This week: November 1st, 2018

Today is All Saints’ Day
All Saints’ Day commemorates all the saints, known and unknown, on November 1st. It is one of the seven principal feasts of the church year and the Sunday celebration is typically on the Sunday following November 1st.
While many saints have a particular feast day, those whose sainthood is known only to God have no particular feast day—and so on All Saints’ Day we remember all the saints of the church. In addition, in the New Testament all the followers of Jesus are called “saints” and so this day remembers all those who have died in the faith of Christ.
All Saints’ Day is an ancient feast. It arose out of the Christian tradition of celebrating the martyrdom of saints on the anniversary of their martyrdom. When martyrdoms increased during the persecutions of the late Roman Empire, local dioceses instituted a common feast day in order to ensure that all martyrs were properly honored.
In English, the traditional name for All Saints’ Day was All Hallows Day, since in Old English a hallow was a saint or holy person. The vigil or eve of the feast, October 31st, is still commonly known as All Hallows Eve, or Halloween.
If you have loved ones who have entered the larger life that you would like included in our remembrances on Sunday, please reply with their names no later than Friday morning, November 2nd.
Jesus wept…
It’s known as the shortest verse in the Bible… John 11:35.* Jesus wept at the tomb of his friend Lazarus before he restored Lazarus to life. We will hear the end of this story on Sunday as we celebrate the lives of all the saints.
You can read this story and all the lessons for this Sunday HERE.
* It is translated “Jesus wept”
in the King James Version.
In the NRSVersion it is
“Jesus began to weep.”
The hymn “When Jesus Wept” by William Billings is a prime example of early American hymnody. Click the button below to hear lovely a capella performance by Amerlingchor at the Basilica of Saints Nereus and Achilleus in Milan, Italy.
Daylight savings time ends on Sunday morning at 2am. So you get to snooze that hour all over again. Your smart phones will automatically adjust (I think!) but your other clocks may need to be reset the old fashioned way. In any case, you have an extra hour to get to church on Sunday morning. See you then!
Mykie’s Coffee Truck will be here this Sunday, November 4th. The students from Mychal’s Learning Place will take our orders, make and serve barista style coffees, and offer homemade pastries for our gustatory pleasure! We partner with Mychal’s Learning Place to help in the garden with the students. This day’s event will highlight the students and show how much they are able to do.Come by and come buy!
We haven’t taken a group picture of our congregation for awhile and we need YOU to be in it!
We’ll be taking a picture after the
COMBINED 9AM SERVICE ON NOVEMBER 18TH.
We hope you will be here to brighten the group! Tell your friends!
As you rise or walk or wait this week, I hope you also pray. Prayer is powerful! You prayers are invited for those in our community who have requested prayers.
Pray for healing for Ted, Tom, Sebastian and Patsy; Ryley, Josh and Eric; Paula, Pam and Family; Belinda; Sylvia; Razza, Madelyn, Vicki & Tony; Dave, Carol and Lou; Drake, Carson, Sebastian, Robert.
Pray for those who are traveling, especially the McCaverty families; and people around the world seeking safer places to live.
Pray for others who need our prayers, especially James; Joe and Cindy; Steve and Tanya; Sam, Tina and Chris; Joe, Tiffani and Barbara; The Samia family; The Mowad family; The men and women serving in our armed forces, esp. those stationed overseas.
Give thanks for StMichael’s Children’s Center; first responders to emergency situations; the opportunities we have to serve, especially through Mychal’s Learning Place, Family Promise and C.A.S.E.
Pray for those who have died, especially Melba; those killed at Tree of Life Synagogue and other victims of gun violence in our country.
The Forward Day by Day daily meditations for the quarter beginning November 1 are available on the counter in Yeaton Hall. Be sure to pick up your copy when you come to church on Sunday.
The new book for StMichael‘s readers is here! When the Men Were Gone, based on the true story of Tylene Wilson, is a peek into the past… and maybe the not so much past. Pick up your copy on the counter in Yeaton Hall.
Our “Card of the Week Ministry” continues: Each week there is a card addressed to one of our housebound or far away members on the counter in Yeaton Hall. All it takes is someone (are you the one?) to pick it up, write a breezy note and drop it in the mail.
You can host a coffee hour after the 10am service—sign up on the Hospitality bulletin board in Yeaton Hall.
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This Week: September 27, 2018

Dear Friends~

Tomorrow is the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels. Of the many angels spoken of in the Bible, only four are called by name: Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, and Raphael. The Archangel Michael is the powerful agent of God who wards off evil from God’s people, and delivers peace to them at the end of this life’s mortal struggle.

