Volume 35, Nov. 2021
From the Rector
The Bishop’s Institute for Ministry and Leadership was established in 2015 in the Episcopal Diocese of Florida to provide opportunities to develop lay and clergy leadership in the Diocese; to prepare candidates for ordination to the vocational diaconate and the local priesthood; to prepare candidates for licensed lay ministries and to be a focus for the continuing education for laity and clergy alike.
ST MARTIN’S FAST
 
The demons can sense a faster and man of prayer from a distance, and they run far away from him so as avoid a painful blow. St. Theophan the Recluse (Russian Orthodox saint 1815-1894).

When my mind turned to planning this month’s e-Newsletter I thought what a rich feast of themes: All Saints’ Day; Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day and the start of Advent. My mind settled mostly on November 11 and Veterans Day. From there all the rich associations with Veterans Day started swirling around in my head and stirring my imagination.

I thought of the beautiful portrait of faith Luke paints in his Gospel in telling us of the centurion who comes to Jesus and this led me to reflect on all of the metaphors of soldiering in the New Testament to encourage us in our faith, e.g. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand (Ephesians 6.13).

Then Veterans Day made me think of the speech Shakespeare puts in the mouth of Henry Vth before the Battle of Agincourt:

This story shall the good man teach his son; And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by, from this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remember'd; We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother . . .

Finally my mind rested on the figure of St Martin of Tours (316-397), the Christian soldier whose feast day November 11 coincides with Veterans Day. Martin is best known for the account of his using his military sword to cut his cloak in two, to give half to a beggar clad only in rags in the depth of winter. His shrine in Tours became a famous stopping-point for pilgrims on the road to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. What a fitting saint to remember on the day we give thanks for all of our veterans who have served in the armed forces on our behalf.

St Martin of Tours reminded me of something else as well: the start of Advent. Our Eastern Orthodox friends began their Advent and Advent fast (that they call the Nativity Fast) this year on November 15: forty days before Christmas, the Feast of the Incarnation. The contemporary Western churches do not start Advent until Sunday, November 28th. It is a much briefer Advent and fasting is optional.

It was not always so. The 18th century author, Alban Butler reminds us:

[St. Martin’s Lent] was formerly observed, even by the Laity, with Abstinence from Flesh, and with a rigorous Fast, in some Places, by Precept, in others of Devotion, and without any positive Obligation, though universal. The first Council of Maçon, in 581, ordered Advent from St. Martin’s to Christmas-day three Fasting Days a Week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; but the whole Term of forty Days, was observed with a strict Abstinence from Flesh Meat. Alban Butler (1710-1773).
Nowadays we are told not to confuse Advent with Lent as a time of fasting and penance. I have no argument with all of the virtues of Advent as currently taught. But somewhere deep in my spirit Advent, coming as it does in the grey of winter with the trees stripped of their leaves, yet calls vividly to mind the ‘Four Last Things: death, judgement, heaven and hell’. And I have made a resolution for this Advent-Christmas: I am not going to afford myself the luxury of whinging and whining about the ‘secularization of Christmas’ until I quietly restore a bit more fasting and praying to my daily life in Advent.

Wishing everyone a blessed Advent,
Douglas Dupree
Advent Collect
COLLECT FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT
 
ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.

Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. . . And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. From the Epistle the Romans, ch. 13.
Interview with George Guy
GEORGE GUY:
EPISCOPAL CHAPLAIN TO VETERANS
Meet George Guy, a communicant member of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Gainesville. George has been working at the Malcolm Randall VA Hospital, located in Gainesville, Fla., for 15 years.
 
George’s ministry is to veterans hospitalized for service-connected illnesses related to their deployments either in this country or overseas during their tours of duty. George is a combat disabled veteran for over 50 years. His injuries were related to his deployment to Vietnam from 1968-1969.
 
Please tell us how you got involved or found yourself called to this chaplaincy work?
 
