Special Messages

It is Go Big Red day at church this Sunday – For Pentecost!!!!!!  Break out your red attire to celebrate this special day in the Church year!!

The Third Millennium Message, Christ Church Episcopal, Beatrice, NE  

150th Anniversary Year 

The DAY of PENTECOST, May, 2023

            The Day of Pentecost, fifty days after Easter, in my opinion is one of the three most joyful, festive days in the Church Year.  They all are centered around the concept of birth:                       1) Of course, Christmas celebrates the Incarnation and Birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus.               

                 2) Easter celebrates Christ’s Rebirth: raised not only from the dead but also was the first Person ever to be Resurrected to an undying Eternal Life, which promise and hope also extend to all who follow Him.           

                 3) Pentecost Sunday too is a birthday celebration of sorts: what some call the ‘birthday of the Church.’  

             I accept that phrase with reservations.  There are different understandings of the word ‘church’, often influenced by one’s eschatology or view of the end times: the events leading up to and including Jesus’ Return to earth, His Second Coming or Second Advent. (as distinguished from His First Advent, Nativity/Birth)           

             In a popular ‘Dispensational’ interpretation of the Bible, Israel and the Church are separate, distinct, and mutually exclusive.  The Church or ‘Church Age’ (what they believe we presently live in) is considered a ‘parenthesis’ in God’s plan of salvation.  This is not our view.  In other more holistic, unified approaches, Israel and the Church are both God’s people, one ‘flock’ of sheep with two complementary facets of the same general means of salvation: the grace of God through Christ. (Israel’s God)                                                  

            The Greek word for ‘church’ in the New Testament is ekklesia (derived from secular use: ‘gathered’  or ‘assembly’), and predates Christianity.  As applied in a more specifically religious Christian context, it     can mean ‘called-out ones.’  A faithful member of the Church, or people of God, is a ‘saint.’                                     

            While saints certainly lived in the New Testament times and onward to this day (if you are truly a Christian, you are a ‘saint’), we also see in the Old Testament many prophets, priests, kings, and ordinary Israelites who attempted to follow God.  Additionally, there were saints of God who were not Israelites or Jews at all: Noah, Job, Melchizedek, Rahab, Naomi, Ruth, Naaman, Nebuchadnezzar, and the Wise-men. 

            If these Old Testament saints or called-out ones of God were not a part of the Church, what were they?  They were and are part of the ‘invisible’ Church, thus were and are every bit as much saints as we Christians.  Their God is our God. ‘Church’ in its broadest sense includes all people of God from all times and all places. While the Church encompassed all of (believing) Israel, not every Israelite was a part of the Church in the more precise salvific sense.  Similarly, not all members of the Church are ‘saved’ either, since salvation is     an individual matter between each person and God.                                                                                                

            You might say the Church in its visible institutional form had its ‘birthday’ or ‘launch’ on Pentecost. What did this signify?  What is there about the Day of Pentecost that makes it worth celebrating today? It is the promise and command from the newly Resurrected Christ to the disciples earlier that Easter afternoon when He ‘breathed’ on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’ (John 20:19-22)                                                        

            Did they?  Not then.  Was Jesus wrong?  No.  He did not say when it would happen but that it would.   The Spirit of God would not be bestowed until after Christ had left the earth. (John 16 :7) (Similar to what Jesus said about His Return: not when it would happen but that it will happen.  If people would just read Jesus’  words instead of wasting time on fallible men’s predictions, much confusion would be avoided.)                        

            As it happened, Jesus departure (‘Ascension’) to heaven occurred forty days after Easter, only ten days before Pentecost. (see the previous newsletter)  On that day the promise was fulfilled by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on this ‘birthday’ of the Church.  It was all part of God’s perfect plan, with God’s perfect timing.        

