The Morning Office – 22 June 2018 The Feast of Saint Alban, Martyr

AlbanHomily from Morning Prayer for June 22, 2018.

The Feast of Saint Alban

First Martyr of Britain, c. 304

“My parents named me Alban, and I worship the living and true God, who created all things.” Today we remember and venerate Saint Alban who in the words of Lesser Feasts and Fasts was the “earliest Christian in Britain who is known by name and according to tradition the first British martyr.  Alban was a roman soldier who gave shelter to a Christian priest fleeing persecution and who in the process became converted to the Christian faith.  When the Roman officers came to Alban’s house looking for the priest he dressed himself as the priest and have himself up. He was tortured, tried and executed.  Tradition has it his execution took place on the hilltop where the cathedral of Saint Alban’s now stands outside of the city of Saint Albans England.

One is given to wonder how one would react given the same situation.  Would we be willing, in this modern age, to give up our lives to save someone else, especially a complete stranger?  Dying to protect friends and family is one thing but dying to protect a stranger because he, or she, is an embodiment of the faith is something else again.

In the lesson from the second chapter of Romans appointed for today Saint Paul makes the point that “he is not a real Jew who is one outwardly, nor is true circumcision external and physical. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal” At the time he was speaking Christianity was a part of Judaism and the measure was how Jewish are you which is why he uses that phraseology.  But taken today we can make the same measurement as to one’s Christianity not as how faithful one is to the law but rather how faithful is one to Christ.

Like Saint Alban we all face the test from time to time of how much to risk for our faith.  Saint Alban rose to the challenge and was willing to give his life in faith.  Could we do the same?

Supreme Court of the United States Denies Certiorari

FROM THE EDSC NEWSLETTER OF 11 JUNE 2018:

Here is the latest Supreme Court decision concerning the breakaway group in The Episcopal Church in South Carolina. The following press release was curated by The Episcopal Church in South Carolina.

“As we have throughout this legal journey, we are called to continue in prayer for all are affected in anyway by this decision. Regardless of legal questions, let us keep our hearts and minds focused on next steps that heal, that restore, that forgive, and that seek forgiveness,” The Right Rev. W Andrew Waldo urges

supreme court II

US Supreme Court Denies Certiorari, will not hear church property case

The United States Supreme Court today denied a petition from a breakaway group, letting stand the decision of the South Carolina Supreme Court to return control of the Diocese of South Carolina and 28 church properties to The Episcopal Church and its recognized diocese, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC).

The high court denied certiorari to the group that announced in 2012 they were leaving The Episcopal Church. The breakaway group filed a lawsuit in 2013 seeking to control diocesan and parish properties, and a Dorchester County court found in their favor in 2015. The state Supreme Court overturned that decision in August 2017.

“We are grateful for the clarity that this decision offers, and hopeful that it brings all of us closer to having real conversations on how we can bring healing and reconciliation to the Church, the Body of Christ, in this part of South Carolina,” said the Right Rev. Gladstone B. Adams III, Bishop of TECSC.

“Our path continues to be one of reconciliation and love, for love is the way of Jesus,” Bishop Adams said.

Today’s decision does not cause an immediate change in the physical control of the properties, according to Thomas S. Tisdale Jr., Chancellor of TECSC. It is now up to the state’s 1st Circuit Court of Common Pleas to execute the lower court’s decision.

TECSC and The Episcopal Church on May 8 asked the state court to place diocesan property and assets under control of TECSC’s trustees, hand over ownership of property of the 28 affected parishes to The Episcopal Church and TECSC, and appoint a Special Master to oversee the transition.

The Episcopal Church has been hoping to engage with leaders of the breakaway group since the state Supreme Court ruling in August. Bishop Adams and other diocesan leaders have been seeking direct contact with people in the affected parishes, offering a “Frequently Asked Questions” publication and arranging individual meetings to work with those who want to remain in their home churches as Episcopalians.

Direct talks are even more important now that the Supreme Court has ruled, the Bishop said. “We invite people in each of the parishes affected by this decision to read the FAQ document and get in touch with me directly, so we can discover how best to work together for the good of the parish, the diocese and the whole Church,” Bishop Adams said.

“It happens that today is the day we remember St. Barnabas, and in the prayer assigned for today we note that he sought not his own renown, but the well-being of God’s Church. May we do the same.”

A meeting of diocesan leaders, including the Standing Committee, Diocesan Council, Trustees, and Deans, has been called for Tuesday, June 12. The ordained and lay leaders will gather for prayer, hear information and discuss plans for the months ahead.

Bishop Adams expressed gratitude to those within the diocese and throughout the wider Episcopal Church who have offered prayers and support through the last 5-1/2 years. “Many people have labored faithfully and sacrificed much to remain steadfast in solidarity with us as we seek to be disciples of Jesus in this place. For every one of you, I give thanks,” he said.

 

MEDIA RESOURCES

A Historical Timeline of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina

Frequently Asked Questions for people and parishes