THE BEACON: "Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works." Matthew 5:16
"This is the Lord's Table and ALL are Welcome!" Fr. Gary 2017
WE LOVE THIS PLACE: IT MAKES US THINK!!! -- In this polarizing world, besides our family the one constant source of PEACE, LOVE and COMMUNITY in our Journey is THE Church of Saviour; and this week provided great examples of what I'm talking about.
THURSDAY NIGHT: WHAT A TEAM! DR. STEVE HINDLE & NANCY BURROWS -- Mesmerizing! Informative! Entertaining! Wonderfully appropriate words, BUT they don't begin to describe Dr. Hindle's presentation to an appreciative crowd which Nancy Burrows gathered in Cleaver Hall. Nancy, in her various promotional appearances and write-ups, had promised an unforgettable evening, and she did not oversell!!! Those of you committed Episcopalians who did not attend the presentation really did miss an incredibly informative event. I can honestly say that Dr. Hindle greatly elevated our knowledge of the roots of our denomination, from the impact of the Reformation to Henry VIII to the English Civil Wars, filling in gaps and misconceptions about the Anglican Church's early history. Were I bright enough, I would relate what I learned. But to attempt to do so, I would be guilty of practicing theology and history without a license. You all will have to find a copy of Dr. Hindle's calendar and hustle out to hear him the next time he speaks, whatever the topic!
Two things I did understand and can report which may be of interest:
1) Dr. Hindle emphasized that Music is the Anglican Church's Secret Weapon!
2) One of the most important studies addressing the history of the Anglican Church was published in 1992 by Eamon Duffy -- "The Stripping Of The Altar: Traditional Religion In England 1400 - 1580".
"It Takes A Village": Nancy made this point very clearly at the end of the evening when she took time to thank a number of people who made Dr. Hindle's appearance so successful: Georgie Erskine, Janey Odell, Ginny Noll, Marge Telleen, Patti Beith, Rary Simmons, Jane Fall, Linda Goluskin and David Coleman. In addition, she made particular mention of Janey Cutting who spent all day helping with the set-up AND Stephen Faux, COS Custodian, who Nancy said was everywhere helping with everything, always with a smile.
FYI, I believe I heard Dr. Hindle state that The Huntington Library will be hosting an Exhibition in the fall celebrating the 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther's appearance in Wittenburg on October 31, 1517, to post his 95 theses to the door of the cathedral.
SUNDAY 10:00 FORUM: THIRD MARK OF LOVE -- Robin Kassabian and Sr. MJ Johnston conducted a lively and engaging Forum centered on the Third Mark of Love, a Study Guide from the Society of St. John the Evangelist's "Living Life Marked as Christ's Own". For us, the crux of the morning was captured as follows: "We follow his way as disciples -- learning, growing, and living into God's Kingdom here on earth...We are not meant to do this alone...In the early Church, communities of believers shared food and prayers, time and space. They grew in their faith together. They supported one another. In our own communities of faith, we are called to do the same."
MJ and Sr. Greta volunteered that the new PRISM mantra is LIVE LOVE! This sums up perfectly what THE Church of Our Saviour means to us: A LOVING COMMUNITY.
A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF A LOVING COMMUNITY FROM COS 25 YEARS AGO -- When listing the Outreach Ministries which COS developed during its last 25 years, one of the most loving, caring and courageous of those was the AIDS LUNCHEON MINISTRY. This was lay driven, with Carol Hill and Jerry & Bev Harris organizing the first group who prepared lunches for AIDS afflicted patients flocking to L.A. County Hospital for help in 1991. I am privileged to have the opportunity to write up this Ministry for the celebration of COS's 150th Anniversary; but before I reveal more about this remarkable effort, I need to know from anyone of you who reads this whether or not YOU WERE THERE, TOO. You can let me know at email@example.com if you were involved.
JESUS & THE SAMARITAN WOMAN @ JACOB'S WELL (ST. JOHN 4:5 - 42): TWO PERSPECTIVES -- I noted above that COS makes me think, and both Fr. Gary and Br. Dennis did just that in how they chose to approach Jesus' meeting with the Samaritan woman.