            God knew what He was doing.  Pentecost was one of the key festivals instituted and commanded by God for the Israelites to observe.  Pentecost, also called Hag Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks, Exodus 23:16, 34:22, or First Fruits), celebrated the spring harvest, as well as the giving of the Law of Moses (Torah) at Mt. Sinai. Thematically, the Spirit coming on Pentecost signaled the commencement of God’s divine harvest of souls: the inaugural ‘launch’ of the Great Commission. (see below)

            As Passover celebrated Israel’s liberation from slavery in Egypt through God’s direct intervention,          Pentecost (Greek: ‘fiftieth’), seven weeks after Passover, commemorated the renewal of the Israelites’ collective dedication and commitment to God.  Seen in the OT as a ‘marriage’ between God (as bridegroom) and Israel (as bride), the analogy continued in the NT with Jesus as bridegroom and the Church as His bride.        

            The celebration of Pentecost was centered in Jerusalem.  Jews/Israelites and proselytes (converts to Judaism) from all over the Roman Empire and beyond (Arabs, Mesopotamians, Elamites, Parthians, Medes) made the pilgrimage to this holiest of all biblical cities.  Thus a broad representation of peoples and locales were gathered there already (Acts 2:9-11), ideal for planting the seed of the Gospel to take back to their homes.   

            It was propitious for the Holy Spirit to fall upon the then-tiny (only 120 people! Acts 1:15), obscure Christian Church.  Estimates for Jerusalem’s population at Jesus’ time vary by a ridiculously wide margin. (20,000 to 600,000!)  A reasonable range might be 80,000 to 100,000.  Maybe double that for Pentecost.       

            Amidst this cacophonic mass of residents and out-of-towners speaking their many languages came a sudden loud rush of wind, sufficient that it got the crowd’s attention.  Focusing and descending on this small isolated group of Christian believers all huddled in one place, the Spirit of God made a dramatic appearance.     

            Alighting over their heads as tongues of fire, the Holy Spirit transformed them.  Giving them a sense of boldness and articulate expression they never had experienced before, these disciples were able to speak in languages they did not know.  What’s more it was not inchoate gibberish, a so-called ‘heavenly language’, but communication with actual words a person who knew that particular language could clearly understand.     

            The disciples spoke in different tongues so that all who heard them did so in their own language.Please read all of Acts2 to see the whole context.  The point is that every person to whom the message was directed could understand what the disciples were saying about the Gospel of Christ.                                              

            Again, I cannot overstress that this was not mere senseless babbling, but real words in real sentences  in real languages.  That is the ‘Gift of Tongues’: a supra-natural ability to understandably and effectively communicate to another person in a language not your own.                                                                                      

             But not everyone ‘got it.’ To some it was just noise and skeptics thought the disciples were drunk. Peter quickly refuted this, ‘We are as sober as you; besides it’s only nine in the morning.’ (too early!) Then Peter gave his memorable Pentecost sermon, after which many hearts were touched by the Spirit. This resulted in 3,000 people being baptized.  Not a bad day’s work!                                                                  

            The Holy Spirit (Hebrew-ruach, Greek-pnuema, ‘wind/breath’moved in several ways on this day:    

                    1) The Spirit manifested audibly as a loud rushing wind, sufficient to get many people’s attention.       

                    2) The Spirit was perceived by visibly appearing as tongues of fire hovering over each speaker’s head.            

                    3) The Spirit inspired Peter in his Pentecost sermon.                                                                                    

                    4) The Spirit convicted many of Peter’s hearers, resulting in their conversion and baptism. Note that the Spirit was not the wind itself, nor fire itself: only instruments the HS used on the occasion. 

