With a goal toward "wrapping up" stewardship 2018 -- "You are the Light of the World" -- earlier than in past years, I want to THANK those who have returned their pledge envelopes with your generous gifts -- 25 pledges. I encourage everyone this year to pray about their gifts and to be ready to turn in the pledge envelope on Stewardship Sunday, October 29th OR earlier!
In this week's Gospel reading, Matthew 22: 15-22, the Pharisees are plotting a way to have Jesus say something damaging. They ask him a question about paying taxes. Jesus then asks the Pharisees to show him a coin. Jesus asks the Pharisees who’s image is on the coin. They answer “the Emperor’s.” So Jesus answers them, “Give therefore to the emperor the things that the the emperors and God the things that are God’s”. This is not the answer the Pharisees were looking for.
The reading for this week takes you on a manic journey of sorts. We are given a picture of a king who invites many people to his son’s wedding. Those people ignore the invitation, and some even harm the servants that are sent out. The king then is enraged and sends troops to destroy those who mistreated his servants! However, then the king tells his servants “invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’ Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so, the wedding hall was filled with guests”. Well that’s a nice way to end, but then, a man is seen not wearing the appropriate wedding garb and is thrown into the darkness and there was “weeping and gnashing of teeth”.
There are times in our lives when problems become overwhelming and we need some help in working through the feelings of helplessness and the anxiety that may come with it. When we talk about the things that can overwhelm us, it takes the power out of the problem. Whether it is sickness or loss of a family member or a close friend or too many bills that come in the mail, it helps to have someone to listen. Sometimes we experience problems with our mental health due to these difficulties. If that is the case this is the group for you. We are completely confidential and what is said in our group stays in our group. Please contact either Michael Watkins (626) 243-8114 or Karen Streeter (626) 344-6619. We are here for you.
We are happy to be starting up again after the summer break. The next meeting is on October 13 and will continue on the second Friday of the every month. Please come and join us and we will enjoy recovery together.
Father Gary opened the Vestry meeting with several readings focusing on transition. The following prayer moved me and I wanted to share it with fellow parishioners.
“O God, You know us better than we know ourselves. Guide us throughout our time of transition. Empower each one of use to use our unique gifts to create a beautiful life, to share openly and honestly our thoughts, to respect the opinions of others and to encourage humility, patience and joy. Instill in us a vision of the life you intended for us to lead. Guided by your Holy Spirit, we will be united in love and joyfully accomplish this mission, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen”
Has the model described in the presentation today been followed by other parishes in the diocese? Have the other parishes been successful with this process?
The process described, rector retires, an interim is placed, the parish profile is developed, then a decision is made on how to call a rector has been used for several years in this dioceses. I have been told by Canon Joanna Satorius- from the Office for Clergy formation and Transitional Ministries that this process has been successful in the majority of parishes following this model
Philippi was the city where the first Christian community was established in Europe during Paul’s second missionary journey. Paul held the Philippian Christians in his heart and regarded them as partners with him in grace.” (Acts 1:7) Although the Philippian Church was strong, Paul realized that the Philippians had a serious problem. There were divisions among them and the key element that caused their divisions was self-interest. Some people wanted this, other people wanted that, another wanted something else. Paul knew that if they did not overcome their divisions, they would never reach their potential to be the Body of Christ. So, in his letter, Paul appeals to them “to be of one mind” and “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5)
THE BEACON: THE CHURCH OF OUR SAVIOUR IS THE LIGHT OF THE WEST SAN GABRIEL VALLEY TO WHICH IT IS COMMITTED TO SHARING ITS TIME, TALENT AND TREASURES
"IF NOT US, WHO?" THE REV. CANON DENIS O'PRAY 2017
THE BEST WEEKEND EVER(!!!) AT COS, BUT FIRST... One of the many things we learned from Fr. Denis during his 17 years at COS is that never, ever should the preacher ignore a domestic event which weighs heavily on the hearts of the people in the pews. Monday morning I woke up more excited than ever to be having the privilege to share with you what we had experienced at COS Saturday and Sunday. My excitement was immediately dashed by the news that 59 people had been killed overnight in Las Vegas and over 500 injured -- by an insane human being apparently firing machine guns.
As I write this the people of Houston and Miami are still in the early stages of disaster relief and trying to find their way back from hurricanes Harvey and Irma that have left 92 dead, tens of thousands displaced and over $200 billion in damage in their wake.
But in the midst of the destruction and devastation there are also reports of amazing stories of people helping one another through it. We have seen this before, in fact, we almost always see the human spirit of compassion come together in times like these. There is story after story of people reaching out to save one another, and no one was asking about the race or religion of the person they rescued. Blacks, Whites, Latinos, Asians, Jews, Muslims, Christians, and people of every social background risked their own lives to save another in peril, and they did it without hesitation.
Join us on the front lawn of the church for our annual Blessing of the Animals!! Bring all your pets and family members and join us for this wonderful tradition in the spirit of St. Francis!
