With our Diocesan Synod and Electoral Synod starting Friday morning in Richmond, VA and our own Rector being considered for Bishop, please join me in praying the following from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer:

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who by thy Holy Spirit didst preside in the Council of the blessed Apostles, and hast promised, through thy Son Jesus Christ, to be with thy Church to the end of the world; We beseech thee to be with the Council of thy Church about to assemble in thy Name and Presence. Save us from all error, ignorance, pride, and prejudice; and of thy great mercy vouchsafe, we beseech thee, so to direct, sanctify, and govern us in our work, by the mighty power of the Holy Ghost, that the comfortable Gospel of Christ may be truly preached, truly received, and truly followed, in all places, to the breaking down the kingdom of sin, Satan, and death; till at length the whole of thy dispersed sheep, being gathered into one fold, shall become partakers of everlasting life; through the merits and death of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

 Considerations on Pride & Truth

“It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.”

--- Saint Augustine of Hippo

 “And he said unto them, 'I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.'”

--- Jesus to His disciples in Luke 10:18

The Epistle for the Feast of Saint Michael and All    Angels begins with these words from the twelfth chapter of the book of Revelation:

 "There was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

In writing this Saint John was referencing these words from the fourteenth chapter of the book of Isaiah:  “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.' Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”

Satan's sin was pride, the greatest sin and the one that can be understood as the sin that leads to all other sins. It should not be understood as mere arrogance, distasteful as arrogance may be. Pride in the theological sense is the desire to “be like the most High,” to claim for oneself authority which rightly belongs only to God, and it is widely prevalent in our society. I do not mean that we are beset on every side by people who explicitly state that they are God's equal or superior.  Indeed, most manifestations of pride are from those who ignore or even deny the very fact of God's existence. Nevertheless, they regularly claim to exercise authority which we know rightly belongs to Him alone.

For instance, I was disgusted to be asked on a recent questionnaire to state my “gender assigned at birth.” The Creation story in Genesis chapter five tells me that “male and female created He them.” No human “assigns” our sex; we are either male of female from the instant of our conception. Got a Y Chromosome? You're male. Don't have one? You're a female. No amount of mental confusion or surgical body mutilation can change that. We are, as Genesis says we were created, either male or female. To act as if our masculinity or femininity are matters of “assignment,” like high school lockers or military postings, is to assume an authority beyond the human, to act as if we are equal to God Himself.

For another example, consider this recent linguistic abomination “my truth.” If someone tells me that the diameter of the moon is three times as large as that of the earth and I tell him “No, it's five times the size of the earth's diameter” and he replies, “Well, that may be your truth but this is my truth” then we are both fools but he is the bigger fool. We both have erroneous opinions, but he is confusing opinion with reality. Opinion is subjective. It's what one believes to be true. Truth is objective. The diameter of the moon is just a little over a quarter that of the earth, and what he, I, or anyone else believes about that doesn't matter one little bit. I don't own or create truth, I can only attempt to learn truth. If my opinion is contrary to objective fact it is not “my truth,” it's simply a false opinion. To believe otherwise is to believe that I create a reality in which the moon really is bigger than the earth. To believe that is to believe that I am, like God, a creator of reality.

To think that my opinion about astronomical data is true when it is not probably won't do me or anyone else any real harm, but if I believe that my opinions on moral or ethical values are sovereign truth then that is a very different matter indeed. If God says, “Thou shalt do no murder” but “my truth” is that anybody who puts pineapple on a pizza should be shot on sight, that could be more than a bit problematic both for me and for some others.

The material and spiritual worlds in which we live are real, and replacing the attempt to honestly understand them with “our truth,” which is no more than opinions based largely upon our own hopes, fears, or desires, is to deny the authority of God the Creator of all. That's pride, and it leads to suffering and destruction. God has given us Scripture, the Sacraments, and the traditional teachings of the Church to show us His truths about what it means to be a human being in harmony with Him. To accept that is to be enabled to live a life with dignity, meaning, hope, and joy. To reject it is to be a fool.

-- Father Bragg+

All things come of thee, O Lord, and of thine own have we given thee


Sunday Services, 7:45 AM, 9:00 AM, & 11:15 AM (for online participation for the services go to: https://www.facebook.com/saintsofscotland/ ) 

Nursery in undercroft for 9:00 AM & 11:15 AM services

Sunday School in recess until September however DMAS summer camp is soon. see item at bottom of email.

Wednesday, 12 noon, Holy Communion and anointing for healing, (for online participation for the service go to: https://www.facebook.com/saintsofscotland/ )

Wednesday 7:30 PM Bible study with Father Bragg, "The Gospel of Saint Mark in the World of Saint Mark" in church undercroft

Next Vestry Meeting, September 23, 7:30 PM

SAVE THE DATE: Sunday Oct. 13, Parish Picnic at Fort Hunt Park following combined 10 AM Service, more details to follow
MaRIH Center (crisis pregnancy center) Needs Our Help (Updated List)

MaRIH Center with its all volunteer staff provides help to mothers-to-be and mothers in need.  Please provide some of the items that are needed.. (You can leave the donations where the food for the food bank is collected on the pew in the undercorft.)

Especially Needed
 In Bold are a critical need.

Diapers (sizes newborn, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6)
Baby wipes
Diaper rash ointment
Spring/Summer Clothing: 0-3 month 3-6 month, 2T
Baby shampoo
Baby blankets
Formula: Simulac Advance Formula
Formula: other but not recalled
Wash clothes
Hooded towels
Grocery gift cards

Food Donations: Help Feed the Hungry
Please help this month with a food donation if you are able. Christ House is very thankful for the food we provide to them each month. Please also buy low sugar cereals (and not the kid's types that have lots of sugar).  Current needs include the following:
• canned meats (chicken, corned beef, spam)
• peanut butter
• jelly
• tuna
• canned vegetables (corn, green beans - (regular and low sodium)
• individual fruit cups (low sugar)
• canned fruit (low sugar)
• boxed cereal (low sugar) and instant or old fashioned oatmeal (18 oz or 42 oz)
• pasta (regular and gluten-free)
• instant potatoes
• Macaroni & cheese kits
Soups: Chunky or Progresso; Chicken broth
• Coffee, cooking oil, flour, sugar

Copyright © 2024 St. Andrew & St. Margaret of Scotland, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
St. Andrew & St. Margaret of Scotland
1607 Dewitt Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301-1625