almighty God, your only-begotten Son led captivity captive and gave gifts to your people: Multiply among us faithful pastors, who, like your holy bishop Wulfstan, will give courage to those who are oppressed and held in bondage: and bring us all, we pray, into the true freedom of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, 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: Wikimedia Commons

Collect: Antony, Abbot in Egypt, 356 (Jan 17)

In the third century, many young men turned away from the corrupt and decadent society of the time, and went to live in deserts or mountains, in solitude, fasting, and prayer.  Antony of Egypt was an outstanding example of this movement, but he was not merely a recluse. He was a founder of monasticism, and wrote a rule for anchorites. […] For a time, he was tormented by demons in various guises. He resisted, and the demons fled. Moving to the mountains across the Nile from his village, Antony dwelt alone for twenty years. In 305, he left his cave and founded a“monastery,” a series of cells inhabited by ascetics living under his rule. Athanasius writes of such colonies: “Their cells like tents were filled with singing, fasting, praying, and working that they might give alms, and having love and peace with one another.”

Holy Women, Holy Men

In the collect for the day we pray for a purity of heart and mind (imagine that!) in order to follow God through the trials, temptations, disappointments, and even the joys of life. May it be so. ~Fr. Dan

O God, by your Holy Spirit you enabled your servant Antony to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil: Give us grace, with pure hearts and minds, to follow you, the only God; through Jesus Christ our Lord, 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: Wikimedia Commons