Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Living Generously Month

Living Generously
Sermon Series
Sermon Outline for Sunday, November 8, 2015
 
“From the Kingdom of Self to the Kingdom of God”
When Paul talks about Spiritual Gifts, such as in Romans 12:8,
or Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22,
he is talking about the Holy Spirit doing something in us, that
empowers us and gives us the ability to live differently.
Therefore, generosity is not so much something done through us
as it is something done in us and for us by God.
Living Generously is giving ourselves and our resources
in ways such as Jesus talks about in Matthew 25:31-40 this morning:
feeding the hungry, caring for the sick,
clothing the needy, welcoming the stranger,
 acting compassionately toward those in bondage,
 Good Works are not what grow a generous spirit in us,
 but it is allowing God’s Holy Spirit to grow a generous spirit in us
that produces Good Works.
Our journey from the Kingdom of Self to the Kingdom of God
therefore involves surrender.
Our part is to relinquish our time, talent, possessions and resources
to the sovereignty of God .
 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Living Generously Month

Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity
Unclutter the Closet Saturday
Saturday November 14

Giving our stuff to
CMONA
(Community Ministries of North Augusta)
You are invited to give away the stuff you have relegated to a closet, cupboard, attic or garage –
clothes, coats, furniture, food,
whatever someone in need may be able to use.
let’s give it away.
Bring your “stuff” by the church anytime Saturday, Nov 14.
Judy Chemin will have a trailer in our parking lot into which you can place our extra “stuff. 
She and others will deliver it to CMONA on Monday.
Questions? contact Rob Hartley
robhartley@comcast.net    803-341-0075
Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity
160 Merovan Drive, North Augusta, SC 29860
Blog: North Augusta Anglican


 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Christianity that Changes Us

As a church family we seek a relationship with God that is holistic and transformative.  By holistic we mean complete, involving all the nooks and crannies of our lives.  By transformative we mean a life of faith that is growing in its imitation of Christ and coming to be, to know and to do the things that define “Kingdom” living in this life and in the life to come. 
 
But what does this holistic, transformative Christianity look like within the Body of Christ?  Cursillo, a spiritual formation movement within the Church with which many of us are familiar, describes Christianity that makes a difference as a balanced spirituality involving worship, study, Christian action and community. This is not an original formula, but is based on “Benedictine Spirituality” that has been foundational to Anglicanism. 
 
A transformative faith is the expectation Christ has for all of us. It is very different than lukewarm, Sunday morning, pew warming Christianity that defines much of the Church. 
 
Therefore, the expectation for all of us here at Holy Trinity is three things: (1) that we all be committed to worshiping together on the Lord’s Day; (2) that we each be involved in at least one of the spiritual growth opportunities offered in our fellowship during the week; and (3) that we all seek and use our spiritual gifts for ministry both within and outside the Body of Christ.  You do not need to be at church every time the doors are open, but if your churchmanship is not distinctly broad and involving all three aspects of the Faith, perhaps the Lord is calling you to more.                                                                                   Father Rob
 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

You are invited to the celebration and dedication of Holy Trinity's Carillon System


This is an invitation to join us for the blessing of our carillon system (Bells) at 3:00 pm this Wednesday (Oct 14).  This system is being dedicated in memory of our dear Donna Brown.  We are hoping to have plenty of people present from the community and the city.  The Chamber of Commerce is also going to host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for us.  I am hoping for a good turn-out from among our church family; so, come join us.  

Father Rob

Monday, September 28, 2015

Blessing of the Animals, Saturday, Oct 3

St. Francis Day Celebration
Blessing of the Animals
Saturday, October 3, 2015
10:30 am
 
Parking lot of the
Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity
160 Merovan Drive
North Augusta, SC 29860
0.5 miles north of I-20 exit 5 next to the new Walmart
Call 803-341-0075 for further information and directions
 
All creatures great and small are invited. A certificate commemorating the blessing of each animal will be given.  There will also be cookies for the kids, dog biscuits for the dogs and cat treats for the kitties.  Just remember that dogs need to remain on their leashes, cats in their cages and fish in their bowls. Come join us for this fun and blessed occasion.  Be sure to invite that dog next door that you are convinced could really use a blessing.

 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Telling Your Story

God tells us that we have a story He wants us to tell …
“You are the ones chosen by God, God’s instruments to do His work and to speak out
for Him to tell others of the night and day difference He made in you”  (1 Peter 2:9).

