Newsletter

Trinity June 2008

“They were all with one accord in one place.” (Acts 2:1)  The very words arouse interest.  It was fifty days after the Lord rose from the dead.  The earliest Christians were the ones gathered, to ponder the way forward.  Suddenly “a rushing mighty wind filled the house where they were sitting.”  (Acts 2:2)  Cloven tongues like fire sat on each of them, and the Holy Ghost welded them together into one.  Since that first Pentecost the tiny family, cleansed in the blood of the Lamb and enlivened by the Holy Ghost, has grown vastly, argued incessantly, fragmented so often that the multiple images she presents to the world are like shards of a broken mirror, each presenting a somewhat distorted image of the Truth.

And yet we Catholic Christians meet in groups – both large and small – fervently praying that the product of their prayers and deliberations will be inspired by the Holy Ghost and that he will lead them into “the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6)

The 2008 Diocesan Synod is another of those meetings of Christ’s family.  God the Holy Ghost is there, leading and lighting our way, inspiring us to grow closer to him, to each other, and urging us zealously to spread our nets wider and more effectively in his Name.

Thank God we do not call ourselves the Anglican Church of Las Vegas; we would be isolated from the much bigger body of believers, cut off from our larger extended family whose sole purpose is the edifying of itself in love.  St. George’s Church would not be in Las Vegas if it were not for the larger Body of the Church, our national Church, The Anglican Province of Christ the King.  The Holy Ghost inspired men in our national church to be mission minded; placing upon their hearts the desire to bring others to know and love Christ.

We pray for those making the trip to Tulsa that God will inspire and stir their hearts and bring them safely back home to us.

“As every man hath received the gift, so minister the same as one to another.”

Father Hines+

Third Sunday After Easter 2011

Dear Parishioners,

As you well know, the Diocesan Synod is fast approaching, and as the host parish for this conference, I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to attend the many functions taking place. All open meetings are free of charge.

All activities for the Synod will occur at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino, except for the Synod Mass on Thursday at St. George’s Church. The Church School and ACW will also have their conferences and welcome your attendance.

The Diocese also extends to you the opportunity to dine with the attendees of the Synod at the buffet banquet to be held on Wednesday, June 8th, 2011 in the Sunrise Room at the Suncoast beginning with cocktails at 6:30 pm. The cost for the buffet dinner is $40 per person and children ages 10 and under are free; $15 for children over the age of 10 (reservations required). To view the schedule of events and to obtain a registration form for the Synod and Wednesday’s banquet, please go to our church web site at stgeorgeanglican.org.

To conclude the Synod, we will all gather with the Bishop at St. George’s for the Synod Mass followed by a festive brunch put on by our ACW, St. Anne’s Guild. You are encouraged to take part in any activities that may be of interest to you. This gathering is meant to unite the Diocese and enable us to come together as a community of faith, exchanging ideas and information. A great turnout for this service will ensure a successful conclusion to the Synod and everyone will benefit in taking part.

PATRONAL FEAST OF ST. GEORGE, MARTYR,
THIS SUNDAY, MAY 15TH (TRANSFERRED)

Role models are greatly needed today, and St. George, patron saint of England, provides an inspiring example. He was a devout Christian who gave his life for the Faith. Few specifics are known about his life beyond the fact that he was martyred for his faith around the year 303 A.D. He is purported to have been a Roman soldier who, following his conversion to Christianity, tried to bring his fellow soldiers to Christ. He was such an inspiring figure that armies of several countries chose him as their patron saint. He remains one of the few saints both popular in the Eastern and Western Churches.

His mystique has been enhanced by early church legends which clustered around him. The most famous of these depicted St. George mounted on a horse, running a spear through the dragon’s mouth. Other versions have St. George killing the evil dragon with a sword. Remember, these pictorial representations of our blessed Lord’s victory over evil came into being in the early centuries of the Church, when reading and writing were skills preserved almost exclusively in monasteries. Laity and most secular clergy could neither read nor write; thus, the faith was preserved and taught through legends and pictures.

