Announcements for the Week of January 17-23, 2016

Sunday, January 17, 2016

2 Epiphany

Year C

Preaching Today is The Rev. William Trego

Presiding Today is

The Rev. Este Gardner Cantor

 

The texts this week follow the announcements.

Sunday’s Hymns:  7, 317, 125, 533

Please pray for:  Susan Bergmans, Cynthia Morse, Jim Schnobrich, Carol White, Raphael Sanchez Casa, friend of Rev. Susan Mills, undergoing chemotherapy treatment, and for Jenny Moss, preparing for surgery on January 15th for breast cancer and treatment.

This quarter’s thank offering recipient is Urban Adama, a local garden cooperative.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 17, 2016

 

MINISTERS: ANNUAL REPORTS are due TODAY, for inclusion in the annual report.  Please send them to Dan and Ellen.

 

UPDATED INFORMATION FOR THE PARISH DIRECTORY: 

If you are new to Good Shepherd or have changed your contact information, now is the time to give us your updates for the parish directory.  Please send your information to our deacon, The Rev. Ellen L. Ekstrom, at goodshepherddeacon@outlook.com.

 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND UPCOMING EVENTS

 

MEDITATION CLASSES TO RETURN to Good Shepherd, starting February 8 through March 14, 2016, from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. in the Church.  The class will be led by Ernest Isaacs, MFT, who offered the autumn series of meditation classes.  Dr. Isaacs has been practicing Buddhist meditation since 1977 and has led meditation classes for 25 years.

 

Our Annual Parish Meeting is on January 24, 2016 after the 11:00 a.m. Eucharist.  We’ll meet in the parish hall.  You’re invited to bring a favorite dish to share for a lunch potluck.

 

 

 

 

CANDLEMAS VESPERS, January 31, 2016 at 4:30 p.m.:  Save the date! On Sunday, January 31, 2016 at 4:30, St. Mark’s in Berkeley will host a Candlemas Vespers service.  The service will be preceded by a presentation by Matthew Fox and the music for the service will be provided by the incomparable Vajra Voices.  All are invited to what is sure to be a feast for the ears and heart.  The Episcopal Ministry to Cal is sponsoring this event.  See the flyer attached!

 

EQUIPPING THE BELOVED COMMUNITY:  January 30, 2016, 10:00-5:00pm at Grace Cathedral.  This is a combined event – Equipping the Beloved Community & Vestry/Bishop’s Committee Day.  Lay Eucharistic Ministry training, workshops for Vestries and Bishop Committees are a few of the programs offered.  For my information, click on this link:  http://diocal.org/equipping-beloved-community

 

 

ONGOING SERVICES

 

WEDNESDAY NOON PRAYER AND LAYING ON OF HANDS. The service begins at noon in the church and uses the noon prayer service from the New Zealand Prayer Book.  Meditation and laying on of hands for healing are also offered.

 

BRINGING THE EUCHARIST TO OUR NEIGHBORS.  Join us as we bring the Eucharist to Strawberry Creek Lodge at 2:00 p.m. on the first Sunday of the month.  The Rev. Teddy Knight, Tom Slocumb and The Rev. Susan Bergmans will officiate at an ecumenical service based on the BCP “Communion Under Special Circumstances.”  Bread and wine will be consecrated at our table at the 11:00 a.m. service, and the ministers will be commissioned to bring the sacraments.  The Strawberry Creek Lodge is located at  1320 Addison near Acton in Berkeley.

 

 

 

Lessons for 2 Epiphany (Attributions Listed Below)

 

Old Testament – Isaiah 62:1-5

 

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,

and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,

until her vindication shines out like the dawn,

and her salvation like a burning torch.

The nations shall see your vindication,

and all the kings your glory;

and you shall be called by a new name

that the mouth of the LORD will give.

You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD,

and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

You shall no more be termed Forsaken,

and your land shall no more be termed Desolate;

but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,

and your land Married;

for the LORD delights in you,

and your land shall be married.

For as a young man marries a young woman,

so shall your builder marry you,

and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,

so shall your God rejoice over you.

 

The Psalm  (St. Helena Psalter) – Psalm 36:5-10 – Dixit injustus

 

5 Your love, O God, reaches to the heavens, *

and your faithfulness to the clouds.

6 Your righteousness is like the strong mountains,

your justice like the great deep; *

you save both man and beast, O God.

7 How priceless is your love, O God! *

your people take refuge under the shadow of your wings.

8 They feast upon the abundance of your house; *

you give them drink from the river of your delights.

9 For with you is the well of life, *

and in your light we see light.

10 Continue your loving-kindness to those who know you, *

and your favor to those who are true of heart.

 

The New Testament – 1 Corinthians 12:1-11

 

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Let Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.

 

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

 

The Gospel – John 2:1-11

 

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

 

Optional parts of the readings are set off in square brackets.

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.

The Collects and Canticles are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.

From The Lectionary Page: http://lectionarypage.net

 

Announcements for the Week of January 3-9, 2016

Sunday, January 10, 2016

1 Epiphany (Feast of Christ’s Baptism)

Year C

PreachingToday is The Rev. Dr. L. Wm. Countryman

Presiding Today is The Rev. Este Gardner Cantor

 

The texts this week follow the announcements.

Sunday’s Hymns: 135, 339, 510 and 448

Please pray for:  Susan Bergmans, Cynthia Morse, Jim Schnobrich, Raphael Sanchez Casa, friend of Rev. Susan Mills, undergoing chemotherapy treatment, and for Jenny Moss, preparing for surgery on January 15th for breast cancer and treatment.

