THE BEACON: FOCUSING ON PEOPLE AND EVENTS WHICH MAKE THE CHURCH OF OUR SAVIOUR EXEMPLARY AND UNIQUE
FIRST IMPRESSIONS BEING EVERYTHING, THE VAST WASTELAND SURROUNDING GENERAL PATTON SUGGESTS HE WAS ON THE LOSING SIDE! In fact, from our rusting front gates to The Rev. Peg Bradley's tree (deceased?) at the rear of the parking lot, one has to wonder whether the landscape reflects either an indifference to first impressions OR a church in financial stress. I believe neither is the case, BUT ...
BISHOP JOHN TAYLOR ASKED THIS QUESTION ON 10/5/18: "WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? I'M PRETTY SURE JESUS WOULD VOTE!" TO QUOTE HIM FURTHER --
"The last few weeks have been a national horror show. Our leaders' unforgivable behavior. Victims of sexual trauma belittled and ignored. No due process for victims or accused. The grim exercise of raw power.
"I work in the church, where people sometimes say we're not supposed to talk about politics. But Jesus Christ is the head of my church. And Jesus Christ talked about political power all the time.
"'O, Jerusalem, Jerusalem,' Jesus said. In reference to his capital city. 'If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.'
"... because those in power don't put peace first. They want to win, and if you try to stop them, they'll hurt you.
"... because while the privileged and the powerful almost never want to hear inconvenient or uncomfortable truths.
"... because while the powerful often talk about the virtue of unity, they'll betray it whenever they're asked to sacrifice something they have or want.
"Jesus knew all that, and it hasn't changed since first century Palestine. The only thing that has changed is that we've won the right to vote and at long last have extended it to everyone in this country, at least theoretically. And when people vote, leaders get and do better. It's just that simple.
"The trouble is that to a great extent, we don't vote ... incumbents everywhere operate according to the reliable assumption that millions of us won't bother to exercise our precious, hard won birthright ...
"Please understand this. They are playing us all for saps.
"You want an honest government that looks like and represents all the people? You want accountability and transparency and justice for all? Then vote.
"Some theologians argue that Jesus' death and Resurrection set in motion the West's torturously slow process toward political and economic freedom. If you happen to believe that, which I do, it means Jesus died so you could vote. So vote out of guilt and shame. But vote.
"WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? I'M PRETTY SURE JESUS WOULD VOTE."
THE NATIONAL CONGRESS OF AMERICAN INDIANS' RESPONSE TO THE SUPREME COURT'S SUPPORT OF NORTH DAKOTA'S ATTEMPT TO STIFLE THE NATIVE AMERICAN VOTE:
"ONLY IN A COUNTRY THIS TWISTED COULD THE ORIGINAL INHABITANTS OF THIS LAND BE RENDERED UNABLE TO VOTE BECAUSE THEY ARE PERCEIVED TO NOT HAVE PROPER RESIDENCY (STREET ADDRESS) IN THEIR OWN HOMELANDS." What a travesty!!!
A CHRISTIAN WHO WAS NOT AFRAID OF THE CROSS! -- Archbishop Oscar Romero, the priest who is recognized as the founder of the Liberation Theology Movement, was elevated to Sainthood by Pope Francis Sunday. Because he spoke out against the systematic killings of the poor by right wing death squads that did the bidding of El Salvador's military-led government, he was assassinated in 1980 while serving Mass. Afraid of the Cross? Not him. "If they kill me, I will rise again in the people of El Salvador ... If they manage to carry out their threats, as of now, I offer my blood for the redemption and resurrection of El Salvador." FYI, Liberation Theology was adopted by Archbishop Desmond Tutu in his Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa and is the basis of The Rev. Canon Naim Ateek's advocacy for the rights of the Palestinian people.
OUR SAVIOUR CENTER: ALIVE AND 'WELLER' -- I hope you are reading Executive Director Jane Fall's weekly comments chronicling what's going on at Our Saviour Center. One good news report after another! Last week it was the announcement that a Family Nurse Practitioner has been hired. Her name is Julia Pazo, and her hiring now means that the Clinic can stay open on Fridays, something Jane has been working to accomplish for some time. Julia received her Master in Science in Nursing from UCLA and will be working on serving the Chinese Mandarin patient population.
Notwithstanding the good news, OSC still needs increasing financial support to serve the growing needs of the residents residing in the El Monte neighborhood where the Cleaver Clinic, Food Bank and Dorris Dann Kids Campus are located. So, by the time you read this article you still will have time to attend the
OSC ANNUAL FUNDRAISER SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20, FROM 5:00 TO 8:00 @ COS -- Admission is $25 Per Person.
