Volume 42, June 2022
From the Rector
‘Is Thine Heart Right?’
 
My newsletter introduction this month is prompted by a friend, John Cobb, a builder, telling me about the 200th anniversary this year of his Memorial Methodist Church in Fernandina Beach.
 
June is the birthday month of John Wesley (b. June 17, 1703) who is considered the founder of Methodism. While at Oxford as an undergraduate, Wesley was one of the founders of a religious study and prayer group called the “Holy Club”. Detractors of this group of pious students called them “Methodists” because of their emphasis on methodical study.
 
I love the story of John Wesley. On completing his study, he was ordained in the Church of England but was never very good at preaching or leading a church--- until he attended a meeting at a mission in Aldersgate Street on the evening of May 24, 1738. Listening to someone reading Luther’s Preface to the Epistle to the Romans – a text about the change God works in the heart through faith in Christ--- Wesley declared: “I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation”.
 
From there the rest is history. His heart infused with the love of Christ, Wesley found his voice as an evangelist and preacher. He preached that Christianity was not so much a religion of laws and doctrines but a message of love. This message particularly moved the hearts of the poor. He was said to have addressed crowds of as many as twenty thousand people. Try and imagine that feat in a time before microphones and sound systems.
 
In the United States, by 1850, the United Methodist Church held more members than any other Christian denomination. A convert to Christianity via the Methodist Church needed only to believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and everyone’s personal savior. As someone has aptly written, ‘Methodists believed that all other questions about Christianity were up for discussion’. Again, in the United States, the Methodists have established more colleges, hospitals, child-care facilities, and retirement homes than any other denomination. William Booth, the 19th century Methodist preacher, noticing the reticence of the poor to enter ‘respectable’ churches, founded the Salvation Army. Methodists started Goodwill Industries in 1902, with stores across America that employ people with disabilities to mend furniture and old clothes to be sold at a discount.
 
As a boy, before I was confirmed in the Episcopal Church, my family attended a lovely Methodist Church. I have only warm and affectionate memories of the fellowship, the worship and the sermons I heard in that Christian environment. There is a real warmth and reasonableness in the Methodist Church. From where does it all stem?

I believe the sweet reasonableness and balance in Methodism stems from John Wesley’s emphasis on the love of God in Christ above all else. Wesley wrote:
“How far is love, even with many wrong opinions, to be preferred before truth itself without love? We may die without the knowledge of many truths and yet be carried into Abraham’s bosom. But if we die without love, what will knowledge avail? Just as much as it avails the devil and his angels.”
 
John Wesley held many definite theological positions. He was no wooly thinker. But at the same time, he remained exceptional for his open-mindedness toward other churches and other denominations. That too is part of putting the love of God first. He once wrote:
 
“Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike? May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion?”
 
When Wesley met a Christian of another denomination, his first question was not about doctrine but rather only this:

“Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart? . . . If it be, give me thy hand.”
 
Sadly, in our day, the Methodist Church is about to experience a divorce between its members as the Episcopal Church underwent some twenty years ago. But the Methodists have decided to part as friends. That is a high idea or goal that will not be entirely achieved, and I may be proven wrong, but I somehow feel, if anyone can do it with a minimum of lasting harm, our Methodist brothers and sisters will be the ones to do it.
Come down, O Love divine
Come down, O Love divine,
seek thou this soul of mine,
and visit it with thine own ardor glowing;
O Comforter, draw near,
within my heart appear,
and kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.
O let it freely burn,
till earthly passions turn
to dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
and let thy glorious light
shine ever on my sight,
and clothe me round, the while my path illuming.
And so the yearning strong,
with which the soul will long,
shall far outpass the power of human telling;
for none can guess its grace,
till Love create a place
wherein the Holy Spirit makes a dwelling.
Charles Wesley (1707-1788)
June Bishop's Institute Meetings
The Bishop’s Institute Licensed Lay Ministry course met on Saturday, June 19 in Taliaferro Hall, St John’s Cathedral, courtesy of the Dean. The June meeting focused on the Creeds and was led by the Rev. Mark Anderson, Sub-Dean of the Cathedral.

