Praying the Psalms

The Psalms
People experience a wide range of emotions in their relationship with God.  Those emotions are captured in a powerful way in the collection 150 Psalms in the Bible.  The Psalms (the name comes from a Greek musical term) are poems that include praise (“Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord!” Psalm 113:1) and longing (“O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you, my flesh faints for you” Psalm 63:1), holy fear (“O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger, nor chasten me in your wrath! Psalm 38:1) and even despair (“O God, why do you cast us off for ever?  Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture? Psalm 7:1).  Do you want to learn what a relationship with God, the creator of the universe, could be like?  Pick up the Bible and read a Psalm or two a day.  Or come and see us.  We read at least one Psalm during every service on Sunday.
The Psalms are considered to be a model for prayer. To encourage us in that model, the prayer book divides the psalms as daily devotions for morning and evening. In the 1928 Book of Common they appear as the translations written by Miles Coverdale, a  16th century reformer. Here’s a link to follow the way of the psalms: http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/1928/Psalms_1928.pdf.
Tradition attributes the psalms to  David the boy shepherd who became king.
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Saviour of the Universe

In a poll by “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” more people believed in Aliens than God. The poll revealed the following:

Top beliefs among adults: 

Ghosts (55 per cent)

Aliens (51 per cent)

UFOs (42 per cent )

Angels (27 per cent)

God (25 per cent)

 Top belief among children (aged 8 to 12): 

Aliens (64 per cent)

Ghosts (64 per cent)

UFOs (50 per cent)

God (33 per cent)

Angels (27 per cent)

*According to a poll of 1,500 British adults and 500 British children 

Instead of reading too much of this, it might be good to ask what do Orthodox Christians believe? Across our spectrum, whether Eastern, Western, Protestant, Anglican, or Roman Catholic – all Christians who hold to the orthodox doctrines of the faith believe in a universe with a Sovereign God and loving Savior.
If you are worried about a universe that may be populated with unknown aliens, we invite you to consider the signs closer to home. Perhaps you have seen the signs:  Jesus Saves!  What do they mean?  The answer is in the Gospel of John, Chapter 3, verses 16-17:  “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God sent his Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.”  In other words, so many things we rely on — wealth, education, exercise — lead in the end to death.  A personal relationship with Jesus Christ is the only thing that leads to life.  How can this be?  We offer the same invitation that Jesus did:  come and see! (Gospel of John, Chapter 1, verse 39.) 

No matter what the universe holds, there is a loving Savior gazing over all. If you have not yet met that Savior, we would love to introduce you.

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Permanent Things

We live in exciting times.  The English have voted to leave the European Union and their prime minister has resigned.  Our presidential election campaign is generating anger and fear on both sides:  what dire things will happen if “the other candidate” is elected?  Many people are out of work.  Evil men pick up guns, knives, and bombs to kill the innocent.  Without minimizing the importance of these events, it is comforting to recall that they are not permanent.  What is permanent is God’s love for us and his offer to forgive our sins and build a personal relationship that will last eternally, even after our death, even after the last mountain has crumbled into the sea.  If you want this kind of permanent love we are eager to tell you more about it.

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Bernhard Plockhorst – “The Good Shepherd”

 

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Happy Fathers Day!

A collect for Fathers Day:

O Lord our God, creator of heaven and earth, through your Son Jesus Christ you have revealed yourself as a heavenly Father to all of your children. Bless, we pray, all earthly fathers. Strengthen them to nurture, protect, and guide the children entrusted to their care. Instill within them the virtues of love and patience. May they be slow to anger and quick to forgive. And through the ministrations of your Holy Spirit, may all fathers be strong and steadfast examples of faithfulness, responsibility, and loving-kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 (From: Fr. Bryan Owen, http://creedalchristian.blogspot.com/2009/06/collect-for-fathers-day.html)

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We have a Passion for Christ

When you visit on Sunday morning, you won’t hear about politics or the latest films.  You won’t hear pop music.  You will hear a form of worship that is centuries old.  That’s because we have Jesus Christ in our midst (see the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 18, verse 20) and we honor Him.  Jesus was in the beginning with God the Father and all things were made through Him (see the Gospel of John, Chapter 1, verses 1-3).  You are very welcome to join us in deepening your relationship with the creator of the universe.  He is also the savior of the universe, but we’ll talk about that next time.

Jesus Christ Pantocrator (Detail from deesis mosaic) from Hagia Sophia

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Our Patron Saints Feast Day

On June 11, the Church celebrates Saint Barnabas, one of the apostles and a companion of Paul.  In the fourth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, we learn that his name was Joseph and he was a native of the island of Cyprus.  He was called Barnabas, or “son of encouragement,” probably because of his ability as a preacher.  He may have known Jesus personally:  the early church historian Eusebius says that Barnabas was one of seventy disciples sent out by Jesus (Church History, Book I, chapter 12).  When Paul was first converted from a bitter persecutor to an eager champion of Christianity, Barnabas vouched for him to the (not unreasonably) fearful church leaders in Jerusalem (Acts 9:27).  Barnabas and Paul together led the church in Antioch where the followers of Jesus were first called Christians (Acts 11:19-26).  Barnabas and Paul journeyed through Cyprus and Asia Minor to spread the Good News (Acts 13).  On that journey the people of Lystra mistook Barnabas and Paul for Zeus and Hermes in disguise (Acts 14).  The mission to non-Jews provoked controversy; some argued that new converts to Christianity must be circumcised and become Jews first.  Barnabas and Paul argued against this position (Acts 15:1-2) and their view prevailed.  Barnabas and Paul later quarreled and pursued their missionary work separately (Acts 5:36-41; Galatians 2:11-13).

