Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Cross of Nails: Symbol of Reconciliation

Throughout the years, there have been many different artistic interpretations of the Christian symbol of The Cross.  When the present St. James The Fisherman Episcopal Church (In Islamorada) was built, a local artist was contracted by Fr. Ralph Johnson and asked to create an interpretation of The Cross Of Nails, that would adorn the church’s sanctuary.  Fr. Ralph had taken a trip to England, and was apparently very impressed by this specific Cross that adorns the sanctuary of Coventry Cathedral.  Without getting into much detail, during World War II, Coventry Cathedral was bombed and completely destroyed.  Prior to its reconstruction, a decision was made to make a commitment not to seek revenge, but to strive for forgiveness and reconciliation with those responsible for the destruction.   During the BBC radio broadcast from the Cathedral ruins on Christmas Day 1940 the Provost of Coventry Cathedral , Dick Howard, declared “that when the war was over we should work with those who had been enemies to build a kinder, more Christ-like world.”  The words “Father Forgive” were inscribed on the wall of the ruined chancel and two charred beams which had fallen in the shape of a cross were bound and placed on an altar of the rubble.  Three medieval nails were formed into a cross, and The Cross of Nails quickly became a potent sign of friendship and hope in the post war years. 

RECONCILIATION…. Something that is so needed, and so often neglected.  The Merriam-Webster Dictionary presents two poignant understandings of the word reconciliation.  One is that reconciliation is the restoration of friendly relations.  Another seems to go a little further and states that reconciliation is the action of making one view or belief compatible with another.  Is any of that possible? I believe so, and apparently many others do also.  This desire for being a beacon of reconciliation has led members of St. James the Fisherman Church to open their hearts and Sacred Space to people of different faiths so that perhaps we can understand one another better and grow in the true love that we are all God’s children. The people of Coventry Cathedral believed this, and out of their vision grew the concept of COMMUNITIES OF THE CROSS OF NAILS.    

If you have interest in learning what is a COMMUNITY OF THE CROSS OF NAILS , we invite you to St. James The Fisherman Episcopal Church on Wednesday, June 15th at 6:00PM.  Rev. Kerby Avedovech (Pastor of Coral Isles United Church of Christ) will be making a presentation on the significance of Coventry Cathedral, The Cross of Nails, and this concept of Covenanted Communities of Reconciliation .  Please consider joining us to learn more about this vision, and to share your visions that can lead to deeper and richer reconciliation  within ourselves, our community and our world.

St. Mark’s Students Raise $3,200 to Send Kenyan Children to School

Palm Beach Gardens, FL – This spring, the Rev. Jim Cook spoke to St. Mark’s students about the plight of Kenyan school children.  “There are so many young people in Kenya who dream of going to high school,” explained Fr. Cook.  “And yet, they are living in circumstances of harsh poverty, very often unable to afford tuition expenses. These young people often live in large families with a parent or grandparent struggling to provide life’s basic necessities.” 

Fr. Cook challenged students to raise money through the end of the school year to help send Kenyan children to school through contributions to the Mama Ada Foundation. 

On Friday, June 3, during the last Eucharist service of the school year, Ellie Blain and Skylar Hines, eighth grade students and National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) officers, presented a check to Fr. Cook; more than $3,200 was raised in support of the challenge! Lower school students have been contributing to the ministry since the beginning of the second semester, and a portion of the proceeds from the middle school snack cart is given annually in support of the Mama Ada Foundation.

As Fr. Cook explained, it costs approximately $350 to send a Kenyan child to school for a year. The goal, between the lower school and the middle school, was to raise enough money to send 10 children to school.  Students were invited to bring in contributions on a weekly basis to be collected at lower school Chapel on Wednesdays and at Eucharist on Fridays for both lower and middle school students.

For information about the Mama Ada Foundation, visit their website at:  Visit and Facebook at to learn more about St. Mark’s School.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

DOK Chapters' Presidents Meeting

On Saturday, April 30, a Workshop was held for presidents of Chapters, The Order of the Daughters of the King, Diocese of Southeast Florida, at Saint James-in-the-Hills Episcopal Church, Hollywood, Florida.  All chapter presidents were invited, together with any officer or member of her chapter that a president felt should accompany her, or might come in her stead if she were unable to attend.  The workshop was designed to help all chapters function well using the guidelines set out in the 2015 revised publications of the Order, including the Chapter Manual, the Handbook, Constitution and By-Laws, etc. but, more than that, it was designed to draw us back fully into the vision of the Order - to be reflections of Christ's love in the be the Daughters Christ is calling us to be.  The Spiritual leader for the day was the Reverend Father Bernie Pecaro; lay presenters included Linda Ramsay, Malvern Mathis, and Angela Culmer. 
View Event pictures here

Your sister-in-Christ,
Joy James Williams