“Michaelmas,” as the feast is called in England, has long been one of the popular celebrations of the Christian Year in many parts of the world. Michael is the patron saint of countless churches, including Mont Saint-Michel, the monastery fortress off the coast of Normandy that figured so prominently in medieval English history, and Coventry Cathedral, England’s most famous modern church building, rising from the ashes of the most devastating war of our time.* And of course, St. Michael the Archangel Episcopal Church in El Segundo, California!

Everlasting God,
you have ordained and constituted in a wonderful order
the ministries of angels and mortals:
Mercifully grant that,
as your holy angels always serve and worship you in heaven,
so by your appointment they may help and defend us here on earth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Holy Women, Holy Men, p. 612-613

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This Sunday we celebrate St. Michael’s Day.

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War broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon.
                                                                                               Revelation 12:7

St. Michael is our patron saint and so each year on the Sunday closest to the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels (September 29) we celebrate. Come to church and then come to party! We’ll have a BBQ and all the fixin’s plus games and fun. Wear red and prepare to take up your water balloons!

You can CLICK HERE to read all the lessons for this Sunday.

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image.png Alpha and Omega… the beginning and the end. Our Bible study survey of scripture has come to Revelation. We will discuss this final chapter on Tuesday, Oct 2 and Sunday, October 7. This class has taken us on rapid ride through the high points of scripture giving us an overview of the biblical story. You can see the icons for the stories we have covered on the wall in Yeaton Hall. After a week or two time off, our next Bible study will focus on the Gospel of Mark. I hope you will consider joining us… Sundays from 2-3:30pm and Tuesdays from 9-10:30am.

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Plan to join us and bring a friend. It’s always a fun evening and for a good cause!

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This is the major fundraiser each year for Family Promise. We have some complimentary seats available courtesy of Jeanie Powell… the better to spend your money at the auction! Get in touch with Jeanie Powell for more information jpowell420@att.net.

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image.png  The 2018 Partners in Preservation: Main Streets campaign invites the public to decide which historic sites along 20 of America’s favorite Main Streets should receive $2 million in preservation funding from American Express. One of the candidates is The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in East Los Angeles. You can cast up to 5 votes each day for your favorite site—of course we hope it’s The Church of the Epiphany! The campaign runs from September 24th to October 26th.

CLICK HERE to cast your vote.

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Our “Card of the Week Ministry” continues: Each week there is a card addressed to one of our housebound members on the counter in Yeaton Hall. All it takes is someone (are you the one?) to pick it up, write a breezy note and drop it in the mail.

You can host a coffee hour after the 10am service—sign up on the Hospitality bulletin board in Yeaton Hall.

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As you rise or walk or wait this week, I hope you also pray. Prayer is powerful! You prayers are invited for those in our community who have requested prayers:

Pray for healing for Ted, Tom, Sebastian and Patsy; Josh and Eric; Paula, Pam and Family; Belinda; Sylvia; Razza, Madelyn and Bob; Gail, Dave and Carol; Drake, Carson, Sebastian, Robert; Frank and Gus.

Pray for those who are traveling, especially Michelle; Jeanette and Alex; and people around the world seeking safer places to live.

Pray for others who need our prayers, especially Joe and Cindy; Steve and Tanya; Sam, Tina and Chris; Joe, Tiffani and Barbara; The Samia family; Melba & the Mowad family; The men and women serving in our armed forces, esp. those stationed overseas.

