Volume 12, November 20, 2019
For All The Saints
I visited New Orleans in the Fall of 2004 the year before Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. My visit fell sometime around the Feast of All Saints’ and from the porch of my hotel I listened to a wonderful brass band sail past on the street playing their signature tune When the Saints Go Marching In. You cannot hear that musical sermon without wanting to join the jubilant procession.
November is the month for remembering all who have gone before us. November 1 st we remember the roll call of the great saints throughout the history of the Christian Church and November 2 nd we remember all of our loved ones departed. On Veterans Day November 11 th we remembered all of the men and women – dead or alive—who have served our country in the armed forces. On Thanksgiving Day we give thanks for the harvest and for the many blessings of the last year and loved ones gathered near and loved ones now on another shore. On the last day of November many Scottish Americans across the country will rejoice in their Scottish heritage on the Feast of St Andrew.
Those of you who are of an age to remember when Morning Prayer was often the ‘main service’ on Sunday morning will recall singing that magisterial Christian hymn integral to the service called the Te Deum. The Te Deum is a Latin hymn that dates from the 4 th century and it was beautifully translated in our Book of Common Prayer. I like to think of the Te Deum as a rather solemn and formal version of When the Saints Go Marching In (although no less joyous.) But only here, in the Te Deum we name the saints, rank after rank : the glorious company of the Apostles; the goodly fellowship of the Prophets; the noble army of martyrs: all praise thee, O Lord’ and ‘’the holy Church throughout the world doth acknowledge thee’.
Such a procession brings to mind the remarks of a Dominican priest about the Te Deum that you might enjoy. He offers them in the context of explaining church processions that take place in many European cities on the Feast of Corpus Christi, i.e. the summer feast offered in thanksgiving for the gift of the Eucharist. He writes:
Our procession mirrors the great triumphs of Roman generals who paraded through Rome with their victorious army after a successful campaign. The Te Deum, the hymn we sing on Sundays and solemn feast days, gives an image of such a procession. It lists the ranks of apostles, prophets and the white robed army of martyrs. In a Roman triumph the soldiers marched unarmed and in their white togas through the city; the martyrs are their spiritual counterparts. In the ordered ranks of the magistrates, the army, and the representative bodies of the city, the people of Rome saw themselves reflected. In the Eucharist we look on that which sacramentally we are: the Body of Christ living with his life.
O GOD of the spirits of all flesh, we praise and magnify thy holy name for all thy servants who have finished their course in thy faith and fear, for the Blessed Virgin Mary, for the holy Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, and Martyrs, and for all other thy righteous servants, known to us or unknown; and we beseech thee, strengthened by their fellowship, we also may be found meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the Saints in light; through the merits of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Who Will Be In Heaven?
There is a woman in the Gospels who is most noted and remembered for her shortcomings. As St Luke tells it (7.36-50), Jesus was at table in the house of Simon the Pharisee when a woman, noted for her reputation as a sinner, bursts in and falls at the Lord’s feet and begins to wet them with her tears. She then dries them with her hair. The Pharisees are shocked at her behavior. Jesus tells them: “Her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love”.
That little story may remind us of another woman far removed from respectability yet—as the Bible claims—a woman who has found peace and acceptance. I refer to Rahab the harlot, who hid the spies of Israel saving them from their enemies. Her story is immortalized in Joshua 2.1-24. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, adds her name to his great rollcall of the saints (11.31).
In the Divine Comedy, in the third book, the Paradiso (Canto 19) , the poet Dante comes upon Rahab in heaven. He writes that he encountered her, ‘ shining like a sunbeam in clear water’.
A contemporary Christian writer gives us this testimony of Rahab:
O Lord my God, God in heaven above and on earth beneath, shall I ever quite recover from the shock of finding myself in Thy Heavenly City of the strong walls? After all, Jericho and I suited each other. My family was there, and I was not unwanted by the men of the place. But how is it that I feel at home in this City of unadulterated light? The answer must be in the friendship of others who followed my trade, and in the Presence of One who said that harlots and publicans enter the Kingdom before priests and elders, One who has made even me welcome.
Testimony of Rahab the harlot (from David Head’s Shout of Joy )
Jacksonville West: Heeding the Call
Feed the poor, clothe the needy, and heal the sick (Matthew 25:35)
street in front of an auxiliary church building and some even in a separate line on the shoulder of the street. A volunteer warden was directing traffic. The scene reminded me of traffic being orchestrated on and off the street outside one of the large, mega- non-denominational churches around Jacksonville on a Sunday morning. What could be going on?