THERE ARE 'DEACONS' AND THERE ARE 'DEACONS' AND COS HAS TWO OF THE BEST!!! -- "In The Episcopal Church, deacons are the closed circuit between the church and the world, modeling Christ's peace while serving and loving our congregations and communities -- as Jesus commanded all his apostles to serve and love so that the world would know who He was." These were Bishop John Taylor's words on facebook as he was pictured welcoming the diocesan deacons to the Annual Deacons Day Retreat at the Cathedral Center. Two of those attending were Br. Dennis Gibbs and Deacon Bill Doulos, and I will bet COS was the only parish with two deacons on its staff. More importantly, by far, is what these two priests do away from COS. Br. Dennis and Sr. Greta Ronningen continue to build PRISM, one of the most successful Prison Visitation Ministries in The Episcopal Church. In Pasadena Deacon Bill oversees Jubilee Homes' four residences housing 50 men and women in recovery. In addition, Bill is recognized as one of the leaders in the Recovery Community in the West San Gabriel Valley. I'm proud to be involved with the ministries of these two men; I hope you are, too!
WHO KNEW WOMEN BEGAN TO ASSERT THEMSELVES AS EARLY AS 1100 AD? THE REV. DR. PATRICIA ASH DOES! -- This is just one of the interesting things I learned from Sunday's Forum "The Flowering of the Mystics in the Middle Ages". The first of three Forums arranged by Kit Shenk, Dr. Ash spoke about the women mystics of the 1100s, focusing primarily on Hildegard of Bingen as an outstanding example of a woman playing a prominent role in the German Benedictine Movement. In fact, Dr. Ash even suggested that Hildegard might be considered one of the leaders of the First Women's Movement.
As I have noted so many times, COS is blessed with having the most amazing collection of parishioners who have interests in so many different areas; and Kit Shenk is yet another example. In fact, I doubt there are very many parishes which have a member who even knows there was a Mystic Movement in twelfth century, let alone know where to find an expert on the subject. Next week Dr. Ash will discuss the male mystics, followed a week later by the Eastern Orthodox Mystics. Attend the Forum and learn something new.
DIA de los MUERTOS COMES TO COS -- Anglos call it Halloween; Mexicans call it Dia de los Muertos. To the latter, it is a pre-colonial celebration of dead relatives meant to remember them and help them into the afterlife. The Academy Award winning, computer-animated fantasy film "Coco" was based on this tradition. (It is a wonderful movie well worth your viewing time this Halloween Season.) As announced in the Messenger, the Forum on November 4 will be dedicated to implementing a portion of the Dia de los Muerto celebration by building in shoe boxes small altars (ofrendas) dedicated to deceased relatives.
Fr. Gary Bradley knew well the meaning of this 'altar building' tradition because this was a big event with his congregation when he was Vicar at Immanuel in El Monte. A dimension he added was that in Mexican culture you die three deaths; the day you die, the day you are buried, and the day nobody remembers you anymore. However, if you are remembered every year on Dia de los Muertos by the building of a small altar dedicated to you, you remain alive in the memories of your relatives forever.
Fr. Gary himself always participates in memory of his father, and what he includes is the TV remote control which is father used 'religiously' until the day he died. Fr. Gary also noted that another reason for the significance of the remote to him was that it changed the lives of his siblings and him; they no longer had to run into the living room frequently to change the channel for their father after 'remote technology' was invented. My 'ofrenda' honors my parents with their pictures AND includes the riding crop which my father used for the last ten years of his life to feel his way around in his blindness.
MUSIC, MUSIC, MUSIC -- Regardless of how we may feel on any given Sunday, we know for sure that Canon Phil Smith and the COS Choir will lift us up. Last Sunday was no exception as Phil and the Choir delivered a spectacular rendition of R. Vaughan Williams' O How Amiable during the Offertory. In particular, we really were moved when the congregation was invited to sing the Hymn at the end of the Anthem:
"O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come,
"Our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home."
We sounded pretty good even though attendance was not robust.
Going forward, you will have TWO (2) glorious opportunities in the next several weeks to enjoy (and support) more performances as
MUSIC FOR A SEASON, 2018 - 2019 begins its 11th YEAR.
OCTOBER 21, 2018 @ 4:30 PM
CHORAL EVENSONG: RITE TWO
NOVEMBER 1, 2018 @ 7:30 PM
ALL SAINTS' DAY + ALL SOULS' EVE
Solemn Mass "For those whom we remember, including the reading of the names of those who have died this past year"
Opus 9 by Maurice Durufle
TO REITERATE: I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO 'HELL' BECAUSE IT MAY BE WARMER THAN THE CHURCH OF OUR SAVIOUR SANCTUARY ON SUNDAYS!!!