240630 AOC Sunday Report

                                        Anglican Orthodox Churchsm                                        

Worldwide Communion

Fifth Sunday after Trinity

Sunday Report

     Bishop Hap Arnold – December 27, 1949 – May 16, 2024 – Military Internment June 27, 2024

Bishop Hap Arnold has served in the Anglican Orthodox Church (AOC) for several years with distinction and Godly fervor. He not only has been instrumental in developing plans and programs for the AOC, developed and supplied training materials, but also has been a constant source of strength and encouragement to me and many others in the service of the Lord. Moreover, he has served his country with distinction as an Air force Command Pilot and leader. May god bless his dear wife, Dru, and son, Bishop Jack, with comforting mercy and hope in the future reunion of Hap with his dear ones.


Bishop Jerry L. Ogles, Presiding Bishop, Anglican Orthodox Church International Inc.

Bishop’s Letter for Independence Day, 2024

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” Psalms 33:12 (KJB)



What comes to mind when we consider the 4th of July commemorating our founding as a nation under the terms of liberty heretofore unknown in all the annals of history? I hope it is not Bar-B-Que, or the over-indulging of food and drink. I hope there will be a personal and national concentration on those values that have made and preserved us a nation among the nations of the earth. Even our Liberty Bell that heralded the proclamation of Freedom with such great aplomb as to crack its casing. Regard, if you will, the biblical quote from Leviticus 25:10 engraved on the bell-head: “Proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” Leviticus 25:10

In the years immediately following the Second World War, American patriotism was at its heights, and so was the national prestige of our country. Every town – large or small – celebrated Independence Day with fervent speeches and rousing parades of uniformed veterans and active duty military services. The music was what roused my passions most as a very young boy. That music was always chosen from the martial military music composed by John Phillip Sousa (1854 -1932). I believe that music had a role in sustaining that patriotic fervor over the years of our greatest achievement as a nation marching music such as Stars and Stripes Forever, Under the Double Eagle, King cotton, etc. How our breasts would swell with pride and inspiration as our father marched down the boulevard to notes of Sousa’s music – seldom heard in our day of musical vulgarity.

Sousa began his musical career as a U.S. Marine band member at the age of 14. He later led the great military bands of our nations, but primarily that of the U.S. Marine Corp.

I have heard it said that the great victories of Napoleon were influenced by the French anthem, “La Marseillaise” the lyrics of which we may find distasteful, but the score we find to be compelling to action. That may be true or not, however, I seriously believe the music of Sousa impacted our better angels with the spirit of pride and liberty in a nation whose national motto came to be “In God we Trust!”

The high notes of the flute played at one portion of the Stars and Stripes forever seem to cause our spirits to soar on high above the strife and battle fray of mundane considerations.

As usual from the time of my early training under the oversight of my patriotic soldier-father, I will concentrate on the price in blood and treasure that our freedoms cost our Fore-Fathers, and to listening to the rousing strains of the music of the wonderful Sousa compositions. I will also pray that the Lord will awaken our youth to the value of Liberty and the willingness to bear arms, if necessary, in its defense. Of course, apart from a trust in the Lord, there can be no free people.

May God preserve us a nation beholding to His Sovereignty and righteousness for, without His blessings, there can be no liberty and freedom.

In Christ Alone during Season of TRINITY,

 Jerry L. Ogles D.D.
Presiding Bishop.
Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide & Chancellor, Faith Theological Seminary


The Fifth Sunday after Trinity – June 30, 2024

 Fifth Sunday after Trinity Propers:

 The propers are special prayers and readings from the Bible. There is a Collect for the Day; that is a single thought prayer, most written either before the re-founding of the Church of England in the 1540’s or written by Bishop Thomas Cranmer, the first Archbishop of Canterbury after the re-founding.

The Collect for the Day is to be read on Sunday and during Morning and Evening Prayer until the next Sunday. The Epistle is normally a reading from one of the various Epistles, or letters, in the New Testament. The Gospel is a reading from one of the Holy Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The Collect is said by the minister as a prayer, the Epistle can be read by either a designated reader (as we do in our church) or by one of the ministers and the Holy Gospel, which during the service in our church is read by an ordained minister.

The propers are the same each year, except if a Red-Letter Feast, that is one with propers in the prayerbook, falls on a Sunday, then those propers are to be read instead, except in a White Season, where it is put off. Red Letter Feasts, so called because in the Altar Prayerbooks the titles are in red, are special days. Most of the Red-Letter Feasts are dedicated to early saint’s instrumental in the development of the church, others to special events. Some days are particularly special and the Collect for that day is to be used for an octave (eight days) or an entire season, like Advent or Lent. The Propers for today are found on Page 195-196, with the Collect first:

The Collect for the Fifth Sunday after Trinity

GRANT, O Lord, we beseech thee, that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by thy governance, that thy Church may joyfully serve thee in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle for the Fifth Sunday after Trinity. The Epistle. 1 St. Peter iii. 8.

BE ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: not  rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are hereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts.

 The Gospel for the Fifth Sunday after Trinity.  The Gospel. St. Luke v. 1.

 IT came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, and saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: never-theless at thy word I will let down the net. And when  they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: and so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.

On Point

Someone asked, where do the quotes come from? The answer is from the people who uttered them. But, how did you find them? Oh, that. Some from Bishop Jerry, others from Rev. Geordie and many from Rev Bryan Dabney and a few from other places.

 Points to Ponder:

There Is Not Enough Private Prayer!

There are few professing Christians, it may be feared, who strive to imitate Christ in the matter of private devotion. There is abundance of hearing, reading, talking, professing, visiting, contributing to the poor, subscribing to societies and teaching at schools. But is there, together with all this, a due proportion of private prayer? Are believing men and women sufficiently careful to be frequently alone with God? These are humbling and heart-searching questions. But we shall find it useful to give them an answer.

Why is it that there is so much apparent religious working, and yet so little result in positive conversions to God – so many sermons, and so few souls saved – so much machinery, and so little effect produced – so much running here and there, and yet so few brought to Christ? Why is all this? The reply is short and simple. There is not enough private prayer.The cause of Christ does not need less working, but it does need among the workers more praying. Let us each examine ourselves, and amend our ways. The most successful workmen in the Lord’s vineyard, are those who are like their Master, often and much upon their knees.

