Annual Nigerian Sunday 2019

Invitation Aug 18 2019

Nigerian Sunday!

Next Sunday, August 18, we will celebrate our annual Nigerian Eucharist.  People of Nigerian background will come from far and near to join with St. Barnabas in worship, singing, and food.  Parts of the liturgy will be in Igbo, one of the principal languages of Nigeria.  You are welcome to join us for this joyous time as we celebrate how people from all around the world worship the same God that made us all. 

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The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost

The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name.1

If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.2 If ye … being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?3 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.4 Ye have not, because ye ask not.5

When … the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.6

They rebelled, and vexed his Holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and He fought against them.7

1Joh 14:26; 2Joh 4:10; 3Luk 11:13; 4Joh 16:23,24; 5Jam 4:2; 6Joh 16:13,14; 7Isa 63:10;

(From: Bagster’s Daily Light, KJV)

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Saturday Morning wake up!

Christ, who is the image of God.1

The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.2 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.3 He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.4 The brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person.5 God was manifest in the flesh.6

In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature.7 Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.8

As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.9

12Co 4:4; 2Isa 40:5; 3Joh 1:18,14; 4Joh 14:9; 5Heb 1:3; 61Ti 3:16; 7Col 1:14,15; 8Rom 8:29; 91Co 15:49;

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BCP 2019

Our Eucharist (communion) liturgy begins with a Collect (short prayer) for Purity.  Here it is in the traditional 1928 version: 

Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid; Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Christ our Lord. 

Here is the same prayer in the new (2019) ACNA Book of Common Prayer version:

 Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid:  Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord.  

The most obvious change is the replacement of “thee” and “thy” with “you” and “your.”  “Thee” and “thy” sound archaic and formal to many people, which conceals the fact that as originally written they were intended to sound informal and familiar (“you” was the formal mode of address), building on Jesus’ admonition to address Almighty God in a familiar way as “our Father.”  

The first clause is changed in form, probably to emphasize that it is an address to God, not simply a description of God’s attributes.  Interestingly, the authors of the 2019 book have chosen to retain the old-fashioned word “magnify,” which here means to praise or glorify.

In both the 1928 or 2019 versions, the purpose of the prayer is the same.  It focuses the mind on the need for purity of thought when approaching the holy God.  The prayer begins by acknowledging that God knows all of our thoughts, which should trigger the realization that our thoughts, distracted as they so often are, are not worthy of God’s greatness.  But the prayer turns immediately to a petition that God’s Holy Spirit will help us be worthy.  This theme of submission to God’s power runs through the whole liturgy and reminds us of our dependence on God’s free gift of himself in giving us life and in sending his son, Jesus, to save us from our sins.

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Watch & Pray

We made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them.1

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation.2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.3 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist stedfast in the faith.4

Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?5 Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.6

Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward.7

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.8

1Neh 4:9; 2Mat 26:41; 3Col 4:2; 41Pe 5:7-9; 5Luk 6:46; 6Jam 1:22; 7Exo 14:15; 8Phi 4:6,7;

(From Bagster’s Daily Light – KJV)

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New Book of Common Prayer

One of the glories of the Anglican tradition has been the use of a Book of Common Prayer.  Christians in the United States, England, Australia, India, and elsewhere could know that they were following (generally) the same liturgy and saying the same prayers.  This unity has fractured over the years, sometimes for good reasons (to modernize language to make it more understandable) and sometimes for bad (to downplay doctrines like sin that made some people uncomfortable).   The ACNA has been working for about ten years to develop a Book of Common Prayer, and it has now been published.  Join us on Sunday July 21 at 9:10 a.m. (between the two liturgies) to discuss the new book as we evaluate whether the authors have fulfilled their mandate to update the language (eliminating the “thee’s” and “thou’s”) while retaining the core theological principles of orthodox Christianity.

BCP 2019


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Inspiration from Hymns

A popular English Hymn begins like this:

O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come,

Our shelter from the stormy blast and our eternal home.

Under the shadow of thy throne thy saints have dwelt secure,

Sufficient is thine arm alone and out defence is sure.

Before the hills in order stood or earth received her frame,

From everlasting thou art God to endless years the same.

The words are by Isaac Watts (1674-1748) and are based on Psalm 90, which begins:

Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world

From everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Early Reformation hymns were often based on Psalms, but tended to stick closely to the original text.  Isaac Watts allowed himself more license to follow the meaning of his sources.  The whole hymn is worth comparing to the whole psalm.  Watts captures the central thought, which is the dependence of mortal man on the timeless and protective power of God.  It is comforting (in the old sense of strengthening) to know that God is constantly present, always willing our good if we will only acknowledge and trust him. 

