This week: December 7th, 2017

Dear Friends~

From St. Nicholas to Santa Claus…

Today on the church calendar we celebrate St. Nicholas of Myra, a fourth century bishop and the patron saint of sailors and children. Legend has it that he was a wealthy man who was very kind and helped the poor. As the bearer of gifts to children, he was a popular saint in medieval Europe.

In northern Europe after the Reformation the stories and traditions of the saints became unpopular. But someone had to deliver presents to children at Christmas, so in England, he became Father Christmas, an old character from stories during the Middle Ages. In Austria and Germany the present giver became the Christkind, a golden-haired baby with wings who symbolizes the new born baby Jesus. In early America his name was Kris Kringle (from the Christkind). Later, Dutch settlers in America brought the old stories of St. Nicholas with them and Kris Kringle became Sinterklaas or as we now say, Santa Claus.

Notice how the traditional costume for Sinterklass shows him…

Inline image 2 He looks like our typical Santa Claus dressed up in bishop’s vestments—very appropriate given his history!

 Almighty God,
in your love you gave your servant Nicholas of Myra
a perpetual name for deeds of kindness both on land and sea:
Grant, we pray, that your Church may never cease to work for
the happiness of children, the safety of sailors, the relief of the poor,
and the help of those tossed by tempests of doubt or grief;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

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Our Christmas tree is shining and bright! Thank you to Jeanie and family for setting up the tree and lights and to all who helped decorate it on Sunday. We had a party to light the tree, welcome Santa and make Gingerbread houses on Tuesday.

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As you can see, we had master builders in the house and a good time was had by all!

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This week we begin at the beginning. “The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the son of God.”

Mark 1:1

There is no nativity story in Mark… either literal, as there is in Matthew and Luke, or metaphorical, as in John. Mark starts with the adult Jesus at his baptism by John.

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As our Advent calendar suggested on Monday, you can easily read the gospel of Mark in one sitting—it’s short. And you might even find that reference I asked about last week.

Inline image 8Why is this guy running away without any clothes on? The
story is in Mark 14:51-52.

Click HERE to read all the lessons for this Sunday.

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Inline image 9We still have a few Advent calendars left. And you still have time to use one. Be sure to pick up your Advent calendar at church this Sunday to help you mark the days and prepare for the coming of Jesus.

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Inline image 10 We completed another successful support with El Segundo Methodist Church for Family Promise on Sunday. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped. This ministry is really good news – for us and for the families. It’s a pleasure to meet the families and help them on their way. Think about joining us for the next support week in March of 2018. Contact Jeanie Powell at jpowell420@att.net to find out how you can be part of the program!

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This week: December 3rd, 2017

The season is turning. Sunday is the First Sunday in Advent and we will see changes in the colors, the liturgy, the music and the tenor of our lessons. We will also leave the gospel of Matthew and move into the gospel of Mark—the principle gospel for this coming church year. Each of the gospels has a traditional symbol— a man, an eagle, an ox and a lion. These symbols are often depicted in works of art. In the image below you can see the four evangelists (gospel writers) at their writing desks with the symbol of each shown in the open window. Do you know who is who?*

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There is also a hint from the particular gospel in the image. The image for Mark includes a naked man running away in the moonlight. Yep, that’s in the gospel of Mark. A prize for the first person to send that citation to me!

* The symbols appear in Ezekiel and Revelation
Matthew is the winged man symbolizing Jesus’ incarnation
Mark is the winged lion symbolizing Jesus’ resurrection
Luke is the winged ox symbolizing Jesus’ sacrifice
John is the eagle symbolizing Jesus’ ascension

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Inline image 3Since we don’t have Minions, YOU could help us decorate our Christmas tree this Sunday, December 3rd after church. The tree will be in place but we could use some help hanging the ornaments. Bring your kids and we’ll make that tree dazzle!

