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Archive for December, 2010


Longtime and beloved Saint Alban’s parishioner Kathryn Ann (Woodson) Batte entered the Larger Life in Christ this morning at 8:35 a.m. having received Holy Unction last evening. A requiem Mass is scheduled for 11:00 am Tuesday, January 4, 2011 at Saint Alban’s. “Kitty” Batte will be remembered for her deep and abiding faith and generous spirit.

May her soul, with the souls of the faithful departed, rest in peace. And may Light Perpetual shine upon her.

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“Evangelism-A Discussion and Exposition of Basic Issues.”
A Conference Given on July 31, 2010
Saint Alban’s Pro-Cathedral (ACC), Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic States
Conference Director: The Very Reverend Canon Charles H. Nalls

On July 31, 2010, St. Alban’s, the Pro-Cathedral of the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic States, held a conference “Evangelism-A Discussion and Exposition of Basic Issues.” The conference provided a mixed media presentation including apologetics videos and, most importantly, interactive sessions and question and answers designed to involve the all members of the parish communities present. In addition to a number of diocesan clergy, some fifty laity from around the diocese repesenting at least half of the parishes provided the most telling commentary.  Any errors or omissions are solely the responsibility of the Conference Director.  If there is something missing, incorrect or incomplete, please e-mail your comments to cnalls@canonlaw.org
The problem: Our parishes face the practical problems of ordinary evangelism such as introducing the Anglo-Catholic expression to practicing Christians yearning to lead a fuller faith life. More importantly, though, is the question of reaching increasing numbers of un-churched, particularly young people, in a world in which there is a rejection of any and all truth claims.  How do we speak to those for whom even basic truth is a wholly individual matter, dependent upon personal feeling for validation? How does an incarnational faith reach those who have been taught to “question reality”, yet are yearning for that which is larger than themselves?
Recent discussions on American Family Radio and in other venues have admitted that Anglicanism, even in its currently fragmented form (as well as the Orthodoxy and the Roman Church), offer  concrete notions of truth to a generation weary of doubt and flux. The overarching question is how, then, do we speak to such a generation? What is the basic message we need to convey to convince the un-churched to come in the door and learn more?
Our Goals: To identify the large issues and questions for the non-Christian or “post-Christian”, and to set out what has worked and what has not in reaching this increasingly large demographic. The focus was on the practical, rather than the academic, and participants are encouraged to present concrete examples of experiences and efforts in evangelism and outreach including those which have failed. The goal of this first session was to provide attendees ideas to further discuss and develop at the parish level, and for further development in subsequent sessions.
A second goal aimed at the formation of a broad group of individuals throughout the diocese who will regularly focus on evangelism and engage in ongoing sharing of new ideas and innovations for showing forth the light of Christ in a darkened world.
As a third goal, we agreed to attempt two more sessions in the coming year-one at mid-year with a national speaker/leader involved in evangelism and apologetics, and a third next summer to wrap-up of the year and kick-off the next year of evangelism.
Results: The results were at once convicting and, yet, hopeful.  The bottom line: the future of traditional Anglicanism is the stake.
I. First Session-Defining the Issues
A. Session Task: To identify some of the major issues, general and specific, that confront the Church both from a “mere Christianity” perspective and from the Anglican-Catholic standpoint
B.Goal: To develop a list of specific barriers to effective evangelism at the personal (individual) level and at the parish level
C.Results: The participants distinguished between outreach and evangelism.  Both are important to church growth, but they are very different in aim and goal.
Outreach-We defined this effort as advertising and presence in the community.  The goal is to reach those who already are Christian believers in an effort to offer them a parish home.  Our concern is essentially one of advertising and program.  The target demographic likely will be attracted to and willing to come to a church that appeals to them or offers something different.  Also, this group may include those who already are traditional Anglicans or separating from the Episcopal Church (this latter pool is decreasing).  Typical tools include door hangers, mailers, advertisements, holding special events (movie nights, participation in community festivals and other activities), a strong Sunday school, and a current appealing website.  The task is to explain to believing Christians why they should be Christians of the Anglican Catholic variety.