~ J.C. Ryle Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Luke volume 1:5:12-16

Prayer is a salve for every sore, even the sorest, a remedy for every malady, even the most grievous. And our business in prayer is not to prescribe, but to subscribe to the wisdom and will of God, to refer our case to him, and then to leave it with him.

The Rev. Matthew Henry– 17th and 18th century English pastor and author

 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

Jeremiah 6:16

[The] abomination that maketh desolate is now standing in the Holy Place of America’s churches. That abomination has been severely censured by God in both the Old and New Testament. We have ordained and consecrated men (and women) who are openly homosexual to the ministry in the churches in America. These wicked people now stand in pulpits and even in episcopal authority over those pulpits. How long do we feel God will withhold His wrath for this willful disregard for His Word?

The Most Rev. Jerry L. Ogles– 20th and 21st century Anglican Orthodox

Presiding Bishop (excerpt from his sermon on the Fourth Sunday in Advent, 12-20-20).

 Jerry Ogles
Presiding Bishop
Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
We are fortunate to get copies of Bishop Jerry’s you tube links, devotions on the Prayer of the Collect and sermon notes.

Bishop Jerry creates videos on various subjects, they last just under ten minutes and this week’s videos are listed below:

 Article 6 in the Series Articles of Religion This is a bit long (13+ minutes. I could not reduce the length and still do justice to the Article) JLO



Bishop Ogles 4th of July Letter:



Devotion on the PRAYER OF COLLECT for 5th Sunday after TRINITY

The Collect

GRANT, O Lord, we beseech thee, that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by thy governance, that thy Church may joyfully serve thee in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

This prayer was composed at a time when the vicious enemies – Huns, Vandals, Goths – were at the gates of Rome; therefore, its expressions were made from hearts totally aware of their dependence upon the mercy of God. As a product of the Gregorian Sacramentary, the prayer concerns the Reformation Doctrine of the First Use of the Law. (Barbee & Zahl) The First Use of the Law is a restraining force in the world against all wickedness. Without a moral restraint, the world would become so completely wicked that life could not exist. The Second Use of the Law, not addressed here, is the function of the Law as a mirror to our imperfections in the face of the Law – a school teacher which demands a greater perfection than we are ever able to attain, but must strive for.

Why do we have “wars and rumors of war” in all quarters of the world? We see a contrast of beliefs that are diametrically opposed to one another abroad in the world today. The three major beliefs are Christianity, atheism, and Islam.  You may discount the second (atheism) for it is a feigned belief. Every atheist knows, as does every other human being, that there is a God. But the atheist is in denial due to the dire ramifications the existence of God has for his demented soul. But Islam is a different story. Even more demented than the atheist, the Muslim believes that his god is Allah, and that Allah desires the wholesale slaughter, by the cruelest means, of all who will not bow the knee to his wicked rule. I believe that Satan himself would devise such a religion if he had the time – and he presently does have the time. Having lived in Iran BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER the Islamic Revolution there, I feel that I have some credibility to advance an informed assessment on the evils of Islam. I will not, here, go into the heart-sickening details. But I can say with certainty that faith, professed at the point of the sword, is no faith at all.

Our Prayer of Collect today reminds that there does exist the possibility of a peaceable kingdom, but that Kingdom must find its governance in a Holy God and not a false one. The peace of God is a peace that cannot be comprehended through the designs and opinions of man:  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  (Phil 4:7) Such a peace cannot be possessed by a people who are nominal Christians, but only by those who have taken on the Mind of Christ. His Mind does not vindictively pursue those who are ignorant of Him, but seeks them out in love to open their eyes to the Light that scatters the darkness and ennobles the soul.

This Prayer asks for a grant from the proper source – the Lord! GRANT, O Lord. You may beg alms from a pauper all you please, but your need will never be granted because the pauper has no means by which your prayer may be granted. If we have great need, with no means of satisfying within our own means, we must go to the One who has the resources to grant our request. “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. 11I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. ……. 15call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.”  (Psalms 50:10, 11, 15)

Our petition is not an ultimatum for we have no grounds to demand anything of the Most High KingGRANT, O Lord, we beseech thee. Standing in the need of favors which we are powerless to acquire of our own volition, we approach the Throne of Grace as children begging for the mercy and favor of a loving Father. There is a different approach to that Throne being deceitfully preached from the sensational pulpits of America today that claims we can DEMAND anything of God and He is bound to grant the demand. What an evil and foolish lie. The very definition of a King is that He is Sovereign on His Throne. He may grant grace, or withhold mercy, to whom He pleases and for reasons that are His alone. But I can assure you of this one point: anything besought of God that is in accord with His own Will to grant, shall be granted. So, if we have taken on the Mind of Christ, our requests shall be uttered out of that Mind. But if we harbor some hidden wickedness in our hearts, God will not hear our petitions. We dare not get angry with God if He does not hear our prayers. We may not blame His Holy ears for being unhearing. When our prayers are not heard, we need to look within, not seeking excuses without: If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: (Psalms 66:18)

Should we ask our prayers to be granted out of selfish desires? The model prayer our Lord taught us to pray has no such selfish interest at heart except that we receive only our daily bread.  We also pray in the Lord’s Prayer that God’s will be done “on earth as it is in Heaven.” Is this truly the desire of our hearts? It certainly should be for, if God’s will is done, it will be done by His people and for His purposes. There will be no abuse of little children, no murders or theft, no cruel wars, no rape or adultery – for the Will of God prohibits any slight wickedness. And so we pray “. . . that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by thy governance. All who disobey the Sovereign of a Kingdom are rebels to His authority.  His rule is not borne by an iron yoke, but a light and easy to bear yoke of love.  But the children of the devil cannot abide such a yoke, for love and obedience thereto are alien to their hearts which are full of evil imaginations. One only needs to consider the beheadings and brutal treatment of innocents in the Middle East to pray that such evil never invades our own shores and borders. I fear that we are, by our own present wickedness as a nation, inviting the same into our very parlors.

