August 20, 2020
Oh, how good and pleasant it is,
when brethren live together in unity!
It is like fine oil upon the head
that runs down upon the beard,
Upon the beard of Aaron,
and runs down upon the collar of his robe.
It is like the dew of Hermon
that falls upon the hills of Zion.
For there the Lord has ordained the blessing:
life for evermore.
Psalm 133, BCP, p. 787
I hope this psalm seem familiar; we prayed it last Sunday, and it appears again in the psalmody appointed for today's Daily Office. The first words of Psalm 133 in Latin, Ecce quam bonum, form the motto of Sewanee: The University of the South in Tennessee. You'll see the letters EQB all over campus. It serves as the University's own shorthand for "love your neighbor as yourself." At the same time, the University has made very conscious and public efforts to come to terms with the ways it historically fell short of the psalm's vision of brethren living together in unity by its complicity with, and promotion of, racial injustice.
A monument to Edmund Kirby Smith -- the last Confederate General to surrender after the fall of Galveston in 1865 -- stood for many years at a campus crossroads. Two years ago portions of that monument were moved near his grave in the University cemetery (he had taught botany and mathematics), and it was rebuilt and rededicated as the EQB monument.
Behold how good and pleasant it is
when kindred live together in unity.
Perhaps an even more telling signal that a new era has begun was the University's Regents' (who represent the southern dioceses of the Episcopal Church) election of a new Vice-Chancellor and President earlier this year. Among the ways to describe Ambassador Reuben Brigety II, a graduate of Annapolis and Cambridge and previously dean of the George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, is that he is a Black man. Judging by the photographs I've seen, the new VC favors bow ties; so he'll fit in just fine.
Our prayers are asked for ----
All who are ill including,
Rob vM, Frank, Judy & Ed S;
for Dale and all others contending
with Covid-19 disease, and for all facing financial hardship because of the pandemic.
May they all know the healing power of
Christ's presence and love.
For the repose of parishioner Robert vanMarx,
many will remember his warm greeting as an usher,
(service arrangements are pending);
for Robert Meade and Judy Clearwater:
and for the over 170,000 of our fellow citizens,
who have died of the coronavirus;
Rest eternal grant to them, O Lord; and
may light perpetual shine upon them.
let us also remember all who mourn,
including Holly vM, and Ray C.
Remember your servants, O Lord,
according to the favor you bear unto all your children.
Let us send up prayers of thanksgiving for the birthdays of
Susan L and Melissa L.
Watch over your servants, O Lord, as their days increase;
bless and guide them; and may your peace abide with them
all the days of their lives.
Please continue to hold in prayer:
Elena P, Margaret S, Michael M, Richard, D, Dave K, Brian A, John, Joan G., Lois C., Winnie Z, Bernie and family, Susie & Paul, Pam McG, Julie H, Murray E., Brooke & family, Kate S., Tracy M., Carl, Michael S, Joanne N-R, Madeline H, Kelly G,
Also: Paul D, Susan S, Linda B, June C, Charlie K, Anne C, Mark S, Angela G, Maria, Bob, Olivia, Lois T, and Jo B.
Please also remember: St. Luke’s School & Church in Martel (Haiti).
To add names and concerns for Wednesday's and Sunday's intercessions, and this "Let Us Pray" letter, please send them to YFNR at firstname.lastname@example.org with any details you care to share. Names will then move to the "continuing" list for 30 days, and the longer term list upon request.
Wednesday Evening Prayers are on holiday until the middle of September
Thursday Bible Study ... has begun its summer vacation, and will resume in mid-September.
The national political conventions of this week and next, have sent me to the Prayer Book. "Prayers for National Life" (pp.820-823) include many which I find helpful. Here's one "For an Election:"
to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges:
Guide the people of the United States in the election
of officials and representatives,
that, by faithful administration and wise laws,
the rights of all may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
BCP, p. 822
In the faith, hope and love of Christ,
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!