We hope everyone will join us as we look forward to enjoying this celebration with a Warrior’s barbecue luncheon of hearty food prepared by St. Anne’s Guild. Cakes baked by the men of St. George’s will be auctioned off after lunch. Ticket prices are $5.00 per person for adults and teens. Children under 12 years of age are free.

Easter, 2010

I appreciate what Bishop Morrison said to us in his recent pastoral letter on what we are to be about this Lent. He, no doubt, would agree that it is difficult for us to go apart into a desert place and to wait upon God in stillness and silence, through fasting, in prayer, in reading the Scriptures, and in the denial of selfish impulses. The reason is not only that we live in a post-Christian world, but that we face the daily demands of our families and in just trying to make a living. These all can place a tremendous strain on our Lenten disciplines.

A great problem for us as Christians is come to the Mass one hour a week, where we enter into another dimension and then return into the secular world again. This is not enough to satisfy our hunger for God. It feels as if we are living two different lives.

Attending a Lenten Church retreat for a day or three days is the best way to set ourselves apart from the world. We will be offering for the first time a silent retreat at St. George’s on Saturday, March 27th from 3 to 7 pm, where, hopefully, one can experience a greater sense of the eternal.

The great Anglican theologian Dom Gregory Dix said the Mass is the eternal transfixed in time. Meditating on that divine reality I would like to quote the great American poet and Anglican T. S. Eliot who dominated the 20th century with his writings. In his work, Dry Salvages of the Four Quartets, he said:

But to apprehend

The point of intersection of the timeless

With time, is an occupation for the saint-

No occupation either, but something given

and taken, in lifetimes’ death in love,

Ardour and selflessness and self surrender.1

The way of the Christian, our Lord said, is the way of the cross. The season of Lent is all tied up with the cross. Christ said for us to take up our cross. To really love Him means we have to die to self; our occupation as saints is self giving, self surrender. One theologian said you will know your cross because it is not the one you want.

One of the men who had the greatest bearing on my life was Father Richard Gilman whose life was one of love and suffering. Father Gilman was a wonderful priest who took a great personal interest in me as he did in every one whom he encountered. He worked at our national seminary in Berkeley, California as the provost of the college and also managed the church’s college dormitory which served Cal students.

When I arrived at Cal I had no money or financial support for college. Bishop Morse allowed me to stay in the college dormitory so I had free housing. But Fr. Gilman knew my survival through college depended on landing a job. He happened to be a frequent patron at the hotel restaurant across from the dorms and he got me a job as a dishwasher. He lent me his car and gave me money for dates and to help me make ends meet. He was always helpful if I had a question with my studies or about life in general.

The more I came to know Fr. Gilman the more I learned how much his life was one of selflessness. He was a remarkable man. He served as president of one of the largest engineering firms in the country and helped build dams all over the world. He had been a marine drill sergeant. He ran the Chinese railroad for a day under Cheng Kai Shek.

But Fr. Gilman also experienced tremendous loss. While on one dam project his wife went into labor at the job site and he had to deliver his twin sons who died in his arms. Both of his wives died early on in his life. Whenever he heard something beautiful described to him or heard of someone suffering he would break down and cry. At the age of 65 he quit his prestigious job and went to seminary.

I remember a conversation I had with Bishop Morse about the last moments he had with Fr. Gilman when he died. The Bishop said Fr. Gilman died on his 75th birthday.

The Bishop accompanied him to the hospital where he waited in the hallway with Fr. Gilman for eight hours before he could be given a room in intensive care for dialysis treatment.

The Bishop knew Fr. Gilman was quickly slipping from this life so he stepped outside to retrieve his oils for administering holy unction. When he came back twenty minutes later, Fr. Gilman had died. The Bishop still anointed him.

But while doing so he met a Chinese nurse who could hardly speak English who had waited on Fr. Gilman. The Bishop had to stop and console her, because she kept saying to the Bishop, “Very nice man.” “Very nice man.” She had only known him for a couple of minutes. When the Bishop looked on the face of Fr. Gilman it was the face of one who had seen a beatific vision, for his face was serene and joyful.