Fr. Gary Focused on 'Fearless Girl': Following up on the excitement created by International Women's Day on March 8th, Fr. Gary compared the Samaritan woman with 'Fearless Girl' who showed up on Wall Street facing off with the Bull. I also I detected Senator Elizabeth Warren making a cameo appearance in the Sermon as the senator who "nevertheless persisted". Having been blessed with two incredible daughters, three equally incredible grand daughters and a wife second to none, I would have been more than content to celebrate Fr. Gary's tribute to my most favorite gender.
Br. Dennis Focused on the 'Common Well, Common Life': Sue, daughters and grand daughters notwithstanding, I was deeply moved by Br. Dennis's Praying Towards Sunday column in The Messenger which he entitled "Common Well, Common Life". His focus was on how Jesus broke traditions and rules to embrace a person who qualified as one of the least among the population, an action which "seems important and relevant in our current time" when the poor among us are feeling more vulnerable than ever before in recent history. "Jesus reached across the divide. He didn't push people away. He opened the borders of his heart. He asked us to care for our neighbors and the sick and the poor among us, not cast them aside as dispensable."
Br. Dennis' conclusion from this Lesson: like Jesus, "we need to change...we need to move out into the places where we can have real meaningful encounters with people on our common spiritual journey. We need to meet people at the common well instead of waiting for them to find their way to our doorstep." Maybe the BEACON should be called the WELL. Amen!
A MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT EPIPHANY -- As I thought about Fr. Gary and 'Fearless Girl' and Br. Dennis and the woman of Samaria at the Well, I suddenly realized that without women, there would be no BEACON this week! Nancy Burrows, the Forum, Rosaries, AIDS Lunches, the Welcome Baskets. Community Ministries Festival, SAGES, 2/3rds of the Monks, Altar Guild...!!! Given the male domination of the church as witnessed by Canon Phil's two historical Services, I think it is a miracle that THE Church of Our Saviour made it to 150 years!!!
BY THE WAY, WE HAVE BEEN AT THE WELL, TOO -- In the last BEACON, I made the case for making Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Specifically, I suggested that walking in the footsteps of Jesus adds a dimension to a Christian's Journey that is unforgettable. Sunday, this was brought home to us yet again as we listened to Br. Dennis Gibbs read of Jesus' meeting with the woman at Jacob's Well in the City of Samaria. We have been there at least ten times, and every time we have participated in lowering a bucket to the bottom of the well some 15 feet below the basement floor of the church now constructed over the sight. Each and everyone of the Pilgrims we have traveled with has tasted the water from that bucket; it always is a very special day!!! Oh, by the way the City of Samaria is now called Nablus and is located deep in the West Bank. Just around the corner from the Well is the Refugee Camp of Balata, the major center of Pro-Palestinian Protest over the years. And yet, beginning in 2004 at the end of the Second Intifada, never, ever, did we feel that we were at any risk.
DOMINIQUE & DARYL: NOT GUILTY!!! -- The PRISM Chaplains are doing a great job utilizing social media to educate AND update us on what they are doing. Most recently, they had great news, a victory, to report. First of all came an e-mail blast on 3/9 announcing that Sr. Greta and Br. Dennis were canceling the Holy Eucharist Service the next day so they could be in court to support two people they have been visiting for four years. On 3/15 a second e-mail entitled "Great News" included the following: "Yesterday, they (Dominique and Daryl) were found NOT QUILTY on all counts! After four years behind bars they are with their family and celebrating. It is a joy to have good news like this to share with you -- our greater community." Congratulations, PRISM!
CANON PHIL SMITH BROUGHT TEARS TO SUE'S EYES -- Having not attended a church service on a regular basis until 1991, I do not have memories of Episcopal Services of yesteryear. However, my friend of over sixty years does, having grown up at St. Edmund's which her parents helped to found in 1941. So, I was not surprised when, during the Processional, I began to see how emotional Sue became. What I didn't know then was that what really moved her were the little black head coverings which the women of the Choir were wearing. These brought back warm memories of her mother Peg Godfrey and her sister Carol who sang for years in the St. Edmund's Choir. However, this wasn't all that moved her; she also remembered every portion of the Liturgy Canon Phil spent so much time and effort putting in place based on the Morning Prayer from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. She was raised on this, and it meant a lot to her. COS is so blessed to have a Minister of Music who also is a superb Student of Episcopal Liturgy and its History. Thank you, Canon Phil, for contributing so much to the celebration of COS's 150th Anniverary.
