The video embedded in this section is a presentation by author J.N. Sullivan. It was given in October, 2015 at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. Her book was published by Archdeacon Books.
J.N. Sullivan Book Presentation
Thursday, December 31, 2015
Friday, December 11, 2015
Sunday, December 6, 2015
This is the first in a series of articles about deacons in the church. In order to avoid any confusion at the outset, deacon as described herein is about the Order of Deacons as so structured in the so-called catholic churches. Catholic churches are those whose ordained orders of ministry follow that of the apostles – those who claim to be in the apostolic tradition or apostolic succession: generally speaking, Roman Catholic; Eastern Orthodox; and Anglican.
The three orders of ordained ministry are Bishops (over-seers); Presbyters (priests); and Deacons (servants). Historically the church ordains a candidate to the diaconate; six months later, or more, that “transitional” deacon is ordained into the presbyterate or the priesthood. Bishops are elected or appointed variously according to the canons and constitutions of their particular tradition. In the Roman Catholic Church, for example, it is the Pope who appoints bishops. The Eastern Orthodox and Anglican traditions have differing methods of election within their own structures. But they all have deacons.
This series of articles proposes to articulate the relationship between the bishop and his deacons. In order to understand this special relationship and the many ministries it produces, it is necessary to document the genesis of the Order of Deacons and the nature of structured ministry.
In Acts 6:1-6 we are told:
Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2 And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. 3 Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5 And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. 6 These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them.
Many biblical scholars identify this passage in the Acts of the Apostles as the creation and identification of the first deacons in the early church. The charge for deacon ministry, as we read, differed from that of the apostles. The church’s expanding ministries, not only the preaching but the acting out of the Gospel, are represented in the appointment of these seven deacons. The original apostles are considered the church’s first bishops.
Stephen, the first Christian martyr, was a deacon.
Paul in his greeting to the church in Philippi wrote: Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons … (Philippians 1:3). Note that Paul, an apostle, refers to himself and Timothy both as servants.
After first listing qualifications for overseers, qualifications for deacons in the early church were then spelled out by Paul: 8 Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. 9 They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. 11 Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. 13 For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 3:8-13).
This first article is intended to show that the Order of Deacons existed in the early church and by way of analysis any organization – including the organized church – is a social entity composed of real human beings. The church’s fundamental nature is social and organic. In order to exist as a life of its own the church must therefore be ordered (Barnett: The Diaconate – A Full and Equal Order, 1979, 1995). In order to work out its calling, the church must be ordered. Chaos in the church is not an option.
The fundamental character of the church is service – service to God and service within God’s creation. Therefore the ordered structure of the church – lay, deacon, presbyter, bishop – is diaconally constituted. All members of the church – lay or ordained – minister in service.
Monday, November 30, 2015
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Saturday, November 7, 2015
A Faux Taxonomy Economy
Sticks and stones hurt or kill,
One transitory; one ending.
For good? No, but for ill,
Enlightenment hubris placed nature pending.
Orientation rests on an ever-shifting surface
With no rock and no stable ground
In support of its changing purpose.
It has no basis, nothing in nature sound.
Nothing in nature is beyond the “he and she.”
Yet a propaganda of Inclination
Purports to be
The gravel of Orientation.
There is no gay, there is no straight,
Neither occurs in nature.
The faux categories in debate,
Have categorized persons with incorrect nomenclature.
If gay is right,
Then straight must be wrong.
If so, which opposite holds the insight
To make it the superior and the strong?
Late 19th century science was enlightened
Such that it re-categorized an act into a person,
Necessitating the creation of its opposite,
Causing humanity to worsen.
Without any thought the bifurcation was accepted
By billions who bought into deal,
Even though natural law rested
On male and female as the demonstrable real.
Taking more than a century to develop,
Both confusion and fear eventually took control
Leaving critical thinking unprotected and enveloped
By a subtle hysteria of the whole.
Enlightenment science dealt humanity the harsh edict
Creating confusion through its false and ungrounded authority.
It created a sodomite out of sodomy
And gave Orientation priority.
No one is either gay or straight,
No Orientation occurs in human life.
It is sin, that human-carrying freight
When left un-repented increases our strife.
The sticks and stones of gay and straight
Have corrupted many lives through battles.
Had it not been for that concept Orientation,
Minds and lives would not have been so rattled.
Christ forgives all who earnestly repent,
He sees no Orientation.
Christ sees only the human person
Needing salvation into His nation.