Mr. Malcolm Randall was a member of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and he suggested I'd make a very good chaplain at the VA Hospital. He said "I had a calling to minister to fellow disabled veterans like myself rather than civilian chaplains." Malcolm Randall was the Chief Administrator of the hospital.
 
What ‘hooked’ you or spoke most deeply to you about this ministry?
 
During my Education for the Ministry (EFM) experiences for four years, I volunteered at Chaplain Services under the tutelage of the Chief Roman Catholic Chaplain and the Baptist Chaplain at the VA Hospital. I became very interested in helping "broken" veterans like myself with attention to their spiritual care. I felt the need to shore-up a veteran patient's spiritual healing first and foremost so his/her physical healing would kick in. I found that often veterans do not receive visitors who show empathy for the trauma they faced during their tours of duty. I understood the plight of veterans because of my own experiences in the Vietnam War.
 
I found patients warmed up to me rapidly with trust and honor. I learned how to listen very well. My good friend Sister Ann and I started making Anglican prayer beads to give to our patients fifteen years ago. I started and continue to teach prayer chanting the 33 beads to patients. I believe they gain faith in holding the small wooden cross and in knowing God is with them in a tangible way. In fact, a nurse advised me that she still prays her beads each new day and says a prayer whenever a patient dies! I have known her for 15 years.
 
How old are the patients to whom you minister?
 
My oldest patient, George Holston, Jr., passed away at age 98 on 11/11/2021--Veterans Day. He was a WWII hero in the Marine Corps. His son is a priest in our Diocese. I see both male and female patients. They include those from the Korean War, aged 85-90; Vietnam, aged 70-80; Gulf War, aged 45-65 and Afghanistan veterans aged 29-39. The oldest patient I attended to was age 100. He was a Tuskegee Airman. Mr Davis was a WWII veteran.
 
What is different or unique to the work of an Episcopalian chaplain at the hospital?

At the Malcolm Randall VA Hospital Holy Communion is offered by the chaplains to all baptized persons regardless of their denomination. This includes communion in both kinds. I have special permission to serve wine at a government facility. Some key pastoral issues with patients concern their faith in God or faith in a higher spiritual power and also especially issues related to forgiveness and communion. Veterans often confess their fears of death with me while receiving palliative care.
 
Would dealing with mental health problems be a significant part of your pastoral work?
 
Mental health issues are very common. The issues specific to women patients are not always fully addressed and also those of persons in the LBGQT community. The VA has a shortage of social workers with specialized training in certain areas as well as a shortage of LMHS. There is a very high suicide rate-- the highest in US veteran history. Some veterans want to discuss their transition issues with a fellow veteran. In a similar way, some veterans will be more reluctant to confide in a civilian Chaplain as opposed to a veteran Chaplain like myself.
 
Click here to read the rest of the interview.
November Quiz
Advent Sunday (November 28) heralds a new Christian year. It also means the Church starts to follow the cycle of Readings in Year C. This means that we begin reading the Gospel of Luke in Year C. This month’s quiz is about the Gospel of Luke. Enjoy.

Wishing you a holy Advent, Allison DeFoor+
 
1.    What percentage of the New Testament is written by Luke?
 
a.    10%
b.    16%
c.    27%
d.    35%
 
2.    What was Luke’s profession?
 
a.    Tent maker
b.    Physician
c.    Fisherman
d.    Scribe
 
3.    Luke faithfully conveyed the Gospel as preached by which person?
 
a.    Matthew
b.    Mark
c.    John
d.    Paul
 
4.    Which of the following two statements below can we not say of Luke?
 
a.    Luke was a Jew.
b.    Luke was a scholar.
c.    Luke was a meticulous researcher.
d.    Luke was an eye-witness to the resurrection.
 
5.    Which events in the Christmas story are unique to Luke’s telling of it?
 
a.    A census requires Joseph and Mary to go from their home in Nazareth to Bethlehem.
b.    There is “no room in the inn”; Mary places Jesus in a manger.
c.    Nearby shepherds are told of these events by angels.
d.    The shepherds visit the family.
 
