The Elizabethan is a monthly update of parish and ministry happenings. Any items for the newsletter should be sent by the fourth Friday of the month to the church office email address:

To read the entire July 2018 newsletter click on this link>> Elizabethan July 2018 (1)

From Fr. John: Practicing hospitality

Hospitality is at the very deepest roots of the Episcopal way of being Christian in the world. Long before Christianity arrived in what is now Great Britain, the indigenousness Celts recognized hospitality as a core value of their civilization. And when St. Gregory the Great sent Benedictine missionary St. Augustine north into England, the Rule of St. Benedict joined the Celtic expression to form a foundational combination that is still central to Anglican theology, spirituality and practice.

Celtic wisdom seeks to transcend religious constraints without obliterating religious, ethnic, clan or any other differences. Within the grace-filled practices of hospitality, tribal identities are no longer the most important defining factor of who we are. Focusing on differences can divide and make community-building strained if not impossible. We can allow that we have differences that are part of our identity and yet choose with open hearts to emphasize our kinship and whatever we may have in common. Our differences become intriguing curiosities – interesting expressions of the diversity and distinctiveness that we each embody as qualities with sacred roots in God’s beloved Nature; each person bearing the likeness of God.

Individual women and men and communities trying to embody the teachings of St. Benedict aspire to live a similar grace-filled theology: to meet the Risen Christ in all the people we encounter. These encounters can be doubly graced if we are aware that we not only bring Christ to those who are our guests, but we also receive Christ in the other simultaneously. Christ is the center of every encounter. To look beyond our human differences and to see Christ primarily, is a crucial element of the Benedictine vow of conversatio, the monastic practice of always turning and returning to Christ in all things.

Read more of Father John’s essay in the newsletter >> Elizabethan July 2018 (1)

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