Risen! Ascended! Glorified!

Dear Parish Family,

This Thursday, we celebrate the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ, a Prayer Book Holy Day. Our Lord has now completed His earthly ministry and we await the descent of the Holy Ghost.

The Propers for the Day are found in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, pages 177-178.

-Fr. Rick

Uhde, “The Ascension of Christ”, 1897.

From the Orthowiki website:

The Ascension of Jesus Christ is one of the Great Feasts of the Church, celebrated forty days after Easter (and thus always falling on a Thursday).

Forty days after the Resurrection, while blessing his disciples (Gospel of Luke 24:50-51), Christ ascended into heaven, taking his place at the right hand of the Father (Gospel of Mark 16:19 and Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed).

The first account of the Ascension found in the Bible is in the Gospel of Mark (16:14-19); the description is brief. Jesus and the remaining eleven disciples are seated at a table, presumably in a room in or near Jerusalem. Jesus commands his followers to spread the Gospel, and that those who believe will be known by their invulnerability to poison, ability to heal the sick, and the like. After delivering these final words, Jesus is received into heaven to sit at the right hand of God. No description of the Ascension itself is given; Mark simply states that it happened.

The Gospel of Luke is even more brief in its description (24:50-51). Jesus led the eleven to Bethany, not far from Jerusalem. While in the act of blessing them, Jesus was carried up to heaven.

The third, and most celebrated, account of the Ascension is in the Acts of the Apostles (1:9-12). For forty days after the Resurrection, Jesus continued to preach the Gospel. Jesus and the eleven were gathered near Mt. Olivet (or the Mount of Olives), to the northeast of Bethany. Jesus tells his disciples that they will receive the power of the Holy Spirit and that they will spread his message the world over. Jesus is taken up and received by a cloud. Some traditions say that he was taken up in a fiery chariot, much like the Prophet Elijah. Two men clothed in white appear and tell the disciples that Jesus will return in the same manner as he was taken. They say: “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into Heaven? This same Jesus, Who is taken up from you into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye
have seen Him go into Heaven” (Acts 1:11). Afterwards, the disciples return to Jerusalem rejoicing, remaining continually in the Temple.

The Gospel of Matthew ends at a mountain in Galilee, with Jesus commanding the disciples to spread the Gospel. No mention of the Ascension is made.


The Ascension of Christ shows the last stage in God’s plan for mankind: total union with Himself upon one’s departure from the world. According to V. Rev. George Florovsky, “in the Ascension resides the meaning and the fullness of Christ’s Resurrection….and with Christ, man’s nature ascends also.”

Propers for Holy Week

Dear Parish Family,

We now enter the week that changed the history of the world and the fate of all human beings. Our Prayer Book has some of the most beautiful Collects for each day of Holy Week as well as the appropriate Scripture readings.

I found some exceptional videos that amplify these Holy Days and have included them here.

~Fr. Rick

25 March, Monday before Easter

(Book of Common Prayer, pages 138–144)

The Collect
ALMIGHTY God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified; Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Epistle and Gospel

26 March, Tuesday before Easter

(Book of Common Prayer, pages 144–147)

The Collect
O LORD God, whose blessed Son, our Saviour, gave his back to the smiters and hid not his face from shame; Grant us grace to take joyfully the sufferings of the present time, in full assurance of the glory that shall be revealed; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Epistle and Gospel

27 March, Wednesday before Easter

(Book of Common Prayer, pages 147–152)

The Collect
ASSIST us mercifully with thy help, O Lord God of our salvation; that we may enter with joy upon the meditation of those mighty acts, whereby thou hast given unto us life and immortality; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle and Gospel

28 March, Maundy Thursday

(Book of Common Prayer, pages 152–156)

The Collect
ALMIGHTY Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, did institute the Sacrament of his Body and Blood; Mercifully grant that we may thankfully receive the same in remembrance of him, who in these holy mysteries giveth us a pledge of life eternal; the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who now liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

The Epistle and Gospel

29 March, Good Friday

(Book of Common Prayer, pages 156–161)

