St John’s Lancaster

Online Vespers Service – Palm Sunday at St. John’s in Lancaster, Ohio

Online Vespers Service – Palm Sunday at St. John’s in Lancaster, Ohio 3088 2316 Connect the Dots!

Online Vespers Service – Palm Sunday at St. John’s in Lancaster, Ohio

By Ron Dowling, Christ Church, Springfield

In the age of Covid-19 distancing, it was terrific to visit with and be comforted by the Vespers service conducted online by Fr. Seth at St. John’s in Lancaster, Ohio. What a blessing this service is, and it is so encouraging to see this congregation branching out with technology to continue connecting dots with Ohioans and other from all over.

The divine and the humorous come together at St. Mark’s Columbus!

The divine and the humorous come together at St. Mark’s Columbus! 3120 4160 Connect the Dots!

The divine and the humorous come together at St. Mark’s Columbus!

By Mark Conrad, St. John’s, Lancaster

My wife and I visited St. Mark’s Columbus on February 9, which happened to be the day of their annual parish meeting. So the food at the coffee hour was more elaborate than normal. My initial impression was of the divine; I felt that the sanctuary really invited you into the presence of God. The walls had Stations of the Cross displayed in simple but beautiful artwork. The station was noted with a tile, engraved with the name, and holding a single candle; the accompanying picture was a line drawing that I found very effective.

But this congregation also has a great sense of humor; I found some artwork in the bathroom titled “The Great Commission Revisited,” which had Jesus saying, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, developing task forces and strategic plans, and surveying the congregation in order to craft a succinct and memorable mission statement easily communicated on bumper stickers, website home pages, t-shirts and coffee mugs.”

St. Mark’s reminded me that the divine and the humorous are both from God and can both have a home in our hearts and our churches.

All are welcome at St. Andrews Pickerington!

All are welcome at St. Andrews Pickerington! 4160 3120 Connect the Dots!

All are welcome at St. Andrews Pickerington!

By Mark Conrad, St. John’s, Lancaster

I visited St. Andrews in Pickerington just after Christmas, on January 5, and the nativity display was one of the first things that caught my eye. Then I read the last page of the bulletin, titled “Welcome to St. Andrew’s,” and I smiled. It was more than a simple “All are welcome here.” It humorously listed, for a full page, all the different kinds of people that make up our communities, and specifically said that each and every one was welcome. As I surveyed the congregation, I saw that this welcome was truly a welcome to all. And this challenged me to be that welcoming every where I go, to everyone I meet.

A Sweet Parish in a Sweet Church Building

A Sweet Parish in a Sweet Church Building 979 1741 Connect the Dots!

A Sweet Parish in a Sweet Church Building

By Br. Thanasi (Thomas G.) Stama, St. John’s, Lancaster

I have heard of the Episcopal church in McArthur, OH for some 7 years now. First from Fr. Bruce Smith who would supply their once or twice a month when we both attended St. James in the Clintonville neighborhood of Columbus. Most recently from Mark Conrad at my new parish (St. John’s) who leads a morning prayer in McArthur. So this Sunday I accompanied Mark down to McArthur. Road trip! Connect The Dots!

We arrived at the old rector’s house (now the church’s offices & classrooms). I could see the back of this lovely brick church. I was excited. Who wouldn’t be? Before me was the sweetest church I have seen in years; brick, a tall steeple and distinctly Gothic Revival. Plus like Goldilocks and the three bears, “Just the right size.” Not too big. Nor not to small.

original oak pew

The interior was perfect. Bright colored stainglass, maroon carpet and pew cushions for the original oak pews from 1883 when the church building was completed. Facing the aisle each pew side panel has a stylize dogwood blossom in the top. The dogwood was consider in the 1700-1800s as the wood that Christ was crucified on. So the blossom became a symbol of the cross.