Then, don’t forget…

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Inline image 5 Thank YOU for your pledge of financial support to St. Michael’s for 2018. Your pledge is an expression of your faith and commitment to God and to this community of faith. You are surrounded and supported by other members as we continue our journey together toward being the people of God in our time and place.

By the way, if you have not offered a pledge for 2018, you still can! Pledge cards are in Yeaton Hall and at the entry of the church.

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As we move into Advent, the lessons focus on prophecy and the second coming.

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Click HERE to listen to a wonderful high school quartet sing the Negro spiritual “My Lord, what a morning,” which takes its imagery from this Sunday’s gospel. Spirituals are traditionally sung without accompaniment and the harmonies fill out the sound. These guys are good!

Click HERE to read all the lessons for this Sunday.

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Inline image 6Advent begins on Sunday, December 3rd. Be sure to pick up an Advent calendar at church this Sunday to help you mark the days and prepare for the coming of Jesus.

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Inline image 7 We are midweek in our current Family Promise support week but it’s not too late to help. Contact Jeanie Powell at jpowell420@att.net to find out how you can be part of the program!

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Inline image 8After the simplicity of Advent our church will have an abundance of poinsettias to decorate for Christmas. You are invited to help pay for these lovely flowers and honor a loved one with a thanksgiving or memorial tribute. You can find a form for Christmas Poinsettias in the church entry and in the December issue of The Guardian. Your completed form is needed by Sunday, December 17th in order to include the names of your loved ones in the Christmas service leaflets.

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As you sit, or stand, or walk or wait in prayer this week, your prayers are asked for those in our community and beyond who especially need our prayers…

We pray for healing for: Tom, Sebastian and Patsy; Josh, Shayne and Christina; Sylvia; Noemi; Laura, Terri, Amy and Paula; Belinda; Norm, Razza, Matt, Dave, Wendy, Mike and Maryjane.

We pray for the blessing of employment for: All who are unemployed or underemployed.

We pray for safe travel for: Matt; the Samia family; and people around the world seeking safer places to live.

We pray for others who need our prayers, especially: Joe and Cindy; Steve and Tanya; Juan, Casey, and Jenny; Barbara, Tiffani and family; The Samia family; Brittani; Melba and the Mowad family; People in our country and around the world suffering from natural and man-made disasters; The men and women serving in our armed forces, esp. those stationed overseas.

We pray for peace in the world, especially for: The people suffering in the Syrian civil war and other conflicts around the world.

We give thanks for: First responders to all emergency situations; the opportunities we have to serve, esp. through Family Promise and C.A.S.E.; St. Michael’s Children’s Center and we pray that it may be a place of sound learning and new discovery.

We pray for those who have died, especially: The victims of gun violence in our country.

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Inline image 9 An Episcopal pioneer is honored at Yale—they have named a new residential college after the Rev. Pauli Murray. Read about Rev. Murray and other events around the diocese in this week’s issue of The Episcopal News Weekly.

Also in this week’s issue:

   *  Nominations open for ECW Board 2018 – 2021

   *  Women’s retreat to study Celtic spirituality

   *  GFS to sponsor talk on enabling, mentoring girls

   *  ‘People, get ready,’ by Bishop Suffragan Diane Jardine Bruce

   *  Events around the diocese

HERE is the link.

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This week: November 10, 2017

Tomorrow is Veterans Day. It began as a remembrance of the Armistice that ended WWI—signed at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Traditionally, we observed two minutes of silence at 11am each November 11th to mark the end and remember those who died in that war.

In 1954 President Eisenhower officially changed the name of our day of remembrance to Veterans Day. It is now a day to pay tribute to all American veterans—living or dead—but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime. I know we have a couple of veterans in our congregation–Randy Albers and Eamonn Oley. Are there more out there that I don’t know about? We thank them all for their service!

