The Beacon

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The Beacon

FATHER'S DAY SUNDAY AT THE CHURCH OF OUR SAVIOUR -- I've never been a fan of Father's Day. I've always thought of it as a creation of Hallmark Cards. Sunday at COS changed my mind. From start to finish, it was a day of joy and celebration.

Thanks to the generosity of Fr. Gary and Rev. Peg Bradley, breakfast was served to those of us who were on Campus between 9:00 and 10:00. Deacon Bill Doulos assisted in the preparation, and it is rumored that Rev. Peg cracked 180 eggs! Along with a mountain of bacon and all of the fixin's, no father should have gone to church or home hungry.

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Praying Towards Sunday

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Praying Towards Sunday

Last Sunday, we celebrated Father’s Day.  And for most of us, we gave thanks for our earthly Fathers.  Most of us love our earthly fathers and are endlessly grateful for the love, support and encouragement   our earthly fathers have given us.  But it’s interesting that less than one week after this earthly, man-made celebration, in our Gospel this week, Christ tells us “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

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Praying Towards Sunday

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Praying Towards Sunday

Our Gospel reading for this Sunday begins at Matthew 9:35 and in the NRSV bible the bold heading above it is, “The Harvest is Great, the Laborers Few.” In this passage we find Jesus very busy – he was moving from village to village teaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, healing people of disease and sickness, and casting out demons. It says that Jesus had compassion for the crowds as they were harassed and helpless, like a sheep without a shepherd.

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Summer Sabbatical…of sorts!

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Summer Sabbatical…of sorts!

It is with tremendous gratitude that I acknowledge the Vestry’s approval of my request for a “hybrid sabbatical” this summer.  From Father’s Day to the week before Labor Day I will be out of the office during the week (though available by phone) and yet Peg and I will be present on most Sundays.

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The Beacon

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The Beacon

THE BEACON: CELEBRATING KNEELING IN EXACTLY THE SAME PLACE FOR 150 YEARS
"This is the Lord's Table and ALL are Welcome!" Fr. Gary 2017

MRS. PAUL KASSABIAN IS NOW DEACON ROBIN KASSABIAN!!! -- Yet again, THE Church of Our Saviour has sent another of our parishioners into the priesthood. One of these days I'm going to develop a list of the people we have sponsored for ordination. Based on my somewhat limited memory, I believe the number is well in excess of 20, and this does not include those priests who "got their starts" with us. On a macro level this is impressive stuff, but from a micro perspective, this means we are loosing great people who have contributed much to the quality of our collective Spiritual Journey in San Gabriel.

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Praying Towards Sunday

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Praying Towards Sunday

Our first Sunday in Ordinary time is called Trinity Sunday, which by the way has nothing to do with anything except church doctrine.  It was a Sunday that most of the rectors, who were lucky enough to have a staff, gave sermon assignments to their junior clergy.  Yet, it is important to understand the importance of the Trinity, God the Father or Creator, God the Son or Redeemer and God the Holy Spirit or Sanctifier.  Now why would there be so much confusion about this? Don’t you and I have many different roles in our lives?

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The Beacon

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The Beacon

LOOKING FOR HEROES?: Ricky John Best and Taliesan Myrddin Namkai-Meche. Both were killed when they tried to protect two young Muslim women from hateful racial slurs on a train in Portland. Micah David-Cole was also stabbed in the attack and is in serious condition at a Portland hospital.

Witness Rachel Macy had tried to comfort Namkai-Meche in his final moments. "I told him, 'You're a beautiful man, I'm so sorry the world is so cruel". He said, "TELL THEM, I WANT EVERYBODY TO KNOW, I WANT EVERYBODY ON THE TRAIN TO KNOW, I LOVE THEM."

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Praying Towards Sunday

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Praying Towards Sunday

Goose Bump Junction and the Old Gut Feeling

When I was a youngster we used to get that feeling that I think we all get from time to time when a wave of wonderful energy moves through us lifting the hair on our arms and causing goose-bumps to rise. It was – and continues to be, a wonderfully splendid sensation. We used to call it Goose-Bump Junction. I often still get that feeling from time to time as I suspect we all do. But today I know that it is more than a child-like interpretation of just Goose-Bump Junction. Today I know that it is God’s Holy Spirit physically touching me – speaking to me, saying that whatever I’m are doing at that moment is good.

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Praying Towards Sunday

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Praying Towards Sunday

As I sit down to write this reflection, I can’t help but think of the bombing yesterday in Manchester, England.  Yet another terrorist attack on innocent civilians; this time, young people gathered for a pop concert at The Manchester Arena.  The BBC reports 22 people confirmed dead and another 55 injured.  Monday’s attack in Manchester is added to those in Paris, Madrid, London, Burgas, Oslo, Brussels, Nice, Munich, Berlin, and Zurich as European cities that have suffered attacks by extremist Islamic terrorists since 2004. 