What is the objective of the God-governed peace for which we plead? “….that thy Church may joyfully serve thee in all godly quietness.” Please note that one of the benefits of a Godly governance is joy. We not only seek to serve God in quiet obedience, but even joyfully do so. Unbelievably so, there are far greater numbers of Christians being martyred today than in any previous period of the history of the world. Can we fathom that? As God’s Word becomes more generally known, evil also abounds the more – for Satan knows his days are numbered and his death throes are horrendous. If we are one with Jesus Christ, He will be One with us. When we go seeking for mercy of the Father, we had best take His only Begotten Son along with us to plead our cause, and it shall be granted assuredly. Godly quietness is not peace at all cost, but a Godly peace – a peace that acknowledges love, mercy, and grace to be grants of God to us, and to our fellows.


Sermon Notes for 5th Sunday after Trinity

And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, 2And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. 3And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. 4Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 5And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. 6And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. 7And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. 8When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. 9For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: 10And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. 11And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.” (Luke 5:1-11; all scripture quoted is from the King James Bible)

 Jesus stands by the lake of Gennesaret and is urged by the people to speak to them the Word of God. Every Word that Jesus spoke was the Word of God for Christ is God also. “And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret.

Why would so many people follow every move of Christ and seek to hear Him?

  1. Christ did not differentiate between Prince and Pauper. He treated all men alike with respect and dignity as human beings only.
  2. Though Christ, was sinless, He was kind to all sinners except the hypocrites (Pharisees and Sadduccees).
  3. He cared most for those who were oppressed and poor.
  4. He recognized the needs of men and women.
  5. Jesus taught the pure Word and not the diffused and diluted Word taught in many churches of our day.

And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. 3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.” These two ships had finished the day’s work. The fisherman were washing their nets which suggests that they had caught no bounty of fish else they would have first taken the fish to the market before they spoiled.

Christ decides to make a separation of Himself from the people during His preaching. This is a concern to every minister. We, too, must separate ourselves, not only from the world when we preach, but even from our own selfish desires. So, Jesus makes a distance from the people to better assess them and conduct His teaching. The boat He commandeers to accomplish this belongs to Simon Peter. “And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.

Jesus was the Teacher. The people were the students. Jesus sat down to teach because He taught with Authority. The people, as students, stood to receive the Word eagerly.

He spoke from the waters to the land. Just as the refreshing showers of blessing are drawn up from the sea into the air masses and move landward, so were the Words of Truth dispensed from the very Water of Life.

Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.” Christ was never guilty of any lapse in courtesy or failure to reciprocate a favor. He had used Simon’s ship, now He will recompense Simon therefor. “And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

Again, proof that all the labors of the day had failed to get any fish. The sea may not give up its bounty to man, but it certainly will give up its bounty to its Maker. In fact, the day will come when all the dead even who have perished in the sea will come up out of the sea and even from Hell itself! “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.” (Revelation 20:13) The Creator of all Creation exercises power over it.

Though Simon doubts of the result, he will nevertheless let down the net at the command of Christ. To Simon, this is a waste of time. That which makes no sense to man makes an abundance of sense to God. “And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. 7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.” Please note that this was no ordinary fishing expedition. These fishermen had never caught so many fish as to sink their boats. Look at how profusely Christ repays those who are gracious and who obey His Word even when they doubt the result somewhat. We, too, must obey the Word of God even if we cannot imagine any benefit to ourselves.

When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. 9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:” We are not worthy to be in God’s presence; however, He has allowed us to come to Him. Our being in the presence of God requires reverence, unlike the screaming and shouting we observe in many churches. God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.” (Psalms 89:7)

Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29For our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28-29)

The miraculous catch of fish was adequate proof to Simon of who Christ was coupled with all else he had witnessed. He knew himself to be unworthy of Christ. Do we so recognize that we are not worthy either – that it is simply by God’s grace that we are made worthy.

So were the other two called apostles: “And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon.” If they believed catching such a tremendous number of fish was exceptional, Christ will further make them fishers of men so that their nets will be overloaded – And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.

Fisherman are persistent in their labors.

They know WHERE to fish, and for how long.

They know what will attract fish to their nets.

They know the TIME to fish.

These fish were taken alive just as men must be taken alive. Once dead, they are of no account to God or the Church. This is a progressive call to Peter, James, and John.

The first call: “Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; 36And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! 37And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? 39He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. 40One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. 42And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.” (John 1:35-42)

The second call:   “And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 1 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. 21And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. 22And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.” (Matthew 4:18-22)

We see a progressive role being established here – 1st, a stone. 2nd, fishers of men, and 3rd, not only fishing for men, but catching them in abundance.

Each of us has been called of Christ to a mission with a specific role. Are we still at the point of loitering by the sea, working to convert souls, or have we arrived at the point where our efforts are so credible that men will follow?


Fourth Sunday after Trinity

Sermon – Bishop Jack Arnold – Time and Action

Church of the Faithful Centurion

Descanso, California

Today’s sermon brought the Collect, Epistle and Gospel together and is partly contained in the forewords above.

Consider these words from the Collect:

… the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by thy governance, that thy Church may joyfully serve thee in all godly quietness …

In the Collect, we ask that the events of this world might follow God’s governance or will. Why? Because in those places where it does, we find happiness and joy. It is that simple, it means more, reflect on that. After all, amazing is it not? Since the Garden, it has always been one of the two same choices:

  1. We follow God’s Will for us, we do what is good for us, individually and as a people or a country. It is hard work, but easier than we imagined; we prosper when all goes well. It was all our doing; we are happy because we were so smart.
  2. We ignore God’s instructions, doing what we want to do, not what we are supposed to do. It turns out to be way harder than we thought possible, in the end everything turns to weasel spit. It was not our fault, it is God’s fault, He is punishing us.

As long as we are imperfect creatures with free will, humanity will not change. The key word in this phrase is will. The will of humanity is set towards embracing sin and running away from God. But there is the possibility that through the Holy Ghost, we as individuals can change and with enough individuals changing, the whole of humanity of change. Humanity would be better off if we fully embraced the principles found in the Gospel. This is what the collect is referring to when it says that the course of this world may be so peacefully ordered by thy governance. If the world would do as God asks, we would find that our problems would go away as that our problems stem from us refusing to do what God asks.

However, there is a big obstacle to this: human nature. We are our own worst enemy and stumbling block. We are the biggest obstacles to our own success. God can help us overcome ourselves, but only if we let Him into our hearts. We have to understand doing what God wants will be better for us in the long run than doing what we want.

