Reflecting on an Anniversary: "What is the One Great Secret for which you were born?"
By Priest-in-Residence, Reverend Mary Naughton
"My Priestly Ordination is the One Great Secret for which I was born.”
Each year, as December 10 approaches, these words of Thomas Merton rise in my consciousness. Merton wrote in his journal of his gratitude for his ordination day. He was overwhelmed at the thought that God had called him and set him apart as a priest.
On December 10, 2015, a friend of mine, a Catholic Nun and an Artist, made a card for me with those words as I was ordained a priest by Bishop Leo Frade. The “One Great Secret” indeed!
I was born and raised and spent most of my adult life in a Church which didn’t - and doesn’t - ordain women. And so, although I worked as a Church Pastoral Associate for more than 40 years, I never seriously thought about priesthood. I believed in it; I thought denying ordination to women was actually sinful; and I admired those Catholic women who fought for it, but I didn’t expect that rule to change in my lifetime so it seemed a waste of time and energy to think about it, much less wish for it.
When God brought my husband and me to Florida 12 years ago, we looked everywhere within driving distance for a Catholic Church where we could worship, without success. Then, just when I was ready to give up, God intervened with a small roadside sign on Woolbright Road in Boynton Beach which read “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You. St. Joseph’s Church.” The rest is history. And, yes, I have discovered that my priestly ordination is the one great secret for which I was born. Alleluia!
I tell this story in gratitude for my own vocation but also to pose for you the question: What is the one great secret for which you were born?
What has God called you to? Don’t think only of Church but think of your own life; your talents and gifts, of your interests and passions. Perhaps you have already found the one great secret for which you were born; maybe you are still wondering. Every morning, ask “What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What will I do for Christ?” You might, like me, be very surprised at God’s answer.
November 1, 2019
Dear Family of St. Andrew's,
The first Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of a new liturgical year. As we come to the close of this liturgical year, we find ourselves in a time of thanksgiving and reflection of God's blessings in our lives, both personally and as a church family. As Episcopalians, we are a people accustomed to giving thanks as a community which finds deepest meaning in the Eucharist, our Great Thanksgiving. The Eucharist is central to our faith and our lives, and we believe that the Bible is the word of God, and we are people of the Word. As "the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement", as Presiding Bishop Michael Curry often describes us, we must decide what that means and what we believe we are called to do. We spend our lives discerning the answer to this question for each of us and determining our unique personal response to God's call.
We are now preparing to discern how God is calling St. Andrew's to move in mission and ministry in our community and beyond in 2020. God continues to call us to touch more lives with Christ's love to further establish His Kingdom through our faithful response to His call. Jesus calls us to take the long view, to trust in God's righteousness and rest in His care. We are reminded of this in the tenth chapter of Mark's Gospel: "Jesus, looking at the man, loved him and said, you lack one thing; go, sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me."
All that we have accomplished at St. Andrew's is but a fraction of what we could accomplish with Jesus' call to us in mind: "But seek first God's kingdom and God's righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Your prayerful consideration of your pledge for 2020 will absolutely make a difference in the change that we at St. Andrew's will make in the lives we touch. The degree to which we consecrate our time, talent and treasure in the coming year will demonstrate how we have heard His words.
Blessing on you and yours,
Barbara S. Richardson, Senior Warden
P.S. Please complete your pledge card and submit it by mail or at the service you attend by December 1st.
On Saturday, November 9, 2019, St. Andrew's threw a fabulous Bahamian BBQ to raise money for the Bishop's Appeal towards hurricane relief for the Bahamas after hurricane Dorian.
Genuine Bahamian recipes, an open bar, entertainment and great conversation made for a wonderful event and almost $1000 was raised for this great cause.
What St. Andrew's Means to Me
by Jim Winters
When I was asked to write about what St. Andrew's means to me for the monthly newsletter. I had only one request - that it would be for the November newsletter. There are probably thousands of reasons why I would choose November, but I am reminded that about 7 years ago, Fr. Paul asked me to speak to the congregation on a Sunday in November, right around Veterans Day, about what St. Andrews means to me. The theme I spoke about then was my life in the Marine Corps, having recently returned from a difficult deployment early that year. When I joined the Corps,I learned that I would live by and train to was a belief in "God, Country, and Corps" - The Marine Corps.
