Roman Emperor Henry IV and Pope Gregory VII grew up together and depended on each other. Henry was a fine young guy when he became king. As early as the age of fifteen, Henry attempted to increase his power over clergy in the Holy Roman Empire. Eventually Henry’s actions caused a conflict with Pope Gregory VII who was one of the great leaders of the Medieval Church. Henry assisted Gregory to become pope. But Gregory decided he wouldn’t agree with Henry. Gregory said Henry was breaking the law. Then Henry accused Gregory of not being a true pope. Pope Gregory claimed much authority arguing the pope’s courts are above king’s courts. Only popes can use the imperial sign. Popes can kick-out the king. Only popes can appoint bishops and archbishops. Henry attempted to contradict that. But Gregory as pope said no one in the Holy Roman Empire can get communion. That made many people worry about their salvation. Nobles/leaders rebelled against Henry, forcing him to repent.
The years from 1076 to 1084 were difficult ones for Henry. First, he was excommunicated, or removed from the Church, by Pope Gregory VII. The primary reason for excommunicating Henry was simony, which is a crime of selling clerical positions or relics.
In 1077, Henry was allowed to return to the Church. Gregory excommunicated him again in 1080. But in 1084 Henry had Gregory removed from power. Greg died in exile in 1085. Eventually, Henry faced more conflict, this time from within his own family. In 1093, his sons rebelled against him, and in 1105 one of them had him imprisoned. Henry escaped but died soon afterward.
Gregory’s perspective was based on a statement of Christ in the New Testament Book of Matthew, Chapter 16: Jesus said to Peter, "upon this rock I will build my church."
Henry’s perspective: St. Gregory was Pope Gregory I, or Gregory the Great (ruled 590–604), one of the most respected leaders of the early Church, had too much power and filled with pride and did not submit to God's authority as Henry claimed the current Pope Gregory VII was doing.
what is the point of doing good works if He did all for us?
Faith given by God enables you to do good works being credited by God. The Gospel rescues us from the Law’s grueling requirements for good living. The Gospel provides us power to do good works. Good works glorify God and help our neighbors. Good works that He does through us are His work, not ours. Christ saved people who did good works, not because they did good works, but because of they were blessed by God.
A Christian life is based on a growing relationship with the holy God. If God has promised you will be a pianist in the future. If you believe God’s promise, do you plan to watch television all the time with the promise that you are destined to become a pianist? No way! Being a Christian means having a relationship with Christ. God wants to make Jesus’ character in us.
Also please review previous Mustard Seed articles that touch on this question:
February 2006 - Ask Pastor
April 2007 - Editorial
March 2008 - Ask Pastor
~~ Pastor Andy
The prison system is gradually allowing programs to restart. Educational programs are partly remote, with students meeting daily in the prison classrooms, while their instructors stay outside, teaching through internet video.
Chapel groups are able to meet in person only once each month. Our Deaf Bible study group met for the first time in December 2021.
My first question to the men was, “What has God been teaching you during our time apart?” They shared stories about their daily challenges during the pandemic lockdown. They also told about opportunities to bring God’s Word and encouragement to other men with them.
Some said that during our long separation, they still were able to feel connected with us via the Mustard Seed. They expressed sincere appreciation that they were not forgotten. They have been praying for us who live outside the prison, as we were praying for them.
Our one disappointment was that not all the men who had hoped to come to our first reunion were able to attend. We look forward to seeing them in our January session, Lord willing.
~~ Pastor Ron
as if you were in prison with them.
A second purpose for our gathering was to celebrate Rev Andy’s recent ordination and installation as our new pastor, and also to thank retired Pastor Ron for his 20-years of service to us.
The highlight of our gathering was to see our friends, David Hagemeyer, and his wife, Leslie, again.
David is the son of Alice Hagemeyer, a contributing editor for the Mustard Seed. You will find Alice’s regular feature column about Deaf Culture on the next page of this edition. David and Leslie also are leaders in the Deaf community.
On July 4, 2020, David suffered a severe spinal cord injury in a freak accident while he and Leslie were enjoying the holiday in Ocean City, Maryland. The injury has caused permanent paralysis. David is now unable to walk, and he is able to Sign only with his arms. He has no movement in his fingers or hands.
David keeps his positive attitude, and he continues to work hard toward recovery. He expressed his gratitude for all who have prayed for him and supported him during his ordeal.
The Library of Virginia recently announced the new Deaf Culture Digital Library (DCDL), a collaboration between the Central Rappahannock Regional Library (CRRL) and the Library of Virginia.
Birth of VA DCDL
This annual event began in the first full week of December 1974. It was then called Deaf Awareness Week. The Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Library in Washington, DC, first launched it and was proclaimed by what we called today, D.C. Mayor.
ReBecca Bennett, who at the time was serving as the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Outreach coordinator at the Disability Resource Center in Fredericksburg, felt that the Deaf community in Virginia could benefit from a Deaf Culture Digital Library similar to the MD Deaf Culture Digital Library. So, she checked with Babak Zarin, Access Services librarian at CRRL.
After Zarin interviewed members of the Virginia Deaf community and researched Virginia’s deaf cultural resources, he met with Nan Carmack, the Library of Virginia’s director of Library Development and Networking, DCDL was finally established in 2021.
Babak Zarin, DCDL Project Coordinator, Access Services Librarian, said:
Deaf culture digital libraries allow for vital community resources and Deaf culture to be shared with relative ease and can help foster a greater connection between public libraries and members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community.
I continue to be surprised at how often this particular community (Deaf) gets overlooked in library services.
Work in Progress
The VA DCDL website (https://deaflibva.org) is still a work in progress and seeks the collaboration of the VA Deaf community through feedback, referrals to additional resources, and submissions of Deaf culture events across the commonwealth. For more information about VA DCDL, please contact Babak Zarin at firstname.lastname@example.org or Nan Carmack at email@example.com.