As Mother Heather remarked on the first Sunday of this month, September 2, there is a feeling of fresh beginnings around St. John the Baptist Church. Closely tied as we are to the Oregon Episcopal School, September marks the beginning of a new academic year. On Sunday, September 9, we will welcome the restart of our choir music year, and the beginning the new year’s adult forum, this year looking at the beloved teachings of Jesus Christ that we have come to know as the Beatitudes. She also remarked on the freshness of the air and its coolness, a welcome change from August’s unfortunate smoky atmosphere arising from the even more unfortunate forest fires, and the cooler temperatures as a relief from what seems to many of us to have been as a very hot summer.
Our Sundays mark the longest season of the church year, the season of Pentecost. This season begins with the Day of Pentecost that we observed on May, and will continue until the first Sunday of Advent, this year on December 2. Unlike the church year from Advent through Pentecost, highlighting the events of the life of Jesus, the season of Pentecost offers a more leisurely opportunity to learn and reflect on the gospel teaching of Jesus. Elsewhere in this web page, you will find the fall season at the church more completely described.
Holy Days in September include:
Holy Cross Day, September 14. Sometimes known as the “Finding of the Holy Cross,” the true nature of this day celebrates the centrality of the cross upon which Jesus Christ was crucified. The cross is the universal symbol of the Christian faith. Whether we wear the cross as a witness to our faith, or bow our heads to the cross entering or leaving the sacred space of the church, or choose to sign ourselves with the cross as the Holy Trinity is mentioned in liturgy, the cross is truly central for us. A hymn says our belief so well:
Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim
Till all the world adore His sacred name.
St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist. September 21. Matthew was a notable convert to becoming a follower of Jesus, after a career of being an tax collector for the Roman empire occupiers of Palestine. He is sometimes referred to as the one of the four evangelists, or gospel writers, who spoke most clearly to his own, Jewish people. It is in the gospel of Matthew that we read of the so called Sermon on the Mount, in which we hear of the subject this year of our adult forum, the Beatitudes, a beloved passage of scripture because they tell of blessings for right living rather than judgments or curses for wrong doing.
St. Michael and All Angels. September 29. There was a war in heaven, and St. Michael the Archangel (and the force of good) was victorious over the devil and the forces of wickedness. May we continue to be blessed and protected in our journey in faith by the saints and angels of heaven and of the church.
In addition to Sunday worship, consider adding our weekday gatherings about the altar in the Lady Chapel (behind the main altar at the east end of the church). Here, we remember the saints of history at morning prayer on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 9 a.m., and at a said service of Holy Eucharist on Tuesdays at 9:20 a.m. The main door to the church is usually open on weekday mornings. You are welcome to enter by that door when open.