18 August 2018
First of all, thanks to all who made last weekend's celebrations so powerful!
Don't wash your car this week! Let the Acolytes, and their friends and helpers, wash your car on Saturday, August 25 by the Red Barn at Bishops' Orchard Farm Market. Bring your car for a thorough washing between 10a.m. and 1p.m.; the "charge" is a free-will donation.
You may remember that our Annual Parish Meeting in February 2017 came within days of the 25th anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood. Some current and former Wardens and Vestry Members presented me -- to my surprise and delight -- the book about the Broadway musical "Hamilton" with instructions to order a ticket as a gift from them on behalf of the parish. Well, I thought the book was a lovely gift and procrastinated ordering tickets (they're outrageously expensive!). This winter former Senior Warden Pat Daunic said, "here's a check; we're serious; buy a ticket: so, I did as I was told and got serious about finding a good seat at a price that wasn't too overly outrageous. Finally, I found one, and last evening I sat riveted by the performance! Wow! I mean wow! I know the music and, thanks to the book, had read a good bit of the text. But nothing prepared me for just how amazing the music, choreography, set and lighting design all are, or how they all work together so brilliantly. Thanks so much to all of you who participated in making this experience possible! I am so very grateful!
Early in the musical, we meet the Rev. Samuel Seabury who is portrayed as a simpering stooge, blindly loyal to King George III. That's the same Samuel Seabury who would later be consecrated by the Episcopal Church in Scotland to become the first bishop of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut. Hamilton's creator, Lin Manuel Miranda, used his creative license to adapt historic events for his narrative and comic purposes. As it happens, Samuel Seabury was nobody's stooge, but like the majority of folks in New York City and Westchester County, where he served before the revolution, a loyal subject of King George. Ordained deacon and priest in England, Seabury had vowed loyalty to the King as head of the Church "in all things termporal."
In the days before Instagram and Twitter, people conducted debates in pamphlets; pamphlets that people actually bought! Seabury and Hamilton wrote a series of well-received pamphlets arguing against and for the revolutionary cause. For his, Seabury, then the well-established rector of St. Peter's Church, Westchester, adopted the pen-name "A. W. Farmer" for "A Westchester Farmer." Hamilton was an undergraduate at King's College (today's Columbia University). Both wrote plainly, forcefully and to great effect for their side of the debate about the Continental Congress. After the war, Seabury moved to Connecticut and supported the new country. As a native of the British West Indies, Hamilton was a lifelong Anglican -- becoming an Episcopalian as American parishes of the Church of England became part of a new Episcopal Church.
Guilford resident and friend of Christ Church, the Rev. Mary Anne Osborn, will preach and celebrate on Sundays August 19 and 26. Were I in town, I'd want to gather with you all and hear how Mary Anne continues Bishop Seabury's work of bringing the Bible to bear on the challenges of our lives and times. I'll be thinking of, and praying with, you from a crowded pew in the Church of St. Mary of the Harbor, Provincetown. The harbor is quite literally out the backdoors of the parish buildings, and this is still their busy season.
In the meantime, I'll look forward to joining you for our preparations for Chapel on Green, on Saturday, September 1.
In faith, hope and love,
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