It is easy to see why I choose the month of November; most people will say it is because the Marine Corps' birthday is celebrated on November 10th every year. That explains the "Corps" portion of "God, Country, and Corps". The "Country" part is also easy, as Veteran's Day is celebrated on November 11th every year, accounting for the "Country" in "God, Country, and Corps". St. Andrew's has been more than supportive of my Marine Corps career and I am forever grateful for the prayers and blessings from my St. Andrew's family during my two deployments to Afghanistan. I was gratified that the church was there for Cindy and our son William in my absence. I am also extremely honored to be surrounded by so many veterans at St. Andrew's and appreciate the recognition given them for their service to and sacrifices made for our Country.
Then the questionremains: " Jim, how does God fit into your November request?" Well, that one is pretty simple for me also, but might not be as obvious as a national holiday or as a grand military tradition. To me, it is so much more than that. My wife’s birthday is November 9th. Cindy is, and has always been, there for me in good times, bad times and hard times. No matter what I have thrown her way she has always been there for me.
The God in "God, Country, and Corps" to me has always been “Family”- The Father, The Son, and the Holy Ghost. My wife, my children, my sisters, my parents, all my friends, my Brothers in Arms and all my brothers and sisters in Christ are all family. We are all God’s children and we belong to one Family.
What does St. Andrews mean to me? It means Family, I know my family at St Andrews will always be there with me in times of celebrations and will be there with me in my darkest hours to light the path. We will be there for each other and for whoever walks through our doors or into our lives. All are welcomed. Amen
A Letter from Priest-in-Residence, Reverend Mary Naughton
It was such a pleasure to worship with you on September 15th and then have an opportunity to meet many of you during the Fellowship Hour afterwards. You certainly made me feel welcome, and I look forward to officially joining your family on October 13th.
For those of you whom I’ve not met, I thought it would be helpful to introduce myself to you by way of this message in your monthly newsletter. A native of Brooklyn, New York, I was born to a devout and loving Irish family. Throughout high school, I attended Catholic schools, and during my adult years as a Roman Catholic, my primary area of interest was in the interface of Spirituality and Social Justice.
I hold Master's degrees in English Literature and Religious Studies Magna Cum Laude from Fordham University in New York. I also hold Certificates in Spiritual Direction and Retreat Direction from the Center for Spirituality and Justice in New York and the Jesuit Spiritual Center in Wernersville, PA. Most recently, I received a Diploma in Anglican Studies from Bexley Seabury Seminary.
In 2011, due to my husband’s health, we I relocated to Florida, where I was received into the Episcopal Church and soon after into the ordination process. I went on a parish mission trip to the Dominican Republic and assisted in the hurricane recovery in the Florida Keys. I am currently an Assisting Priest at St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church in Boynton Beach. Sadly in 2018, my husband of 46 years passed away.
I am a proud mother of two adult children: John, a Vice President of Ohio Dominican University, who lives with his wife and two children in Columbus, Ohio; and Nora, my daughter, who lives with me in Boynton Beach and is a Special Education Teacher at Lantana Elementary School.
Farewell to Father Paul and Brenda Rasmus.
We wish Father Paul and Brenda the very best in their retirement and were blessed to have them with us for more than 13 years. Father Paul provided strong spiritual leadership to our congregation, and in return we are prepared to move forward together, love one another and love God.
Integrity Palm Beach Trip to Ancient Spanish Monastery
In May 2019, more than 60 parishioners joined members of Integrity Palm Beach on a coach ride to North Miami for a guided tour of the reconstructed ancient Spanish Monastery, St. Bernard de Clairvaux. Originally constructed between 1133-1141 A.D. in Sacremenia, near Segovia, in northern Spain, this Cistercian monastery remained active until the 1830s, when revolutions closed its doors to religious life. In 1925, William Randolph Hearst purchased the Cloisters and the Monastery's outbuildings. The structures were dismantled stone by stone, bound with protective hay, packed in more than 11,000 wooden crates, numbered for identification and shipped to the United States. Reconstructed and given to the Episcopal Church in the 1960s by Colonel Robert Pentland, Jr., the parish Church of St. Bernard de Clairvaus is again and active and growing congregation in the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida.
Participants enjoyed the a box lunch picnic, toured the parish grounds and even enjoyed a magnificent organ recital! Enjoy these photos from that wonderful day of fun and fellowship.