Sunday, August 13 was the ninth Sunday after Trinity. Bishop Hartley based his sermon on the Epistle for the day, 1 Corinthians 10:1, “Brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant how that all our fathers were under the cloud and passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud…” Paul likes to challenge his readers in his letters and in this one he gives them and us a history lesson to apply to our own lives. Many of the ancient Israelites “drank of that spiritual rock that followed them” but many also fell away into idolatry. Paul addressed this letter to the church at Corinth where some members had fallen into the sin of overconfidence which can lead to arrogance and being hurtful to others. Paul says that Christians must know what they are doing and not fall into such earthly temptations and lose their spirituality. There was a rabbinic tradition that the Israelites in the desert drank from a miracle rock that followed them and provided life; for Christians that rock is Christ. The history if Israel shows that God’s people are not safe from temptation and Paul insists on vigilance so that we do not depart from God’s will.
During prayer time Bishop Hartley said the rest in peace prayer for Lew Heigham Jr. who passed away in St. Louis on August 2 at the age of 83. Many readers will remember his parents, Lew Sr. and Nimmie Heigham, who were Ava residents for many years and Lew Sr. was the founding priest of St. Francis Church. Lew Sr.’s father had also been an Episcopal priest and Lew Jr. had a long career as minister in both Methodist and Episcopal churches so they were three generations of Episcopal priests, quite a record of service to Christianity. Lew Jr.’s wife is the former Ella Jean Dixon, a native of our area who taught music in the Ava School system for several years.
For information on St. Francis Anglican (Traditional Episcopal) Church visit our website at stfrancisavamo.org.