See important dates at the end of this column
I am sick to my soul as I read the news about racist violence in El Paso, Dayton and across our nation. I am sick to my soul as I read about violence in Venezuela and Yemen. And I am sick to my soul as I see and experience what goes on at our borders and what drives people to run for their lives and seek refuge. Will the violence ever end we wonder? Will peace ever come to our earth we wonder? The health, wholeness and shalom of God’s promises seem so far away and even our prayers feel inadequate.
I read through an alternative Episcopal liturgy and in doing so I felt hope. I wanted to share these words from an alternative communion liturgy with you. This is what Christ is about. This is what Christianity is about. And this is what the shalom of God looks like and this is what God wants our lives to be committed to:
Holy One, we gather this day as one people, members of the same body, grateful for your many gifts and carrying the hope within us for a world filled with love. This vision was given by you, from the very beginning of your creation.
You made the earth, and all that lives on it. You inspired prophets and shepherds, widows and slaves, to seek liberation from all that oppresses, so that we might be released to love fully. You became incarnate in Jesus Christ, so that through him we might experience the depth and width of your unquenchable love.
While Jesus lived among us he stood up for women and children, he touched the untouchable, healed the sick, and welcomed those who had given up hope of being included. Through him we see a path not only to our own freedom, but a path to the liberation of the whole world. He taught us that it will not be in the brutality of violence that our world will be saved.
Rather, it will be in showing kindness to our neighbor, in standing up against injustice, in returning hate with love, in transforming one heart at a time. It will be in the simple but holy task of dining together, sharing bread and wine, truly seeing one another as beloved by you.
I ask you to read through these words several times. What stands out for you? How is God prompting you to respond to stand against the violence in our world?
Bill Smith Update: Bill had surgery yesterday and is doing well. He will be transferred to another hospital doing rehabilitation. I will have more information to share with you on Sunday.
IMPORTANT DATES - MARK YOUR CALENDARS
August 10 - 9:00 AM
Prayer Vigil for El Paso
at the courthouse in Marfa
August 11 - 1:30 - 3:00
Ice Cream Social & School Supplies Give Away
August 15 - 10:00
Memorial Service for Lonn Taylor
at the First Christian Church....
the White church ....kitty-corner to St. Paul's
|St. Lawrence Distributes the Church Treasure to the Poor, Fra Angelico, 1447
Isaiah 1:1, 10-20
Ninth Sunday after Pentecost - Proper 14
Psalm 50:1-8, 22-23
Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16
Luke 12.32-40: Protecting Your Treasure
Art and Faith Matters
Luke's gospel (Luke 12:32-40) offers us a glimpse of the relationship between people and whatever they hold most dear. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. And you will do whatever you need to do to protect your treasure. You'll make sure that your door is locked against robbers who would break in and steal your treasure.
Elsewhere in scripture (Matthew 6:19), we are reminded, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal." But it doesn't stop people from trying. Here a heavy wooden chest owned by Melk Abbey. Notice the thick sides of the chest. Notice the lock on the front of the chest.
Wooden Chest with Locks. 17th century. Melk Abbey Museum. Melk, Austria.
Yes...notice that lock. Certainly it will keep out thieves, right? This will guard your treasure, whatever that is. Well, maybe. Actually, the lock on the front of the chest is a decoy. You can try any key in the world in the lock, and nothing will happen. There are, in fact, fourteen locks on this chest. But you have to know where the keyhole is to start the process. And it's hidden.
So even if you know where the hidden keyhole is, all the moving parts of fourteen locks have to be working perfectly for you to lock up your treasure and, at least ostensibly, keep it safe. Or you could just remember that your real treasure isn't something that can be locked up in a trunk.
Isaiah 1:1, 10-20
When Ritual Sacrifice Equals Fervent Patriotism
Oh, how astounding that the LORD —
Although with firm conviction
That doing justly, everyone
Is full of dereliction —
Yet, offers still to argue out
Just how they’ve failed their duty,
Thus stating their relationship
Remains a thing of beauty.
