Patronal Festival celebrated at St. John’s
As the new year rolled in and Anglicans came together to celebrate the Patronal Festival of St. John’s parish in Buckley’s, Long Island, they were reminded of God’s love for mankind.
Fr. Chester Burton, the new rector at St. Peter’s parish in North Long Island in his first sermon at St. John’s preached and venerated the legacy espoused in John’s New Testament writings.
“Firstly, John’s gospel sounds different than any of the other synoptic gospels in the New Testament. John uses words like’signs’instead of’miracles.’He wanted humanity to see and tell each other the love that God had for the created sons of men,” said Fr. Burton.”In John’s gospel we find one of the most common and well known biblical memory verses, which states’For God so loved the world that He gave us His only Son.'”
Fr. Burton further told the congregants that John possessed a humble character and was the disciple whom Jesus referred to as the one whom He loved. He told them that John in his gospel never elevated himself, but remained true to the call of a true evangelist and is known by biblical scholars as the theologian.
“Because of John’s humility, Jesus commends the Blessed Virgin Mary to his care. And John lived to die of an old age instead of being martyred like many of his other apostle brothers. John’s writings present the church in the new millennium with many truths for dealing with and resolving problems. In the last book of the Bible–Revelations–John says that he was ostracized to the isle of Patmos and was able to record and share with believers what will take place in the Apocalypse. In the Anglican Diocese in The Bahamas, there are only three churches that carry St. John the Evangelist’s title–St. John’s in Buckley’s, Long Island; St. John’s in Harbor Island, Eleuthera and St. John’s in Salt Cay, Turks and Caicos Island.”
It was with that sermon preached by Fr. Burton that Long Island Anglicans started the year of with a bang after coming together from the length and breadth of the island to celebrate the first Patronal Festival of the calendar year at St. John’s Parish, in Buckley’s, Long Island.
It was the first Patronal celebration after the Patronal Festival at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Whymms, Long Island, that was held on the final Sunday in November, 2010.
The pomp and pageantry of the first celebration was accented by the bright Christmas decorations that adorned the edifice, along with the melodious sounds of the St. John’s Praise and Worship Choir who lifted their voices to set the mood and tone for the worship experience.
The liturgical color for the occasion was white, indicativeof the color attributed to St. John’s. Fr. Jonathan Archer, the new rector at St. Paul’s Parish celebrated the Eucharist to the packed church which was rededicated in December 2003 by former Diocesan Bishop, His Grace Archbishop Drexel Gomez.