This quarter’s thank offering recipient is Urban Adama, a local garden cooperative.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 10, 2016

 It’s a thankless task, but fortunately, we had angels do it!  A very big thank you to Margo Webster, Judey Miller, Bill Trego, Jon Vieira and Bill Countryman, our clean-up crew that took down the Christmas decorations!

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND UPCOMING EVENTS

 

MEDITATION CLASSES TO RETURN to Good Shepherd, starting February 8 through March 14, 2016, from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. in the Church.  The class will be led by Ernest Isaacs, MFT, who offered the autumn series of meditation classes.  Dr. Isaacs has been practicing Buddhist meditation since 1977 and has led meditation classes for 25 years.

 

UPDATED INFORMATION FOR THE PARISH DIRECTORY: 

If you are new to Good Shepherd or have changed your contact information, now is the time to give us your updates for the parish directory.  Please send your information to our deacon, The Rev. Ellen L. Ekstrom, at goodshepherddeacon@outlook.com.

 

MINISTERS: ANNUAL REPORTS will be due on January 17, 2016, for inclusion in the annual report.  Please send them to Dan and Ellen.

 

SAVE THE DATE:  Our Annual Parish Meeting is on January 24, 2016 after the 11:00 a.m. Eucharist.  We’ll meet in the parish hall.  More details to follow.

 

YOGA CLASSES continue this Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. in the sanctuary of the church!  The class will be led by our intern neighbor, Em Kianka.

 

EQUIPPING THE BELOVED COMMUNITY:  January 30, 2016, 10:00-5:00pm at Grace Cathedral.  This is a combined event – Equipping the Beloved Community & Vestry/Bishop’s Committee Day.  Lay Eucharistic Ministry training, workshops for Vestries and Bishop Committees are a few of the programs offered.  For my information, click on this link:  http://diocal.org/equipping-beloved-community

 

 

ONGOING SERVICES

 

WEDNESDAY NOON PRAYER AND LAYING ON OF HANDS. The service begins at noon in the church and uses the noon prayer service from the New Zealand Prayer Book.  Meditation and laying on of hands for healing are also offered.

 

BRINGING THE EUCHARIST TO OUR NEIGHBORS.  Join us as we bring the Eucharist to Strawberry Creek Lodge at 2:00 p.m. on the first Sunday of the month.  The Rev. Teddy Knight, Tom Slocumb and The Rev. Susan Bergmans will officiate at an ecumenical service based on the BCP “Communion Under Special Circumstances.”  Bread and wine will be consecrated at our table at the 11:00 a.m. service, and the ministers will be commissioned to bring the sacraments.  The Strawberry Creek Lodge is located at  1320 Addison near Acton in Berkeley.

 

 

 

Lessons for 1 Epiphany  (from the Oxford Annotated Bible, NRSV Edition, Unless Otherwise Stated)

 

Old Testament – Isaiah 43:1-7

 

Thus says the Lord,

he who created you, O Jacob,

he who formed you, O Israel:

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;

I have called you by name, you are mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;

when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,

and the flame shall not consume you.

For I am the Lord your God,

the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

I give Egypt as your ransom,

Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you.

Because you are precious in my sight,

and honored, and I love you,

I give people in return for you,

nations in exchange for your life.

Do not fear, for I am with you;

I will bring your offspring from the east,

and from the west I will gather you;

I will say to the north, “Give them up,”

and to the south, “Do not withhold;

bring my sons from far away

and my daughters from the end of the earth–

everyone who is called by my name,

whom I created for my glory,

whom I formed and made.”

 

The Psalm – Psalm 29 (From the St. Helen Psalter)

 

1 Ascribe to God, you heavenly beings, *

ascribe to God glory and strength.

2 Ascribe due honor to God’s holy name; *

worship the Most Hight in the beauty of holiness.

3 The voice of God is upon the waters;

the God of glory thunders; *

God is upon the mighty waters.

4 The voice of God is a powerful voice; *

the voice of God is a voice of splendor.

5 The voice of God breaks the cedar trees; *

God breaks the cedars of Lebanon;

6 God makes Lebanon skip like a calf, *

and Mount Hermon like a young wild ox.

7 The voice of God splits the flames of fire;

the voice of God shakes the wilderness; *

God shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

8 The voice of God makes the oak trees writhe *

and strips the forests bare.

9 And in the temple of the Holy One *

all are crying, “Glory!”

10 God sits enthroned above the flood; *

enthroned as Sovereign for evermore.

11 God shall give strength to the people; *

God shall give the people the blessing of peace.

 

The New Testament – Acts 8:14-17

 

When the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit (for as yet the Spirit had not come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus). Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

 

The Gospel – Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

 

As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

 

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

Through Water and Fire

January 10, 2016:

Preached by The Rev. L. Wm. Countryman from the pulpit at Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd on the Second Sunday after the Epiphany.

Year C:  Isaiah 43:1-7; Psalm 29; Acts 8:14-17; Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

 

 

Water:  it’s never been quite so much on my mind as it has lately. Even though I don’t like gray days, I rejoice to see rain falling here; and even though I’m not interested in skiing, I rejoice to hear of snow in the Sierra. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that.

Water is essential to life—something I’m reminded of even in the science news. Astronomers have been talking about it a lot over the last year because nobody has quite managed to explain why Earth has so much of it or where it came from. But, then again, they’ve turned up signs that there’s still liquid water on Mars, which pumps up people’s curiosity about life there.

Here at home, of course, all of us in California have been feeling the pinch of drought this past year. And, in that, we have a lot of company the world over. The drought in Australia, the African Sahel, and the Near East is much graver at this point than ours. Some people suggest that it’s a contributing factor in the political and religious conflicts in Africa and the Near East. It’s certainly causing some conflicts in California politics just now.

