November, 2011

ON TAKING THE QUEEN’S SHILLING 

From the desk of Father Bill

  

This month we shall experience a unique event, one that occurs only once a century, when all six figures in the date will be the same.  The Eleventh of November this year is 11.11.11.  I understand that bridal couples are getting lined up to celebrate their weddings on such an auspicious date.

But the Eleventh of the Eleventh every year is an auspicious date.  In 1918, at 11.00 hours on the Eleventh of November, the Armistice was signed that brought to an end the Great World War, the war, or so it was claimed, that would end all wars.  It did not, and that is a reminder of our human failings.

During the Great War my father faked his age and volunteered to serve in the Royal Navy.  As the expression of the day had it, “He took the King’s shilling.”  That was the bonus an enlistee received for volunteering to join the armed forces.  Later on, nearly forty years later, I took the Queen’s shilling (except by then it was a bit more than that) and volunteered for service in the Royal Air Force, rather than be conscripted under the National Service Act.  Later on still, some forty-plus years later, my son took the equivalent of the Queen’s shilling – we might call it the President’s quarter – and volunteered for service in the United States Air Force.

There is a lot of difference between being conscripted and enlisting.  The conscript serves in the armed forces because he has to serve (and so far women have never been conscripted), but the enlistee freely chooses to serve.  He or she is a volunteer.  An enlistee, of his or her own free will, chooses to hand over that free will to the Sovereign Authority, and agrees to follow the will of that Sovereign Authority.  Indeed, one pledges to do so.

There are certain perquisites that go with volunteering.  One is housed, fed and clothed, and is also trained to acquire new skills or enhance old ones.  One gets to see the world at the expense of the Sovereign Authority.  But the volunteer, in surrendering his or her free will, pledges to follow the directives of the Authority to whom one has pledged oneself, and to follow those directives without demur.

I mention all this because there is a close parallel between volunteering for the armed forces of one’s country, and Confirmation in the liturgical and sacramental traditions of the Church, such as the Anglican Communion.  None of us is compelled to receive Confirmation.  It is a rite to which we freely submit.  We do it of our own free will.  Yet in undergoing the rite we make a commitment, one that involves submitting our free will to that of God, and we do it voluntarily.  Thereafter we are all volunteers who have handed over our free will to the Supreme Authority.

Over the years I have heard vestrymen (and women), and parish officers claim that they are volunteers, and they have been implying that they should not be ordered about.  I am the first to agree that vestrymen and women and other parish officers are volunteers.  They became volunteers at Confirmation.  But they did not volunteer to become members of a vestry or a parish officer.  We are appointed to these offices by the Supreme Authority, the One who in exercising his free will has chosen to give each of us a talent to be used in the service of the entire Body of Believers, the Army of the Lord of Hosts.

Our English word, “Voluntary”, comes from the same root as does the Spanish word, “Voluntad”.  And when we look at the Spanish word we better understand the English word.  Voluntad means free will, and it is used to describe the Will of God, the Free Will of God.  In Confirmation we submit our will freely to the Free Will of God and we are enlisted in the Host of God.  (And you might want to look up the meaning of “Host” in a good dictionary!)  There are perquisites in enlisting in the Host of God.  We are fed (through the Eucharist), we are clothed (in the whole armour of Christ), we are housed (for there is ample accommodation in the residence of the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ), and we move through life, this one and the next, thanks to the freely expended blood of Christ.  Metaphorically, like an enlistee in the armed forces of a Sovereign Authority on Earth, we even have a cap badge, the Sign of the Cross.

Do we receive the equivalent of the King’s or Queen’s shilling or the President’s quarter?  I like to think so.  It is called Redemption!  And like that shilling or quarter of an earthly Sovereign Authority, the Supreme Authority that we serve, after voluntarily handing over our free will, gives us Redemption of his own Free Will, his Voluntad.

 

With Thanksgiving:   Yr. 2011

We pass by hastily and take so little note of the goodness our Dear Lord keeps blessing us to see.

What do we remember about Deacon Jamie Turner?  Let’s take a look at Vacation Bible School with her portrayals and tales of biblical characters. Crafts were taught to the children and their eyes sparkled as they became involved.   Interestingly, the adults also shared in the enthusiasm.  Sunday morning sermons, Wednesday morning services and Sunday school teacher too.  What a busy life with so much to do?  Her Sunday school teachings were made simple, interesting, included hands-on participation, even up to preparing and baking yeast free dough.  Rev. Jamie fashioned pageantry with the children, they mostly related to Christmas.  She organized picnics, games, car wash with nothing amiss. The Daughters of the King and one son aglow, we were some who shared in the glitter of the show.   Mustered visits to the sick and shut-in ones. Hymns and carols we sung as we cherished the bond. Some of our chimes were out of tune that’s true, but then, thankful gestures from our listeners gave us the cue.

Former Deacon Paul Hall, now Fr. Paul of the Old Catholic Church. As a deacon he led the way through Wednesday morning services, Lenten services including Lenten’s Fridays Way of the Cross, some Sunday morning sermons, Vigil evening services, just to mention a few. Visits to hospitals and nursing homes where he ministered to sick and shut-ins and their families when they were present. Peggy Feder assisted the deacon when necessary.  It was Fr. Paul’s decision to rehearse the Lord’s Prayer at the 2008 fiesta orchestrated by the Pastoral Care Ministry. It was excellently executed. The dear Lord has blessed Fr. Paul with a voice that is perfect for such a rendition. At that time, the then deacon of Holy Faith Episcopal Church, chose Jeanne Stone as the recipient of his chastisement in his skit. The idea was to try to imitate a God-like voice as he followed Jeanne through the reciting of her nightly/morning praying.

Although not one of our church programs, I’d like to mention that once upon a time, Fr. Paul played Santa Claus at the mall during Christmas seasons, a fulfillment deemed as one that showed great concerns for children.

The Thrift Shop is a known beneficial enterprise to the Holy Faith Church family.  Ms. Ena Cushnie, one of our acolytes, is to be credited as the pioneer for this endeavor.  We are reminded of the Thrift Shop whenever her name is mentioned. Ms. Ena along with her dedicated team, worked arduously to bring about financial blessings that were worthy of their efforts.

Ms. Ena, a very conscientious worker, initiated functions at the church. Yard sales, to heighten public awareness, concerts which included volunteer models from Holy Faith both children and adults, who highlighted to us that shopping at the thrift shop was being wise, prudent and thrifty. Lovely garments were always on display. Household furnishings were also available. Her fish fries were added benefits to this package, and surely our favorite Good Friday’s menu.

Can you imagine the team raised over ($30.000) thirty thousand dollars in funds, covering a period of two to three years. What an extravagant contribution to Holy Faith?

The team:   Current members:   Ethlyn, Iris, Merle, Janet, Elrene, Fay, Ethel, Ruby, Margaret, Rhona, The Moores, Hazel and Gloria.

The pioneer and former members:   Ena, Gwen, Marge, Doris.

ONE LIFE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.  YOU SEE IT’S UP TO YOU!

Submitted by
Shirley Heath.

 

          • Lord make me an instrument of your peace:
          • Where there is hatred – let me sow love;
          • Where there is injury – pardon;
          • Where there is doubt – faith;
          • Where there is despair – hope;
          • Where there is darkness – light;
          • Where there is sadness – joy;      (Ed.) 

 

FUTURE HAPPENINGS AT HOLY FAITH

The Harvest Celebration has been postponed until next September.

On Sunday November 6, Holy Faith will hold a thanksgiving service to celebrate the commitment of those who have served or are serving in the armed forces, and also their families.

Plans for the Men’s Group fund raiser are in place. This will be held in the Parish Hall on November 12th, starting at 7p.m. Tickets are available from any of the men or from the office. Please purchase your ticket and come out for an evening of fun, food and dance. Tickets are $25.

Holy Faith, along with the other three Episcopal churches in the parish has been invited to a Thanksgiving eve service on Nov 23 at St. Andrews. Fr. Weeks of St. Simon will be the celebrant and Fr. Brandt of Nativity will be the preacher.

