I met Libby on instagram (dutchessoftexas) and I love her enthusiasm for liturgy, her family, and of course coffee! She’s introduced me to some wonderful resources, and has given me a glimpse into life as an orthodox über High Church Anglican.
Libby Ibañez, Austin, Texas
Interview via email, October 2019
Tell me a little about yourself?
I’m a “cradle Anglican”- I was baptized, confirmed, and married in the Episcopal Church. I absolutely LOVE being an Anglican! I’m a homeschooling mom of 4 who loves to read. Before kids I was a “gamer” and my husband and I still play, just not as much because, you know, kids.
How did you end up at St Francis in Austin, an Anglocatholic ACNA church?
My husband and I were looking for a 1928 prayer book parish when we relocated to Austin, Texas. I grew up with the ’28 and the 1940 Hymnal and while I don’t mind the ’79 there’s something poetic about King James english. When we relocated to Austin, we happened to drive by a little church who’s sign read in bold lettering “1928 BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER” and we knew that’s where we were supposed to be!
You recently started studying Greek through your church, how did that come to be?
We had a wonderful interim priest (Fr Bill) while our priest was on sabbatical over the summer. Fr Bill holds a PhD in Greek from the University of Edinburgh and apparently he offers a 2 year course in New Testament Greek to local parishioners. Several members of our congregation have taken it in the past and when he announced he would be offering the course at the beginning of October during announcements one Sunday I jumped at the opportunity. I’ve studied biblical Hebrew exclusively and I thought it would be a wonderful experience to study the New Testament in its historical language.
What’s your daily devotional plan and how do you fit it in amongst being a homeschooling mum of four kids and your studies?
We pray the Morning and Evening offices as a family. We use Cradle of Prayer- an absolutely wonderful (free!) site with a priest and cantor using the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. It’s convenient, too, because I can pause it to answer questions and help guide little ones through the prayer book. And of course the cantor sings beautifully! We use Morning Prayer as a part of our homeschool routine. We do a weekly hymn study and review the catechism afterwards. We have a small altar in our home and my two oldest take turns lighting the candles (one does it in the morning and the other in the evening) and my youngest take turns snuffing. Having tangible things to do in worship helps them have a since of ownership and belonging.
What is your favourite prayer in the prayerbook and why?
Omgoodness! That is such a difficult question to answer because there are just so many! My go-to answer is always the “prayer of humble access”, but I think if I had to narrow it down to just one it would be the Collect for Purity. When I hear that prayer on Sunday mornings it feels like home. It’s a prayer of orientation and preparation and the words ground me every time I hear it. It’s a prayer of absolute humility.
You describe yourself as a caffeinated mombot and coined the hashtag #anglicansforgoodcoffee Firstly, when are you coming to Melbourne, the world capital of coffee? Secondly, why should Anglicans care about good coffee?
Perhaps I’ll have to take the family on a homeschool field trip to Melbourne! My husband and I love tasting different roasts and flavors and we especially love having coffee with other people!! Any Anglican with a heart for outreach should care about good coffee. Coffee is a universal language. It’s warm, welcoming, doesn’t rush you, and there are so many varieties and flavors that just about everyone will find something they like. Add that to great conversation and a heart for people and our churches should definitely see growth! Offering someone good coffee and not some generic bean water sets the tone for the rest of the conversation and makes not only an impression, but an impact. Offer someone a good cup of coffee at church and they’re much more open to hear the gospel, share their heart, and/or ask questions about our tradition.