Unless at least a strong core group within the parish can explain the faith catholic, then outreach, no matter how glossy, will fail.   This puts a premium on catechesis and adult education.  Some frank discussion must also be had concerning “gate keepers”, proper levels of friendliness to newcomers and “cloying.” The task is to convey an open image that bespeaks genuine Christian hospitality, without over-pitching newcomers. Greeters and/or ushers should be at the ready to guide and welcome newcomers and introduce them to the other members of the parish.  Do not attempt to immediately recruit newcomers into parish activities—they likely will need to learn basic faith and practice questions, or to decompress from the shock of having had to leave their former parish in the case of ECUSA refugees.
Gatekeepers are poisonous, and must be educated about toxic behaviors.  These include: those who feel the need to address levels of churchmanship (when there may, in fact be no churchmanship), those who favor negative outreach by disparaging other churches or denominations especially other continuing churches, or those who like to ask probing personal questions to see whether an individual is “right” for the parish. Listening and openness win more new parish members than a recitation of what happened in the “former church” or rehashing animosities with other bodies.  Finally, parish members need to avoid false distinctions between “protestant” and “catholic”—the Baptist, Presbyterian or independent Bible Christian seeking the sacramental life will never get past such comments.
EvangelismThe participants defined this in terms of fulfilling the Great Commission of Matthew 28:16-20.  There was a sense that many Christians have a wrong understanding of what the Great Commission of Jesus Christ is. They conflate this essentially woth outreach and believe that tools like radio, television, publications, and the internet, we will be on track.  Assume that a commission is (1) an authorization to perform certain duties or tasks, or to take on certain powers, (2) authority to act in behalf of another, (3) an entrusting, as of power, authority, etc., to a person or body. There then needs to be an appraisal of who is doing the work, how well they can engage in a Christian apologetic, and how these “evangelists” view their work.
The target demographic is much broader in the case of evangelism.  We are looking toward a wide variety of non-believers, secular folk, disillusioned Christians (usually young people) who think they have lost faith, skeptics and, increasingly, people who have not been exposed to the faith.  Among these groups, we cannot begin with ceremonial (i.e. how many liturgical turns are in the Mass, how to genuflect, or how much incense to use).  Here, we need to be operating at a mere Christianity level.  The participants viewed some video of live evangelism—base line questions to engage and interest the unbeliever or seeker.
There was some difference of opinion among several participants. There was a distinct minority notion that we “are who we are” as Anglican-Catholics and that people need to either immediately accept that standard of worship and belief.  It seems that this hard-line approach was tempered by the real life examples and the idea that we do not have to compromise faith and practice to get the unchurched in the gate of the churchyard if not the parish doors.
Several concrete ideas emerged from the session:
Outreach Method: Use your resources, people with talent to sponsor an event.  Use special events.
– Animal Blessings
– Healing Services
– Offer house blessings
– Music
– Start and end with prayer
– Build your church building or make the existing facility presentable
– Include the basic message of the salvation via worship (here)
– Petition the Lord for guidance
Evangelism: How do we equip our people to be evangelists?
– Scripture awareness
– Bible study
– Courses to explain the Anglican Ethos
– Know God is behind you / supports you
– Examine yourself
– Confront fears
– Accept flaws
– Awareness of your sins before you forgive others
– Take initiative
– Watch for opportunities
Who do we approach?
– Everyone in your sphere
1. Young
2. Older
3. Family
-A fundamental consideration: Are we merely looking for members or spreading the Word of God?  The first approach may put people in the pews-temporarily.  Numbers are an elusive game.  Absent a desire to teach people about the Incarnate Christ and boldness to do so, we are doomed to failure.
-We need to tailor message – 5 minutes in person or through an electronic medium such as YouTube.
The 4 Questions: Engaging the Unbeliever
1. What do you mean?
2. How do you know?
3. So what?
4. What if you’re wrong?
Obviously there is overlap between outreach and evangelism.  However, a grasp of the fundamental differences is key to the approach and work needed.
II.Session Two-Successes and Failures
  1. Session Task: To list what has worked at the individual and parish levels in the past and to list what has failed.  Parishes are invited to briefly share their experiences for inclusion in our post-conference notes.  Of particular interest is the experience of younger  parishioners who are encouraged to share their thoughts on why they are Christians and
    Anglican-Catholics despite secular pressures.
  2. Goal: To develop  and share approaches, tactics and materials that have positively impacted evangelism, and to frankly discuss those approaches and behaviors that constitute “negative” or “toxic” evangelism and should be avoided.
