Slightly Different Second Sunday of Lent

There are times when, for one reason or another, a priest is not available to be at the church for a service. But we have a provision in the Book of Common Prayer that, upon a bishop’s approval, we can use the services of a deacon to administer what is called “Communion by Extension.” Such an occasion has come up this weekend. Please join the Reverned Deacon Karyl Miller (pictured here with our priest Rev. Susan) for a Sunday liturgy of prayer, music, and sharing in the Body and Blood of Christ consecrated at the altar of St. Barnabas.

Be in the Picture

Our Annual Meeting is this Sunday! This is an opportunity to learn more about what our church has been doing in the past year, and to begin dreaming about where we can take things from here. We’ll start with taking a “family photo” at the end of our worship service in the sanctuary. We’ll have a potluck lunch (and we have some cooks in this congregation!) with coffee, tea, and water, and we’ll have presentations from our priest and the vestry wardens, an election of vestry members, and a chance to review the budget and give final approval to our bylaws from last year. Whether you’ve been with St. Barnabas for years…or only a few hours…we welcome you to come be a part of the picture.

They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love

This is what radical hospitality looks like. As the United Methodist Church goes through the pains of division within their denomination, St. Barnabas has offered a monthly worship space for those UMC members who find themselves without a church.

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.”—Hebrews 13:2.

The Feast of the Epiphany

O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son
to the Peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by
faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to
face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Christmas and the Cold Weather

The weather outside is frightful. Not with rain or snow or sleet. But the temperatures overnight are going to be extremely cold for this time of year. And it comes on the celebration of when the Holy Family found itself out in a manger because there was no room at the inn.

For the unhoused, this weather is extremely dangerous. We are collecting blankets and other warm things, such as winter coats, to take to the Lowndes Associated Ministries to People (LAMP). Please bring items with you to either the Christmas Eve service on Saturday or Christmas Day service on Sunday. If you are near downtown, you can also take items there directly to the shelter at 714 Charlton Street.

An Attitude of Gratitude

As we enter into November and the end of another church year, this is a wonderful time to reflect upon the things for which we are grateful. Maybe we have had a chance to emerge from our pandemic lockdown to venture out and visit family and friends we haven’t seen in a couple of years. Maybe we have learned to slow down and reassess what things we were leaving “undone” in our lives. Perhaps we’ve welcomed new family and friends into our circle. Or maybe we have just been happy to wake up and have another day in which to be alive. Whatever it might be, November affords us that opportunity to thank God for grace, for mercy, and for the chance to be a blessing in this world.

As we do that, we can always drop some spare change into one of our blue UTO boxes. These little boxes contain the monies that help The Episcopal Church do outreach and ministry throughout the country and the world. We will be collecting our blue boxes on Sunday, November 27th, the First Sunday of Advent, and sending the proceeds to the Untied Thank Offering. The monies will go toward grants for programs related to prison ministries. Thank you!

The Pumpkins Are Here!

Some are big. Some are small. Some are short. Some are tall. Whatever your preference or your need, we have a pumpkin for you. We’ll be selling pumpkins from 2-7pm out on the front lawn of the church from October 16th through October 31st. Come get yours at 3565 Bemiss Road, and help support the Episcopal Church in Navajoland and the ministries of St. Barnabas!

Blessing of the Animals

Icon of St. Francis

Bring your furry, feathery, scaly pets to our Blessing of the Animals ceremony at our outside altar on Sunday, October 2nd at 1:30pm. We are also taking up a collection for the Humane Society of Valdosta/Lowndes County. They need wet and dry kitten food as well as pellet litter. In addition to blessing the pets who are present with us, we will remember those whom we have loved but no longer have with us as companions. This is a wonderful service to share with friends and neighbors.

Celebrating St. Anna Alexander

September 24th is the Feast of St. Anna Alexander, Deaconess. From Lesser Fasts and Feasts, 490:

Anna Ellison Butler Alexander was the youngest of 11 children, born to recently emancipated slaves Aleck and Daphne Alexander on Butler Plantation in MacIntosh County, Georgia, in 1865. Her parents were devout Episcopalians, and also instilled in their children a love of learning. Anna became a teacher, and eventually the only African American to be consecrated as a deaconess in the Episcopal Church. 

Anna dedicated herself to working for the education of African American children in poor communities. First she helped to found and to run St. Cyprian’s School at St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church in Darien, and in 1902 she founded a school at Good Shepherd Church in rural Glynn County’s Pennick community, where she taught children to read—by tradition, from the Book of Common Prayer and the Bible—in a one-room schoolhouse. The school was later expanded to two rooms with a loft where Anna lived. 

In 1907, she was consecrated as a deaconess by Bishop C.K. Nelson. Deaconess Alexander served in difficult times, however. The Diocese of Georgia segregated its congregations in 1907 and African American congregations were not invited to another diocesan convention until 1947. However, her witness—wearing the distinctive dress of a deaconess, traveling by foot from Brunswick through Darien to Pennick, showing care and love for all whom she met—represents the best in Christian witness. 

The poor white residents of Glynn County also trusted Deaconess Alexander. When the Depression hit the rural poor, she became the agent for government and private aid, and Good Shepherd Mission served as the distribution center. Locals remember that no one ever questioned her as she served the needs of both races in a segregated south. Strictly religious, strictly business, Deaconess Alexander commanded respect. White men took off their hats when she passed.

Deaconess Alexander wrote, “I am to see everyone gets what they need…some folk don’t need help now and I know who they are. The old people and the children, they need the most…when I tell some they can’t get help just now…that others come first, they get mad, a little, but I don’t pay no mind and soon they forget to be mad.”

She ministered in Pennick for 53 years, leaving a legacy of love and devotion that is still felt in Glynn County.

We will be marking the occasion at tomorrow’s service by dedicating our loose plate offering to the restoration of her schoolhouse in Pennick, GA, and remembering her at the celebration of our Eucharist.

The Collect for St. Anna Alexander:

Loving God, who called Anna Alexander as a deaconess in your church: Grant us the wisdom to teach the gospel of Christ to whomever we meet, by word and by example, that all may come to the enlightenment that you intend for your people; through Jesus Christ, our Teacher and Savior. Amen.