Pour your grace into our hearts, O Lord, that we who have known the incarnation of your Son Jesus Christ, announced by an angel to the Virgin Mary, may by his cross and passion be brought to the glory of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
O God, who from the family of your servant David raised up Joseph to be the guardian of your incarnate Son and the spouse of his virgin mother: Give us grace to imitate his uprightness of life and his obedience to your commands; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
It is again a distinct pleasure and privilege to stand before the Annual Council of the Diocese of Southern Virginia as your bishop and to gaze upon the faces of friends – new friends and old friends – who are actively engaged in the work of Christ in the world. It warms my heart to see you and to be with you and to watch us work together for the sake of the Kingdom.
And it’s no small thing that we’ve been coming together like this for 125 years now – it’s the 125th anniversary of the Council of the Diocese today. In the year 1892 when all this started, Grover Cleveland replaced Benjamin Harrison as president. It was the year that Thomas Edison patented the telegraph, Arthur Conan Doyle published Sherlock Holmes, the Dalton gang was killed in a bank robbery in Kansas and, interestingly enough, Ellis Island first opened its doors to receive European immigrants. This last one in particular ought to give us pause.
Delivered by The Rev. James West Mathieson on November 29, 2016
John Ruef had a great sense of humor. And if you question his humor, consider the idea that he named me in his final request to be the “preacher” and give the sermon at his Burial Service.
John, you see, was noted for his brevity in the length of his sermons – 4 to 5 minutes at the most. One person remarked after church, “we never get our seats warm when John preaches.”
I, on the other hand, am a story teller. There is no limit to what I have to say. The seats of the congregation are given a lot of time to warm up.
Now I know John is laughing in Heaven.
John really was the “ideal” – the role model that every Episcopal priest yearns to be. Brilliant -- educated at the best schools, a teacher, a degree that would be the envy of each of us. John not only memorized his sermons, he memorized the Prayer Book, the hymnal, the Bible. Plus, he was the published author of a commentary on “Paul’s First Letter to Corinth.”
John and I would travel together to various functions: clergy conferences, retreats, funerals. We would travel along – mostly just rattling along, story after story -- John laughing at the appropriate time, quiet and respectful at other times. But even if I ran out of stories that simply kill time I would engage John in various questions: academic or pastoral or church problems.
That was the best of times – an unfolding of that wonderful mind. A disciplined mind! Words coming forth that unraveled the mysterious, the rough prattle, the puzzles that a priest is so often confronted with to realize “the ocean is too big and my boat is so small.”
Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Candidates for Confirmation and their Sponsors at Emmanuel on Sunday, February 26th. Emily and Anne commit to a Holy Lent of devotion, study, and good works, in preparation for their Confirmation on the Second Sunday of Easter. They have already taken most of their classes, an invitation to life-long Christian formation.
Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
O God, who before the passion of your only-begotten Son revealed his glory upon the holy mountain: Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Chatham Concert Series is pleased to present the Saturn Piano Quartet this Sunday, Feb. 26 at 3:00pm at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Chatham. Kevin Matheson, violin; Bryan Matheson, viola; Julia Goudimova, cello, and Judy Clark, piano, will play the great C Minor Quartet by Gabriel Fauré.Considered one of Fauré’s finest early works, its dynamic rhythms and engaging melodies will delight music lovers.
Opening the program will be the fourth premiere performance of Virginia Composer James Lego’s Piano Trio No. 1. Lego is a former apprentice artist for Opera Roanoke and a composition graduate from the University of North Carolina.The trio was composed especially for Kevin and Bryan Matheson and fully exploits the resources of both the string instruments and the piano.
Goudimova will perform two works for cello and piano: Song Without Words by Mendelssohn and Allegro Appasionato by Saint-Saens. You can hear them in a previous performance of the Faure: https://youtu.be/ZiTxO3HAUKM
Local music student Layne Larson, of Danville, will perform Beethoven’s famous Für Elise on piano.
Please join fellow music lovers and the musicians afterwards for a reception provided by Chatham First.
Almighty God, who in the place of Judas chose your faithful servant Matthias to be numbered among the Twelve: Grant that your Church, being delivered from false apostles, may always be guided and governed by faithful and true pastors; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Click here to learn more about Saint Matthias, Apostle.
O Lord, you have taught us that without love whatever we do is worth nothing: Send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts your greatest gift, which is love, the true bond of peace and of all virtue, without which whoever lives is accounted dead before you. Grant this for the sake of your only Son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Posted on February 19, 2017 at 12:14 AM |Permalink
O God, the strength of all who put their trust in you: Mercifully accept our prayers; and because in our weakness we can do nothing good without you, give us the help of your grace, that in keeping your commandments we may please you both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Burns Night is an event that honors the Scottish poet laureate Robert Burns. Celebrated sometime near Burns’ birthday, it is an opportunity to celebrate all things Scottish.
Emmanuel parish will host a Burns Night, Feb. 12, at 3 PM, as a benefit. Accompanied by Celtic harp and guitar, Stephen & Regina will sing Scottish songs, including several by Robbie, recite Robbie’s poetry, and play Scottish dance tunes.
A reception of light Scottish fare will follow. No haggis, we promise. The concert will benefit the music program at Emmanuel, with a portion going to Episcopal Relief and Development to fund the Millennial Development Goals.
Sun Feb 12, 2017 3pm – 5pm Eastern Time
Emanuel Episcopal Church, 66 Main St, Chatham, VA 24531, USA (map)
Chatham Hall was the site for a Celtic Spirituality Retreat on Saturday, February 4th. Celtic Spirituality embraces creation as God-blessed and God-revealing. Early Christians found that it fit well with Christianity.
Led by Dr. Regina Christianson, the retreat included times of reflecting on the wisdom within that tradition, as well as times of silence, guided meditation, spiritual conversation, music, art, and walking outdoors. A simple lunch of soup, bread, and beverages was provided.
Set us free, O God, from the bondage of our sins, and give us the liberty of that abundant life which you have made known to us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Almighty and everliving God, we humbly pray that, as your only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple, so we may be presented to you with pure and clean hearts by Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Click hereto learn more about the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of your people, and in our time grant us your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.