Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


The Path to Sainthood II

In The Episcopal Church, the process of being recognized as a saint is different from that of the Roman Catholic Church (see below). The full guidelines are online here. They say that those recognized as saints will typically exhibit the following traits: heroic faith, love, goodness of life, joyousness, service to others for Christ's sake, and devotion. They will further be already recognized by the faithful as saintly. And all of this should come with historic perspective that results from widspread recognition for two generations or fifty years or more.

Deaconess AlexanderThe main test however comes through long-term local recognition, which is allowed before national recognition. And so the commemoration of "local saints" is not only permissible, but encouraged. To that end, our Bishop, Henry I. Louttit, Jr., created a calendar of nine Saints of the Diocese of Georgia which includes the more internationally known John and Charles Wesley who both served here, as well as the lesser known Deaconess Alexander who served just north of Brunswick, Georgia and Anson Dodge who started what became Christ Church, St. Marys, among other churches. Three of those on our local list (John and Charles Wesley and Thomas Bray) are recognized by The Episcopal Church nationwide. The others may never be.

At King of Peace, our Wednesday evening worship service follows the Episcopal Church calendar's Lesser Feasts and Fasts, which gives our calendar of saints. We augment that with Bishop Louttit's list of Saints of Georgia. The readings selected point out some feature of the saints life. The sermons are designed to help us see the Gospel through the life of these people who followed Jesus faithfully in their own day. Over time, these church history lessons connected to scripture have a real power to show the interconnectedness of the Communion of Saints. We gather not to worship the saints. We gather to worship the same Lord they worshipped and to see through the life of another human, how we regular Christians can more fully follow Jesus.

Here are a few examples of those Wednesday sermons: mine on Dietrich Bonhoeffer All the Strength We Need, Jay Weldon's on Saint Benedict Taking Up the Cross and mine on Alphege Do Not Fear: Virginia Tech and Alphege of Canterbury, given the week of the shootings on the Virginia Tech campus.

Tomorrow, I'll give two examples of recently recognized saints, who I voted on in the General Convention.

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor



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