THE BEACON: Celebrating Our Past 150 Years...And Igniting Our Future
"This is the Lord's Table, it's closer than ever and ALL are Welcome!"
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 @ 11:30: WE HAVE IGNITION! -- In case you have not been paying attention, next Sunday after the 10:00 Service, we all are invited to adjourn to Cleaver Hall for a buffet provided and served by Harambee Ministries. Tickets are $30 per person, with the proceeds minus expenses going to the Communications Team headed by Carrie Voris and Gabe Vazquez-Reyes which will promote our Anniversary Celebration. However, do not be deterred by $30; free tickets are available if needed.
The featured speaker will be Nat B. Read, author of "From Mountain Man to Mayor", the biography of Don Benito Wilson. You will be fascinated by the role Wilson and his family played in the establishment of COS in 1867 and their subsequent roles in our history. In addition, brief statements will be made by the parishioners who have assumed responsibility for a specific event celebrating our 150 years. Finally, for your listening pleasure, Sally Baldwin has secured the cast of the San Gabriel Valley Musical Theater to sing songs from their upcoming show Broadway Bound: The Golden Age of Romance (1940 - 1960).
FYI, Broadway Bound, the first of three shows at Cleaver Hall, will be on OCTOBER 8. There are two performances: 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM. Tickets are $30 per person. This is a perfect opportunity to support a local performing group. Please buy a ticket and show up at one of their shows. This is what 'Community; is all about.
A REALLY INFORMATIVE FORUM -- One of the amazing things about THE Church of Our Saviour is the willingness of the Priest and the Vestry to bless new ministries proposed by parishioners. Actually, we experienced this way back in 1998 when Rev. Denis O'Pray told us to "make it happen" when we proposed establishing a ministry focused on the Holy Land and the Palestinian Christian Community.
Most recently, this process was repeated when Michael Watkins and Karen Streeter received Vestry approval to start the COS Positive Mental Health Support Group. Sunday at the Forum was their first opportunity to discuss this Ministry, and it was a particularly appropriate day since September is National Suicide Prevention Month. If one doubted the growing recognition of mental heath as something we all should be concerned with, this was dispelled by the appearance of Chin Ho liao, Mayor of San Gabriel, who introduced Michael and Karen's guest speaker Emily Wu Truong.
Emily is a member of the San Gabriel Valley Board of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Drawing on her own Journey, she shared her personal story of life with mental illness, hoping to shatter the negative stereotypes against individuals diagnosed with mental illness. Her story is enormously revealing and so RELEVANT to our changing community. Her candor reminds me of similar early stages of education when the taboo topics of Alcoholism, Breast Cancer, Aids and Prostate Cancer were not discussed openly. Unfortunately, since one in four families in the U.S. is impacted by some form of mental illness, it is obvious that Michael and Karen have involved themselves in a "growth industry".
ALL WE NEED IS LOVE! -- Jesus said it in the Gospel according to Matthew : "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart...You shall love your neighbor as yourself." John Lennon and Paul McCartney also said it: "Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love. There's nothing you can do that can't be done."
Sunday in his Sermon Br. Dennis Gibbs reiterated Jesus' challenge on how to live the disciple life of love:
"He encourages us to put love in action
--by taking care of one another, especially the poorest and the most disenfranchised among us...
--to seek and serve Christ in all persons,
--to strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every single human being...
All persons, all people, every human being --
this means EVERYBODY, no exceptions, no one outside the circle, only all people inside the circle of love."
Br. Dennis concludes that "there is a price to pay for standing with the poor and the oppressed and for looking government or society or religion in the eye and speaking truth to power...Jesus never promised us it would be easy, only that it would be worth it."
My immediate response as I listened to the Sermon was this: yet again, the preacher has articulated a message which resonates in particular with young people in our society. Not only that; THE Church of Our Saviour through its many outreach ministries provides the delivery vehicles which can be utilized to deliver "love" to the poor and the oppressed. The Problem, the Challenge: How do we communicate this message to the young people in our Community who are most likely to respond to this message?
WE ARE NOT ALONE -- I believe one of the mistakes The Episcopal Church (TEC) continues to make is its disinclination to educate those who call themselves Episcopalians about the polity of TEC. Those who enter the gates at 535 West Roses Road on Sundays are not just members of COS; they belong to the Diocese of Los Angeles which includes 146 other parishes. The Diocese in turn is not free standing; it is a member of Province VIII and one of 110 dioceses which make up TEC. There's more: TEC is one of 34 Provinces, 4 United Churches and 6 other churches which make up the Anglican Communion of 80 million people.
Why is this information important? It is important because the structure of TEC allows us parishioners to have a voice in who leads not only our parish but the leader of our Diocese who in turn represents us within TEC. We really do have a VOICE, and it is important for us to use it! This is why Fr.Gary took time during Announcements on Sunday to let everyone know that the Vestry will be selecting Lay Delegates to the Annual Diocesan Convention in December.
FYI, this will be the MOST IMPORTANT CONVENTION in the Diocese since 1999 when Bishop Bruno was elected from the floor as Bishop Coadjutor. The candidates were announced Sunday; two are from Los Angeles, two from the Bay Area and the last from the Paris based Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe. A series of regional Forums to hear the candidates is scheduled for October 4 thru 9. The sites and details can be found on the Diocesan web site. Rev. Ada served on the Search Committee and may schedule an Information Meeting.
As if this were not reason enough to be interested in the Convention, there is at least one Resolution which is drawing considerable attention and may take considerable time. It's a long story, but the bottom line is that Bishop Bruno's control over Corp Sole is being challenged because of the lack of transparency which currently exists. In the minds of many, this opaqueness is unacceptable in 2016, particularly since so many parish and mission properties are owned by Corp Sole. Immanuel and the OSC Clinic and Food Bank fall in this category. This is a developing story; stand by for additional information.
Although the Lay Delegates will be selected by the time you read this, you can always attend the Convention. It is on December 2 and 3 at the Ontario Convention Center, and there will be plenty of Visitor Seating along either side of the Delegate Section.
YOUR ASSET ALLOCATION SAYS WHO YOU ARE -- Dwight David Eisenhower said it: "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."
The Corollary: You can measure the importance individuals and institutions place on anything based on how their resources are allocated. For instance, Fr. Gary says Episcopalians allocate less than 1% of their gross income to pledging. On the other hand, the United States of America, through its elected representatives, allocated 54% of itsn2015 Discretionary Spending to Military!!! What price Security?!!!
NOW HEAR THIS -- Your Town Crier urges you to get out your calendar, turn to the first week of November and circle Saturday, NOVEMBER 5 from 6:00 to 9:00.
PRISM Restorative Justice Ten Year Anniversary Celebration
Keynote Speaker: Fr. Greg Boyle
Remarks: The Rt. Rev. Chester L. Tarlton
Featuring the Works of John August Swanson
Cleaver Hall & Allan Hall
$100 per person
In return for supporting this enormously important Outreach Ministry of the Diocese of Los Angeles, you will be privileged to hear Fr. Greg Boyle, one of the great Activists in Southern California. DO NOT MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY!!!