But the drought has made us particularly grateful for the recent rains. I’ve been totaling up the water in the rain gauge, breathing a sigh of relief with every additional tenth of an inch. At moments like these, it becomes difficult to think of water as just a given, something we don’t have to think about.

 

Rain in dry times gives a boost to everyone’s spirits. Even the most confirmed non-believer can be excused for feeling some sense of thankfulness—to the creation at large if not to the Creator. For those of us who know our lives to be touched by God in a great variety of ways, water reveals itself as something holy. I’ve often sensed the presence of God in a particular way where we find water in the desert, in the occasional pool fed by an aquifer, in a spring-fed creek, or in a great river like the Virgin at Zion Canyon. There, you get unmistakable evidence of the life-giving power of water.

But there’s another side to water, of course. Even as we welcome this year’s rains, we’re being warned about the danger of flooding. I haven’t heard of any significant instances of it yet, but we know it’s possible—probable, in fact, if we get too much rain in too short a time.

So this element that’s basic to our life can also threaten it at times. I think again of water in the desert, where storms far upstream can unleash terrible flash floods without much warning.

 

Our Psalmist today must have seen storms like that. Where else would such vivid description of their power come from?

3 The voice of God is upon the waters;

the God of glory thunders; *

God is upon the mighty waters.

4 The voice of God is a powerful voice; *

the voice of God is a voice of splendor.

5 The voice of God breaks the cedar trees; *

God breaks the cedars of Lebanon.

7 The voice of God splits the flames of fire;

the voice of God shakes the wilderness;

(trans. from the St. Helena Psalter)

We live in a world both generous and dangerous. And the Psalmist tells us that the God who made this world is both generous and dangerous.

We know this, of course, though at times we try to forget it. And then, in one way or another we get brought up against the fragility of human life and we learn all over again that God is not a sort of gauzy character out of a fairy tale with a wand, scattering fairy dust and making everything right. No, God is someone much bigger, much more loving—and also much tougher than that.

 

But if our Psalmist warns us of the danger, Isaiah, in our first reading this morning, reminds us of the love and care exercised on us by this mighty God:

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;

when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,

and the flame shall not consume you. (43:2, NRSV)

God promises to pass through the storm—the floodwaters and the lightning—with us

Hmmm—passing through water. That’s exactly what John the Baptist offered people in his ministry, isn’t it? He gave them a chance to be immersed in this life-giving and life-threatening element. People walked into the water with him in the hope that they would emerge with a new confidence in God. In the sacrament of water, they faced up to both the wonder and the danger of life. And they found it gave them strength. Embracing the fear and the hope together gave them a new sense of God’s power and God’s goodness at work in their lives.

Lots of people were showing up for that:  people who felt insecure in their world, uncertain of their God, unsatisfied with their lives, burdened by their failures and inadequacies, hoping for a new beginning and prepared to put some effort and energy into it. It was a mass movement and, unlike some recent popular movements we could name—political, social, religious—it seems to have had a thoroughly beneficent effect. People began to live more honestly, more generously—began to take care of one another and recreate genuine human community among themselves.

 

And then Jesus shows up to be baptized. John, you may recall, was Jesus’ cousin. And I always wonder about that. Sometimes close relatives work together well, and other times we have trouble taking each other seriously. In this case, John took some persuading, but finally agreed to baptize Jesus.

“And,” you might say, “so what?” Isn’t that just what John did, what John’s ministry was about? Yes. But there’s more. The real “so what” becomes evident only in the moment of vision that follows, when the voice from heaven says, “You are my Son, the Beloved.”

In this moment, God’s promise in Isaiah becomes realized quite literally:

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;

when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,

and the flame shall not consume you.

The flood, the lightning—it isn’t just we who pass through the waters of life and death. God passes through them alongside us. God takes the risk, God dares to experience this creation the same way we do.

“God sits enthroned over the flood,” we said in our Psalm. Yes. And God also wades through it alongside us. And recognizing this grants us the power to live lives of hope and energy even in a world that encompasses so much danger as well as so much blessing.

Announcements for the Week of October 25-31, 2015

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Twenty-Second Sunday After Pentecost

Proper 25/Year B/Daily Office Year 1

 

Preaching  and Presiding Today is The Rev. Dr. L. Wm. Countryman

The Texts This Week:

Track 1
Job 42:1-6, 10-17
Psalm 34:1-8, (19-22)
Hebrews 7:23-28
Mark 10:46-52

 

Note:  Clicking on the link will bring you to The Lectionary Page and the full text of the day’s readings.

 

Please pray for:  Susan Bergmans, Cynthia Morse, The family of Andrea Thompson, Alicia Carter recovering from  knee surgery, and we give thanks for the birth of Oliver Emerson West, grandson of Jenny Moss and Ken Letsch.

This quarter’s thank offering recipient is Bread for the World, a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad. Moved by God’s grace in Jesus Christ, we advocate for a world without hunger.  For more information about Bread, see Ellen.

TODAY – SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2015:

 

BREAD FOR THE WORLD:   You can still make an offering of food this week.  A basket will be available for collect dry and canned goods, which we will donate to Good Shepherd’s Pantry, Pan de Cielo, our meal program on Fridays, and the Sandwich Ministry.

 

OUR THANKS TO KYLE SESSIONS for his musical ministry while Randy is away the next two weeks.

 

THE CONFIRMATION CLASS will resume on November 1, 2015 with Bill Countryman’s First Sunday Bible Class, followed by the first meeting of the confirmands and receptees to get to know one another and talk about the process.  Please plan to stay until 3:00 p.m.