  3. Results: This portion of the discussion was both lively and very frank.  The consensus of the group was that continuing Anglicans had generally done a poor job of outreach or evangelism.  While there are many obvious bright spots, a number of “parishes” have not grown over the last thirty-five years.  More pointedly, participants believed that some long-established parishes may well be closed and disappear within a few years absent a concerted effort at evangelism and outreach.
The participants had a keen notion of approaches and methods that are pre-destined for failure.
1.         What does not work?
– Defining ourselves as what we are not.  This is a key point.  Remember the lesson of the Pharisee and publican:  yes, we are like that person “over there”.  Pronouncements about catholic “purity” in dogma and doctrine over and against other Anglican bodies make us seem like angry, sectarians.
– High Church/Low Church. Churchmanship is an important matter but not a “deal breaker”.  The ACC has a wide range of liturgical expressions, but it is Christian and cathlic to its core.  We must recognize that certain liturgical expressions will frighten away any mumber of people.  One must grow into an appreciation of Anglican practice: beware of jumping into a “Spanish madrigal” show lest you want to empty a parish.
– Our basic Christian witness-For many, there are fundamental gaps in how we teach even the rudaments of the faith.  Adult inquirers classes need to focus on the elements of Christianity and Biblical literacy.
Did we mention Biblical literacy? This ties squarely to clergy training and formation, as well as lay leader study and formation.
– Impersonal conversation. While we do not wish to counsel effusiveness, surely we wish to engage newcomers and inquirers in some form of conversation.  Speaking only to the in-crowd is offputting.
– Are we present to the world?  To often we do not get out of our cofortable little parishes.  St. Paul took great chances, appearing in many different venues and cultural melieus.  So the faith catholic spread.  We do not use the opportunities such as new media, community events and face to face encounter to evangelize.  We often are worried about reaction, manners or have a fear of talking about Christianty and Anglicanism.
– Irrelevance.  We have to face the fact that we have, in some cases, evangelism materials that are decades old.  Young people do not identify with the image of that dad in a fedora and driving a Hudson
sedan.  Are we even familiar with the issues of the day, much less addressing them? This is not a plea to give in to the spirit of the age, or introduce pull down screens and liturgical dance. However, we must have a clear definition of who we are as part of the ancient church in the modern world.
– Teaching office-We have failed in many ways to teach basic faith.  Anxiousness for membership has caused a lapse in catechesis.  The need to work has hindered clergy from staying up on their studies, and the failure of some parishes to support clergy education-initial and continuing-impairs the teaching office.  We must “teach the teachers” so they may in turn teach others in the faith catholic.
– GATEKEEPING, GATEKEEPING, GATEKEEPING-A number of participants indicated a need to give up “Anrgicanism”.  Few people wish to hear of the sleights and wounds of the past, even if they were even aware of them.  Remember: the Anglican-Catholic Church was founded over 35 years ago, and the grave events of things like Deerfiend Beach (Do you know what that is?) are nearly 20 years gone by.  This is not a cry to forget history, but to keep it in perspective.  As well, those who would impose a personal standard on others who approach Christ’s Church do little to check the log in their own eye.
2.         What does work?
– A willingness to engage-Where we go out and engage people with our faith, there is interest.  This ties in to the nest point…
– Direct invitation-“Come taste and see how good it is” is effective.  Christianity Today surveys indicate that the single most effective method of outreach or evangelism is the personal invitation.
– Counter-cultural-We are counter-cultural as Anglican Catholics.  We stand in stark relief to the cheap and easy of post-modern culture and morality.  “I want something better in my life,” is the opening to tell people that there is that something.  We know that it works, but it involves a process of growing accustomed to that counter-cultural melieu in which the newcomer has entered.
– Symbolism => Sacraments, true reality-There is a reality to the Sacraments that is profound and deep.  The symbolism of our worship draws people toward that reality until they finally confront it.  We need to keep this tied to Scripture.
– Meeting people where they are (loving people).  This speaks for itself.
– Presenting a win-win-This point emphasizes that we need to keep the negative at bay.
– Involvement-Again, our involvement in and engagement with the community around us makes Christ present to the world.  People are drawn to that.
Bible Study-This is the most emphasized point by the participants.  A Biblically literate, thinking individual-properly guided by orthodox teaching-is the single most effective member of the parish.  Whether it is apologetic, or teaching or daily life, a parishioner well-armed with the Word is an effective force for evangelism.
