Archive for the ‘St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church Athens Georgia’ Tag

Recognizing What One Has   Leave a comment

Above:  My Desk, June 21, 2017

Photograph by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

To recognize (at least partially) what one has and to give God thanks for it is to pursue a positive course of action.  Too often we human beings become grateful only after the fact and mix gratitude with regret for not having x anymore.  Frequently that regret overshadows our gratitude.

I have been spending perhaps excessive amounts of time with Google Earth recently.  I have been looking up places used to live, examining street views, and stirring up old memories, some of them faint because they come from my early childhood.  (I have consistently clear memories from about seven years of age forward.  I have sporadic memories prior to 1979/1980.)  I spent much of my early life in a series of United Methodist parsonages scattered across the South Georgia Annual Conference.  Often my family and I lived in small, provincial communities–sometimes in small towns, sometimes outside them, in the county.  This annoyed my father, who expressed himself frankly in private, in journal entries, as he complained about how small many minds were.  The experience of having to muzzle himself in public frustrated him.  The lack of intellectual stimulation outside my bookish home certainly frustrated me.

If, for some reason, fate will ever be so cruel as to require me to live in any of these communities again, I will not join any of those congregations, which will have nothing to offer to me.  I am of a particular spiritual type (Anglican-Lutheran-Catholic), which a rural Methodist church cannot satisfy.  Also, I abhor Southern Gospel music.

I am preparing to commence my thirteenth year in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, and at St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church in early August.  These places are where I belong, at least for the time being.  I acknowledge the possibility that perhaps I should leave both of them one day and pursue opportunity and spiritual fellowship in another location, but I have no desire to relocate needlessly and foolishly.  As of now, grocery stories are plentiful and adjacent to my home, I lack no intellectual stimulation, I get to speak my mind freely in church without anyone accusing me of having committed heresy, and I take communion twice a week.  (I have long felt closest to God in that sacrament.)  I am the parish librarian, presiding over a splendid collection of books in a room I have transformed into a sacred space, complete with Marian iconography.  Also, no longer do I live in a proverbial glass house, living under the expectations of others that I at least appear holier than they.  Life as a layman and just another member of the congregation is wonderful.

I know at least some of what I have and thank God for that of which I am aware.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 22, 2017 COMMON ERA

First Presbyterian Church, Athens, Georgia   Leave a comment

FPC Athens

Above:  First Presbyterian Church, Athens, Georgia, After 1933 and Before 1965

Image Source = Library of Congress

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

John Dodson Taylor, Jr. (1905-1976), my paternal grandfather, studied law at The University of Georgia (UGA) in the late 1920s.  He was a lifelong Presbyterian.  Presumably he attended church while in Athens.  He might have worshiped at the First Presbyterian Church, founded in 1820.

The physical plant has expanded since the construction of the present sanctuary in 1855-1856.  I have lived in Athens since August 2005, and I have noticed additions to the structure.  The interior of the sanctuary retains box pews, which families used to rent; I have noticed the names of prominent people on small plaques inside box pews.  The session of the congregation has done much to maintain the historic nature of the sanctuary while updating the physical plant to keep up with the times and the needs of the congregation.  (The elevators in the educational building are quite nice!)

I am an Episcopalian and an active member at St. Gregory the Great Church in town, but I have had occasion to visit the First Presbyterian Church, most recently on a Sunday afternoon for a concert of fine organ music.

Concert Program

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

The historic and active nature of the place impressed me, a fan of old buildings.  As a former priest of mine said, many congregations are functionally memorial societies.  The First Presbyterian Church is not a memorial society, fortunately.  Furthermore, according to the self-appointed rankers of church choirs in Athens, First Presbyterian has the best church choir and St. Gregory the Great has the second best church choir.

One reason for my interest in First Presbyterian is the possible link to family history.  Have I been in the same space in which my grandfather worshiped during his law school days?  Have I perhaps sat in the same box pew?   The UGA School of Law is on North Campus (with the famous arch), which opens up onto downtown Athens, where First Presbyterian is located.  One can walk from UGA’s North Campus to the front doors of the First Presbyterian Church in just a few minutes.  My theory is plausible, if unproven.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 6, 2016 COMMON ERA

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church, Athens, Georgia, Part II   Leave a comment

Church April 5, 2015 17

Above:  The High Altar, at Center, as It Should Be

Source for All Images = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Date of All Images = Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SCENES FROM THE 10:30 A.M. SERVICE

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Church April 5, 2015 16

Above:  The Sermon

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Church April 5, 2015 15

Above:  The View from the Back Row of the Choir

++++++++++++++++

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church, Athens, Georgia, Part I   Leave a comment

Church April 5, 2015 07

Above:  A Celtic Cross, of a Sort

Source for All Images = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Date of All Images = Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SCENES FROM BETWEEN THE MORNING SERVICES

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Church April 5, 2015 01

The altar is central, as it should be, for partaking of the Holy Eucharist is the central act of Christian worship.

+++++++++++++++++++

Church April 5, 2015 02

Church April 5, 2015 03

Church April 5, 2015 04

Church April 5, 2015 05

Church April 5, 2015 06

Church April 5, 2015 08

Church April 5, 2015 09

Church April 5, 2015 10

Church April 5, 2015 11

Church April 5, 2015 12

Church April 5, 2015 13

Church April 5, 2015 14

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Dedicated Altar Flowers   Leave a comment

Bulletin Heading Christ the King 2014

Bulletin End Christ the King 2014

Scans Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A pleasant surprise awaited me at church on Christ the King Sunday this year.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

Lay Eucharistic Ministers, St. Thomas Aquinas Episcopal Church, Baxley, Georgia, 1997   Leave a comment

LEMS 1997

Above:  A Clip from The Episcopal Church in Georgia, December 1997

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I am a Eucharistic Minister at my parish, St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church, Athens, Georgia.  My time in that role began at St. Thomas Aquinas Episcopal Church, Baxley, Georgia, in 1997–sixteen years ago.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 28, 2013

Learning the Libera Me from Verdi’s Requiem   Leave a comment

Above:  Title Page from the Score of Verdi’s Requiem

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

AUTHOR’S NOTE:

The 10:30 A.M. service at St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church, Athens, Georgia, will conclude with most of the Libera Me, the final movement, of the Requiem by Giuseppe Verdi.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Learning the Libera Me from Verdi’s Requiem,

studying the score,

listening to a recording,

studying the score while listening to a recording,

singing along while doing this,

getting lost,

finding my place again,

melting into the music,

doing all this alone–

rehearsing the piece with my fellow choir members,

watching the conductor,

melting into the music,

doing all this in public–

preparing for the Palm Sunday service and its climactic conclusion–

striving for excellence,

working to meet a challenge,

finding all of this rewarding

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 24, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF OSCAR ROMERO, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF SAN SALVADOR, AND THE MARTYRS OF EL SALVADOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT DIDACUS OF CADIZ, CAPUCHIN FRIAR

THE FEAST OF PAUL COUTURIER, ECUMENIST 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++