Bill Countryman’s Scripture Class continues on Sunday, November 1st. We’ll be beginning a series on “The Psalms: Then and Now”—a look at these great hymns and poems both in terms of their origins and the ways we continue to use them and find meaning in them today. Bring your Bible—or use one of those available at the class.

ALL SOULS/ALL SAINTS COMMEMORATION, NOVEMBER 1, 2015, 11:00 a.m.  Join us as we remember our faithful departed.  An ofrenda will be set up in the church upon which you may share photographs and mementos of your departed loved ones.  Those who wish may have their loved ones’ names read out during the service.  Please contact Este to have your names added to the service.

CASSEROLES WITH CARE: Our parishioner, Alicia Carter, continues to rest after her surgery.  If you would like to bring a homemade casserole or meal, please see Ellen for details and how to sign up.

 

CHROMATICA’S FALL CONCERT SERIES begins next Sunday, November 1, 2015.  Our very own Judey Miller is a member of this choir.  This year, Chromatica presents Women Composers from the 12th to 21st centuries from Hildegard von Bingen to Larsen, McDowall and Garrop.  Judey will have a limited number of tickets for sale.  A flyer with the series’ information is available.

 

YOGA CLASSES continue this Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. in the church.  The class will be led by our intern neighbor, Em Kianka.

 

MEDITATION CLASS continues this Monday night. Join us for Buddhist Meditation lead by Ernest Isaacs, MFT.  Dr. Isaacs has been practicing Buddhist meditation since 1977 and has led meditation classes for 25 years.    The class starts at 7:30 p.m. in the church.

 

OUR VICAR, ESTE, will be gone October 19-31.  The Rev. Javier Torres will be available for pastoral emergencies and can be reached at 510 230-7514.  Ellen will be available in the evenings by phone at (510) 847-5064.

 

OUR DEACON, ELLEN, will be gone during the month of November and will return to her pastoral and liturgical ministries on December 6, 2015.

 

ONGOING SERVICES

 

WEDNESDAY NOON PRAYER AND LAYING ON OF HANDS. The service begins at noon in the church and uses the noon prayer service from the New Zealand Prayer Book.  Meditation and laying on of hands for healing are also offered.

 

BRINGING THE EUCHARIST TO OUR NEIGHBORS.  Join us as we bring the Eucharist to Strawberry Creek Lodge at 2:00 p.m. on the first Sunday of the month.  The Rev. Teddy Knight, Tom Slocumb and The Rev. Susan Bergmans will officiate at an ecumenical service based on the BCP “Communion Under Special Circumstances.”  Bread and wine will be consecrated at our table at the 11:00 a.m. service, and the ministers will be commissioned to bring the sacraments.  The Strawberry Creek Lodge is located at  1320 Addison near Acton in Berkeley.

Sermon Preached by The Rev. Este Gardner Cantor, September 6, 2015

The last thing I read on my sabbatical was “Between the World and Me” by the amazing author and journalist, Ta-Nehisi Coates, who grew up on the mean streets of Baltimore, the son of a Black Panther party leader. It a striking book about being a black man in America, in the form of a letter to his 15-year-old son.

Ta-Nehisi Coates refers often to “people who believe they are white.” This is a phrase he borrowed from James Baldwin, who used this term in his book, “Being White and Other Lies.

Believing you are white in this context has nothing to do with the illusory concept of “race.” It has to do with what you believe you are entitled to. It has to do with societally sanctioned power and oppression.

As I read the book my belief that race is a social construct, and not a physical fact was confirmed for me. Ta-Nehisi Coates says, early in the book, “Americans believe in the reality of “race” as a defined, indubitable feature of the natural world. Racism- the need to ascribe bone-deep features to people and then humiliate, reduce, and destroy them- inevitably follows from this unalterable condition. In this way, racism is rendered as the innocent daughter of Mother Nature, and one is left to deplore the Middle Passage or the Trail of Tears the way one deplores an earthquake or a tornado…”

It is interesting that Coates departs from his religious forbearers in the Civil Rights struggle. A college friend of his died at the hands of police, as so many have, and it radicalized Coates. He urges his son to protect his body- not to be overly concerned with his soul. He decries the concept of non-violent resistance, because of the devastation he sees of the bodies of black people. He identifies himself unequivocally as an atheist, and he says that for him, spirit and flesh are the same thing. It made me think that he would make a very interesting Christian, as he is so very incarnational in his thinking.

Our gospel story today, surprisingly, is about discrimination- you could even say it is about racism. But it is also about transformation. Jesus, in the beginning of our story, believes that he is white. He vehemently describes the Syrophoenician woman as one not of his tribe, and therefore a second class citizen- not deserving of the “bread” that is due his own children.

In the very similar story in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus explains that he was sent only for the lost sheep of Israel. Calling the Syrophoenecian woman a dog (although the Greek word here is softer- more like “puppy”) was a racial epithet, and was intended to put her in her place. But the Syrophoenician woman was not about to be put off. She incorporates his slur into a verbal judo move that any rabbi would admire. Claiming the title of “dog,” agreeing with the primacy of his children, still she says, with great humility and respect, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” She gets her dearest wish- her daughter is healed.

It is not entirely clear why Jesus grants her wish. In the story in Matthew it is because of her “great faith.” He grants her wish even though he has just told her that he was sent only for his own tribe. I think that Jesus came to realize that he was not only sent for the lost sheep of Israel. Perhaps she taught him that. He may even have stopped altogether believing that he was white, just as he begs us all to do.

