The Episcopal Church is alive and well on Galveston Island, near Texas. And, the Episcopal Community of Galveston is preparing to welcome fellow Episcopalians from the Diocese of Texas to their 159th Council, February 15 & 16, 2008 at the Moody Gardens Convention Center.
This impressive video by Matthew Stanford and the kids of St. Vincent’s Episcopal House in Galveston celebrates the life of the Episcopal Church on this small island that has a big role in the history of Texas and of the diocese. Thanks to Episcopal Church and the Visual Arts for a grant to make this video possible!
149 years ago, the diocese met on this island to elect the first Bishop of Texas, The Right Reverend Alexander Gregg of Cheraw, South Carolina. After Bishop Gregg was consecrated, he and his family moved to Texas, arriving in Galveston. His first acts as Bishop of Texas, on Sunday, December 11, 1859, were on this island. The Altar of St. Augustine’s Church, which will be used at the opening worship service of this year’s Council, is the Altar at which Bishop Gregg celebrated his first Eucharist in Texas. The pulpit of Trinity Church, which will be moved to the site of the service on Friday night, is a memorial to Bishop Gregg.
The witness of the Episcopal Church on Galveston Island for the reign of Christ continues today through the ministries of three congregations and two diocesan missions. The Episcopal Church Welcomes You!
There’s an epiphany in making gumbo! God, like a chef preparing a wonderful batch of gumbo, following a wonderful recipe, takes exactly the right ingredients, in exactly the right proportions, stirs it for exactly the right amount of time, never stepping away, and finally blends all things together into a harmonious, delicious whole.
A Recipe For One Batch of Great Gumbo to Serve 6-8 Hungry People
1. The Day Before - Prepare the Stock:
Into a large stew pot, pour five cups of broth – chicken and/or fish
Add approximately one cup each of onions (white and green), bell peppers, and celery
Add at least 10 oz of okra (essential if you want to call it “gumbo”)
Bring the stock to a boil, reduce the heat, and cook it slowly at least 30 minutes.
Cover the pot and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.
You will remove the stock from the refrigerator the next day.
And add approximately 2 lb. of fish, shrimp, crab (or chicken and andouille sausage) as the stock is reheating.
2. The Second Day - Prepare the Roux:
Into a cast iron skillet
Pour one-half cup of oil
When the oil is hot, add one-half cup of white flour
Stir constantly with a wooden spoon, controlling the heat, and NEVER STEP AWAY, until the roux is dark brown
3. Blend the Stock and the Roux:
When it is time for the roux to stop cooking, ladle stock into the skillet and stir.
Combine the roux with the stock in the stew pot and stir.
Add seasoning, such as salt, pepper, Tony Chacheri’s Cajun Seasoning, or Tabasco to taste.
Serve in bowls with rice, saltine crackers, and/or French bread.
Welcome to Galveston's Trinity Episcopal Church! As you can see, the church is adorned with Poinsettia plants and garalands in preparation for the celebration of our Savior's birth. The number and arrangement of Poinsettias and garlands varies from year to year. But one thing that never changes is our Chrismon Tree. About thirty years ago, a sewing group of women from this parish made all the ornaments. Each year since, a beautiful fir or spruce tree is selected and the ornaments are carefully placed on it. But these ornaments are very special because each one represents a biblical or theological theme. The ornaments are called "Chrismons" meaning "Monograms of Christ." Most Chrismons are white with gold decorations of beads, glitter, and ribbon.
This link will take you to a site with descriptions of many Chrismons.
Our Chrismon Tree will remain in place throughout the Twelve Days of Christmas until the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6.
Thank you for visiting us. This is our prayer for you at this time: May Christ, who by his Incarnation gathered into one things earthly and heavenly, fill you with his joy and peace. May the coming year be full of epiphanies as you continue on your spiritual journey. And may the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and those whom you love, now and always. Amen.
This summer, when we were in central Colorado, I learned of a jasper mine that had been in the area and had not been worked in several decades. I was reminded of a set of Anglican prayer beads I had made from jasper, turquoise, and silver beads. Minerals like these come from mountains like these. Human beings have the gifts that are necessary to transform raw material into many things that serve humanity, including my prayer beads.
We are stewards of these treasures from the earth as well as the creative gifts that we have been given by our Creator God. What we do with all the gifts is important to God and to the universe we are privileged to inhabit!
