Algoma Deanery Week of Sept.12

Good day,

It is a quiet week this week but a reminder that Christ Church in the Soo will be having their second fundraising dinner on the 23rd at 5:30 PM.  The Stuffed Roast Pork dinner is by reservation/ticket only and there are a limited number of seats available.  Cost of a reservation/ticket is $25.00 and can be purchased from Bonnie Lyons or Laura Avery:  email or phone 705-779-2858 and Laura can be reached by email or phone 705-254-2477. 

A reminder, also, that the deadline for letting me know whether or not you will be attending the Church Leaders/Lay Readers Conference on Saturday, October 1 is at the end of the week. Please confirm with me by this Friday. [] Remember, this is for anyone interested and it is a wonderful opportunity to be inspired and rejuvenated in your hope for the Church.  

Ember Days: The Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday following Holy Cross Day (below) are one of the four times of the year that we have “Ember Days.” The English title for these days, “Ember,” is derived from their Latin name: Quatuor Temporum, meaning the “Four Times” or “Four Seasons.” How this came about is actually not certain – in the early church, there were only three Ember seasons. Today, these four “times” are set apart for special prayer and fasting and for the ordination of the clergy. The Ember Weeks are the complete weeks following (1) Holy Cross Day (September 14); (2) the Feast of St. Lucy (December 13); (3) the first Sunday in Lent; and (4) Pentecost (Whitsunday). The current practice is to count the Ember Days directly as the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday following the third Sunday of Advent, the first Sunday of Lent, Pentecost Sunday, and the third Sunday of September (the Holy Cross Ember days that we will observe next week).

For Your Devotions:

Tuesday, September 13th is the memorial of Cyprian, the Bishop of Carthage, martyred in 258. Cyprian has a fascinating and complicated story but I’ll give you a few tidbits. He was born around 200 to wealthy pagan parents and practiced as a lawyer before his conversion to Christianity.  He faced several persecutions from Rome during his time as bishop – during the first one, Cyprian went into hiding and lost his authority and much of his credibility. However, he did redeem himself in the years that followed and in subsequent persecutions. Cyprian did much to establish our current views on the Church and he laid out a convincing position on the importance/authority of bishops within the Church. One of his most famous quotes is, “He no longer has God for his Father, who does not have the Church for his mother.” This is found in his treatise On the Unity of the Catholic Church which was actually used later by bishops of Rome to pull rank on other bishops even though Cyprian had not supported that position. To read more:

Wednesday, September 14th is the feast of Holy Cross Day. (By the way, the 14th is the actual day of Cyprian’s martyrdom but we move it one day earlier because of the conflict with this Holy Day). Back in 335, the Emperor Constantine was building structures in Jerusalem on sites associated with Jesus’ crucifixion and tomb. Apparently, Constantine’s mother, Helena, discovered what was believed to be Jesus’ cross. To find out more about the history of this day – and why dishes heavy on basil are cooked today – you can go here:

Friday, September 16th is the memorial of Ninian, Bishop in Galloway, about 430.  Ninian was born and died in Britain and was the first bishop of Galloway in Scotland.  He is credited as being the first Christian missionary in Scotland and had widespread success converting the Celts, and likely also some Picts.  This is a big deal because Ninian was going against the grain in actually caring to bring the Gospel to people outside of the Roman provinces. (Yes, prejudice was alive and well long before modern times).  Ninian established his “see” in what became known as “White House,” now Whithorn, (because it was built of whitewashed stone – a huge departure from the usual wooden churches built by the Britons).  In Latin, this place was called “Candida Casa” – still the official name of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Galloway.  The monastery established here by Ninian was a thriving centre of Anglo-Saxon monasticism by the 6th century. To read more, check out p.280

God’s Peace,


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