The Collects
ALMIGHTY God, we beseech thee graciously to behold this thy family, for which our Lord Jesus Christ was contented to be betrayed and given up into the hands of wicked men, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church is governed and sanctified; Receive our supplications and prayers, which we offer before thee for all estates of men in thy holy Church, that every member of the same, in his vocation and ministry, may truly and godly serve thee; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

O MERCIFUL God, who hast made all men, and hatest nothing that thou hast made, nor desirest* the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live; Have mercy upon all Jews, Turks, infidels, and heretics; and take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of thy Word; and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, to thy flock, that they may be saved among the remnant of the true Israelites, and be made one fold under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

The Epistle and Gospel

30 March, Easter Even

(Book of Common Prayer, pages 161-162)

The Collect
GRANT, O Lord, that as we are baptized into the death of thy blessed Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, so by continual mortifying our corrupt affections we may be buried with him; and that through the grave, and gate of death, we may pass to our joyful resurrection; for his merits, who died, and was buried, and rose again for us, the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

The Epistle and Gospel

Passion Sunday

Jesus Takes Up His Cross

Dear Parish Family,

Tomorrow is Passion Sunday. The Passion of Our Lord Jesus
Christ has always been controversial. It separates Christianity from other major world religions because it is God-Incarnate who suffers this torture on behalf of all humanity.

St. Paul calls it a stumbling-block to those who cannot understand or accept this truth. Yet, it is reality that Jesus Christ has suffered, died and risen from the grave, washing us from sin and granting us life eternal.

Count on it!

Faithfully yours,
Fr. Rick Gregory

[Photo: Statue of Jesus Christ bearing the Cross, The Grotto (National Sanctuary of our Sorrowful Mother), Portland, Oregon, U.S.]

Ash Wednesday Liturgy

Wednesday, February 14, 7:30 pm

St. Bartholomews will offer the Ash Wednesday Liturgy with the Imposition of Ashes at 7:30pm in the sanctuary.

On Ash Wednesday, we move reflectively into Lent as we are reminded with love and grace that we are dust, and to dust we shall return. 

Come, enter the season of Lent with us.

Photos from Father Rick Gregory’s Ordination

By the grace of God, on 10 December, the Second Sunday in Advent, the Rev. Rick Gregory was ordained to the Priesthood of Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Diocesan Bishop Donald Ashman was joined in the laying on of hands by Bishop Scott Mitchell (Suffragan).

A joyous and delicious luncheon reception followed the liturgy.

Congratulations, Father Gregory!

(Tap on any thumbnail to see the full size photo.)

[Thank you, Robin B., Nancy J., and Alexander C. for the lovely photos]

About Trinity Sunday

God never reveals truth uselessly, but is always moved by love and by inerrant perception of what men need to know.

~Francis Hall*
A stained glass window at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church (Covington, Louisiana)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:

This Sunday is Trinity Sunday. We may use all our intellectual prowess and the beauty of language to understand our God, but our human nature cannot truly comprehend the Trinity. So, God in His mercy reveals to us His Identity as best we can perceive it. This revelation gives us what is necessary to know about Him. The more we open ourselves to our Creator, the deeper our relationship with him and the more our faith grows.

Faithfully yours,
Deacon Rick

*Hall, Francis J., Dogmatic Theology, Vol. X, page 220

Deacon Rick Goes to Synod

Rick visited the Seminary for Mass and the Open House

The Annual Synod took place on April 25-29, 2023 in Walnut Creek, CA. Here are Deacons Rick’s reflections on the experience and an update on his meeting with the Standing Committee.


4:15AM: Rise and Shine. Drove to work with my suitcase and backpack ready for the flight to Walnut Creek. Left my car at work and Robin H. took me to the airport.

My flight out of SeaTac was an hour late so I missed my connector in Portland. Once in Portland, I was quickly re-routed to a connector flight to Oakland. I had to run to the gate once I found out what gate it was!

On the connector flight I sat next to a gentleman who had many questions for me about the Bible and Our Lord. We also discussed homeopathic medicine and bees.