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
The Evolution of Decision Making
To be released mid-November, 2015
Kairos Prison Ministry
Available on Amazon dot Com
The End of Orphan Care
To be released 1Q2016
William Jelks Cabaniss, Jr.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic
Available at all online booksellers
From My Father's House
Available on Amazon dot Com
Pathways to Union With Jesus
To be released by mid-December, 2015
Thursday, October 22, 2015
O Am Aros
I claim that I shall always sing
Praises to You.
But many times my singing rings
Much differently, as You know I do.
My mind, however, knows Your crystal fountain,
And my heart drinks from its healing flow.
When at times I cannot climb earth’s rugged mountain
Life seems as slippery as on fresh-fallen snow.
But when I tread the verge of my own sinful river,
With confession and repentance at my side,
And an abundance of forgiveness in my God-filled quiver,
My anxious fears subside.
Songs of praises! Songs of Praises!
I will ever sing to Thee,
I will ever sing to Thee.
O, am aros! O, am aros!
Yn Ei gariad ddyddiau f'oes.
Yn Ei gariad ddyddiau f'oes.
Saturday, September 26, 2015
ACNA ARCHBISHOP AND THE RUSSIAN CHURCH
“I have desired to see a restoration of Christian fellowship between the separated portions of Apostolic Christianity. It would be a great benefit to Christ and the extension of Christ's Kingdom if the Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Western ones, the Latin and the Anglican, could cease their warfare and work harmoniously together. Nor should we of the Anglican Communion withhold our sympathy from those sectarian bodies that have gone out from us, but pray that the breaches may be healed.”
Charles Chapman Grafton, the second bishop of the (ECUSA now TEC) Diocese of Fond du Lac (Wisconsin), made this statement in 1903.
The Most Reverend Foley Beach, the senior bishop or primate of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), has become a world traveler since his election to that office in 2014. His Christian witness no doubt is his strategic driver but building relationships undergirds his tactics. One of those relationships under construction is his highly visible engagement with the Russian Orthodox Church. Does this budding relationship matter in the grand scheme of things?
Adherents of biblical orthodoxy whether Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican or Protestant, should want to work together to be seen by the world (secular and religious) in a shared Christian witness. In this regard relationship talks with the Russian Orthodox Church are not a waste of time, though perhaps ecclesial relationship discussions run secondary to initial or primary and personal witness to Christ. Leaders of the Church Militant should never shy from efforts at church unity. Talks with the Russian Church, however, are not new.
Before there was an ACNA, Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh (who would become the first Archbishop of the ACNA province) wrote to the Moscow-based Russian Church Metropolitan Kirill in 2006 in response to an initiative by the Metropolitan. At that time other leaders within Episcopal Church dioceses sought alternative provincial oversight (APO) outside the Episcopal Church. In retrospect some will say that this was the beginning of the Anglican Realignment.
The 2003 consecration of the bishop of New Hampshire in the Episcopal Church, an avowed and active homosexual man, created problems for orthodox Episcopalians. That 2003 event prompted APO discussions not only with the Russian Church but with Anglican provinces in South America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. The point noted here is that historically Russian Church leaders have always been willing to talk substantively with orthodox American Anglicans.
In 1867 the Russian government sold Alaska to the United States of America. As a result most residents of Alaska returned to Russia. Those who remained were approximately 12,000 Russian Orthodox Christians in nine parishes. As a missionary diocese of the Russian Church, its headquarters or episcopal seat eventually was moved from Alaska to San Francisco.
In 1898 a young, 33 year old bishop named Tikhon Bellavin, arrived from Moscow. Tikhon had the vision to expand the Russian missionary diocese into an American Church and he formed new dioceses not only of Russian ethnicity, but Arab, Serbian, Greek and Romanian. Shortly after Tikhon’s arrival in America be was befriended by Charles Chapman Grafton, the Episcopal Church bishop of Fond du Lac.
When the Diocese of Fond du Lac elected its bishop coadjutor in 1900, Grafton invited not only the Russian bishop of Alaska and America, but a bishop of the Polish National Catholic Church to participate in the service of consecration. After the service a picture was taken of all the bishops attending the consecration. The gathering depicts American Episcopal bishops donning copes and mitres, a high church or Anglo-Catholic image highly irregular to most low-church Episcopalians. The picture so appalled evangelical Episcopalians it was subsequently referred to as the “Fond du Lac Circus.” The reaction to the picture is interesting, but not the point.
The point is that Episcopal Bishop Grafton and Russian Orthodox Bishop Tikhon were engaged in and worked together on visible Christian unity. Dialogues between the two churches took hold over the next century but came to a sudden halt in 2003 when the Russian Orthodox Church withdrew from their official dialogue with the Episcopal Church.