Almighty God,
we commend to your gracious care and keeping
all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad.
Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace;
strengthen them in their trials and temptations;
give them courage to face the perils which beset them;
and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

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Inline image 2Rejoice, give thanks and sing! The South Bay Interfaith Thanksgiving service has a long tradition. It’s an opportunity to join with other people of faith and rejoice in our common heritage.

This year, the service is being held on Tuesday, November 21st at St. Lawrence Martyr Church—1900 Prospect Ave., Redondo Beach. Our choir members will be singing the Interfaith Choir. I hope you can join us!

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Our first reading this week is from Joshua, so that obviously makes me think of Bob Dylan. 😁😁😁. Well, there IS a link! The lesson is Joshua’s famous speech about choosing to serve God. And, Dylan wrote that great rock anthem, “You have to serve somebody.” In this song Dylan names all sorts and conditions of men (and women)* and always concludes with the refrain:

But you have to serve somebody,
yes indeed y
ou have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you have to serve somebody.

Click HERE to watch Dylan’s classic performance of this song at the 1980 Grammys.
And click HERE to read the lesson from Joshua and all the lessons for this Sunday.

*You may recognize this language
from the Book of Common Prayer.
See prayer #2 on page 814.

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Inline image 3Our November Taizé is this Tuesday, November 14th at 7:30pm. Our monthly Taize-style service offers a time of quiet and contemplation, music and prayer in the candlelit beauty of our church. It’s a peaceful time to  spend in the presence of God. I hope you can join us.

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Inline image 4Our support week for Family Promise is coming up November 26-December 3. This is one of our major ministries and it requires hands-on help from lots of people to make it work.

 We join with El Segundo Methodist Church to make it happen. You can click HERE to go to the sign-up sheet. Remember, you must have taken the Family Promise training to volunteer for any spots requiring face-to-face contact with our families—but there are lots of spots that are behind the scenes. Contact Jeanie Powell at jpowell420@att.net if you have any questions.

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Inline image 5We (STILL) need a little “flower power”! We have an opening to buy and arrange the flowers for our altar on the second Sunday of each month and we’re looking

 for a volunteer. If you are interested, let Mother Dina know. Thanks!

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Inline image 6We’re gathering a birthday list so we can remember you on your special day. Please add your name and birthday (month and day only; you can keep the year to yourself!) to the list in Yeaton Hall. Happy birthday to you!

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This week: October 28th, 2017

Dear Friends~

If we were Lutherans we’d know that this coming week is a major milestone in Church history. Lutherans, after all, are heirs of Martin Luther. And October 31, 2017 marks exactly 500 years since he nailed his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany.

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The Reformation is a complex piece of history that encompasses many years and strands. It’s rather remarkable that a movement like this has such a definitive starting date. Luther may not have intended at the beginning to start a separation from the Roman Catholic Church—scholars differ on this point. But clearly he did see serious problems within the Church, and his theses were offered as points for scholarly debate. That debate did not take place; rather the social movement of the Reformation led to schism and the formation of major Protestant denominations—Lutherans, Presbyterians and eventually Anglicans, among others.

There is no doubt that the Roman Catholic Church needed to be reformed. After the Protestant Reformation the RC Church itself had a “counter reformation” and made many changes in its ways at the Council of Trent. But it is sad to have the divisions we do within the Church Universal—and there are many efforts at trying to resolve our differences. The Episcopal Church participates in many of these efforts. We have agreements about “full communion” (that is shared sacraments and ministry) with Lutherans and we have ongoing talks with Roman Catholics and Methodists, and others.

I am glad we are participating in these discussions. And we are not the only church working on this. Here is a prayer from the Lutheran-Roman Catholic efforts to come together and mark the 500thanniversary of the Reformation:

Thanks be to you O God
for the many guiding theological and spiritual insights
that we have all received through the Reformation.
Thanks be to you for the good transformations and reforms
that were set in motion by the Reformation
or by struggling with its challenges.
Thanks be to you for the proclamation of the gospel
that occurred during the Reformation
and that since then has strengthened countless people
to live lives of faith in Jesus Christ.
Amen.