Once I made it to Oakland, I took the BART to the Embassy Suites in Walnut Creek. There were a couple of train changes. I got a little overwhelmed and worried that I was not going the correct route so I got off the train. I asked a guy on a skateboard how the system works. He said, Forget about the colors! (The directions are color- coded) Just follow the name of the stops. OK, now I get it. No further problems with the BART and my final stop let me off right across the street from the Embassy Suites.

Once I checked in, I took a walk around the block. Very nice evening and neighborhood. A Weiner Dog eyed me suspiciously from an apartment balcony.


All day at the Seminary. I got an early start and took the BART from Walnut Grove to Downtown Berkeley. Only one train change. Google told me the directions by foot to the Seminary. I stopped along the way at a Starbucks. It was a bigger store, but they had removed all the furniture in it. I got a coffee and resumed my walk to the Seminary. It was a beautiful morning.

There is an energy to a college town. Frat and Sorority houses. People going to school and work. A gentleman dressed in a suit and hat asked me if I had any liquid bread. I said I didn’t think so and went on my way. On my way to the Seminary, I admired many wonderful old buildings and churches. Great architecture. Walked by the famous Christian Science Church that is an historical landmark. Amazing.

At the Seminary I was welcomed by Christine Sunderland. She showed me around and I met some of the members of the Cal Berkeley Rowing team that live in the upper stories of one of the buildings of the Seminary.

Christine had set out photograph albums covering the history of the Seminary and the APCK. I could have stayed in that room all day. The history of our Province and the Seminary is a testament to the strength and grit our of Faith and Tradition. We also viewed one of the final addresses by Bishop Morse.

Once all the postulants, my brothers in Holy Orders, and other Synod attendees arrived, we had Morning Prayer and Mass. There was a wonderful organist and he shared with me that he is at the Seminary every Sunday and also travels to another one of our parishes after playing the Sunday Mass at the Seminary. It was a reminder to me that so many members of all our parishioners go above and beyond Sunday church attendance to truly do the Lord’s work that makes our parishes prosper.

St. Joseph of Arimathea Seminary (Berkeley, CA) entrance to the chapel.

After Morning Prayer and Mass, we had a wonderful presentation on the work of Bishop Morse and others who have given to us this legacy of faith and service. Never forget it.

Tuesday concluded with Evensong and Benediction. Plenty of incense and a profound time of prayer and worship.

Bishop Hansen, his wife, our Deaconess from St. Luke’s, Redding and I hopped into Bishop Hansen’s car and drove back to the Embassy Suites.


Morning Prayer and Mass. 11:45AM was my interview with the Standing Committee. This is serious stuff. I gave the best answers I could. The verdict: I will complete the one year Canonical Requirement for the Diaconate, then I must pass my Oral and Written Exams for the Priesthood before progress to Ordination. That evening was the opening social hour and I met many new people and loyal old friends as well. Everyone works hard to make this happen and our Bishops are an example of servant leadership and sacrificial duty. The social hour also provided an opportunity to bid on items donated by parishes and parishioners to raise funds.

Thursday and Friday

My first Clericus. A delicious Clergy and Wives dinner at a local restaurant. The Synod Business Meeting that included the conversation around combining (re-uniting) the Dioceses of the West and Southwest. Pontifical High Mass at St. Martin of Tours Parish in Concord. Again, I was blessed to meet so many hard- working and dedicated “laborers in vineyard”. Although our parishes are often far from one another, we are not alone and our APCK family is healthy, growing and diverse, united by our Faith and Tradition.

The Synod Banquet created a happy and relaxed time to enjoy good food and one another.


The final Mass of the Synod was Saturday morning. I had already checked out of my hotel room so after Mass and good-byes, it was a return to the Oakland Airport via BART. I finally got home around 9:30PM that night.

The fragrance of the orange trees near the Seminary and the sunshine reminded me of my former life as a native Californian. To borrow from Cole Porter and with a little adjustment to his lyrics: “Let the life that once was fire, remain an ember.