This is a difficult concept for us to grasp without the help of the Holy Ghost. But it is not so hard once we let the Holy Ghost into our hearts. But the key here is that we have to let the Holy Ghost into our hearts. We have to exercise our free will properly in order to do this and recognize that without the Holy Ghost in our hearts, we are hopelessly lost. But with the Holy Ghost in our hearts, we will be back on the path towards righteousness and heaven.

Don’t try to get out of doing what God wants to do what you want, and don’t look for loopholes. Don’t be a Pharisee! Consider when Jesus told Simon Peter to go out and set his nets. Simon was tired, he was hungry, he had fished all night with no result. After making excuses, he decided to do what he was told! There is a lesson there, instead of making excuses why things are the way they are, why not be quiet and do God’s will instead? It will have a lot better result, that is for sure!

That is what happened to Simon Peter; that is what will happen to you, if you will but listen and act. Listening and then acting are the key principles of this Gospel, we must listen to what He says, and then ACT upon it. It is not good enough to just listen and go on your merry way and not ACT upon it. We must have actions in order to show that our faith has any meaning at all.

Without actions, our faith would be a very shallow one. It is very easy to talk the talk, but can we walk the walk too? People watching will notice if our words are backed up by our actions. Without actions our faith is meaningless. There has to be actions in order to show that we truly indeed have faith and are not just faking our faith. Our actions must be consistent with the principles from Scripture in order for our faith to have meaning.

As the verse from the Book of Matthew goes, wherever our treasure is, our heart will be there also. So, if we do treasure Jesus and His teachings, our heart will be fixed there also and our actions will reflect that. Same to somebody whose heart is in earthly things or mammon, their heart will be fixed upon those things and their actions will reflect that.

The point Saint Peter makes in this morning’s Epistle is that it is easy for us to be sinful creatures and not do good. It is much harder to resist that sin and to do good, but yet that is what God calls us to do. If God has called us to resist that sin and do good, then that is the course that we must take. The Holy Spirit will give us that strength to resist the sin and to good and to overcome obstacles and feelings, but only if we let it. He points out that those who love life and want to do good will refrain from doing bad and evil things to our fellow humans. God is open to those who do good and He is against those who are evil. God will open his ears to us, but we have to also open our ears to what He asks us to do. Action and not just diction are what counts in the end. That phrase is what St. Peter’s Epistle boils down to and it is also a shared theme with this morning’s Gospel. When Simon Peter finally listened and acted according to Jesus’s instructions, wonderful things happened. So too will they happen for us when we finally actually listen to what God wants and do it instead of doing what we want.

We will find that our life will improve significantly once we start doing what God wants us to do instead of what we want to do. We will find things become better for us in a lot of aspects of our life thanks to doing what God wants. People who do not have the Holy Ghost in their hearts may not be able to see this, but us with the Holy Ghost in our hearts will be able to see it once we apply God’s principles into action. We can make things better for us and those around us by doing what God wants us to do. Our communities will become a better place the more we start to do what God wants instead of what we want to do. A lot of the problems in this world are caused by people doing what they want to do instead of what God wants us to do.

Do not misunderstand, every day Jesus speaks to you telling you what to do. It is your choice; you can listen like Simon Peter or you can ignore Jesus. He has the pony for the lottery. He wants to give it to you; all you have to do is accept. While He is a bit more subtle than a Drill Instructor, the question is the same, “Can you hear me?” The problem with us is that we just do not want to hear. That is why we need the Holy Ghost to open up our ears, that we might hear and obey. We need to tell ourselves that listening to Jesus and the Holy Ghost will produce better results for us in the short and long term than if we ignore them. We have to remind ourselves that our eternal life starts right now and not when we die, so we might as well get on following Jesus and the Holy Ghost’s instructions.

There are none so deaf as those who will not hear. Heaven is at the end of an uphill trail. The easy downhill trail does not lead to the summit. The time is now, not tomorrow. The time has come, indeed. How will you ACT?           It is by our actions we are known.

Yves M. Méra

Presiding Bishop AOC France Anglican Orthodox Church Worldwide

We are fortunate to have a sermon from the Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Orthodox Church of France and the Administrative Coordinator of Europe and Africa. As you will read, he is an excellent writer. The sermon is easy to read and provides much insight.

 SERMON for the Fifth Sunday after Trinity


In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

It is paradoxical to try to imitate Jesus when He makes a miraculous fish catch – a great miracle! Can we work miracles as well? By our own strength, certainly not, but our Lord Jesus Christ has promised to do them for us, if we ask Him in faith (Mark 11:22-26): “And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

Our Heavenly Father is holy. He is pure. He is all goodness. He is Love. But He does not tolerate sin, for tolerating evil leads to accepting and then approving it. Evil is disobedience to the Ten Commandments of God, given by Moses, also a great miracle worker, and a type of Christ who committed himself for the benefit of the Hebrew people, God’s chosen people, and then God’s chosen people: The Elects. Let us remember what these Ten Commandments are (Exodus 20:2-17):

1. I am the Lord thy God… Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

  1. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
  2. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
  3. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
  4. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
  5. Thou shalt not kill.
  6. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  7. Thou shalt not steal.
  8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
  9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

That’s all. Is it so complicated to remember and put into practice? I do not think so, especially if you compare these Ten Commandments to the hundreds of thousands of laws and civil decrees that the Republic claims to enforce on us. Recent court case has also annulled the old adage “No one is supposed to be ignorant of the law”, because it has become humanly impossible to know them all, as there are so many; and our deputies vote on new ones every day, which are added to the existing jumble.

Jesus summarized these Ten Commandments in just two (Matthew 22:37-40): “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Notice Christ’s remark, “This is the first and greatest commandment .” The first priority for all men and women who are faithful to God the Creator and Supreme Judge is to love Him as a good Father, and to prove our love for Him by constantly obeying Him. Love of neighbor – usually called the Second Table of the Law – comes only after. It is not optional. But loving one’s neighbor without loving the Father is a nonsense, apart from vanity and pride in showing oneself off. Now, Christ commends us to be humble in everything we do, say, or even think. Here again, it is a matter of imitating Jesus (Matthew 11:29-30): “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” If Jesus is meek and humble in heart, then so shall we. The task seems easy to us at first, but the most difficult thing is to keep going in this Christian humility.