After lunch, the Archdeacon, the Rev. Mark Richardson led the class in exploring a section of the Catechism in the Book of Common Prayer.
On Saturday, June 25, the Rev. Deacon Marsha Holmes led a workshop on planning pastoral care, No One Walks Alone, in the Diocese of Florida Church. This course includes and encourages lay ministry in the area of pastoral care.
Interview with
Dr. Charles Howard, Art Historian
OCTOBER 9-17, 2022 PILGRIMAGE TO ASSISI AND ROME
 
SNEAK PREVIEW WITH DR. CHARLES HOWARD,
ART HISTORIAN, EPISCOPAL SCHOOL OF JACKSONVILLE
  
NB: Information about the pilgrimage and registration is found at the end of this Newsletter. The signup deadline is July 9 for the pilgrimage.
 
1. Charles, tell us a little about yourself. How did you find you were interested in art history?
 
I was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, but grew up in Alexandria, Virginia, Charlotte, North Carolina and Charleston, South Carolina. My family moved around quite often, as my father (the Rt. Rev. S. Johnson Howard) moved from parish to parish.
 
I graduated from the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut and Williams College in Massachusetts; and I fell in love with art history in my freshman year at Williams, attending lectures on Renaissance art and 19th century revival architecture given by E. J. Johnson and Michael Lewis, respectively. I was taking pre-medical courses at the time, but found myself spending more time visiting local art museums than on my biology lab reports! I lived in Williamstown for a total of five years, as I returned to Williams as a Kirk Varnedoe Teaching Fellow following my graduation. I subsequently spent a year researching the architecture of Aldo Rossi in Bologna, Italy while on a J. William Fulbright research scholarship. And I took my doctorate from the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, writing a dissertation on the movement of artists and ideas from Italy to France during the early phases of the Italian Wars at the beginning of the 16th century.

2. What excites you about joining and leading the upcoming Bishop’s Institute pilgrimage: ‘In the Steps of St Francis: Assisi and Rome’?

As an admirer of St. Francis, I am excited to learn more about his life and to follow in his footsteps on this pilgrimage. I never get tired of visiting the Umbrian countryside – the true “green heart” of Italy – and Assisi is a wonderful example of a picturesque Umbrian hilltop town. While I certainly look forward to seeing some of the natural wonders and artistic treasures of central Italy, I also hope to enter into fellowship with others during this journey and leave this pilgrimage feeling spiritually refreshed.

3. We follow you into the Basilica of St Francis in Assisi. As we cross the threshold— tell us what to expect.

As we enter the Upper Church of the Basilica, we’ll take in its soaring nave, filled with Gothic tracery, white-washed brick, and enormous blue and gold frescoes on its walls and vaults. Characteristic of Romanesque and Gothic churches in Italy, the Basilica conveys its visual narratives – its many stories from the Bible and the life of St. Francis – through frescoes, rather than stained glass. As pilgrims in this sanctuary, we will spend time viewing and interpreting a few of these frescoes, which were completed by some of the greatest Italian masters of the 13th and 14th centuries. Truly, Assisi was a magnet for talent! Cimabue and his workshop were working in the Basilica starting around 1280, and many frescoes in the sanctuary have been traditionally ascribed to Giotto – the trecento master who, according to Vasari’s telling, “must surpass greatly all the other painters of his time.” We will also view works attributed to Simone Martini and Pietro Lorenzetti, two Sienese masters renowned for their naturalism and deep sensitivities to complex emotion. As a living, breathing monument to St. Francis and the grandeur of Italian art, the Basilica is a feast for the eyes and senses.

4. Name one side trip from Assisi that you anticipate and look forward to making. And why?

Orvieto! With its archaeological museum filled with Etruscan artifacts and its astounding cathedral, Orvieto has been on my radar for years – yet I’ve never visited! The cathedral is renowned for its frescoes by two early Renaissance masters, Fra Angelico and Luca Signorelli – and it famously houses Signorelli’s masterpiece, The Last Judgment of 1449-1451. Plus, Orvieto is a lovely, walkable town filled with excellent cafes and stunning views of the rolling, green hills of Umbria.