Given the long-term willingness of the Russian Orthodox Church to remain in dialogue with Anglicans in North America – orthodox Anglicans in particular – it is evident that Archbishop Foley Beach will continue with a Russian-North American dialogue.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Feed Me Till I Want No More
Solomon’s words in Scripture
Are strong and powerful in truth.
Sometimes reading it seems like a routine fixture
Until its content unfolds in sleuth.
Proclaiming a wife more precious than jewels
The reader John was a head-turner,
When his sacred reading schooled
His head into his heart, impassioned as a fiery burner.
Many times Scripture infects with stealth,
When unsuspecting readers have no clue
That an approaching truth in spiritual health
Assumes control of what we do.
Praise the Lord for the WORD,
Praise the Lord for His Scriptural readers!
Lord, may your Book never be blurred,
And for our hearts, always be our feeder.
Monday, September 21, 2015
A Possible Democratic Ticket
Bernie Sanders – President
George Clooney – Vice President
Hillary – Secretary of State
Obama, B. – Secretary of Defense
Pelosi, N. – Homeland Security
Kagan, E. – Attorney General
Richards, Cecile – Health & Human Services
Geitner, T. – Treasury
Emanuel, R. – Labor
Warren, Eliz. – Interior
Reid, H. – Veterans Administration
Holder, E. – Housing & Urban Development
Durbin, D. – Transportation
Frank, B. – I R S
Axelrod, D. – Education
Stewart, Jon – Justice
Agencies, Bureaus, and newly-created Commissions
Gore, A. – Environmental Protection Agency
Carter, J. - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
Winfrey, O. – Political Correctness Enforcement Commission
Huffington, A. – Progressive Agenda Enforcement Commission
Baquet, D.– Conservative Media Suppression (an FCC unit)
Rice, S. – Women’s Affairs (a Labor Department commission)
Sotomeyer, S. – Minority Affairs (a Labor Department commission
A Possible Republican Party Ticket
Donald Trump – President
Marco Rubio – Chief of Staff
Carly Fiorina – Vice President
Meg Whitman – Chief of Staff
Bush – Secretary of State
Graham – Defense
Perry – Homeland Security
Christie – Attorney General
Carson – Health & Human Services
Kasich – Treasury
Jindal – Labor
Pataki – Interior
Huckabee – Veterans Administration
Paul – Housing and Urban Development
Santorum – Transportation
I R S – abolished
Education - abolished
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Pathways to Union with Jesus
William Wilson, an assisting bishop in the Anglican Diocese of the South of the Anglican Church in North America, has written this book about our day-to-day spiritual life and its necessary disciplines.
The book details practical exercises that believers should use and how “not to overdo it.”
Release date is the first week in November, 2015
With regard to gifts of ministry, the rule for discernment is simple: Listen to the church. Ministry gifts are powers to serve the community of faith given by the Spirit to the individual to build up the church. These gifts will be recognized and encouraged by the church. The church will tell you if you have the gift of teaching, or song, or administration, or liturgical leadership, or spiritual counseling, or healing prayer, etc. There is no need to trumpet your gifts of ministry. The gifts the Spirit gives speak for themselves.
Even if – as sometimes happens – the church fails to recognize and utilize your gifts of ministry, do not become resentful. Accept the humiliation. So doing you will advance in likeness to Christ, whose gifts of ministry the leaders of His people did not recognize. God will open other doors of ministry for you when your church group fails to receive your gifts.
Thursday, September 3, 2015
The publishing imprint of Woody Norman LLC, Archdeacon Books, will publish two new books in early November, 2015.
KAIROS PRISON MINISTRY is authored by Ken Dawson. Serving in prison ministry for more than twenty-five years, Dawson writes about his ministry and relationships with prison inmates. He also writes about how Kairos Ministry works and its history. A memoir, the book chronicles his own life and the life and death struggle of his youngest son.
THE EVOLUTION OF DECISION MAKING is a book by Jacques L. Austin. A Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor, and a Nationally Certified Counselor, Austin is a therapist, speaker and author. Mr. Austin has extensive experience in working with the 6A (Addicted, Adjudicated, Angry, Abusive, Adult and Adolescent) population. He has been lauded for his ability to connect with people offering a perspective for change that is relational and realistic.
Both books will be available for purchase online beginning November 2, 2015 from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-a-Million.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Today’s Elusive Bagel
It was mid-morning, shall we say?
When an urge for a plain, toasted bagel
Took on me its sway
As I walked away from my work table.
Into my wheels I drove as if star struck
By a compelling logic
To the closest Starbucks
For a tall java and my bagel-eating project.
