Volume 9: August 23, 2019
The Architect of the Holy Land
Chances are if you have been to the Holy Land or you are planning to go—you will visit not one but several of his churches. Tour guides praise him. Thousands of tourists and pilgrims visit the churches he built every year. Architects make a special trip to marvel at his buildings. Yet, as someone noted, he is probably the most neglected architect of the twentieth century. Thank goodness for Google Search or you would not find anything written about him.
I refer to Antonio Barluzzi (1884-1960), the Italian architect who became known as the’ Architect of the Holy Land’ for the many pilgrimage churches he built in the Holy Land in the early 20 th century. His chief works are: The Latin Chapel of Calvary in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem; the Basilica of Gethsemane, on the Mount of Olives; the Church of St Lazarus, Bethany; the Chapel of the Shepherds, Bethlehem; the Church of the Good Shepherd, Jericho; the Church of the Visitation, Ain Karem; the Basilica of Mount Tabor; the Church of the Beatitudes, Galilee. Gethsemane, Galilee, Jerusalem and Mount Tabor--- Barluzzi has covered holy ground.

Barluzzi and the Church of the Transfiguration, Mount Tabor
Earlier this month, August 6 th, we celebrated the Feast of the Transfiguration. The Feast commemorates one of the major moments in the life of our Lord: his transfiguration before his apostles on a high mountain. In the Gospel account, Jesus took Peter, James and John with him up a mountain and they witnessed his countenance transfigured before their eyes and saw him talking with Elijah and Moses. Preachers often lambast Peter for suggesting they build some shrines on the site:  Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah. But Peter’s suggestion is precisely what the Church from early times has done on Mount Tabor.
By invitation of the Franciscans, who held a papal commission to look after many Holy Land sites, Barluzzi designed and built the contemporary Church of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor between 1919 and 1924. This is the first church built by him in the Holy Land. Many consider it his finest of all his churches. It was a tremendous undertaking—building upon the ruins of a Byzantine church from the 5 th or 6 th century and a Crusader church from the 12 th century. 
The church consists of three naves which are separated by two rows of columns supporting arches. In the bell towers on either side there are chapels with the northern dedicated to Moses and the southern dedicated to Elijah. In the upper part of the main church, above the altar, there is a magnificent mosaic depicting the Transfiguration.

Collect for the Feast of the Transfiguration
August 6th
O GOD, who on the mount didst reveal to chosen witnesses thine only-begotten Son wonderfully transfigured, in raiment white and glistering; Mercifully grant that we, being delivered from the disquietude of this world, may be permitted to behold the King in his beauty, who with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth, one God, world without end. Amen.  
Virtual Pilgrimages
In the Introduction to this Newsletter, I mentioned a travel book I read many years ago on the Holy Land,  In the Steps of the Master  that was originally published in 1934 and that has been re-issued continuously ever since. The book has had an abiding interest simply because making a pilgrimage continues to be of spiritual interest and desire. People make their way to the earthly Jerusalem to be in touch with a place so intimately related to the Lord’s walk on earth.
The deeply devotional and spiritual nature of a pilgrimage is directly linked to our walking and praying the Stations of the Cross in our local church on Good Friday. And at other times in the year, some of our churches offer a contemplative prayer walk in the form of a labyrinth. A labyrinth was constructed in stone in the floor of Chartres Cathedral near Paris circa 1200 A.D. Sandie Wesley of St. Paul’s Church, Federal Point is a trained contemplative retreat leader who has kindly offered to lead contemplative prayer walks with labyrinth at any of our churches in the Diocese who would like to invite her. If interested, contact Sandie at: sandiewesley48@gmail.com
Thinking about the Stations and the labyrinth put me in mind of a talk I once heard by a graduate student in medieval history who was doing fascinating research into what one might call  virtual  pilgrimages. Such exercises were commonplace to monastic life in the Middle Ages. 

Kathryn M. Rudy, an authority on Northern European illuminated manuscripts and prints has written a book about her research:  Virtual Pilgrimages in the Convent: Imagining Jerusalem in the Late Middle Ages

Here is a snippet of a review of her book on virtual pilgrimages that I hope captures your imagination and that might provide food for thought:

‘Walking in Christ’s footsteps’ was a devotional ideal in the late Middle Ages. However, few nuns and religious women had the freedom or the funding to take the journey in the flesh. Instead they invented and adjusted devotional exercises to visit the sites virtually. These exercises, largely based on real pilgrims’ accounts, made use of images and objects that helped the beholder to imagine walking alongside Christ during his torturous march to Calvary. Some provided scripts whereby votaries could animate paintings and sculptures. Others required the nun to imagine her convent as a miniature model of Jerusalem.