5. Just imagine: you have only one full day in Rome (unlike the several days set aside for the pilgrimage). What would you put on your ‘must do/must visit’ itinerary for that one day?
 
Only one day in Rome? Where do I begin? I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Rome many times, so I am always looking to tour new and exciting places in the Italian capital. It may be the Eternal City, but it is eternally changing! 
 
All great days in Rome must begin with caffeine. I’d start the morning with a cappuccino at Sant’Eustachio, the famous coffee shop situated behind the Pantheon. (Make sure to buy their chocolate covered coffee beans for “fuel on the go”!) I always enjoy smaller churches as well as artworks tucked into side chapels. So, I might wander to Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza, the brilliant, jewel-box sanctuary designed by Baroque architect Francesco Borromini. I might also pop into the church of San Luigi dei Francesi to see Caravaggio’s The Calling of St. Matthew, nestled in a side chapel.

For lunch, I’d try to sneak into Pizzeria da Baffetto – with its famous owner with a baffetto (“mustache”). The pizzeria is conveniently located just off Piazza Navona (with its fountains by Bernini!), and I love the Pizza Baffetto with a fried egg on top.

In the afternoon, I’d visit either the Ara Pacis Museum or the MAXXI to see some contemporary art. The MAXXI, designed by Zaha Hadid, demonstrates that Rome can still “pull off” contemporary architecture, and I love how the Ara Pacis Museum (designed by American architect Richard Meier) often incorporates exhibits of newer art around Augustus’ ancient Altar of Peace. Perhaps I’d finish the day by climbing the Spanish Steps to enjoy a panoramic view of Rome from the top of the Pincio Hill. You can’t beat a glowing, golden sunset over Rome’s seven hills.
 
To continue the interview with Charles Howard click here.
Kairos Prison Ministry
In May this year I had an opportunity to attend a meeting organized by Doug Milne-- local lawyer, civic leader and member of St Mark’s, Jacksonville. Doug had invited John Cobb, Keith Broussard and Brent Brown who have been involved in prison ministry for some years to share with the meeting the work of Kairos Prison Ministry. I was so taken by their testimonies that I asked Keith Broussard, an engineer and a member of the Methodist Church from Fernandina Beach, to share his testimony of prison work and Kairos with our Newsletter. Keith has been involved with Kairos for some twenty years.
KAIROS PRISON MINISTRY
 
By Keith Broussard
 
Kairos Prison Ministry International is an international organization that began its main prison activity in 1976 at Union Correctional in north Central Florida. Since then Kairos has developed into four different types of ministries - one for incarcerated men (KAIROS INSIDE men), one for incarcerated women ( KAIROS INSIDE women), one for the "free" female loved ones of incarcerated men or women (KAIROS OUTSIDE women), and incarcerated youth offenders (KAIROS TORCH).
 
In summary, there are 32 separate Kairos volunteer groups that work to serve the incarcerated at 27 Florida Prison facilities for men, 2 Florida Prison facilities for women, and 3 Florida Prison facilities for youth. In addition, there are 5 separate Kairos volunteer groups that serve the female loved ones (wives, daughters, girlfriends, sisters, etc.) of those who are or have been incarcerated.
 
In Northeast Florida, we have an active Kairos group at Columbia Correctional Annex (near Lake City), Columbia Correctional Main (near Lake City), Lake Butler RMC Main (near Lake Butler), Putnam Correctional (near Palatka), Union Correctional (near Raiford), and Kairos Outside of Northeast Florida. The Kairos Outside events are primarily held at places like Marywood, a Catholic retreat center.
 
The ministry’s purpose is helping the incarcerated to 1) feel the love of God for each one of them, 2) have a higher level of self- esteem, 3) develop an ongoing spiritual accountability group that they will regularly meet with inside the walls of the prison, and 4) be better prepared to cope with challenges of being a Christian. The ministry also provides regular opportunities throughout the year for spiritual support at the prison from the Kairos program.
 