Barnabas and Mark went to Cyprus, where Barnabas is traditionally honored as the founder of the Church. It seems that Barnabas continued his journeys for the Gospel, because Paul mentions him several times in his letters to the Galatians, the Corinthians, and the Colossians. Tradition has it that he was martyred at Salamis in Cyprus.(see note)

(Church Publishing. Lesser Feasts and Fasts (Kindle Locations 5084-5087). Church Publishing Inc.. Kindle Edition.)

Tradition says that Barnabas ended his days on his native island of Cyprus.  Luke sums up:  Barnabas “was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith” (Acts 11:24).

St. Barnabas Anglican church of Seattle was the daughter church of St. Paul in Bellevue. This is naturally why the name St. Barnabas was chosen to represent the helpmate that Barnabas was to Paul. As Barnabas was to Paul, so St. Barnabas church was to St. Paul anglican church. There is much history to share about the story of our patron Saint and the story of the planting of this church. We would love to share that story with you and perhaps this community would become a place you can call your spiritual home.

On this day we pray:

O LORD God Almighty, who didst endue thy holy Apostle Barnabas with singular gifts of the Holy Ghost; Leave us not, we beseech thee, destitute of thy manifold gifts, nor yet of grace to use them alway to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (From the 1928 B.C.P.)

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Feast Day of St. Boniface

June 6 is the feast day of Boniface, Archbishop of Mainz, Missionary to Germany, and Martyr, 754. Boniface is justly called one of the “Makers of Europe.” He was born at Crediton in Devonshire, England, about 675, and received the English name of Winfred. He was educated at Exeter, and later at Nursling, near Winchester, where he was professed a monk and ordained to the presbyterate.

Inspired by the examples of Willibrord and others, Winfred decided to become a missionary, and made his first Journey to Frisia (Netherlands) in 716— a venture with little success. In 719 he started out again; but this time he first went to Rome to seek papal approval. Pope Gregory the Second commissioned him to work in Germany, and gave him the name of Boniface.

For the rest of his days, Boniface devoted himself to reforming, planting, and organizing churches, monasteries, and dioceses in Hesse, Thuringia, and Bavaria. Many helpers and supplies came to him from friends in England. In 722 the Pope ordained him a bishop, ten years later made him an archbishop, and in 743 gave him a fixed see at Mainz.

The Frankish rulers also supported his work. At their invitation, he presided over reforming councils of the Frankish Church; and in 752, with the consent of Pope Zacharias, he anointed Pepin (Pippin) as King of the Franks. Thus, the way was prepared for Charlemagne, son of Pepin, and the revival of a unified Christian dominion in western Europe.

In 753 Boniface resigned his see, to spend his last years again as a missionary in Frisia. On June 5, 754, while awaiting a group of converts for confirmation, he and his companions were murdered by a band of pagans, near Dokkum. His body was buried at Fulda, a monastery he had founded in 744, near Mainz.

From: Church Publishing. Lesser Feasts and Fasts (Kindle Locations 4984-4997). Church Publishing Inc.. Kindle Edition.

 

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A Feast Day Remembered

On Wednesday, June 1, the Church calendar bids us remember Justin of Neapolis.  He was born around 100 A.D. and trained as a philosopher.  He came to believe that only partial knowledge could be found in the works of Plato and Aristotle;  full knowledge was found only in Christ.  After his conversion to Christianity, he taught philosophy in Rome. He was denounced to the authorities and executed for his faith around 165.  For this reason, he is usually called Justin Martyr.  Here is what he said to his skeptical fellow Romans:  “It is in our power when we are examined to deny our faith, but we would not live by telling a lie.  For, impelled by the desire for the eternal and pure life, we seek to dwell with God, the Father and Creator of all things, and hasten to confess our faith, being persuaded and convinced that those who have shown to God by their works that they follow Him, and long to dwell with Him where there is no evil to cause disturbance, are able to obtain these things.  This, then, to speak briefly, is what we look for and have learned from Christ, and teach.”

 Do you want to know more about how Christianity embraces and completes classical philosophy?  Do you want to dwell with God where there is no evil?  Come and see us.  It is our job to publish these things to the world, and that includes you!

(From: Encyclopedia Britannica. Ref. Justin’s Apology, section VIII)

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Saint Justin Martyr statue at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (southeast section) in Washington, D.C.

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In loving memory…

Honoring our fallen veterans and the sacrifices they made to keep us free:

Memorial Day 2016

During our Sunday service we were honored to host Girl Scout troop 43866 as they presented the flag in special recognition of Memorial Day weekend:

May we all be blessed by those who gave much on our behalf. In a spirit of gratitude, Memorial Day blessings,

Fr. Harley+

 

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Trinity Time

It is said that when Thomas à Becket (1118–70) was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury, his first act was to establish a festival in honor of the Holy Trinity on the Sunday following Pentecost. This observance spread from Canterbury throughout the whole of western Christendom.  Trinity Sunday fell on May 22 this year.  The coming Sundays will be numbered “Sundays after Trinity” until the season of Advent begins in the autumn.  If you want to know why the Trinity is important, if you want to know why the Anglican Church follows a “Church Year” with recurring seasons, if you want to know why St. Barnabas uses traditional liturgies (set forms of words and actions) to honor and worship Jesus every Sunday, come and join us!  It is our mission to tell these things to the world, and that includes you.

Trinity Season is the longest season in the church year. This Sunday is the first Sunday After Trinity Sunday and our thoughts are drawn toward the work of the church in this season.

Trinity Season on the Altar

 

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