            Pentecost marked the definitive launching of the Church on its worldwide evangelistic and missionary outreach, in obedience to Jesus’ command to His disciples,                                       ‘Go, make disciples of all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit …And behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’  (Matthew 28:19-20)                                                          

            That is the Birthday of the Church: embarking upon the Great Commission on the Day of Pentecost, the work of which continues to this day.                                                 

            Who is the Spirit, Holy Spirit (HS), Holy Ghost, or Spirit of the Lord? (all describe the same Person)  As the Third Person of the Trinity, the Spirit is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Son. The HS ‘Proceeds’ from the Father, is ‘Sent’ by the Son. Jesus called the Spirit our Comforter and Advocate. As a Person, the Spirit is personal, not an energy to be manipulated with great skill by a well-trained adept. (The Holy Spirit can’t be compared to the impersonal Force in ‘Star Wars’ that is controlled by a Jedi MasterThe Spirit of God is the Sanctifier and Sustainer; the Lord, the Giver of Light and Life: or, less grandiosely, I like to think of the Spirit as our Friend, Guide, and Companion.                                              

            As a divine Person within the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is not remotely human. (unlike Jesus, the Son, Who acquired His human Nature through the Incarnation)  We tend to humanize or ‘anthropomorphize’ what is nonhuman: whether animate (your cat, dog, horse, or favorite pet), or inanimate. (your prized vehicle, or  ‘Mother Nature’)  While recognizing the Holy Spirit is not a human being, we don’t want to call the Spirit an ‘It’ either.  That would depersonalize and relegate the Spirit to the level of an object.                                               

            Our language’s grammar is not masculine or feminine.  There is no distinction in English like with some languages that have masculine, feminine, and even neuter definite articles (‘the’): German, Czech, Latin, Greek, Russian.  I am here referencing grammar only, not ‘gender’ usage in any socio-political-cultural sense. 

            One cannot reduce God to any human sexual classification.  The Spirit is neither male (‘he’), female (‘she’), or neuter (‘it’).  Nor is God androgynous.  Yet the Holy Spirit still is a Person.                                               

            The same reasoning applies to God the Father.  God is not a glorified male, a cosmic superman.  ‘Father’ is a socio-theological convention (that Jesus used) which conveys the ‘fatherly’ aspects of God. God also possess ‘motherly’ qualities that Jesus mentioned: God as a hen gathering her chicks under her wings (Luke13:34) for nurture and protection. Yet God isn’t a cosmic chicken! (all credit to the late Dr. Walter Martin)  Jesus spoke metaphorically about many things, including parenthood: motherhood and fatherhood.             

            This may be easier to grasp if we don’t limit the concept of ‘personhood’ solely to humanity. (difficult) Now it gets risky. I said that we tend to anthropomorphize that which is not human. Yet God is Three Persons. I think it’s safe to say that inanimate objects, such as those referenced earlier, prized show-winning car/trucks, boats/ships, or Mother Nature, are not in any way persons.                                                               

            Are there any nonhuman creatures or creations that are persons?  How about angels?  They certainly are nonhuman, although they can assume a human form or appearance.  Or the baffling wheel-like creatures    in the Book of Ezekiel? (1:4-25)  Only Metaphors?  Possibly. But good luck in figuring it out!  Many have tried.            

            What about creatures we do know?  Are the ‘higher’ more developed cognizant animals ‘persons’?  Your cat, dog, or horse?  How about a gorilla?  Or a non-human ancestor like a Neanderthal?  Or a dolphin, elephant, squid, or octopus – all highly intelligent and self-aware?  Some would say ‘yes.’  You be the judge.

            I have gone far afield. (That’s not unusual!)  We return to Pentecost, which really is a celebration of the Spirit of God: being, in a sense, the ‘Silent Partner’ of the Trinity, Who never calls attention to (what?): Himself, Herself, Itself ? (just add your favorite pronoun!)                                                                                              

            Rather, it is the Gifts bestowed by the Spirit that get attention. They are grouped in several passages:  in Romans 12:6-8; Paul mentions prophecy, service, teaching, encouragement, giving, leading, and mercy. 1Corinthians12:4-11; knowledge, wisdom, faith, healing, discernment, speaking/tongues, interpreting/tongues. A traditional listing of Gifts is: wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety, fear of the Lord.         

            There also is the Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)   Some will add modesty and chastity to that list.                             

            If we have been baptized by water and the Holy Spirit, some of these Gifts may be present within us.  The Spirit’s ability to sovereignly bestow these Gifts cannot be limited; nor can the various Fruit of the Spirit.  

