LACP, for me has become an important Summer time ritual. Every Summer for the last 3 Junes, I have embarked with students on a week long urban immersion experience designed to shift perspectives and embrace difference. We very intentionally use the word “pilgrimage” not “mission” or “work” trip because for us this is about a journey where along the way we learn who our neighbor is.
Reflection on Adelaide Teague Case
Until I was assigned this feast day reflection I had never heard of Adelaide Teague Case. Under her name was the word Teacher and the date 1936. I immediately felt more at ease knowing she was human and modern, at least compared to the disciples, and someone with whom I could relate. She was a teacher!
OUR STORY – GOD’S STORY
For some, Gilbert “G.K. Chesterton just might be one of the most famous writers they have never heard of. I know that was the case when I first stumbled across some of his work some twenty years ago. Chesterton was a brilliant and complex fellow and I have come to appreciate the man and what he has offered to the world, both within the church as well as the secular world at large.
The Commemoration of Ini Kopuria
Most people (myself included) probably couldn’t find Melanesia on a map. And it probably wouldn’t help much to say that it is tucked in between Micronesia to the north and Polynesia to the south and east. But a quick geography lesson tells us that Melanesia is a vast area of the western Pacific Ocean, just south of the equator, comprising over 2000 islands and almost 400,000 square miles of ocean north and east of Australia.
Comings and Goings
The call to the monastic life is unique and certainly not for everyone. It is not an easy path and one that St Benedict refers to as the narrow gate. It is counter-cultural in that monastics strive not for achievements and success, not for popularity and power, but for the ability to relinquish the desire for these things.
In our Gospel lesson for this coming Sunday from Matthew 12, we read about demons: “But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you.”
My first reflection upon reading this passage is gratitude for being able to preach this past Sunday on John 3:16: “For God so loved the world….” While I don’t know much about demons, I do know something about God’s love, having been a recipient for the past many decades.
Trinity Sunday – The First Sunday after Pentecost
Since my first year here at COS in 2008, I have asked us as a congregation to recognize the members of the ‘adult’ choir, Our Saviour Choir. This year, once again, I will ask us to acknowledge the many hours and service commitments these members of the choir have dedicated to singing, leading and joining us in praise and prayer.
Several people have asked me in the past few months, “When did we stop kneeling to pray here at the Church of Our Saviour?” My first response to them is, “As far as I know, we haven’t.” However, a slightly longer response is also in order.
If the real question being asked is, “When did we all stop kneeling simultaneously to pray here at the Church of Our Saviour?”, then my response is somewhat different. I certainly cannot speak about our corporate prayer posture before I arrived in mid-February, but I can say that my own understanding of corporate worship doesn’t call for us to pray in the same way.
With the coming of the Pentecost angels we have as Christians a wonderful invitation to renew our faith and become intimate with Jesus.
Jesus lived two millennia ago and half a world away in a culture very alien to me. So I am intrigued by the prospect of “knowing” Jesus in a transformative way, overcoming all these barriers. I grew up in Sunday school classes with felt cutouts of Jesus the shepherd, and now I have on my desk before me a beautiful carving from Palestine olive wood of the same shepherd with a lamb cast across his shoulders.
We are approaching the end of the Easter season. Throughout the season we have been discerning once more what Easter means to us and how the resurrection changes who we are and what our life should be as an individual and as a community. Easter season helps us to discern from the perspective of resurrection how God is calling us and what God is calling us to be and to do.
A number of announcements from the Vestry!
"THOSE WHO REFUSE TO PARTICIPATE IN POLITICS SHALL BE GOVERNED BY THEIR INFERIORS." PLATO
100 MILLION ELIGIBLE VOTERS DIDN'T BOTHER TO VOTE IN 2016.
"If you don't get involved in the COS Search Process, you will have no right to criticize who is ultimately called to serve as priest of this magnificent parish!" SMOCK
THAT WAS THEN -- In 1986 COS commissioned a 110 page Profile in anticipation of beginning a search for The Rev. Dr. Donald Miller's successor. Having read almost every Section of that Profile, we wonder how much times have changed. Would parishioners respond much differently to the many questions today from the way they did thirty two years ago?