What was ‘going on’ was the work of a vital outreach ministry in full operation on the grounds of St. Peter’s Church – the Community Health Outreach—CHO as it is best known—distributing food weekly to those in need—and that was just one service project sponsored by CHO. 

I was so curious as to the nature of this ministry I wanted to find out more. I called my colleague Canon Aaron Smith at Grace Church, Orange Park since I know he is friends with St. Peter’s Rector James Barnhill and a friend of St Peter’s Church. Canon Smith could certainly tell me more. He told me that his wife Meredith had recently agreed to be a co-interim director of CHO with Virginia Pillsbury who is an active, dedicated lay leader at St. Peter’s.

I next got in touch with Meredith to find out more about this wonderful outreach ministry that that Saturday alone had distributed food to some 1,500 individuals representing some 470 households.  

Meredith told me CHO is officially Community Health Outreach, listed as WestJax Outreach, Inc., d.b.a. Community Health Outreach with the Department of Revenue. The original clothes swap and food pantry started up in 1988 by St. Peter’s has over the years blossomed into a thriving community services center with medical and dental care for low-income, uninsured residents and food assistance, and baby supplies. 

If you would like to read my interview with Meredith and find out more about this remarkable mission and ministry that serves on average 7,800 people each month, CLICK HERE. If you would like to visit the CHO website or make a donation http://chojax.net .
November Book Review
The Flemings of Fleming Island: An Historic Florida Family
By Scott Ritchie

George Fleming, an Irishman, settled in Spanish East Florida in 1783. He established his home called Hibernia on an island in the St Johns River that we know today as Fleming Island located south of Jacksonville on US 17 between Orange Park and Green Cove Springs. Over the two hundred years since the arrival of Fleming, some seven generations of Flemings have called Hibernia home. In the nineteenth century the Fleming family transformed their home into a winter hotel in the early days of Florida tourism.
During the Second World War, Camp Weed was moved to temporary quarters on St John’s River at Hibernia.
Many of us in the Diocese of Florida know St Margaret’s Episcopal Church on Fleming Island. This beautiful Carpenter Gothic chapel is among the five oldest wooden churches still standing and in some use in Florida. It was founded by Margaret Seton Fleming in 1877 and the first service held in the church was for Margaret’s funeral in 1878. The novelist Eugenia Price has immortalized the life of Margaret Seton Fleming in the third novel in her Florida Trilogy: Margaret’s Story.

In June 1973 St Margaret’s Church and the old cemetery attached to it were added to the National Register of Historic Places.

