Today our Synod commemorates St. Cyprian. From the Treasury and our Synod's website:
Cyprian (A.D. ca. 200–258), was acclaimed bishop of the north African city in Carthage around 248. During the persecution of the roman Emperor Decius, Cyprian fled Carthage but returned two years later. He was then forced to deal with the problem of Christians who had lapsed from their faith under persecution and now wanted to return to the Church. It was decided that these lapsed Christians could be restored but that their restoration could take place only after a period of penance that demonstrated their faithfulness. During the persecution under Emperor Valerian, Cyprian at first went into hiding but later gave himself up to the authorities. He was beheaded for the faith in Carthage in the year 258.
Today's Collect notes that "You gave Your servant Cyprian boldness to confess the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, before the rulers of this world and the courage to die for the faith he proclaimed" and asks that we also be given constant strength "to give a reason for the hope that is in us and to suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Treasury, p. 728)
Today's Treasury writing is a beautiful meditation by St. Cyprian that includes these words: "If we are the sons of God; if we are already beginning to be His temples; if, having received the Holy Spirit, we are living holy and spiritually; if we have raised our eyes from earth to heaven; if we have lifted our hearts, filled with God and Christ, to things above and divine, let us do nothing but what is worthy of God and Christ..." (Treasury, p. 728)