May this be our prayer, as well.

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Inline image 3Don’t forget to come for coffee and a tour of Mychal’s Learning Place tomorrow morning. Come to buy your coffee and a treat anytime after 8am and stay for the tour hosted by Blaisdell Shaw beginning at 9:30am. You’ll be impressed with the program and maybe even find a way you’d like to volunteer. Here’s the address: 4901 W Rosecrans Ave, Hawthorne, CA 90250.

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We’ll talk about Halloween and All Saints at our 5th Sunday child-friendly service this Sunday. Everyone—especially the younger set—is welcome to come in costume as we remember we are all saints of the church.

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The liturgy is simpler and the sermon is geared to younger members and I get lots of help from them! I hope you’ll be with us and bring a family of friends with you.

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Inline image 5  Our psalm this week is the basis for another great hymn of the church. Isaac Watts used the first five verses of Psalm 90 as the basis for “O God, our help in ages past.” Watts is considered the father of English Hymnody and many of his hymns are standards in our hymnal.

Click HERE to get your Anglican on! This version was sung at Westminster Abbey, complete with men and boys choirs and soaring organ accompaniment.

And click here to read all the lessons for this Sunday.

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Inline image 6 An interfaith community event to invite meaningful conversations with friends and neighbors who hold diverse opinions about how to make our world safer, more peaceful will take place on Wednesday, November 8th at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Palos Verdes. St. Michael’s on the Move will plan a carpool. There is a sign up in Yeaton Hall to join us.

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Inline image 7   We had an organizational meeting for our Altar Guild last Sunday. It’s nice to have a crew of people ready to dig in… especially with the holidays coming. We can always use additional hands—and we will be forming a “bread party” of our younger members to make communion bread for us. Let me know if you can be part of the group.

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Inline image 8We’re gathering a birthday list so we can remember you on your special day.Please add your name and birthday (month and day only; you can keep the year to yourself!) to the list in Yeaton Hall. Happy birthday to you!

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This Week: October 22, 2017

Wouldn’t you love to be there? The Albuquerque Balloon Festival concluded this week. It’s over for another year. And it is definitely on my bucket list. The beautiful, colored teardrop shapes rising silently into the morning sky, filling the view as far as the eye can see.

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I read someone describe it as a defiance of gravity that feels a lot like prayer – and the best kind of church. “Quiet. Joyful. Colorful. Playful. Equal. Gentle.”

What are your best experiences of God? I invite you to come and share them this Sunday at St. Michael’s.

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Inline image 3   It’s time to reactivate the Altar Guild here at St. Michael’s. Several members are interested, and I hope YOU are, too! And, by the way, younger members are welcome. Our first meeting is this Sunday, October 22 after the 10am service. I hope you can join us! Thanks!

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We’ll talk about Halloween and All Saints at our 5th Sunday child-friendly service on October 29thEveryone—especially the younger set—is welcome to come in costume as we remember we are all saints of the church.

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The liturgy is simpler and the sermon is geared to younger members and I get lots of help from them! I hope you’ll be with us and bring a family of friends with you.

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Inline image 5  The lesson from Exodus this week provides the imagery for the hymn “Rock of Ages.” In the Bible, Moses asks God to show him God’s glory. God responds that seeing God face to face will be too much for Moses, but God will put Moses in a cleft in the mountain rock and protect him with God’s hand as God’s goodness passes by so that Moses can know the glory of God.

The hymn has powerful words:

Rock of ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee;
let the water and the blood from thy wounded side that flowed,
be of sin the double cure, cleanse me from its guilt and power.

So I am often disappointed with (yes, pun intended!) “soft rock”-style performances that sap their strength. I was glad to find this version of it performed with orchestra and chorus on a wild and windy mountaintop.

Click HERE for an impressive rendition of this great hymn.
Honest! It’s worth a look and listen!

