Fr. Christopher Leighton - March 27th

How’s the Fast

By , March 26, 2011

Today is the 18th day of Lent, so we’re nearly halfway through!  But if you are like me, there is a good chance that you have already broken your Lenten fast at least once (or more) or have fallen behind in reading the Jesus Creed .  If so, don’t be discouraged, and don’t give up!  Instead, take heart from these beautiful words from a great Christian thinker, Alexander Schmemann:

“Remember that however limited our fasting, if it is true fasting it will lead to temptation, weakness, doubt, and irritation.  In other terms, it will be a real fight and probably we shall fail many times.  But the very discovery of Christian life as fight and effort is the essential aspect of fasting.  A faith which has not overcome doubts and temptation is seldom a real faith. No progress in  Christian life is possible, alas, without the bitter experience of failures.

Too many people start fasting with enthusiasm and give up after the first failure.  I would say that it is at this first failure that the real test comes. If after having failed and surrendered to our appetites and passions we start all over again and do not give up no matter how many times we fail, sooner or later our fasting will bear its spiritual fruits.” [taken from Great Lent:  Journey to Pascha.]

This is my prayer for our St. Paul’s family in the coming days:  Come Holy Spirit and fill us with your fruits and gifts even as we fail.  Give us the strength to finish our fast no matter how often we fall, that we may bear fruit that lasts!


The Rev. Jordan Easley


On the Mark March 27th

Fr. Jordan Easley - March 20th

By , March 20, 2011

Now that I’m a Christian

Now that I’m a Christian – actually celebrating the 40th anniversary of my conversion – I feel like everything is new.  Maybe this is because it is Lent, or because it is Spring, but there is a newness in my spirit.  Could it be the fruit of the Year of Freedom is bursting forth?

Oh praise with me the God who makes all things new!  Come to Him.  He will cast off the old and bring on the new.  Imagine with me a new heart, a new body, a new church, a new world.  The old is old, and it is passing away.

Jesus is alive and He is carrying out His new work in us and through us.  He wants to make you fresh and new, alive and well.  This is a good thought to take on at this season:  Lord, how are you making me/us new?  I say “yes” to you and your desire for my life!

“Now that I’m a Christian” means “now that I am new! 

Behold, I make all things new! [Revelation 21:5]

Your brother in Christ,


 The Rev. Christopher P. Leighton


On the Mark March 20th

Fr. Christopher Leighton - March 13th

The Party of the Trinity

By , March 12, 2011

This coming Thursday is St. Patrick’s Day, one of the few saints’ feasts that seems to be even more celebrated outside church walls than inside.  Almost every department store, grocery store, and shop window is covered in shamrock green.  In Boston, the celebration is so massive that the Catholic archbishop gives Irish citizens (and anyone who wants to be Irish for the day) special permission to break their Lenten fast so they can eat and drink to their heart’s content.  I sometimes have to remind myself that March 17 is, in fact, a church holy day and not just a secular holiday. 

God’s people really do have more reason to celebrate Patrick’s life than those who are looking for an excuse to party.  St. Patrick was father to a great missionary movement that brought the true party of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all over Europe.  Western civilization, much less Christianity, would literally not exist if it were not for the Celtic monks and missionaries who sacrificed their lives to spread the Gospel across the world.  St. Patrick truly understood the meaning of “to know Christ and to make Him known”.  He also understood the power of our Three-in-One God.  Below is part of St. Patrick’s Breastplate, which is attributed to him:

I bind unto myself today the strong name of the Trinity,

By invocation of the same:  the Three in One and One in Three.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,

Christ behind me, Christ before me,

Christ beside me, Christ to win me,

Christ to comfort and restore me.

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ in quiet, Christ in danger.

Christ in hearts of all that love me,

Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

 May these words always be in our hearts and lips as we go out into the world as missionaries of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.


The Rev. Jordan Easley


On the Mark March 13th

Fr. Jordan Easley - Psalm 51 - March 6th

By , March 6, 2011

“Create in me a clean heart O God”

Psalm 51 and II Samuel 11-12

1)         Read II Samuel 11 and 12. This story begins with King David NOT riding out to battle with the rest of his army even though he should have.  Everything seems to go downhill from this one mistake.  Have you ever experienced life spinning out of control from one bad decision?   What did you learn from that experience?

2)         How much blame does Bathsheba bear in this story? (11:2-5)   What could she have done differently? What would you have done differently?

3)         Besides Uriah and Bathsheba, who else suffered as a result of David’s sin? (11:14-17) Lent is a season of reconciliation. Take a moment to ask the LORD to show you anyone whom you may have hurt without realizing it.

4)         David is indignant at Nathan’s story of the sheep until he realizes that it is aimed at him (12:1-6). Have you ever felt moral indignation about something only to discover later that you were guilty of similar wrong doing? How did you respond?

5)         Was God fair to take David’s child as a result of David’s sin? Why did David accept this? (12:20-25)

6)         David responded to his sin with fasting and repentance, but he also went out and finished fighting the battle he should have fought in the beginning (12:26-29). When life returns to “normal” (after spinning out of control) do you go all the way back to the root cause of the problem to ensure that it does not happen again? How has God given you success in dealing with root issues  in your life?

Please Pray

This coming Thursday, March 10, at 10:00 a.m., I will be meeting with the Episcopal Bishop of Connecticut, Ian Douglas, at his request, at the Diocesan offices.

 St. Paul’s has been given a deadline to report what we have discerned to be our relationship to the diocese and the Episcopal Church.  Over the past years, we have struggled on this very issue as the Episcopal Church, the diocese and the Bishop have departed from the catholic faith.  We continue to uphold our commitment to Jesus as Lord and the Head of the Church.  We continue to insist on the teaching of the Bible and the ancient tradition of the church as being clear and forthright about morality, including sexual ethics.  [It is interesting that Rowan Williams, the current Archbishop of Canterbury, has declared unequivocally this week that although the United Kingdom has provided for the legality of same sex unions, there will be no such ceremonies taking place in any Anglican church].

 Please keep this meeting in prayer.  Please pray for the lay and clergy leadership of St. Paul’s.  We depend on you to hold us up – we are united and we will obey what the Lord declares.  Thank you.

 Your brother in Christ,


 The Rev. Christopher P. Leighton


On the Mark March 6th

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