This volume is grounded in more than a dozen texts from manuscripts written by medieval nuns and religious women. . . They attest to the ubiquity and variety of virtual pilgrimages among religious women and help to reveal the functions of certain late medieval devotional images.

As St Augustine once noted, and I paraphrase roughly, ‘the journey to God is not made by boat nor foot but simply by the heart’s desire to go’.    
Well on Their Way:
Licensed Lay Ministry Students
Early December 2019 will mark the completion of course for some 33 lay men and women enrolled in the Bishop’s Institute Licensed Lay Ministry Course (LLM). The students currently enrolled study on two campuses: eighteen of them studying for a whole day one Saturday a month in the Milam Room, Diocesan Office, Jacksonville and fifteen regularly attending one night a week at the Church of the Holy Communion, Hawthorne.
Both schools follow the same course manual provided and supervised by the Bishop’s Institute and cover six key modules in Holy Scripture, Church History and the Book of Common Prayer. On graduation and receiving a License from the Bishop, these lay men and women will be very well qualified to assist and to lead worship in our churches under the direction of their Rector or priest-in-charge. They will also have forged strong connections across congregations to strengthen our wonderful Diocese.
The Diocesan Office-based course is supervised by Canon Douglas Dupree and the Rev. Deacon Mark Richardson (with a lot of wonderful help provided by the Rev. Deacon Marsha Holmes). Course tutors include Deacon Mark Richardson, Fr. Les Singleton, Dr. Reed Freeman and the Very Rev. Kate Moorehead. The Hawthorne-based course is led by four regional clergy working in concert: Fr. Jay Jamison; Mthr. Diane Reeves; Fr. Les Singleton and Fr .Bert Daly. Other area clergy assisting include Fr. George Holston and the Rev. Deacon Diane Whallon.
Our hope is that the students completing the course will be recognized and licensed by Bishop Howard during the Diocesan Convention at Camp Weed and Cerveny Conference Center in January 2020.
For a lovely personal testimony of one of the LLM students, click here.
Book Review: The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief by Francis Collins
I am always thankful when a friend whose observations and opinions I trust recommends with enthusiasm a book he or she has enjoyed reading. Just recently, Barnum McCarty, the senior priest of the Diocese, recommended to me a book by the distinguished scientist and Christian apologist Francis Collins, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, paperback, 2007. The book, in turn, was recommended to Canon McCarty by his friend and primary care physician who had read it with equal enthusiasm.

Francis Collins is no ordinary research scientist. Collins helped to discover the genetic ‘misspellings’ that cause cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, Huntington’s disease, and a rare form of premature aging called progeri a. A pioneer gene hunter, he led the Human Genome Project from 1993 until 2008. More recently he has been the Director of the National Institutes of Health, Bethsaida, Maryland. He was the founder and first director of BioLogos, an organization whose purpose is to ‘invite the church and the world to see the harmony between science and biblical faith’. In 2009 Pope Benedict XVI Collins to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Douglas Dupree 
Rector's Picks
Rather than produce a list of books for August I thought I might simply share with you a reference to my favorite travel writing press. How better to spend the ‘dog days of summer’ sheltering in the quiet and cool of one’s den in one’s favorite chair, book in hand, spared the sweltering humidity outdoors, the traffic on the Interstate and the predictable delays at the airport. And, anyway, for many of us summer is already over with back to school and back to work our reality.
I love  Eland Books. Eland is not a religious publishing house. It is secular but ‘spiritual’ in the sense it allows you to travel the four corners of the world and meet incredible people and be left to ponder the diversity of societies past and present, some ‘gone with the wind’ having been destroyed by the modern world and others newly emergent.
Some of the travel writers in the Eland Press catalogue include Winston Churchill, Martha Gellhorn, Arthur Koestler, Norman Lewis, Dervla Murphy and Jonathan Raban. 
Eland Books was founded in 1982 by John Hatt, a former travel editor determined to republish and revive classic travel books that have fallen out of print over time. Eland Books has come to include some titles of biography and fiction, but first-rate travel writing remains the foundation of the catalogue.
The Eland Books catalogue of available titles can be found at  https://www.travelbooks.co.uk/ but all the titles are available in US dollars off of Amazon (or can be ordered for you from one of our excellent Episcopal bookstores).
Having declared not to offer a list, here is a list of some of my favorite Eland titles:
  • The Last Leopard: A Life of Giuseppe Tomasi de Lampedua by David Gilmour, 2007. It is a biography of the creator of The Leopard, one of the great novels of the last century in which 19thcentury Sicily comes alive. 