In the account of the miraculous catch, we see Jesus teaching the crowd that “… pressed upon him to hear the word of God” (Luke 5:1b). We imitate Christ by teaching this same word of God to everyone, through preaching and on the Internet, comfortably seated – not in a boat – but at our connected computer chair. And Luke tells us that the crowd did not come to Christ out of curiosity, but “to hear the word of God”, this Word is astonishing in its superhuman qualities, as Paul points out in his Epistle to the Hebrews, chapter 4, verse 12: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” My friends, let us remember that we will be judged by this same Word of God; it is therefore supremely important for us to know it… and to teach it in our turn!

Teaching God’s Word is not enough. But we still have to demonstrate it through our actions. Immediately after teaching the crowd, Jesus commands Simon Peter to go fishing for fish. And this catch is just incredible, as there are so many fish in the net, whereas the same Simon-Peter and his fellow workers came back empty-handed from a night of fishing. What Luke is telling us here is that without Christ, we cannot do anything good, with our own strength. But with Christ, then we are His instruments, asking for those miracles that only God can do, and we can see the Father and the Son at work. And when Jesus says to Simon Peter, who is in the grip of an irrepressible turmoil (Luke 5:10c): “Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.”, we can believe that his fishing for men will be just as generous, as numerous, as miraculous as the Fish Catch. And this is what happened on the day of Pentecost, after Peter’s speech (Acts 2:41): “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” A nice crowd in the net, in truth! In a single day, the Church went from 120 to 3,120 people; it can only be by the action of God, who confirmed Peter’s discourse; yet his speech was stuffed with quotations from Holy Scripture…

So, and without Christ even asking them to, Simon Peter and his teammates became attached to Jesus, “… they forsook all, and followed him.” (Luke 5:11b). They are stunned, as if bewitched, for having seen the work of God accomplished by Christ, they trust Him to the point of becoming His disciples, and later His envoys, His Apostles. An extraordinary recruitment, without classified ads, CVs or cover letters! A recruitment operated solely by the Holy Spirit of God.

Does this mean that we must give up everything to preach the Word of God to the crowds? Not exactly, since they only gave up their professional tools as they were changing jobs. They kept their possessions as before, as Matthew tells us in chapter 8, verse 14 of his Gospel: “And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever.” Peter had a house of his own. Christ only calls us to reorient our priorities in order to make ourselves available to teach the Word of God; then we will see our Lord at work, for He promises us (John 14:12-14): “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” But He requires us to obey His Commandments, in the next verse, (John 14:15): “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

It always comes back to the same question: Are we ready to obey God? Is this what we WANT? The same Simon Peter reminds us of this in his First Epistle, chapter 3, verses 10 to 15: “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” Here, Peter is only quoting the Psalms and the Prophets of the Old Testament. There is therefore nothing new in his discourse: Peter teaches by repeating the Word of God, without adding anything of his own, in the manner of the African Maasai tribes, of exclusively oral tradition, where the teachers have the same phrases repeated by each student up to 200 times, engraving them in their memory, indelibly.

Peter exhorts us to the same humility that was in Christ: “… that your prayers be not hindered.” (1 Peter 3/7) And: “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing” (verses 8-9). And the blessing that God bequeaths to us is an eternal life with Christ, in the Kingdom of Heaven.

And in the hope of this Life in Heaven, let us bless one another, as God the Father blesses us (Matthew 25:34) “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Our places have been booked there for a very long time, since past eternity. It does not depend on us, but on God who sent us His only begotten Son, so that we might be cleansed from our sin by His death and resurrection, and by His blood shed on the cross so that we might become the Father’s adopted children, Christ’s brothers, his joint-heirs, and His imitators (Romans 8:17):  “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”

But let’s be careful not to fall into dolorism. In pagan religions, and even in some Christian churches and not the smallest, people believe that they are worshipping God by inflicting physical abuse on themselves. Christ is not a masochist! To the one who slapped Him, “Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?” (John 18:23). Christ simply warns us that if we imitate Him, we will indeed suffer insults from the wicked, inspired by demons, as soon as we open our mouths to teach God’s Word. Peter had his share of this, having been arrested, whipped, imprisoned several times for violating the prohibition of preaching in the Name of Jesus (Acts 3-8). But we are blessed by God, every time the world curses us (Matthew 5:11-12a): “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven…”

The same Peter provides us with a very appropriate conclusion in imitation of Christ (Acts 5:29-32): “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.” All is said there. Let us be such witnesses of God’s grace by imitating our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Rt. Rev. Yves Méra, AOC Bishop for France.


Rev Bryan Dabney of Saint John’s AOC
Vicksburg, Mississippi –  Sunday Sermon

We are fortunate to have Bryan’s Sunday Sermon. If you want people to come to The Truth, you have to speak the truth, espouse the truth and live the truth. This is really a good piece and I commend it to your careful reading.

Fifth Sunday after Trinity

In Proverbs 15 we find the following passages: The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD… (v.8) The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD… (v.9) The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD… (v.26). Within these passages, God has made plain how he views the wicked of this world. The language is crystal clear for in every verse cited he describes each of their works and ways as an abomination. The word abomination in Hebrew is transliterated as towebah and refers to anything that is impure or disgusting.

So what then qualified those people as abominable? In the preceding verses of Proverbs 15 we are given insights into the character of the wicked. First of all, they are purveyors of grievous words (v.1) which incite others to anger. Doubtless you have known people who spend their waking moments seeking to “stir the pot” as it were. They love to create disharmony. They sow the seeds of confusion and uncertainty. Sometimes, they do so as interested spectators desiring to witness what will happen; while at other times they might seek some advantage which may arise out of their evil plans and positions. Regardless of their particular reasons for creating trouble, grievous words are often used by the wicked to degrade those around them. In an earlier chapter of Proverbs we are told that there are six things that the LORD hates: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren (6:16-19). Thus three of the six may with surety involve grievous words.