Give thanks for the birth of baby Ringo; St. Michael’s Children’s Center.first responders to emergency situations; The opportunities we have to serve, esp. through Mychal’s Learning Place, Family Promise and C.A.S.E.;

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

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This week: July 13, 2018

Dear Friends~

The Episcopal Church General Convention continues through Friday of this week, July 13th, and your continued prayers are invited:

Almighty and everlasting God,
you have given the Holy Spirit to abide with us for ever:
Bless, we pray, with the Spirit’s grace and presence,
the bishops and other clergy and the laity assembled
at General Conventionin your Name,
that your Church, being preserved in true faith and godly discipline,
may fulfill all the mind of the One who loved it and died for it,
your Son Jesus Christ our Savior;
who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

The work of GenCon 2018 includes the work of reconciliation~we have welcomed The Episcopal Church in Cuba to reunite with The Episcopal Church. This comes after years of separation, as Cuba was expelled from TEC in 1966.

It includes the work of compromise~that will allow people of conscience on both sides of the marriage equality issue to remain within the Episcopal Church. It includes the work of witness~as bishops and deputies gathered in prayer last Sunday morning to stand against gun violence in our country. It includes work on liturgy~as bishops and deputies take very different views of revising the Book of Common Prayer (they are still in negotiations for how to proceed). It includes work on church laws, and budgets and loooong legislative sessions.

And, of course, where two or three Episcopalians are gathered together there has to be a little fun. Activities at this convention to break the tension and tedium include taking a selfie with “Flat Jesus” and then sending him on to another delegation. Of course, being Episcopalians, we also have to up the ante, so here is a picture of “Flat Jesus” with “Flat Presiding Bishop.”

You can find out about the major issues being considered at this Convention by CLICKING HERE.

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In the gospel this Sunday we hear how an ill-considered oath leads to great evil~the death of John the Baptist.

Romare Bearden, Salome with the Head of John the Baptist, 1974

I invite you to join us and consider how this story fits into the good news of God in Christ. You can CLICK HERE to read all the lessons for this Sunday.

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 An empty tomb. The story continues with the joy of resurrection. Alleluia! It’s worth your time to join us. Ask for a copy of the story and come to Bible study on Sunday, 2-3:30pm or Tuesday, 9-10:30am in Yeaton Hall.

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 The Music Box has returned! This Sunday we have one of Crystal’s favorite hymns on for the gospel hymn, that is, the hymn we sing before the reading of the gospel. Of course, there is another common meaning of “gospel hymn” and it’s a lovely American tradition. CLICK HERE for some words and harmonies that will enrich your spirit today.

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Our C.A.S.E. ingathering for July is this Sunday, July 15th. Requested items to fill up the pantry include cookies, condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, relish, BBQ sauce), jelly, honey, canned meats, canned fruits, cereals (that kids like), diced tomatoes, Chef Boyardee cans, coffee (regular and decaf), juice (boxes, pouches and bottles) and snacks (granola bars, applesauce pouches).

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 Sunday, July 29th, 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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You can still claim your spot in one of our summer opportunities: Join the conversation about our latest book, Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven, this Sunday, July 15th, 12-1:30 in Yeaton Hall. Sign up in Yeaton Hall for Episcopal Dodger Night—last day to sign up is Sunday, July 29. Cost is $25 per ticket and payment is needed to send in with the ticket reservation. We will be picnic in the park and see The Merry Wives of Windsor on August 11. Sign up in Yeaton Hall to let us know you are coming.

Our “Card of the Week Ministry” continues: Each week there is a card addressed to one of our housebound members on the counter in Yeaton Hall. All it takes is someone (are you the one?) to pick it up, write a breezy note and drop it in the mail.

You can host a coffee hour after the 10am service—sign up on the Hospitality bulletin board in Yeaton Hall.

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As you rise or walk or wait this week, I hope you also pray. Prayer is powerful! You prayers are invited for those in our community who have requested prayers:

Pray for healing for Ted, Tom, Sebastian and Patsy; Josh and Shayne; Belinda; Sylvia; Paula, Pam and Family; Joe; Lou and Jenetta; Madelyn, Razza, Crystal, Janice and Bob.

Pray for those who are traveling, especially Elizabeth and Oliver; Caitlin, Matt, Eleanor and Laurel; and people around the world seeking safer places to live.

Pray for others who need our prayers, especially Joe and Cindy; Steve and Tanya; Joe, Tiffani and Barbara; The Samia family; Melba & the Mowad family; Susan; The men and women serving in our armed forces, esp. those stationed overseas.