The 15th chapter of John’s gospel is filled with talk of love – love expressed in word, thought, and deed. It is love for us to live with; it is love for us to live in. The verses appointed for today discuss this major dimension of a Christian’s life. Love is so important that some say that love should be what all else is built upon. We read a remarkable section in a profound chapter. The word “love,” is repeated eight or nine times --- yet, as a person reads the passage quietly to himself, each involvement of this important word has a slightly different shade of meaning, giving the whole statement additional dimension.
Was it simpler to hear God’s message in biblical times? Or were the people more attuned to listening to God? In our cyber age, we get a lot of news and messages to buy new products that will do all kind of miracles for us and if we are lucky transform us. We can find prayers for friends and request of same. Yet something seems missing. Sure we stay in touch with people who we never see and are far away and that is good. However, the very personal intimate feeling is lost. I have a friend who takes the time to write personal notes and cards, handwritten and they become very precious to me. She takes time out from her busy schedule to spend alone time with her friends.
THE SHEPHERD’S BIG TENT
Sunday’s Gospel reading features the continuation of the Shepherd Discourse, the last pubic teaching of Jesus in the Gospel according to John. Many of us, if not most, are familiar with the metaphoric images of the shepherd Jesus and his flock, and those images are comforting for us. The image of Jesus hugging the once lost sheep in tenderness and love is one I can relate to because I was that lost sheep. Maybe it’s the same for you.
The Youth and Family Ministry wants to bring Laundry Love to COS!!
What is Laundry Love? Laundry Love is a project that Churches, High Schools, Communities or groups of people get involved in where they raise money and volunteer to wash the clothing of people in the community that could otherwise not afford it. This includes, people who are homeless, struggling with food insecurity or for any reason a person might not be able to afford doing laundry. These groups take over a Laundromat in the community once a month and open it up to those people.
When I read passages from the bible I like to place myself in the situation and reflect on how I would react. Blessed with 2000 years of hindsight I am sure that If Jesus had greeted me with the phrase “Peace be with you” I would have automatically extended my hand and responded with the standard greeting “and also with you.” I would just know this was the fulfillment of the scripture.
Then I look deeper and really try to relate to those people. I would have to be more honest about my probable reactions. I would have been frightened as I would not have had experience of a dead person returning to life.
THE BEACON: "WHAT IN GOD'S NAME IS GOING ON AROUND THE CHURCH OF OUR SAVIOUR?"
"This is the Lord's Table and ALL are Welcome!"
NOW IS THE TIME FOR US ALL TO OPEN OUR EYES, OUR EARS AND OUR MINDS: PAUL KILIAN IS CONVENING THE PARISH PROFILE COMMITTEE -- Believe it or not, even though the Vestry has the final say on how this parish operates, we parishioners have many opportunities to participate and express our opinions. The parish is a democratic institution, sort of, so it is incumbent on each of us to be involved in the process of calling of our next priest. One vote does count as we are seeing in elections across the country, but one must exercise that right to vote to make a difference.
In our reading today, front in center is the Apostle Thomas who is sometimes referred to as “Doubting Thomas”. In her commentary on the Gospel, Karoline Lewis brings up the idea that you could translate the word “doubt” here as “unbelieving”, which then takes away a bit of the negative look at what Thomas is going through here.
THE BEACON: "WHAT IN GOD'S NAME IS GOING ON AT THE CHURCH OF OUR SAVIOUR?"
"This is the Lord's Table and ALL are Welcome!"
AN EASTER STATEMENT FROM THE REV. CANON FUAD DAGHER, RECTOR OF ST. PAUL'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH, COS'S SISTER PARISH IN GALILEE -- The following beautiful statement was posted on facebook on Saturday night. It accompanied four fantastic pictures of the church's altar and interior, and we share it because this is exactly how we feel about THE Church of Our Saviour:
"MY CHURCH IS MY HOME, MY CHURCH IS MY MOTHER, MY CHURCH IS THE SECRET OF THE JOY OF MY LIFE!"