Sunday, March 11, 2012

Come Join Us and Reflect on Your Walk With Our Lord

Reflecting Back and Forward – Lent Through Easter

Margaret Barber, author, wrote "To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it more fit for its prime function of looking forward."
Lent to Easter is a Reflection Backward and a Reflection Forward on one’s walk with Christ. It renders the soul eye refreshed and arms with a new coat enabling it to meet headon the challenges that lay

Lent is a time for Reflecting Back on Jesus’ brief walk on earth from astounding his teachers in the synagogue to his first calling his disciples till his death. But the story ends not there. The Reflection Forward is the anticipation that grows in the soul climaxing with the ringing of the bells on Saturday evening at 8 pm signifying God’s fulfillment of his promise the resurrection.

Reflecting back on my walk much of my ancestral history has coalesced around the church.

When I was but a few weeks old I was christened in the same handmade gown that both my Aunt Milancie and my great grandmother Milancie Leach had been christened in.

This coalesction was made even more evident a few years ago, when I traveled with the historical society to visit places in England that were significant in our family's linage. Over half the places were churches where either a direct ancester had served as a rector or vicar or had been substantial patron. As one walked through the church and viewed the cyrpts of these ancestors and their families one sensed an eccense of those unscene faces who came before.

John Owsley, 8th great grandfather an Anglican Rector, first served as clerk of Whittlebury Church, North Hampton, vicar of Stogursey Parish, Somerset (1652-1659) and rector of Glooston Parish, Leicester (1660-1687). In the Glooston church there are memorial inscriptions to members of the Owsley family, four of whom were rectors between 1660 and 1743. John and his wife Dorthea were interned behind the altar.

My Middleton Ancestors were Catholics who first came to Maryland seeking religious freedom. Hugh Jackson, a second grandfather was a circuit rider / Methodist Minister who migrated from Missouri to Alabama with family in covered wagon through Indian Territory. My great grandfather Ellsworth Jerome Hill was a world renown published botanist who classified hundreds of plant species. But he was also a Presbyterian Clergyman who graduated from Union Theological Seminary in New York in 1863. William Bledsoe, a 4th great grandfather and Baptist clergyman, helped organize the first Crab Orchard Church at Cedar Creek, Kentucky of which he was the first minister in 1786.

At St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church, in the center of historic downtown Titusville several venues are planned this week thruout Lent and Easter that will provide windows of reflection through which one can move as one reflects on his/her own walk with Christ.

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