Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Rev. Dr. Joe D. Mills

Today's services at ECOOS were notable for a couple of things. There was the ice of course, and that reduced attendance significantly. The other thing was the fact that today we celebrated 50 years of ordained ministry by Fr. Joe Mills who for many years served as Non-stipendiary assistant priest at ECOOS. Numerous guests who braved the slippery parking lot filled the pews today as Joe preached the sermon and assisted in presiding over the Eucharist. In his homily, he preached about the calling he received at age 35, and how he taught sociology and religion at Winthrop. He did provide one humorous anecdote about his late wife Eva. Joe said that when he was in the habit of saying the daily offices, sometimes he would have to say them in the car while Eva was driving. When he got to the part about the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and made the sign of the cross, Eva would tell him not to do that because other drivers might see him and think that he was afraid of her driving.

Joe referred back to the passages from Paul's letter to the Corinthians that we studied today. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13:

"If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love."

When we see Joe, we know we are loved. Let us hope he sees that we love him too.


  1. As they say in cyberspace, "LOL." Hope Fr. Joe's presence was an ecouragement to you today.

  2. It's always nice to commemorate a long life of service to God.

    As for the story about his wife, I was reminded of something I heard on the radio recently.

    A man's mother had recently undergone a surgical procedure with left her with a black eye. She didn't want to go to church on Sunday because of it, but the son told her it was OK. Further, when the fellowship part came and everyone was shaking hands, she should flinch when his father began to raise his hand to shake hers, thereby implying that she was fearful of being struck again.

    That advice was good for her spirits and eventual recovery.