And God regards the wicked as fools whose mouths poureth out foolishness (v.2) and the perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit (v.4). As Matthew Henry once noted, “An evil tongue… wounds the conscience of the evil speaker, and occasions either guilt or grief to the hearers, and both are to be reckoned breaches in the spirit. Hard words indeed break no bones, but many a heart has been broken by them.” We know that foolish and perverse speech can cause even a faithful believer hardship not only in the hearing of such, but in its vexation of the soul. St. Peter wrote in his second epistle that righteous Lot’s soul was vexed daily with the filthy conversation of the wicked (2:7). That word conversation was translated from the Greek word anastrophe which may be defined as conduct, manner of life, or deportment, so it involves more than simple speech. The conscience of the wicked was aptly described by the apostle Paul as having been seared with a hot iron (I St. Timothy 4:2). Taken together, these passages describe the wicked as being souls who are wreaking with filth and devoid of any consciousness of their true condition.

Proverbs 15 also described these benighted souls as one who despiseth his father’s instruction (v.5). The scriptures tell us to honor our parents (Exodus 20:12) and that fathers are to train up their children in the ways of God (Deuteronomy 6:4-7;20-25). Those who will not heed the warnings of their parents

against sinful behaviors are destined for trouble in this life and separation from God in the next. In Ezekiel 18:4 the LORD said, Behold, all souls are mine, as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. The prophet was given in that entire chapter to proclaim God’s desire for men to live righteously in him and reject wickedness. In verses 20-23, the LORD said,

The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. But if the wicked will turn from all his sins… and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions… shall not be mentioned unto him… Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways and live? God desires that all men come to him and live. But for men to come, they must first see themselves as sinners and then reject those things that have separated them from God. They must be renewed by the power of God through the atoning work of his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. They must receive the Holy Ghost and be subject to his influence.

But such is problematic for the wicked as their father the devil (St. John 8:44) will work to prevent them from ever turning unto God in sincerity, for only the cries of those who recognize their true state and call out to God for their salvation will he heed and answer. Now that can be quite a task for the wicked as most see themselves as having no need for salvation. For them, this life is good enough and is all that they will focus on as their master will distract them with new attractions that he might keep their hearts and minds away from the good that God would have them experience.

  1. M. Bounds once observed that, “The world is the Devil’s heaven. Its rest, crown, and reward are here. When the world comes in, God’s heaven goes out. It fades from the eye and heart. The struggle for it ends, and God’s heaven, with its fadeless and eternal glories, is lost… The world is Satan’s place. His power is here. To fix our hearts on the world is to be loyal to him. To fix our hearts on heaven is

to be loyal to Christ. Here we have the reason for the world’s cruel hatred of Jesus, and why it has so bitterly persecuted His followers (Guide To Spiritual Warfare, p. 75).”

God also tells us in Proverbs 15 that while the righteous will have much treasure, the wicked will have, the revenues… of … trouble (v.6). The Devil’s only interest in them is purely utilitarian. He might indulge selected individuals for a time provided they conform to his wishes. But in the end, he will use them up and cast them away. He has only hatred for mankind. As our Lord said, The thief cometh not but for to steal, to kill, and to destroy (St. John 10:10). The greatest stealer of men’s souls is the Devil.

We are further instructed in Proverbs 15 that, the heart of the foolish does not spread abroad the true knowledge of God (v.7) because he is not their father. The wicked and foolish have as their father him who is the father of lies and of every evil way. The Devil will seek to pollute the worship of God through his willing minions within the body of Christ. He will direct their efforts to make every offering an affront to God; every prayer an occasion for false piety; every profession of faith, a finger in the eye of the Creator. He will foster arrogance in place of humility before God. He will encourage excesses of every sort: from overzealousness in public worship to extravagance in church expenditures which will in turn elevate those charged with leading the worship of the people, and will also stimulate their lust for power and wealth. He will inspire those who have not been called of God into his ministry, to seek positions within the church that are contrary to his expressed teachings as set forth in Scripture. Is it any wonder then why the LORD inspired Solomon to pen: The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD (v.8)? On numerous occasions prior to my being called into the ministry I witnessed ministers take the scriptures and turn them on their heads in order to support their jaded and godless views. It seemed as if I was watching a segment of the Twilight Zone as the narrator presents the prologue: “Consider for your approval pastor A. Now pastor A does not believe in the sanctity of human life. He does not believe in the Bible as God’s true and inspired word without error. He does not believe in the risen Christ. But here he is every Sunday, bearing all the vestiges of a minister, taking his salary as a minister but not truly serving as a minister because he is not truly in Christ.” He is, therefore, a hireling and a fraud. In short, he is an apostate of Satan. And so it follows that if the offerings and sacrifices of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD then so are the ways and thoughts of the wicked (v.26). It is from such persons that we are admonished to beware and to turn away from them (see Ephesians 5:11; II St. Timothy 3:1-5; II St. Peter 3:17), and we are not to fellowship with them as members of the body of Christ ( see I Corinthians 5:13 & 6:9-10; II Corinthians 6:14-18; St. Jude 3-19).

We Christians have been called out of darkness into the light of our Lord. We are to proclaim the truth of Christ to all. If they will listen and respond by accepting him as their Saviour and Lord, then they will receive the Holy Ghost. They will then be made— to paraphrase our prayer book— “ members incorporate in the mystical body” of God’s only begotten Son. If they will not accept and believe on him, they are castaways— lost to the evil one and to the fires of perdition. God gave us the Bible to assist us as we journey through this life that we might avoid those who are subject to the will and wishes of the Devil. Our daily walk and work in the Lord may bring us from time to time in contact with the wicked so we ought to properly discern what God would have us do so that we are not led astray by their errors. Purpose in your hearts today to follow God’s word and reject the unfruitful works of darkness.

Let us pray,

Father, protect us from the power of the evil one, and guide us into all truth, that we might better serve thee in these last days; and this we ask in the name of him who came to seek and save the lost, even our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Have a blessed week,



The Rev. Don Fultz
Rector of St. Peter’s AOC
located in the AOC National Office

Sermon for the Fifth Sunday after Trinity

Throughout the bible, you will find those extraordinary “Calls” by God with people:

  • 6, God calls Noah to build an Ark and prepare for the judgement. The great Flood!
  • 12:  The Lord called Abram to leave your country, your people and go to the land I will show you.   “I will make of thee a great nation and thou shalt be a blessing.”
  • 3, God calls Moses through a Burning Bush to lead his people out of Egyptian bondage.
  • Joshua 1:6, God calls Joshua to be strong and of good courage because he will lead the people to inherit the Land “which I sware unto their fathers to give them.”
  • The call of King David, the call of Paul on the road to Damascus.