            One might say, ‘But I am a life-long Christian and I don’t have any of these!’ Are you sure of that?  Things change; we grow.  Maybe you haven’t looked (‘discerned’) deeply enough within yourself recently. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you.  If you or someone you respect thinks you have a gift(s), ask the Spirit to enable you to cultivate them.  Ask this with faith; be consistent and persistent.  God equips every Christian with at least one spiritual gift.                                                                                                                                            

            A major mission in life is to seek, find, develop, utilize our Gift(s): for ourselves and benefit of others. The Fruit of the Spirit will come naturally as a result.          

In the Spirit of Pentecost,                                                                                                                                           

            Fr. Bob +

The Third Millennium Message, 

Christ Church Episcopal, Beatrice, NE150 th Anniversary Year


Alleluia, Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed. Alleluia!
So we joyfully proclaimed on Easter Sunday at the beginning of the service. We will continue thisduring the Easter Season as well. This acclamation was both a greeting the ancient Christians exchangedamong each other, and a foundational statement of their Faith: Christ is alive!
Our recessional hymn as we prepared to leave the precincts of our beautiful church and go forth intothe world to share the Message of the Risen and Living Christ was this inspiring rendition,

The strife is over, the battle is done; now is the Victor’s triumph won;

O, let the song of praise be sung, Alleluia! (#208)
And this reassuring refrain accompanied us as we departed, that we can do all things through Christ,

Because He Lives, I can face tomorrow; Because He Lives, all fear is gone.

Because I know Who holds the future, that life is worth the living, just because He Lives.

          While Easter Day has come and gone, Easter, the season, has just begun. Because our parish, Christ Church, our denomination, the Episcopal Church, and our tradition, the Anglican Communion, all observe the Christian Year with its varied seasons and different occasions, follow the lectionary with its topical readings that directly pertain to these cycles and events, and our Prayer Book liturgy which celebrates them, there is simply no way that Easter (or Christmas) can sneak up on us unawares and unprepared.
          Non-liturgical churches normally don’t use a lectionary or follow the Church seasons, but rather the whims of their preachers who pretty much talk about whatever they want or feel led to say. Having followed both practices, I can say that ours is more consistent, thorough, and disciplined. An evangelical minister, whom I knew well and liked, enjoyed preaching through entire books of the Bible. He did this with Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, in which the apostle delved deeply into the doctrines of God’s grace: salvation/‘soteriology.’ Every Sunday for three years(!) his long sermons would expound on Romans. The only brief exceptions and somewhat begrudging ‘interruptions,’ were for, yes, Easter and Christmas. I guess that while it’s fair to say the congregation became experts on the Book of Romans, they weren’t informed about much else during that time!
          All of which is to say that I believe our approach is balanced. If one attends (and pays attention!), you can’t help but be aware of and informed about what is going on in the Bible and the church, and when.
          Advent prepares us: for Christmas; Christmas leads into the short Christmas Season or Christmastide (the Twelve Days of Christmas), and then to the much longer season of Epiphany.
          Lent also prepares us: for Holy Week, the Triduum, and Easter Sunday. This, in turn, continues with Eastertide, the Easter Season called the Great 50 Days, the time between Easter and the Day of Pentecost.
          Forty days after Easter and ten days before Pentecost, when the promised Holy Spirit was sent by Jesus to the apostles and disciples in Jerusalem, is the Day of Christ’s Ascension when the Resurrected Jesus left this earth for heaven. But I’m getting ahead of myself. More on this when we get closer to Ascension Day on Thursday, May 18.
          In my Easter sermon I mentioned how crucial Jesus’ bodily Resurrection is for Christian belief. It is significant that Jesus died on the cross first, since His death must have preceded the Resurrection. And because He died and lives again, we someday will be resurrected also. Paul wrote to the Church in Corinth that if Christ did not rise from the dead, our hope is futile and faith is vain. (1Corinthians 15:1-23) If this was true, then Christianity is merely another human-derived religion and a waste of time.
          Of course, I am using hyperbole, intentional exaggeration: overstating something to make a point. The point being that the bodily Resurrection of Christ is a fact which Jesus Himself proved over and over. He appeared to many people in person, ate with them, allowed them to examine His (healed) wounds in His hands, feet, and side, incurred during the crucifixion. Jesus’ Resurrection was no illusion or product of wishful thinking. Nor was He drugged beforehand, swooned on the cross, and then (mis)taken for dead.
          There was no ‘Passover Plot’ to fake Jesus’ death: that something went wrong and He actually died. Unable to revive Him, the disciples fabricated a story about Jesus’ Resurrection to cover up the blunder. It takes more ‘faith’ to believe that concoction than it does to accept the real thing!
          The Resurrection is a core doctrine of Christianity that cannot be ‘spiritualized’ or explained away. To settle for anything less than Jesus’ actual bodily perfect Resurrection is itself less than nothing at all. Resurrection is as vital to Christianity as are the beliefs in the one God being Trinity in Unity, and the salvation through Christ’s death on the cross which is offered to all who follow Jesus.
          I considered saying something a little stronger than that on Easter, but hesitated: one reason was the source, the other was the strength of the statement.
          Decades before I even attended a Christian church, I was flipping through TV channels on a Sunday morning and came upon a church service where a well-known fundamentalist preacher, the late Jerry Falwell, was speaking about Christ’s Resurrection. He said it was bodily, literal. Why else would anyone make such a fuss about it, if it was claimed to be less? Falwell, addressing his next comment to Christian clergy, said that if a minister cannot affirm and teach the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead, then that person should get out of the church, find a real job, and go make an honest living!
          This was years before I was ever ordained. But I never forgot his powerful words and the way he put it. I am not a fundamentalist, but he was right. It got me thinking, and eventually I ended up…here. Funny, isn’t it, how little things can lead to unexpected outcomes!

