Monday, April 28, 2014

A great list of Brithonic Saints

Brief sketches of various Saints of Britain
"St. Acca

Bishop of Hexham

Died: 20th October AD 740 
During his youth, Acca joined the household of Bishop Bosa of York, where he fell in with the Romanist party and became a faithful friend of St. Wilfred, Abbot of Ripon. They were constant companions for thirteen, often turbulent, years and Acca accompanied the great man on many of his Continental visits. 
Upon, Wilfred's deathbed (AD 709), he nominated Acca to succeed him as Abbot of Hexham and, in the event, he was able to take up the Bishopric as well. He completed the building work started by his friend and decorated the principal church at Hexham with altars, sacred vessels and holy relics.  
Acca was an accomplished singer and a noted scholar of the age. Bede praised the high quality and wide-ranging diversity of his theological library; and dedicated several of his biblical works to the Bishop. The two seem to have known each other well, for when Acca found St. Ambrose's commentary on St. Luke too long, he encouraged the father of English History to write a reduced version. He later supplied Bede with information for the Ecclesiastical History. 
In AD 731, political intrigues led to King Ceolwulf of Northumbria being seized by unknown opponents and forced to enter a monastery. His supporters subsequently restored him to the throne, but vengeance was swift and Bishop Acca expulsion from his see soon afterward almost certainly indicates his involvement in the coup. Some records imply that he fled west where he was appointed Bishop of Whithorn.  
Acca died on 20th October AD 740. He was buried beside the east wall of Hexham Cathedral, between two huge stone crosses decorated with Mediterranean-style vines and tendrils. These survive largely intact and can be seen today inside the Abbey Church.

Are Old School Catechetics Making a Comeback?

Some have never left them!

A good read:

Since the 60s, whether in the Catholic or Protestant or evangelical worlds, old school catechetics have fallen out of favor. There's reasons for that, of course.
First, the Q & A catechisms with which many of us are familiar (Westminster ShorterBaltimore,Luther's Small Catechism, etc.) were forged in the fires of the crisis of the fracturing of Western Christianity. Various confessional bodies needed to get their truth into their people's heads fast and hard, from the sixteenth century through the mid-twentieth. With the rise of the ecumenical movement in the wake of WWII, the confessional distinctives Q & A catechisms supported were downplayed.
Second, doctrine was marginalized and non- or supra-linguistic experience brought to the center, and not only in the mainline worlds. In fundamentalist-cum-evangelical circles, memorization of the Bible (in ways most of us can't even fathom today) was slowly and subtly replaced by an emphasis on good feelings."

Read the rest here 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Letter from our Bishop

Dear Diocesan Family:
Why do you seek the living among the dead? Those startling words puzzled the women at the empty tomb. They went to announce all these things to the disciples. In one extraordinary moment, this Good News changed human life and human history. Peter and John ran to the tomb. Thomas doubted. But it is true! Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. Jesus nailed sin and death to the
Cross. Death is defeated and we now share in His Divine life.
In the Easter Season, we proclaim Jesus as Lord and rejoice that because of His life we have the promise of immortality. May all mankind recognize their Savior and proclaim His Resurrection. Let every heart be renewed and every life transformed. He is risen as He said. Let Alleluia be our song!
In a particular way, Peter becomes a model for all of us. Once he understood the truth of the Resurrection, he went forth to tell the Good News that God had raised this Jesus up. Peter was transformed from a frightened man with no hope to a witness to the Resurrection. His witness reminds us that we too are called to be witnesses to the same truth, the same Good News, the same radical transformation that is offered to every man and woman who believes and professes that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
Ours is a faith that leads to action. We are called to belong more deeply to Him and to His Church so that we can be effective servants to one another, effective bearers  of Christ’s love. May the love that burst forth from the tomb that first Easter live in our hearts and be expressed in our lives.
Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
Bishop Bill

How do you see the Incarnation?

We seldom consider how our interpretation of Scripture is effected by cultural influences.  Here are two blog posts about the different, perhaps compartmentalized view of the Incarnation of Reformed Protestantism over against that of Orthodoxy:

"For now I have been thinking about how the Orthodox Church has a doctrine of salvation that includes the whole world, or the teaching of cosmology. Simply put the Orthodox do not treat the incarnation, the cross, and resurrection as separate events when explaining our salvation. I have concluded that this approach has to be correct because it fills in some holes in our Western way of thinking that is too individualistic. It also challenges the tendency in the West to center on legal categories when it seeks to explain the cross and God’s love." - Pastor John Armstrong
Here from the Orthodox perspective:

"for Orthodoxy the Incarnation is just as significant for our salvation as Christ’s dying on the Cross, as well as his third day resurrection.  We are saved by the person of Jesus Christ, not just by that one thing he did on the Cross.  In baptism we are united to Christ’s death and his resurrection, we receive the Holy Spirit and are incorporated into his Body (the Church).  We cease to be autonomous beings and now live in the context of the liturgical and sacramental life of the Church.  In the course of the liturgical cycle of the major feast days of the Orthodox Church we participate in the mysteries of Christ’s Incarnation, his Nativity, his presentation in the Temple, his Baptism in the River Jordan, his Transfiguration, his ascent to Jerusalem, his entry into Jerusalem, his death on the Cross, his Resurrection, and his Ascension.  In the Incarnation the Eternal entered into history.  The life of Christ recounted in the Gospels is not a sequence of events but transcends the limitations of chronological time." Robert Arakaki  
Good and ernest discussion is for mutual edification.  Have a read and tell us what you think.


Easter Sermon 2014

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