Over and over in Scripture there are some pretty remarkable calls of the Lord on people.  When you read about these special callings, it is easy to think that the Lord couldn’t or wouldn’t call us.   Yet Scripture also records plenty of special calls on ordinary people, like you and me.  Through Faith in Jesus Christ, we are called:   sons of God, A Friend, a new creation, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ.   Another special calling of God on anyone who trusts and confesses Jesus as their Savior and Lord is a disciple.  Today, we don’t really use the word disciple that often but it is the perfect word to describe what we are called to be in the Lord.

The word itself means to be a Learner, a follower of Jesus but the word is always used to reflect someone who is in a relationship with Jesus!

That is the purpose of Luke’s Gospel passage today is to help Simon (Peter), Andrew as well as John and James what it really means to be a disciple of Jesus!  Both Simon and Andrew had committed themselves to follow Jesus but now Jesus wants to teach them and us what it really means to be a disciple.   It means more than just a onetime verbal confession to follow Jesus…Simon Peter and others had done that about a year ago. (John 1:37-51)   However, He and the others had returned to their lively hood of fishing.

It means more than just listening to the word of God…that is what the crowd and disciples were doing as Jesus teaches them from Simon Peter’s boat.  So, what does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus?   A disciple is one who follows Jesus, even when it doesn’t make sense.   Let’s look at verses 5:4-5:6:

Verse 5:4,   “Now when he had left speaking, he said into Simon, Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a draught.”  Let’s pause to try and understand what Jesus is asking Simon Peter to do here.   He and Andrew and others had toiled all night and caught nothing!  They must have been very tired and need of some sleep.   They had already cleaned their nets.  Also, it was probably getting hot so the fish are most likely closer to the bottom of the lake hiding under clefts and rocks to keep cool.    The request by Jesus doesn’t make sense but let’s look at what Simon Peter says in verse 5:5, “Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.”

Wow!   This is a real statement of faith and obedience!  Simon Peter tells Jesus that this request doesn’t make sense, but he will obey Jesus anyway.   Peter didn’t confess that Jesus was the son of God until late in Christ’s ministry (John 6:67-69).  However, he had seen Jesus do many miracles…especially the healing of his mother-in law in his own house (Luke 4:38-39).  So in his heart, he had faith in Jesus words.

Sometimes, the things God wants us to do doesn’t make much sense to other people, or even ourselves.   But God has spoken to us through His word, we must obey.

So let’s look at what happens when they obey Jesus in Verse 5:6, “And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes; and their net brake”  Obedience to Christ’s commands always results in divine blessing.   Here the blessing was a boatload of fish.   So many, in fact, that their nets were about to break.   So, they had to call John and James for another boat in verse 7.   Both boats were full of fish.   In fact, so many fishes that the boats starting to sink.

When God tells us to do something, do it, even if it doesn’t make sense.   God told Noah to build an Ark because a flood was coming when it had never rained.  Earth at the time was cooled by a mist (Gen 2:6).     And Noah did it!  God called Abraham to pack up his possessions and start walking, and he did it even though he didn’t know where he was going.   God told the people of Israel to march around Jericho for seven days if they wanted the walls to fall down and they did it.  God wants to work through you.   God wants to bless you.   But you have to be like Simon Peter who says, “That doesn’t make sense, but nevertheless, at your word, I will obey.” 

Though being a Disciple involves a personal confession of faith to Jesus as Lord, it is not meant to be lived out alone.  In verses 7, 9, and 10 we see where Jesus wants them to know that if they are going to be disciples that he desires they need to partner with others.   So Jesus blesses them, but that blessing also comes with problems…they have so much fish they need to partner with others to participate in the success and blessing of the Lord.  Simon Peter has to call on James and John as well as his other companions to help him.

We need one another for support, encouragement, prayer, and instruction and to serve together.    That is why we are commanded in Hebrew 10:25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the matter of some is, but exhorting one another.”  So a Disciple is one who seeks the fellowship of others and partners with others in following Christ.

Another Characteristic of a good Disciple is one who surrenders to and exalts Jesus as Peter did in verse 5:8, “When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’s knees, saying, depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord. “   We are told in verse 5:9 that Peter is referring to Jesus miracle of the draught of so many fishes taken.   So instead of leaping for joy and celebrating, Peter is very humble and remorseful!  Why?   Maybe Peter realizes that Jesus will provide for all his needs and he feels terrible about questioning his authority.     Peter surrenders to Jesus by admitting that he is a sinner and need of a savior.   He also exalts Jesus by referring to him as Master and Lord.

How do we surrender to Jesus?  By confessing our sins to Him, by acknowledging our need for Him and His wisdom, by seeking Him in prayer, by seeking his ways and not our own.

1 John 1:9 tells us “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

How do we exalt Jesus?   By making a confession of faith and by worshiping Him regularly.   By obeying Him in all His things even when it doesn’t make sense and may not be very popular.

A disciple is also one who sets his priorities to serve Jesus.    Let’s look at verse 5:10:  Jesus tells Simon Peter:  “Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.”    And verse 5:11:  “And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed Him.”.  Jesus had just given Simon Peter and the other disciples the biggest success in their fishing careers.   You could say their boat finally came in!  Yet, we are told they were willing to leave all of these boat loads of fishes and follow Jesus to become “Fishers of Men”.  Being a disciple is about letting Jesus set our priorities in life and seeking to serve Him by sharing Him with others.   To obey Him means that we individually and collectively as His people, the church, want to share Him with others-seek to be “Fishers of Men”.   Peter didn’t quit fishing because it was too hard or even because they didn’t catch anything at first…they went out, took the chance, risked it all as Jesus led.   So it is with us as His people today!

In closing, how are you sharing Jesus as Lord today?   Who has Jesus put in your life that you need to share Him?  How can you share Jesus with others?   Giving them a tract, an invite to Church, offering to pray for them and their needs.  Find out what areas that they don’t understand and share seeds of Faith from the bible with them!  And you too can be “Fishers of Men”.