          I loved and appreciated our Holy Week services, each one different from the next, finally culminating in our Easter worship. The joyful singing with the powerful organ leading us was wonderful. Rose-Ann, thank you for your magnificent playing – this and every week!

          The Sanctuary, Nave, Chapel, and Shrine don’t beautify themselves. You may have noticed how their decoration and appearance changed over Lent, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and on Easter. Our variously located five altars were tastefully arrayed. Thank you, Linda and the Altar Guild, for making our church beautiful to the Glory of God, enabling us to,
   Worship the Lord in the splendor/beauty of His Holiness. (Psalm 96:9)
Your love of God and dedication to this ministry are so evident and deeply gratifying.

          Now we continue with Eastertide, the Great 150 Days leading up to Pentecost. Please join us for the ride as we explore the post-Resurrection appearances and ministry of Jesus.

Faithfully in the Resurrected and Living Christ,
          Fr. Bob+

Pastoral Notes:
          We extend our prayers and sympathy to the families of Barb and Kyle Brenden, Stephanie and Terry Perkins, and Jane Smethers in the passing of their aunt Dorothy Fisher Hess,who resided in Colorado Springs. She died last September with services held locally. The family was able to gather from throughout the country here in Beatrice over the Easter weekend. We included a time of remembrance in the Easter services and later the family gathered for an Easter dinner in the parish hall. What better and more appropriate way to remember and honor a loved one than on the Sunday of the Resurrection, Easter?

          Our prayers and condolences also go out to our own organist, Rose-Ann Parde, whose daughter, Deborah A. Wells, passed away at the Beatrice Community Hospital on April 11. Her funeral was held  on Monday, April 17, at the Fox Funeral Home. Our love and sympathy to our dear Rose-Ann and her familyi n this great loss.


We hope you can join us for the Holy Week services.  

Maundy Thursday – service in the Parish Hall at 5:30; Agape meal and optional foot washing followed by the stripping of the Altar in the sanctuary.

Holy and Great Friday – service in the sanctuary at 5:30

EASTER SUNDAY – service in the sanctuary at 10:00.  COFFEE HOUR BEFORE CHURCH AT 9:15

Below is an Easter message from Father Bob.  