– Living with Faith-Here is a straightforward point: where our parishes have taught the faith and have lived it, they have grown.  Where we have concentrated on mere appearance of faith, we have withered and died.
III. Third Session-Small Groups
A.Session Task: : To address in small groups the issues identified in the first and second sessions, identifying specific apologetic answers, approaches and un-complex answers to the issues.
B. Goal: Small groups will develop “bullet points” to include in parish literature, websites and apologetic guides to offer concrete answers to questions as well as “dos” and “donts” for evangelism.  An additional goal is for the post-conference materials to include summaries of these notes for use by participants, as well as pocket “reminder” cards and materials for use by individuals.
C. Results: This practicum put the groups in the position of a parish evangelism committee of Saint Swithun’s Parish (ACC).  The question posed was:
1. Why should people come to or stay at St Swithun’s?
The groups reached a consensus on the following points:
– Contact with God-This is a personalist appeal to physical contact through the Real Presence of Christ and to the intellectual contact in Word.
– Prayer life-Parishes must seek to foster a regular prayer life among the members. This, in turn, draws others into that circle of prayer.
– Community/Communion-In an impersonal world, our parish offers a real community, one not founded on contract or rule, but bound together in a mystical body.  We are all parts of that body and the unique
roles for each makes this wholly unlike any any other group to which one might attach oneself seeking community.
2. Education/Retention:
– Teach the faith
– User friendly:
– Worship bulletins/booklets
– Greeter/Mentor
– Classes to be Greeter/Mentor
Guestbook sign in
– Follow up to sign in
– Priest
– lay person
Consistent Worship Services
– Be positive
– Warm welcome (not smothering)
– Create opportunities for all kinds of service
– Instructive Service
– Youth Service
IV.       Fourth Session: Summary of the Group Sessions
A. Session Task:  Continue to address in small groups the issues identified in the first and second sessions, identifying specific apologetic answers, approaches and un-complex answers to the issues.
B. Goal: Consolidation of the groups’ bullet points in a “keep the best” effort for materials to include in parish literature, websites and apologetic guides to offer concrete answers to questions as well as “dos” and “donts” for evangelism.  An additional goal is for the post-conference materials to include summaries of these notes for use by participants, as well as pocket “reminder” cards and materials for use by individuals.
C. Results: As is the case with all good discussion, the third and fourth sessions merged together.  The bullet point reminders are listed above.  There was a remarkable agreement among the participants by the end of the day on these points and methods.  The reader is welcome to “lift” those points for teaching within the parish, to place on reminder cards or to use in a Power Point presentation. (All we ask is that users of the materials ask their readers to pray for St. Alban’s Pro-Cathedral and her people!)
V. Fifth Session: Ideas for Specific Settings
A. Session Task: To examine evangelism in specific settings, particularly the workplace, school and in social gatherings and propose potential approaches for each. The workplace and school account for the bulk of our time depending on our age group.
B. Goal:  To develop approaches and written materials for evangelism in each setting.
C.  Results: As the time grew short, the group looked at only one setting for evangelism: the workplace.  It is there that we spend most of our waking hours, and there we maintain major relationships with others.  Work is a rich field, but must be worked with caution. Here are some methods and some potential hazards in today’s climate:
1.   Ways of workplace Evangelism:
– The way you treat your co-workers
– How you do your job tells much about how you live out Christian values.
-Bible Studies-You may want to organize one on luch hour or after work off-site.  The study may have to initially take a literary, rather than overtly religious, perspective.
Opus Dei: Make all that you do a work of and for God
2.         Dangers:
– Reprimanded
– They might say no
– Dismissal
– It could affect your work relationships
VI.       Wrap-Up
The results of this first conference were at once convicting and, yet, hopeful.  It is clear that we are entering a new stage in the life of the church, one that calls us from the effort to preserve to the work of growing and prospering.  Many of the old methods will no longer will suffice, and certainly, it is now time to lay aside old wounds and live in the joy of Christian orthodoxy, the faith catholic, and all of the great storehouse of liturgy and music that is distinctly our own. The future of traditional Anglicanism is at stake.
ALMIGHTY God, whose compassions fail not, and whose loving-kindness reacheth unto the world’s end; We give thee humble thanks for opening heathen lands to the light of thy truth; for making paths in the deep waters and highways in the desert; and for planting thy Church in all the earth. Grant, we beseech thee, unto us thy servants, that with lively faith we may labour abundantly to make known to all men thy blessed gift of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

