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!"
IGNITION, INDEED!!! -- You can visualize, you can plan, but then the day of the 150th Anniversary arrives and prayer comes in handy, too. However, when all was said and done, I believe the MAGNIFICENT CELEBRATION we all experienced Sunday at THE Church of Our Saviour mostly resulted from the incredibly hard work by a great number of clergy, staff and parishioners. What a day!!! Where to start? The Processional set the tone, and what a sight it was to see the Choir, Clergy, Lay Ministers and Brass Quartet all gathered in the Sanctuary behind the newly relocated Altar.
"CRESTLINE" -- For us, the whole Service was brought together by the Music, the highlight being the Premier of Canon Phil Smith's Composition which he entitled "Crestline". As he explained in his notes accompanying a copy of the Hymn, the melody and then the words "Come, we that love the Lord" from Isaac Watts (1674-1748) "came to me in the quiet place, my retreat in Crestline". This was at Fr. Gary and Rev. Peg Bradley's cabin where Phil spent the first portion of his Sabbatical. Phil asked that we keep his handout as we will be singing "Crestline" again, hopefully many times, during the year. Oh, by the way, the rest of the music also was inspiring. Thank You, Our Saviour Choir. You NEVER disappoint!
FR. GARY'S MESSAGE: COS IS "THE MONDAY THROUGH SATURDAY CHURCH" -- "No one is sure how The Church of THE Saviour was changed to The Church of OUR Saviour, but it was a felicitous change! The Church of THE Saviour points away to The Saviour at some distance -- the glorious, transcendent God. THE Church of OUR Saviour is to be embraced as ours -- close to our hearts -- the Immanuel God-With-Us."
In case his message was not entirely clear, the location of the ALTARand the COMMUNION RAIL re-enforced the reality of the INCARNATIONAL versus the TRANSCENDENT God. COS and "OUR" are ONE, as reflected in our extensive Outreach Ministries!
CLEAVER HALL NEVER LOOKED MORE BEAUTIFUL NOR WAS IT SO WELL SERVED!!! -- I know I am given to hyperbole, but Cleaver Hall REALLY never was more beautifully decorated. Huge Thank Yous begin with Jane Fall and Marge Telleen and our extremely sharpAdministrator Rev. Ada Wong-Nagata. Obviously, there were many, many more who helped, beginning Saturday with the set up and ending on Sunday afternoon with clean-up. So, at the risk of over looking some one, I am going to contact Super Organizer Jane Fall and ask her to provide a list of her helpers. Better she omits some one than I.
THANK YOU, NAT B. READ AND DON BENITO WILSON -- No other Protestant Church or any other institution, for that matter, in the San Gabriel Valley can trace its history back to within 17 years of the admission of the State of California into the Union. Moreover, no other can claim to having one of the great early characters in So Cal history playing an integral role in our founding. THE Church of Our Saviour can, and Nat Read, drawing upon his biography "From Mountain Man To Mayor" about Don Benito Wilson, presented a highly entertaining talk tying the initial presence of Protestant Christianity and Don Benito's passion for planting a Non-Catholic Denomination, any Denomination, in the area. Luckily for us, we low profile Episcopalians hung in there, and 150 years later we're sitting in the same place listening to how it all came to pass. Also of interest was Nat's establishment of the link between Don Benito and the Patton Clan. Fascinating, and for those who want to better understand this relationship, you have the opportunity to attend one of Betty Duker's Tours of the Stained Glass Windows in the Church. Because of the generosity of the Wilsons and the Pattons, she will be able to show you how the windows vividly tell the early history of COS. Thank You, Nat, for writing about this remarkable but under recognized man who contributed so much to THE Church of Our Saviour Story.
COS POP-UP SHOP -- Do you know what a Pop-Up Shop is? I didn't, either. This is another reason why we need to bring more young people into our Community. From the inter-net: "Whether you hear temporary retail, flash retailing, Pop-Up Store or Pop-Up Shop, it is all one and the same. Pop-Up Shops are taking over the retail world..." Sunday, under the management of Renaissance Parishioner Carrie Voris, the COS Pop-Up Shop made its first appearance. Among Carrie's MANY projects on and off campus, she and a partner have a company which prints all sorts of specialty products such as T-Shirts, caps, you name it.
Her contributions to COS included Aprons, Polo Shirts and T-Shirts, all of which she created with our 150th Anniversary Logo. I don't how the sales went, but all of the net proceeds were being donated to COS so don't hesitate to purchase one or more of her offerings for yourself and as gifts. By the way, the Bookmarks highlighting the year's events also were hers. Down the road, as you remember this marvelous celebration of COS's history and future, please give thanks to the presence of Carrie, Gabe Vazquez-Reyes and Kenneth Quan in our Community.
