Calendar

Outreach 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.

7:45 am – 8:45 am, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

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.

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Thursday, December 3, 2015

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
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.

6:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Saturday, December 5, 2015

9:30 am – 12:15 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
10:00 am – 11:00 am, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Monday, December 7, 2015

Ambrose

Bishop of Milan
b. c.340
d. 397

Lesser Feasts and Fasts (2006) recounts the life of Ambrose as follows:

Ambrose was the son of a Roman governor in Gaul, and in 373 he himself was governor in Upper Italy. Though brought up in a Christian family, Ambrose had not been baptized. He became involved in the election of a Bishop of Milan only as mediator between the battling factions of Arians and orthodox Christians. The election was important, because the victorious party would control the powerful see of Milan.

Ambrose exhorted the nearly riotous mob to keep the peace and to obey the law. Suddenly both sides raised the cry, “Ambrose shall be our bishop!” He protested, but the people persisted. Hastily baptized, he was ordained bishop on December 7, 373.

Ambrose rapidly won renown as a defender of orthodoxy against Arianism and as a statesman of the Church. He was also a skillful hymnodist. He introduced antiphonal chanting to enrich the liturgy, and wrote straightforward, practical discourses to educate his people in such matters of doctrine as Baptism, the Trinity, the Eucharist, and the Person of Christ. His persuasive preaching was an important factor in the conversion of Augustine of Hippo.
Ambrose did not fear to rebuke emperors, including the hot-headed Theodosius, whom he forced to do public penance for the slaughter of several thousand citizens of Salonika.

About Baptism, Ambrose wrote: “After the font (of baptism), the Holy Spirit is poured on you, ‘the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and godliness, and the spirit of holy fear’” (De Sacramentis 3.8).

A meditation attributed to him includes these words: “Lord Jesus Christ, you are for me medicine when I am sick; you are my strength when I need help; you are life itself when I fear death; you are the way when I long for heaven; you are light when all is dark; you are my food when I need nourishment.”

Among hymns attributed to Ambrose are “The eternal gifts of Christ the King,” “O Splendor of God’s glory bright,” and a series of hymns for the Little Hours.

At Saint Thomas we sing the first one, #234 in the Hymnal 1982, every now and again at Choral Evensong.

Collect:

O God, who didst give to thy servant Ambrose grace eloquently to proclaim thy righteousness in the great congregation, and fearlessly to bear reproach for the honor of thy Name: Mercifully grant to all bishops and pastors such excellency in preaching, and fidelity in ministering thy Word, that thy people may be partakers with them of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Collect:

O God, who in her conception didst wondrously preserve the mother of thine only-begotten from all stain of sin: grant, we beseech thee, that strengthened by her intercession we may be enabled in purity of heart to take part in her festival. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

7:45 am – 8:45 am, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, Living Room, Parish House

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Thursday, December 10, 2015

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Friday, December 11, 2015

6:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Saturday, December 12, 2015

9:30 am – 12:15 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
10:00 am – 11:00 am, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Monday, December 14, 2015

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

7:45 am – 8:45 am, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Ember Wednesday

A series of three Ember Days (on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) are observed four times a year:

(1) following the Third Sunday of Advent
(2) following the First Sunday in Lent
(3) following the Day of Pentecost (Whitsunday)
(4) following Holy Cross Day

A major feast day overrides an Ember Day if they fall on the same day.

Ember Days, traditionally seasonal days of fasting and prayer, became over time associated with ordination of clergy and with prayer for the Church.

Collect:

Almighty God, the giver of all good gifts, who of thy divine providence hast appointed various orders in thy Church: Give thy grace, we humbly beseech thee, to all who are called to any office and ministry for thy people; and so fill them with the truth of thy doctrine and clothe them with holiness of life, that they may faithfully serve before thee, to the glory of thy great Name and for the benefit of thy holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Thursday, December 17, 2015

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Friday, December 18, 2015

Ember Friday

A series of three Ember Days (on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) are observed four times a year:

(1) following the Third Sunday of Advent
(2) following the First Sunday in Lent
(3) following the Day of Pentecost (Whitsunday)
(4) following Holy Cross Day

A major feast day overrides an Ember Day if they fall on the same day.

Ember Days, traditionally seasonal days of fasting and prayer, became over time associated with ordination of clergy and with prayer for the Church.

Collect:

O God, who didst lead thy holy apostles to ordain ministers in every place: Grant that thy Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, may choose suitable persons for the ministry of Word and Sacrament, and may uphold them in their work for the extension of thy kingdom; through him who is the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

6:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Ember Saturday

A series of three Ember Days (on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) are observed four times a year:

(1) following the Third Sunday of Advent
(2) following the First Sunday in Lent
(3) following the Day of Pentecost (Whitsunday)
(4) following Holy Cross Day

A major feast day overrides an Ember Day if they fall on the same day.

Ember Days, traditionally seasonal days of fasting and prayer, became over time associated with ordination of clergy and with prayer for the Church.

Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of thy faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers, which we offer before thee for all members of thy holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and godly serve thee; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

9:30 am – 12:15 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
10:00 am – 11:00 am, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Monday, December 21, 2015

SAINT THOMAS

December 21 is the feast day Saint Thomas the Apostle, which we transfer to Monday if December 21 falls on a Sunday. We celebrate Saint Thomas two other times through the year: (1) on Dedication Sunday (always the first Sunday of October), in which we celebrate the dedication of our church and therefore Saint Thomas as its patron saint, and (2) on Low Sunday (the Second Sunday of Easter), when the resurrected Christ shows himself to the doubting Thomas.

To learn more about Saint Thomas the Apostle, consider these sermons in the archive.

Collect:

Everliving God, who didst strengthen thine apostle Thomas with sure and certain faith in thy Son’s resurrection: Grant us so perfectly and without doubt to believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, that our faith may never be found wanting in thy sight; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

7:45 am – 8:45 am, Saint Thomas Church Parish House
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, Saint Thomas Church Parish House