And click here to read all the lessons for this Sunday.

 

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An interfaith community event to invite meaningful conversations with friends and neighbors who hold diverse opinions about how to make our world safer, more peaceful will take place on Wednesday, November 8th at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Palos Verdes.

St. Michael’s on the Move will plan a carpool. There is a sign up in Yeaton Hall to join us.

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Inline image 7Our October support week for Family Promise has just concluded. I hope you will plan to be part of our next week, November 26-December 3. As always, this wonderful ministry requires our hands-on support and help. Please contact Jeanie Powell if you have questions or can offer assistance: jpowell420@att.net

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This Week: August 18, 2017

Dear Friends~

Once again, I have to say it’s been a tough week. And I know the church is called to speak to what we have witnessed.

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Virginia bishops Johnston and Gulick, with other clergy and laity
witnessing in Charlottesville last weekend.

So I am grateful for the words of the bishops of Virginia…

“There will be more rallies and more divisions. We must be prepared to meet those challenges, not with violent confrontation, but by exemplifying the power of love made known in concrete action.”

They go on to list concrete actions in the face of white supremacists and others whose message is counter to Christ’s embracing love and invite us to join with them in these actions. It is a moment for us to reflect and act on our commitment to follow Jesus.

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What about that Canaanite woman? Is she audacious, or spunky, or is she just at her wit’s end? I like the honesty of this painting byJean Germain Drouais because it shows Jesus at the beginning of the story turning her away.

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Christ and the Canaanite Woman by Jean Germain Drouais (1763-1788)

This is not the Jesus we like to imagine. Why do you suppose Matthew included this story—warts and all—in his gospel? How do you hear Jesus’ words to her? And what does the resolution of the story say to you?

Come to church on Sunday and share your thoughts about the story. All the lessons for this Sunday are available HERE.

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Inline image 4Our C.A.S.E. ingathering for August is this Sunday, August 20thRequested items to fill up the pantry include: juices—bottles and snack-size, cereals—the kinds kids like!, cookies and crackers, peanut butter and jellies. Your generosity is appreciated!

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This Week: August 11, 2017

Today we honor and remember the life of Laurence, Deacon and Martyr. You may know that Laurence (or as they spell it, Lawrence) is the patron saint of the Roman Catholic Church in Redondo Beach. Laurence was martyred during the reign of Emperor Valerian in 257A.D.

Inline image 2  Icons of St. Laurence usually show him with a deacon’s stole across his chest* and a fiery gridiron, as he was roasted alive. Yes, martyrdom can be pretty gruesome. The tradition says that an official demanded that Laurence provide information about the Church’s treasures and in response he assembled the sick and poor and presented them saying, “These are the treasures of the Church.”  Here is the prayer for St. Laurence:

Almighty God,
you called your deacon Laurence to serve you with deeds of love,
and gave him the crown of martyrdom:
Grant that we, following his example, may fulfill your commandments
by defending and supporting the poor, and by loving you with all our hearts.
Amen.

Holy Women, Holy Men, p. 519

*This distinguishes deacons from priests,
who wear the stole over the neck and hanging down on both sides.

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Inline image 3  Memory Lane… sometimes the memories are your own and sometimes you get to listen to others’ memories. Barbara Slater came to visit today and brought some treasures from St. Michael’s yesteryears—photos, news clippings, bulletins and budgets all tell the story of a vibrant church. It would be fun to have a “History Committee” to take a look at our memorabilia so we could all celebrate our past as we work toward a future in service to God. Let me know if you’d like to help!

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Inline image 4 Oh, this may happen in the depths of Advent, or even Epiphany. But you can keep it from happening during the summer days of Pentecost. Last chance to put your favorite hymn choices in the Music Box for the final Sundays of summer!

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Peter tried it… and it didn’t work out too well for him. Walking on water doesn’t seem to be an easy skill to master.