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!  Amen

The Rev. Don Fultz, Rector – St. Peters AOC


Roy Morales-Kuhn, Bishop and Pastor
Saint Paul’s Anglican Church
Diocese of the Midwest Anglican Orthodox Church Suffragan Bishop of the AOC

 Fifth Sunday after Trinity

Psalm 62 & 63     First lesson: Ecclesiastes  2:1-11, 18-23  Second lesson: Matthew. 19:16-30

GRANT, O Lord, we beseech thee, that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by thy governance, that thy Church may joyfully serve thee in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Psalm 62

Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. 2He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.  3How long will ye imagine mischief against a man? ye shall be slain all of you: as a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence. 4They only consult to cast him down from his excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly.  5My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. 6He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved. 7In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. 8Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.  

1–8: WAITING when faced with intense opposition, David claims that God is his rock, salvation and defence. He instructs his soul to wait for God. He encourages others to trust in Him and pour out their hearts before God who is their refuge. As David encourages us to trust in Him we should also reach out to others with the same good news. Waiting upon the Lord can at times be very frustrating, but by far it is the best recourse to some of the worst times we face from time to time. Always remember it is the Lord’s time-line, not ours.

9Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity.”

9: WEIGHING God knows the true weight of ungodly men. They are lighter than vapour and have no righteousness that registers on the scales. Think about the hand writing on the wall in the book of Daniel. “We have been found wanting…{of less weight/value than we thought}” Want to test this concept, try to keep ALL the commandments. No man can, he will always come up short on the measure.

10Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.”

10: WORLDLINESS Not only oppression and robbery must be rejected, but so must worldly and materialistic dependence upon increased riches. They can never meet man’s spiritual needs. It will be like chasing the wind, as Solomon wrote in Proverbs.

11God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. 12Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.”

11–12: WORD Mercy, power, and justice are in David’s mind after God has spoken to him. God’s word is crucially important.

Psalm 63

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;
1: LONGING DAVID Everything about David underlines the fact that He longs to be with God. He is like a thirsty man in a parched wilderness looking for water.

2To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. 3Because thy loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. 4Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. 5My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:

2–5: LOVING DEVOTION David’s response of prayer and joyful praise are because he knows that the loving-kindness of the Lord satisfies and is better than life. He has an attitude of praise, he will lift up his hands unto the Lord. Everything about the Lord is a blessing to David, as he sees God’s power and glory, but yet also sees his loving-kindness. The best of all worlds.

6When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. 7Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. 8My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.”

6–8: LYING DOWN Even when he is lying on his bed at night, David will remember and meditate on God. Upheld by Him, he wants to follow Him closely. The safety that is implied by the shadow of God’s wings, not literally, but in the sense of protection of both physical and especially in a spiritual sense.  David knows that God’s hand holds him up in safety.

9But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth. 10They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes.”

9–10: LIVES DESTROYED David knows that those who seek to destroy his life will, one day, reap destruction in their own lives. As we have studied before, ‘vengeance is mine saith the Lord’. It is in God’s time, not ours, that the wicked will get their reward. And in understanding this concept of God’s time, not ours, may be one of the most difficult lessons to learn about our spiritual journey.  “Let go and let God.”

11But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.”

11: LIARS’ DESTINY Those who speak lies will one day be stopped, while those rejoicing in God will continue to praise and glorify Him. David knows that this eternal pleasure awaits him, too.  Once again, we are reminded that God will take care of the wicked.  He will put them in their place, in his time and his conditions. We need to stop worrying about God’s work, he is the creator, he knows what we need and don’t need. He will provide just punishment for the wicked, we need to just praise God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.

 Let us Pray: GRANT, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that the words which we have heard this day with our outward ears, may, through thy grace, be so grafted inwardly in our hearts, that they may bring forth in us the fruit of good living, to the honour and praise of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

DIRECT us, O Lord, in all our doings, with thy most gracious favour, and further us with thy continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in thee, we may glorify thy holy Name, and finally, by thy mercy, obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Almighty God, we give thanks for those who came before us, appealing to heaven for godly wisdom and faith, at the time of the founding of this nation two hundred and forty-nine years ago. We beseech thee to help us to ever be mindful of their sacrifices to ensure our freedoms today. Lord bless this nation, bring us back to a godly conduct that reflects the faith and biblical views of her ounding.  These things we ask in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.


Rev Stephen Cooper Church of the Redeemer Fairbanks, Alaska

From time to time we are fortunate to receive a sermon from Rev Cooper in Fairbanks Alaska. The head of our northernmost church, Stephen is a brilliant and inspiring speaker. I wish we had video of him rather than just audio; but I am confident you will enjoy this. This sermon is for last week. Please take the time to listen to it.

Fifth Sunday after Trinity:

Please click on link below to listen to:




AOC Worldwide Prayer List

I have received updates from a few and those will be the first added to the list. Please send all prayer requests and updates to aocworldwide@gmail.com for future reports

Keep Praying for the following:

Shamu, Tom, Craig, Jack & Dru Arnold, Jim, Dawn & Harper, Roberto & Bianca, Phylis, Rachel, Joshua & family, Dotty, Sue, Sandra, Madison & Hilda, Steve, Josh Morley
Jennifer, Candy, Tricia, Zach, Jess, Luke, Jacquie, Angie, Doug, Clark, Linda, Kathy

USA, AOC USa, AOC Missons


Prayer Needed:

 Bishop Ernest and Eileen Jacobs on travel from Pakistan to Miami and then Statesville and US – June 25-July 25, 2024

 Genie Dees – July 2nd Shoulder Replacement Surgery

 James – Severe Kidney Infection

 Extended Issues need continued prayer;

 Laurie with long Covid Symptoms – Extreme exhaustion, heart palpitations, breathing problems and unstable blood pressures are constant worries causing depression to settle in.

Brenda – long term Laryngitis – help speaking again

 Danny cancer that has spread to her brain stem with no cure and her family (The Bermans)


Praise Reports for Answered Prayer:

Rachel Richards ear surgery went well and she recovering at home.

Jessie has returned to her home cured from her pneumonia.

Joyce biopsy report resulted in complete healing with no cancerous cells.

Jim Kniffen has fully recovered and back to work.




By |2024-07-03T13:52:20+00:00July 3rd, 2024|AOC Sunday Report|Comments Off on 240630 AOC Sunday Report

About the Author: