Should Confirmation be Required?

Excerpt from a recent ENS article where St. Peter’s was interviewed….

Bishop Mark Beckwith at a Confirmation Service

Another education committee member, the Rev. Charles Holt, rector of St. Peter’s Church in Lake Mary, in central Florida, said he was relieved and grateful that “none of the resolutions passed General Convention.
Had they passed, theoretically, “all one had to do to be an elected leader at the highest levels was to have taken communion three times over the course of last year” or be a communicant in good standing, he said. “Conceivably, they could not believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and personal savior and be a leader in the Episcopal Church.”
The conversation about confirmation is essential and a healthy one because “it makes us recommit ourselves and come to clarity about our core beliefs and wrestle with our faith,” said Holt.
Holt also believes confirmation “is actually the one thing a bishop can do to help grow the Episcopal Church. In the Episcopal Church, it’s the bishop’s job to make sure that every single person who’s a member of our church has made a mature profession of faith in Jesus Christ” – a moment he believes every Christian should experience.
“If we do away with confirmation then we don’t have that moment for people,” he said.
Making confirmation a powerful and personal moment is of utmost importance for Bishop Dorsey Henderson, who retired from the Diocese of Upper South Carolina in 2009. He now assists on behalf of Bishop Gregory Brewer of Central Florida at confirmations.
Henderson confirmed about 18 people at St. Peter’s Church on May 17, including eighth grader Grant Williams, 13, who believes “confirmation is very necessary.
“It felt like I was coming closer to God, like I was getting to know him better and confirming my faith in him by showing that I truly believed in him and wanted to follow him,” he said.
Henderson said he adds the names of each confirmand to a personal notebook he has kept over 15 years of the episcopacy. “I assure them that I will pray for them regularly by name and I ask them for their prayers.”
While confirmation “is not essential to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion … it provides a kind of spiritual boost” especially to those baptized as infants and those converting from other traditions, he said during a recent telephone interview.

Read the entire article

Healing for the Broken Heart

by Brooke Holt

Brooke’s Blog: Healing for the Broken Heart

Psalm 147:3: “The Lord heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

None of us avoids a broken heart. We walk through life getting wounded. Some of us are wounded severely in childhood. From a very early age, we learn the defence mechanism of building walls to protect our hearts. Nevertheless, even guarded hearts get broken. Broken hearts are part of life in this fallen world.

The best intended mothers try to mend broken hearts. They make cookies, buy treats or take special trips to a store or to the movies. With good intentions and deep desire, they try to fix their child’s broken heart. The pain can lessen or be momentarily forgotten with the physical distractions, but the brokenness remains. Adults use the same diversions to numb the pain of their broken hearts: food, alcohol, sex, shopping, etc. Again, the surface pain can be forgotten temporarily, but the deeper brokenness remains.
In Psalm 147, we read about the character of our God: He determines the number of stars and gives them their names; He is abundant in power and has understanding beyond all measure; He lifts up the humble but casts the wicked to the ground (verses 4-6). Our God has all power and all understanding and He cares about our broken hearts; He longs to bind up our wounds.
Unlike the well intended mother, God has the power to heal the broken heart. In fact, He is the only One who has that power. God sees inside each one of us. He knows the brokenness; He understands why it is there; and He desires to heal. The God of all creation longs to heal our broken hearts. God’s care for the broken heart is awe-inspiring!
We don’t hesitate to call on the doctor when in need of physical healing, yet we seldom call on the great physician when in need of soul healing. Earthly doctors have limited understanding and power. Our great heavenly physician has all understanding and all power. Why are we not in His office? The Lord heals the broken heart and binds up the wounds of those who seek Him, who trust Him, who humble themselves before Him. Verse 6 says, “The Lord lifts up the humble.”
May we humbly approach our almighty God trusting Him with our broken hearts. Every broken piece of our heart is an opportunity for God’s healing touch, for light to shine in darkness, for God to be glorified. Let’s stop walking around brokenhearted. There is healing, but only in One person, One place – the Great Physician who made us, knows us and loves us infinitely more than we could ever imagine. Our hearts are His home, His treasure!

Jesus washes the disciples feet–Circle Time in Honduras

Every morning on the Honduras Mission trip, we begin with a message about St. Peter’ and his realtionship to Jesus. These teachings are in the village of Quince de Enero in the Santa Barbara distrcit of Honduras.

Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet, John 13:1-17

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God
and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.  Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also shoulwash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.