Calendar

Events

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Nicholas Ferrar

Deacon
d. 1637

Collect:

Lord God, make us worthy of your perfect love; that, with your deacon Nicholas Ferrar and his household, we may rule ourselves according to your Word, and serve you with our whole heart; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

12:00 am
Canon Turner reflects on a visit to the Church of the Holy Nativity in Bethlehem and contrasts it with Christmas in Fifth Avenue shops.
7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance
7:45 am – 8:45 am, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
8:00 am, Chantry Chapel
12:10 pm, Chantry Chapel
This Mass includes a healing service of Holy Unction.
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
5:30 pm, Chantry Chapel
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm, Parish House
Jeremy Waldron and Fr Austin lead this four-week class on Oliver O'Donovan's interesting book of commentary on the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion. The topics for this class incluce the authority to command.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Channing Moore Williams

Missionary Bishop in China and Japan
d. 1910 

Fr Austin writes:

Today in our church we remember Bishop Williams, who was born in Richmond, Va., volunteered for work in China, became bishop to China and Japan and ended up spending most of his life in Japan. He died exactly 100 years ago today. You can read the short biography for him in Lesser Feasts and Fasts.

In that biography, note these dates: he began work in Nagasaki in 1859; in 1866 his first convert was baptized. Seven years of faithful work without a single baptism: what faith he must have had!

Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God, we thank thee for thy servant Channing Moore Williams, whom thou didst call to preach the Gospel to the people of China and Japan. Raise up, we beseech thee, in this and every land vangelists and heralds of thy kingdom, that thy Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance
8:00 am, Chantry Chapel
12:10 pm, Chantry Chapel
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
5:30 pm, High Altar
Sung by the Gentleman of the Choir.
6:15 pm, High Altar

Thursday, December 3, 2015

7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance
8:00 am, Chantry Chapel
12:10 pm, Chantry Chapel
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
5:30 pm, Chantry Chapel
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Friday, December 4, 2015

John of Damascus

Priest
b. c.645
d. December 4, 749

Given that Saint Thomas Church is full of images in stone, wood and glass, the church building as we know it could not exist if John of Damascus and others were not successful in arguing against the Iconoclasts.

Lesser Feasts and Fasts (2006) explains his contribution in this way:

John of Damascus was the son of a Christian tax collector for the Mohammedan Caliph of Damascus. At an early age, he succeeded his father in this office. In about 715, he entered the monastery of St. Sabas near Jerusalem. There he devoted himself to an ascetic life and to the study of the Fathers.

In the same year that John was ordained priest, 726, the Byzantine Emperor Leo the Isaurian published his first edict against the Holy Images, which signaled the formal outbreak of the iconoclastic controversy. The edict forbade the veneration of sacred images, or icons, and ordered their destruction. In 729–730, John wrote three “Apologies (or Treatises) against the Iconoclasts and in Defense of the Holy Images.” He argued that such pictures were not idols, for they represented neither false gods nor even the true God in his divine nature; but only saints, or our Lord as man. He further distinguished between the respect, or veneration (proskynesis), that is properly paid to created beings, and the worship (latreia), that is properly given only to God.

The iconoclast case rested, in part, upon the Monophysite heresy, which held that Christ had only one nature, and since that nature was divine, it would be improper to represent him by material substances such as wood and paint. The Monophysite heresy was condemned by the Council of Chalcedon in 451.

At issue also was the heresy of Manichaeism, which held that matter itself was essentially evil. In both of these heresies, John maintained, the Lord’s incarnation was rejected. The Seventh Ecumenical Council, in 787, decreed that crosses, icons, the book of the Gospels, and other sacred objects were to receive reverence or veneration, expressed by salutations, incense, and lights, because the honor paid to them passed on to that which they represented. True worship (latreia), however, was due to God alone.

John also wrote a great synthesis of theology, The Fount of Knowledge, of which the last part, “On the Orthodox Faith,” is best known.

To Anglicans, John is best known as the author of the Easter hymns, “Thou hallowed chosen morn of praise,” “Come, ye faithful, raise the strain,” and “The day of resurrection.”

At Saint Thomas, we sometimes sing the first one (#198 in the Hymnal 1982) at Evensong during Eastertide, and we often sing the latter two (#200 and #210) on Easter Day.

Collect:

Confirm our minds, O Lord, in the mysteries of the true faith, set forth with power by thy servant John of Damascus; that we, with him, confessing Jesus to be true God and true Man, and singing the praises of the risen Lord, may, by the power of the resurrection, attain to eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

7:30 am – 6:30 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance
8:00 am, Chantry Chapel
12:10 pm, Chantry Chapel
12:45 pm – 1:45 pm, Living Room, Parish House
Father Spurlock offers a straight-forward bible study.
5:30 pm, Chantry Chapel
6:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Saturday, December 5, 2015

9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Fifth Avenue Entrance
9:30 am – 12:15 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
10:00 am – 11:00 am, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
12:10 pm, Chantry Chapel