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A Cross for Christmas


Oberammergau Cross

The Oberammergau Cross and Saint Alban's Altar

The Oberammergau Cross

In 2007, Mr. William Howe of Saint Alban’s Anglican Church in Pennsylvania learned that his boyhood church in the tiny mining town of Karthaus, PA would be permanently closed. The parent church, Saint Mary’s, Frenchville, asked Bill if his company would use its heavy equipment to remove the bell from the mission and transport it to the main parish. Concerned over the potential loss of other church items, particularly the mission’s unique carved Cross, Bill arranged for their transfer to The Very Reverend Canon Charles H. Nalls in the hope that one day they could be put to use in an Anglo-Catholic setting. Subsequently, the pews have been given to Saint Columba’s (ACC) in Warrenton, VA and the altar has been at the center of St. Cyprian’s Chapel in Baltimore, Maryland.

During a snowstorm in the winter of 2007, Canon Nalls traveled to Karthaus to retrieve the Oberammergau Cross from the shuttered church. The Cross had been commissioned by a group of men from Karthaus who had made a pilgrimage to Oberammergau just after the Second World War. They returned home to Karthaus carrying the Cross, which is hand carved from local wood around Oberammergau and installed it in the mission church where it remained for a half-century. In turn, Canon Nalls presented the Cross to the Vestry of Saint Alban’s following his institution as Rector and Dean.
We express our deep thanks to those who had this unique work commissioned to the honor and glory of God, to Mr. Bill Howe for his preservation of a treasure of the Church, and to Messrs. Chuck Robinson and Michael Mazza for their care and work in installing the Oberammergau Cross over the high altar of Saint Alban’s Pro-Cathedral.

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A Christmas Meditation


“For to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)

In due time the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ was sublimely announced. It has been heralded since. Never before or since have celestial beings assembled on earth as bearers of good news. And the devout and godly people have rejoiced in the good tidings in all subsequent ages.

The silence of the centuries is broken.. As the glory of God covered the lowly shepherds with supernatural splendor, and the angel of the Lord proclaimed “good news of Great joy.” The angel promptly calmed the fear of the shepherds by declaring: “Today, in the town of David, a Saviour is born to you, Who is Christ the Lord.” Indeed this was great news. The Word was made flesh. The promised Messiah is here. God’s ancient and repeated promise is at long last fulfilled. All human hopes and expectations find their greatest blessings.

Now that Emmanuel (God with us) is among men, no less than a multitude of the heavenly host can lead in the sublime praises of God’s glory and acclaimed peace among men of good will. The seraphic choir proclaims that the Nativity of Christ brings great glory to God Who in His wisdom, holiness, mercy and justice so loved the world “as to give His only begotten Son.” And in accepting Him and in obeying Him, peace and good will among men will everywhere prevail.

This was the Christmas message then. It is the Christmas message today. Hearts of devout men, women and children everywhere, like those of the humble shepherds, will respond to the message of God. No one is out of the range of the angelic chant, unless one chooses not to hear. The message, full of music for mankind, is for the ears of all who desire to hear it. Angels come with good tidings to the truly devout—to those whose hearts are open to love.

By Fr. J. Kiembara, Orthodox Christmas Lent (Advent) Meditations, (1978)

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Warmth of the Season


All,

You know that I rarely send out an appeal for funds for any cause, but there has been another church furnace disappearance.  Unlike the theft of St. Athanasius’ furnace several years back (in which your generosity saved that parish property), the heating plant at the Angllican Church of the Resurrection (ACC) in Ansonia Connecticut was carried off by time and age.  The heating plant failed last week, and the church is struggling with besetting cold this Christmas.  There is a need to keep the pipes from freezing, as well as the parishioners.  There is a need for funds for portable heaters to carry the folks through Christmas, as well as to rplace the plant itself.  I know that these times have strained the limits of giving for many, but I ask you to pray and send whatever amount God puts on your heart to: Church of the Recurrection (ACC), 6 Church Street, Ansonia, CT 06401.  Please mark the memo on the check: “Furnace Fund”.

You can genuinely support the “warmth of the season” by giving generously to this most worthy cause.

Advent blessings,

Canon Nalls

 

 

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Running to Prayer


It was not light yet when I set out this morning.  The temperature stood at about 27 degrees at 6:45 am when I pulled on my watch cap and wind jacket.  A snow storm was on the way and the sun seemed very far off when I hit the pavement on my prayer walk/jog.  Somewhere out there some others were setting out in the same direction for the same purpose-sung Morning Prayer at Saint Alban’s during Advent. You see it is the custom of this parish to share the morining offices weekdays during penitential seasons, and this Advent we have begun to chant the first prayerbook service of the day.