  • Warriors: Life and Death among the Somalis by Gerald Hanley, 2005. Hanley recounts his WWII experience living among feuding tribes in Somalia in a remote outstation. Ernest Hemingway called Hanley ‘the foremost writer of his generation’.

  • Naples ’44: An Intelligence Officer in the Italian Labyrinth, by Norman Lewis. Anything by Lewis is good but I think this is his best. Lewis loved Italy and remarked ‘Were I given the chance to be born again, Italy would be the country of my choice’.

  • Sicily: Through Writers’ Eyes, edited by Horatio Clare, 2006. Includes reminiscences by W.H. Auden, Cicero, Goethe, D.H. Lawrence, Norman Lewis, Gavin Maxwell, Pirandello, Steven Runciman and others.

  • Between River and Sea: Encounters in Israel and Palestine, by Dervla Murphy, 2016. Painfully up to date.

  • Meetings with Remarkable Muslims, edited by Rose Baring and Barnaby Rogerson.

  • Old Glory: An American Voyage, by Jonathan Raban, 1998. Navigating the Mississippi from Minneapolis to New Orleans. 
Leadership Development Resource Corner
The Leadership Challenge
How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations
Book review by Dale Beaman, MPH, PCC, Executive Coach and Leadership Expert
The Leadership Challenge by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner , now in its 6th addition, has had a profound impact on the way leaders think about their work. I’ve found this book to be the gold-standard guide for effective leadership. This work helps its readers know “oneself” and understand the importance of personal integrity, developing vision, finding ways to improve, empowering others, and acknowledging the importance of others with whom we work. The book is based on research findings around
five key practices and ten commitments of exemplary leaders : 

While the authors’ renown research has been primarily in the business world, their work is read and quoted widely in the nonprofit sector, including among church leaders. The Leadership Challenge offers practical guidance and inspiring examples about how leaders can have a powerful impact in their workplaces, communities and congregations.
  1. Who are my leadership role models? Why do I consider them role models?
  2. How do I inspire a shared vision and rally people behind a common goal?
  3. What leadership practice would create momentum in my ministry right now?

If you would like to learn more, check out this book summary by clicking here . 
Upcoming Events
September 20-22

A Weekend with Dr. Earl Palmer
"Ephesians: A First Century Book for Our 21st Century"
Camp Weed & Cerveny Conference Center

Ephesians has been rightly called 'The Queen of the Epistles'. This first century book is written from Rome (during imprisonment) to a group of people Paul knows well, having taught in Ephesus for at least three years. At its heart this letter is an affirmation of the transforming power of the love of God-its height, width, length and depth.

February 2-10, 2020

A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
Organized by Biblical Journeys
and led by the Rev. Canon Aaron Smith, assisted by the Rev. Canon Douglas Dupree
Duration: 9 days
Trip Cost: $3,800 (includes room, most meals and flights)
Single Supplement: Base Price + $552
Payment due date: November 2, 2019

Get the full itinerary, more tTour information & register online: https://www.biblical-journeys.com/upcoming-tours-1/0220smith
In Commemoration
To mark 400 years of African American history and culture since the landing of the ship that brought the first enslaved Americans to Jamestown in August 1619, The Father Sydney B. Parker Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians invites you to an
       Interfaith Gathering and Bell Ringing

 St. Philip’s Episcopal Church
Sunday, August 25, 2019
3 p.m.
Saint Philip’s is located at 321 West Union Street.
Come early as the bell will be rung at 3 pm precisely as requested by the National Park Service organizing the bell ringing in churches across the country.
Save the Dates!
Mark your calendars this Fall for the following Bishop's Institute events:

Fall Clergy Retreat
October 21-22

Memento Mori: Remember Your Mortality
October 26, 2019
A Day Retreat led by the Rev. Donavan Cain
Camp Weed & Cerveny Conference Center

Yoga and Christian Meditation Retreat
December 6-8
Camp Weed & Cerveny Conference Center