“Everyday tell how He saves us.  Tell the nations of His glory. 
Tell all peoples of the miracles He does.”  (Psalm 96)

The Bible is full of examples of people sharing their story…
King David
“Come and listen and I’ll tell you what God’s done for me.”
The Woman at the Well
“Many of the Samaritans of the town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony.”
The Man Who Was Born Blind
 “I don’t know whether He’s good or bad but I know this:I was blind but now I see.”
St. John the Evangelist (John 3:11)
“Listen carefully, I am speaking sober truth to you
and I speak only what I know by experience.

The great thing about telling your story is that it is Your Story!   No one can challenge your experience of God.  You don’t have to have it all figured out.  You don’t have to have all the theology down pat.  You don't have to be a Bible scholar.  Your story is simply… your story!  “All I know is Jesus Christ changed my life.”  That is a testimony.  You can, of course, go on from there to tell exactly what that difference is- how you were blessed by God- how God brought new direction, hope and purpose to your life, etc. 

A personal testimony is a powerful form of communication.  Madison Avenue uses personal testimonies with huge effectiveness.  You can too.  What is your story?  Spend some time crafting your testimony and share it.  You never know when someone’s salvation may depend on it.
Father Rob

Saturday, September 19, 2015

A weekend of Celebration- You're invited

The Bishop’s Visit
Renewing, Confirming and Reaffirming Our Baptismal Vows
 
The Bishop’s visit (Sunday, Sept. 20) provides us with the opportunity to receive the laying on of hands and prayers for the infilling of the Holy Spirit by our bishop.  Bishop Steve, like most bishops throughout God’s Church, is in an unbroken line of bishops who carry the mantle of the Apostles, having themselves received the laying on of hands and prayers by preceding bishops dating all the way back to the Apostles.  In the Church, this has come to be known as Apostolic Succession. It is a powerful symbol of the apostolicity of the Church; that is, it stresses our fidelity to the teachings and witness of the Apostles as handed down to us and as codified in Holy Scripture.
 
Back Yard Drop-In and Pool Party at the Hartley’s
Saturday, September 19 beginning at 4:00 pm
 
… in honor of our newcomers to our church family, our Confirmands and our Bishop who is with us for the weekend.  For those who would enjoy swimming, be sure to wear your bathing suite.   Bring your favorite snack to share.
 
Covered Dish Celebration Luncheon
following the service, Sunday Sept. 20
 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Book of Common Prayer and the Prayer of General Thanksgiving

Our heritage as Anglicans includes The Book of Common Prayer (BCP), a collection of prayers and prescriptions for worship to be used both individually and collectively.  The BCP was primarily composed by Thomas Cranmer who was the Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the English Church during much of the Protestant Reformation in the British Isles.  He sought to make available to common folk the great prayers and liturgies of the Church. 

Here at Holy Trinity we are most familiar with the Eucharistic liturgies, but the BCP also includes prayers and liturgies for baptisms, weddings, funerals, ordinations and much more.  It includes “Daily Offices” which are adapted from the Benedictine monastic tradition of praying the hours of the day.  The Daily Offices in our BCP include Morning, Noon and Evening Prayer, and Compline for the close of the day.

The Offices for morning and evening include a prayer that has become a favorite of mine, The General Thanksgiving.  This is a prayer composed by the Rt. Rev. Edward Reynolds, the Bishop of Norwich, and was first included in the BCP in its 1662 revision at the encouragement of the Puritans who complained that there simply were not enough prayers of praise and thanksgiving.  Here is Bishop Reynold's prayer:

The General Thanksgiving
Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made.  We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.  And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up ourselves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Sanctity of Life

God created humankind in His image, and our lives are therefore considered sacred in His eyes.  We are thus called to be and act holy as He is Holy.  

God also gave us a very sacred gift- the gift of life.  Genesis 1 says God formed us from the elements of the Earth and breathed life into us with His own Breath, in Hebrew Ruach, meaning Breath or Spirit.  Whether we understand this literally or metaphorically, it means that our lives are a sacred product of divine action.  In our fallen and flawed humanity, we may not feel or act as if we are sacred, but it is hard to escape the conclusion that, from God’s perspective, our lives are sacred, cherished, loved and honored by Him. 

But we have the God-given ability to make our own choices (again, a blessing and a sacred trust from God).  This sacred trust we call human life is therefore not always honored by us the way it is honored by God. 

This is vividly brought to the fore in our modern-day revisions to the ethics surrounding euthanasia and abortion.  On the issue of abortion, our modern revisionism is extraordinarily blatant.  We now couch our ethics in terms of the rights of the pregnant mother at the expense of the rights of the yet unborn child, and more to the point, to the rights of God as the Giver of the sacred life of that yet unborn child.  We also couch our ethical decisions on whether the unborn child is independently viable, as if in God’s eyes any of us are ever physically or spiritually independent of Him or each other.  The decisions surrounding abortion have become homocentric rather than theocentric. 

