Dear Brother or Sister in Christ,
Pax Christi: God be Praised.
“….Grace and Peace to you from God our Father!” (Colossians 1:1-2).
My name is the Rev. Dante’ Anglin and I am the Priest in Charge at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church here in this lovely town of Havana. I have gotten to know some of the fine residents of this fair town, and I can truly say that this place is in fact, “God’s Country.” The beauty of your town, the kindness of everyone here, and the general midwestern feel remind me of the towns I grew up in, and it gives one a true sense of God’s peace and presence.
While I intend to go to knocking on all of your doors in the coming weeks and months to introduce myself and say hello, for now, I thought a letter introducing myself as well as including more information about our parish, would suffice for now. I hope the next few lines of information regarding myself and the parish I have the privilege of leading will be helpful to you. It should be noted that this letter is not to sheep steal, pressure anyone into going to church, or anything like that. Rather, it is to give those who are looking for a church home, those who have been hurt by the church, and those who wish to know Jesus, a place where they can “come taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Psalm 34:8).
So, to give you a sense of who I am, I was born on a small army base in Germany on January 17th, 1996, at a pound and nine ounces. By the grace of God, I survived and am still kicking! Most of my family has served in the military, so I am one of those military brats that had the pleasure of living everywhere from tropical paradises like the island of the Azores off the coast of Portugal to amazing states like Maryland. Military discipline and faith were very important to my family, and both were instilled in me at a young age. My mother’s side of the family belongs to the Church of God and Christ, and my father’s side comes from a Nazarene background. I was baptized at a Methodist church when I was 14. I became a devout Anglican in my early 20s and pursued ordination to the priesthood and have done so for the last three years at seminary. I was ordained as a deacon on the feast of St. Joseph (March 19th ) and am currently moving towards ordination to the priesthood.
As the pastor in charge at St. Barnabas, I on behalf of the parish, want to extend an invitation to all who live in Havana and those in the surrounding community to come and worship with us. We have Morning Prayer at 9:00 am Tuesday-Sunday and Evening Payer at 5:00 pm Tuesday-Saturday. It should be noted that when feast days fall upon Mondays and Saturdays, Morning and Evening Prayer will be conducted at 9:00am and 5:00pm, respectfully with Mass at 6:00pm. On Wednesdays, along with Mass, there is a healing service for all who wish to have hands laid upon them for any physical, spiritual, or mental ailment that troubles them at 5:30pm.
Furthermore, we have Mass/Holy Communion/Lord’s Supper on Sundays at 10:00 am, in addition to Sunday Mass , daily mass is held immediately after morning prayer at 9:30 am. Given that it has become harder and harder for many in our society to go to any kind of service on Sunday, offering prayer and mass every day is a way of getting spiritual nourishment at all times, so that one who can not make it on Sunday, can still come to worship and feel the Lord’s embrace.
My office hours are typically in the mornings Tuesday-Friday, as Mondays are my day off. Please stop by; I would love the opportunity to meet you. With respect to office hours, there may be days when I am not in the office in a conventional way, such as Fridays, as I hope to get out and about within the community. In the event of a pastoral emergency, I may be reached (after office hours or when I am not in the office during the day) at 618-477-3512.
I hope this letter helps you know me better as well as the parish in our lovely town!
I look forward to getting to know all of you over time; moreover, I hope you will
join us for a Church service sometime! Although I may not be your priest, pastor, or minister, I am here to serve you and show you the love of Christ all the same!
“Now may the grace of God, the love of Jesus, and the sweet communion of the Holy Spirit, rest, rule, and abide now, henceforth, and forevermore. Amen” (2 Corinthians 13:14).
Ave Christus Rex!
The Rev’d Dante’ Anglin