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A sketch by Hodgell
at Grace Lutheran Church, Eau Claire, WI

What does this story have to tell us? Come to church on Sunday and share your thoughts about the story. All the lessons for this Sunday are available HERE.

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Inline image 6 It’s time for Shakespeare by the Sea! St. Michael’s on the Move is meeting this Saturday, August 12th, at Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach to see The Taming of the Shrew. We’re planning an evening picnic in the park starting at about 6pm. The show starts at 7. Come and join us!

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As you sit, or stand, or walk or wait in prayer this week, your prayers are asked for those in our community and beyond who especially need our prayers…

Pray for healing for: Louise, Bea, Josh, Mickey, Sebastian, Patsy, Norm, Chris, Sylvia, Dave, Terri, Maryjane, and Melba.

Pray for safe travel for: Julie, Florine and Melissa, the Markarian family, and people around the world seeking safer places to live.

Pray for the blessing of employment for: All who are unemployed or underemployed.

Pray for others who need our prayers, especially: the Espinosa family; Debora, Kolby and Tabitha; Susan; the Powell family; Joe and Cindy; Steve and Tanya; Patti; and for the men and women serving in our armed forces, especially those stationed overseas.

Pray for peace in the world, especially for: The world relationship with North Korea; those suffering in the Syrian civil war and other conflicts around the world.

Pray in thanksgiving for: First responders, especially those fighting wildfires in the western U.S.; the opportunities we have to serve, especially through Family Promise and C.A.S.E.; St. Michael’s Children’s Center.

Pray for those who have died, especially: Betty Lou and victims of gun violence in our country.

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Bishop Diane’s column in this week’s Episcopal News Weekly reminds us of the promise of following Jesus. Click HERE what she has to say, and the rest of the news.

Also in this week’s news:

  • Bishop coadjutor accepts jurisdiction in Newport Beach property matter
  • Episcopalians join immigration protest at Hall of Justice
  • 12-week program at Community of Divine Love will study ‘engaged compassion’
  • Abundant Table invites all to ‘Feast in the Field’
  • Events around the diocese

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This week: July 27th, 2017

Where do you hear God? In church? On a long walk? At your favorite spot – mountains or shore or desert? Do you think you’d be able to hear God in a bustling Wal-Mart store while trying to satisfy a long line of impatient customers? I’m not sure I could. But here’s a story about a young man who did.

Inline image 2 Nicholas Tate, a twenty-year-old Wal-Mart employee, was working the cash register when a foster mom who had just signed up for WIC federal assistance and wasn’t sure how to use the card came through his line. The baby formula she needed wouldn’t ring up on the card—apparently it wasn’t an authorized brand—and the people behind her were visibly and vocally impatient. Here’s a quote from the on-line story.

But Tate remained calm and called a manager over for help, ready to try the transaction again.

“I already had my card out at that point. I felt like God was telling me to pay for it,” Tate explained. “The second it didn’t work I swiped my card.”

“What are you doing?” the woman asked, her eyes tearing up.

Tate paid for $60 worth of her groceries — and he says it was worth every penny.

Tate says he was just doing the right thing.

“When we feel like God is telling us to do something — how many times do we say no? In that moment, without a doubt, he was telling me to pay, telling me these people are in need, to help them,” Tate said.

I wonder if our hearts are open to the voice of God in the mundane as well as the magnificent, the stressful as well as the silent and serene. A prayer for the day—

O Lord, our Joy,
May we love you more and more,
Share in your caring for all,
And lead some to your feet.

from An Iona Prayer Book

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The story of Leah and Rachel is one that shows the property status of women in biblical times. Laban owned Leah and Rachel, and Jacob bought them with his labor. While there is a love element in the story, it still reminds me not to get dewy-eyed over biblical marriage. This isn’t a situation I’d want for myself or my daughters!

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All the lessons for this Sunday are available HERE.

