Evening Prayer 5.13.17, Frances Perkins, Guardian of the Poor, 1965

Blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.

St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle, Washington is more than 80% subscribed in its $10 million capital campaign to finish and improve the building, 90 years after construction was halted with the onset of the Great Depression. The shell is made of concrete, now crumbling and hazardous, and the stained glass windows were never meant to be permanent. Soon the concrete will be clad with limestone, the windows replaced with new ones in similar colors, and access improved for people with disabilities. As it stands, it may not be the most beautiful church in Christendom, but it occupies a bluff overlooking the city and is a local landmark. Frances Perkins, the Secretary of Labor under President Franklin Roosevelt, would be glad to know that construction is finally resuming; U.S. unemployment reached almost 25% in 1933, the year she took office. By 1941 as America entered World War II, the rate fell below 10%, workers enjoyed new safety standards and could look forward to a modest pension. (Wikipedia)

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Colossians 3:1

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

O God, be not far from us.
Come quickly to help us, O God.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

Hymn: Light of the World
Phos hilaron

Light of the world in grace and beauty,
Mirror of God’s eternal face,
Transparent flame of love’s free duty,
You bring salvation to our race.
Now, as we see the lights of evening,
We raise our voice in hymns of praise;
Worthy are you of endless blessing,
Sun of our night, lamp of our days.

Psalm 138

1  I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with my whole heart; *
before the gods I will sing your praise.
2  I will bow down toward your holy temple
and praise your Name, *
because of your love and faithfulness.
3  For you have glorified your Name *
and your word above all things.
4  When I called, you answered me; *
you increased my strength within me.
5  All the rulers of the earth will praise you, O LORD, *
when they have heard the words of your mouth.
6  They will sing of the ways of the LORD, *
that great is the glory of the LORD.
7  The LORD is high, yet the LORD cares for the lowly *
and perceives the haughty from afar.
8  Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you keep me safe; *
you stretch forth your hand against the fury of my enemies;
your right hand shall save me.
9  O LORD, you will make good your purpose for me; *
O LORD, your love endures for ever;
do not abandon the works of your hands.

Psalm 139:1-17

1  LORD, you have searched me out and known me; *
you know my sitting down and my rising up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
2  You trace my journeys and my resting-places *
and are acquainted with all my ways.
3  Indeed, there is not a word on my lips, *
but you, O LORD, know it altogether.
4  You press upon me behind and before *
and lay your hand upon me.
5  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; *
it is so high that I cannot attain to it.
6  Where can I go then from your Spirit? *
where can I flee from your presence?
7  If I climb up to heaven, you are there; *
if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.
8  If I take the wings of the morning *
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
9  Even there your hand will lead me *
and your right hand hold me fast.
10  If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me, *
and the light around me turn to night,”
11  Darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day; *
darkness and light to you are both alike.
12  For you yourself created my inmost parts; *
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
13  I will thank you because I am marvelously made; *
your works are wonderful, and I know it well.
14  My body was not hidden from you, *
while I was being made in secret
and woven in the depths of the earth.
15  Your eyes beheld my limbs, yet unfinished in the womb;
all of them were written in your book; *
they were fashioned day by day,
when as yet there was none of them.
16  How deep I find your thoughts, O God! *
how great is the sum of them!
17  If I were to count them, they would be more in number than the sand; *
to count them all, my life span would need to be like yours.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Easter altar 2015 at Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis. Why no Easter lilies? Because just-retired Bishop Cate Waynick is horribly allergic to them. Her devoted assistant, who took this picture, always made sure there were no lilies anywhere during Easter visitations. (Sally Cassidy)

THE LESSON
Luke 7:18-28, 31-35 (NRSV)

The disciples of John reported all these things to him. So John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” When the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?'” Jesus had just then cured many people of diseases, plagues, and evil spirits, and had given sight to many who were blind. And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”

When John’s messengers had gone, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who put on fine clothing and live in luxury are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written,

‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way before you.’

I tell you, among those born of women no one is greater than John; yet the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

“To what then will I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another,

‘We played the flute for you,
and you did not dance;
we wailed, and you did not weep.’

For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Nevertheless, wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”

Canticle: The Song of Mary
Luke 1:46-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in you, O God my Savior, *
for you have looked with favor on your lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
you, the Almighty, have done great things for me,
and holy is your Name.
You have mercy on those who fear you *
from generation to generation.
You have shown strength with your arm, *
and scattered the proud in their conceit,
Casting down the mighty from their thrones, *
and lifting up the lowly.
You have filled the hungry with good things, *
and sent the rich away empty.
You have come to the help of your servant Israel, *
for you have remembered your promise of mercy,
The promise made to our forebears, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

THE APOSTLES’ CREED

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

THE PRAYERS

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.

That this evening may be holy, good, and peaceful,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That your holy angels may lead us in paths of peace and goodwill,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That we may be pardoned and forgiven for our sins and offenses,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That there may be peace to your Church and to the whole world,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That we may depart this life in your faith and fear,
and not be condemned before the great judgment seat of Christ,
We entreat you, O Lord.
That we may be bound together by your Holy Spirit
in the communion of all your saints,
entrusting one another and all our life to Christ,
We entreat you, O Lord.

Frances Perkins was the first woman member of the U.S. President’s Cabinet as Secretary of Labor under Franklin D. Roosevelt, whom she served throughout his tenure from 1933-45. She was the mother of Social Security, child labor laws and a host of progressive legislation still in force today, one of the great Americans of the 20th Century. Her faith was an essential foundation of her politics; every month she used to slip away from Washington for a weekend retreat at an Episcopal convent nearby. And she did all this while taking care of a sick husband. Above left: the Rev. Luanne Connor, the rector of St. Andrew’s, Newcastle, Maine – Perkins’s home parish – accepts an icon written by Suzanne Schleck and donated by the Rev. Amelia Hagen, as Perkins’s grandson Tomlin Coddeshall looks on, during a service held three years ago today. The scroll Perkins displays reads, “I came to Washington to work for God, FDR and the plain forgotten workingmen.” The inscription around the icon’s border reads, “Social Justice Is Part of the Implication of Loving Thy Neighbor.” (photo: Heidi Shott)

Collect of the Day: Frances Perkins, Public Servant and Prophetic Witness, 1965

Loving God, we bless your Name for Frances Perkins, who lived out her belief that the special vocation of the laity is to build a society in which all may live in health and decency: Help us, following her example and in union with her prayers, to contend tirelessly for justice and for the protection of all, that we may be faithful followers of Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A Collect for Saturdays

O God, the source of eternal light: Shed forth your unending day upon us who watch for you, that our lips may praise you, our lives may bless you, and our worship on the morrow give you glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Diocese of New Hampshire, USA

Saturday Evening Prayer List: For the Church

For Our Mission Partners
Cuttington University School of Nursing, Liberia
The American Friends of Cuttington, New York
Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion, New York; Canon Jamie Callaway
Haiti Nursing Foundation
Diocese of Brasilia Afterschool Program, Brazil
Rosebud Episcopal Mission, South Dakota
St. André’s School, Mithon, Haiti

For Mission

O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh, and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfil now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord. Alleluia, alleluia.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.

May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Romans 15:13++

VIDEO: Bread for the World (Bernadette Farrell) – University of Notre Dame Folk Choir, 2012

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