Thursday, April 30, 2020

Pastoral Letter to Saint Barnabas Church - 29th April 2020

SAINT BARNABAS ANGLICAN CHURCH
4795 North Peachtree Road
Dunwoody, Georgia 30338
770.457.1103    bspchj@gmail.com

Praised be Jesus Christ!

29th April 2020

Dearly beloved in Christ,

Greetings from the Saint Barnabas annexe in Gwinnett County! I pray all of you remain well, safe, and healthy. We love you, we are praying for you, and we miss you. You abide in my prayers always, and you are always with me at the Altar in the offering of the Holy Sacrifice. Please remember I am only a phone call away should one need any pastoral care and support. I intensely look forward to seeing you in person again soon.

We realise how much Orthodox and Catholic Christians everywhere are yearning to return to the Altar and receive the Most Blessed Sacrament, and to gather once again in our churches. Today we must share with you that, having struggled with our decision, we believe that we must yet maintain the current practice of sheltering in place.  After consultation with health experts, both in the parish and the Diocese, we have decided to take a ‘wait and see’ position on when we should once again offer public worship.

No date for the restoration of public worship has yet been determined. We shall not have public worship on 3rd May, and this protective measure could last several more weeks. But this decision could change soon. If the COVID-19 situation in Georgia improves more quickly, we will immediately re-examine the possibility of congregating once again.

We shall, of course, notify you immediately when things can change. In the meantime, please be sure to participate in the Sacred Liturgy livestreamed and recorded on our YouTube channel and on our parish website, www.stbarnabasatl.org . Within the next week we shall unveil our plans for a new series of online classes in which all will be welcome to share and participate. We are going to revive Bible Study and Sunday School online, and that information is coming to you shortly. Please feel free to join us!

Many of our faithful fall into the high-risk category for COVID-19. We still are reluctant to put our congregation at risk. 

One size does not fit all in this crisis, and local situations require different levels of disease mitigation. Other parishes in the Continuing Church will be able to restore public worship sooner than we are. We are the largest parish of the Continuing Church in North America, a major metropolitan and international parish in a major metropolitan area, an area more affected by coronavirus than other parts of the country.

As much as we would love to entertain the possibility of opening up to smaller groups, several factors make the opening of Saint Barnabas to public worship at this time both a logistical impossibility and a danger to those who might seek to attend. Because of the sheer size of the parish, 650 members, the effort safely to assemble groups of ten or less for multiple Masses would prove difficult in the extreme, unmanageable.
Were we to allow public worship at Saint Barnabas now, we would almost certainly 'break the barrier' of a separation of at least six feet between worshippers, no matter how hard we try or how many Masses we offer, and potentially expose everyone present to disease. It appears to us that it is simply not possible to have services open to the public with a congregation of our size and not run the risk of contagion. So, we wait for the situation to improve.

Currently, all parishioners remain dispensed from the Sunday obligation of attendance at Holy Communion until further notice. Please remember that the Church has the authority to dispense from the ecclesiastical requirement to attend Mass on Sunday, and she has done so in this case.

Regarding the future, we are mindful that the coming months in our region, state, and nation will see a great deal of unpredictability – the situation will go up and down, and things as we knew them before coronavirus are not likely to return for some time. A ‘new normal’ will eventually emerge and life will not be exactly as it was. We all want to put this terrible time behind us, but we also have to be realistic, and prepared to deal with circumstances as they arise.

In crises such as the one we are currently enduring, it is a blessing from the Lord to be in a hierarchical Church. Authority matters now more than ever, and we are graced to be in an Apostolic Church of the Apostolic Succession. We are generally following the guidelines provided by our sister Apostolic Churches in the Atlanta metropolitan area, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese. We are actively engaged with them – and watching what our sister Churches are doing and why. They are following protocols which reflect the size of their congregations – and our parish is large enough to bear the need for a similar approach. They are taking into consideration the same needs and concerns we have, and reflect very much what we are doing to protect our faithful. When it comes to coronavirus mitigation, there is in fact a theological and practical consensus amongst the Churches I like to call the ‘Branch Fact’ Churches, Eucharistic Churches in the Apostolic Tradition, Churches centred on the Eucharist and the sacramental life. And that consensus will help lead us, God willing soon, to enter a Phase One restoration. 