COMMUNITY MINISTRIES FESTIVAL -- Joanna Cory and Gerry Fagoaga have been involved all fall and winter in gathering together information regarding the many opportunities available for parishioners to become engaged in both internal and external Ministries. If you read The Messenger or The BEACON, you already know just how many amazing activities this parish offers. Next Sunday six of these will be showcased during the morning: 1) PRISM, 2) KNITTER CIRCLE, 3) OUR SAVIOUR CENTER, 4) LI TIM-OI CENTER, 5) TRANSITIONAL HOUSING AND 6) HARAMBE. Talk about a diversity of offerings! Just these six could be held up as a great example of what a COMMUNITY looks like. However, if one of these does not ring your bell, stand by because Joanna and Gerry have just begun to display COS's 'wares'.
ROSARIES R US -- The Rev. Canon Ada Wong-Nagata may be gone, but she certainly is not forgotten. So, when she calls from Manhattan with a request, her friends from COS with a "U" respond. As a result, The Church of Our Savior in New York City now is the recipient of 40 hand made Rosaries lovingly assembled by The Rev. Peg Bradley, The Rev. Nancy Shier, Joanna Cory and Diane Rivera. There are lots of ways to make a difference, aren't there? If you go to Rev. Ada's facebook page and scroll down, you can see some of these beautiful Rosaries displayed.
IN MEMORY OF JEREMY T. J. MOSS: 1987 - 2015 -- As reported by Deacon Bill Doulos, this is the message printed on a card which is included in Jubilee Welcome Baskets. Assembled by Jubilee Board Members Sara Dooley and Kathy Vine, these will given to every new resident entering one of our Sober Living Homes. The Welcome Basket, actually a large bag, contains bedding, towels, toiletries, and a referral sheet for Pasadena agencies. The above card lets the new residents know that these gifts are made possible by the generosity of those who have contributed to the Moss Family Fund.
Bill concludes with the following statement: "I would guess that we are the foremost sober living network that does so much to encourage our residents in support of their lives of recovery."
THE SUN NEVER SETS ON SAGES -- It was gratifying to see the number of SAGE Regulars who came out after dark to listen to Dr. Hindle's wonderful presentation. FYI, we count as core members about 45 parishioners who support this 'non-budget' Ministry on a consistent basis. You know who you are, so going forward, I want to alert you to one volunteer opportunity and to one scheduled event.
Palm Sunday Cross Making: On Thursday, April 6 at 10:30 AM please come to Cleaver Hall to help the Altar Guild Members make palm crosses for Sunday's Service. Do not worry if you do not know how to make a cross. The Altar Guild Members are experts in making these and are incredibly patient teachers. In return for your assistance, you are invited to stay for potato bar lunch. Please let Debbie Andersen who is the head of the Altar Guild know if you would like to help -- firstname.lastname@example.org OR 626-446-7020.
April Monthly Meeting Of SAGES On Thursday, the 20th @ 12:30: Betty Duker, our own parishioner and acknowledged expert in our Stained Glass Windows, will be our speaker -- in the church. Betty knows so much! It should be fascinating! SAGES know the routine; but if you are interested in joining us for this unique presentation, please let Sue know at email@example.com OR 626-703-2160 so we can have enough food to serve everyone.
HARRY HATHAWAY MADE ME THINK -- Sunday after the 10:00 Service, Harry Hathaway and I were talking, and he mentioned that he had become very interested in Southern California History in retirement. One thing which has particularly intrigued him is the number of times THE Church of Our Saviour AND the San Gabriel Cemetery are mentioned in the history of this area. This got me to thinking about the significance of an institution that has been in existence for 150 years. Think about it; COS has been around longer than Cal Tech, Fuller Seminary, the Rose Bowl, the Huntington Library, the Huntington and Methodist Hospitals, City of Hope, Santa Anita, the Descanso Gardens, the Arboretum, PCC, and JPL. Historically speaking, COS and the Cemetery are very, very special, deserving of a Joint Docent Ministry, I think. Just sayin'.