Isaiah makes it clear the LORD,
Not he, is the accuser;
‘Though stating forcefully the case,
The prophet’s no abuser.
In love, now let the church proclaim
Our patriotic fervor’s
No substitute for doing good,
Nor national preserver.
Scott L. Barton
The vision of Isaiah son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom! Listen to the teaching of our God, you people of Gomorrah! What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats. When you come to appear before me, who asked this from your hand? Trample my courts no more; bringing offerings is futile; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and sabbath and calling of convocation— I cannot endure solemn assemblies with iniquity. Your new moons and your appointed festivals my soul hates; they have become a burden to me, I am weary of bearing them. When you stretch out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood.
Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. Come now, let us argue it out, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
+ + +
Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16
Honest, We Can!
by Thom Shuman
"the problems are too overwhelming . . ."
"it's unfortunate, but that's the way life is . . ."
"there is nothing anyone can do . . ."
we can stand up to
Loneliness and Fear,
who would terrorize
we can panhandle
on city streets,
will drop a few bills
into that cup marked
we can pick up those
who have been crushed
and tossed into
to help recycle them
into God's Beloved;
we can root for
those seasoned citizens
whom the world says
should no longer
play the game.
8th - 6:30 - Book Study in the Casita
8th - Thursday - Dominic, Priest and Friar, 1221
9th - Friday - Herman of Alaska, Missionary to the Aleut, 1837
10th - 9:00 AM
Prayer Vigil for El Paso
at the courthouse in Marfa
10th - Saturday - Laurence, Deacon, and Martyr at Rome, 258
11th - Ninth Sunday after Pentecost - Proper 14
9:00 - Bishop's Committee
10:30 - Holy Eucharist
1:30 - 3:00 - Ice Cream Social and School Supply Give Away
11th - Sunday - Clare, Abbess at Assisi, 1253
12th-13th - RGBM Meeting
Cloudcroft, New Mexico
12th - Monday -
Florence Nightingale, Nurse, Social Reformer, 1910
13th - Tuesday -
Jeremy Taylor, Bishop of Down, Connor, and Dromore, 1667
14th - Wednesday -
Jonathan Myrick Daniels, Seminarian and Martyr, 1965
15th - 10:00 - Lonn Taylor Memorial
The First Christian Church, Marfa
15th - 6:30 - Book Study in the Casita
15th -Thursday -
Laurence, Deacon, and Martyr at Rome, 258
16th - Friday - SAINT MARY THE VIRGIN, MOTHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
17th - Saturday -
Samuel Johnson, 1772, Timothy Cutler, 1765,
and Thomas Bradbury Chandler, 1790, Priests
18th - Tenth Sunday after Pentecost - Proper 15
9:15 - Bible Study
10:30 - Holy Eucharist
18th -Suhday -
William Porcher DuBose, Priest, 1918 & Artemisia Bowden, 1969
19th - Monday - Men's Hamburger Prayer Lunch
20th - Tuesday -
Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, 1153
22nd - 6:30 - Book Study in the Casita
23rd - Friday -
Martin de Porres, 1639, Rosa de Lima, 1617,
and Toribio de Mogrovejo, 1606, Witnesses to the Faith in South America
24th - Saturday - SAINT BARTHOLOMEW THE APOSTLE
25th - Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost - Proper 16
9:15 - Bible Study
10:30 - Holy Eucharist
25th - Sunday -
Louis, King of France, 1270
27th - Tuesday -
Dominic, Priest and Friar, 1221
28th - Wednesday -
Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, and Theologian, 430
Moses the Black, Desert Father and Martyr, c. 400
29th - 6:30 - Book Study in the Casita
29th - Thursday -
John Bunyan, Writer, 1688
30th -2:00 - Dale Sherman Memorial
30th - Friday -
Charles Chapman Grafton, Bishop of Fond du Lac, and Ecumenist, 1912
31st - Saturday -
Aidan, 651, and Cuthbert, 687, Bishops of Lindisfarne
1st - Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost - Proper 17
9:15 - Bible Study
10:30 - Holy Eucharist
1st - Sunday -
David Pendleton Oakerhater, Deacon and Missionary, 1931
Here is who we prayed for in church
Any changes, please let us know.
