Thanksgiving Day Eucharist

Join us tomorrow morning (Nov. 23, 2017) at 9:00 a.m. for a Thanksgiving Day Eucharist (that’s a double thanksgiving). Our service will be with Word, music, and Sacrament. This is a wonderful way to start in worship, but still leaving plenty of time for other festivities of the day!

White altar frontal

Here are a few reasons we might chose to do so:

Agricultural festivals are of great antiquity, and common to many religions. Among the Jews, the three pilgrimage feasts, Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles, each had agricultural significance. Medieval Christianity also developed a number of such observances, none of which, however, were incorporated into the Prayer Book.

Our own Thanksgiving Day finds its roots in observances begun by colonists in Massachusetts and Virginia, a tradition later taken up and extended to the whole of the new American nation by action of the Continental Congress.

The Prayer (Collect)

Almighty and gracious Father, we give thee thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we beseech thee, faithful stewards of thy great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.





From: Lesser Feasts and Fasts (Kindle Locations 7848-7852). Church Publishing Inc.. Kindle Edition.

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Veterans Day – November 11, 2017

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We acknowledge the countless sacrifices made by our veterans for the sake of this country. Bless you all. The members of St. Barnabas Anglican Church.


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The Single/Double Procession of the Holy Spirit

For more than 1,000 years, the churches of the West and East have been united by their use of the Nicene Creed (more technically the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed), which was worked out at church councils at Nicaea and Constantinople in 325 and 381, respectively, and confirmed at the Council of Chalcedon in 451.  Around the year 600, however, some churches in the west began amending the part of the creed that talks about the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit.  The original creed states (in Greek) that the Holy Spirit proceeds “from the Father.”  Some churches in the west amended this to say that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father  and the Son.  This amendment was embodied in a single Latin word, filioque.  The “filioque clause” was accepted by the Roman church and became standard in the west by the year 1,000.  Ever since, it has been a point of controversy between western and eastern churches.

The Church Catechism: I Believe in the Holy Ghost Part III–The Filioque | - Diocese of the Mid West

Without fanfare, a group of Anglican and Orthodox scholars has been working on this issue, trying to find a basis for agreement, and it appears that they have done so.  Their published statement, “The Procession and Work of the Holy Spirit,” is only a few pages long and well worth study.  It concludes that the “filioque clause” can reasonably be omitted from the Creed.  The ACNA, of which St. Barnabas is a part, already recognizes that the “filioque clause” does not appear in the original Creed and its published liturgies contain the clause in brackets, indicating that it is optional.  The statement of the Anglican/Orthodox working group can be found here:

The statement has been submitted to governing authorities in both the Anglican and Orthodox churches for review and approval.  This may appear a small thing, but healing any breach existing among Christian churches is a good thing, if done in a spirit of discernment and seeking to understand God’s Word.

The Life-Giving Mystery of the Holy Trinity | St Austin and St Gregory, Margate, with St Anne ...

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All Saints Day Mass

This major festival of the church goes back to the 7th Century, when the ancient Roman Pantheon was re-dedicated as a church honoring the Virgin Mary and all Martyrs.  The original date was in May,  later moved to November 1.  The focus of All Saints Day (also called All Hallows Day) was on remembering the Christian dead.  From this grew up a collection of folk customs, particularly on the eve of All Saints Day (also called All Hallows Eve, or Hallows Even, or Hallowe’en), involving costumes, trick or treating, and carving pumpkins.  The folk holiday, which supports lucrative commerce in candy and costumes, is now more prominent in popular culture than All Saints Day itself, but the original meaning of All Saints Day remains:  to remember the Christian dead, especially martyrs who died for their faith.  St. Barnabas will celebrate All Saints Day this evening at 7:00 p.m.  All are welcome.

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Who is God? Part 10 (The Fall of Man)

Our dialogue with Anaiah, an educated Jew from the 500’s B.C., continues.

St. Barnabas Blog:  You were going to tell me a story about how the world, created by a good God, came to be a place where sin, evil, and death are found.

Anaiah:  That’s right.  The story is found near the beginning of the book of Genesis.  After God has created a good world, as his final (one might say crowning) creation, he made man, male and female.  In those days, God and man spoke together.  And God gave man something precious:  a rule, one simple rule to follow. 

SBB:  What was the rule?

Anaiah:  There was a special tree in the garden where man lived, called the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  The simple rule was not to eat from that tree.  (Genesis 2:15-17)

SBB:  Why did God make that rule?

