This Week: May 25, 2017

Happy Ascension Day! In the words of the ancient hymn that we will sing on Sunday:

“Day when the Christ ascends, high in the heavens to reign.”

The Ascension brings the love of God full-circle. The human Jesus, who came from the presence of God, returns to reign.

In his incarnation, death, resurrection and ascension,
the generous self-giving love of Jesus
has been vindicated and exalted as the supreme principle of the universe.
Jesus himself
—no abstract principle but a human person—
is now exalted as the still loving, still giving, still generous Lord.
As the power of that love replaces the love of power,
so in a measure, anticipating the last great day,
God’s kingdom comes, and God’s will is done, on earth as it is in heaven.

—edited excerpt about the Ascension by N.T. Wright

In these 10 days from Ascension to Pentecost Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has invited us to join with the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the whole Anglican Communion in praying for God’s kingdom to come. Click here for a your invitation from Archbishop Welby to join in these days of prayer. I hope you will accept the invitation.

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imageA hearty “thank you” and “well done” to our young people! Last Saturday Oliver Mason and Amy Powell, under the guidance of Blaisdell Shaw, made and distributed lunches and clean new socks to nearby folks who were glad to have a good meal and a caring expression. Blaisdell championed this effort and we are so grateful that she is willing to show them what faith in action can look like. As I read somewhere this week, “Faith is caught, not taught.” I think are youth are catching the faith!
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In our gospel this week we hear the story of the Ascension as told in Acts.

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Illumination of the Ascension from The Rabbula Gospels
6th century Syriac Gospel Book.

You can read all the lessons for this Sunday by clicking HERE. And then come and hear the Word proclaimed in church on Sunday.
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image-2 Thank you to everyone who came to the Silver Tea and donated to support St. Michael’s Children’s Center. Our special thanks go to Pattie McCaverty for organizing and hosting this lovely and generous event. We’ll have a total for you later.
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image-3St. Michael’s Readers will be talking about Chasing Francis this Sunday, May 28th from 2-3:30pm. I hope you will come and join the conversation!

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This Week: May 17, 2017

It’s a word to strike fear into the heart of many Episcopalians.

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I think many of us worry about evangelism because it brings up a type of Christian message and pressure we don’t agree with. One that conjures up for us an arm-twisting and fear-based message about God. But evangelism has an honored place in the Christian tradition. Historically, the writers of our gospels are called “The Four Evangelists” because they are the ones who carry the message of Jesus to the world.

Just this week, Presiding Bishop Curry was interviewed and his views on evangelism came up. I think his ideas go a long way to redeem the word and actions of evangelism for us.

“I really do believe in evangelism, and I believe in the kind of evangelism that I think I see in Jesus. And I could be wrong. I don’t think I am, but I could be. The kind of evangelism that I see in Jesus, is Jesus actually helps people back into a loving, liberating, and life-giving relationship with God. And, in turn, a loving, liberating, and life-giving relationship with other people. He actually does that. That’s what he does. I think our job of evangelism is to help people find their way into that kind of relationship with God and with each other.”

—Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

If this is what evangelism is all about—helping people find their way into a loving, liberating, and life-giving relationship with God and other people—I’m in! How about you?

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Speaking of evangelism: You have given socks… now you can help with lunch! This Saturday, May 20th at 11:30am in Yeaton Hall our young people will be packing lunches for the homeless (and adding your gifts of warm and cozy socks, thank you!). Then they will be out and about delivering these surprise gifts to people who live nearby—but don’t always have the means for housing and lunch.

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You are welcome to join in the outreach. Blaisdell Shaw is coordinating this effort. You can let her know you’ll help atblaisdellshaw@gmail.com

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Inline image 4    We had a lovely Mother’s Day celebration. Thank you, Randy (and your secret helper!), for hosting us and toasting us in style.

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In our gospel this week we hear more of Jesus’ final words with his disciples. This week, Jesus talks about love as action… “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” And there is a lot to be said for love as an action verb. But there is also love as grace… I wonder if you find comfort and kinship in this Agnus Day comic…

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Yes. We are called to live Christ’s love in action. And yes, we are loved unconditionally. Thanks be to God.

