INTRODUCING YOU TO ST. BARNABAS (2)

We’re back.  Last time, we looked at the outside of the church building. Today we will go inside.  The red doors are the main entrance.  Once you step through the doors, you will be in a small entrance area.  On days when there are liturgies (worship services), there is normally a greeter passing out bulletins.  The bulletin is useful for finding out which pages in the Prayer Book or Hymnal to go to next.

The next thing you will see is a large glass screen depicting the “cloud of witnesses” meeting in love and worshiping God in heaven.  Surrounded by the screen is a small table with a page from a very early English Bible.

Passing the screen, you enter the main worship space, or nave, with pews for sitting.  You can sit anywhere you want.

You may wonder, how do people dress when they come to church?  St. Barnabas is normally casual, which includes anything from jackets and ties to sweaters and jeans.  On festival days like Easter and Christmas, people tend to dress up a bit more, but there is no dress code or requirement at any time.

Back to the nave.  The pews have folding kneeling pads attached.  In different parts of the service, we generally sit to listen, stand up to sing, and kneel to pray.  The kneeling pads protect your knees.  A good approach is to sit with someone who already knows the service.  They can show you what to do when.

We use multiple books.  At the 8:00 am liturgy, we use the Prayer Book (some of our copies are red and some are blue, so you need to look for the title).  At the 10:30 liturgy, we use two hymnals as well.  Before the liturgy begins, we sing songs from the Celebration Hymnal, which is generally placed at the end of the pew.  During the liturgy, we sing songs from the 1940 Hymnal (these are red and placed in the pew racks).  Hymns are identified by number, not page, because some of them spread over two pages.

The Prayer Book (Book of Common Prayer) contains all kinds of interesting information, including the text for the different worship services so that everyone can participate.

You might think, “This sounds pretty complicated:  juggling a program and three different books!”  But it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it.  The benefit is that we have a lot of materials to choose from – especially for the songs – and everyone has all the right materials handy.  If you are new, you may get offered what we call the “cheat sheet,” a small folder with the liturgy printed all in one place, so you don’t need to skip around in the Prayer Book.

Let’s continue our exploration up to the front of the church.  There is a fenced off area with an altar (a big table) in the front.  The altar has decorative hangings, candles, and another big cross.  The hangings change in color and design according to the seasons of the church year.

You probably already know about at least two of the seasons of the church year:  Christmas and Easter.  But there are more seasons than this, like Advent and Epiphany and Pentecost.  In addition, many days are devoted to celebrating particular holy women and holy men of the past.  They are called feast days.

The church’s feast days, by the way, explain a lot of place names, at least where Christian explorers were involved.  For example, when Spanish explorers sighted the shoreline of Florida on August 28, 1565, they named the area Saint Augustine, because it was the feast day of Augustine, a bishop in northern Africa during the late Roman Empire. In the same way, San Antonio, Texas, was discovered on the feast day of Saint Anthony of Padua. And you can guess when Easter Island and Christmas Island in the Pacific were discovered.

Near the altar are some chairs.  The priest sits over on the left side.  Sometimes we have multiple priests on duty, so we have extra chairs.  Over on the other side of the altar we have chairs for acolytes, who assist the priest.

There is a lot of tradition in the Episcopal Church, and it’s not limited to architecture.  There are the church seasons and saints’ days.  Many of the songs we sing have been around for a long time.  The words of the worship service go back, in large part, to the earliest days of the Christian Church.  The clothes worn by priests and acolytes are ancient as well.  The Creed we say, summarizing some central Christian beliefs, is over 1500 years old.  And the Lord’s Prayer, as its name suggests, was taught by Jesus himself.

We hope this note has given you useful information about what to expect inside St. Barnabas.  You can learn a lot more by visiting.  And look for a future note, which will describe what goes on in the worship service known as the Eucharist or Communion service.

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Introducing you to Saint Barnabas

Hello. Let’s talk about St. Barnabas. Maybe you have been thinking about stopping by but you have hesitated because, well, you don’t really know what to expect. Here’s your chance to learn in the comfort of your own home.
St. Barnabas Anglican Church is at 2340 N 155th St, Shoreline, WA 98133. We are right across the street from the parking lot for Twin Ponds Park.
St. Barnabas is part of a regional group called the Anglican Church in North America. The name comes from the fact that the churches called Anglican go back, historically, to the Christian church in England.
Let’s talk about architecture. If you have seen pictures of Greek or Roman temples, you may have noticed that, behind all the impressive columns, the inside of the temple is actually pretty small. That’s because in Greek and Roman religion the chief religious activities were conducted by priests. The people brought offerings, waited outside, and maybe paraded around. The early Christian church was different. The members all met together, at first in private houses. When it became legal to meet publicly, Christians built churches modeled after a kind of Roman building called a basilica. A basilica was a large building used for public and legal business. Later other forms of church buildings were developed, including the famous cathedrals of Europe. It might seem obvious to you that a church building should be big enough for people to gather inside, but this was actually an innovation of the Christian church.
One thing you will notice as you approach the church building is that there is a big cross on the wall facing the street. You may take this for granted – a cross on a Christian church — but remember that the cross was a Roman execution device. Jesus was nailed to a cross and left there until he was dead. Death by execution was considered very shameful by the Jews and the Romans, as it is by us. Imagine making a noose or an electric chair the symbol of your religious group. Amazingly, the early Christians found the cross to be a glorious symbol. Some churches are even cross-shaped in ground plan, which emphasizes the importance of the cross as a Christian symbol.
We will have to have a serious talk about why the cross is such a big deal. But for now I am going to stick to my mission, which is to introduce you to St. Barnabas. We will continue with that mission next time.

https://clipartimage.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/aqua-cross-clipart.jpg

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Planning Ahead

If sin is separation from God, the cure is to get closer to God.  Here are some ways to do that.