8th Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 13, Cycle C (August 4, 2019)
Litanist: Sisters and brothers, children of God, let us come before the Most High with humility, as I pray….Great and holy God and you respond by saying…incline your ear to us….
Heavenly Father, you greatly bless us even when we think we have very little! You give us life and breath. Each new day gives us a chance to repent, forgive, and share Jesus’ love with another person. Help us to thank you for these things, to enjoy them rightly; and to share them generously…Great and holy God…incline your ear to us.
Clothe your Church with the lovely holiness of your dear Son. Put away from it all evil thoughts, desires, words, and actions, that we may rejoice in the gifts that God has given us and be signs of God's abundant generosity in our ministries….Great and holy God…incline your ear to us.
Fill the people of this congregation with wisdom and humility. Help us remember that everything is done for you, not for ourselves, and that we must one day render an accounting of our stewardship of your blessings. Make us faithful, generous, kindly, and holy, as we strive to live out our mission to be a welcoming, prayerful, caring community actively sharing the love of God…. Let us take time and remember what we are grateful for….Great and holy God…incline your ear to us.
Keep all who are persecuted for their faith in your care, and bless their faithful witness. Help us to provide for our suffering sisters and brothers from the storehouses of our spiritual and material abundance….Great and holy God…incline your ear to us.
We pray for your blessing upon our nation – and for all nations. For peace in all places of conflict, that God will inspire the leaders of nations and communities to promote dialogue and understanding among all people Guide our leaders with your Spirit of wisdom and understanding, counsel and might…Great and holy God…incline your ear to us.
Lord, we know that all people – even Christians –are sometimes selfish, oblivious, irresponsible, and foolish. Teach us those virtues that are often unpopular: responsibility, accountability, and self-sacrifice, grounded in faith toward you and fervent love for one another.….
Great and holy God…incline your ear to us.
For those in bondage to their assets, For those whose success does not satisfy, For the entitled and the comfortable, for the isolated and the elite, let us pray…
Great and holy God…incline your ear to us..
We lift before you the suffering and sorrow of your people, especially those near to us whom we now name:.… Anoint them with the oil of gladness. Heal wounds to body, mind, and soul. Grant that, with those who love them, they may enter your gates with thanksgiving, and go into your courts with praise….Great and holy God…incline your ear to us.
Heavenly Father, keep our beloved dead close to your heart. We remember those we name at this time…especially…Dale, Lonn, the Rev. Own Penn, the people murdered in El Paso and Dayton, OhioWipe away the tears of all whose grief runs deep.…Great and holy God…incline your ear to us.
Celebrant: Hear our prayers, gracious Father, offered through the power of the Spirit; and for the sake of your dear Son, grant us all that is in accordance with your merciful will, to your glory and for the good of your people. AMEN.
Prayers are asked for…..
