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.)