6.    Which of these women are found in Luke’s Gospel rather than in the other three Gospels?
 
a.    Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist.
b.    Anna, the prophetess.
c.    The widow of Nain.
d.    The weeping daughters of Jerusalem.
 
7.    Luke was a friend or compassionate toward which people in his Gospel?
 
a.    The hated Samaritans.
b.    The Gentile centurion.
c.    Naaman the Syrian.
d.    The dying thief on a criminal’s cross.
 
8.    For Luke, Jesus was:
 
a.    The end of history.
b.    The beginning of salvation history.
 
Click here to go to the answers.
The Good Parson
Wherefore all his works rellish of Charity. When he riseth in the morning, he bethinketh himseife what good deeds he can do that day, and presently doth them; counting that day lost, wherein he hath not exercised his Charity.
From George Herbert (1593-1633) on the parson’s charity

I receive news about the church from so many church newspapers, magazines and blogs—that in all of this welter of newsworthy commentary I find it obscures to me the quiet yet steadfast church work happening all around us as dedicated men and women hear the Lord’s charge to Peter, ‘Feed my sheep’ and just quietly get on and do it.

Someone sent me last week a meditation from Oswald Chambers that speaks to this steadfast faithfulness to mission:

Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus, but he “followed Him at a distance” on dry land (Mark 14:54). We do not need the grace of God to withstand crises— human nature and pride are sufficient for us to face the stress and strain magnificently. But it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours of every day as a saint, going through drudgery, and living an ordinary, unnoticed, and ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is ingrained in us that we have to do exceptional things for God— but we do not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people— and this is not learned in five minutes.
 
Vickie Haskew, the Bishop’s Executive Assistant, shared with me a family newsletter her uncle the Rev. William Crider along with his wife Sondra sent to her. In it Mr Crider, 81, a Baptist minister, gives an update of the ‘daily round’ of his ministry in Minden, Louisiana. Minden is a small town (population circa 12,500) twenty-eight miles east of Shreveport. He is the minister to Senior Adults at the First Baptist Church, Minden and has had a long and fruitful ministry in education and pastoral work.
 
Bill Crider would know small town life well. He was born in a small rural Louisiana town and grew up on a farm with his three brothers and three sisters. All seven of them graduated from the local Central High School where Bill and his older brother James both played varsity basketball together. Bill remembers his father’s favorite saying was “we crack daylight with a pineknot” and they literally did, awakening early to milk their three cows.
 
After graduating first from Northeast Louisiana State College with a degree in Social Studies and Math and further studies in Math from the University of South Carolina thanks to a Fellowship from the National Science Foundation, Bill found his vocation to the ministry and found his bride, Sondra Garcin, a music teacher who would join him in what turned out to be a combined ministry in several churches.
 
What is so wonderful and encouraging about the Crider family newsletter Vickie shared with me is the testimony it gives of the steady, inexhaustible strength her uncle has found to continue his ministry even well into his ‘senior’ years.

In one exert he writes:
 
We are using homemade lit[literature] for Sunday School to compliment Pastor’s messages. The September books were ready last week, so the Department Director and I visited all members of the class—57—this past week, delivering it. It was tiring, but so rewarding to visit like this. We do this every quarter. Since so many of them have chosen not to come to SS now because of Covid, we can see them, visit briefly and learn of any special concerns. We are blessed.
 
In another entry he writes of his pastoral work in the local hospital:
 
I stay pretty busy with hospital work . . . part time, but codes and emergencies come whenever and I respond . . . during the night as well. One call recently involved a drive by shooting that killed a 3-yr old boy . . . spent from 11.30 – 2.30 a.m. that night in ER with family . . . In August I recorded a total of 1,740 visits for the month. I had prayer with about 1,400 of those visits . . . makes for busy mornings but oh, what a rewarding time it is each day. The only ones I do not see are the Covid patients . . . hospital staff encourages me not to visit in rooms . . . and I don’t . . . I do put prayer notes on each door, place my hand on door and pray for each patient that I am not able to visit with . . . Many of these are FBC [First Baptist Minden] members, or folks I know in the community. The Docs and nurses help me so much. I have opportunity to pray for/with many of them too.
 