Anaiah:  Remember how we saw, in the case of Abraham, that God’s plan is to bind us to himself through obedience, submission, and sacrifice. This is another example of the same approach.  God made a good world for man to enjoy, but man’s glory was to obey, and God made this as easy as possible by giving him only one rule.

SBB:  The idea that man’s glory is to obey is somewhat counter-cultural in my own time.

Anaiah:  So I have seen.

SBB:  This story of Adam and Eve is well known to us, and we know that they did not obey God’s command.  How did this happen, if man was part of God’s good creation?  Does Adam’s disobedience reveal a flaw in creation?

Anaiah:  That is a very good question and it leads us into the most interesting part of the story.  “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the LORD God had made.”  (Genesis 3:1)  This introduces the pivotal figure of the serpent.  He asks the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden?’” 

SBB:  Who is this talking serpent?

Anaiah:  He represents Satan, a spiritual being who has rebelled from God and seeks to disrupt God’s creation and to destroy man (his name means “the adversary”).  His appearance puts the situation of Adam and Eve into a cosmic context.  He tempts Eve to eat from the forbidden tree and she in turn tempts Adam to do the same.  So Satan succeeds in getting mankind to disobey God, and this leads to the entry of sin, evil, and death into the world.

SBB:  Is it important that the serpent is a spiritual adversary rather than just a particularly talkative creature in the garden?

Anaiah:  Yes, for this reason.  The physical world as God has made it is good throughout, as is mankind’s original nature.  Man’s nature is to make choices and take actions based on his physical surroundings.  In a good world with a good nature, it does seem puzzling that mankind would ever go astray.  Therefore it makes sense that the initial impetus for sin should come from outside that physical creation, from a spiritual being.  [Anaiah anticipates here an argument from St. Augustine summarized in the commentary on Genesis by R. R. Reno, Brazos Press, 2010, pp. 77-85.] 

SBB:  Doesn’t the story just push the origin of evil one stage farther back?  Has the story explained anything?  How did the serpent, or Satan, come to disobey? 

Anaiah:  Spiritual beings have the gift of free choice, not conditioned by physical surroundings.  It is perhaps mysterious that any creation of God would choose to turn against him, but in the case of Satan, such a choice would not suggest any defect in the physical universe that God has created.

SBB:  So are we just playthings of forces beyond our control?

Anaiah:  Here is a great mystery.  We are affected by spiritual forces that are beyond our control, but we play a crucial role in the universe because we are both spirit and body.  God has made us in some ways lower than the angels but he has crowned us with glory and honor by making us central to his plans.  Satan attacks us as tempter and adversary because he wants to disrupt God’s plans through us.

SBB:  So what you are saying is that sin, evil, and death came into the world because a spiritual being wishes to disrupt God’s plans, and that being knows that mankind is central to those plans?

Anaiah:  That is right. And now that sin, evil, and death are in the world, everything you and I do has cosmic significance.  We saw that already with Abraham and the promise that through him all people would be blessed.

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We’re on Facebook!

While we have maintained a Facebook page for  many years, this site has always been our primary web portal. Postings and information are generated on this website  first  and then sent out  to our other social media platforms. Those who have  strong preferences for Facebook often think of that social media platform as our website. This weblog is our website , but the administrators of this site recognize the great popularity of Facebook. Here is a reminder of our Facebook location:

St. Barnabas our Patron saint – Evangelist & Preacher – Companion to St. Paul, faithful man of God .

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19th Sunday After Trinity

The Collect for the Day: O God, forasmuch as without thee we are not able to please thee; Mercifully grant that thy Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Christian Yearby Blessed John Keble 


Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the firs?  They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.  He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.  DANIEL iii. 24, 25.

When Persecution’s torrent blaze
Wraps the unshrinking Martyr’s head;
When fade all earthly flowers and bays,
When summer friends are gone and fled,
Is he alone in that dark hour
Who owns the Lord of love and power?Or waves there not around his brow
A wand no human arm may wield,
Fraught with a spell no angels know,
His steps to guide, his soul to shield?
Thou, Saviour, art his Charmed Bower,
His Magic Ring, his Rock, his Tower.

And when the wicked ones behold
Thy favourites walking in Thy light,
Just as, in fancied triumph bold,
They deem’d them lost in deadly night,
Amaz’d they cry, “What spell is this,
“Which turns their sufferings all to bliss?