Justin, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael, our Presiding Bishop, Michael, our Bishop and Michael, our Vicar….In the Anglican Cycle of Prayer we remember to pray for the Church of the Province of South East Asia. In our Diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for The Northeast Deanery,. We Also pray for St. James, Alpine, St. Stephens, Ft. Stockton, Santa Inez, Terlingua, Chapel of St. Mary & St. Joseph, Lajitas, and the Marfa and Alpine Ministerial Alliances…. For Connor Travis and the ministry of Young Life
For Our Leaders
For Donald, our president, Greg our Governor, Manny our mayor-elect and the mayors and city managers of our surrounding communities…. our elected officials in Washington and all who exercise authority at any level of government. For all who struggle to make a more just society
For the World
…for peace, that the Spirit will inspire human hearts to turn from violence, and work together to defeat the common enemies of disease, ignorance and poverty….For refugees and displaced persons, that God will guide to safety all who have fled violence and persecution, and help them find welcome in new communities…, for all who live and work in places of war and violence, For women and men and children who have been victims of sexual assault and sexual exploitation… for those whose lives have been turned upside down by various disasters: that God will help them rebuild their lives, give them strength to face their challenges and touch the hearts of many to assist them…,for all those in the military, especially those who come home broken in body, mind, and spirit …may the hearts of those reporting the news be drawn to what is true and right telling the truth in the most helpful way, for people living in far after a series of earthquakes and aftershocks in California, for people struggling to move forward after natural disasters…..
For St. Paul’s and Prayer Wall
Living out our mission to be a welcoming, prayerful, caring community actively sharing the love of God….On our wall…Taday I Pray: safe travels…Peace…Wisdom, Patience & love…grace…. Today I Hope: More kindness…for the joy of friendship…Today I Thank: Birthdays…Warren…freedom & family & faith& health..Adventure…For the people of St. Paul’s…
St. Paul’s Prayer List
Betty, Bill & Gail, Patty, Holly, D'Ette, Merit and the Fowlkes family, James, Shere, Kevin and Jay, Lesly, Lila, Linda King, Melodie, Mimi, Pat & Mary, the Vana Family… FOR Jeanie Olivas, Vijaya, Frank, Larry, Jack Risen, Kathryn Anschutz, Sue Ellen Kelly, Brian Hutchins who have cancer… FOR David and Catherine in the midst of chemotherapy, …for Michael Simpson, Dale and Lee Ann, FOR Helen Bates, Gene, and Rucker who are in Hospice care….. for James and Brian Neal, Jacob, Linda & David, for Jenny, Megan and Elizabeth, for David who has MSA, Frank, Pat Sims (Stroke), Fr. Tom Gray (heart surgery)…Rudy and recovery from knee replacement surgery, Bill Smith who is in the hospital….Kathleen….
Those who have died
The Rev. John Penn, Dale Sherman, Lonn Taylor,
People murdered in El Paso, Texas and Dayton Ohio.
O God, Creator of all thats is -
of seas and clouds, rains and rivers,
grass and trees, insects and fish,
humans, animals, birds and reptiles,
of all life connected, sharing this one earth -
we are aware that our way of living
is profoundly affecting the earth's climate,
that many people are in danger of flood and drought,
that some are greatly impoverished,
and the whole fabric of life is in danger.
to those who make international policies,
give wisdom and courage;
to those who direct industry and commerce,
give a concern for the common good;
to those who struggle for justice,
give strength and hope;
and to us all
give the grace and strength to change our ways
for the good of all that lives
and for your glory.
My Sisters & Brothers in Christ,
A Message from Bishop Hunn
We mourn the loss of life in El Paso.
We learned today that the Diocese of the Rio Grande today joined the ranks of those other dioceses in the Episcopal Church that have experienced the horror of a mass shooting. Over nineteen people lost their lives today in El Paso, Texas, and over forty more were injured. And so I want to stop and take a moment to talk about three things.
I want to talk about guns. And I want to talk about violence. And I want to talk about hope. We in the United States have got to figure out what we are going to do about guns. Too often the debate is framed as if it's about everybody having guns or nobody having guns. But we in the Anglican tradition and in the Episcopal Church we are a people of the middle way, of thevia media, and we have got to come together, conservative and liberal, in order to find a way to both preserve our Second Amendment rights while also preserving the safety of our public spaces in this country. We should be able to go to the movies or to the mall or to a restaurant or to school without the fear that we might get shot.
