Volume 37, Jan. 2022
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.
Touched By An Angel
 
I’ve enjoyed this Epiphany season. As a guiding text to the season my thoughts have been shaped by meditating on a reflection by Evelyn Underhill in her little book Light of Christ in which she helps us interpret the meaning of the Epiphany in the light of Christmas:
 
The Christmas Mystery has two parts: the Nativity and the Epiphany. A deep instinct made the church separate these two feasts. In the first, we commemorate God’s humble entrance into human life, the emergence and birth of the Holy, and in the second its manifestation to the world, the revelation of the supernatural made in that life. And the two phases concern our inner lives very closely, too. The first only happens in order that the second may happen; and the second cannot happen without the first. Christ is a light to lighten the Gentiles as well as the glory of his people, Israel. Think of what the Gentile was when these words were written – an absolute outsider. All cozy religious exclusiveness falls before that thought. The Light of the world is not the sanctuary lamp in your favorite church. . . 
 
But remember that the child who began by receiving these very unexpected pilgrims had a woman of the streets for his faithful friend and two thieves for his comrades at the end; and looking at these two extremes let us try to learn a little of the height and breadth and depth of his love – and then apply it to our own lives.
 
The Gospel for the Feast of the Epiphany tells the story of the journey of the Magi to Bethlehem led by a star. I think I rather obsessed on the Magi this year. As I prepared an Epiphany sermon, I found myself collecting more and more material about the mysterious sojourners--- meditations, iconography, poems and legends---way too much to stuff into a sermon. Also, way too much to share (in my enthusiasm) with you here—except for one beautiful image that I cannot resist sharing. Some of you may have seen it or have heard of it.
 
I refer to the stone carving of the Dream of the Magi on a capital in the Cathedral of Saint Lazare at Autun in the center of France. It was carved by Gislebertus, the greatest of the 12th century Romanesque sculptors. Gislebertus carved four scenes from the Gospel of Matthew on the capitals at Autun: the Wise Men before Herod, the Adoration of the Wise Men, the Dream of the Wise Men and the Flight into Egypt.
 
In the Dream of the Wise Men Gislebertus portrays the three all tucked up into bed together under one blanket. As one commentator noted:
 
It must have been uncomfortable in the bed, wearing their crowns, but this was of course the only way of indicating that they really were kings. The embroidered blanket seems to move in harmony with the face, halo, sleeves and wing of the angel in one graceful, circular motion. It as though the angel has slipped suddenly and silently in.
 
I love the startled look on the awakened face of the king nearest the angel, his sleep broken by the slightest gentle touch of the angel’s pointed finger. [Charles Howard, who teaches art history at Episcopal School of Jacksonville, has visited Autun. He informs that many of Gislebertus’ finest sculptures and carved capitals have now been removed to the nearby cathedral museum. I think we need to encourage Charles to guide us all on a pilgrimage to Autun.]
 
I write wishing you every blessing on the eve of our annual Diocesan Convention and near to Candlemas (February 4th) when the beautiful seasons of Christmas and Epiphany come to their close and we soon begin to prepare ourselves for Lent.
 
Douglas Dupree
Prayer Lux Mundi
 Lighten thy People, O Lord, we beseech Thee, and ever kindle their hearts with the radiance of thy grace: that the birth of the Saviour of the world, made manifest by the attendance of a star, may be revealed more and more to their minds, and there have increase, through the same Lord Jesus Christ, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit, liveth and reigneth in the Light unto which no man may approach. Amen.
Happening Recap at Camp Weed
On Jan. 21-23, Happening was held at Camp Weed. Happening was led by rector Caroline Simpson from St Luke’s in Live Oak and observing rector Maddox Bryant from St Peter’s Fernandina Beach. 65 young people and adults came from around the diocese to sing, worship, pray, and experience God’s love at Camp Weed.

The theme for the weekend was “Evidence” based on James 1:17 - “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”
Books for Lent 2022
Ash Wednesday is March 3, 2022 and inaugurates the holy season of Lent. In Lent we prepare ourselves to reflect more deeply on the Lord’s journey up to Jerusalem and to Calvary and to the joy of the Easter proclamation. Finding something good to read during Lent is a great help in making our preparation and embarking on this pilgrimage.

Six from the Bench of Bishops
 
Let’s start with the bishops. Our bishops are charged at their consecration to ‘boldly proclaim and interpret the Gospel of Christ’ and with ‘enlightening the minds and stirring up the conscience’ of their people (1979 BCP).