Fr. Gilman was one of the reasons I became a priest.

The dilemma for each of us is that we are all caught on the cross between selfishness and the desire to love god. This is symbolized by the horizontal and vertical beams of the cross. We all have egos and striving obsessions with self, crossed by our love for God and others.

We wrestle with this not only during Lent but in our daily pilgrimage through this life.

T. S. Eliot again beautifully conveys our struggle:

For most of us, there is only the unattended

Moment, the moment in and out of time,

The distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight,

The wild thyme unseen, or the winter lightning

Or the waterfall, or music heard so deeply

That it is not heard at all, but you are the music

While the music lasts. These are only hints and guesses,

Hints followed by guesses; and the rest

Is prayer, observance, discipline, thought and action.

The hint half guessed, the gift half understood, is

Incarnation.2

The meaning of Lent (and really our Christian vocation) is prayer, observance, discipline, thought, and action. Each of these, seriously applied, will sharpen our hunger for the Incarnate and Resurrected Lord; we can come to Easter Day only through the Cross, through our own personal Lent. Christ’s Incarnation, His death and Passion, and His Resurrection and Ascension have made possible our union with God in Christ. Lent is the season in which the Church beseeches us to give ourselves to the Risen Lord. The way has been opened for us; however, each of us must take up the Cross and follow in order to have the Son of God put His open arms around us and take us for His own.

May we give thanks to God in the Holy Eucharist and have union with Him through His Son in the eternal transfixed in time.

Fr. Gordon Hines+

1 T. S. Eliot, “Dry Salvages,” Four Quartets (San Diego, New York, London: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1971), p. 44.

2 Ibid.

October, 2009

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. (I St. Peter 3:15)

“Be prepared” is the motto of the Boy Scouts. We, as Catholic Christians, need to “Be prepared.” As St. Peter instructs, we need to be ready to answer those who ask us why we believe what we do. If we’re honest with ourselves, can we provide those whom we encounter a clear understanding of our faith? So many are in despair and need the Good News of the hope we possess in Christ Jesus.

You may have asked this question, “Does our parish have anything we can use that tells us exactly what we believe in?  I have taken Father Greer’s classes, but some of what he taught I have forgotten, or what I learned in my Confirmation classes I can’t remember.  I have a hard time explaining to my friends, family, and others what it means to be an Anglican.”

St. George’s Church is here to help you “Be prepared” with a new series of classes on the basics of the Catholic Christian faith in the Anglican tradition. This class is for those inquiring about membership, current members, and for those individuals who are beginning their confirmation instruction. If you enjoyed Fr. Greer’s Anglicanism class, you will be sure to enjoy this one. What is wonderfully unique about this class is the course manual that accompanies it is yours to keep and can be used as a ready reference for years to come.

Classes will be offered at the church on Sundays from 9:15 to 10:00 am, beginning October 25th. There will be eighteen sessions with breaks during Thanksgiving Day weekend and the Christmas Holidays. The cost is $15 (covers price of course manual).

There is no reason to take this class if you can answer all of these questions.

“Many roads lead to Heaven. Isn’t Christianity just one of those roads?”
“How are the old Jewish feast days fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus?
“But we have the Bible.  Why do we need the creeds?”
“Why is the pulpit to the side of the altar?  Shouldn’t the pulpit and musical instruments be in the center?”
“Aren’t you breaking the 2nd Commandment by having images and statues in your church?  We don’t have crosses or icons in our church.  Why do you worship images?”
“What do the priest’s green colored vestments represent?”
“We just did a comparison study of the ancient creation accounts at school and isn’t the Book of Genesis really the same as the others?”
“Why do you genuflect and cross yourself in church?”
“Are you a Bible church?  We don’t have man-made traditions like you do.  Our church is up with the times and can jettison old, worn-out, traditions to meet people where they’re at.”
“Isn’t God’s presence in your life based on feeling?  I can feel God’s presence at my church, because I’m so emotionally moved by the music and message.”
“Don’t you teach that right and wrong are relative and strictly based on personal feeling and opinion?”
“I don’t believe in formalized religion.   Why do you need to go to church to find God?”
“Do you really believe there is a God?”
“Wasn’t Jesus just a great teacher telling us how to be good so we can get to Heaven?”
“Why do you use that old prayer book from 1928?  What a relic!”
“Why do you do the same thing every Sunday? The Mass doesn’t speak to me.”
“Why be a Christian?”