“But no,” said the barista
“We’re out of bagels today.”
So back on the 150 I drove eastward,
Heading for the next long-locks Siren on the way.
Upon positioning into a parking space
I was suddenly be-mused
By the store's remodeling at a leisurely pace.
It being closed, I descended into the blues.
One more chance as mid-morning about to close,
Into the Mall trotted I to the caffeinated stand,
An aromatic arabica brew filled my nose,
But there, too, no bagels were on hand.
“Why not,” said I to the polite young server?
“You’re the third store with bagels unoccupied.”
“Didn’t you know,” said the smiling, customer-oriented worker,
“The batches of bagels were compromised?”
Now what to do?
It’s approaching time for lunch.
With so many minutes and miles that I blew,
I’ll go to Panera’s and call it brunch.
Monday, August 24, 2015
It seems our political life
Is out of control.
All this fight and strife
Is getting old.
Is there calm ahead,
Or must we continue to tarry?
What seems like an endless thread
Of bickering is becoming more difficult to carry.
An energetic new face
Could bring hope out of hiding.
Not from the right in this case,
From the left, his time he’s a-Biden.
Sunday, August 23, 2015
Love Present and Future
Not one of us knows our future,
But actually we do,
From our Maker there will be no suture,
When toward His Son we pursue.
All that He made is through love,
All that we have is His gift.
In all our denials we shove
Aside His love and we drift.
Heaven and earth crossed in nexus
When Mary delivered her child
To a sinful world, He perplexed us,
For all His strength He was meek and mild.
Enlightenment, modernity, and reason,
Make claim as superior to all.
Self-contained and a finite different season,
At the Renewal they will fall.
Principalities, dominions, and thrones
Claim powers for their region.
For all their murderous groans
Are infected, they are Legion.
Good and evil each lives,
And not simply as differences of opinion.
Good is what God gives,
Evil is Satan, sin’s minion.
Use your gift of reason
Not to resist your Creator,
But to avoid your eternal treason,
And accept the love of your Diaconal Waiter.
'Twas the Day Before Monday
‘Twas the day before Monday
And all through the nave,
My nose it was a-stirring
I think, of rotten eggs.
Up from my knee bench,
I jumped from my pew,
Ran to the vestibule
To verify what I knew.
A brief talk with the warden
With no time to spare,
He said the rotten eggs I smell
Is natural gas in the air.
He dashed toward the altar
Told the preacher to “take heed”
And “evacuate this congregation
With great speed!”
“But first,” said the preacher,
“There is something to say,
Before we exit,
I think I must pray.”
The warden so astonished
At what he just heard,
Looked at the preacher,
And asked, “Seriously?”
Throw Caution Not to the Wind
Recall the end of World War One?
When reparations therein demanded
On a nation with resources none,
Creating a Weimar empty handed?
What happens naturally in any situation,
When in years of strong arm controls
Or, when the people’s House institution
As if a tree, cease sourcing itself from their rich soil?
Three branches of the established tree once equal,
And the most populate the most weak,
Tossed about by the other two as if a needle
Not by wind, but bi-polar power on it wreaked.
Triune inequality makes for dangerous a void,
One branch not using its roots
And leaving a fertile ground once enjoyed.
That ground, like a volcano, erupts with new fruits.
With this situation anything seems better than nothing,
With progressive measures to quell,
The grand old pretenders only bluffing
When feigning to stamp out the progressive spell.
The void, that vacuum, opens a new door,
For a different voice on the stump.
Elated, the people see a new boy,
To the old boys they think he will trump.
Be cautious of the lessons from Weimar,
Salvation pretenders and their solution.
What might look like a shining high star,
Could actually burn the entire tree as substitution.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
What's Love Got To Do With It?
With tongue in cheek I saw a probate judge today,
To find out how much I should pay,
To tie knots with all those I love,
Smacked I, as it was, by a multiplicity of legalized turtle doves.
The fabulous five had decreed
Nuptials valid through love only, indeed.
Marriage in sacred tradition officially driven to doom,
Just like tortured babies in their mother’s womb.
So, is it my turn to knot my many new loves?
Legally protecting my cats and dogs, even my gloves,
Because love, not children, declared now the basis
To marry anyone or anything in this new social stasis.
What does it matter how many I may marry?
My spouse could be either female or male.
Why should I delay, linger, or tarry?
When I foresee a rising polygamous scale.
This kind of love stops not with another human being,
Its legality allows for different sorts of spouses.
It’s not too difficult seeing
That this new definition of marriage lives in many houses.
With word usage, definitions, and traditions rendered useless,
This new era forms a terror unthinkable before.