 Next Wednesday, March 6, is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.  There will be liturgies at noon and 7:00 pm, including the imposition of ashes.  The ashes remind us that we are mortal and limited, utterly dependent on God’s grace (which, luckily for us, is inexhaustible).  Humility is very counter-cultural (“Everybody deserves a trophy!”), but it is good medicine for our wounded souls.

 Lent lasts for 40 days until Easter (actually, Ash Wednesday is 46 days before Easter, but Sundays are always feasts of the Resurrection and are not counted in Lent).  Lent is a period of reflection, self-examination, and preparation for the joyful celebration of God’s saving acts.  Some people give up unhealthy things during Lent (smoking, alcohol, sweet desserts). It would be better to give up these things altogether and employ Lent,  in taking on something new that brings us closer to God.  Read the Bible every day.  Attend church regularly.  Pray.  

During Lent, on the Wednesdays following Ash Wednesday (that is, starting on March 13), St. Barnabas invites you to gather with us for soup suppers.  There will be fellowship, a bit of music, and a short study about God.  We will gather at 6:30 pm and be done around 8:00.  Please join us and take this opportunity to make Lent a way to get closer to God, who loves you dearly.

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Joy

The Psalmist says “The Lord is king!  Let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!”  And again, “O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.  Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.  Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples.”  These bits (taken almost at random from Psalms 97 and 96) illustrate one of the dominant themes of Christianity:  joy.  It is the joy felt by the castaway when the rescuing ship sees his signal of distress, the joy felt by the hunter who has been lost but suddenly recognizes his bearings and can find his way home.  It is the relief felt in a chaotic situation when an adult with knowledge and authority enters the room.  Many people make the mistake of thinking that Christians are repressed, joyless people who are prevented from being themselves (usually imagined as giving in to impulses).  This is wrong:  we are joyful victors, and more than victors, against sin, evil, and death.  Bad things continue to exist, but they can no longer threaten us because we belong to God, who has conquered them.  Who would not praise God and feel joyful?  Who would not be eager to tell others?  Come and share in our joy.

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Getting Back to Normal; Class on Biblical Authority Starting

The snow is melting and the daffodils will come back!

St. Barnabas is resuming its regular schedule, with liturgies at 8:00 and 10:30 on Sunday, February 17.

In between those liturgies, at 9:10 am on the 17th, we will have the first of our series of classes on the authority of the Bible.

The ultimate question is:  Can we trust the Bible?

This coming Sunday, we will look at some preliminary questions:  Do we have an accurate text of the Bible?  Who decided which writings to put into the Bible and why?  How can we choose among the various available translations?

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February 15, 2019 – Friday Morning

Who can say, I have made my heart clean?1

The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.2 They that are in the flesh cannot please God.3

To will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.4 We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags: and we all do fade as a leaf: and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.5

The scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.6 God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.7

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.8
______________

1Pro 20:9; 2Psa 14:2,3; 3Rom 8:8; 4Rom 7:18,19; 5Isa 64:6; 6Gal 3:22; 72Co 5:19; 81Jo 1:8,9;

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Worship Schedule February 9, 2019

Our 8:00 am service is cancelled tomorrow morning. God willing we will celebrate a
“said” service Mass at 10:30 am. This means that there will be no music and we will say the liturgy. Blessings to all as we anticipate more weather challenges. May travel mercies take us to our destinations.

A simple weather summary for the upcoming week follows:

Be safe everyone!

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Can We Believe the Bible?

St. Barnabas is “rooted in Scripture,” which means that we trust the Bible as the word of God.  What does it mean to trust an ancient text?  What does it mean to say that the Bible is the word of God?  Starting on Sunday, February 17 and for several weeks thereafter, St. Barnabas will present a class looking at these questions.  We will look at challenges to Biblical authority and perspectives associated with terms like “infallibility” and “inerrancy.” We will apply that discussion to specific issues and problems in the New and Old Testaments.  The class will meet at 9:10 a.m., making it convenient for people from both liturgies (at 8:00 and 10:30) to attend.  Bring your Bibles and your questions!  All are welcome. As in all things, our purpose is to glorify God and grow in loving communion with Him.

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Other translations are also welcome. Including but not limited to RSV, CEV, ESV, NIV, NASB.

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Temporary Suspension of music

No music and singing group tonight. This is a weather related cancellation.

The informal music group will resume next week – Wednesday Feb. 13th at 6:30 pm.

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Join us on Sunday at 8:00am and 10:30 am for hymns, praise and worship music.

All are welcome to join us next Wednesday (Feb. 13, 2019) at 6:30 pm.

Don’t let the music die.

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Readiness Report

Outline for the next storm track:

https://t.co/zIFBbME8T3

 

 

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