The parish gathered and what a charming group. Ruth who played the organ for the service was first to arrive. We chitchatted while she practiced. Then Ronda (no H) came and Mark introduced her. She was the lector. Followed by three ladies Eleanor, Millie and Betty. Then came Larry and Isabel. Mark was introducing people faster than I could get names. Of course I started forgetting names as quick as I was introduced. But at every opportunity I asked again someone’s name. Being a visitor, one should really try to remember names. No one seems offended if you keep on asking. For myself as a monk in the Community of the Gospel, I want to know so I can add them to my daily prayers.

Ruth

The morning prayer service was balanced with three sung hymns with organ accompaniment by Ruth. Mark gave a great homily based on the readings and tying them in to Harry Potter! In particular how when young Harry invited to go to Hogwarts School and now facing the brick wall for the entrance to the train platform (9 ¾). He took a leap of Faith and ran into the wall to get in. Just as Moses and Joshua did climbing up into a scary mountaintop of fog, smoke and fire to receive the Ten Commandments.

After the service we all milled around talking and I once again asked names. Prayers for you Ruth, Ronda, Eleanor, Millie, Betty, Larry and Isabel!

Sunday Holy Eucharist at ALEC-NA and the CMMR

Sunday Holy Eucharist at ALEC-NA and the CMMR 259 194 Connect the Dots!

Sunday Holy Eucharist at ALEC-NA and the CMMR

By Br. Thanasi (Thomas G.) Stama, St. John’s, Lancaster

Went to my former parish, All Saints in New Albany for Sunday service and a visit with several members of the CMMR: Community of Mary, Mother of the Redeemer. As you might have gathered from my name that I am a monk, a part of the Community of the Gospel in the Episcopal Church. Have been observing at very close hand when All Saints was my parish the beginnings of another new monastic group in the Episcopal Church. All Saints in New Albany is the wordwide headquarters for the CMMR. Fr. Jason Prati, rector of All Saints is also one of the founding members of the CMMR about two years ago. He, Fr. Rob Rhodes and Debra Rhodes (Rob’s spouse) founded the community. I should use formal names from here on. Fr. Rob is Abbot Robert Antoni. Fr. Jason is Prior Jason Dominic. Debra is Sr. Debra Susanna Mary. I was at their clothing as monks down at our cathedral back then. Their habit is a white hooded cowl. Since then the Rhodes were out in Seattle and Prior Jason Dominic was serving as rector at All Saints which he still does! The prior attracted and tested over several years (even before the group formally started) postulants who became their first novices and last Autumn became vowed monks. So now their are six monks in the group and several more postulants and novices. Abbot Robert Antoni has since moved to the Columbus area and is serving as curate at All Saints Episcopal Church. So under one roof is the growing CMMR.

Now this Sunday, I came to visit and have Holy Eucharist. Abbot Robert Antoni was the homelist and gave a insightful sermon on the Holy Gospel reading. Before and after the service since this was my home parish for four years, I was renewing friendships and finding out many did not know I had moved to St. John’s Lancaster. Also that I ended my ten years on Facebook. Many stated I wonder why I have not seen any posts in a while.

It was nice to see Abbot Robert Antoni and Prior Jason Dominic both up at the altar together.: the very definition of koinoia (κοινωνία).

It was nice to chat with so many. Have many planning on coming to see St. John’s in Lancaster and go out for lunch. Of course, it will be after Lent. The Great Forty Days I take quite seriously being Greek (if you have not guessed from my name or a bit of Greek used). It was great to see Br. Joseph Mary Ignatius doing what he likes to do best: attending to the little ones in the quiet room. He is also part of the CMMR.

I did get to have a talk with Abbot Robert Antoni for 10 whole minutes all to myself. It was delight to discuss many things.

So I visited All Saints Episcopal Church in New Albany and the Worldwide Headquarters for the Community of Mary, Mother of the Redeemer thus Sunday, February 16!

Our Lady of Walsingham Chapel at St. James

Our Lady of Walsingham Chapel at St. James 299 400 Connect the Dots!

