The Beacon

THE BEACON: CELEBRATING THE PEOPLE AND INSTITUTIONS OF THE CHURCH OF OUR SAVIOUR

This is the Lord's Table and ALL are Welcome!

REAL BELL RINGERS: THE CHURCH OF OUR SAVIOUR ANNUAL GIVING COMMITTEE -- In the 27 years we have been parishioners we don't remember a more challenging time to head up a Stewardship Campaign. Thankfully, yet another group of parishioners stepped forward to volunteer their talents this year, and what a job they have done. With a goal of $500,000, it appears by looking at the Church Tower Bell Chart that we are approaching $450,000, with Chairman Dennis Duling announcing that the average pledge is up 9%!

    To thank the congregation, the Committee hosted a brunch last Sunday. This has been done before, but this was the first time it was between the two services. What a great idea, what a great success! The two southern sections of Cleaver Hall were fully occupied, and the brunch was joyfully served up by the Keith & Kathi Davis and the Duling families. An impeccable source reports that Dennis himself prepared the delicious egg dish. Another highlight of the morning was a truly uplifting and inspiring opening prayer from Fr. Honeychurch. He really captured the positive mood of the parish during this period of transition and the progress we are making. Given the number of churches in the Diocese which also are in searches, we are blessed that Senior Warden Juli Kennedy diligently pursued Fr. Bob to serve us.

    This Thanksgiving as we remember people whom we are grateful for in our lives, be sure to include Dennis & Nancy Duling, Harry Hathaway, Carrie Voris, Maura Hooper, Ivy Qi and Russ Case.

IN THE MEANTIME, HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT HOW IMPORTANT INSTITUTIONAL MEMORY IS IN A TRANSITION? -- It will be interesting to read the Parish Profile when it becomes available because the history of this parish is unique and more complicated than most so it needs to be recorded as accurately as possible. That said, in 2018 when things are changing so rapidly, it is not always possible to capture the history of events accurately before people who witnessed the events in question have moved on.

    I had reason to reflect on this recently because Bishop John Taylor is considering resurrecting a committee to focus on the Companion Relationship with the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. One of things he asked of us was a list of people who have made Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. According to our records, this included 40 COS parishioners, one of the largest groups within the diocese. That normally would be the "good news", particularly if the Bishop follows through and re-energizes the diocesan commitment to the Holy Land. Unfortunately, only 15 of our Pilgrims still attend COS; the rest have moved or have passed away and with them all of the institutional memories which included visits to St. Paul's, our Sister Parish in Galilee. In this regard, the only people left who were involved in the establishment of the St. Paul's relationship in 2004 are the Smocks. Time flies by, and the above is just one example of people moving away from COS. Here's another one. When Bill Doulos came to the parish asking for help in saving Jubilee Housing in 2003, The Rev. Canon Denis O'Pray formed a committee to evaluate the feasibility of taking on Bill's Ministry. Obviously, the decision to take it over was the right one, and Jubilee has become a cornerstone Outreach Ministry of COS's. However, the only person who knows anything about the history of this transaction in addition to Bill is I. Every other person involved in this important decision has moved on.

A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS...AND SOMETIMES MUCH, MUCH MORE -- Last week on Instagram and Facebook a picture began to be posted showing the faces of nine men and women of different faiths praying together. Upon further examination, it became clear that the person in the upper right hand corner is Sr. Greta Ronningen. In and of itself, this is a powerful photographic example of what freedom of religion looks like. People of very different faiths exercising their rights unimpeded.

    Then, within the hour the same picture appeared under the banner of the cover of TIME Magazine's late November edition. In addition, the title of the lead article accompanying the picture appeared: "Who Gets To Be American?" Because we were so moved and excited by Sr. Greta's appearance on the cover, we rushed out and bought a copy of the magazine Friday morning. (Do you realize how few places carry magazines anymore?)

    The Bottom Line: the cover was magnificent, the article seemed to us to under cut the spirit of the cover. What are we missing? If you had read the article and have a different view, please send us your comments at sssmockjr@aol.com.

ONE WEEK LEFT -- As the Parish Profile Committee completes its work, the Vestry is preparing to select the Search Committee. It is anticipated that five to eight parishioners will be selected by the end of the month. If you are interested in playing an important part in determining the future of THE Church of Our Saviour, submit the appropriate paper work immediately.  

SAGES: COS'S WISE GALS AND GUYS -- One of the best examples of a parish Community is SAGES, a Ministry created five year ago for the expressed purpose of bringing COS's older parishioners together on a monthly basis. Believe it or not, the Parish Profile Committee estimates that there now are in excess of 170 of us, with our monthly meetings drawing about 40 people on a regular basis. Lunches begin at 12:30, and someone usually volunteers to provide the entree, with the rest of the food and drink contributed by those in attendance.

    Last week was the Annual Thanksgiving Lunch, and this year Jerry Harris agreed to provide the turkey. According to Bev Harris, he cooked all morning, and we all were blessed with a spectacular turkey dinner one week early.   

    In addition to the wonderful opportunity to meet with fellow parishioners before and during lunch, we always have interesting speakers. This time it was The Rev. Nancy Shier who was asked by Co-Chairs Bev Harris and Linda Goluskin to discuss briefly what she is thankful for. Her Journey is indeed fascinating, particularly since she never has been very far removed from a faith based community, either by marriage or professionally. Rev. Nancy was ordained as an Episcopal Priest later in her Journey and is yet another example of why The Episcopal Church is stronger because of its embracing of women as priests. More specifically, she has provided invaluable assistance to Fr. Gary as he transitioned from his position as Vicar of Immanuel El Monte to Rector of COS.

    Next month Paul and Gloria Kilian will present their Annual Christmas Carol Sing-A-Long. This is a wonderful gathering, and all are invited, this time regardless of age. It is always on the third Thursday which is December 20.

DON BENITO WILSON & JOHN MUIR & ED ANDERSEN appear together at Sunday's 9:00 Forum. Should be a fascinating hour!    

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