March 2012

Dear Parishioners:

When I was a young priest, I was given an opportunity to do what I wish every Christian could do. It was an experience of a lifetime. It was powerful. It was an event that put in concrete the Scriptures and beliefs that I had been taught since my youth. I had been given the opportunity to go to Israel and more especially I looked forward to going to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is an exciting city to say the least. By the time I was there, I had become use to seeing guns being carried in the street by soldiers. I had even experienced the blowing up of a package that was left unattended in Bethlehem. But it wasn’t the sense of danger that caught my attention—and no it was not the shopping at all the stores in Old Jerusalem. It was the Via Delorosa. I was looking forward to walking in the steps that our Lord took on his way to the Cross. It is a powerful journey. One filled with awe and wonderment as we made our way to each station.

The Via Delorosa, or literally the way of grief or sorrow, is the journey which our Savior suffered on his way to be crucified for the sins of the world. I was able to walk with the cross on these same roads our Lord had walked. It was a pilgrimage of a lifetime and I was blessed to share that experience which was so moving and stirred the soul.

Lent is the season that is here to stir the soul. Through self examination and discipline, through prayer and almsgiving, we can commit ourselves to a pilgrimage. A pilgrimage is what we all need that will move and stir the soul. How well do we know ourselves? How well do we know our failings, our weaknesses, our temptations? How well do we know that we can do nothing for ourselves but only by the grace of God. How heavy is the cross we have been carrying? How many Simon’s of Cyrene have we been given to help? How many times have we fallen when we rely on ourselves instead of the grace of God?

I invite you to join in the pilgrimage of Lent at St. Alban’s. We have an excellent program for you to join in the journey. On Friday, March 2nd we will have a very special program. Fr. Jerry K. will join us for a meatless potluck dinner and then a talk on holiness. The Rev. Canon Jerry K., OSB, is a Benedictine Anglican priest and missionary. He presently serves as Canon for Mission for an Anglican diocese in East Africa and focuses on least reached people groups in Islamic Africa, Central Asia and Asia. Ministry areas abroad include church planting, teaching and training indigenous leaders, combating human-trafficking and caring for orphans.

Father K’s post-Hurricane Katrina ministry was highlighted in media outlets such as Time Magazine, World Magazine, USA Today, The Living Church, PBS and the BBC and has been featured in several recently published books on the hurricane and its aftermath.

He has studied at the University of St. Thomas, Houston, TX, the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.

Thomas Rinn our Chamber Choir Director has once again arranged a wonderful set of Lenten Concerts. On March 9th at 7:30 pm we will have a Guitar Quartet. On March 23rd we will have Project Eve from Dallas. On March 30th we will have the East Texas Handbell Ensemble of which our own Sueda Luttrell, our organist, is part of this group. All musical offerings will begin at 7:30 pm on Fridays. A reception will follow in the entrance so that we may not only have fellowship but meet the musicians.

On Friday, March 16th we will have the privilege of having another excellent and special speaker. The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth, our Bishop will be joining us. We begin the evening at 6:30 pm in the Parish Hall with a Fish Fry being provided by our Brotherhood of St. Andrew. My appreciation and thanks to the Brotherhood of St. Andrew for providing such a treat. Bishop Iker will speak on a topic that has yet to be determined as of the writing of this article. We will finish the evening with Benediction in the Church.

Please note that when we have a musical program, we begin at 7:30 pm in the church with a reception following. When we have our two speakers, we begin at 6:30 pm in the Parish Hall with a meatless dinner. A nursery will be offered at all the Lenten Programs and an activity for our children will be provided on the evenings we have a speakers. Plan to join us for this journey during Lent.

On the personal level there are many things you can do on your Lenten pilgrimage. We have many ministries that could use your help. How about joining in feeding the needy by joining the team that serves at the Arlington Life Shelter? How about joining the Bible Study or Book Club to further your learning in the Lord? How about attending a weekday Eucharist in addition to your Sunday obligation? How about adding Morning Prayer and or Evening Prayer to your daily routine? There are so many opportunities and ministries available to enrich and deepen your pilgrimage this Lent. The call has been given. Are you willing to answer the call?

A number of you attended the presentation on our Centurion, Fr. Binga and his parish of St. Mark’s and its school. Two items were mentioned; blue exercise books for the students and Bibles for the Bible knowledge class. Currently the school, when funds are available is provided 2000 exercise books for the students, this amount is not enough as each child is only allocated so many… to double this amount to 4000 for the year the total cost is $740.00. The bibles are $10.50 US each. A bible knowledge class can have anywhere from 75 – 120 students in it. So if we set a goal of 60 bibles, which would be 1 for every 2 students the total cost would be $630.00. We are also asked to raise $150 per month to help with the stipend for Fr. Binga. Why not join in giving opportunities for our Centurion and/or the students at St. Mark’s School?

I would like to thank our Boy Scout Troop 82 for a wonderful pancake supper. They did a fantastic job. They had a great selection of items for the silent auction so I hope they did well to help pay for sending our Troop to Scouting activities. Also I would like to thank Jon Stutler and Razzmajazz that provided such excellent entertainment. They know how to provide not only great music but add a wonderful spirit to the Pancake Supper. I always get a smile when we see our Scouts join in the Chicken Dance or Hokey Pokey. Thank you for all your support of Fat Tuesday.

On March 22nd at 7 pm there will be the first meeting of all who are interest in helping with Vacation Bible School. Gretchen Hosea has graciously volunteered to lead our VBS but she is going to need a lot of help. If you are interested in helping this outreach and educational program for St. Alban’s and the community, please join us. Because we are interested in the safety of our children, Ministry Safe, a program on preventing child abuse, and a background check is required for all adult leaders for VBS. Come and join in the fun.

Remember to “spring forward” on Saturday, March 10th before you go to bed. It is that time of year again when our days are lengthening. May your Lenten journey stir your soul and deepen your faith and love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

In Christ,
Fr. K+

Permanent link to this article: http://www.saintalbans.org/2012/03/01/march-2012/

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