"You've got try a little kindness, yes Lord, show a little kindness.Shine your light for everyone to see!"
OUTREACH FORUM -- Just in case you have not fully appreciated it, Joanna Cory and Gerry Fagoaga and David Coleman did a great job of reminding us yet again what an incredible array of Outreach Ministries THE Church of Our Saviour maintains and offers to all of us. On display on the beautiful Telleen Family Courtyard on Sunday were Our Saviour Center (Cleaver Clinic, Dorris Dann Youth Center, Food Bank & Soccer For Success), the Li Tim-Oi Center, Transitional Housing, the Shawl Knitting Ministry, PRISM Restorative Justice and Karen Streeter's and Mike Watkins' Mental Health Ministry. Also, you should not forget A Child's Garden School and our Sister Parish Relationship with St. Paul's Episcopal Church in the Holy Land. I pay attention to this stuff, and I am pretty sure there in no other parish in the Diocese of Los Angeles which continues to offer and maintain so many Outreach Ministries. This makes me proud; I hope it does you, too.
Everywhere we look there is disturbing news. This is about to change, at least for one Sunday. On October 8, The Rev. Canon Fuad Dagher, Rector of our Sister Parish St. Paul's in the Holy Land, will be preaching at both Services and presenting at the Forum with his close friend Fr. Denis O'Pray. As I have written about in past BEACONS, Fr.Fuad and his parishioners, by their examples, have shown COS Pilgrims since 2004 what living the Christian life can look like, even under the most difficult of daily circumstances.
I was pleased to see 100 + parish members at the Sunday Forum on September 17, 2017.
This was the first Forum to discuss the process for calling a new Rector. I will highlight what was presented on Sunday. Myself and Patrick Crandall-Junior Warden made a presentation outlining the process the Dioceses of Los Angeles recommends that parishes follow when beginning a search for a new Rector. Katherine Feng- Junior Warden for our Mandarin speaking family assisted with translation. Thank you to both Junior Wardens.
"IF NOT US, WHO?" The Rev. Canon Denis O'Pray Sept. 2017
THE TRANSITION BEGINS -- SR. WARDEN JULI KENNEDY and JR. WARDEN PATRICK CRANDALL and the Vestry hosted a well attended Sunday Forum to discuss "where we go from here". In anticipation of the inevitable, but not the timing, the Vestry met in Retreat last spring with diocesan representatives The Rev. Canon Joanna Satorius, Canon for Formation & Deployment, and The Rev. Robert Honeychurch, Missioner for Congregational Vitality. More recently Rev. Joanna met with the Vestry to officially advise now that Fr. Gary has announced his final date as being January 14, 2018.
This week’s Old Testament reading is Jonah 3:10 – 4:11. In it, I see Jonah behaving much like we do in the 21st century. Jonah’s behavior reflects the painful fact that we all live in a fallen world. In this fallen world, we, like Jonah, often worry about our own well-being, our own treasures, the “fairness” of our lives.
An invitation to learn to play
Have you had the urge to play but have been shy? Playing handbells is a fun and rewarding experience. No experience is necessary. We rehearse on Tuesdays and would love to increase our membership in our group, or begin a second group for those who may be new to bells. Youth and adults welcome. Rehearsals are in the choir room at 6:30, or if there is interest, an alternate time could be 4:00. Learning to read music and play is easier than you might think. Commitment to weekly rehearsals is necessary. Please contact Alice Rucker, Director at (818) 414-9900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click below for more info!
WOW!!! THE CHURCH OF OUR SAVIOUR'S CELEBRATION OF KNEELING IN THE SAME PLACE FOR 150 YEARS FAR, FAR EXCEEDED OUR EXPECTATIONS!!! -- For four hours, from 10:00 to 2:00, we experienced one exalting moment after another Sunday. First, there was the Procession proclaiming"Christ Is Made The Sure Foundation" accompanied by Brass Quartet, Timpani and Organ; the COS Banner held higher than normal, it seemed; the Configuration of the Chancel, with the Altar upfront and the Choir perched squarely in the center of the Altar area for all to see; the challenging and inspiring Sermon; the beautifully constructed 'Prayers Of The People'; the Anthem "Built On The Rock"; Rev. Peg's robust delivery of the Eucharist; the Sit Down Luncheon in Cleaver Hall served to a SRO crowd of 180; Jr. Warden Patrick Crandall's Tribute to Fr. Gary Bradley which elicited a sustained, standing ovation; Fr. Gary's Tribute to Canon Denis O'Pray which elicited a second, sustained standing ovation; Denis' presentation entitled "Remembering Our Future"; the generosity of Brent and Lucy Thompson's gift of the dessert from their world class restaurant Pez Cantina; and FINALLY THE MOST FABULOUS GIFT IMAGINABLE FROM THE ALTAR GUILD TO FR. GARY AND REV. PEG!!!!! We were in bed by 8:00, joyfully exhausted!