Our fantastic parish health task force will soon issue recommendations on how safely to restore public worship to Saint Barnabas. The protocol will include many suggestions for scheduling, sanitation, and distancing – proposals intended to phase us back into our common life. We pray that the recommendations can soon be implemented.
Finally, please know we remain forever grateful for your love, your prayers, and your sacrificial financial support offered in love. We need your financial support now more than ever before. Please visit our website to see our updated giving page on www.stbarnabasatl.org/giving - Saint Barnabas depends entirely upon your offerings to meet its obligations, provide for your worship, and extend its outreach. Please be generous. We hope that all of you will come to know the great blessing of following the biblical tithe as the standard for your stewardship of time, talent, and money.
To give online or set up a recurring gift please use the Donate button on the top of the giving page which says ‘Donate Online’. This will redirect you to our payment partner where you can setup recurring or one time gifts. No sign up is required to send a one time gift. Thank you so very, very much indeed – may the Risen Lord, Jesus Christ, bless you and keep you now and forever.

In Our Blessed Lord,

The Right Reverend Chandler Holder Jones SSC, Rector

Pastoral Update - Rector's Message - Wednesday April 29, 2020

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

'Coronatide' - A Pastoral Letter

'Coronatide'

Dearly beloved in Christ,

Recently, a clever clergyman characterised our current situation as the liturgical season of 'Coronatide,' and indeed a very long season it has already proven to be. The past six week period has been unlike anything anyone alive has ever experienced and witnessed, as we now continue to live through the coronavirus pandemic, the worst international health crisis since the 1918 Spanish influenza outbreak. The year 2020 will already be recorded in infamy in the history books. We may call it a plague or a pestilence - and it has compelled us to remain in our homes, sheltering in place, effectively quarantined. For the first time in American history, almost all Churches have been closed, in order to contribute to the effort of slowing the spread of coronavirus and in order to help protect and preserve the lives of our own people and others.

Please know we love you, we care for you, and we are praying daily for you and for your health, safety, and peace. Please feel free always to contact me personally on 404.313.9448 and bspchj@gmail.com. We are here for you, and available to provide pastoral and spiritual support via telephone. In turn, we ask you please to pray for our Church family, for our clergy and people, and for the work and mission of our Church. 

Please continue to support us with your prayers and, yes, your financial giving. We need your financial contributions now more than ever. One may donate electronically by using the feature located on our parish website. For the most updated parish information available as the pandemic continues to unfold, please visit our website on www.stbarnabasatl.org

In the midst of this coronavirus crisis, we have now commemorated the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ during Holy Week, and we have celebrated His glorious Resurrection during Easter Week. Jesus Christ lives. Jesus Christ reigns. Jesus Christ is Lord.  Christus vincit! Christus regnat! Christus imperat! – Christ conquers, Christ reigns, Christ commands. 'Our Lord Jesus Christ, which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen' (I Timothy 6.15-16).

We are reminded in this holy season that Our Lord’s real human death is unrepeatable and has resulted in His ultimate physical glorification and immortality: because Christ destroyed death by His own death, to which He was freely and voluntarily subject, His risen humanity, body and soul, is forever victorious over death. Now for all eternity Christ lives, Christ conquers, Christ reigns – and we shall live, conquer, and reign because of Him, in Him, and through Him and for Him. 

Christ has destroyed the power of sin through death, and, thus united to Him in His death, we shall overcome sin and live forever in Him. No longer should we fear death, for Christ has overthrown death. He has conquered our own death and will manifest that victory in our own bodies in our own resurrection on the Last Day. The Christian, the one found in Jesus, already possesses the victory! 

'For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's' (Romans 14.8) 'Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, Jesus also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage' (Hebrews 2.14-15). 

In I Corinthians 15.20-22, Saint Paul uses the ancient Jewish liturgy to explain the mystery of the Resurrection. In ancient Israel, the first portion of a crop was offered to God in the Temple as a consecration of the entire expected harvest to come (Leviticus 23.10-14); so the Lord Jesus is the first of many to be raised in glory, and His resurrection Body is an offering that ensures a whole harvest of believers will be raised to eternal life as He was. The contrast of Adam and Christ demonstrates the power and impact of Our Lord’s Resurrection. Death is the result of sin. Sin began with and in Adam, and because of Adam’s transgression, the totality of the human race since has been destined to enter the world alienated from God and to die. 

Christ saves us from death, because His victory over sin reverses the disobedience and consequences of Adam’s fall and provides us with the promise that our fallen and mortal bodies, once broken by sin, will be raised to eternal glory and new life. Christ, the New Man, the New Adam, the New Creation, restores us to communion with God by His glorification and healing of our human nature. Adam was the head of a wounded and corrupted humanity; Christ is the Head of the New Creation, the Church.

