Evangelism ’17: A Retreat That Was Grace Upon Grace

Dear Friends,

Several of us have just returned from our Daily Office retreat in New Orleans, and I feel I should tell you about it – it’s the most vital part of our Evangelism ’17 Campaign.

Though we were just a very few, we somehow carried with us the essence of what our work for Jesus is about here; our joy in Jesus.

We had incredible fun in the Lord and in each other – yet some very powerful spiritual conversations also took place. Those one-on-one chats, and one or two group discussions, formed the heart of our retreat, along with daily worship; Mass with Mother Gwen and Father Jim was especially good. (You’d almost think I’ve learned to run one of these retreats.)

I spent time with David that I absolutely cherish; we were in an open-air market in one of the neighborhoods – jazz band, trinkets, creative people, dogs, a very pleasant afternoon. He and I discussed the most vital things, completely ourselves with each other, and what a joy that was. Plus I could say much the same about all the members who were with us. It was all real. Our foibles were hilarious. We lived the love the Christian life is supposed to be about!

How did this come to be? Are we special in some way?

The Dell Garden, Bressingham, Norfolk

Here’s my best explanation so far: it’s the power of the Office liturgy used daily that converts us, or as the ancients used to say, “perfects” us. I firmly believe Daily Office people – the Prayer Book Daily Office, long before Josh Thomas ever showed up – are special, that it’s the dailyness that does it.

In other words, Tom Cranmer and those Wesley Brothers were absolutely right. The monastics were right and are right. (But the Cranmer arrangement was exactly what people needed.)

Here at the Daily Office Network, we do it online. Okay, that’s our claim to fame; we even do it live on our webcasts. But the people we do it with generally started years before they found us. So we don’t claim credit for what the Lord has done for them. The practice of prayer has opened their souls enough for the Holy Spirit to work her wonders – and work them she does.

So I went to New Orleans pretty confident that despite logistical and travel ups and downs, we were going to have a good retreat. What I experienced was eye-opening, an unimagined joy.

Let me say right out, I didn’t do this. I cultivated a little ground and scattered some seed, but I sure wasn’t expecting a whole little Garden of Eden to pop up.

I have never seen such an example of Christian community as that instant little group in New Orleans. I have never lived among such a group. I suspect it compares, to some unknown degree, with the miraculous joy that occurred in the New Testament Church once they finally got it about Jesus – once the Holy Spirit bestowed her gifts.

This is why you ought to support the Daily Office Network.
This is what we do and how we live and pray every day on our webcasts.
This is why when someone has to miss one, they write and tell me in advance.
I didn’t ask them to. They’re sorry not to be able to make it.

We want you to have this too!
We want the whole world to have this.
So help us spread the word. Click here.

Your Vicar,

Josh
March 13, 2017



The Daily Office is presented this year by the following donors.

Acolyte – under $50
Kathy Abbott
Mary Barber
Bill
The Rev. Michelle Boomgaard
Hannah Bowman
Kathleen Bryant
Richard Burgess
Owene
Mark Bradley Cappetta, in honor of the Very Rev. Fr. John David van Dooren
Cliff Carr
Nancy C. Deutsch
Rachel Diem, in honor of the Community of the Gospel & the Order of Julian of Norwich
Lara Dreyer
Barbara
Steven Ellis
Barrett Fisher
The Rev. Elizabeth Fowle
Martha Furst
Gary Gee
Pr Dave Heckler
Patricia Henkel
Ann Higdon
Freda Iverson
Kammy and George
Sara Keeth
Nick Kuchcinski, in memory of all beloved family now enjoying eternal rest
Thomas LaFrance
Elizabeth
Glenn, in honor of Margie McCaslin
Eric L. Miller, in memory of the Rev. Rick Rutledge
Anita Miner
The Rev. Roberta Morris
Janet Norden
Stephen Oakes, in honor of Mr. & Mrs. M. Wayne Oakes
Jennifer Oldstone-Moore
Patti Sachs
The Rev. Deacon Leslie Scoopmire
Gary L. Short, in memory of Isaac Allen Tabler
The Rev. R.F. Solon, Jr.
V. Thomas
Will Wauters, TSSF
William Weightman

Intercessor – $50 – 99
Davidson Bidwell-Waite
Caroline Braun
Leslie Bryan, in memory of Billy Bryan, in honor of Connie Bryan
Grace Burton-Edwards
The Rev. Denise Cabana
Jennifer Clyde
May B. Daw
The Rev. Dr. Christopher Dreisbach
Marilyn Engstrom
Linda Goertz
Patty Gotway
The Rev. Dr. Janine Howard
The Rev. Steven Kern (Canada), in memory of Lawrence & Martha Blum
Jill Littlefield
Steve LoCastro
Deacon Bob Lowry
The McAskill Family, in honor of John Alexander McAskill
Dale McNeill
Julie Morris, in honor of dailyoffice.org
The Rev. Susan Negrotto, in memory of Fr. John Negrotto
Nancy Parr
Morgan Ponder
The Rev. Deacon Susan Reeve
Joseph Scholtes
Susanne Woods

Lector – $100 – 249

Brendan Barnicle
Jane Beebe
Ron Blaisdell
Elisabeth Bourdet
Libbye Brooks
Linda E. Brown, in memory of James W. Brown and Anthony D. Brown
Robert L. Buzzard
Jonathan Coffey, in memory of Hollis Hamilton Ambrose Corey
Allen Davis
Diane (Canada), in memory of Kevin
Ann Doebler
Robert and Josephine R. Giannini
Brian Gloe
Hilary Greene, in honor of Josh Thomas
Gail Hart
Fr. Robert Hughes
Eric Johnson
Harry Kelley
Jo Ann, in memory of Jesse
Lighthouse Literacy
Barry MacDowell
Brian L. MacFarland & Ian L. Bockus
Joyce Palevitz
John H. Ryan, O.C.P.
Alison Saichek
Valerie Scott
Katrina Soto
Jerold Stadel
Marion W. Stodghill
The Rev. Sam Tallman
Victoria, in memory of Fitz Harvey
The Rev. Deacon Teresa Wakeen
Tom Welch
Francesca Wigle
Susanne Woods
The Rev. Gwynne Wright (UK)

Cantor – $250 – 499
Lisa C.
Michael Delaney
Jerry Fitzgerald
The Rev. Michael E. Hartney
Steve Helmreich
Julie
The Rev. R. R. Lutz
Nicholas Myers
Joan Rasch
Gregory Seamon
Anonymous
Josh Thomas
The Rev. Warner C. White

Gospeler – $500 – 999
Denise Clauss, to the glory of God
Robert Crane
Wyndeth Davis
Letha Tomes Drury
The Rev. Deacon Maria L. Evans
Clint Gilliland
The Rev. Gwen Hetler and the Rev. Jim Livingston
The Rev. Anjel & Stu Scarborough

Missioner – $1000 – 2499
Tom Alloway/James Beckwith (Canada)
Linda Barry
Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis
R. Nikolaus Merrell, in honor of Espanol Costa Rica
Mark Nelson
Peter and Beverly Van Horne

Vestrymember – $2500 – 4999
The Rev. Michael Corrigan

___

Meanwhile, this is turning into my theme song for Lent.

VIDEO: Depth of Mercy (Chad Cates, Tony Wood; Charles Wesley) – Selah, 2010

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