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Monday, November 17, 2008

Andronicus and Junius

There is a conspiracy afoot in the church, one that I'd like to invite you to join.

The Diocese of Massachusetts recently passed a resolution to ask the National Episcopal Church at General Convention, July, 2009, to add St. Andronicus and Junia on the calendar of Lesser Feasts and Fasts on May 17 for trail use basis.

The Diocese of Newark, where I am resident, will also consider it at our Diocesan Convention in January.

You can read the explanation below, but I'll give you a little heads up on the bottom line reason: "Adding this feast to our calendar would balance it so that it would reflect the truth that the Risen Christ entrusted the Gospel ministry to both men and women."

I think that's a great reason, don't you? If you do, feel free to cut and paste the resolution below and submit it to your diocese for consideration.

Join the conspiracy to make the church's calendar of Saints more representative of the fullness of our vocation - lay and ordained - to the ministry of Christ Jesus.

And, if your not Episcopalian, talk it over with your priest anyway and be prepared to have an interesting conversation.

If you are of a religious persuasion that doesn't include 'the saints', or should you not belong to any 'organized religion' (not that the Episcopal Church is all that 'organized' a religion), consider doing a little research on these two saints, and let their lives inspire you to conspire with us.

I mean, really: when was the last time you were invited into a religious conspiracy?

Never mind. Don't answer that. Read on:

Feast of St. Andronicus and Junia

Resolved that this ___ convention of the Diocese of Newark submit to the General Convention to add to the calendar on a trial use basis the feast day on May 17 for Saints Andronicus and Junia, Apostles, mentioned in Romans 16:7 and venerated for 1400 years in Eastern Orthodoxy and for over three decades in Anglican Churches in the U.S.A. and Canada.


The Bible verse mentioning these saints, written by St. Paul, says, “Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives and prison companions; they are notable Apostles, and they were in Christ before me.” These Apostle saints who model evangelism, building up local Churches, women and men working together in the Church, prison ministry and faithfulness despite persecution—all needs of the Church today—are suitable models in the Communion of Saints for all the baptized. We believe this feast can function with these different emphases as supplementary and complementary for different people, not contradictory or competing concerns. Paul called them outstanding Apostles and we feel it would be fitting if the wider church would honor them in like fashion.

Since 1984 some parishes in the Episcopal Church have celebrated this feast day, long hidden from our knowledge by the mistranslation of Junia’s name in Romans 16:7. (The evidence for the correct translation has now been well documented by Dr. Eldon J. Epp.) God the Holy Spirit gave both these saints gifts, and the Spirit is giving men and women in our diocese gifts, and we can see how our call to use our gifts for the mission of the Church is an echo of their discipleship. They also represent for us our acceptance of the Spirit calling both men and women to all lay and ordained ministries in our Church.

Adding this feast to our calendar would balance it so that it would reflect the truth that the Risen Christ entrusted the Gospel ministry to both men and women. The Diocese of Massachusetts began formal trial use observance of this feast in 2007, and by 2008 parishes in at least seven dioceses observed this feast, from Rome to Iowa to Texas to Hawaii. In 2009 even more parishes and dioceses will be observing this feast.


Paul said...

Oh yes! I have long wished to see Junia given due recognition! Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Jane R said...

Excellent! Thank you, Elizabeth.

Hey, speaking of Junia, does anyone know how Mother Laura is? Her blog, Junia's Daughter, recently closed to the public. I have misplaced her personal e-mail (we met off-blog at a couple of conferences over the last year or two) and can't write her. (Eventually her card will turn up, but since the sudden move this fall I have had even more than the usual trouble making order out of chaos.) If you have any news of import, contact me at widsauthor at earthlink dot net. Thanks!

Fran said...

Junia, Junia- this is great.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

The sex-changed apostle Junia(nom)/Junias (acc) was premiered here in the "State Normal" edition, i.e. in the official translation for schools, of 1888.

Never before!

The un-known name Junius was retained in 1917 (a year which saw far greater transformations than sex-changed Apostles)...

However the sex-change was also retained in 1981 and 2000 (by to anti Modern converts to Rome, one official, one un-official ;=)

So definately Modern to late modern, anti Modern.