Thursday, May 24, 2012

Jackson Kemper

was the first missionary bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

Baptized David Jackson Kemper by Dr. Benjamin Moore, the Assistant Rector of his parents' congregation at New York City's Trinity Church, he would eventually drop the given name "David." He had been born in the Hudson River Valley of New York, where his parents had taken temporary refuge during a smallpox outbreak in New York City. He was the son of Col. Daniel Kemper, a former aide-de-camp to Gen. George Washington at the battles of Germantown and Monmouth during the American Revolution, and Elizabeth (Marius) Kemper, who descended from well-known families of the Dutch New Amsterdam era.

He entered Columbia College at the age of fifteen, where he studied theology under Dr. Henry Hobart and graduated in 1809 as the valedictorian of his class. Relocating to Philadelphia, he was made a deacon of the Episcopal Church in 1811 and was ordained as a priest in 1814. In 1835, the Episcopal Church undertook to consecrate missionary bishops to preach the Gospel west of the settled areas, and Kemper was the first to be chosen. He promptly headed west. Having found that clergy who had lived all their lives in the settled East were slow to respond to his call to join him on the frontier, he determined to recruit priests from among men who were already in the West, and established a college in St. Louis, Missouri, for that purpose. He went on to found Nashotah House and Racine College in Wisconsin, and founded the mission parish that became the Cathedral Church of All Saints in Milwaukee. He constantly urged a more extensive outreach to the Native American peoples, and translations of the Scriptures and the services of the Church into their languages. From 1859 till his death in 1870, he was bishop of Wisconsin, but the effect of his labors covered a far wider area.

Propers for Jackson Kemper - Missionary Bishop

The Collect.

Lord God, in whose providence Jackson Kemper was chosen first missionary bishop in this land, and by his arduous labor and travel established congregations in scattered settlements of the West: Grant that the Church may always be faithful to its mission, and have the vision, courage, and perseverance to make known to all peoples the Good News of Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.

The Epistle - Acts 1:1-9.

THE former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: to whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: and, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things. while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

The Gospel - St. Luke 10:1-9.

AFTER these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor pack, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way. And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: and heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

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