On Thursday November 24, Thanksgiving Day, dinner will be served in the Parish Hall at 1pm. There is a sign-up sheet in the Narthex for the names of those who will attend and for those who will help to prepare and serve the meal. Please indicate what dishes you will contribute or what role you will play on that day.

December 3, the Outreach Committee will host their Annual Breakfast. Tickets are $10 for Adults and $4 for children under 12 and  will be available shortly.

 

NOTES FROM THE VESTRY MEETING

The Vestry voted to extend Fr. Bill’s contract for one more year.

The counting schedule will be maintained as was previously planned. Calls will be made to confirm the members of the team.

We should be receiving the Community partner cards for Albertson’s shortly. Please inform the office if you would like to be a recipient of one of these cards.

The Holy Faith website is up and running. A contract with ‘Keep it Simple PC’ was signed for a one year period. You can access the site by going to http://holyfaithpsl.org

 

Pastoral Care Ministry

Philippians 4: 1-9

 

MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved. I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you also my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, beloved. Whatever is true, whatever honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned, received, heard, and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

 Aquinda Toppin

 

I will incline my ear to a proverb;
I will solve my riddle to the music of the harp.

It is true that you sing because you are happy, but it may truer that you are happy because you sing. The first job God called David of the bible to do was to make music. He was to play sweet and soothing music to Saul so that the King’s troubled soul might find harmony and order.  In your life, music has the power to give order to confusion and bring harmony out of dissonance.  It has the ability to take the disconnected notes of scattered experience and line them up on the scale of plan and purpose.  Music can find you lonely and connects you to a community of joy and celebration. It gives voice to the deepest of your feelings, substance to the undeveloped embryo of your ideals and direction to the most hesitant of your desires.

Aquinda Toppin

 

 

AN OPEN MESSAGE

 as given at the Combined Service on October 2nd.

 

Because of the importance of what has to be said today, I am going to use some notes to be sure to cover all the important points of this message.

The fact is that we are at a point in time where it is necessary to replace the roof on the church. There are several things we have taken into consideration while dealing with this issue.

  1. We have purposely delayed the project to the end of hurricane season in case some roof damage due to winds might result in an insurance claim. While the insurance may have been helpful, we are grateful that we seem to have been spared from hurricane damage.
  2. We looked at all materials to complete this task and have decided that a V Crimp metal roof woulde be best for the long term life of the roof. This will not be the aluminum color but instead one that compliments the existing church color.
  3. At the same time we are well aware that the roof over Harrison Hall is a different height from that over the sanctuary and that over Shenandoah Hall. There is damage due to wind forced rain to the fascia area of the roof as well as to the plywood at either end. We feel that for the long term life of our roof that it would be best to raise the roof over Harrison Hall to be level with the rest of the church building.
  4. If you had been involved in the budget process for Holy Faith over the last several years as I have, you would know that there is absolutely no fluff in the budget. We must come to ourselves, the congregation of Holy Faith Episcopal Church, Port St. Lucie, for the necessary monies to do this project. The total cost of this project is $60,000. That sounds like a very large sum of money and it is. However, if we all do our fair share it can be done. In a recent survey of this congregation where you provided the informaiton, it was found that there were 8 households with an annual income in excess of $100,000,…..18 households with an income of $50,000 – $100,000,……and 45 households with an income under $50,000. Rest assured that the Vestry does not know which families fall in which category. However, if those with annual incomess of over $100,000 would contribute 5% or $5,000,……those between $50,000 – $100,000 would contribute 5% or $2,5000, and those with under $50,000 did the very best that they can, you can see that we can reach this goal and have a new roof on by early 2012.
  5. The Vestry has created a 4-Phase program to bring Holy Faith into the 21st century, but at this point the roof is Phase 1, and there are no options but to replace the roof. We have actually been looking into this for about 2 1/2 years but now the time has come. We are absolutely relying on the congregation to do their fair share. Thank you.
The Vestry of Holy Faith
Wayne Griffin, Sr.
Senior Warden
 
 
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