Here are some good Lenten books written by bishops:
 
Richard Harries, (sometime Bishop of Oxford). Hearing God in Poetry: Fifty Poems for Lent and Easter (Paperback – November 18, 2021). I list this first as I am excited to see it available for Lent 2022. I plan to read it.
 
The Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent Book 2022: Embracing Justice by Isabelle Hamley (Paperback- December 16, 2021).
 
Stephen Cottrell (Archbishop of York). The Nail - Being part of the Passion (Paperback – November 18, 2011).
 
James Jones, (sometime Bishop of Liverpool). Justice for Christ's Sake: A Personal Journey Around Justice Through the Eyes of Faith (Paperback – September 2021).
 
Christopher Herbert (sometime Bishop of St Albans). Reflections for Lent 2022: 2 March - 16 April 2022 (Paperback – July 1, 2021.)
 
 
Five More

Jonathan Sacks, The Power of Ideas: Words of Faith and Wisdom (Hardcover October 11, 2021). Admired and read by prime ministers, popes and other Christian leaders, my favorite rabbi and spiritual writer died of cancer a year ago now--- I felt encouraged to see this posthumous work.

G.P. Mellick Belshaw (editor), Lent with Evelyn Underhill (Paperback – January 1, 1990).
 
Henri J.M. Nouwen. Show Me the Way: Daily Lenten Readings (Paperback – January 1, 1992).
 
Amy-Jill Levine. Witness at the Cross (Paperback – December 28, 2021).  
 
Daniel P. Horan. The Way of the Franciscans: A Prayer Journey through Lent (The Way of, 5) (Paperback – November 18, 2021).
Interview with Fr. Miguel Rosada
A REMARKABLE MINISTRY

This is the first of two interviews with priests in the Diocese of Florida in this issue: first, and here, an interview with a long-standing laborer in the Lord’s north Florida vineyard, and later a new addition to the Diocesan family (or returnee home).
 
Here meet the Rev. Dr. Miguel Rosada who has an extraordinary story of ministry to share with us.

INTERVIEW
 
1.    Fr. Miguel, one of the extraordinary things I heard when I came to the Diocese is how you brought your entire congregation into the Episcopal Church. How were you and your congregation led to make the decision? Is the same congregation alive and functioning today?
 
El Mesias was the name of the congregation my wife and I planted while I was still preparing for holy orders in the Charismatic Episcopal Church (CEC) early in 1994. It began as a simple prayer group and became more formal after I was ordained a Deacon in that year. The CEC was part of a then new movement that highlighted convergence of liturgical, evangelical and charismatic expressions of the Christian faith. The Book of Common Prayer was used, but charismatic worship was encouraged-- as well a focus on evangelism. In this context our church grew and developed, with a real devotion to the Eucharist, great faith in the power of the Holy Spirit, lay participation in all areas of ministry. The CEC in the subsequent decade changed to a more clerical, male leadership only denomination which was very different from the way our parish had been allowed to develop and function.

The separation was amicable, our then bishop and leadership council understood we were family but not good fit in the CEC. Our worship, prayer book, egalitarian lay participation which included many women, ideas about inclusion fit closely with The Episcopal Church. We were encouraged in our way by friends, meeting with Bishop Howard and other Episcopal clergy, the ever-present help of Janice Schleunes who was then Senior Warden of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. a lot of prayer and conversation.

The core group of the parish that is San Lucas is composed of people who came to Christ, renewed their relationship with him, or started coming to church as part of El Mesias and its' ministries.

I would not say we are the same congregation, as we have grown and been enriched by our merging with St. Luke’s and participating in the life of the diocese. We are now a parish that is fully bilingual, multicultural, and excited about the future of mission and ministry in our community.
 
2.    You have a unique role among the clergy in our Diocese in that you are bi-vocational: you are a priest and a medical doctor. How did this come to be? Tell us, first, a little about yourself and of your call to medicine and to ordained ministry.
 
I have always felt a call to ministry since the age of 16 but always had an interest in medicine. During my medical school years in the Dominican Republic, as I interacted with other Christians including some in preparation for ministry in their denominations, I deeply felt a call to be a pastor! I devoured my Bible and read all of the theology and early church writings I could get my hands on. 