Ta-Nehisi Coates gives us a chilling analogy to the use and abuse of black bodies. He points out that when the oppressing class could no longer plunder black bodies for profit, it began to plunder the black body of the earth, stripping it of its life blood and drawing the very air from it’s lungs, causing a fever to rage. It is a sad fact that when we suffer the effects of global warming, or “calentamiento global” as they call it in Guatemala where they know all about it, it is always the oppressed people who suffer.

While I was in Guatemala this summer, I visited an Episcopal church where my friend and colleague the Rev. Phyllis Manoogian was assisting for a year. This church is in a wild and wonderful pueblo in which I was the only person in the whole town who believed she was white. The congregation of the church was a group of Mayan families who had been evangelized by Fr. Salanic, and they were extremely kind and welcoming. After the service Fr. Salanac offered to drive me home. They dropped me off, as it happened, near the most expensive hotel in Antigua. This was an exquisite place, carved out of the 17th century ruins of a monastery. There is a museum and incredible sculptures there, and it was the one place I hadn’t managed to visit yet.

Of course I wasn’t staying in that hotel, but I sailed past the armed guards at the gate, floating on the belief in my whiteness like I was clutching Dumbo’s feather. I was very aware that none of my dear fellow passengers could have entered so easily. I was back with the gringos- or maybe we who thought we were gringos.

Later in my sabbatical, I experienced a loss of white privilege in one of the only ways a person like me can. I became disabled. Although only slightly, and thank God temporarily. I had been in a kind of ecstatic dream of whiteness, on the second trip of my sabbatical, in Ireland with my daughter, skipping across wet rocks on a beautiful beach on the Northern tip of Ireland. In an instant I fell, broke my wrist, and suddenly the world’s systems were no longer arranged for my convenience. Everything was hard. People looked at me differently. Their eyes would move from my cast to my face, trying to figure out my story. I almost immediately internalized the shame, cursing myself for my clumsiness and slowness. Several people asked if alcohol had been involved in the accident. A drunken Irishman in a pub swore that he would fight the man who did this to me. Many assumptions were made. I turned the accident over in my mind obsessively: Was God trying to teach me something? Were malevolent Irish Sea sprites involved? Was this a necessary cosmic adjustment, since I had been at an apex of such joy? The underlying question, I later realized was, how could this happen to me, in all my privilege, in all my whiteness?

We who believe we are white are so used to being privileged that it is difficult sometimes even to perceive it. Even couldn’t see it either. At first. But then God sent him the Syrophoenician woman.

We have all been deaf to her cries. We have all had an impediment in our speech, keeping us from receiving her. But with the grace of God, our hearts and our ears and our eyes might be opened to her, and to all our sisters and brothers whose cries just might transform us.

Amen

Announcements for the Week of October 18-24, 2015

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Twenty-First Sunday After Pentecost

Proper 24/Year B/Daily Office Year 1

 

Preaching  Today is The Rev.  William E. Trego

Presiding Today is The Rev. Este Gardner Cantor

The Texts This Week:

Track 1
Job 38:1-7, (34-41)
Psalm 104:1-9, 25, 37b
Hebrews 5:1-10
Mark 10:35-45

 

Note:  Clicking on the link will bring you to The Lectionary Page and the full text of the day’s readings.

 

Please pray for:  Susan Bergmans, Cynthia Morse, The family of Andrea Thompson, Alicia Carter recovering from  knee surgery, and Robbie Ekstrom-Johnson, sister of Ellen, recovering from surgery.

This quarter’s thank offering recipient is Bread for the World, a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad. Moved by God’s grace in Jesus Christ, we advocate for a world without hunger.  For more information about Bread, see Ellen.

 

TODAY – SUNDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2015:

 

NEWCOMERS’ TEA AFTER THE SERVICE TODAY:  Join us for tea after coffee hour if you are a newcomer, long-time parishioner, or would like to catch up with our parish community and get to know the new people in church.  Tea treats will not be turned away!

 

BREAD FOR THE WORD SUNDAY:  October 18, 2015 is the national observance of Bread for the World Sunday, a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decisions makers to end hunger at home and abroad. Moved by God’s grace in Jesus Christ, we advocate for a world without hunger.  Materials about Bread’s work will be available.  A basket will be available for collect dry and canned goods, which we will donate to Good Shepherd’s pantry and Pan de Cielo, our meal program on Fridays and the Sandwich Ministry.

THE CONFIRMATION CLASS will resume on November 1, 2015 with Bill Countryman’s First Sunday Bible Class, followed by the first meeting of the confirmands and receptees to get to know one another and talk about the process.  Please plan to stay until 3:00 p.m.

 

CASSEROLES WITH CARE: Our parishioner, Alicia Carter, continues to rest after her surgery.  If you would like to bring a homemade casserole or meal, please see Ellen for details and how to sign up.

 

YOGA CLASSES continue this Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. in the church.  The class will be led by our intern neighbor, Em Kianka.

 

MEDITATION CLASS continues this Monday night. Join us for Buddhist Meditation lead by Ernest Isaacs, MFT.  Dr. Isaacs has been practicing Buddhist meditation since 1977 and has led meditation classes for 25 years.    The class starts at 7:30 p.m. in the church.

 

OUR VICAR, ESTE, will be gone October 19-31.  The Rev. Javier Torres will be available for pastoral emergencies and can be reached at 510 230-7514.  Ellen will be available in the evenings by phone at (510) 847-5064.

