Sunday, March 11 was The fourth Sunday in Lent. During Lent altar and vestment colors are violet in keeping with the solemnity of the season but one Sunday is set aside as Rose Sunday in which the colors are rose in anticipation of the new life to come in the Easter season and today was Rose Sunday. During Lent we are to engage in soul-searching to better understand our relation with God, and today’s theme was the flesh vs. the spirit. Bishop Hartley based his sermon on the epistle for the day, Galatians 4:21, in which St. Paul discusses the situation in the Galatian church in which one faction insisted Christians must keep the ancient Jewish Law, but Paul insists that it is not a prescribed code of conduct that leads to salvation but rather faith in Christ. Here he points out that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave and one by a free woman and that these are an allegory for the two covenants, one through Mt. Sinai and one through Christ. The Pharisees were still in spiritual bondage but Christians are the children of promise and since we cannot be perfect no matter how many rules we follow we depend on God’s grace. Grace is an enabling and vitalizing force which brings us pardon and hope; salvation is an unearned gift of God.
After the service we held our potluck dinner followed by a vestry meeting to discuss church finances and practical matters. We set our spring work day for April 29 and began planning for the convention of our diocese which will be held at St. Francis in September. We were also happy to have Chandler Connell with us for a visit from the Naval Academy at Annapolis where he will graduate in June.
For information on St. Francis Anglican (Traditional Episcopal) Church visit our website at stfrancisavamo.org.