As the Bishop of a Southwestern diocese let me be clear that I don't feel safer personally if everybody in a movie theater has a gun, and I don't feel safer if everyone in the restaurant is carrying, and I don't feel safer if the teachers have to carry in order to keep the students safe. I don't feel safer if I have to carry a gun in order to feel safe walking the streets of my town or my neighborhood. So let's come up with a solution that's better than that.
I'm also pondering this afternoon the nature of violence itself. We know that violence is primarily caused by pain. And I have pain that is deeply buried in my heart and I don't have any hope for what happens with that pain, sometimes that pain gets swallowed and becomes self destruction, sometimes that pain gets projected out to try to make other people suffer. We all experience that in our day to day lives on a very minor scale. When I feel hurt I might say something to hurt somebody else. When I feel hurt I might swallow that hurt where it builds up until it explodes. So just imagine the kind of pain a person must feel for so long, their lack of self worth, that they might feel that they can somehow improve their self worth or improve their life by destroying and damaging other people. What we are witnessing is pain, horrible pain, expressed in the form of violence.
We in the church understand how God came to heal the world. How God came to heal our souls. And how God came in order that we might have life and have that life abundantly. So those of us in the churches can work together to make sure to reach out to young people, particularly to young men, to make sure that they understand the value and worth of their life and if they are feeling pain that we help them understand that their community is there to help heal that pain. And that God loves and values them. Healing can come through Jesus Christ. And we in the church can reach out to help young people in this country understand and know that first hand.
And finally I want to say something about hope. Frequently we have heard that those who have perpetrated mass shootings were at least partly interested in the fame that might result from them making a name for themselves through this kind of violence. We in the church understand how God loves and values each human being. Imagine a person whose self worth is so damaged and they are in so need of recognition that they are willing to perpetrate great violence in order to find that other people think of them or know their names. We know that God loves and values every single human being. And so in the church we can do perhaps more to reach out to help young people know that God loves and values them. To let them know we love and value them. To provide a way of hope so that people don't feel like the only way they can make a name for themselves is by perpetrating some horrible crime. Jesus said "Blessed are the Peacemakers." And we in the church are called to make peace in our neighborhoods and with our young people. So let's redouble our efforts to reach out to the young people. Not just those who attend our churches, but those in our neighborhoods and those in our schools who may be feeling hurt, who may be feeling hopeless, who may be feeling that are willing to risk their life to inflict pain on other people.
Let us pray for those who lost their lives today. And let us pray for their families that they might know the hope of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And let us pray for the wounded and for all of those who are caring for them to meet their medical needs and bring about the healing that God promises for us all.
God is a God of Love. And we in the church are called to bear that love into the world. So let us not just pray for the victims: for the nineteen people who died today, the forty or more prople who were injured today. Let us also roll up our sleeves and get to work to make neighborhoods places that are safe; where everyone understands their worth as a human being, and where no one is so hurt that they feel they must inflict violence on other people.
God love you. God bless you. Let us pray and work together and let us together keep the faith.
The Rt. Rev. Michael Buerkel Hunn
Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande
Presiding Bishop joins other faith leaders speaking out against Christian nationalism
August 1, 2019 by Earlier this week, a group of Christian leaders released a statement speaking out against the rising tide of Christian nationalism in the USA. The group, known as Christians Against Christian Nationalism, includes leaders from a variety of denominations; their statement has been signed by more than 4,000 people, as of August 1.
In their statement, the group describes Christian nationalism and the threat it poses to both the nation and Christianity, writing:
“Christian nationalism seeks to merge Christian and American identities, distorting both the Christian faith and America’s constitutional democracy. Christian nationalism demands Christianity be privileged by the State and implies that to be a good American, one must be Christian.”
The group seeks to dismantle the conception that being a good American inherently means being a Christian as well as the idea that being a Christian makes one more worthy of leadership in the public sphere.
