December 2019

Dear Friends,

A few weeks ago I was in Duluth for the 150th anniversary celebration of St. Paul's, the church I attended growing up and the one that sponsored me when I pursued priesthood. At the dinner I met Dr. Liza Anderson, a young Episcopal theologian who recently began teaching at the College of St. Scholastica. Dr. Anderson was very involved in editing and writing for the latest edition of Lesser Feasts and Fasts, 2018, due to be available this December. The publisher's page notes that "a deliberate effort has been made to more closely balance the men and women represented in its pages."

Lesser Feasts and Fasts, if you're not familiar with it, is a calendar of days for remembering inspiring examples of Christian faith and life. They are drawn from across the history of the church from the apostles up to the present. The book is one of the less well-known gems of the Episcopal Church. Its short biographies, readings, and collects can provide a wonderful framework daily morning or evening prayer.

Here are a few teasers from the biographies of women newly added to the calendar, whose feast days are coming up in December:

"Lucy (or Lucia) of Syracuse, Martyr, died in 304. In popular piety, Lucy is perhaps most revered because her feast day was for many centuries the shortest day of the year." (p. 547)

Nino of Georgia, Missionary, c.332. Nino was brought to Georgia as a slave. She was noticed because of her piety and virtue. When asked, she replied that her way of life was an "act of worship to Christ her God." (p. 551)

Dorothy Sayers, Apologist and Spiritual Writer, 1957. Best known for her fiction, Sayers was "also a theological writer, linguist, translator, and passionate advocate of the truth of the Christian faith. Writing on the centrality of dogma in Christianity she wrote: 'It is not true at all that dogma is hopelessly irrelevant to the life and thought of the average [person].'" (p. 553)

I encourage you to pick up a copy of Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018 available from Church Publishing or on Amazon.com. Whether you use it in daily prayers, or keep it out to leaf through when you have a moment, you will learn about many amazing and inspiring sisters and brothers in faith.

Cordially,