You can read all the lessons for this Sunday by clicking HERE. And then come and hear the Word proclaimed in church on Sunday.

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St. Michael’s on the Move is going to the theatre.

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Sign up in Yeaton Hall to join us for the matinee at 2pm on Sunday, May 21st.

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Inline image 9  St. Michael’s Readers will be talking about Chasing Francis on Sunday, May 28th. There is still time to read it and join the conversation. I hope you will!

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This Week: May 14, 2017

I wish I could be in Jordan on Saturday.  Jordan, New York, that is, when Bishop DeDe Duncan-Probe blesses the bikes and then joins the group ride, weather permitting!

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An article about the bishop’s novel hobby quotes her describing an impromptu gathering of bikers:

“As we started talking there was such hospitality and community and life, and I found it very humbling, because they welcomed me as I was.” She sees parallels with the Episcopal Church. “God welcomes all of us as we are and into this community of faith.”

I guess Episcopal bishops, just like other Episcopalians, come in all types. Thanks be to God!

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Inline image 3    Happy Mother’s Day! We will be celebrating our mothers with a special social after the 10am service on Sunday. I hope you will join us!

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Our young people have a project… and they’d like your help. How about a pair of socks this Sunday?!

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This Sunday, our young people are collecting socks for their outreach project. Next Saturday, May 20th, they will be packing lunches for the homeless and they’d like to include a pair of socks in each lunch bag. If you would bring a good pair of warm socks (or two or more!), your donation will make a good lunch even better. They thank you, and I do, too!!

 

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This Sunday is the last day to get a ticket for the consecration of our new bishop.

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Sign up is in Yeaton Hall. I have to turn in our ticket request by May 15th, so don’t delay!

 

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We have been reading in 1 Peter for a few weeks now, and I suspect it is not the most familiar of scriptures. But the reading this week includes these words that may be familiar:

But you are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood,
a holy nation,
God’s own people,
in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts
of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

1 Peter 2:9

The starkly beautiful Church of the Light in Ibaraki, Japan gives form to this verse.

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Tadao Andō. Interior of the Church of the Light,
from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN

You can read all the lessons for this Sunday by clicking HERE. And then come and hear the Word proclaimed in church on Sunday.

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Sign up in Yeaton Hall.

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St. Michael’s on the Move is going to the theatre.

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Sign up in Yeaton Hall to join us for the matinee at 2pm on Sunday, May 21st.

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Inline image 10  St. Michael’s Readers will be talking about Chasing Francis on Sunday, May 28th. There is still time to read it and join the conversation. I hope you will!

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This Week: May 4, 2017

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I’ve been reading a lot about the Ascension in the last few days. I cavalierly decided to make the Ascension the theme of our May Taizé service—since Ascension Day is coming on May 25th. And then, of course, I was tasked with trying to figure out how we might combine Ascension and Taizé. After all, Ascension is not Christmas or Easter or even Pentecost. What is the Ascension about anyway and how is it still meaningful?

 

It turns out that N.T. Wright has written about the Ascension (along with many, many other things—he’s pretty prolific!) and gave me quite a bit to work with, for example:

 

Heaven is the extra dimension, the God-dimension, of all our present reality; and the God who lives there is present to us, present with us, sharing our joys and our sorrows, longing as we are longing for the day when his whole creation, heaven and earth together, will perfectly reflect his love, his wisdom, his justice, and his peace.

So, in the Ascension we celebrate Jesus’ return to the “God-dimension” that allows Jesus to be present with us in all times and in all places, not limited to his singular human presence with us in Galilee 2000 years ago.

And so I invite you to join us for our Taizé-style service this coming Tuesday, May 9th at 7:30pm to ponder the wonder and mystery of Jesus’ glorious Ascension in the beauty of our candlelit church.

 

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The theme is “Feeding Hungry Hearts” and it’s the beginning of a new episcopacy in the Diocese of Los Angeles.

If you plan to attend the consecration of our new bishop—1:30pm on Saturday, July 8th—you need to sign up in Yeaton Hall – or drop me an email with your name, phone and email.

