In the Book of Common Prayer, beginning on pg. 46, there is a brief liturgy named “A Commination” which is to be read in church on Ash Wednesday. It is a very solemn warning about sin, but also a promise of God’s mercy and grace. At the beginning of Lent it would be good for us to seriously consider what it says. After an introductory section the minister is directed to read the following. “Now seeing that all they are accursed (as the prophet David beareth witness) who do err and go astray from the commandments of God; let us (remembering the dreadful judgment hanging over our heads, and always ready to fall upon us) return unto our Lord God, with all contrition and meekness of heart; bewailing and lamenting our sinful life, acknowledging and confessing our offences, and seeking to bring forth worthy fruits of repentance.
For now is the axe put unto the root of the trees, so that every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God: he shall pour down rain upon the sinners-snares, fire and brimstone, storm and tempest; this shall be their portion to drink. For lo, the Lord is come out of his place to visit the wickedness of such as dwell upon the earth. But who may abide the day of his coming? Who shall be able to endure when he appeareth? His fan is in his hand, and he will purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the barn; but he will burn the chaff with unquenchable fire. The day of the Lord cometh as a thief in the night: and when men shall say, Peace, and all things are safe, then shall sudden destruction come upon them, as sorrow cometh upon a woman travailing with child, and they shall not escape. Then shall appear the wrath of God in the day of vengeance, which obstinate sinners, through the stubbornness of their heart, have heaped unto themselves; which despised the goodness, patience, and long-sufferance of God, when he called them continually to repentance.
Then shall they call upon me (saith the Lord) but I will not hear; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me; and that, because they hated knowledge, and received not the fear of the Lord, but abhorred my counsel, and despised my correction. Then shall it be too late to knock when the door shall be shut; and too late to cry for mercy when it is the time of justice. O terrible voice of most just judgment, which shall be pronounced upon them, when it shall be said unto them, Go, ye cursed, into the fire everlasting, which is prepared for the devil and his angels.
Therefore, brethren, take we heed betime, while the day of salvation lasteth; for the night cometh, when none can work. But let us, while we have the light, believe in the light, and walk as children of the light; that we be not cast into utter darkness, where is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Let us not abuse the goodness of God, who calleth us mercifully to amendment, and of his endless pity promiseth us forgiveness of that which is past, if with a perfect and true heart we return unto him. For though are sins be as red as scarlet, they shall be made white as snow; and though they be like purple, yet they shall be made white as wool. Turn ye (saith the Lord) from all your wickedness, and your sin shall not be your destruction: Cast away from you all your ungodliness that ye have done: Make you new hearts, and a new spirit: Wherefore will ye die, O ye house of Israel, seeing that I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God? Turn ye then, and ye shall live.
Although we have sinned, yet have we an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins. For he was wounded for our offences, and smitten for our wickedness. Let us therefore return unto him, who is the merciful receiver of all true penitent sinners; assuring ourselves that he is ready to receive us, and most willing to pardon us, if we come unto him with faithful repentance; if we submit ourselves unto him, and from henceforth walk in his ways; if we will take his easy yoke and light burden upon us, to follow him in lowliness, patience, and charity, and be ordered by the governance of his Holy Spirit; seeking always his glory, and serving him duly in our vocation with thanksgiving. This if we do, Christ will deliver us from the curse of the law, and from the extreme malediction which shall light upon those who shall be set on the left hand; and he will set us on his right hand, and give us the gracious benediction of his Father, commanding us to take possession of his glorious kingdom: Unto which he vouchsafe to bring us all, for his infinite mercy. Amen.”
St. Andrew’s Preschool held its Christmas Program Thursday morning, December 20, 2007. The children dressed as Mary & Joseph, shepherds, and Wiseman and angels presented the Christmas story visually and in song for their parents and families gathered in the chapel. Refreshments were served in the Parish Hall following the program.
On Christmas Eve at 11:00 p.m. we gathered in the chapel for the Candlelight Service of lesson and carol followed by Holy Communion. This tradition is a blessed and beautiful way to usher in the Christmas season.
A fifth Sunday potluck luncheon was enjoyed by all following church on the 30th of December.
Annual Parish Meeting
March 9, 2008. In the Parish Hall following church. Luncheon will be provided. Please plan to attend.
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 6, 2008. Soup Supper in the Parish Hall at 6:30 p.m. Lenten Service in the Chapel at 7:30 p.m. The suppers and services will continue every Wednesday night through Lent. We hope to see you!
February 13, 15, 16, 2008
Ember days occur four times throughout the Church Year. They are always on the Wednesday, Friday and Saturday of the week. These days, which are of ancient origin, are set aside as special days for prayer and abstinence, or fasting.
As of February 15, 2008, choir practice will be on Friday mornings at 10:00 a.m., running through Friday, May 16, 2008. The choir will sing on May 18, 2008 on Trinity Sunday and this will be their last Sunday to sing before the summer break.
St. Andrew’s has hosted All Saints Anglican Church, a Nigerian congregation, for the past two years. All Saints meets at St. Andrew’s Sunday afternoons. Due to government regulations which prevent their pastor, Rev. Olu Olajide, from getting a green card and thus be able to secure supplemental income, the Olajides are in great financial need. If any of you would be able to send some financial support for this ministry among Nigerians it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Missionary of The Month
Greg & Helena Wright. Arab World Ministries. Upper Darby, PA. 19082
Why should we observe Lent?
(1) We observe Lent because it causes us to STOP. Lent says, “Stop and rest awhile.” Lent says, “Stop doing wrong.”
(2) We observe Lent because it says to LOOK. Look inward for an honest self-examination. Look upward to see the Cross of Christ with healing and love. Look forward to the hope of the Resurrection.
(3) We observe Lent because it says to us, “LISTEN.” Listen to the words of Christ, listen to the voice of God, listen to the winds of the Spirit of God.
Just as these three words, STOP, LOOK, AND LISTEN, are important for our safety in travel, they may also be helpful for our journey through Lent.
Feb. 3 - Adele O’Brien
Feb. 7 – Machaela Smith
Feb. 9 – Mike Acke, Sr.
Feb. 12 – Sara Hassert
Feb. 14 - Edwina Greco
Feb. 18 – Lawrence Klingen
Feb. 23 – Lorie Conn Stultz
Feb. 23 – Raphael Ebisi, Sr.
Feb. 28 – Larry Woodard
Feb. 28 – Dorothy Novak
by Helen Kitchell Evans
Steadily the old year passes;
Another year arrives again.
Will it bring a better way
To stamp out greed in hearts of men?
Another year extended to us
By our Lord’s amazing grace;
Another chance to overcome
The problems of our human race.
Another year of striving
To find a way for peace;
Another chance for planning
How to make wars cease.
Another year, the time flies on!
The rate is ever faster!
Let us cherish every hour
As we try to serve our Master.