The high court has jumped its intended purpose,
By lowering ordered society to the floor.
No social balance, nor even its pretension.
Society’s fabric deliberately eroded
Through a progressively-forced intention
By five justices, a new order they encoded.
Saturday, August 1, 2015
I have placed a link below to a blog that I find quite interesting and revealing. It is about young people and their shift from "PowerPoint" churches to sacramental- and liturgically-centered churches.
Institute on Religion & Democracy's Blog
Institute on Religion & Democracy's Blog
Thursday, July 30, 2015
Watch for Signs
“In 18 months I’m turning over the keys.”
A legitimate successor to him might not qualify.
Perhaps the chief thinks himself free
The Constitutional succession mandate to mollify.
What is his mind’s detection?
What really is he thinking?
Should he think the “wrong” person win election,
An executive order for his continuance could be his linking.
The signs of the times require watching,
For progressive power never wants to relinquish
Its ubiquitous control without botching
Individual freedoms to extinguish.
One day later a third-term he muses
To foreign masses who don’t care.
Patting himself on the back he chooses
Another constitutional brush he might dare.
Be on guard and prepare, you domestic "subjects."
Your freedoms already usurped.
Ruled six years by ideological sects,
Washington, Jefferson, and Henry silenced by left-loud chirps.
Which branch of the tree is now most reviled?
Nine split needing only five?
Their “subjects” they ignore, with law they beguile,
Or the impotent house and one hundred incapable to revive?
There was a countdown
In the “Seven Days in May.”
James Mattoon Scott forced to mount down.
For the twenty January days in 2017, a new order could be in play.
Monday, July 27, 2015
There’s Nothing Wrong with “Me”
There’s really nothing wrong with “me.”
And frankly it’s just sad
The way some people leave “me” out
As if I’m wrong or bad.
Instead they use my cousin, “I”
Where he does not belong.
He’s simply not objective case. My
Goodness, that’s just wrong.
“Please contact Jane or I today”
Is said by more than some.
They’d never say, “Please contact I.”
They’d know that that sounds dumb.
There is one truth we all should face,
One truth we all should see:
For compounds in objective case
There’s nothing wrong with “me”!
This poem was composed by English Professor and novelist J.N. Sullivan.
Theologia Ecclesia Corruptionem
They met in a hot summer’s fortnight
Beneath the Wasatch peak
Constructing a self-serving foresight
Enlightened solely by political thought and speak.
Tossed the tradition of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
Not to mention that of David and Jesus,
Their new religion now makeup
To them “An easier gospel to please us.”
As was to the ecclesia in Galatia,
But not astonished at their post-modern desertion,
Worshiping not Him but Crustacea,
A new gospel is the zeitgeist’s insertion.
Stunned at your turning to a new gospel,
Incomprehensible that you walked from Grace,
Not that there is another ark in the hostel,
Like Marcion your faith a vacuous space.
From whom do you seek approval
And why is your denial so fervent?
The richness of faith your intended removal,
It is man, not Christ, you are servant.
Sunday, July 26, 2015
Woody Norman and ARCHDEACON BOOKS announce the publication of a new novel by J.N. Sullivan.
Link to CreateSpace eStore
Link to Amazon
Coming soon in Kindle edition
Link to CreateSpace eStore
Link to Amazon
Coming soon in Kindle edition
Saturday, July 25, 2015
Click Link below to go to Amazon's CreateSpace eStore
Then click ADD TO CART,
Next, you will be asked to open/create a CreateSpace account.
Enter discount code VNWVZQ9X and save almost $4.00 on the list price.
Enter discount code VNWVZQ9X and save almost $4.00 on the list price.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
The High Horse
Berating those who disagree,
With perceived self-insight
Of the highest degree,
Loathes he any opposition with all might.
When speaking to followers of the way,
He chastises their beliefs, of course,
Keeping criticism of the prophet at bay,
While seated regally on his own high horse.
“Detruncations and any violence you should expect.
Your crusades a despicable volition.
It is pass time for that sect
To play out its true core and mission.”
Only with inner municipiorum he sees
Identity with those the majority he thinks oppresses.
But to prophet he prays on his knees,
At the way he explicitly down dresses.
When other varia are killed or suffer,
When national protectors downed,
Ignores them he, creating a buffer,
Not to tilt his anointed crown.
Redefining lone lupus triumphs,
While hugging the mater proditionem,
Showing contempt for traditional roots, he trumps
The nation's heart and soul with ad hominem.
“I am the new way of thinking,
My purpose to cleanse the nation.
Purging history, and it linking
To radical and complete transformation.”