You and I possess the answers to these questions and, thus, to the world’s problems. God’s call for each of us is to “Be prepared” to share “the faith once delivered to the saints.” May God give us, His Church, the grace to heed His charge, that we might enkindle all afire with the love of Christ.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Gordon Hines+

Tradition has its place – LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

Apr. 25, 2009

By JOHN PRZYBYS

When Archbishop James Eugene Provence visits St. George’s Anglican Church in Las Vegas this
weekend, he’s sure to be impressed with what he sees.

If nothing else, that’s because, the last time he saw it, St. George’s was nothing more than a plot
of bare desert ground.

“I remember going out with my predecessor, Archbishop Robert Morse, to look at the site where
St. George was going to be built,” Provence recalled. “So I saw it before the desert was all covered
up with a building.”

Provence is head of the Anglican Province of Christ the King, a denomination made up of traditional
Anglican churches. On Sunday, he’ll celebrate a 10:30 a.m. Choral Mass at St. George’s, 7676 W.
Gilmore Ave.

The trip will mark Provence’s first visit to St. George’s since the church’s consecration. The Rev.
Gordon Hines, St. George’s pastor, said St. George’s was founded in 1990 with about a dozen
members.

In its early years, members met in homes, other local churches and an elementary school cafeteria
and were served by mission priests. In 1997, Hines — who had been traveling to Las Vegas from
Arizona to say Mass — became the church’s full-time pastor.

St. George’s today has about 200 members, Hines said, and in 2001 saw completion of the first
phase of a three-phase building program.

St. George’s belongs to the Anglican Province of Christ the King, founded in 1977 by members and
clergy of six former Episcopal parishes who disagreed with doctrinal and liturgical changes adopted
by the Episcopal church the previous year.

Provence — who also serves as bishop of the denomination’s Western diocese and as rector of a
parish in San Francisco — said the Anglican Province of Christ the King today has about 4,000
members who worship in more than 40 parishes across the United States.

Provence said during a recent phone interview that the denomination, while still relatively small, is
growing. What’s “fascinating,” he continued, is that — in his own parish and, from what he hears
from other priests, in their parishes, too — “most of the people who are joining are younger.”
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Many, he suspected, are attracted by “the traditional form of worship, using the Elizabethan
language, which means you leave what you normally do at the door.”

The churches use the 1928 Book of Common Prayer and, Provence noted, employ the Anglican
church’s “rich musical heritage” and “traditional approach to holy Scripture and theology.
“People are seeming to say: ‘I need this anchor. Everything in the world right now is changing,
everything I trusted is falling apart. I’ve got to grab on to that which does not change.’
“And, basically, I tell them: “That’s God. God does not change.’ ”

“During the ’60s, ’70s and part of the ‘ 80s, we were the old curmudgeons who would not let go of
the old ways,” Provence noted. “Now people are saying: ‘Thank God you have not changed. We
need this stability.’

Yet, Provence said, “if this were merely nostalgia, we would have been wrong to have broken with
the Episcopal church. We broke over solid theological differences.”

In 1976, the Episcopal church “took a sharp left turn,” he said, “and the view of the apostolic
ministry changed and the view of the sacraments changed and the view of authority changed.”
Even now, more than three decades after the denomination’s founding, Provence said it sometimes
poses a challenge to explain to newcomers exactly what “Anglican” means.

On the other hand, he added, that “does give us an opportunity to provide some education,” not
only about the Province but about Anglican history and tradition.

