THE BEACON: CELEBRATING KNEELING IN THE THE SAME LOCATION FOR 150 YEARS!
"This is the Lord's Table and ALL are Welcome!" Fr. Gary Bradley
OUR PRAYER FOR CHRISTMAS & BEYOND --
Ten measures of beauty God gave to the world,
Nine to Jerusalem, one to the rest
Ten measures of sorrow God gave to the world,
Nine to Jerusalem, one to the rest.
So pray for the peace -- pray for the peace
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem
Pray for the peace -- pray for the peace
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
You can greet your friends with the word "shalom"
Or you can greet the with "salaam"
But peace itself will never come
Till there's justice for everyone
And there can be no peace for the Jew
Till there's peace for the Palestinian too. (Refrain)
May the justice of God fall down like fire
And bring a home for the Palestinians
May the mercy of God pour down like rain
And protect the Jewish people
May the beautiful eyes of a holy God
Who weeps for all his children
Bring healing hope for his wounded ones
For the Jew and the Palestinian (Refrain)
During this season of Advent, Paul’s letter to the church at Thessalonica reminds us how we should live our lives in preparation for Christ’s return. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Paul’s instructions are quite clear, but not so easy to practice in our daily lives, even in the joyful Christmas season. We live in an imperfect world, and I am most certainly a fallen sinner, so I know I can’t realistically meet Paul’s standards, 24/7, 365 days a year.
THE BEACON: CELEBRATING KNEELING IN THE SAME LOCATION FOR 150 YEARS!
This is the Lord's Table and ALL are welcome! Fr. Gary Bradley 2017
"COMMUNION IS NOT FOR THE PERFECT. COMMUNION IS FOR THE HUNGRY!" -- This statement is from Fr. Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries, and it was the quote which Bishop John Taylor, the Seventh Bishop of Los Angeles, used to close his 45 minute address to our Annual Convention last Friday. Sue and I found his witnessing to be truly remarkable and inspirational as he recognized the realities of 2017 while expressing enormous optimism about the future.
“Comfort, O comfort my people” words so familiar to us, particularly if we listen to Handel’s Messiah and so appropriate at a time when there is so much violence. Every day we hear how many people have been killed, robbed, molested, are hungry and desperate. As we continue to read Isaiah we hear many other admonitions but the first is “comfort.” And then the prophet goes on to tell us to “cry out”. That’s an easy one we say, after all there is much to cry out about.
The Wardens and Vestry of Church of Our Saviour, San Gabriel announce that it has called the Rev. Dr. J. Robert Honeychurch to serve as interim priest beginning Feb. 12, 2018. Dr. Honeychurch’s tenure with us will be one year or until a new rector is called. He is serving as in interim priest with the authority of a rector. This decision was made at the vestry meeting on Dec. 5, 2017.
We Await What Has Already Begun
"People who wait have received a promise that allows them to wait. They have received something that is at work in them, like a seed that has started to grow. … We can only really wait if what we are waiting for has already begun in us. So waiting is never a movement from nothing to something. It is always a movement from something to something more." – Rev. Henri Nouwen
This Sunday we enter once again into the season of Advent, awaiting the coming (advent) of the Lord. And we wait. We wait with expectation, knowing that the Lord has already begun in us. But we wait.
With gratitude for everyone's generosity, we are much closer to our goal of wrapping up stewardship 2018 -- "You are the Light of the World" -- earlier than in past years! We have a unique budget challenge this year with regard to our important Rector Transition process, and having your pledge commitments recorded earlier is key to effective planning. So, thank you very much!
My Grandmother talked to everyone. The guys stocking the fruit at the grocery store, whom she all knew by name, to the gardeners that came and took care of the grounds at her apartment. Even when we accidentally walked into a tattoo shop (searching for ingredients to make soap) the big burly, pierced and tattooed man behind the counter was greeted as sweetly as any body she encountered. Even so much as to compliment one of his more complicated pieces on his arm. It got so “bad” that my Great Uncle refused to take her to the farmers market anymore, because a quick 30 mins trip in the small town of Monterey, would take 2 hours. She would walk up and down, meet new vendors, check up on the ones she knew, making sure that their families were okay or maybe checking up on their schooling. She lived this way effortlessly. No one was a stranger to my Grandmother and she treated everyone like family and it was just who she was.
Some might say that the monastic life is one of a perpetual Lent. I am more inclined to agree with those that say that the monastic vocation is more of a perpetual Advent – a way of life that is about anticipating the coming of the Reality of God in Christ, a way that is given to waiting. But this waiting is not a passive waiting. It is instead filed with vitality and an energy of hope and expectation. Sunday’s Gospel and it’s telling of the parable of the ten bridesmaids gives us the first glimpse of the virtue of waiting, which will be once again be a common thread that runs through Advent. The parable also teaches us about another virtue, that of being prepared.
Matthew 25: 1-13 is another parable as to who will be ready for the kingdom of heaven. I say another because there are several places where Jesus tells a story to explain the need to be ready, A Cautionary tale about preparedness. In this selection the familiar setting of a wedding is used and we are given the example of 10 virgins who are waiting for the bridegroom and the celebration to start. At the outset, they seem alike until we are told that five were wise and five were foolish. The wise virgins brought oil for their lamps and the foolish ones did not. They were not prepared. When the bridegroom finally arrived the five wise virgins were ready to process in the darkness with their lamps for illumination to the celebration and they entered with the bridegroom. The five foolish virgins had to go back, find oil and when they arrived they were locked out of the celebration. Worse for them when they asked to be admitted the bridegroom said, “I do not know you!” and denied them entry.
A REQUIEM MASS will be celebrated on All Saints’ Sunday, November 5 at the 10:00 am liturgy. The setting of the Requiem Latin text is by the French composer, Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924).
Once again on this morning, we will have a dual liturgy; All Saints’ and All Souls, “Rejoicing and Remembering”. We will begin with an Introit: Justorum anime, words taken from the Book of Wisdom, Chapter 3, The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and the torment of malice shall not touch them; in the sight of the unwise they seemed to die, but there are in peace. The music setting is by the English composer, Charles Villiers Stanford. Then, we shall sing the entrance Hymn, “For all the saints who from their labor rest”, a music setting of Ralph Vaughan Williams.
THE BEACON: CELEBRATING KNEELING IN THE SAME PLACE FOR 150 YEARS
THIS IS THE LORD'S TABLE AND ALL ARE WELCOME!
HIATUS, SMIATUS -- I was intending to take some time off from writing the BEACON, but circumstances have altered this intention. THE Church of Our Saviour continues to provide one experience after another which I feel compelled to highlight.
PRISM RESTORATIVE JUSTICE FUNDRAISER -- Saturday night we attended the PRISM Annual Fundraiser silent auction and dinner presentation. What an experience we had; we are so proud to be involved in a community which embraces a ministry which provides the opportunity to focus on one aspect of Matthew 25. Here are the four most moving moments of the evening:
You may have noticed that two large trees have been removed from planters in the main parking area. We were forced to remove the trees due to a fungus in the soil that made the trees so unhealthy as to pose safety hazard. Pursuant to the City of San Gabriel’s requirements, we must replace any trees that are removed, however the replacement trees do not have to be of the same variety or in the same location.
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”.
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”