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The Beacon

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The Beacon

THE BEACON: CELEBRATING KNEELING IN EXACTLY THE SAME PLACE FOR 150 YEARS!
"This is the Lord's Table and ALL are Welcome!" Fr. Gary 2017

WHAT A RELEVANT WEEK THIS WAS AT THE CHURCH OF OUR SAVIOUR!!! -- I can always tell when it's been an amazing week at COS by how excited I am Sunday night thinking about what to feature. Most weeks are wonderfully challenging, but this one may have been one of the all time most interesting ones ever! 

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The Beacon

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The Beacon

THE BEACON: Celebrating Kneeling In The Same Place For 150 Years!
"This is the Lord's Table and ALL are Welcome!" Fr. Gary 2017

WORDS TO LIVE BY -- I'm not sure how we found it, but in these days when the world seems to be invalidating everything we have believed, up popped Fr. Gary Bradley's Sermon delivered on the Fourth Sunday of Easter 2016!!!. His focus was the 23rd Psalm, and he entitled his Sermon "Life's Shadow Walk". Re-reading it, particularly in the context of 2017, reminded us of what a great preacher Fr. Gary is; and this, we believe, is one of his best efforts. I am not going to summarize everything he said that day; you are going to have to find the Sermon in the COS archive. However, I do want you to read one paragraph which has reaffirmed for Sue and me the "words we are trying to live by" as we cope with the massive negative news which seems to be coming at us from every quarter, every single day!   

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Praying Towards Sunday

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Praying Towards Sunday

The passage from John 14 (1-14) for this coming Sunday is a fitting continuation of our passage from last week about Jesus being the Good Shepherd.  We are the sheep who know and who trust the Shepherd’s voice.  We continue to believe and to trust the voice of Jesus.  But the passage from last week, also taken from John’s Gospel, states that the disciples did not understand. 

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Praying Towards Sunday

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Praying Towards Sunday

n John 10; 1-10 Jesus is speaking and identifies himself as the good shepherd, the true shepherd knowing his audience will understand the relationship of the shepherd and his sheep.

The shepherd plays a big role in biblical stories. My earliest memories include the pictures of Jesus holding a lost sheep. We all know that choirs of Angels were sent to announce Jesus’ birth and they were among the first to see the newborn Jesus.

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Praying Towards Sunday

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Praying Towards Sunday

This Sunday we celebrate Morning Prayer with a Youth Take-ON Sunday! The experience of leading students and helping them engage in a liturgy in this way has been a fantastic challenge. Yes, leading up to the Youth Take-ONs emails fly back and forth, rehearsals are needed and we walk through all the details leading up to Sunday morning worship.

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The Beacon

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The Beacon

A POST EASTER REFLECTION: STEWARDSHIP SHOULD NOT BE ONLY AN 'ONCE A YEAR' HAPPENING SINCE THE PARISH FACES UNEXPECTED FINANCIAL CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES 24/7, 365 DAYS A YEAR --  I'm still basking in the glow of an incredible Holy Week experience; but away from our beautiful parish I am also increasingly appalled at how this country, our society, is choosing to allocate its resources.

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Alchemy Handbell Ensemble

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Alchemy Handbell Ensemble

Handbells are beautiful! 

Each bell is cast of bronze and tuned to a separate pitch.  Struck by fixed clappers, individual bells ring with a tone that is pure, sweet, and clear. Dynamics range from an ethereal whisper to a resounding forte.  Handbell repertoire includes idiomatic compositions, which can be played only on bells, improvisatory peals, and transcriptions of familiar music. 

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Music of the World!

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Music of the World!

Traditionally the children’s choirs of COS perform a Spring Musical, however this Spring I thought we would change it up a bit. For our Spring concert the COS youth choirs will be presenting ‘Music of the World’ a showcase of music from a variety of countries, traditions and cultures.

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Praying Towards Sunday

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Praying Towards Sunday

These are a variation of the words that Jaroslav Pelikan, a church historian, describes as a “game changer.” Actually he was commenting on the words:  “Christ is alive.” Pelikan said, "If Christ is raised from the dead, nothing else matters. If he is not raised from the dead, nothing else matters."  That’s worth repeating.  "If Christ is raised from the dead, nothing else matters. If he is not raised from the dead, nothing else matters."  

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Celebrating Rex Botengan's 25 years of Dedication!

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Celebrating Rex Botengan's 25 years of Dedication!

As Rex Botengan concludes 25 years at Our Saviour Center, we have the opportunity to THANK him in concrete fashion by contributing to a "Purse" authorized by the Vestry at our April meeting.

Please be generous to this wonderful servant of the Lord who has worked for modest wages during ALL his years, but especially the last four years as Executive Director.  Because the Vestry has authorized this fund-raising, your checks may be made to Church of Our Saviour, earmarked (memo line) "Rex Botengan purse."

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A Note from the Music Dept.

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A Note from the Music Dept.

A most grateful and thankful heart to all who made a contribution to the Music Ministry. Thank you for your generous spirit and your love of music and love for our risen Lord, our Saviour, Jesus Christ, warms my spirit! Blessings to ALL!

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