Your Christ Church Family

The Third Millennium Message, Christ Church Episcopal, Beatrice, NE

150 th Anniversary

EASTER, April, 2023
‘Alleluia! Christ is Risen.’ ‘He is Risen, indeed. Alleluia!’

This bold, joy-filled exchange has been proclaimed by Christians for two millennia, both when united
in worship and as a mutual greeting. It conveys the deeply held conviction which is at the heart of our faith –
that we do not worship a dead failed god but a living Savior, in Whom is our hope for Eternal Life.

We may have heard this phrase, ‘In Essentials, Unity; in Non-Essentials, Liberty; in all things, Charity.’
It probably originated in the 1620’s during the Thirty Years (religious) War. Since thew it has been adopted by
some denominations as a ‘slogan.’ It means that while Christians should be united in the ‘majors’, the central
doctrines of our Faith, we also can agree to disagree about lesser matters where there are differences of opinion.
Even where we disagree deeply, it is in love and with mercy. It is an aspirational sentiment and outlook on life.
I believe it myself. It’s the only way that people of strongly diverging opinions can get along.

But what is a Christian ‘essential’? What is a ‘non-essential’? Where can we agree to disagree?
And where do we say, ‘No, I can’t go any farther or bend any more than that.’ It is problematic because there
are times when people cannot agree as to what these essentials, the basics, the ‘irreducible minimum’ even are.
What may be ‘major’ to me is ‘minor’ to someone else, and vice-versa.

What standard can we use? I would say, the Creeds: especially the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds; the
latter was officially adopted at the First and Second Ecumenical (Universal) Church Councils, in Nicaea (325)
and Constantinople (381 AD), respectively. While they are not Scripture themselves, they certainly are based
on the Bible, notably what Jesus and the apostles/disciples themselves believed and taught.

Creeds summarize the ‘apostles’ doctrine’; thus are foundational to what we Christians should affirm.
Here is a short but comprehensive list:

1) There is but one, eternal, infinite, self-sufficient, all-powerful, all-knowing, unchanging, perfect God.
2) This singular Deity is expressed through three equal, co-eternal Persons/manifestations as the Trinity:
Father/Originator, Son/Executor, and Holy Spirit/Sustainer. Many more adjectives and superlatives are applied.
3) The Son of God, the Second Person, was incarnate by the Holy Spirit from the Virgin Mary; Jesus,
being fully and equally Divine and Human, voluntarily subjected Himself to certain limitations while on earth.
4) The Holy Spirit as the Third Person of the Trinity is the Lord and Giver of Life and Light, upholding
creation and enabling us to be regenerated or ‘born again/from above’ as God’s adopted in children in Christ.
The Spirit of God is the promised Comforter, Advocate, Companion and Sanctifier Who was promised by Jesus
5) Jesus died for our sins: offering complete, unconditional salvation, restoration to all who trust in Him.
This can apply to anyone, at any time, in any place, under any condition.
6) Recognizing the reality of the pervasive presence and the devastating effect of sin in our lives, we
may repent and receive pardon. If one truly trusts in Jesus, they will struggle to live as though they believe that.
7) Jesus was literally Resurrected from the dead. He Ascended into heaven. At an unspecified future
time, He will Return personally, visibly, bodily, unexpectedly and triumphantly, and will renew all things.
8) Because He lives, we will live also. All will be resurrected, judged, and assigned their eternal destiny.
9) These truths have been revealed: primarily, through Scripture which is inspired and authoritative;
secondarily, through Holy Tradition; and tertiarily, through nature/created order which testify to God’s work.

I would say this is a broad synopsis of the historic, credal, orthodox Christian faith – the ‘essentials.’
I have omitted many things which may be (very) important, but still are non-essential for our salvation.
Some of those are quite significant to me: the Sacraments, the form/‘polity’ of the Church, and the holy liturgy.