Each year near the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi (October 4) we have a service for The Blessing of the Animals at Galveston’s Trinity Church. People of all ages bring creatures of all kinds to be blessed. We do this out of our awareness of the unique role humans play as stewards of all creation, particularly in relation to other living creatures with whom we share this planet.
Many of the stories surrounding the life of St. Francis have to do with his love for animals. He believed that the world was created good and beautiful by God but needs redemption because of original human sin. He preached to man and beast the universal ability and duty of all creatures to praise God and the responsibility of human beings to protect and enjoy nature as stewards of God's creation and as creatures ourselves. Legend has it that before his death St. Francis thanked his donkey at his bedside for carrying and helping him throughout his life, and his donkey wept.
The Ute Indians were mystified by hot water flowing out of the earth adjacent to the frigid waters of the Colorado River. Because they couldn’t explain it, they considered the springs sacred. Today, we know that these waters are heated by lava 30,000 feet beneath the earth’s surface. However, that doesn’t make them any less sacred. For people of faith, that knowledge is another sign of the Creator’s hand at work, prompting us to accept the gift of this water and offer thanks to the Giver.
While making the video, I had to keep my voice low out of respect for the others who were bathing in this spring. That, coupled with the sound of the water, makes it a little difficult to hear. If you will turn up your volume it will help. RDP+
My frequent walks on Galveston's seawall brought this e-piphany to mind.
This is a benchmark. At some point in time, surveyors arrived at a precise calculation of this location and its elevation above sea level. Then, they placed brass plate here so that it could be used by others a reference point in tidal observations and surveys. A surveying team places a transit directly over this benchmark and then uses other instruments to attain precise measurements. People have returned to this benchmark time and time again to orient themselves.
For Christians, the Holy Bible is a benchmark, a fixed reference point to which we turn to orient our lives and our actions. The Bible, like this one at Galveston’s Trinity Church or the one on your desk, is a revelation of God - God’s nature, and God’s purpose for creation. God gives us additional instruments which are necessary to apply the divinely inspired writings of the Bible to our lives: the instrument of reason and the instrument of tradition. Reason is necessary in order for us to find the truth of the scripture in relation to the world and the time in which we live so that it is ever relevant, as fresh as the morning newspaper. Tradition, the accumulated wisdom of surveyors of the faith through the centuries. It is necessary in order for us to see how others who have gone before us have applied the teachings of the Bible to their circumstances. We can learn so much from their experience and insights.
In this way, scripture serves as our benchmark for the proper orientation of our life and our faith, helping us find our way as we walk with God. Read the scriptures and use the God-given instruments of reason and tradition to orient the life God has given you. The Book of Proverbs promises, when you do, “Then, you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; prudence will watch over you; and understanding will guard you.” (Proverb s 2:9-11)
Last week we removed the brass pulpit from Trinity and took it to Houston where it was refinished and sealed. On Friday we reinstalled it and I must say that results are lovely. The altar guild is pleased because they no longer have to polish it. We thank those members whose gifts made this improvement to our worship space possible.
e-piphanies from the Trinity Pulpit
This is the pulpit of Galveston’s Trinity Church. It is a memorial to the Right Reverend Alexander Gregg, who was elected the first bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas at a convention held in this very place in 1859. I am honored to be able to proclaim the good news from this pulpit, where so many faithful preachers have stood before me. The important thing is not the pulpit or the preacher. The important thing is what happens in a pulpit – sermons. A sermon is an event through which divine inspiration intersects human intelligence and emotion so that transformation occurs. Terry Holms compared preachers to Hermes, the mythi-cal messenger of the gods. He said that there are three important things to understand about Hermes in Greek mythology: first, he had to travel through chaos to deliver the message entrusted to him; second, he had to subvert perceptions; and third, the message did not belong to him, but to the hearers of the message. Any preacher will tell you that the process of preparing and delivering a sermon is often chaotic, that subverting perceptions, getting people to look at things in a different way, is usually necessary, and that the Holy Spirit at work in the lives of the hearers pro-duces results we preachers never dreamed of. This pulpit and millions of other pulpits around the world, is the scene of count-less epiphanies every week. People are helped, lives are trans-formed, Christ’s Church is built up. So, whenever you see a pulpit, thank God for the times a preacher has helped you through a sermon and offer a prayer for those who are called and ordained to preach.
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