Our Lady of Walsingham Chapel at St. James

By Br. Thanasi (Thoms G.) Stama, St John’s Lancaster

On Sunday, I visited with another parish that had been where I attended for several years; St. James in the Clintonville neighborhood of Columbus. I had several reasons for the visit. 1) To reconnect with old friends. 2) Spend time in the Chapel for Our Lady of Walsingham. Had a great time visiting with friends and marveling how fast their children have grown! Babies are now children.

But also I had come to spend time in the small entrance chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Walshingham. When I regularly went to church there, the statue was a borrow statue of Our Lady of Carmel borrowed from Fr. Jason Prati. Under Fr. Phillip Harris at that time their new priest, a fund drive was initiated to buy an actual Our Lady of Walsingham statue. It took several thousands of dollars for a crate to arrive from England with a lovely statue which is over two feet tall. Donations came from the parish and from the Armenian community who St. James has hosted for many generations. The Armenians hold their church services at St. James about once a quarter.

Our Lady of Walsingham is a major pilgrimage Marian site in northern England since the 1100s. Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby led a pilgrimage their August 15, 2019.

Catching up with Edith!

Catching up with Edith! 750 487 Connect the Dots!

Catching up with Edith!

By Br. Thanasi (Thomas G) Stama, St. John’s, Lancaster

Drove up to St. Andrew’s in Pickerington to visit with old friends and to make new. St. Andrew’s was my parish back in the beginning of 2010. So today’s Sunday visit was a time of reconnecting with old friends and to see how Fr. Kevin (new Priest in charge) was settling in.

Great to see everybody. But I was most particular in renewing my friendship with Edith Carr! She is in her 80s so whenever I see her it is treasured moments. She is originally from Liberia and only a few years back became a naturalized citizen. She is an older sister of Mother Abby here in the Columbus area. She introduced me to her friend called Big Abby who was very old and also from Liberia. Edith might have slow down some but during the sign of peace she did the triple kiss with me. I taught her to do it 10 years ago. This is how the Antiochian Christians do the sign of peace and it was something she and I only did when I was attending St. Andrew’s.

Fr. Kevin did a great sermon. Grant Patterson another old friend did a great job leading the choir and he was just substituting for their choir director who was out of town. Good time!

Sunday Mass at St Paul’s Logan

Sunday Mass at St Paul’s Logan 1326 708 Connect the Dots!

Sunday Mass at St Paul’s Logan

By Steve Rose, St John’s Lancaster

We met with Fr Seth and Deacon Paul, Deacon Paul was speaking that day and started out with a wonderful hymn and told about his journey to St Paul and the story of St Paul, we attended a pot luck lunch afterwords and got to meet with some of the parishioners, very welcoming church would like to visit again in the future

Visiting St. Paul’s Logan again!

Visiting St. Paul’s Logan again! 968 868 Connect the Dots!

Visiting St. Paul’s Logan again!

By Br. Thanasi (Thomas G.) Stama, St John’s Lancaster

Since moving to Lancaster and joining St. John’s, I have made it my goal to go down to St. Paul’s in Logan for when Deacon Paul Scanlan gives the homily. It is easy to do since my own parish’s Sunday Holy Eucharist is earlier enough to make their parish’s service at 11:30.

I sat with Deacon Bill Bales wife who I did not get to know the last time I was down. But Deacon Bill was off delivering holy communion to shut-ins. So In had her to myself. Nice one on one meeting with Catherine (might be a K). Before sitting down with her in the pew, met a big family sitting in the back of the church. I could argue they are in the front. Definitely front of the building.

The family was the Schlups (sounds like oops when you say it. ) Lovely family and they were bringing more home bound man named Davis. Never got his first name since we were doing Jefferson Davis jokes.

Deacon Paul Scanlan preached on St. Paul’s Conversion because it fit who Paul is as well as the church being St. Pauls. We were closer enough to the day. (Yesterday) Good solid sermon relating our preacher’s life and the Apostle’s and then he ended it by reading a brief biography on the life of St. Paul. It was delightful homily. He tied in how we all should be like the early church reaching and sharing our understanding of Christ so other too can enjoy the Faith we have. Great sermon.

Afterwards there was a lovely pot luck.

Looking forward to my next visit.