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We have 20 tickets available to us and I have to turn in a name, phone and email for each attendee by May 15th. So if you want to join us… don’t delay!

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It’s Good Shepherd Sunday. In this part of John 10 Jesus describes the shepherd as the one who calls his sheep by name and they know his voice.

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This picture of some very alert-looking sheep makes me wonder. How attentive am I to hear Jesus’ voice? And do I hear him calling me by name? How about you?

 

This Sunday, Fr. Bob Cornner will explore the lessons with us as our preacher and celebrant. I’m sure it will be thoughtful and thought-provoking. I hope you’ll be in church to hear him. You can get a head start on the lessons for this Sunday by clicking HERE.

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St. Michael’s on the Move is planning a theater outing. Kentwood Players regularly stages excellent shows. The current show is Good People

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The play centers on life in a South Boston working-class neighborhood on hard times,
which is no joke for Margaret Walsh, a single mother fired from her job,
facing eviction and with nowhere to turn.

We’re planning to attend the Sunday matinee on Sunday, May 21st. We’ll celebrate at the Silver Tea to benefit St. Michael’s Children’s Center and then go on to the matinee. C’mon! Join us! Sign up in Yeaton Hall.

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  St. Michael’s Readers will be talking about Chasing Francis on Sunday, May 28th . There is still time to read it and join the conversation. I hope you will!

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We had a good crowd at the Interfaith Café on Sunday.

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   If you have really good eyes you might be able to spot the attendees from St. Michael’s. Randy and Melissa Albers were there with me and many of our neighbors. I sat at a table with a member of El Segundo Methodist Church, a father and son from the LDS church, and three Muslims – two men and a young woman. It made for a fascinating conversation. I encourage you to join us for the next one

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This Week: April 27, 2017

Are you going? Me, too!

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The consecration of a new bishop doesn’t happen very often, and when it does it’s a glorious liturgical event. The people of the diocese and the larger church gather and the power of the Holy Spirit is called to fill this new bishop with apostolic fervor. You can expect pageantry, music, prayer and praise. And did I mention preaching? Presiding Bishop Curry will be the presider (although not guaranteed to be the preacher he will surely have some inspiring and spirit-filled words to say!).

We have 20 tickets for the July 8th consecration available to us on a first come, first served basis. Sign up in Yeaton Hall before May 15th!

 

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 Our 5th Sunday service is this Sunday, April 30th. Join us at the 10am service and bring a family of friends with you!

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This week it’s the Road to Emmaus.

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“The Road to Emmaus” by He Xi

 

This is the last resurrection appearance story we will have this Easter season. So who do you think these disciples were? Do you think they could have been husband and wife? That’s a persistent tradition in the church, although not so much in the artistic tradition—often they are both represented with beards! Read the story and the other readings for this Sunday HERE. I’d be interested in your take on the story.

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  image 2I hope you have the Interfaith Café experience on your calendar—this Sunday, April 30th, from 4-6pm at the Church of the Latter-day Saints on Mariposa. The theme is “Holy Days” and we hope to have a good turnout of folks to share about their own experiences and listen to one another. Join us!

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imageOur May Taizé is on Tuesday, May 9th. Put it on your calendar now!

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Sermons at St. Mike’s: March 12, 2017

March Madness is in high-gear, and you can find Mother Dina’s discussion of Lent Madness by clicking HERE.

For more information on Lent Madness and who will win the Golden Halo, check out www.lentmadness.org. 
Lent Madness 2012

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This Week: December 16, 2016

Dear Friends~

 ‘Tis the season for… Charlie Brown and a scraggly little tree. But that’s only the beginning… Linus is the real star of the show.
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I think I may have shared this last year, but it’s worth watching at least once each Christmas season so click here to watch.

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This week’s Episcopal News Weekly features a Christmas message from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. 

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Click HERE to read his message and other news around the diocese. Or you can click HERE to watch the video.

