Newsletters/Sermons

—  WORSHIP  MATTERS  —

 

A weekly newsletter from Grace Episcopal Church, Lopez Island – #282

April 20th, 2015

 

 

Save the Date:

Sunday, April 26th, following the 10am service — “Welcome Back” enhanced Potluck Coffee Hour to greet all who have been away for extended periods of time this winter!

 

The OREO Book Discussion Group has selected its next book: JUST MERCY by Bryan Stevenson. This time we are each on our own to get a copy of the book. It’s available on line via Amazon for about $17 (including shipping) new or only slightly less used. It’s available for Kindle at around $12. The Lopez Book Store has a copy or two and their price is about $24, including the book club discount. Other groups on the island have or are reading this book so the library or friends may be other possibilities.

 

GRACE GATHERINGS:

  • The Women’s Prayer Group meets at Noon on Thursday in Grace Hall.
  • Prayers for Peace are held at 5:00pm on Wednesday in the Sanctuary.
  • Oreo Cookie Book Discussion Group will continue on Tuesdays from 7-8:30pm, at Grace Hall.
  • Men’s Breakfast and Bible Study Group will meet Wednesday, April 29th at 8am in Grace Hall.
  • Women’s group meeting held on Mondays from 1:00-2:30 in Grace Hall using a simple format of Lectio Divina to read and digest scripture.

 Worship Schedule

4/26/15 Sunday @10:00am: The Fourth Sunday of Easter, Holy Eucharist Rite II

Celebrants:  The Rev. Nancy Wynen

Worship Leader:  Mary Ann Riggs

Lector: Richard Ward

Eucharistic Visitor: Trevor Bryant

Eucharistic Minister:  Stuart Oles

Altar: Mariette Trelease

Greeter:  Trelease

Coffee Hour:   Welcome Back Potluck Lunch!

Lessons:  Acts 4:5-12; Psalm 23; 1 John 3 16-24; John  10:11-18

 

5/3/15 Sunday @10:00am: The Fifth Sunday of Easter, Holy Eucharist Rite II

Celebrants:  The Rev. Nancy Wynen

Worship Leader: Joanne Bryant

Lector: Stepper LeBoutillier

Eucharistic Visitor: Kathy Montgomery

Eucharistic Minister:  Ann Warsen

Altar: Elizabeth Potter

Greeter: McGee/Savage

Coffee Hour:   Oles

Lessons:  Acts 8:26-40; Psalm 22; 1 John 4 7-21; John 15:1-8

 

5/10/15 Sunday @10:00am: The Sixth Sunday of Easter, Holy Eucharist Rite II

Celebrants:  The Rev. Nancy Wynen

Worship Leader: Ann Warsen

Lector: Stepper Marlene Langrock

Eucharistic Visitor: Kathy Montgomery

Eucharistic Minister:  Jim Montgomery

Altar: Elizabeth Potter

Greeter: McGee/Savage

Coffee Hour: Becky/Nancy/Gale

Lessons:  Acts 10:44-48; Psalm 98; 1 John 5 1-6; John 15:9-17

 

 

Easter 3B-15

Acts 3:12-19; Psalm 4; 1 John 3:1-7; Luke 24:36-48

As most of you know, Fons and I visited our daughter in Oakland California this past week. We told the familiar stories over and over like families do when they get together. We remember the times when we worked on our homes together, how they children helped or watched as we worked. It led to the story of how the front door nearly needed replacing. I couldn’t remember that at all – at first. There was a family argument going on, very heated. I got upset, lost my temper, and walked out of our house. I slammed the door so hard that the window in the door nearly broke.

It was quite a statement. I did want to make a statement, one that would stop what was going on, and would make people pay attention to me. I had forgotten the whole incident until Katie reminded me of it. We want to make people listen to us, no matter what it takes, even some dramatic action that surprises and startles others into paying attention.

What dramatic statements have you made in your lives? Were the results what you wanted? There was a story in this week’s news about a man who flew a mini-helicopter onto the US Capitol lawn to protest campaign spending. He got more publicity about safety and terrorism in the nation’s capital than he did about election funding. Not the most successful statement in my opinion.

The dramatic actions we make have to match what we want to say. That is what learned when I slammed the door. Not that we needed a stronger door, but that I should have done something more appropriate to what I was upset about.

As a rule though our daily habits make a statement about who we are, what we care about.  Like my using book bags for groceries long before it became popular. My daughter used to be embarrassed by that, and now is proud of her pioneering mother. But the dramatic single act gets more attention and reaction. They show our passionate thoughts about a particular situation. A hunger strike or public display of how to live on the money of people on food stamps, or eating all your meals outside in public parks is an example being used by my friends in Florida right now. Since 31 cities around the country have made it illegal to feed homeless people in public areas, this makes a statement by flooding parks with more and more people eating. “Picnicking”.

Jesus preached love and forgiveness, taught compassion over a legal interpretation of religious law, and healed people of all walks of life for 3 years. It showed that Jesus was a good man, a holy man, even perhaps specially blessed by God. But to make people truly understand not only his true identity and our connection with God, Jesus made the ultimate in dramatic statements:

He died a very real death. And he returned. Not only exactly the way he looked before, not only a ghost of someone who had died – he returned as a flesh and blood person. Last week and today we heard gospel readings about his first appearance to his friends. He invited them to see his wounds so they could recognize him and have visible and physical proof of who he was.

Not only that, he then asked them to share their food. What is more normal than hunger and eating? That is a dramatic impact action. It gets noticed. It gets remembered.

The disciples were still in a disbelieving mode. They had no reference for what had happened. Through that disbelief, Jesus had to get them to understand the Resurrection. But more than just that, they had to stretch themselves to the understanding of their identity with him. God loved Jesus as his son. Jesus loved his friends, the ones who believed in him, and included them as children of God just like he is. He was also giving his friends his own power to heal and forgive, to spread the word of God to all who needed to hear it.

In this action, Jesus got the disciples’ attention and gave them all that they would need. But gave them 40 days to get used to what would come next – after the festival of Pentecost.

We still get powerful statements and dramatic actions from people around us. Some are good, some are not so good. Some come from our leaders, some from friends and relatives. They are signals for us to take notice that there is something really, really important going on.

Like I already said, life-long habits give us in turn guidelines of how to lead our own daily lives. But when there is a crisis and our daily habits don’t work so well, we look for a sign to change paths.

If we have embraced our identity of God’s children, living the life that Jesus showed us, our daily habits will do us well. But when we hear and see the unGod-like things in the world, we should react. Whether it is protecting our natural world, watching corruption or misuse of government power, or the physical and mental abuse suffered in the family next door, we should not be afraid to react. Write to those in power. Offer a safe place for your neighbor. Call for help. Be the help.

Easter should be a reminder, a kind of sign of who we say we are. We are reborn to a promise of being God-like. That means following the life long habits of Jesus. It also means that being God-like will give us the same life after day that Jesus showed us. We may not visibly return to Earth, but however it works, the promise is that there is a new phase of life awaiting us.

In the meantime, we have the time and energy to make our own dramatic and daily statements in reaction to our world. Go in peace to love and serve the world.