This Week: July 28, 2016

Dear Friends~

With the nominations of candidates for president of the United States by the two major parties completed this week, we are officially in election season. And so it seems appropriate to pray for our nation and our elections. I invite this prayer for elections from our Book of Common Prayer. You may want to bookmark it for future use.

Almighty God,
to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges:
Guide the people of the United States
in the election of officials and representatives;
that, by faithful administration and wise laws,
the rights of all may be protected
and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen

BCP, page 822

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This Week: July 21, 2016

Dear Friends~

In these days when the heaviness of the world can feel burdensome, I was delighted to find the absurdity of the Feast of the Pokemon Go player,

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“a feast that recalls a miracle whereby unwitting adult players of a children’s mobile-phone game were tricked into boosting attendance stats for the Church of England.”  This feast comes complete with a collect, which I dare to share:

Almighty God,

who has gotta ‘catch us all’,

within the great Pokeball of your love.

Give us the power that’s inside,

so that we might not divert our eyes from the game map that you have set,

but instead, with Clefairy, Charmander and that electrocuted yellow rat thing,

come to the great PokeGym in the sky, where prestige points are infinite.
Amen.

Lifted, with grateful thanks and praise, from the Exciting Weariness blogspot.

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This Week: July 14,2016

Dear Friends~

It looked like it could be a tense standoff or worse when “Black Lives Matter” marchers confronted an “All Lives Matter” counter-demonstration in Dallas earlier this week. The police warned the groups to stay on their sides of the street… but something else happened.

Watch the video by clicking here.
(After it loads, you’ll have to click the arrow to play the video. And I’m sorry for the preceding ad… but stick with it; it’s worth it!)

It looks to me like an example of an answer to prayer. Let us pray…

Grant, O God,
that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart
and especially the hearts of the people of this land,
that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease;
that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

BCP p. 823

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This Week: July 6, 2016

Dear Friends~

One of my first understandings why the Church of England broke from Rome (to counter the line that it was because Henry wanted a divorce) was that we believe people should be able to hear the scriptures and worship in their own language. And, of course, that language is English!

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I am thankful for John Wycliffe, who first suggested this, and began the work of translating scriptures into modern languages (although to be sure, his translation is considered “middle English”). But honestly, it never occurred to me that other people in other countries were busy doing this same work in their languages. Who knew?!

Today on the church calendar we remember John (Jan) Hus, a follower of Wycliffe’s revolutionary thought and a church leader in Prague during the 14thcentury. So he was speaking to his people about God in Czech. Yes, apparently God speaks Czech, too! In Holy Women, Holy Men John Hus is identified as a “prophetic witness and martyr.” “Prophetic” since his work preceded the Reformation (which took place in the 15th century) and “martyr” because he was burned at the stake for it. The prayer for today is striking to me not for the usual reasons – i.e., that Hus was faithful to his understanding of God even to accepting burning for those ideas – but because of this line:

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This Week: June 30, 2016

Dear Friends~

I can hardly believe I need to contemplate yet another terrorist attack so soon. This time in Turkey.

Even before this latest event, the Episcopal Café posted this poem by Roger Hutchison about the importance of prayer.

I have seen so many social media posts calling for more “action” and less prayer.
“Prayer is empty”, they say.
“Prayer is safe.”
“Prayer is easy.”
“Prayer is not the answer.”
“Prayer doesn’t work.”
Jesus went to the garden to pray. In his anguish he prayed more earnestly,
and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.
Jesus knew he was going to die – and he went to the garden to pray.
Friends. We must never stop praying.
I wish I could remember who told me to “Live your life as prayer.”
LIVE YOUR LIFE AS A PRAYER.
Pray in church, at table, and at your bedside.
Pray in color and with song.
Pray with your hands and with your heart.
Pray by looking into the eyes of a stranger.
That stranger may even be the face looking back at you from the mirror.
Pray at sunrise. Pray at sunset.
Pray in the darkness of night and in the shining light of day.
Pray with your hands raised.
Pray with your head bowed.
Pray with your feet. Walk with someone who is alone.
Pray with your voice. Speak the Truth. Be an advocate.
Pray in silence.
Pray out LOUD.
In his anguish he prayed more earnestly,
and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.
There IS blood on the ground.
We must never stop praying.

And so, today I invite you to pray for the people of Turkey…and for all of us.

God of peace,

we lift up the people of Istanbul.

Comfort the weary,

bring healing to those who are wounded,

and receive those who have died into your loving arms.

Be present, O merciful God, and protect all your children through the hours of this night,

so that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

From the Anglican Church in Canada

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This Week: May 12, 2016

Sunday is the Feast of Pentecost—often called the “birthday of the church.”

