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+

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