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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