THE BEACON: CELEBRATING THE AMAZING PEOPLE OF THE CHURCH OF OUR SAVIOUR AND THEIR UNPARALLELED OUTREACH MINISTRIES
"THIS IS THE LORD'S TABLE AND ALL ARE WELCOME!"
THANK YOU, FR. HONEYCHURCH: LAST SUNDAY'S 10:00 SERVICE WAS ONE OF THE MOST SPIRITUALLY REWARDING AND RELEVANT SERVICES WE HAVE EXPERIENCED IN SOME TIME!!! -- Change?! This is not something most Episcopalians deal with very well. Witness the fact that Fr. Honeychurch felt compelled to explain the use of a 40 year old, contemporary form of the Lord's Prayer during the summer. (See July 1 Messenger Article "What's Going On With The Lord's Prayer?") Then, there was the announcement that last Sunday's 8:00 and 10:00 Services would be held in Grace Chapel (while the Mandarin Congregation celebrates in the sanctuary). Drawn by our weekly Sunday routine and more than a little curiosity, we entered what can only be characterized as a magical Service of worship.
For starters, the ambiance was magnificent! Every door was open, there was a delightful breeze, and you felt like the world was at peace. The view of the olive tree which was given to COS by our Sister Parish in the Holy Land was very visible throughout the Service. Most compelling of all was the intimacy of the gathering. Gloria Kilian, playing 'hurt' with a surgically repaired knee, was at the keyboards right behind us. The Choir was right next to her, and the hymns selected for the Service could not have been more moving -- "Take My Life And Let It Be", "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" and "O Beautiful For Spacious Skies". All of the participants were right in front of us -- Readers Maurice Saldebar and Rex Botengan, Cantor Phil Gold and most dramatically The Rev. Bob Honeychurch. Right there, up close and personal, un-miked.
And the Sermon?! Perfect for early July in America AND for the political environment we Americans are having to deal with on a daily basis. The Sermon has been posted on the COS website, but I recommend that you first read the Second Lesson (A Reading from the Second Letter to the Corinthians 8:7 - 15) AND the Holy Gospel (Mark 5:21 - 43).
Three 'take aways' for your reflection:
1) Fr. Bob is considering having baseball caps made bearing the following slogan -- "Make America Generous Again".
2) The words inscribed at the base of the Statute of Liberty --
With conquering limbs astride from land to land
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breath free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
3) Finally, given the spirit of the Sermon, The Sending Forth Hymn 719 "O Beautiful For Spacious Skies" took on a whole different meaning. It was a prayer, NOT a statement of American exceptionalism! Consider the second verse:
O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
GOD MEND THINE EVERY FLAW,
CONFIRM THY SOUL IN SELF-CONTROL,
THY LIBERTY IN LAW!
SUNDAY MORNING, JULY 1ST @ 12:01 AM, COS WAS BLESSED AGAIN!
-- Sixteen years ago Bill Doulos knocked on the backdoor of the COS Rectory and asked The Rev. Canon Denis O'Pray and his wife Lyn for advice. After years of assembling nine sober living residences under the name of Jubilee Homes while a staff member at All Saints Pasadena, he had been informed that All Saints was going to exit this outreach ministry. Fr. Denis and Lyn had known Bill for many years when they worked together at All Saints in the 1980's, and they knew of his incredible commitment to the least among us, with a special focus on people in recovery.
Moved by his plea for help, Fr. Denis called together what he called his Flock of Eagles to advise him on how to salvage some part of Jubilee Homes. The individuals involved were Al Koch, a lawyer and long time supporter of Bill's; The Rev. Chas Belknap, a diocesan expert on affordable housing; John Quinn, COS's Treasurer; Kelly Andrews, COS's Parish Administrator; and yours truly as Senior Warden. At the first meeting it was quickly apparent Bill's many wonderful gifts did not include administering Jubilee's finances. As the Flock debated what to do, Fr. Belknap volunteered that were the entire Jubilee ministry to be liquidated, it was his opinion that we would never be able to re-create this ministry, both because of the high cost of replacement AND potential resistance from existing neighbors. When all was said and done, four homes remained viable financially and could be borrowed against to settle all claims against Jubilee.
So, in the early summer of 2003, based on the estimated collective market value of $1.5 million, Quinn and Andrews negotiated mortgages totaling $1.087 million on four houses as follows: El Nido ($373,000) Fair Oaks ($180,000) Raymond ($270,000) and Washington ($195,000). The terms were so attractive that rents have been more than sufficient to service the loans over the last fifteen years. In fact, Fair Oaks was paid off early in 2017, and on June 30, 2018, THE MORTGAGES ON WASHINGTON AND RAYMOND WERE PAID IN FULL! Only a small balance remains on El Nido, and it will be paid off in May of next year.
The Bottom Line: Because of Deacon Bill Doulos' generosity, The Rev. Canon Denis O'Pray's vision and the creativity of John Quinn and Kelly Andrews, for sixteen years 50 men and women at a time have been provided affordable housing in West Pasadena while pursuing recovery from addiction and alcoholism. Also not insignificantly, even while charging below markets rents, cash flow continued to easily service the debt AND the properties conservatively doubled in value during this period.