Kairos Volunteers come from all walks of our Christian faith. Through the years, and just in my personal experience I have seen volunteers representing quite a wide variety of Christian faiths: Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Episcopalian, Evangelical, Greek Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist, and Presbyterian. The basic requirement is that the spiritual foundation of the volunteer be Christian and that he is a practicing Christian with the endorsement of his pastor.
 
Contributions come from individuals (the volunteers among others), and Christian church communities of all kinds. Fundraising is critical as the local Kairos community for a particular prison is responsible for raising the money to cover the costs of the Kairos activities for that prison.
 
One of the most striking events is a Weekend Event inside the prison planned by Kairos. [The structure of the Weekend is described below along with a listing of other key events sponsored by Kairos for prison participants.]
As for the Weekend Event, on any one weekend, we do see attitudes and hearts changed by the time we go from the initial Thursday meeting to the closing on Sunday afternoon. It is difficult to measure the long-term impact on an individual. The follow-up grouping meetings and the reunions are frequented by many who have been to Kairos. There are published statistics regarding recidivism, the rate of return to prison for those who are released from prison. The statistics show that Kairos greatly reduces the rate of return to prison for those released individuals who have participated in the Kairos program.
 
The impact of Kairos on the team members is astounding. The blessings and uplifting that the volunteers receive from their experience is difficult to put into words. Team members find out that there are some true, committed Christians living behind bars who welcome this Kairos experience with open arms. The team also gets a tremendous spiritual boost from the weekend events, and they receive unbelievable appreciation and love from the candidates/graduates. The team learns that these men behind bars are just the same as we who are on the team, i.e., humans who have a need for a Friend, Savior and Teacher.
 
To continue reading, click here to learn more about the structure of a Kairos Weekend Event and other key events Kairos provides for prison participants. 
June Quiz
This month’s trivia quiz will honor the celebration of Juneteenth, and its connection to North Florida and to the Diocese of Florida.
 
Allison+

1. What is Juneteenth? 
 
Simply put, it is the celebration of the liberation of millions of African Americans from slavery at the conclusion of the American Civil War. The Emancipation Proclamation had taken place in 1862, although it only applied to liberated slaveholding state territory, and was only available through force of arms until the conclusion of the war.
 
At the conclusion of the war the proclamation was read in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, by a general of the Union Army. He informed the slaves of Texas by reading the official proclamation of their liberation. Our Juneteenth holiday commemorates that date. At first it became widespread in African American communities, and it is now a Federal Holiday.
 
2. What is the connection of Juneteenth to the theology of the Episcopal Church and Christianity generally?
 
Jesus wishes with his deepest heart that we all be liberated from the spiritual and literal prisons that oppresses us.
 
3. What historical connection might we make here in Florida with the celebration of Juneteenth?
 
The state of Florida pre-dates Juneteenth with its own version of the same event that took place in Tallahassee in April of 1865—two months prior to the reading of the proclamation in Texas. Florida and Texas were the last two states to be restored to the Union, a tribute to their small populations, and obscurity at the time. We were first, beating our friends in Texas.
 
4. What are some pertinent factors or connections regarding Florida at the time of the Civil War?
 
There are many connections. A few highlights might include the following:
 
First and foremost, Florida was a remote and immaterial factor in terms of land battles during the Civil War. Its primary strategic value lay in the production of salt and beef for the Confederacy, or where captured, the Union.
 
Stephen Mallory was a United States senator from Florida. He was from Key West and Mallory Square denotes where his mother ‘s boardinghouse stood on the beach prior to the Civil War. He became the Secretary of the Navy of the Confederacy. His incompetency in naval matters greatly influenced the conduct of the war as the Union imposed and enforced its quarantine on the rebelling states.
 
Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” was a communicant at Church of our Savior in Mandarin after the Civil War. President Lincoln in meeting her remarked his pleasure at meeting “the little lady who started this great big war,” by virtue of her book which scandalized the treatment of slaves throughout the world.
 
