Volume 4: February 22, 2019
Lent Epiphany-Tide Greetings
Late Epiphany-tide greetings from the Bishop’s Institute. The season of Lent does not begin until Ash Wednesday, March 6 th but I thought we might begin to turn our attention to the season by offering some Lenten reading recommendations in this newsletter.
 
Lent encourages us all to feast on the Word of God in Scripture and to make a clearing in the wilderness (or perhaps, the noise and clutter) of our busy life in order to participate in the Word more and more.
 
St Thomas Aquinas was once asked the chief ‘end’ or ‘purpose’ of the sacraments of the Church. He paused, then replied, “Growth in charity”.
 
I like to think of our observation of the season of Lent as having the same ‘end’ or purpose: growth in charity (love).
 
In older versions of The Book of Common Prayer the transition from Epiphany-tide to Lent was marked by three Sundays between the two seasons: the so-called ‘Gesima Sundays’: Sexagesima, Septuagesima and finally, Quinquagesima.
 
The beautiful collect for Quinquagesima sets the tone for the whole season of Lent and reminds us of the end to which the journey points: growth in charity. I like to say the collect all through Lent. I share it with you here.
 
Douglas Dupree,
Rector of the Bishop’s Institute
 
The Collect for the Sunday called Quinquagesima, or the Sunday Next Before Lent
 
O LORD, who hast taught us that all our doings without charity are nothing worth: Send thy Holy Ghost, and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of charity, the very bond of peace and of all virtues, without which whosoever liveth is counted dead before thee: Grant this for thine only Son Jesus Christ's sake. Amen
'A Book' for Lent
During Lent, from the morning till the end of the third hour, let them devote themselves to reading; then until the end of the tenth hour let them labor at what is appointed them. During these days of Lent each one is to receive a book from the library, which books are to be read through thoroughly. These books are to be given out at the beginning of Lent. (from Chapter 48 of the Rule of St Benedict, 6 th c.)

Sister Catherine Wybourne, OSB, is a former banker now Benedictine nun and Prioress of Howton Grove Priory in Hereford, England. She has a splendid blog on faith matters and is affectionately known as ‘the Digital Nun’.

I am indebted to Sr. Catherine because in explaining the Rule of St Benedict as it applies to monks and nuns during Lent, she shares an idea from monastic life that I think we might gain from as we begin our Lenten journey this year.
Monks and nuns are encouraged to read a book during Lent—just as you and I might be so encouraged. But there is a difference, as Sr Catherine explains:

First, the book is not chosen by us but by another. We don’t decide for ourselves what would be a good book to read, we submit to another’s judgement. That is harder than it sounds, especially for those of us who like to think we are ‘educated’, but I have often discovered books I might otherwise not have known simply because I had been told to read them.’

Wouldn’t that provide a fresh approach to Lent if we, as a family, or as a Bible study group, or book club, or church group, simply exchanged books with one another for Lent—much as in a family where everyone draws names for each person to receive one, special gift at Christmas?

Whether you take up the idea for your group and need some book suggestions, or you want a book to choose for yourself, below are my pick of books for Lent 2019.
The Rector’s Pick
  • Reconciliation: The Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent Book 2019 Paperback – November 15, 2018 by Muthuraj Swamy 
  • The Merciful Humility of God: The 2019 Lent Book Paperback – February 12, 2019 by Jane Williams.
  • Healing Agony: Re-Imagining Forgiveness Paperback – March 22, 2012 by Stephen Cherry
  • The Prodigal Prophet: Jonah and the Mystery of God’s Mercy Hardcover—October 2, 2018 by Timothy Keller
  • The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary in 3 volumes Hardcover 1st Edition—December 18, 2018, translated by Robert Alter
  • The Penguin Book of Hell (Penguin Classics) Paperback – September 4, 2018, edited by Scott G. Bruce
  • On the Seven Deadly Sins Hardcover—August 15, 2018 by Kenneth Baker
  • Lonely Mystic: A New Portrait of Henri J.M. Nouwen Paperback—October 30, 2018 by Michael Ford
  • The Gospel in Dorothy L. Sayers: Selections from Her Novels, Plays, Letters and Essays Paperback—October 30, 2018
  • Christina Rossetti: Poetry in Art Hardcover—November 20, 2018 by Susan Owens
Lenten Lunches 2019
The Bishop’s Institute will host two lunches during Lent 2019. We are pleased to have two distinguished authors and church leaders to visit and talk to us and lead discussion with us. If you would like to attend either or both lunches, please register with Sue Engemann in the Diocesan Office at: sengemann@diocesefl.org or 904-356-1328. It is helpful to have numbers attending for ordering lunch.
 
