Weekly Dispatch, June 17th, 2020
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St. John's Weekly Dispatch, v. 2

St. John's Schedule

A Message from Fr. Bryan

Dear Friends in Christ,

If you were with us on Sunday, then you noticed that I did not begin a series on Romans, as I had promised. Instead, I've decided to spend the summer on an extended series focused on the theology and practice of prayer. Specifically, we will explore what it should mean for St. John's to be a people of prayer in the midst of confusing and chaotic times. I noted in my sermon on Sunday that prayer is not the opposite of action. Instead, faithful prayer ensures that we pursue our mission with wisdom and discernment, grounded in God's own mission. If you missed the service on Sunday, then you may want to watch the sermon video below.

You will notice in that video that I addressed current racial tensions. This is a very fraught subject, so let's make every effort to show kindness to each other as we struggle to make sense of the world around us, which is changing rapidly. There are many ways to approach a complex subject, so we should not expect each other to communicate the whole story from every possible angle each time it comes up. What matters most is humility and a desire to be faithful to Jesus Christ, the Lord of All.

I mentioned in my sermon that our friends in the Black Christian Community are asking us to listen to them in order to understand their unique experiences. A young black ACNA priest named Essau McCaully, a professor of New Testament at Wheaton College, has been sharing two sources that I've found very helpful. I share them with you below, since they offer a good supplement to some of the things that I discussed in my sermon on Sunday. The first is a brief and helpful analysis of the Marxism at the heart of the Black Lives Matter movement. You can find that source here - Black Lives Matter. You may need a Facebook account to view it.

The second source is a video by Veggie Tales creator Phil Vischer. It offers a history of racism in America, and provides more historical context for current problems like high levels of incarceration, single-motherhood, black-on-black violence, etc. I learned quite a bit from this video, and I hope you will too.

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    The great Reformer, John Calvin, once said that the Bible is like a pair of reading glasses - it is meant be looked through (not merely at) so that we can see the world around us more clearly, in other words with the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). Although I have no intention of preaching about politics every Sunday, it is my hope that the people of St. John's will continue to grow into a community able to see with the mind of Christ and witness faithfully to God's love in what seems to be an increasingly hostile and broken culture.

    I'm grateful that our fellowship is in and through Jesus Christ, and I'm confident that He will empower those of us who believe to do great things in his name (John 14:12). I look forward to seeing you all on Sunday.

    Grace & Peace,
    Bryan+


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    "Nations in an Uproar" by Fr. Bryan

    2B095707-86EC-4C34-A3F6-BAF47086C556
    A message from the series "On Prayer." Fr. Bryan preaches on Psalm 46 in light of current racial tensions and riots.

    Read more

    The Daily Office

    Interested in a simple way to pray the daily office from the Book of Common Prayer? Follow this link for text and audio versions of morning, noon, and evening prayer. The site is hosted by our friend, Fr. Michael Jarrett.

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