Image result for o god our help in ages past

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What Does God Think About Sin?

What does God think about Sin? The answers may surprise you.

God is utterly opposed to every sin, even small ones.  Not because God is a picky killjoy, but because God knows that sins separate us from him and from one another.  Jesus shocked his listeners when he said (Matthew 5:21):

You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, “You shall not murder” and “Whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.” But I say to you that if you are angry with your brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment.

 And again (Matthew 5:43):

You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.”  But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

 And again (Matthew 5:48):

 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

All sins are serious and all sins are against God.  That’s a tough standard, isn’t it?  Be as perfect as God?  It’s impossible!  

There are lots of people, including lots of Christians, who think, “I’m a pretty good person, better than a lot of people I see around me.  I haven’t been arrested, I recycle, I don’t drink (much), I give to beggars (occasionally), people like me.”  On the standards of the world, they are right.  But on the standards of God, they fall short.  Jesus told this story (Luke 18:10):

Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee [an outwardly pious man] and the other a tax collector [a despised collaborator with the Roman occupation troops].  The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people:  thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week, I give a tenth of all my income.”  But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!”  I tell you, this man went down to his home justified, rather than the other, for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.

The Pharisee thought he was doing all he needed to do, and he was in danger of adding pride to his other sins.  The tax collector knew he was in trouble.  Jesus’ point is that everyone is in trouble, everyone falls short of God’s perfect standard.  Even Jesus’ closest followers asked, “Then who can be saved?”  (Matthew 19:25).  Jesus’ answer is remarkable (Matthew 19:26):  “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”  

God’s standard is perfection, and none of us measures up.  We are all in trouble and it is impossible for us to save ourselves.  God could do it if he wanted to, but does he want to?  Yes!  That is why Jesus came to us.  Next time you see one of those “John 3:16” signs at a sporting event, remember that the Gospel of John says this, quoting Jesus:  “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”  When Jesus says that God “gave” his only son, he means that he came to earth to die for our sins, to take the punishment (death and separation from God) that was rightfully ours.

Several things follow.  There are no minor sins.  All sins are a big deal and they separate us from God.  We need to recognize this and, like the tax collector, humbly throw ourselves on God’s mercy, remembering with gratitude Jesus’ sacrifice of himself for us. 

Remember that serious sin you committed, it might have been last week or years ago?  You lied, or cheated, or stole, or ignored someone in need, or maybe did something worse.  You would never tell anyone about it, but it sits there in your memory. There is no way to go back and make things right, and you can’t forgive yourself.  Here is some really good news:  God wants to forgive you and he offers forgiveness, even for that secret sin.  All you need to do is to trust in Jesus and say, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!”  This is not a magical incantation, it is taking advantage of God’s own self-sacrifice in the way that God intends.  

At St. Barnabas, we say every Sunday:

Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, judge of all men, we acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, which we from time to time most grievously have committed, by thought, word, and deed, against thy divine majesty, provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us.  We do earnestly repent and are heartily sorry for these our misdoings.  The remembrance of them is grievous unto us, the burden of them is intolerable.  Have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us most merciful Father.  For thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, forgive us all that is past, and grant that we may ever hereafter serve and please thee in newness of life, to the honor and glory of thy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. (1928 B.C.P.)

This summarizes what was said above:  all sins are serious, we are in trouble and can’t help ourselves, but we humble ourselves and, trusting in the sacrifice of Jesus, ask for forgiveness.  Do you need forgiveness in your life?  Join us and find out the joy you can have when you find out you are forgiven by God!

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Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  (Gospel of Luke 18:10 ESV)


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Better than Junk Trunk Parking Lot Sale

The better than Junk Trunk Sale!

Members of St. Barnabas will be loading up their trunks, with stuff to offer many sale bargains. They will drive to the church and display all of their wares for sale! After 3:00 pm , they will load up unsold items and drive home!

It is that easy! It is a lot of fun! Join the church family as we clean house, and reuse, recycle or re-purpose those items that take up space in your home, but can be used and enjoyed by others.

All contributions donated to the church for this fund raiser will appear on an annual contributions statement!

When?  Saturday, June 29               9:30 am – 3 pm

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God Bless Your Week!

If you find cause for joy, give thanks to God, who wants you to have joy with him forever.

If you find disappointment or suffering, remember that God loved you so much that he sent his son, Jesus, to suffer and die in your place to take away the consequences of sin.

In all things, seek to see God, who is always there, like the sun shining on a house with the blinds drawn.

And may the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep our hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his son Jesus Christ our Lord, and may the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among us, and remain with us always!


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