My second year of medical school I spoke to my wife, called my parents and told them I was seriously considering leaving medical school and applying to seminary. They were supportive, but as I prepared to do this and prayed about the steps, one morning in prayer I suddenly remembered Luke, and felt strongly that I was to continue my medical studies that I would be a doctor and a pastor. It seemed odd but I wrote it in my journal and finished school. During this time I continued to be active at our local church, participated in interdenominational prayer groups for students, held house services, my wife and I preached in outdoor groups, parks, hospitals, very Evangelical! I even got to translate for American preachers visiting the Dominican Republic.

By the time I entered Residency at UF here in Jacksonville, my wife, who is a nurse, and I thought we would be medical missionaries. As we discovered and joined the CEC the call to ministry became stronger and, in that discernment, we were led and invited to do missions and medical ministry here in Jacksonville….!

I have so loved being a doctor and a priest…for me, it is all about healing and restoration, Jesus preached, fed and healed people. It has been a blessing to be able to offer that to people in need. As for my education, I have a BA in Psychology and Biology from the University of Miami and the MD from the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henriquez Urena in the Dominican Republic. I received Residency training in Family Medicine at the University of Florida, extensive personal reading in Theology and Patristics, guided reading for Holy Orders, and a lifetime of being taught by wiser persons than I in the church. 

Gigi and I have through the years probably served at every possible ministry in the local churches we have attended, from children and youth ministry, the kitchen, Sunday school, altar guild, worship and song, to medical ministries and mission planting. It has been very exciting if a bit busy.

To continue the interview and read how Fr. Rosado combines his medical practice and his full-time commitment as the pastor of a church click here.
January Quiz
 SAINTHOOD

Sisters and Brothers in Christ, this month we will ponder sainthood, and specifically unlikely saints. 
 
In the Episcopal branch of the Anglican Tradition, we have quite a legacy of saints, from the early to the modern, though we have toned down the reverential aspects a bit. In broad brush, the formal canonization of saints was centralized beginning in the 10th century, and the Church of England largely kept the saints of the Roman Catholic Church prior to the split of the 1500s. To this list we added, predictably, martyrs associated with the foundation of the organized Anglican Church, such as the Oxford Martyrs (Cranmer, Ridley and Latimer).
 
And to this list we have added many and more recent names. Above the west doorway of Westminster Abby many 20th century saints are commemorated---including Martin Luther King, Jr., Maximillian Kobe, Oscar Romero, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Lucian Tapiedi (of the New Guinea Martyrs).
 
But, as Martin Luther once said, in words that give everyone contemplating ordination or any call of God comfort, “God rides the lame horse and works the wormed wood”. The saints of God are all around us, may even be us, on a good day. This is proof, along with the platypus, not only of God’s grace but His sense of humor. So,this week we ponder some saintly trivia.
 
Allison+
 
1) One can become a saint after having been excommunicated? 

True or False
 
2) One can write a hymn and find it in the official Roman Catholic hymnal after having been excommunicated? 

True or False
 
3) Can a pope remain in the Apostolic Succession after being stripped of office?

Yes or No
 
4) Which saint is normally portrayed in a manner that suggests a different death than the saint suffered?
 
A- St. Swithun
B- St. Sebastian
C- St. Agnes

To view the answers, click here.
Interview with Fr. Eric Kahl
MINISTRY TO THE RETIRED CLERGY
 
There are some 170 clergy actively and formally engaged in ministry in the Diocese of Florida. In addition, there are some 77 retired clergy in the Diocese and there are 27 clergy widows.
 
Meet the Rev. Eric Kahl, the newly appointed Diocesan Chaplain to the Retired Clergy, Spouses and Widow/ers. I asked him some questions as a way for him to introduce himself to us.

1. Eric, tell us how the Bishop asked if you would be our Chaplain to Retired Clergy?
 
Bishop Howard appointed me Diocesan Chaplain to the Retired Clergy, Spouses and Widow/ers starting December 1, 2021, after conversations with Bishop Howard, the Canon to the Ordinary, Allison DeFoor, and the Pastoral Care Team at the Church Pension Group.
 
Bishop Howard understood the need to both pastor the retired clergy community and to tap into that community as a valuable resource for the people of the Diocese. He knew that I have a great love and respect for all clergy and a special desire to honor the elders among us.
 
Bishop Howard believed I would be the person to re-establish this all-important ministry. He gave me permission and set me at task to find the best way to help him pastor and the retired clergy community.
 