Tuesday April 2, 2019
The Rt. Rev. Jake Owensby, PhD, DD
Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Louisiana
and author of four books including most recently
A Resurrection-Shaped Life , 2018
 
Good Shepherd Episcopal Church,
1100 Stockton Street, Jacksonville, Fl 32204
12 noon- 2 p.m.
 
Tuesday April 9, 2019 
The Rev. Dr. Stephen Cherry
Dean of King’s College, Cambridge  
author of many books including the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book 2011: Barefoot Disciple: Walking the Way of Passionate Humility and the book he will share with us on forgiveness: Healing Agony: Re-Imagining Forgiveness
 
St John’s Episcopal Cathedral,
256 E. Church Street, Jacksonville, Fl 32202 
12 noon – 2 p.m.
The School for Deacons: 2018-19
Last year saw the beginning of the second offering of the school for preparing candidates for the vocational diaconate for the Diocese of Florida. Under the auspices of the Bishop’s Institute, and the direction of the Archdeacon, the Ven. Jeanie Beyer and the Rev. Deacon Marsha Holmes, the school operates on a regular basis one Saturday a month during 2018-2019 at Camp Weed.

The first ever offering of this school in 2016 started with four students. The current school has seven students. There are currently five postulants preparing for the vocational diaconate in the Diocese: Lydia Bush from St Luke’s, Live Oak; George Guy from Holy Trinity, Gainesville; Beth Lunsford from Church of Our Saviour, Jacksonville; Leila Quinlan from Christ Church, Ponte Vedra and Steve Seibert from Trinity, St. Augustine. In addition, there are two postulants for the local priesthood program attending the School for Deacons. They are Peter Corbin from Bethany, Hilliard and Charlie Erkman from Holy Comforter, Crescent City.

The Diocese owes our Archdeacon Jeanie Beyer and Deacon Marsha Holmes a great debt of gratitude for their administration of the school and for monitoring and encouraging the postulants and recruiting from the ranks of our North Florida clergy the excellent tutors for the school. Attached is an article about the school giving the impressions of Charlie Erkman, postulant for local priesthood.  Click here to read
Honoring Absalom Jones
V. The Lord is glorious in his saints.
R. O come let us adore him.

America celebrates African American History Month February 1 – 28, 2019. Within the month Episcopalians have a special celebration in thanksgiving for the life and work of Absalom Jones (1746-1818) on February 13th. Absalom Jones was the first African American to be ordained (deacon in 1795 and priest in 1802) in the Episcopal Church. Jones was a pioneer African American abolitionist and civil rights leader. He was also a persuasive preacher and much-loved pastor and priest. His St Thomas Church, the first black Episcopal Church in the United States, grew to over 500 members during its first year.

Saturday, March 2, 2019, the Sidney B Parker Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE) and the Episcopal Diocese of Florida will honor Absalom Jones with an afternoon program at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, 321 W. Union Street, Jacksonville 32202 from 1-3 p.m. The program theme is ‘Conversation + Prayer + Love = Healing and all Episcopalians from all of our churches are invited and warmly encouraged to attend.
If you would like to attend this event, please RSVP to Ms. Linda Belton at 904-725-5657 or email candylamb43@gmail.com .

Upcoming Events
March 7-8

Spring Clergy Conference
Camp Weed & Cerveny Conference Center, Live Oak, FL
Cost: Single Occupancy $170.00 - Double Occupancy $132.50 - Commuter $50.00


The annual Spring Clergy Retreat starts with lunch at 12 noon in Varn Hall at Camp Weed on Thursday, March 7th and closes with lunch on Friday, March 8th.

The keynote speaker on Thursday afternoon 1.30 – 4p.m. (with a break) is Timothy Johnson, Professor of History at Flagler College, St Augustine.
 
On Friday March 8th Bishop Howard will speak to us for an hour after breakfast and then he will celebrate the Eucharist and preach in Mandi’s Chapel at 10.30 a.m. The clergy will be invited to renew their vows and invited to bring their oil stocks for sacramental use for the Bishop to bless.
April 13, 2019
A Day with Bishop Howard and
Fr. Steph Britt
The Bible in Mayberry
10am - 3pm
Camp Weed & Cerveny Conference Center, Live Oak, FL
Cost: $22 per person (lunch included)
(Registration link coming soon)

The purpose of the program is to explore and discuss the theological themes embedded in the episodes of one of America’s all-time favorite television series The Andy Griffith Show (1960-1968). Andy Griffith was a committed Christian (who won a Grammy in 1997 for gospel album called I Love To Tell The Story). He smuggled the Gospel message into the episodes of his popular television series.
 
Bring your Bible for some fun. We will watch episodes from the television series and Fr Brett and Bishop Howard will offer Bible verses to explore in dialogue with each episode to ferret out the theology embedded in the episode.