To continue the quiz, click here.
Archdeacon’s Corner:
Reading the Bible Together
Many of us daily or weekly read our Bibles alone as a personal devotion. This is quite common amongst Christians and is often touted as, the way to study the Bible. Read it by yourself, alone, in silence, as a personal time for enrichment, just you and the text, and maybe coffee. I do this most every morning. Personal bible study is a wonderful thing. But the other day I was reading the Bible (alone) when I came across the verse where St. Paul says to devote yourself to the public reading of scripture in his letter to Timothy. 

Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 1 Timothy 4:13

Of course, every Christian Church has public scripture reading during their services. But I believe that St Paul is talking about something much more. I believe that Paul is reminding Timothy and us of Moses at Mount Sinai, just after the Israelites were rescued by God from Egypt. They are no longer slaves, and they have a new identity as a new people of God. So, Moses gathers the people together and he publicly reads the scriptures aloud.

Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, “We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey.” Exodus 24:7
 
To my knowledge this is the first public reading of scripture in the Bible. Later when Joshua finally gets to the Promised Land, he does the same thing. (Joshua 8:34–35). Joshua reminds the people where they came from, and that they are a people of God, and their covenant with Him. But after Joshua dies, we don't have any other stories of the people coming together to publicly hear the word of God. Instead, the people forget their story and who they were, and a whole generation arose that didn't know their God.

But then later a king named Josiah will rediscover the scriptures and he will begin this public reading practice once again, starting a revival. However, the people will once more forgot the practice, who they are, and they will end up in exile. So, when Ezra and Nehemiah came back from the Babylonian exile, they needed to remind the people who they are and how they are to live, and they begin this ancient practice again. That they may never forget again (who they are, and who God is) the public reading of scripture becomes a core part of Jewish life. It is still done every week as the Jewish people gather in synagogue. Remember Jesus himself participated in this practice when He launched His mission

“He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him.” He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him.” Luke 4:16-17

Those early scrolls that would constitute the Bible were created long before there were books! Writers, compilers, and editors designed the Bible for public reading, which means the Hebrew Bible and New Testament are, together, one collection of communal literature. Something to be shared together.

I understand that reading the Bible alone was not always an option. Not so long ago we could only hear the Scripture read out loud during a service, or the stories were displayed through paintings, icons, and other visuals in churches. The public reading of scripture was the normal way people interacted with biblical texts from the time of Moses up through the New Testament era, and then for another 1,500 years or so until Gutenberg's printing press. 

Which takes us back to Paul in his letter to Timothy. Paul wants us to keep the practice of public reading. Not just during our religious services but in community together, during Bible Study groups, with our families, and in small group discussions.

In these uneasy times, publicly readings the Bible together reminds us of who we are, who our God is, and that we are loved.

He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:16-21
Praying that our Lord finds you and yours well

The Ven. Mark Richardson
Archdeacon
Register Today: Pilgrimage to Italy 2022
Pilgrimage to Italy: In the Footsteps of Saint Francis of Assisi,
Hosted by The Rev. Canon Douglas Dupree
& Dr. Charles Howard, Art Historian
Sunday, October 9 to Monday, October 17, 2022

Join The Rev. Canon Douglas Dupree and Dr. Charles Howard, Art Historian and Faculty member at Episcopal School of Jacksonville on a nine-day Biblical Journey in the Footsteps of Saint Francis of Assisi, Italy! St Francis of Assisi is beloved by Christians and others in every generation in every corner of the world. Assisi, the city of St Francis, still breathes an atmosphere of holiness and beauty. Come walk where he walked and enjoy the wonderful churches, the art and architecture of Assisi and
Rome and their surrounding cities and landscape.

To view the flyer, click here or email The Rev. Canon Douglas Dupree for more information: ddupree@diocesefl.org.

To register, contact Biblical Journeys:
Phone: 201-627-0117

You may also register by filling out the form by clicking here and mailing to:
Biblical Journeys
411 Hackensack Ave., Suite 200
Hackensack, NJ 07601