THE COMMUNICATION COMMITTEE HAS SOME MESSAGES FOR YOU -- As in almost every area of this parish, we are blessed with two (2) remarkable people leading the COS communication effort -- Carrie Voris and Gabe Vazquez-Reyes. Throughout the summer in the Messenger they and other members of their Committee will be writing brief comments updating the status of the Profile Committee's work and the schedule of opportunities to participate in the process. Put these dates on your calendar:
Sunday July 8 FORUM 9:00 to 9:50 -- Understanding the Parish Profile Process with Paul Kilian (Overview and discussion of Sample Questions)
Saturday July 14 SEMINAR 9:00 to 1:00 -- Sharing Our Story: History Day facilitated by The Rev. Bob Honeychurch
Saturday July 21 SEMINAR 10:00 to 12:00 -- What We Do Well & Beyond facilitated by Tom Shenk
Sunday July 29 FORUM 9:00 to 9:50 -- Completing the Parish Survey with Paul Kilian (Clarification / Assistance in Filling Out the Questionnaire)
Monday August 31 -- Deadline for submitting Parish Questionnaire
In 2018 we ALL are witnessing what can happen when people do not exercise their rights. THE Church of Our Saviour is a democracy so each and every one of us has the opportunity, the responsibility, to provide input in determining the visions of this parish and its future direction. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE ATTEND THESE MEETINGS.
SUMMER FORUMS HIGHLIGHT SOME OF COS'S INCREDIBLY TALENTED PEOPLE -- On June 24th Betty Duker, our resident authority on our stained glass windows, shared her immense knowledge between the two Sunday Services. As those of you who have attended one of her presentations know, our windows represent one of this parish's unique assets, and many are important in the history of San Gabriel and the West San Gabriel Valley.
Last Sunday Sr. Greta Ronningen distributed a very informative two page handout entitled "What Is A Labyrinth?" In addition to this history, she also distributed another two page sheet detailing the details of the Labyrinth which the Monks have constructed behind the Community of Divine Love Monastery. Among other things the second sheet revealed is that the Labyrinth is open to all Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00am to 7:00pm. Sr. Greta urged all in attendance to learn more about the Labyrinth, and I am sure copies of both handouts are available from the church office.
In addition to Paul Kilian's two Forums, there are two more interesting Forums in July. On the 15th Gabe Vazquez-Reyes and two of his young people will discuss the Los Angeles City Pilgrimage which they all have participated in. Then, on July 22nd Lisa Mondori, our former Chancellor to the Vestry and long time attorney for World Vision, will discuss her work in the Middle East for that non-profit. In addition, she will discuss her decision to build her retirement home in Romania where she will be moving to before the end of the year. Please plan to come hear about her fascinating career, thank her for contributions to our Vestry and wish her well in the next stage of her Journey.
CONNECTING THE DOTS...OUR SAVIOUR CENTER & THE MONROE DOCTRINE: "THERE CAN BE NO COMMON SENSE IMMIGRATION 'DEBATE' THAT CONVENIENTLY IGNORES THE HISTORY OF U.S. INTERVENTION IN CENTRAL AMERICA"-- Ever wonder why Our Saviour Center is located in El Monte? In 1985 when a handful of COS parishioners was looking for a reasonably near-by community to establish a food bank, they came to realize that the poorest of the poor areas around was El Monte. The reason: This was a major destination for POLITICAL REFUGEES from Central America!!!
As stated above the Question never asked is WHY? The question is answered by the title of author Mark Tseng-Putterman's article -- "A Century of U.S. Intervention Created The Immigration Crisis: Those seeking asylum today inherited a series of crises that drove them to the border". It is his contention that the 1823 Monroe Monroe Doctrine set the stage for U.S. intervention throughout Latin America. Its initial objective, which was operative during most of the nineteenth century, was designed to oppose European colonialism in the Americas. Unfortunately, as the U.S. became a dominant military and economic power in the twentieth century, the region and particularly Central America was increasingly victimized by U.S. backed military interventions, corporate plundering and neo-liberal sapping of resources. Some words to google to pursue the above hypothesis: School of the Americas (AKA School of Assassins), the United Fruit Company, Contras, and the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). The Bottom Line: Fleeing north to the U.S. was and still is the best of many terrible options, including death.
If you are moved to really learn more about why people continue to head north, I recommend
"Harvest of Empire" - Click Here
"The Salinas Project" - Click Here
Mark Tseng-Putterman's article which chronicles the impact of U.S. policies in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador during the 1900's. - Click Here
BR. DENNIS GIBBS: CONSISTENTLY ABOVE THE FOLD IN THE SAN MARINO TRIBUNE -- To the new owners of the Tribune's great credit, they have dedicated an entire page to "CHURCH"; and every third issue has featured a column from one of our clergy. More recently Br. Dennis Gibbs has been featured, and in the July 29 edition his article entitled "God's Neighborhood" occupied three of the five columns above the fold. In addition, in the other two columns which contained "Upcoming Events", Br. Dennis's write-up on 'Film & Faith' was prominent. FYI, Br. Dennis' messages always emphasize ecumenical and interfaith brotherhood and love your neighbor as yourself, REGARDLESS!!!
THE REV. CANON PHIL SMITH RECOGNIZED AGAIN! -- Canon Phil, one of the more proficient users of Facebook, announced that he has signed his 14th contract to serve as Conservator of the Organ, known as Hurricane Mama, at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Congratulations, Phil. What a great honor and vote of confidence!!!
ALL YOU NEED (TODAY) ARE THREE BONES: THE WISHBONE, THE JAWBONE AND THE BACKBONE (NINA TURNER, 'OUR REVOLUTION')