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Inline image 4This Sunday, July 30th, is our 5th Sunday child-friendly service. The liturgy is simpler and the sermon is geared to younger members and I get lots of help from them! I hope you’ll be with us and bring a family of friends with you!

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Inline image 5St. Michael’s on the Move is movin’ on out to Manhattan Beach. Once again we are planning to see Shakespeare by the Sea. The comedy this season is The Taming of the Shrew (while the tragedy is The Scottish Play, if you know what I mean!). We’re planning an evening picnic at the park and the show on Saturday, August 12th. Signups and more information are in Yeaton Hall. I hope you’ll join us!

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The sign-up sheet is in Yeaton Hall and reservations are due by August 6th. Go, Dodgers!

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Inline image 7   Copies of Forward Day by Day for the last quarter of 2017 have arrived.Pick yours up from the reading table in Yeaton Hall.

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As you sit, or stand, or walk or wait in prayer this week, your prayers are asked for those in our community and beyond who especially need our prayers…

Pray for healing for: Louise, Bea, Josh, Mickey, Sebastian, Patsy, Norm, Chris, Sylvia, Dave, Terri, Maryjane, Betty Lou and Melba.

Pray for safe travel for: People around the world seeking safer places to live.

Pray for the blessing of employment for: All who are unemployed or underemployed.

Pray for others who need our prayers, especially: the Ince family; Debora, Kolby and Tabitha;Susan; the Powell family; Joe and Cindy; Steve and Tanya; Patti; and for the men and women serving in our armed forces, especially those stationed overseas.

Pray for peace in the world, especially for: Those suffering in the Syrian civil war and other conflicts around the world.

Pray in thanksgiving for: First responders, especially those fighting wildfires in the western U.S.;  the opportunities we have to serve, especially through Family Promise and C.A.S.E.; St. Michael’s Children’s Center.

Pray for those who have died, especially: Victims of gun violence in our country.

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Bishop John and the mayor—movers and shakers!

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They came together at a meeting of interfaith leaders concerned about homelessness in Los Angeles. A good beginning for our new bishop! You can read more about it in The Episcopal News Weekly for this Sunday.

Also in this issue:

  • Gift cards deanery-bound in ongoing ‘Feeding Hungry Hearts’ offering
  • Leadership in a ‘new community’ churchwide
  • Hearing Panel releases draft order on Title IV proceedings; diocese withholds comment in compliance with process
  • ‘New community, new visions,’ by Bishop Suffragan Diane Jardine Bruce
  • Episcopal Night at Dodger Stadium is Friday, Sept. 8
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This Week: July 7, 2017

Dear Friends~

 

I spent some time this morning talking with a parishioner about daily prayer. I suggested that finding a type of prayer that allows you to become open to the presence of God is what’s most important. There are all kinds of options—here are a few:

·         Daily Devotions, Book of Common Prayer, p. 136 (available online HERE).

·         Meditations in Forward Day by Day (copies available in Yeaton Hall).

·         Prayer beads – we have them as the Anglican rosary – ask me about them.

·         Walking prayer – just as simple as that… take a walk and pray.

·         Singing your prayers – just like walking prayer, but singing! Perhaps a favorite hymn.

·         Praying the Psalms – you can pray through the psalms in a month using the daily notations in the Book of Common Prayer (available online HERE).

·         Ignatian Prayer – read a story from the gospels and then place yourself in the story and imagine it as vividly as you can… what are the sights and smells, who else is there, what’s the weather like, how do you feel, and how do you respond to God in this moment.

·         Journaling prayer – make time to write down your prayer thoughts and note answers to prayer.

·         Gratitudes – take time each day to give thanks to God… consider keeping a gratitude journal.

·         The prayer pause

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However you start, or walk though, or end your day, I hope you take a moment for prayer. I think you’ll like it!

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Inline image 4  The Music Box in Yeaton Hall is open for your favorite hymns. Let us know what you’d like to sing and we’ll do our best to schedule it for one Sunday this summer. Then come to church and sing your favorites!