Give thanks for the world-wide effort that save the Thai boys soccer team; First responders to emergency situations; The opportunities we have to serve, esp. through Family Promise and C.A.S.E.; St. Michael’s Children’s Center.

Pray for those who have died, especially the victims of gun violence in our country.

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In the heat of the day and the cool of the evening (we hope!), we are invited to know and welcome God’s presence,

Mother Dina+

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This week: April 8th, 2018

Dear Friends~

I’ve been in Dallas this week. I was invited by the CEO of The Episcopal Network for Stewardship to attend the Pathways to Generosity Conference and to lead worship on Thursday morning. I got to tell the story of Peter and Cornelius from Acts 10—it was lots of fun!

 

This story is important to how the earliest Christians understood how to reach out and welcome others into the fellowship of Christ. It’s full of visions, and fiery preaching, and the appearance of the Holy Spirit so it’s a storytellers delight.

The conference was full of wonderful presenters and good information. It was itself a generous experience. I’m glad I went. And now, I’m glad to be home.

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Christ shows himself to Thomas
mosaic by Rowan and Irene LeCompte at the Washington Cathedral

It’s Thomas Sunday. You remember him… Thomas the Confessor. Thomas the twin. Yes, and even Doubting Thomas. We hear this resurrection story every year on the Second Sunday of Easter, but it never gets old. Join us as we continue the Easter Season. Alleluia!

Click HERE to read all the lessons for the Second Sunday of Easter.

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 Bible study is back! So this is a perfect time for you to think about joining us! The adventure continues with the story of Ruth. Ask for a copy of the story if you’d like to join in—Sunday afternoon from 2-3:30pm or Tuesday morning from 9-10:30  in Yeaton Hall.

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Our April Taizé is this Tuesday, April 10th, 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. This month’s theme is Life in Christ. It’s a peaceful time to spend in the presence of God. I hope you can join us.

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 There’s always time for the “sipping sacrament.” And we enjoy our time together. Perhaps you’d be able to host for us after the 10am service one week. Just bring a few goodies… cookies, crackers & cheese, fruit are always well-received (and eaten!). But we don’t want to inhibit your creativity. Whatever you bring is sure to be appreciated. Click here for some tasty ideas to bring and share! You can sign up on the southside bulletin board in Yeaton Hall.

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This week: March 24, 2018

The bishop is coming! And that smile is just for you!

 

On Palm Sunday (this Sunday!), Bishop John Taylor will join us for the 10am service. We will gather on the lawn for the blessing of the palms and triumphal entry and make our way into the church for our Passion Sunday service. Bishop John will preach, celebrate and officially receive Eamonn Oley into the Episcopal Church in the rite of Confirmation/Reception. Everyone will then have the opportunity to meet with Bishop John for brunch and conversation after the service. I hope you will be with us to welcome our bishop!

 Don’t miss it!

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  This image of the Triumphal Entry is from an 11th century manuscript. And it is in the Getty collection right here in Los Angeles. I think we need to get St. Michael’s on the Move up there after Easter! Let’s plan to go. In the meantime, our lessons for Sunday include both the Triumphal Entry and the Passion, both from the gospel of Mark. Click HERE to read all the lessons for this week.

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  St. Michael’s on the Move is attending to the March for Our Lives on Saturday. If you’d like to join us, contact Eamonn Oley (ucleamonn@aol.com)  – for the Manhattan Beach march, or Melissa McCaverty (melissamccaverty@yahoo.com) to go to the Downtown L.A. march. If you go to either one, be sure to take a selfie and share it with us!

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   Our Bible study is on hiatus for a couple of weeks… due to Palm Sunday and Easter. So this is a perfect time for you to think about joining us! The adventure continues with the story of Ruth. Ask for a copy of the story if you’d like to join in—Sunday afternoon from 2-3:30pm or Tuesday morning from 9-10:30. We reconvene on April 8thand 10th in Yeaton Hall.

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  Lent Madness is down to the Elate Eight. The choices on some days are easier than others. I feel the strain they note on their website, “As we get deeper into the season, many of the Lent Madness faithful must decide between two saints they voted for in previous rounds. Oh, the agony! And yet in the end, despite all the amazing saintly souls, only one will emerge victorious.”