Also in this issue: Continue reading

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This Week: December 8, 2016

Dear Friends~

 

‘Tis the season for holiday parties. Today I gave the blessing for the meal at our El Segundo Park Vista senior housing holiday luncheon hosted by the El Segundo Rotary Club and with entertainment by the El Segundo High School Chorus. What an example of community! It was so nice to be part of it.

The ESHS Chorus is excellent and we all enjoyed their singing. One of the carols they sang was “Mary Did You Know?” It’s one that I especially enjoy. You may, too.Click here to listen to Pentatonix a capella group singing this lovely carol. Consider it an early Christmas treat! (You should be able to click passed the ad in about 5 seconds.)

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We have a bishop! So as you might suspect, the lead story in the Episcopal News Weekly for this Sunday is the announcement of our new bishop coadjutor-elect, John Taylor. Here he is right after the election results were announced with his wife Kathy Hannigan O’Connor.

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Click HERE to read more about this and other news around the diocese.

Also in this issue:

  • ‘Advent hope and expectation,’ by Bishop J. Jon Bruno
  • Events around the diocese

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We lit our Christmas tree on Tuesday night… and blessed it with our songs and prayers. Santa made a special stop for us and all the kids stepped up to make their Christmas requests. It looks to me that Betty Lou has an in with Santa. What do you think?

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After the tree lighting, we moved inside and Victoria Samia hosted our Gingerbread House Party again this year (thank you, Victoria!). We had an overflow crowd and an abundance of prize winners. Continue reading

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This Week: October 26, 2016

Dear Friends~

Are you a baseball fan? How about a supporter of Episcopal Relief & Development (ERD)? Either way, have we got a deal for you!

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Bishop Jeff Lee of the Diocese of Chicago and Bishop Mark Hollingsworth of the Diocese of Ohio have a bet on the World Series, but it has nothing to do with what happens on the field.

Lee thinks the number of generous Chicago Cubs fans is greater than the number of generous Cleveland Indians fans, and he has a pound of Chicago-style hot dogs that says so.

Hollingsworth and a pound of comb honey collected from the hive at Bellwether Farm, the diocesan camp and retreat center, say Lee is wrong.

The prize goes to the bishop who rallies the greatest number of supporters. But whichever bishop is right, Episcopal Relief & Development and its partners around the world will be the real winners. So place your support now…

Make your donation to Episcopal Relief & Development HERE if you support the team that hasn’t won the World Series since Harry Truman was in the White House (that’s the Indians or Team Hollingsworth).

Or, HERE if you support the team that hasn’t won since Moses was playing T-ball (that would be the Cubs or Team Lee).

Whomever you support, both bishops and ERD thank you!

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Our Fifth Sunday Child-friendly Eucharist is this Sunday, October 30th. Given the date, you might expect that the theme will be All Hallows Eve. And we’re inviting the children (and adults, if you wish!) to come in costumes. Bring your little ones to hear more about how Halloween fits with the church.
Continue reading

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This Week: October 5, 2016

Dear Friends~

I suspect you have seen this beautiful and terrifying picture on the news.

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Hurricane Matthew, said to be about the size of Arizona, is currently approaching the US mainland, even as it has left devastation in its wake in Haiti. According to Reuters News Service at this hour:

“Hurricane Matthew churned toward the Bahamas and Florida’s east coast on Wednesday after killing at least 21 people in Haiti and prompting the hard-hit country to postpone a long-awaited presidential election.

Episcopal Relief & Development urges prayers for communities in the Caribbean and along the US East Coast that are preparing for or dealing with the impact of Hurricane Matthew.

O God, our times are in your hand.  

In the midst of uncertainty lead us by your never-failing grace

as we seek to be agents of healing and hope.  

Walk with us through difficult times;

watch over us in danger;

and give to us a spirit of love and compassion for those who suffer and mourn.  

And finally remind us that you have promised never to leave us

so that even in the valley of the shadow of death

your love may be felt, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  

AMEN.

And if you are able to provide monetary assistance, click here to donate to the ERD Hurricane Matthew Response Fund.

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We had a great time celebrating St. Michael’s Day last Sunday.

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Watch out! Oliver’s toss is coming right at you!

Continue reading

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