 

A CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TO GUN VIOLENCE.  If you weren’t able to participate the first offering of this seminar, you can do so on October 25, 2015 at Noon.  St. Paul’s, Oakland, and the Diocesan Peace, Justice & Hunger Commission is hosting a showing of the course “A Christian Response to Gun Violence” in the St. Paul’s, Oakland, Chapter Room. This is a 45 minute video course taught by Eugene Taylor Sutton, Episcopal bishop of Maryland and Ian Douglas, Episcopal bishop of Connecticut. St. Paul’s Oakland is located at 114 Montecito, Oakland. Please contact Paula Hawthorn paula.hawthorn@gmail.com 510-601-8388 for information.

 

ONGOING SERVICES

 

WEDNESDAY NOON PRAYER AND LAYING ON OF HANDS. The service begins at noon in the church and uses the noon prayer service from the New Zealand Prayer Book.  Meditation and laying on of hands for healing are also offered.

 

BRINGING THE EUCHARIST TO OUR NEIGHBORS.  Join us as we bring the Eucharist to Strawberry Creek Lodge at 2:00 p.m. on the first Sunday of the month.  The Rev. Teddy Knight, Tom Slocumb and The Rev. Susan Bergmans will officiate at an ecumenical service based on the BCP “Communion Under Special Circumstances.”  Bread and wine will be consecrated at our table at the 11:00 a.m. service, and the ministers will be commissioned to bring the sacraments.  The Strawberry Creek Lodge is located at  1320 Addison near Acton in Berkeley.

Announcements for the Week of October 18-24

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Twenty-First Sunday After Pentecost

Proper 24/Year B/Daily Office Year 1

 

Preaching  Today is The Rev. William E. Trego

Presiding Today is The Rev. Este Gardner Cantor

The Texts This Week:

Track 1
Job 38:1-7, (34-41)
Psalm 104:1-9, 25, 37b
Hebrews 5:1-10
Mark 10:35-45

 

Note:  Clicking on the link will bring you to The Lectionary Page and the full text of the day’s readings.

 

Please pray for:  Susan Bergmans, Cynthia Morse, The family of Andrea Thompson, Alicia Carter recovering from  knee surgery, and Robbie Ekstrom-Johnson, sister of Ellen, recovering from surgery.

This quarter’s thank offering recipient is Bread for the World, a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad. Moved by God’s grace in Jesus Christ, we advocate for a world without hunger.  For more information about Bread, see Ellen.

 

TODAY – SUNDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2015:

 

NEWCOMERS’ TEA AFTER THE SERVICE TODAY:  Join us for tea after coffee hour if you are a newcomer, long-time parishioner, or would like to catch up with our parish community and get to know the new people in church.  Tea treats will not be turned away!

BREAD FOR THE WORD SUNDAY:  October 18, 2015 is the national observance of Bread for the World Sunday, a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decisions makers to end hunger at home and abroad. Moved by God’s grace in Jesus Christ, we advocate for a world without hunger.  Materials about Bread’s work will be available.  A basket will be available for collect dry and canned goods, which we will donate to Good Shepherd’s pantry and Pan de Cielo, our meal program on Fridays and the Sandwich Ministry.

THE CONFIRMATION CLASS will resume on November 1, 2015 with Bill Countryman’s First Sunday Bible Class, followed by the first meeting of the confirmands and receptees to get to know one another and talk about the process.  Please plan to stay until 3:00 p.m.

 

CASSEROLES WITH CARE: Our parishioner, Alicia Carter, continues to rest after her surgery.  If you would like to bring a homemade casserole or meal, please see Ellen for details and how to sign up.

 

YOGA CLASSES continue this Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. in the church.  The class will be led by our intern neighbor, Em Kianka.

 

MEDITATION CLASS continues this Monday night. Join us for Buddhist Meditation lead by Ernest Isaacs, MFT.  Dr. Isaacs has been practicing Buddhist meditation since 1977 and has led meditation classes for 25 years.    The class starts at 7:30 p.m. in the church.

 

OUR VICAR, ESTE, will be gone October 19-31.  The Rev. Javier Torres will be available for pastoral emergencies and can be reached at 510 230-7514.  Ellen will be available in the evenings by phone at (510) 847-5064.

 

A CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TO GUN VIOLENCE.  If you weren’t able to participate the first offering of this seminar, you can do so on October 25, 2015 at Noon.  St. Paul’s, Oakland, and the Diocesan Peace, Justice & Hunger Commission is hosting a showing of the course “A Christian Response to Gun Violence” in the St. Paul’s, Oakland, Chapter Room. This is a 45 minute video course taught by Eugene Taylor Sutton, Episcopal bishop of Maryland and Ian Douglas, Episcopal bishop of Connecticut. St. Paul’s Oakland is located at 114 Montecito, Oakland. Please contact Paula Hawthorn paula.hawthorn@gmail.com 510-601-8388 for information.

 

ONGOING SERVICES

 

WEDNESDAY NOON PRAYER AND LAYING ON OF HANDS. The service begins at noon in the church and uses the noon prayer service from the New Zealand Prayer Book.  Meditation and laying on of hands for healing are also offered.

 

BRINGING THE EUCHARIST TO OUR NEIGHBORS.  Join us as we bring the Eucharist to Strawberry Creek Lodge at 2:00 p.m. on the first Sunday of the month.  The Rev. Teddy Knight, Tom Slocumb and The Rev. Susan Bergmans will officiate at an ecumenical service based on the BCP “Communion Under Special Circumstances.”  Bread and wine will be consecrated at our table at the 11:00 a.m. service, and the ministers will be commissioned to bring the sacraments.  The Strawberry Creek Lodge is located at  1320 Addison near Acton in Berkeley.