And now that we are in the round of “saintly kitsch” you can find saintly reminders on Etsy you didn’t even know you needed! Join the fun and learn more about these saintly folks by clicking HERE.

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  Several of us plan to attend the Women’s Interfaith Seder at Temple Menorah on Tuesday of Holy Week. If you’d like to join with us, let me know!  We plan to carpool. Note that pre-registration is required.

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This Week: February 24, 2018

How is your Lent going? I’m finding challenges in unlikely places.

Thursdays are my day to go to Rotary. It’s held at lunchtime so there is always food. But Rotary, in my experience, has always been a dessert-free zone. No Lenten temptation there! But today (probably because we have just passed Valentine’s Day) there was a plethora of sweets to choose from…

Inline image 2… candy, sweet and sour gummy worms, almond bark and more! Oh, no! They were right next to the iced tea and calling my name as I filled my glass. I had to tell myself it’s too early to give in on my Lenten food discipline of giving up sugar. So I managed to turn away from the sweets, at least for today. I do hope Rotary goes back to a no sweets policy at least until after the Easter Bunny arrives!

I have taken on a few small disciplines this Lent. They crop up throughout my day and I am finding that they are helping me to be mindful of the season. My mornings begin with sending out the Lenten meditation from St. Michael’s and then reading and voting at Lent Madness. When I’m in the car alone it’s quiet, because I’ve given up the radio for Lent. So my car time gives me at least a few minutes each day of mindfulness. And then, of course, there are the sweets. My after dinner sweet tooth has to be satisfied with fruit. And remarkably, it is.

My Lenten disciplines are small ones. But so far, it’s working for me because I find as I run into them throughout the day I remember why they are there and give thanks.

I hope you have found a meaningful way to help you observe the season.

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Inline image 3This Sunday is our Annual Meeting (finally!). Please join us after the 10am service to talk about our work together as the church in this place—and then join us for lunch. We have some of the best chefs in town!

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Inline image 4  We are one week in and already St. Paul is out—it’s a single elimination bracket, and Paul went down to Peter on day one! But there are many more saints to learn about and vote for—including our own St. Michael next Friday. I think you are obliged to take part and vote for our patron saint! Click HERE to cast your vote in today’s matchup!

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 Inline image 5Confirmation is the sacramental rite in which the candidates express a mature commitment to Christ, and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop.

Bishop Taylor will be joining us on Palm Sunday, March 25th. Anyone over the age of 16 who is interested in being Confirmed or Received in the Episcopal Church or would like to Reaffirm their Baptismal Vows please contact me by this Sunday, February 25th.

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“And Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him.”

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Our gospel this week begins the journey to Jerusalem—and on to the Cross. You can read the story and all of the lessons for this week by clicking HERE.

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Inline image 7  Our Bible study this week continues with Moses, of the burning bush fame (oh, and the Exodus and the wilderness, too!) You are welcome to join us and you can even choose a time that suits you—Sunday afternoon from 2-3:30pm or Tuesday morning from 9-10:30. We meet in Yeaton Hall.

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Inline image 8Our first support week of 2018 for Family Promise is coming up March 4-11. I hope you can be part of this ministry since it requires our hands-on support and help. You can sign up on line at March 2018 Hosting. Please contact Jeanie Powell if you have questions or can offer assistance: jpowell420@att.net

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Inline image 9 Once again we’ve got “Supper and a Movie” on three Tuesdays in Lent. This coming Tuesday, February27th, Julie Bergeron is our dinner host and our movie is Gifted— the story of a gifted and peculiar 7-year-old who becomes the subject of a custody battle between her uncle and grandmother. I think it fits well with our theme of living into what we are called to be. Come and join us for food, a movie and a time to talk. Supper starts at 6pm and we’ll be finished by 9pm.

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This week: January 3, 2018

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Yes, it is still Christmas, you know. Today is the 10th day of Christmas, so ten lords a leaping.

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(And if you know me well enough,
you can guess how much this picture tickles me!)

Tomorrow we get eleven pipers and then twelve drummers and then Christmas is over. So revel in these last few days of the season! On Saturday, January 6, we move into a new season of the church year—Epiphany.

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We are back in Mark for the season of Epiphany (except for one Sunday when we will hear from the gospel of John), and we begin again at the beginning, with the baptism of Jesus.