The statement is also quick to point out that Christian nationalism is very closely tied with white supremacy and other forms of bigotry; although the statement does not specifically reference any particular racially-motivated crimes or incidents, others have drawn the connection between Christian nationalism and things like the proposed Muslim ban, the Charlottesville demonstrations, and attacks on non-Christian houses of worship, such as the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
In addition to the group’s statement on the website, there are also brief reflections about the importance of this work from a number of different Christian leaders, including Presiding Bishop Michael Curry of the Episcopal Church, who states:
“As followers of Jesus, his command to love our neighbors means neighbors of every type, of every faith, not just our own. Through our baptism and in our democracy, we are called to a way of love that creates a community in which the dignity of every human being is recognized and respected, and where all can have an equal say in the governing of our civic life. The violence, intimidation and distortion of scripture associated with “Christian nationalism” does not reflect the person and teachings of Jesus Christ, and so I stand with fellow leaders in the Christian community and call for a better way.”
Other endorsers of the statement include the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Jim Wallis, the founder of Sojourners, Tony Campolo, the founder of Red Letter Christians; and representatives of several other denominations and Christian organizations.
August 23-25, 2019
WORKING WITH GRIEF AND THE 12 STEPS
The Serenity Retreat this year starts on Friday August 23rd ... where we will have dinner together and an open speaker meeting led by Rev. Dr. Ted Wiard focusing on Steps 1, 2, and 3. We are inviting any in the area who can't stay for the whole weekend to join us at 5pm on that Friday for dinner at a cost of $20, and then the meeting (no charge to anyone who want to come just for the meeting.)
We will be joined by Rev. Dr. Ted Wiard of Golden Willow Retreat and Counseling.
Ted Wiard, LPCC, CGC is an author, Founder & Executive Director of Golden Willow Retreat. Ted Wiard along with his wife, Marcella, created Golden Willow from a combined vision of compassion and healing towards all life. Ted is a licensed clinical therapist, certified grief counselor, an ordained minister, a New Mexico certified schoolteacher and a certified tennis professional. Ted's passion for working with grief, in its many forms, arose from his own personal losses in which he realized there were very few places that offered support and healing from grief. While working at Betty Ford Center, Ted counseled individuals and families with clinical and spiritual support through the recovery process, realizing that many individuals rarely touch the underlying conditions that led them to their dysfunctional behaviors. He has written numerous articles on the subject of emotional healing, grief, loss, trauma and the connection verses disconnection of spirituality in grief, loss, life transitions as well as addiction and relapse prevention. His book, "Witnessing Ted, The Journey to Potential Though Grief & Loss", is a sensitive guide on the six aspects of grief and the journey to a wiser more authentic life. He is sought out for speaking engagements nationally to offer his inspirational and dynamic message of hope and healing.
Find out more about Ted's programs at: https://goldenwillowretreat.com/ and http://goldenwillowcounseling.com/
Anyone in any 12 step program is welcome to join. We've even had a few who tried out the concept of the 12-Steps at one of our retreats for the first time!
Registration Fees - Includes room, meals, and a "one time day fee for commuters."
(We have a way to receive Credit Card Payments this year.)
Single-Resident from Friday night to Sunday morning $197
Couple- Resident from Friday night to Sunday morning $298
Commuter/Meals Only $100
Friday Night Dinner and Open Speaker Meeting $20
As with all our retreats, Friday night is open to all who would like to join for dinner and the speaker ... or just come for the speaker with no fee!)
5:00-6:00 Registration/Check In
6:00-7:00 Dinner & Introductions
7:00-8:30 Open Speaker Meeting
Sunday, we always have a 12-Step Eucharist at 10:00 a.m.
Find us at our webpage for links to registration information: http://drgrecoveryministry.blogspot.com/
Find us on Facebook (a private group): Rio Grande-Episcopal Recovery Ministry https://www.facebook.com/groups/357706644668637/
Email us with questions at email@example.com
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
GOOD NEWS & THANK YOU
Thank you to Keri who made the fliers for the ice Cream Social-School Supply Give Away.
SEEING YOU SUNDAY