 

Announcements for the Week of October 11-17, 2015

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost

Proper 23/Year B/Daily Office Year 1

 

Preaching  Today is The Rev. Dr. Jay Emerson Johnson

Presiding Today is The Rev. Este Gardner Cantor

The Texts This Week:

Amos 5:6-7, 10-15
Psalm 90:12-17
Hebrews 4:12-16
Mark 10:17-31

 

Note:  Clicking on the link will bring you to The Lectionary Page and the full text of the day’s readings.

 

Please pray for:  Susan Bergmans, Cynthia Morse, The family of Andrea Thompson, Alicia Carter recovering from  knee surgery.

This quarter’s thank offering recipient is Bread for the World, a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad. Moved by God’s grace in Jesus Christ, we advocate for a world without hunger.  For more information about Bread, see Ellen.

 

TODAY – SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2015:

 

THE CONFIRMATION CLASS will resume on November 1, 2015 with Bill Countryman’s First Sunday Bible Class, followed by the first meeting of the confirmands and receptors to get to know one another and talk about the process.  Please plan to stay until 3:00 p.m.

 

YOGA CLASSES begin this Wednesday evening, October 14, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. in the church.  The class will be led by our intern neighbor, Em Kianka.

 

MEDITATION CLASS continues this Monday night. Join us for Buddhist Meditation lead by Ernest Isaacs, MFT.  Dr. Isaacs has been practicing Buddhist meditation since 1977 and has led meditation classes for 25 years.    The class starts at 7:30 p.m. in the church.

 

NEWCOMERS’ TEA, OCTOBER 18, 2015:  Join us for tea after the coffee hour on October 18, 2015, if you are a newcomer, long-time parishioner, or would like to catch up with our parish community and get to know the new people in church.  Tea treats will not be turned away!

 

BREAD FOR THE WORD SUNDAY:  October 18, 2015 is the national observance of Bread for the World Sunday, a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decisions makers to end hunger at home and abroad. Moved by God’s grace in Jesus Christ, we advocate for a world without hunger.  Materials about Bread’s work will be available.  A basket will be available for collect dry and canned goods, which we will donate to Good Shepherd’s pantry and Pan de Cielo, our meal program on Fridays and the Sandwich Ministry.

 

OUR VICAR, ESTE, will be gone October 19-31.  Ellen will be available for pastoral calls and/or emergencies.

 

ONGOING SERVICES

 

WEDNESDAY NOON PRAYER AND LAYING ON OF HANDS. The service begins at noon in the church and uses the noon prayer service from the New Zealand Prayer Book.  Meditation and laying on of hands for healing are also offered.

 

BRINGING THE EUCHARIST TO OUR NEIGHBORS.  Join us as we bring the Eucharist to Strawberry Creek Lodge at 2:00 p.m. on the first Sunday of the month.  The Rev. Teddy Knight, Tom Slocumb and The Rev. Susan Bergmans will officiate at an ecumenical service based on the BCP “Communion Under Special Circumstances.”  Bread and wine will be consecrated at our table at the 11:00 a.m. service, and the ministers will be commissioned to bring the sacraments.  The Strawberry Creek Lodge is located at  1320 Addison near Acton in Berkeley.

 

Sermon Preached by The Rev. Este Gardner Cantor, October 4, 2015

Welcome to all creatures- two legged and otherwise. This is one of my favorite feasts of the year- the feast of the gentle, humble, holy and alarmingly  unbalanced Francis of Assisi. Francis had an early revelation about his relationship with nature. He alone among theologians took seriously Jesus’ commission to his disciple in the Gospel of Mark: “”Go into the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”

And so, famously, Frances preached, to begin with, to the birds. According to one of his brothers in community Thomas of Celano, he once noticed a large flock near the beautiful Spoleto Valley. As he approached them they did not fly away, but seemed to listen intently. He told them always to praise God, who had given them beautiful feathers, sweet voices and the pure holy air to fly in. They stayed put for the whole sermon. Later, Francis wondered aloud to his companions why he had never preached to birds before. And from that day on, Francis made it his habit to solicitously invoke all birds, all animals and reptiles to praise and love their Creator.

In our day, Francis is still famous for his love of animals. But this was only one of the remarkable ministries of Francis of Asissi. A much less popular pass time of his was to take care of, and even eat with the most lowly and rejected of creation- the lepers who lived in a colony not far away. Some think that the stigmata that appreared on Francis’ hands and feet were the marks of leprosy- he took care to personally wash the wounds of the afflicted. He was really saintly in this regard. He really did care for al of creation.

Our Beautiful letter to the Hebrews points out that God entrusted creation, not to the angels, but to mere mortals. In astonishment the author asks of God:

“What are human beings that you are mindful of them,

or mortals, that you care for them?

You have made them for a little while lower than the angels;

you have crowned them with glory and honor,

subjecting all things under their feet.”

Yes, we do seem to have been given an opportunity for stewardship of this glorious creation. And I am proud of my flock here, be cause we rank pretty high in care of creation. We are really goodat  recycling in fact we have a recycling tsarina in Paula White, we have a large organic garden, reducing the carbon footprint for the food we serve, and we follow the commandment “Thou shalt not write the great American novel for your bulletin evey Sunday, but rather thou shalt reuse the perfectly good bulletins you have and maketh only email announcements rather than printed ones.

But as a rule, unfortunately humanity has not taken good care of creation. Instead of nurturing it, caring for it, co-creating with it, we have managed to do exactly what Jesus begs us not to. We have divorced ourselves from nature. We have taken too literally the words in the letter to the Hebrews, believing that we are crowned with honor in order to subject everything under our feet. This has not gone well, this great divorce.