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Several of us will be attending the consecration of Bishop-elect John Taylor this Saturday.

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If you are unable to attend, our new bishop and the diocese ask your prayers.

To you, O Father, all hearts are open;
fill, we pray, the heart of your servant John
whom you have chosen to be a bishop in your Church,
with such love of you and of all the people,
that he may feed and tend the flock of Christ,
and exercise without reproach the high priesthood
to which you have called him,
serving before you day and night in the ministry of reconciliation,
declaring pardon in your Name,
offering the holy gifts,
and wisely overseeing the life and work of the Church.
Amen.

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Inline image 1Our July Taizé is this Tuesday, July 11th at 7:30pm and the theme is “The Names of God.” Our Taize-style service offers a time of quiet and contemplation, music and prayer in the candlelit beauty of our church. It’s a peaceful time to spend in the presence of God. I hope you can join us.

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The sign-up sheet is in Yeaton Hall and reservations are due by August 6th. Go, Dodgers!

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Our Old Testament stories from Genesis continue this week…

Inline image 1  with the story of Abraham’s servant seeking a suitable bride for Isaac. This story is one of several momentous meetings recorded in the Bible between men and women at wells. I remember seeing a sign on the Sparkletts bottle in the student center at Virginia Theological Seminary that said, “Women, beware of meeting strange men at the well!” A seminary joke, for sure… but also a sly reminder of the presence of God in seemingly insignificant events. Where do you find God in your life this week?

The lessons for this Sunday are available HERE.

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This Week: June 30, 2017

Dear Friends~

 

Today is the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul*.  Can you tell them apart?

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Carlo Crivelli. 15th century.
The National Gallery, London.

There are key elements (oh, pardon the pun!) that often distinguish them. Peter usually carries the keys to the kingdom and Paul often (but not always) carries a sword (indicating he was beheaded and not crucified). The hair styles also give them away. Paul is usually depicted as balding with a long beard. Peter is usually gray-haired with a full, short beard. This painting is interesting because Paul is on the left—generally it is Peter and Paul, left and right. I have no idea why.

Celebrating these saints reminds me of the second verse of one of my favorite hymns.

If you cannot preach like Peter,
if you cannot pray like Paul,
you can tell the love of Jesus,
and say, “He died for all.”

In the Acts of the Apostles, Peter preaches a couple of sermons that compel thousands to be baptized and Paul’s prayers open prison doors. Standards we are not likely to meet. But we can tell the love of Jesus—yes, we can!

You can listen to this spiritual HERE as sung by Paul Robeson, one of the most powerful voices of the 20th century.

 

* Each of them has a separate day as well—
Peter on January 18 and Paul on January 25,
but they are commemorated together today in observance
of the tradition of the Church that they both died as martyrs in Rome
during the persecution under Nero in 64AD.
–From Holy Women, Holy Men p. 446.

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Inline image 3  The Music Box is back! If you’ll let us know what your favorite hymn is, we’ll schedule it one Sunday this summer. Put your choices in the Music Boxes on the counter in Yeaton Hall.

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According to the Diocesan News, there are still some tickets available for the consecration of our new bishop.  Tickets are needed for admission and may be reserved by emailing requests to bishopsoffice@ladiocese.org.

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Let me know if you’d like to join our carpool.

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Inline image 5  We celebrated the wedding of Gene Prestianni and Brenda Arnold on Saturday, June 24th. Such a lovely couple! Be sure to sign the card this Sunday to send them your good wishes!

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The sign-up sheet is in Yeaton Hall and reservations are due by August 6th. Go, Dodgers!

 

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Inline image 7We said “Via con Dios” to our “kiwis-for-a-year” Elizabeth and Oliver at a festive coffee hour last Sunday. They will be taking off for New Zealand in mid-July, so you still have an opportunity to pray with them for  safe travel and to wish them well. Come on Sunday!

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