KENNETH QUAN -- As I have noted many times, there are an incredible numbers of ways to contribute to the COS Journey. Personally, I am so thankful to have Kenneth Quan in our midst because no one, not even Rev. Ada, continues to capture and provide as well as he does in photos the celebrations which we all share here at 535 West Roses Road. I believe I was first aware of his talent when he beautifully recorded the Installation of Fr. Gary as our Rector, but I have now come to expect that any event of significance will be preserved by Kenneth. Sunday was no exception! In fact, even before most of us had finished dinner, he had posted 56 pictures on facebook and Rev. Ada was circulating them far and wide. Thank You, Kenneth, for the memories!
WE ARE NOT ALONE: GAYLE MacGREGOR CONNECTS THE "PLOTS" -- No matter where I look as I sit 'my' pew every Sunday, I see talented parishioners whom I know are providing marvelous contributions within and outside of COS. Sunday another one -- Gayle MacGregor -- stepped forward and prepared for the parish an extremely informative handout entitled "WALKING TOUR --PERSONS OF NOTE BURIED IN SAN GABRIEL CEMETERY: SPECIAL EDITION FOR THE CHURCH OF OUR SAVIOUR". She notes in her write-up that "the persons whose final resting places are indicated on the tour are those who played a part in developing, running and growing the church in the earlier years, between 1867 and about 1956. It also includes the burial places of the first two diocesan bishops of Los Angeles." In addition to this contribution, Gayle has provided a written, 12 page history of the Cemetery which traces the parallel development of the Cemetery and COS. Very interesting! Thank You, Gayle.
WHEN I'M 64 -- Sue and I went up to have our 57 Years of Marriage Blessed. I'm not saying God was paying attention, BUT Rev.Peg also was up there to celebrate her 64th Birthday; and this elicited a few bars from the Beatle's great song "When I'm 64" from Fr. Gary. I love this song and remember when it came out in 1967 when I was 30 and married for only 8 years. 64 seemed so far away then!!! Now, at 79 and 78, we marvel at the understanding of aging expressed by Paul McCartney when he wrote the song at 16!
"When I get older, losing my hair, many years from now, will you still be sending me a valentine, birthday greetings, bottle of wine?...Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm sixty-four?"
FYI, SAGES meets Thursday, and I don't think there is one of us under 64!
RIP JIM MARTIN -- As joyful as Sunday was, it also was filled with sorrow. Just after the 8:00 Service Deacon Bill Doulos was informed of the unexpected death of Jim Martin, manager of Jubilee Home's Fairoaks House. Jim had not only served in that position for nine years, he also was Bill's close friend and friend of many parishioners of COS. As Fr. Gary noted during Announcements, Jim was a valued member of the extended COS Staff, and all of the church's facilities and services are being made available to the family. FYI, Transitional Housing's Four House Managers are the four most important "ministers" in this Ministry. They serve as confidants, surrogate parents, sponsors, disciplinarians and every other role imaginable, and Jim Martin was one of the best in serving in this role. As Bill Doulos wrote on facebook, Jim will be greatly missed.
LI TIM-OI CENTER -- One result of the location of the Li Tim-Oi Center at COS is the opportunity to host visiting clergy from mainland China and Taiwan. Sunday was a case in point when The Rev. Simon Tsou from Taiwan joined the clergy at the Altar. Rev. Ada explained that he is studying at Bloy House and The Claremont School of Theology and observing how various Episcopal parishes function around the Diocese.
The Next Event To Be Presented By The Center:
"Chinese Christian Art History" presented by Dr. He Qi (For Flyer, click here)
October 1 @ COS
10:00am to 11:30am
Are you interested in Chinese Christian Art History? Dr. He will present the following four periods:
a. Nestorian Influence (Tang & Yuan Dynasties)
b. The Society of Jesus (End of Ming - Middle of Qing)
"Dr. He is an Artist-in-Residence at the Claremont School of Theology and a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Art Institute of Renmin University of China, Beijing...He was the first among Mainland Chinese to earn a Ph.D in Religious Art after the Cultural Revolution (1992).
A POEM FOR THE CHURCH OF OUR SAVIOUR --
FOR 150 YEARS
TO THE SOULS
OF ALL MEMBERS
-Bill Rider (A 93 Year Old Friend)