Tag Archives: Fond du Lac

For the extension of God’s kingdom

Charles Chapman Grafton

 

Today in the Diocese of Fond du Lac we observe the feast day of one of our “local saints.”

Charles Chapman Grafton was the second Bishop of Fond du Lac, a noted Anglo-Catholic, and an ardent ecumenist. He was also one of the founding members of the Society of St. John the Evangelist.

In between a Commission on Ministry meeting this morning and a dinner at my church this evening, I look forward to attending today’s Grafton commemoration at the Cathedral of St. Paul in Fond du Lac.

Since I was driving early this morning, I listened to Morning Prayer from the CD Singing the Daily Office by the SSJE community. At the Cathedral this afternoon, we will say Evening Prayer according to the Prayer Book of 1789, which Grafton would have used throughout most of his life.

Far from being an antiquarian curiosity, Grafton’s life speaks to me about the importance of both discipline and ecumenism — qualities vital to the Church’s life today, as always.

Collect of the Day

Loving God, you called Charles Chapman Grafton to be a bishop in your Church and endowed him with a burning zeal for souls: Grant that, following his example, we may ever live for the extension of your kingdom, that your glory may be the chief end of our lives, your will the law of our conduct, your love the motive of our actions, and Christ’s life the model and mold of our own; through the same Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, throughout all ages. Amen.

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Always faithful to our mission

Icon of Jackson Kemper created for the Sesquicentennial of the Diocese of Milwaukee

Icon of Jackson Kemper created for the Sesquicentennial of the Diocese of Milwaukee

Prayer for Mission

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen. (BCP 101)

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Today, in addition to the Feast of Jackson Kemper, First Missionary Bishop of the Episcopal Church, we also observe the Ember Days, traditional days of prayer for all ministry, and especially for the ordained leaders of the church.

It’s a very appropriate serendipity, since Jackson Kemper was particularly concerned to ensure that there were clergy trained and suited for ministry in “the scattered settlements of the West.”

With James Lloyd Breck and others, he founded Nashotah House near Delafield, Wisconsin as a Benedictine community from which clergy would go out and minister to the surrounding area. With James DeKoven, he established Racine College, now the DeKoven Center, as a school emphasizing both education and worship in the “Ritualist” (Anglo-Catholic) style.

Jackson Kemper served as the first Bishop of Wisconsin from 1859 until his death, so all three dioceses in the state — Milwaukee, Fond du Lac, and Eau Claire — trace their beginnings to him.

The Episcopal Church in Wisconsin properly honors these “local saints” and their mission to “bring those who do not know Jesus to the knowledge and love of him.” That is the mission we all share to this day.

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For the Ministry (Ember Days)

O God, you led your holy apostles to ordain ministers in every place: Grant that your Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, may choose suitable persons for the ministry of Word and Sacrament, and may uphold them in their work for the extension of your kingdom; through him who is the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (BCP 256)