I find myself hurrying to the church each day.  It’s not because of the cold, although I’ll admit that mornings like today make for a faster pace.  I hurry because there is something so very good about prayer said in community.  In the quiet of the church up in choir, one can take a deep breath before the whirl of the day.  In the warmth and darkness near the tabernacle His Presence is very close to His people and His people spiritually close to one another as the prayers begin.  Even those who are just rising or who are already at the work of the day know that they are ro be prayed for, to be joined in this most ancient practice of the Church.

We know from the Acts of the Apostles that from the very beginning those who were baptized “devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the community, to the breaking of the bread, and to
prayer.”    Christ personally teaches the lesson of his own prayer throughout the Gospels. For example,

when his mission is revealed by the Father; before he calls the apostles; when he blesses God at the multiplication of the loaves; when he is transfigured on the mountain; when he heals the deaf-mute; when he raises Lazarus; before he asks for Peter’s confession of faith; when he teaches the disciples how to pray; when the disciples return from their mission; when he blesses the little children; when he prays for Peter.The prayers of Christ were closely bound up with the work of each day.

Indeed, we hear that he would retire into the desert or into the hills to pray, rise very early or spend the night up to the fourth watch in prayer to God. Our Lord’s prayers were both public and private, and ranged from the traditional blessings of God at meals, as was the case in the multiplication of the loaves which foretold the  last supper and the meal at Emmaus. In the agony in Gethsemane and on the Cross, prayer was at the center of Christ’s ministry and precious death. “In the days of his life on earth he offered up prayers and entreaties with loud cries and tears to the one who could deliver him from death and because of his reverence his prayer was heard.”

Christ-like prayer seems to elude us more and more The pace of modem life is a tremendous force that impacts on basic understandings of self, family, work, faith, and religious practice. There is a growing divorce between the life of faith and life “in the world.” Indeed, such is the pace of life that people need to be reminded to do what ought to come naturally, that is, to “take time” for themselves, for God, and for family and friends. Our daily offices and their attention to the consecration of time is one way to counter this prevailing trend and to restore a sense of balance to daily life. By consecrating time to God, the human person acts as a subject, cooperating with God in the unfolding of redeemed time, rather than being reduced to a mere object, suffering under the burden of a lived time that seems to go nowhere.

Being swept away by the rush of time will inevitably lead to dissatisfaction, alienation, and loneliness. Christians need not resign themselves to becoming so swept away, however. The integration of prayer into one’s daily schedule is key. Without this integration, the Christian risks losing a sense of identity in God and the realization of one’s need to be drawn into life-giving relationships with others. Consecrating the moments of one’s day means turning the day over to the transforming power of the Resurrection. The vehicle of the daily offices prompts the believer to encounter God in the concrete moment so that the love of God in Christ becomes the cord that holds the day together. “Do time or time will do you,” is the wisdom which speaks eloquently of the situation of the modem world.

And so this Advent we are paying special attention to the consecration of the day to Christ in daily prayer, beginning each of those days with the “voice of the Church”, the canticles and collects, the affirmation of faith, and the offering of our petitions and thanksgivings. This is reason to run hurry to Church even in the dark and cold of the year’s shortest days-to claim those days for our Incarnate Christ from their very first hours.

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Barbecue and Legislation


On Wednesday evening last, the Saint Alban’s Men’s Club enjoyed a great evening of fellowship and food at its monthly meeting. The monthly dinner, which included both beef and pork barbecue, was followed by the customary brief business meeting and a speaker. This month’s program featured Mr. Paul Nardo, Chief of Staff to the Speaker of the Virginia House of Representatives. Paul gave an insightful presentation entitled “Understanding Virginia’s Budget & Finances-the 2011 Legislative Session”. The program afforded the group an experienced insider’s perspective on the budget process and some of the key issues for the upcoming session of our Commonwealth’s General Assembly, a truly-part time body which must accomplish its work in a 45-60 day period. As always, the meeting began and ended with prayer.
The next meeting of the Saint Alban’s Men’s Club is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 19, 2011. Watch The Cathedral Close and our Facebook page for an announcement of the speaker.

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