One will not be saved (or damned) over the amount of water used in baptism, or to whom it is applied.
Nor one’s view of what ‘happens’ during Communion, or how it is received. Nor a preference for ‘traditional’
or ‘contemporary’ worship, or the music in it. Nor the public role of the Church, or its position on economic/
social/political issues. Nor guesswork of when and how Jesus will return. Nor the age of the earth or evolution.

Nor the extent and present applicability of the ‘Gifts of the Spirit.’ Nor whether sacred scripture is ‘inerrant’
or merely ‘inspired.’ (a little of my sarcasm is peeking through there) And on and on…

While the above nonessentials reflect various parties, schools, or personal preferences, they should not
be authoritatively presented as God’s preferences or objective truth. (If one accepts that there is even such a
thing as ‘objective’ truth!) It is important to recognize that there may be a difference between what one wants
or believes to be true and what actually is the case, regardless of how much one would rather it be otherwise!

Now I will be dogmatic. One of the essentials of our Christian Faith is the bodily Resurrection of Jesus.
By that I’m saying His literal Resurrection. What does that mean? He was not ‘raised’ as an incorporeal spirit;
nor was He a phantom, apparition, impression, or illusion. Neither does it mean that Jesus ‘lives in our hearts.’
(while I certainly hope that He does!) He was raised in the same Body in which He died.

Many times Jesus appeared to his disciples in His Risen Body to prove that it was really Him personally.
Jesus ate in their presence, allowed them to touch and examine the (healed) wounds in His hands, feet, and side.
He otherwise just spent time with them. In fact, the Resurrected Christ even appeared to 500 people at once!
(1Corinthians15:6) That pretty well disposes of any theory of supposed mass hypnosis.

This illustrates how we should read, interpret, understand the Bible, and recognize it for being what it is:
inspired literature. Given that, there are various kinds or genres of biblical literature: narrative history, parables,
poetry, prophecy, and apocalyptic – which may utilize straightforward descriptions, symbols, and metaphors to
convey what the authors were seeing and experiencing to make their points.

The resurrection accounts of Jesus are instances where the literature should be read, understood literally.
Why? Because that was the intent: to record, share, and preserve historic events to verify that Jesus was alive.

The narratives of the Risen Lord support Paul’s contention for the literal reality of the Resurrection.
Its factuality is a pivotal essential doctrine upon which all of Christianity rests. Paul wrote that if there was no
Resurrection (of Christ), then we will experience no future resurrection, either. Our hopes are in vain, we are
wasting our time, and are fools to believe any of it. Christianity then crumbles. (1Corinthians 15:12-20)
One might as well worship a tree stump or a fire hydrant, for all the good it does!

One must choose one’s battles carefully and wisely. There are things about which I am willing to bend
(sometimes reluctantly) or compromise. But the actual bodily Resurrection of Christ is not one of them.
It is as necessary to our Christian Faith as it is to affirm the single true God, One yet Triune at the same time.

Without the Resurrection, Christianity is just another human religion. But we know otherwise.
Alleluia, Christ is Risen!

With faith in the Resurrected and Living Christ,
Fr. Bob +



Annual meeting held on Sunday, January  22, 2023

The meeting was called to order by Tony Biatek, Senior Warden, who asked Father Bob to start the meeting with an opening prayer. 

The 2022 annual minutes were presented and accepted.

Vestry nominations were accepted as follows:

  1. Tony Biatek, Senior Warden; terms ends January 2024
  2. Barb Smethers-Brenden, Junior Warden; term ends January2025
  3. Stephanie Perkins, Judy Knipel, and Linda Hovendick; Vestry members; term ends 2025

Reports were presented by:

  1. Senior Warden
  2. Junior Warden
  3. Warren’s
  4. St. Mary’s Altar Guild
  5. Evening Guild
  6. Treasurer
  7. Approval of 2023 Budget
  8. Foundation

Old Business


New Business

Status of Rector: Tony, Canon Liz Easton, and Father Bob working on yearly contract

Meeting was adjourned by Tony Biatek, Senior Warden

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