“How are they free whom we had bound?
“Upright, whom in the gulf we cast?
“What wondrous helper have they found
“To screen them from the scorching blast?
“Three were they — who hath made them four?
“And sure a form divine he wore,

“Even like the Son of God.”  So cried
The Tyrant, when in one fierce flame
The Martyrs liv’d, the murderers died:
Yet knew he not what angel came
To make the rushing fire-flood seem
Like summer breeze by woodland stream.
[Note: Song of the Three Children, ver. 27.  As it had been a moist whistling wind.]

He knew not, but there are who know:
The Matron, who alone hath stood,
When not a prop seem’d left below,
The first lorn hour of widowhood,
Yet cheer’d and cheering all, the while,
With sad but unaffected smile;–

The Father, who his vigil keeps
By the sad couch whence hope has flown,
Watching the eye where reason sleeps,
Yet in his heart can mercy own,
Still sweetly yielding to the rod,
Still loving man, still thanking GOD;–

The Christian Pastor, bow’d to earth
With thankless toil, and vile esteem’d,
Still travailing in second birth
Of souls that will not be redeem’d,
Yet stedfast set to do his part,
And fearing most his own vain heart;–

These know: on these look long and well,
Cleansing thy sight by prayer and faith,
And thou shalt know what secret spell
Preserves them in their living death:
Through sevenfold flames thine eye shall see
The Saviour walking with His faithful Three.

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Anniversary Appendix

An alert reader asks:

Why did you include all of those “non-churchy” things in your article about the 500th anniversary of 1517?


Dear Kind reader,

Thank you for your perceptive question. We are called to love God and (like God) to love all that is good in the universe, from the diligence of the scholar to the courage of the Conquistador to the delicate colors of the rose.  This love is not a resigned acceptance of the whole world, good and bad.  This love is active, seeking to honor what is good and protect it from what is not.  We can admire an explorer’s courage without approving his cruelty. Distinguishing right from wrong may be hard, but God has given us clues in the Ten Commandments and elsewhere.  And it is good to know that God not only seeks to protect what is good, he seeks (by his unmerited gift) to make us worthy of what is best: life with him forever.  The church is an institution dedicated to helping everyone live into God’s gift.  That is what was meant by the suggestion that we reflect on all the many things that happened in 1517 to the greater glory of God.

Remember, this Sunday at 9:10am we continue to examine the catechism and ask what our faith asks and requires of us. We discuss these questions, not only in an Anglican context, but within the context of God’s creation and God’s Kingdom presence.

King of England Henry VIII

Henry VIII was 26 and already King. He would soon start his own “Reformations”. More to come…







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Don’t Forget Your Important Anniversary!

“Theses Doors”, commemorating Luthers’ 95 Theses – All Saints Church

October 31 of this year will mark the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of “95 theses” (that is, 95 arguments he wished to defend in public debate) on the church bulletin board at Wittenberg, Germany, where he was a professor of Biblical studies.  Luther criticized the way the Church (based in Rome) was selling “indulgences” to raise money and championed the idea that Christian belief should be based solidly on the Bible and faith in Jesus Christ.  The subsequent public controversy was a prominent event in what we know as the Protestant Reformation.  The Anglican church, of which St. Barnabas is a part, was formed in the Reformation, as reflected in its founding documents and current catechism (about which we are having a series of classes on Sundays at 9:10 am).

1517 was an exciting time.  Leonardo da Vinci was alive, transforming art and technology.  Christopher Columbus’ first voyage to the New World had been only 25 years earlier.  In 1517, Hernan Cortes was preparing an expedition to Mexico, where he would discover the Aztecs.  The first diplomatic mission from Europe (from Portugal) reached China at what is now Hong Kong in 1517.  Erasmus of Rotterdam was working on a scholarly revision of the Bible using Hebrew, Greek, and Latin sources.  William Tyndale had begun his studies that led to the publication of the first Bible translated into English.  The printing press had recently come into wide use in Europe.  All of these events affected one another.

So let us remember and reflect on this an important anniversary to the greater glory of God.

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And Now a Word From Our Sponsor…

Test Pattern

What does God want to give you?

God wants to reconcile me to himself, to free me from captivity to sin, to fill me with knowledge of him, to make me a citizen of his Kingdom, and to enable me to worship, serve, and glorify him now and forever. [From the 2014 ACNA Catechism, Question 7.]

seventh seal the knave speaks

( Ingmar Bergman, The Seventh Seal)

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