Colleagues and Ancient Worship on the Cape

posted May 5, 2016, 10:39 AM by Amelia Fannin
Church of the Transfiguration Orleans MA
Yesterday I returned from our annual Diocesan Clergy Conference on Cape Cod. Despite the rain and cold, it was great to see so many colleagues. We were privileged to hear the Very Rev. Andrew McGowan, Dean of Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, teach us about ancient Christian worship, and the way scholars’ interpretations of fourth-century church impacted the work of prayer book revision for our own 1979 Book of Common Prayer (many of you lived through that process!). Bishop Gates spoke to us about staffing changes and restructuring at the Diocese, and introduced us to the new Canon to the Ordinary (Episco-speak for Chief of Staff), Bill Parnell. We also got an update on the process that will result in the fall in a new Mission Strategy for our Diocese.
During a break, I drove down the road a few minutes and took a tour of a church I have long wanted to see: the Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans. This is the church for an ecumenical Benedictine religious order called the Community of Jesus that includes monks and nuns and also couples and families. They have built a stunning church modeled after the basilicas of the 4th century, with mosaics and frescoes and a dome. Enjoy some pictures, below. To me it was a stunning reminder of the kind of beauty and creativity that is possible when people come together to follow Jesus.