Inline image 3 Jesus’ baptism is one of the traditional signs of the Epiphany—the recognition of who Jesus really is—as the voice from heaven declares, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

Baptism with water and in the name of the Trinity is the entrance rite into the Christian life. We Episcopalians often baptize babies when any “acting out” may be a bit of crying, and so the delight of baptized is not necessarily evident. Click HERE for a moment of true delight…and listen for the voice of God saying to each one of us, “You are my child and beloved.”

All of the lessons for this First Sunday after the Epiphany can be found by clicking HERE.

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Inline image 4  Time to own up to that New Year’s Resolution! Join us for Bible study THIS Sunday! YOU are invited to join us on this epic adventure—a journey through the Bible to grow closer to God. We’re just starting, so get in on the ground floor. You can even choose a time that suits you—Sunday afternoon or Tuesday morning. Our first meeting will be a joint meeting on Sunday, January 7th from 2-3:30pm in Yeaton Hall. Contact Mother Dina for more information.

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This week: December 21st, 2017

I love flash mob performances… even though I’ve only seen them on my Facebook page or YouTube. It would be so much fun to be caught in the moment and watch one unfold in front of me. I think this “flash sextet” (at least the way I count them…look for the littlest member of the group!) would have brought me to my feet if I had been present in the café.

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Click to watch…

I suspect that part of the reason is the song they chose. “Go tell it on the mountain” is one of my favorite Christmas carols—actually a spiritual according to the hymnal. We will sing it during the family service on Christmas Eve and I hope our version is as rousing. And I hope as inspiring to our witness.

“Go, tell!” are the words of the angel to the women at the tomb. “Go, tell his disciples” that Jesus is risen. Go, tell!

This Christmas, I hope you will be inspired to go and tell. To tell family and friends, the people you know and love, that Jesus has come into the world and lives with us.

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Inline image 3 We will have only one service on Sunday morning—8am. Come in the morning for Advent 4 and then at 4pm or 9pm for Christmas Eve!

If you’d like to read the lessons for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, you can find them by clicking HERE.

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Inline image 4  A New Year’s Resolution—join us for Bible study. YOU are invited to join us on this epic adventure—a journey through the Bible to grow closer to God. We’re just starting, so get in on the ground floor. You can even choose a time that suits you—Sunday afternoon or Tuesday morning. Our first meeting will be a joint meeting on Sunday, January 7th  from 2-3:30pm in Yeaton Hall. Contact Mother Dina for more information.

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This week: December 16, 2017

Far and away my favorite author as a child was Madeleine L’Engle. I delighted in A Wrinkle in Time and checked it out of the library so often that it finally showed up under the Christmas tree. I still have that copy. It is the copy I asked her to autograph when I attended a writing retreat with Ms. L’Engle at Mount Calvary Retreat House several years ago. I had discovered that she wrote for adults as well as children and that I could spend a weekend with her at Mount Calvary. Nearly heaven!

I have many of her books, and her poetry challenges me as well as her prose. Here is one for the season that calls out the wild and passionate nature she finds in Mary.

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May the bright and wild love of Mary fill you this Advent season.

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Inline image 4  This Sunday, December 17th, we celebrate Advent with music! You are invited to celebrate the season as our choir and guest oboist provide special music and we hear the prophecies of Christmas. You don’t want to miss it!

In place of the usual lectionary, our lessons will be selected from the Advent Service of Lessons and Carols. If you’d like to read the usual lessons for the Third Sunday of Advent, you can find them by clicking HERE.

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 Inline image 5Our C.A.S.E. ingathering for December is this Sunday, December 17thRequested items to fill up the pantry include: shampoo, snack-size puddings, packets of hot chocolate, crackers and cookies. Your generosity is appreciated!

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Inline image 6We are about half way through Advent, but we 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 7  Come and join us! YOU are invited to join us on this epic adventure—a journey through the Bible to grow closer to God. We’re just starting, so get in on the ground floor. You can even choose a time that suits you—Sunday afternoon or Tuesday morning. Our first meeting will be a joint meeting on Sunday, January 7th  from 2-3:30pm in Yeaton Hall. Contact Mother Dina for more information.

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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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