To read this month’s review by Owene Courtney of The Flemings of Fleming Island, click here
Rector's Picks
If ever you have been moved to read anything by John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890) the eminent Victorian theologian, spiritual writer and poet, now might be a good time to do so. Newman was canonized by Pope Francis on October 13 th , 2019 during an open-air mass in St Peter’s Square.
Newman’s life was marked by two conversions. The first one came as a young boy of fifteen and under the influence of what we would call the Evangelical movement in the Church of England and also that of John Wesley’s preaching and teaching at the start of the 19 th century. Of his boyhood conversion to Christ, Newman wrote in his great spiritual autobiography, the Apologia Pro Vita Sua, (1864):
When I was fifteen a great change of thought took place in me. I felt under the influence of a definite Creed. . . I believed that the inward conversion of which I was conscious. . . would last into the next life, and that I was elected to eternal glory. . .
The first part of Newman’s life centered in Oxford where he won a scholarship to Trinity College at age 16 and where he was elected a tutorial fellow at Oriel College at 21. He was ordained in the Church of England and was Vicar of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, Oxford. He served that distinguished church for 15 years. In 1845 Newman experienced his second conversion: parting with his friends and Oxford and being received into the Roman Catholic Church.
On the occasion of Newman’s canonization last month, HRH Prince Charles wrote an article for L’Osservatore Romano in which he gives thanks for Newman’s gift to both the Anglican and the Roman Catholic churches and to the world. He wrote: In the age when he lived, Newman stood for the life of the spirit against the forces that would debase human dignity and human destiny.  In the age in which he attains sainthood, his example is needed more than ever – for the manner in which, at his best, he could advocate without accusation, could disagree without disrespect and, perhaps most of all, could see differences as places of encounter rather than exclusion.
For further notes that I would like to share with you about Newman and his stirring autobiography, click here . As for the Rector’s Picks, I would recommend two books:
John Henry Newman, Apologia Pro Vita Sua (Penguin Classics), paperback, 1995. Eamon Duffy, John Henry Newman: A Very Brief History , hardcover, 2019. [Duffy is a distinguished historian of the Reformation. He is also a good introduction to Newman amidst a sea of Newman studies more often hagiography than history.]
Creating Effective Cohesive Teams
Book Review on The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Book review by Dale Beaman, MPH, PCC, Executive Coach and Leadership Development Expert
It’s not easy to exactly define what makes a team great, but there is agreement around one trait: cohesiveness. Cohesiveness is the adjective that describes “teamwork”. If you want to learn ways to help teams in your ministry become more cohesive to achieve a greater collective impact in our communities and the world, Patrick Lencioni’s best-selling book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team , is a valuable tool.
The author reveals the five dysfunctions that are at the very heart of why teams — even the best ones — often struggle.
Are you dealing with any of these dysfunctions within your ministry teams?
When a team fails to function well, the ripple effects hurt the entire organization. In my work with leaders and teams, they aim to become more cohesive because they know that working better together will enable them to reach goals, move toward a bigger vision and enjoy a better life at work.
The key lessons you will learn from this classic leadership book are: cohesive teams trust each other, master the art of disagreement, fully commit to an agreed upon plan, hold themselves accountable, and recognize that there’s no “I” in Team –focus on the collective results.
Lencioni’s principles apply not only to business, but to ministry teams of all kinds. He outlines a powerful model and actionable steps that can be used to overcome these common hurdles and build a cohesive, united and effective team. Check out this link:   2 Min Video Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Leader Reflections:
  • Think about a time that you were a part of a dysfunctional team. What were the indications that the group or team was dysfunctional? 
  • In what ways do you try to encourage teamwork among your peers? How well does your team (staff, vestry, or volunteer team) work together?
  • How would you rate the level of trust (1= very low, 10 = exceptionally high) on the teams that you lead? What are some factors that would encourage deeper trust?
Poppin' At The Pops
The written and spoken word is vital to the Church’s proclamation of the Gospel. And yet there is soundness in the claim that music is the primary art form of the West formed and guided by the development of the Christian Church over many centuries.
Lovely too to see Christians enjoy and appreciate in fellowship musical talent both sacred and secular. And in what better place for people and gifted musicians to come together than in Tallahassee? —a real center of musical talent in the Southeast.
Just such a celebration took place on the evening of November 7 th , 2019 in the Lee Auditorium of Florida A&M University. ‘Poppin’ at the Pops 2019’ with the Javacya Elite Chamber Orchestra. This concert was a benefit for St. Michael and All Angels Church, Tallahassee provided by the Arts-in-the-Heart concert series and the St. Michael and All Angels Church capital campaign.
Those fortunate to attend this great evening were treated to outstanding artists that included Marvin Goldstein, pianist; special guest Lilita Forbes; Darryl Tookes, tenor; Scotty Barnhart, trumpeter. The conductors were Ralph Jean-Paul; Patrice Floyd and Dr. Julian White.
Captured here are participants and organizers at the Reception at the Meek-Elton Black Archives Building, Florida A & M University, left to right: Dr. Julian White, Ralph Jean-Paul, Joanna Parsons, Lilita Forbes, Scotty Barnhart, Patrice Floyd, Father Hugh Chapman, Linda Dilworth. (Not pictured) Darryl Tookes, Longineau Parsons.
A A Door to Easter: Pilgrimage Week & Palm Sunday Procession in Antigua, Guatemala
Join The Diocese of Florida for A Door to Easter Pilgraimage, as we travel together to Antigua, Guatemala March 31 - April 6, 2020. This 8-day trip will explore the sights and sounds of Guatemala and also experience the dazzling Palm Sunday La Merced Procession.

Click here to download the trip brochure
Click here to register for the trip
Upcoming Events
December 6-8, 2019

Yoga and Christian Contemplative Prayer Retreat
My Soul Doth Magnify the Lord
Megan Cochran, Leader
Kate Moorehead, Retreat Chaplain
Camp Weed & Cerveny Conference Center

Come experience the delightful blending of the physical practice of yoga with the enduring traditions of Christian contemplative prayer. Learn how to cultivate inner stillness and receptivity to the Indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit.
No yoga experience needed. This retreat works for those trying yoga for the first time and for those who regularly practice yoga. Chair yoga is also an option.
December 14, 2019

Memento Mori: "Remember Your Death"
A Saturday Retreat in the Tradition of Bishop Jeremy Taylor’s ‘Holy Living, Holy Dying’ 
St. John's Cathedral
Jacksonville, FL
T he 17th century Anglican cleric Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667) who lived and preached during the turbulent days of the English Civil War wrote a popular book called The Rule and Exercise of Holy Living (1650). Even more popular was the book that followed a year later called The Rule and Exercises of Holy Dying.

Registration includes the $12 for lunch that is provided. To register: click here
(Discount for parish groups of four or more attending. Limited scholarships available.)