At this unprecedented time, we are employing digital technology and video broadcasting in order to make the Liturgy available to the faithful who are sheltering in place at home. 'Virtual' liturgy is not ideal, of course, but it is certainly the best option we have during this unparalleled situation. The broadcast of the Liturgy enables us to unite our hearts, minds, and souls with the offering of the Church's Sacrifice and invites us into an active and engaged participation in the worship of the Church, in union with our fellow Christians, our Church family. We can draw together with our fellow parishioners in a spiritual way and feel that we are with them as the Church's Liturgy is celebrated. We are able to join our own prayers, intentions, and sacrifices, our own adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication, with the whole Catholic and Apostolic Church across time and around the world - in a virtual format. We are able through prayer to 'plug into' the Action of Christ in His Mystical Body, the Church. 

The virtual liturgy also allows us to witness, both live and in recording, the actual Sacrifice of the Mass, the Consecration of the Precious Body and Blood of Christ, and the offering of the Eternal Sacrifice of Calvary made present on our Altars. The Church extends us the opportunity to make our own intentions and to offer them in spirit with Our Lord in the offering of the Eucharist. One may feel free to cross oneself, kneel, stand, and sit as one would usually do in Church. In beholding the Mass, we may say with Blessed Lancelot Andrewes, 'It is finished and done, so far as in our power, Christ our God, the Mystery of thy dispensation. For we have held remembrance of thy Death, we have seen the figure of thy Resurrection, whereof graciously vouchsafe to make us all partakers in the world to come.'

Additionally, one may make the Act of Spiritual Communion during the Holy Communion of the Celebrant, using the form provided on the website. As the Book of Common Prayer teaches, 'But if a man, either by reason of extremity of sickness, or for want of warning in due time to the Minister, or by any other just impediment, do not receive the Sacrament of Christ's Body and Blood, the Minister shall instruct him, that if he do truly repent him of his sins, and stedfastly believe that Jesus Christ hath suffered death upon the Cross for him, and shed his Blood for his redemption, earnestly remembering the benefits he hath thereby, and giving him hearty thanks therefor, he doth eat and drink the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ profitably to his soul's health, although he do not receive the Sacrament with his mouth' (Page 323).

Please watch our liturgies and sermons on the parish website, on our YouTube channel, and on our Facebook page. 

When, one may understandably ask, will Saint Barnabas reopen for public worship? At this time, we do not yet know when we will be able once again to open worship to the public. Currently, all parishioners are dispensed from the Sunday obligation of attendance at Holy Communion until further notice. Please remember that the Church has the authority to dispense from the ecclesiastical requirement to attend Mass on Sunday, and she has done so in this case. Please remember that until the Georgia statewide stay-at-home order is lifted, Saint Barnabas will have to remain closed. We are generally following the guidance provided by our local, state, and federal authorities and institutions, the Georgia Department of Health, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Johns Hopkins University, and also following the guidelines provided by our sister Apostolic Churches in the Atlanta metropolitan area, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese. As soon as it possible and safe to do so, we shall resume our Sunday schedule. 

In the fullness of time, we pray that we shall be able to send notice that we shall return to something of a usual way of doing things. But in the meantime, each one of you abides in my love, my prayers, my heart. 

Alleluia! Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia! May the Lord Jesus Christ, our True God, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world and risen from the dead, bless you and all you love in this Eastertide.

God bless you!

+Chad 

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Easter Day Mass




Alleluia! Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!
ALMIGHTY God, who through thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ hast overcome death, and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life; We humbly beseech thee that, as by thy special grace preventing us thou dost put into our minds good desires, so by thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.



Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Schedule of Live Streaming Events for Holy Week and Easter 2020

Saint Barnabas Anglican Church, Dunwoody, Georgia
Maundy Thursday, 9 April at 4pm
Live Stream of Private Mass
Bishop Chad
YouTube: https://youtu.be/7GYa5SGPPwY
Good Friday, 10 April from Noon to 3pm
Live Stream of Three Hours Devotion: Seven Last Words of Christ
Bishop Chad and Fr. Matt Harlow
YouTube: https://youtu.be/ff6ZSf9Wxio
Easter Day, 12 April at 10am
Live Stream of Private Mass for Easter Day
Bishop Chad
YouTube: https://youtu.be/Rp0CGWQQEic
During the duration of the coronavirus lockdown, we will attempt to live stream private Masses every Sunday at 10am.




On Apostolic Succession



Sunday, April 05, 2020

Palm Sunday



ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who of thy tender love towards mankind, hast sent thy Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, to take upon him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of his great humility; Mercifully grant, that we may both follow the example of his patience, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Christ the Redeemer, Warner Robins

https://www.facebook.com/christtheredeemeranglican/videos/916658212637259 Episcopal visitation to Christ the Redeemer Church, Warner Robins,...