But, this weekend, Provence is simply looking forward to seeing what St. George’s parish has done
with that piece of bare desert ground.

“I’ve been familiar with (St. George’s) project from its inception, but it will actually be my first time
to see the completed project,” he said. “So I’m very eager to get out and see what’s going on.”

Contact reporter John Przybys at jprzybys@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0280.
Find this article at:

http://www.lvrj.com/living/religion

Easter Letter 2008

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

“Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen” (Luke 24:5-6). These words, spoken originally to three women at daybreak on the first Easter, are now being spoken to us this Easter.
At this time of year the Church proclaims that something radically new and wonderful happened on that first Easter morning: Jesus Christ was raised and we were promised new and unending life. The Risen Lord Jesus has triumphed over evil, sin, and death and now lives to mediate and advocate for us before God the Father.  And this fact should be one which changes our individual lives forever.  Because the Lord Jesus is truly risen and because He shares His risen life with us, we can cope with the uncertainties, problems, and challenges which come to us in our daily lives.

Do you know what instruction, what order, is given, again and again, by God, by angels, by Jesus, by the prophets and the apostles?  The most frequent command in the Bible is : ‘Don’t be afraid. Fear not.’  In the Risen Lord we find the strength to persevere in the face of temptation and difficulty and to remain faithful to our baptismal promises to avoid sin, to live our Faith in all its fullness, and to love God and our neighbor.
With the Easter proclamation every Christian may live with great hope and inner joy because our Risen Lord and Savior is at our side: in our homes, in the workplace, in daily life, wherever we go.

On this Easter and throughout the Easter season, I am praying for each of you, asking the Risen Lord Jesus to fill you with the hope, peace, and joy which He alone can give. May you have a blessed Easter!
Faithfully in Christ,

Father Hines+

Compline at St George’s

Lent and Advent at St. George’s during the past two years have been marked by the addition of Evensong and Matins, events that although commonplace in themselves, have made a valuable contribution to our congregational worship, which for many of our members has been almost exclusively said or sung Mass.   During Lent this year, we are adding the ancient monastic service which since the 6th century has been known generally as “Compline.” (“Kom-plinn”)

Like so much of our Church’s early liturgy and music, the origins seem shrouded in supposition and deductions rather than clear evidence.  Most musicologists seem to agree that the original structure of our Compline was the work of St. Benedict in 6th century Italy, although there are several instances of similar services that existed earlier in neighboring regions.
Compline as we know it was the final service of the day in the monastic “Services of the Hours.”  which typically in the Anglican church began at dawn with Lauds, and after Terce, Sext and None throughout the day, the monastic communities attended Vespers,  and shortly after and  immediately before retiring for the night, the concluding service of  Compline.  The name is derived from the Latin “completorium,” as Compline did indeed “complete” the day.

It is a relatively simple service, traditionally chanted and intoned, but over the centuries several versions that can be said, sung, or a combination of both, emerged.   Although in some rites it had a set liturgy, generally it was molded in many different ways to meet the style and wishes of the community, so that at present there is no set liturgy for Compline, but many versions, each contain certain characteristics:  A summarized Litany, a Kyrie, Versicles and Responses, Confession and Absolution, two or three psalms (often Ps.4, Ps.31, Ps.90), an Office Hymn two or three collects and the Benediction.  A common feature of all Compline services is a series of antiphons stated by a “Reader” with a response by choir and congregation.   It is a short service usually requiring 15 or 20 minutes.

For the Anglican community, the Sarum Missal contains a perfect setting for Compline, with some 19 “Propers” available for varying ecclesiastical needs throughout the year.  Most of the Compline services used in Anglican churches have been developed from the Sarum Rite.

The first Compline to be held at St. George’s will begin at 6:45 PM on Wednesday, February 20. 2008.  Subsequent services will be announced in services and made known on our web site.