As the People of God, our understanding as to how we are to honor the sacredness of life remains unchanged.  We strive, albeit imperfectly, to honor the sanctity of human life the way God honors it.

            Father Rob

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pilgimage

Greetings from the south of France.  Nancy and I are part of a group on pilgrimage to the Shrine of St. James de Compestelle in Spain.  Walking the Way of St James was a pilgrimage ranking in popularity with pilgrimages to Rome and Jerusalem during medieval times. 

A bit about the spiritual discipline of pilgrimage… Christians continue to be attracted to pilgrimages such as this one, but why?  One answer is that we are rooted in pilgrimage through our Hebrew heritage.  Ancient Judaism called for pilgrimage.  The destination was, of course, the Temple in Jerusalem.

Psalm 122
I rejoiced with those who said to me,
    “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
Our feet are standing
    in your gates, Jerusalem.


But pilgrimage is different for Christians today, particularly in the Protestant Tradition, because we understand all of life to be a pilgrimage.  Our destination is the New Heaven and New Earth… The New Jerusalem... and union with God through Christ.  This pilgrimage is but a small icon of that.  Additionally, we come to understand as Christians that we do not seek God and his healing touch as much as God comes toward us, seeking us.  We at Holy Trinity should understand this better than most through our ongoing Wednesday night studies on “The Prodigal God.”  But the great blessing I am experiencing is that God is very willing to come walk with me on my Pilgrimage to St. James de Compostelle.

 We have been walking only small parts of Chemino de Sante Jacque de Compostelle, but it has been a pilgrimage in honor of our God and in thanksgiving for the life and witness of the great Apostle St. James.  Le Puy, France, was the beginning point of our pilgrimage.  We are traveling the full length of the Way of St. James from Le Puy but are only able to walk short sections as we go.  I have been walking with a band of fellow pilgrims, but the most powerful times are when I pull ahead or fall behind, and it is just the Lord and I walking the Way. 

 As the pilgrim used to encourage one another, “Onward and upward.”


Father Rob

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Archbishop Beach on Marriage

        

Author: George Conger  24 Apr 2015 

Archbishop Foley Beach of the Anglican Church in North America has joined over 30 Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and Mormon leaders in endorsing an open letter defending the traditional view of marriage being defined as the life long union of one man and one woman.
The 23 April 2015 letter stated: “The state has a compelling interest in maintaining marriage as it has been understood across faiths and cultures for millennia because it has a compelling interest in the well-being of children.
“Every child has a mother and a father, and every child deserves the opportunity, whenever possible, to be raised by his or her own married mother and father in a stable, loving home.”
The president of the U.S. Conference of Roman Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, said the signatories hoped the letter would serve “as an encouragement to all of us, especially those dedicated to public service, to continue to promote both marriage and religious freedom as integral to a healthy and free society,

Friday, April 3, 2015

Seminar of the Purpose of Life

Why On Earth Are You Here?
                                                     THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 7:00 to 8:15 PM
No charge.  If you or someone you know
would like to explore
this first order question of life,
please join us.
 Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity
160 Merovan Drive, North Augusta, SC 29860
Next to Walmart at I-20, exit 5
For more info:  Robhartley@comcast.net  
803-341-0075

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper


 
February 17,   5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

$3.00 per plate, children under 12 free
Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity
160 Merovan Drive, North Augusta, 29860
For directions see our website:
AnglicanChurchoftheHolyTrinity.com
 
What is Shrove Tuesday?
Why Pancakes?
The day before the beginning of Lent is known as Shrove Tuesday.  Shrove is the past tense of the word “shrive” an old English word that means to make or go to confession.
 
This common act of penitence was usually done during “Shrovetide” the three days preceding Ash Wednesday.  Shrove Tuesday is also called Fat Tuesday (in French the familiar “Mardi Gras”, because on that day thrifty housewives used up the fats that she has kept around (the can of bacon drippings, or whatever) for cooking, because she will not be using them during Lent.  Since pancakes are a standard way of using up fat, the day is also called Pancake Tuesday.
 
What is Ash Wednesday?
Ash Wednesday is the first day of the penitential season of Lent.  Its true name is actually not "Ash Wednesday" but "The Day of Ashes."  Whichever name is used, the reference  to  ashes  comes  from  the ceremony of placing ashes on the forehead in the shape of the cross as a sign of penitence.  This custom was introduced by Pope Gregory I, who was Bishop of Rome from to 590 A.D. to 604 A.D.  It was enacted as a universal practice in all of Western Christendom by the Synod of Benevento in 1091 A.D.  Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Anglican churches observe this special day.