What a fine testimony to the joys of the ordained ministry. I am inspired by Bill Crider.
The Archdeacon's Deacons:
Philip the Evangelist
In the sixth chapter of the book of Acts we read that the Apostles selected seven men of good character who are considered as the first deacons. We have all heard of Stephen (the first Martyr), but there are two others that the book of Acts mentions more than once. They are Philip and Nicolas.
 
Saint Philip the Evangelist, also called Philip the Deacon, is not Philip the Apostle but was selected with the other six, to assist with the early church’s administration which allowed the Apostles to freely conduct their mission.
 
After the death of Stephen, there was a general persecution of the Church at Jerusalem, and many Christians fled to escape it. Remember that Jesus told the Apostles “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8). During this time Phillip left Jerusalem (Judea) and went into Samaria to preach the good news.
 
Clearly Jews, even Hellenized Jews, such as Philip, did not just move to Samaria. The Samaritans followed an Abrahamic faith very different than that of the Jews and there was often tension and even hostility between the two peoples.
 
However, Jesus too had gone to Samaria and converted a woman at a well and subsequently won over many hearts (John 4:1-42). While there Philip converted many of the Samaritans. Because of his energetic preaching he was given the title of Philip the Evangelist. His successful ministry in Samaria, and in Palestine, led to the conversion of the famous magician Simon Magus (Acts 8:9–13).
 
Although Philip preached and baptized, none of those converted by him received the Holy Spirit. It was not until Peter and John came from Jerusalem and laid hands on them that they received the Spirit. This is often used as evidence that Philip was not an Apostle nor one of the Twelve.
 
Afterwards Philip was told by an angel of the Lord to go to the road between Jerusalem and Gaza. There he instructed and baptized the Ethiopian eunuch; next he was "caught away" by the Spirit and "found at Azotus" (Ashdod), and then preached in all the cities “till he came to Caesarea".
 
Philip’s missionary journey ended at Caesarea (Acts 8), where he raised his four daughters, reputed to be prophets, and where, about AD 58, he entertained the Apostle St. Paul and his companions on their last journey to Jerusalem (Acts 21:8). According to Greek tradition, he became bishop of Tralles (modern Aydin, Turkey). Next month I’ll write about Nicholas--- not the best of the early deacons.
 
The Ven. Mark Richardson,
Archdeacon
Rector's Postscript
In the September 2021 issue of this e-Newsletter our Archdeacon, Mark Richardson, wrote about the Rev. David Pendleton Oakerhater, Cheyenne warrior turned Episcopal Deacon (1847-1931).

The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, Jacksonville is featuring the art of Deacon Oakerhater in their current exhibition from June 4, 2021- February 27, 2022: Imprisoned but Empowered: Cheyenne Warrior Artists at Fort Marion.

In 1875 the U.S. government removed 72 warriors from their homeland on the Plains and put them on trains heading east to Jacksonville, Florida where they were transferred to the fort in St Augustine that would be their prison home for the next three years.

The exhibition features the artwork of three of these Cheyenne warriors including that of Oakerhater.

David Pendleton Oakerhater’s feast day is September 1 and is included in Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints.
UBE Advert Upcoming Events
Please save the date for two upcoming events sponsored by The Father Sidney B. Parker Chapter (UBE) and St. John's Cathedral.

Registration information and further details will follow soon. Everyone is welcome.
Martin Luther King Luncheon
Saturday, January 15, 2022
11 AM – 2 PM
St. John’s Cathedral
Speaker: Rodney Hurst
Absalom Jones Celebration Service:
Saturday, February 12, 2022
11 AM – 2 PM
St. John’s Cathedral
Address: Rodney Hurst