Sincerely,

Father Hines+

Lent, February 2008

On Wednesday, February 6, we and many Christians everywhere were marked with ashes in the sign of the cross – “Remember O man that dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.” These startling words and ritual are meant to awaken us to deeper realities: the reality of our sinfulness, and the reality of our need for mercy and salvation.

During Lent, we will embark on the internal journey of our souls. If we have been faithful Christians throughout the year we may find our souls to be a flourishing place filled with the good things which we have allowed God to give unto us – and, having tasted of the sweet things, we will inevitably desire more! Most of us however will find that we have allowed ourselves to become spiritually dry and barren – a desert in need of refreshment. It will be in this desert that we are called to imitate Jesus: to fast, to pray, to confront and overcome evil and temptation in our lives.

Although this spiritual passage into the desert can be painful and difficult, it reminds us that Jesus is the only One who can quench our thirst. Many times we seek material possessions and different types of activities in the hope that our thirst will be satisfied. The truth of the matter is that we are left spiritually dehydrated and still thirsting, for only God can quench the soul’s thirst: My souls thirsts for God, for the living God (Psalm 42:2).

As we make our necessary journey through the dry and barren places of our lives this Lent, let us remember that we indeed have a destination. We are not making this journey for the journey’s sake, we are doing this so that we might go to Him who can quench our thirst – “whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13-14). Let us keep our eyes upon the goal, and that will make our journey all the more special and worthwhile.

May God bless all of us during this special time.

Father Hines+

Eastertide 2009

Dear Friends in Christ,

Archbishop james E. ProvenceOn Sunday, April 26, we welcome Archbishop James E. Provence as we honor our patron saint, St. George. This is the Archbishop’s first visit to St. George’s Parish and we hope everyone will attend. An interview with the Archbishop will appear in the Saturday, April 25th edition of the Las Vegas Review Journal.

We are particularly honored that Archbishop Provence will make his first visitation to Las Vegas on our patronal festival. He follows in a long line of presiding bishops. Some writers trace the office of “Bishop of the Bishops” back to Sts. Timothy and Titus, the followers of St. Paul. Other scholars prefer to point to specific wording regarding the Council of Nicaea in 325. Either way, the office of Archbishop speaks to the orderly spread of the Christian faith, and the fact that Archbishop Provence will include a visitation to Holy Trinity Mission exemplifies the continuation of that process of orderly spread.

Role models are greatly needed today, and St. George, patron saint of England, provides an inspiring example. He was a devout Christian who gave his life for the Faith. Few specifics are known about his life beyond the fact that he was martyred for his faith around the year 303 A.D. He is purported to have been a Roman soldier who, following his conversion to Christianity, tried to bring his fellow soldiers to Christ. He was such an inspiring figure that armies of several countries chose him as their patron saint. He remains one of the few saints both popular in the Eastern and Western Churches.

His mystique has been enhanced by early church legends which clustered around him. The most famous of these depicted St. George mounted on a horse, running a spear through the dragon’s mouth. Other versions have St. George killing the evil dragon with a sword. Remember, these pictorial representations of our blessed Lord’s victory over evil came into being in the early centuries of the Church, when reading and writing were skills preserved almost exclusively in monasteries. Laity and most secular clergy could neither read nor write; thus, the faith was preserved and taught through legends and pictures.

Please note that there is only one service at 10:30 am. There will be no 8:00 am service.

We hope everyone will join us as we look forward to enjoying this celebration with a Warrior’s barbecue luncheon of hearty food prepared by St. Anne’s Guild. Cakes baked by the men of St. George’s will be auctioned off after lunch. Ticket prices are $10.00 per person for adults and teens. Children under 12 years of age are free.

Faithfully yours,

The Reverend Gordon W. Hines, Rector

P.S.: During the closing hymn, Archbishop Provence will give his blessing to those in attendance as he recesses down the aisle. It is our Church’s tradition to make a sign of the cross and to genuflect when he gives his blessing. If you are unable to genuflect just bow.  The Archbishop will be joining us after Mass for the St. George’s Day festivities. When addressing him, he prefers that you use the term, “Archbishop” or “Bishop.”