In 1969, at the Montreal Bed-in for peace, with John Lennon, Yoko Ono was being savagely pummeled with sexist and racist insults by the cartoonist Al Capp.It was captured on film, and it is hair-raising.  She listened patiently and then said, “We are all married to each other.” In response to his professed hatred of her. Of course he objected vociferously, but I thought, yes. She is right. We are all on this planet, married to each other and to the earth and all creation. But because of our hardness of heart, we have divorced ourselves from creation, although we are one flesh.

Yoko Ono, ahead of her time in all things, anticipated the sentiments of first Earth Day in 1970 by more than a year. On that Earth Day, “ecology” became a hot topic- the concept that, basically, we are all married to one another. The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970 sparked huge changes. I remember- EVERYONE participated- Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. People were wearimg IUD earrings and talking of solar power and electric cars. It may have seemed like a massive pre-woodstock festival, but his first Earth Day led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

Earth Day has continued in various forms, drawing support and encouraging world-wide cooperation in the care of creation.

Most astonishing in our own time, Pope Francis has jumped into the fray, preaching to congress and all creation. He seems to agree that subjecting creation under our feet is a misreading of God’s word. Pope Francis- the other Francis says:

“Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude.” If Pope Francis is for us, who can be against us? Now if he would only endorse birth control he would solve the problem entirely for future generations! Don’t hold your breath.

We have seen the incredible power of acts by ordinary and not so ordinary people, who, like Francis of Assisi, see God in nature, see themselves in nature, see all nature as part of the human family. We should have great hope because of what those ordinary and extraordinary people have done.

We here at Good Shepherd church are also a family, and of course we are all extraordinary. We have met the need again and again to nurture, care for and love each other and all creation.

We are on our own here, just like that small fragile green planet, and we have to support the church ourselves- provide energy and resources and give of ourselves. We have been going strong for 137 years, and it seems that the Holy Spirit wants us to continue. Please prayerfully consider what you can do to nurture this little corner of creation, which does so much for God’s people.

 

Announcements for the Week of October 4-10, 2015

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Proper 22/Year B/Daily Office Year 1

The Feast of St. Francis /Blessings of Animals

Preaching  and PresidingToday is The Rev. Este Gardner Cantor

 

The Texts This Week:

Genesis 2:18-24 + Canticle of the Creatures + Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12 + Mark 10:2-16

Please pray for:  Susan Bergmans, Cynthia Morse, The family of Andrea Thompson, Alicia Carter recovering from  knee surgery.

This quarter’s thank offering recipient is Bread for the World, a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decisions makers to end hunger at home and abroad. Moved by God’s grace in Jesus Christ, we advocate for a world without hunger.  For more information about Bread, see Ellen.

TODAY – SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2015:

TODAY IS THE FEAST OF ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI, one of Christianity’s most famous and beloved Saints.  To honor the ministry and life of St. Francis, we bless animals, whether real or virtual, at the 11:00 a.m. service.  Our psalm this morning will be Francis’ “Canticle of the Creatures.” Bring your pet, whether in the flesh, in a photograph or a soft toy replica.

FIRST SUNDAY BIBLE STUDY WITH BILL COUNTRYMAN resumes TODAY after coffee hour.  Join Bill in the Sisson Salon for a discussion of The Gospel of Mark.  All are welcome and Bibles will be provided.

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN BAPTISM, CONFIRMATION OR RECEPTION?  Please speak with Este about our Confirmation Class to prepare for confirmation, reaffirmation and reception at Grace Cathedral in November.  Classes begin today with Bill Countryman’s class after coffee hour in the Sisson Salon and more classes will continue through October.

YOGA CLASSES TO BE OFFERED ON WEDNESDAY NIGHTS, beginning October 14, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. in the church.  The class will be led by our intern neighbor, Em Kianka.

UPDATE ON ALICIA CARTER: Alicia continues to improve. She thanks everyone for their prayers and asks that we continue to hold her up.  A calendar of tasks and needs has been set up for Alicia by her daughter, Jonna Carter Fonda.  If you would like to bring a homemade casserole or meal, please see Este or Ellen for details and how to sign up.

MEDITATION CLASS ON MONDAY NIGHTS. Join us for Buddhist Meditation lead by Ernest Isaacs, MFT.  Dr. Isaacs has been practicing Buddhist meditation since 1977 and has led meditation classes for 25 years.    The class will be free of charge and begin on October 5, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. in the church.

CLEAN UP ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3:  We need volunteers to help us clean out the rear storage room in the parish hall on Saturday, October 3, 2015, at 1:00 p.m.  Please come and help!

SAVE THE DATE!  NEWCOMERS’ TEA, OCTOBER 18, 2015:  Join us for tea after the coffee hour on October 18, 2015, if you are a newcomer, long-time parishioner, or would like to catch up with our parish community and get to know the new people in church.  Tea treats will not be turned away!

ONGOING SERVICES

WEDNESDAY NOON PRAYER AND LAYING ON OF HANDS. The service begins at noon in the church and uses the noon prayer service from the New Zealand Prayer Book.  Meditation and laying on of hands for healing are also offered.

BRINGING THE EUCHARIST TO OUR NEIGHBORS.  Join us as we bring the Eucharist to Strawberry Creek Lodge at 2:00 p.m. on the first Sunday of the month.  The Rev. Teddy Knight, Tom Slocumb and The Rev. Susan Bergmans will officiate at an ecumenical service based on the BCP “Communion Under Special Circumstances.”  Bread and wine will be consecrated at our table at the 11:00 a.m. service, and the ministers will be commissioned to bring the sacraments.  The Strawberry Creek Lodge is located at  1320 Addison near Acton in Berkeley.