Doug Cooper's home group has been meeting at my house since August. We have read the Letters to the Hebrews, and held some rousing discussions over some community-effort-generated meals.
We are often joined by Anne I, Dinah A, Phoebe H, Joe G, Michael A, Carole P, Martha F, Lucy R, Brian G, Doug C, and all of you are always invited. It is our greatest hope that the home groups will continue to grow because it is in fellowship with one another that we are called to accountability and a deepening of our faith.
I have thoroughly enjoyed having my fellow pilgrims in my home these past few months. Unfortunately, for reasons that have to do with having so many children and their increasingly complicated schedules, I am not going to be able to continue hosting. I'm passing the torch to our lovely and talented Anne Isdal. Her address and the dates of upcoming meetings are available through emailing Doug Cooper, firstname.lastname@example.org
Doug told me once, long before I moved to central Texas, that he believed he had two kinds of friends: The friends he chose for himself and the friends that God gave him. Friends whom he might never have spent time with, communed with, or learned from if left to his own devices. He was referring to his home group and the deep and abiding companionship that grew from reading scripture together.
I love that characterization of the body of Christ. I know that my faith has been enriched from being prayed for, with, and over. I love the kindness and the consideration and genuine interest in the lives of others that comes from sitting together and really considering our role in Christ's kingdom. We have a leader with a lot of knowledge and he has been very generous with sharing that knowledge. Each of our members brings a unique perspective and a story of be-coming Christ's own and I thrill to hear those perspectives.
My children have been upstairs and underfoot and some-times right in the middle of us, asking to read a chapter. They have benefited from the open sharing of God's love among adults. The home group has given them a view into a Christian family that they don't have otherwise.
I have shared some scary and sad details about my daily life, decisions I have faced, fears and some really great joys with this family and they have honored me by doing the same. The sounding board that God's friends have provided me has been invaluable as I have sought God's will in my daily life.
Seeing each other once a week in church is a joy, but the breaking of bread and the sharing of God's work brings God's people together in a way that the beautiful formality of our Sunday fellowship can't do.
We hope you will join us. We meet on the 2nd and 4th Mon-days of every month (excluding December this year!) and beginning in January, we will be in the home of our dearest Anne. Please get in touch with Doug for further information
Reading G. K. Chesterton
G. K. Chesterton may be more widely celebrated nowadays than actually read. His prose style unwinds so slowly and luxuriously, that modern readers may tend to find him plodding or even tedious. A friend of mine recently described his The Everlasting Man as, “that everlasting book.” But taking the time to read patiently this volume can yield literary, philosophical, and spiritual treasures that make the effort seem a delight.
The purpose of The Everlasting Man is to examine Man and Christendom from the outside, as it were, in order to determine what they really are on the inside. Chesterton regards the transition between men and animals and between Paganism and Christianity to be the central turning points of history and holds these transitions to be so abrupt and sharp as to be revolutionary rather than developmental. He begins by considering the first men, not Adam and Eve, but their hypothetical early descendants, what we sometimes have called “cave men.” He draws a contrast between what is often thought about these men and what we actually know about them. He notes that
Strictly speaking of course we can know nothing about prehistoric man for the simple reason that he is prehistoric.
One of the things we do know about him, though, is that he created art, and very good art at that. This fact tells us that there is nothing essentially primitive about early men, or even so-called primitive peoples of modern times, and it distinguishes Man sharply from the other animals, along with other features such as language and clothing (Chesterton says that people wear clothes because they are vestments).
The substance of all such Paganism…is an attempt to reach divine reality through the imagination alone.
Chesterton believes that people are fundamentally monotheistic and that Paganism represents a retreat from this spiritual awareness. He thinks that Paganism is not a true religion in the sense that Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are, but more a kind of ritual behavior that takes the place of real religion.
Sometimes it would seem that the Greeks believed above all things in reverence, only they had no one to revere.
Paganism can be warm and comfortable like the household gods of the Romans or demonic, like the rites associated with Moloch, who demanded infant sacrifice. In fact, he notes that these forms of Paganism have “a mystical hatred of the idea of childhood” (italics added).
The second part of the book describes how Christianity replaced Paganism and altered completely and irrevocably the worldview and nature of society. This explanation requires and extensive review of the conflict between Carthage and Rome:
…it is certain that the struggle which established Christendom would have been very different if there had been an empire of Carthage instead of an empire of Rome.
This summary barely touches the depth and breadth of The Everlasting Man. It is a description and a celebration of the coming of Christianity and Christendom to the world.
Since that hour no mythologies have been made in the world.
-- Claire Ducker
Anglicans for Life
St. Francis Chapter of Anglicans for Life will not meet in December. Their next meeting will be on Sunday, January 19, after the 11:00 service. Everyone is welcome.
- Phoebe Hughes
For the duration of Advent from December 1st through the 22nd, there will be no flowers on the altar. This bareness will be in strong contrast with the 12 days of Christmas and on into Epiphany when the altar and the entire church will be beautifully decorated with flower and poinsettias. If you wish to make a donation for the poinsettias as a remembrance, memorial or thank offering, please use an envelope from the table at the back of the Sanctuary to enclose your donation. Fill the envelope front out as appropriate and place in the wooden box on the same table.