2. What are your plans for this year 2022 to get the ball rolling in your new work?

It is my plan for 2022 to:

  • Work with the regional deans to find retired clergy in their areas who would want to serve as regional chaplains;
  • Reach out to all retired clergy/spouses and widow/ers via phone call, text, email and/or note cards to let all know that we are here to serve them and help them to continue to serve;
  • In addition, I will be surveying the retired clergy community to ascertain whether they want (or not) to meet on a regular basis, create conferences or retreats aimed at this special group. Camp Weed gathering before or after clergy days, for example.

3. How can retired clergy best contact you?

Call or text me at (904) 501- 4130; email me at eric.kahl.8.29@gmail.com
Friend me on Facebook; follow me on Instagram or Twitter.
 
To continue reading the interview, click here.
The Archdeacon's Corner: 
Zacharias
Occasionally when we read New Testament Scripture, we don’t always get the full story of the human interaction. The authors of the New Testament were not trying to detail the lives of the people who move in and out of the main story. But rather they were witnesses to the love, grace, and resurrection, of Jesus Christ our Lord, the central theme of all Scripture.
 
Every Advent we hear the story of the parents of John the Baptist, Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth. How when entering the Temple to light the incense, Zacharias is met by the Angel Gabriel who tells Zacharias that he will have a son. Zacharias is doubtful and loses his voice because of his disbelief. But what was that day like when Zacharias was confronted by an angel. What does history or Jewish tradition tell us, that Luke’s Gospel does not?
 
We know that only priests from a particular lineage could serve in the temple. Zacharias was a priest of the division of Abijah from the line of Aaron. The duties of the Temple priests were given out by casting lot. By the time of Jesus there were more than 20,000 priests. Lots were regularly cast to determine the roles for the day’s service and sacrifice. The first cast determined those who would cleanse the altar and prepare the fire. The second cast determined who would kill the morning sacrifice and sprinkle the altar, the golden candlestick, and the altar of incense. The third lot cast determined who would come and offer incense.
 
The offer of incense was the most honored responsibility. Because they choose by lot, it was a once in a lifetime event. On this morning, Zacharias had been chosen, and would be allowed in to the most holy of space for any Jew, the Temple.
 
We can only imagine Zacarias’s anticipation and excitement as he prepared. The Temple courtyards would have been filled with the faithful for that first and most important prayers of the day. It would have probably still been daybreak as Zaharias and his two fellow priests slowly approached the Temple through the courtyards filled with people. Zaharias would have struck a Magrepha a gong-like instrument. At the sounding of the gong, the Levites would ready the people for songs of worship to God. Amidst songs of joy to God, the incense party would slowly move through the courtyards to the entrance of the Temple.

Zaharias would have walked in between the other two priests, and all three would enter the Temple together, as silence filled the courtyard. One priest would set the coals, the other priest would arrange the incense, and Zaharias would light the incense. Those two then would leave. Zaharias alone would remain in the Temple before the golden altar, to light the incense, and pray.

Behind the golden altar was the curtain that led to the Holy of Holies, where only the high priest could enter on the Day of Atonement. On Zaharias’s right stood the table of showbread, and to his left would be the golden lampstand, which provided the only light for the holy place.

As the two other priests left the temple, the people would know that it was time to light the incense as everyone bowed or kneeled in silent prayer. They knew that at that moment, in the very presence of God, the incense priest would pray for the entire nation.

What did Zacharias pray for? We don’t know, but when he opened his eyes the angel Gabriel stood before him at the right of the altar. I wonder what Zacharias thought. How overwhelmed he must have been. The angel Gabriel spoke, telling Zacharias wonderful news. That he and Elizabeth would have a son. They would call him John; he will be filled with the Holy Spirit (even in the womb) and be great in the sight of the Lord; turning the hearts of the fathers to the children.

To continue reading, click here.
Upcoming UBE Event
Please save the date for the following upcoming event sponsored by The Father Sidney B. Parker Chapter (UBE) and St. John's Cathedral.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information please contact Nancy Purcell at St. John’s Cathedral: npurcell@jaxcathedral.org
Absalom Jones Celebration Service:
Saturday, February 12, 2022
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
St. John’s Cathedral
Speaker: Rodney Hurst
Upcoming Virtual Book Club
February 7, 2022
12 -1 p.m.

Join us as we meet author, Ann McCutchan, and discuss her new book The Life She Wished to Live: A Biograpghy of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Author of the Yearling.

Contact Kathryn Bissette at Saint John's Cathedral Bookstore & Gift Shop to RSVP: cathedralbookstore@jaxcathedral.org.

Book selections are available in stores or purchase from us on our website: https://bookshop.org/shop/jaxcathedralbooks.