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 Painting by Ed de Guzman © 2014

It’s the day when the Holy Spirit came on the believers in wind and fire and they were able to share the Good News of Jesus to all the people in Jerusalem—in their own languages! In church we will hear the story from Acts 2. My favorite part is where all the people who hear the word come from.

“Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?
And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language?
Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia,
Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene,
and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—
in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.”

Come to church on Sunday and wear red… the color for the Holy Spirit. It’s one of the only red Sundays of the church year—the other one is Palm Sunday. (We see red on the church calendar on other days for martyrs of the faith.)

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This Week: May 5, 2016

Dear Friends~

Today is the Feast of the Ascension—the day when Jesus was taken up into heaven after the Resurrection. I love the images for this feast because they span such a range of human imagination. Here’s a modern, abstract one I like by Eduardo Calzado. For me it evokes the feeling Jesus returning to the heart of God.

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But in our time, does Ascension still have any real significance for us? In Keeping Holy Time Douglas E. Wingeier writes,

The significance of Ascension Day is threefold: (1) At the Ascension the power of the Holy Spirit was promised. Even though the visible Jesus is gone, his Spirit is with us and gives us strength. (2) At the Ascension we received our commission. We are to bear witness that Jesus is Lord—of our lives and of the world. (3) At the Ascension we are told that God is in charge of history and the ultimate end is sure. We cannot know when Christ will reappear to assert his authority, or how, but that he will do so there can be no doubt.

I hope you spend a moment today giving thanks for the Spirit, for our work in the world, and for promise of God that our future is sure.

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This Week: March 3, 2016

ear Friends~

Today is my birthday. Yesterday in chapel the children sang “Happy Birthday” to me, the teachers made me a card and brought me a cake. I haven’t had as much fuss over my birthday in a long time. I am even honoring the school tradition and wearing a birthday crown today. I can tell you, it’s quite fun. There’s a joy in celebrating with friends. And none of my friends enjoy birthdays quite as much as our little ones, although Google does go all out giving me my own personal birthday doodle.

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Birthdays are part of the rhythm of our personal year. The church year has its rhythm, too. The Lenten season is kind of the “calm before the storm”—a period of reflection, both individual and communal, before the joy and excitement of Easter Day and the Easter season. The “proper preface” for the Lenten season (that part at the beginning of the Eucharistic prayer that changes with the seasons) reminds us about the purpose of this season:

You (God) bid your faithful people cleanse their hearts,
and prepare with joy for the Paschal feast;
that, fervent in prayer and in works of mercy,
and renewed by your Word and Sacraments,
they may come to the fullness of grace
which you have prepared for those who love you.

As we come to this mid-point of Lent, I invite you to times of prayer and works of mercy… and to come to church to be renewed by God’s Word and Sacraments. Our Lenten programs offer opportunities for all of the above.

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This Week: February 25, 2016

Dear Friends~

Light. I’ve been thinking about light this week. Partly because light is such an integral part of a Taizé service, and we’ve been looking at how and where to put the candles for ourFriday night Taizé service in the church. So I am thinking of the physical presence of light. But light is also a metaphor for truth in the larger world. And light is a symbol for Christ in the Christian world. There are so many examples. Each week, the chapel service with our little ones closes with singing “This little light of mine.” We light candles on the altar each week. In larger churches, torches are often processed with the cross and gospel book at the reading of the gospel—all three of these, cross, book and candle symbolize the presence of Christ. And of course the first service of Easter Day will have the lighting of the new fire and the Paschal candle. The words that accompany the procession of the Paschal candle are ancient and ever present for Christians:

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The Light of Christ.
Thanks be to God!

It often seems that the world is more dark than light. Darkness that is both physical in the longer winter nights but also representative of all that is destructive and harmful to us. We come to church seeking light—the light of Christ, the light in each other, the light that can be shared with the world. In my prayers this week, I am eager for light. And I am thankful that your light will be with me this Sunday. We are all children of the Light—Thanks be to God!

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This Friday’s Lenten program is “Soup Supper and Taizé.” Join us for supper in Yeaton Hall at 6pm and after we will adjourn to the church for a quiet service of music and meditation. The candlelight and contemplation feed both the soul and the senses. It’s a great way to “power-down” after a hectic week and remember the presence of God in your life.

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Choir Director/Keyboardist Opening

St. Michael the Archangel Episcopal Church in El Segundo is looking for a 10-hour a week keyboardist/choir director for our lovely little church.  Six dedicated choir members come together each week to sing a variety of music, from Gospel and Taize to classical and contemporary. Our choir is a fun-loving group, so a sense of humor is highly encouraged.

The keyboardist is responsible for playing at the 10am Sunday service and rehearsing with the choir one evening per week and on Sundays before the service.

If you are interested, click Below for a detailed job description:

St Michael the Archangel Keyboardist and Choir Director Job Description

 

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