All Saints Sunday 6 November 2016 AD

Dear Readers,

 

All Saints Day is a major Feast Day in The Anglican/Episcopal Church. We celebrate this day normally as close to November 1 as possible. The Celebration of All Saints Day is meant to be near All Hallow’s Eve ( Hallowe’en), and celebrates those gone on before, the Baptized and Blessed, as the Saints they have become. The Church celebrates our past  persons of Faith .

 

Here as follows, is the excerpt from Holy Women Holy Men, on the meaning of All Saints’ Day:

 

The Liturgical Calendar: The Church Remembers

Today the church remembers All Saints.

Our English word “saint,” derived from the Latin sanctus, is used in a variety of ways. Literally it means holy, set apart for God, consecrated, or dedicated. In the New Testament, hagios, the Greek word for saint, is used to refer to all baptized Christians, many of whom were far from exemplary. Paul sometimes scolded the saints for their corrupt and decadent ways. When we use the word saint in the context of All Saints’s Day, we refer especially to those Christians who have lived such hallowed lives, yielding so fully to the Holy Spirit, showing such love for God and his human creatures, that their examples are treasured and emulated. These individuals, a few of whom are remembered in this book, are the champions of Christ and his church and the heroes of the faithful. In medieval times the Roman Catholic Church developed an elaborate system called cannonization for designating and selecting the saints. The Eastern Orthodox and Anglican Churches have been much less systematic in deciding who would be called a saint. Virtually all Christians acknowledge that it is ultimately God who decides who his holy ones are and none of our judgments or acclamations presume to make such decisions for him. Our intention is rather to share and rejoice in the knowledge of those who have done good things in his name in all times and places. Help us to take seriously our own vocation as saints, as the holy ones of God. Amen.Read the Wikipedia article here.

Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

 

Rev. Gail Bernthal shared more on All Saints Day than she did on the eschatalogical end-times dream of Daniel, or Paul’s descriptions of what it means to be a Saint, in his letter to Timothy, or the Gospel ( Luke’s rendition of the Sermon on the Mount)..

 

We at Saint John’s are eternally grateful for our priests Rev. Gail, Father Fred, Rev. Suzy and our priest-in-charge Rev.Dr. John. Our Deacon, Rev. Teri V.H.is also Supah!

If you have been concerned that the Episcopal Church is too screwed up for you to attend, think again! Please put on an open-minded perspective, come with love and a desire to seek!

We ask prayers for Vivian B, widow of our past vicar ( several priests ago ) who suffered a stroke recently. She is one of the lights of our church family. we also ask you to keep Mrs. Corky M. in your prayers and thoughts.  Pray for Standing Rock and the indigenous Family fighting off the pipeline.

One of the strongest missions of the Episcopal Church  has been our lengthy outreach to Indigenous family nationwide that started with the first Long Walk ( Cherokee, Seminole, Pawnee) in the 1840s also known as the “Trail of Tears”. The Navajo remember the Episcopal missionaries during their “Long Walk” . Let us stand United  and in Solidarity with those Families in Environmental danger, Hunger, Poverty, loss of family due to poverty, crime, addictions or substance use disorders. Today let us remember Sam Shoemaker’s poem or sonnett  “I Stand by the Door”

“I stay near the door.
I neither go too far in, nor stay too far out,
The door is the most important door in the world—
It is the door through which men walk when they find God.
There’s no use my going way inside, and staying there,
When so many are still outside, and they, as much as I,
Crave to know where the door is.
And all that so many ever find
Is only the wall where a door ought to be.
They creep along the wall like blind men.
With outstretched, groping hands,
Feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door,
Yet they never find it . . .
So I stay near the door.

“The most tremendous thing in the world
Is for men to find that door—the door to God.
The most important thing any man can do
Is to take hold of one of those blind, groping hands,
And put it on the latch—the latch that only clicks
And opens to the man’s own touch.
Men die outside that door, as starving beggars die
On cold nights in cruel cities in the dead of winter—
Die for want of what is within their grasp.
They live, on the other side of it—live because they have found it.
Nothing else matters compared to helping them find it,
And open it, and walk in, and find Him . . .
So I stay near the door.

“Go in, great saints, go all the way in—
Go way down into the cavernous cellars,
And way up into the spacious attics—
In a vast, roomy house, this house where God is.
Go into the deepest of hidden casements,
Of withdrawal, of silence, of sainthood.
Some must inhabit those inner rooms,
And know the depths and heights of God,
And call outside to the rest of us how wonderful it is.
Sometimes I take a deeper look in,
Sometimes venture a little farther;
But my place seems closer to the opening . . .
So I stay near the door.

“The people too far in do not see how near these are
To leaving—preoccupied with the wonder of it all.
Somebody must watch for those who have entered the door,
But would like to run away. So for them, too,
I stay near the door.

“I admire the people who go way in.
But I wish they would not forget how it was
Before they got in. Then they would be able to help
The people who have not even found the door,
Or the people who want to run away again from God.
You can go in too deeply, and stay in too long,
And forget the people outside the door.
As for me, I shall take my old accustomed place,
Near enough to God to hear Him, and know He is there,
But not so far from men as not to hear them,
And remember they are there too.
Where? Outside the door—
Thousands of them, millions of them.
But—more important for me—
One of them, two of them, ten of them,
Whose hands I am intended to put on the latch,
So I shall stay by the door and wait
For those who seek it.
‘I had rather be a door-keeper . . .’
So I stay near the door.”

 

Let us walk with the Saints today. The scribe also wishes to remember a priest who went to preach with the Anglican Church of North America who went out of his way to help us many times. He reassured me that I, too, am a saint. For Father Rich.

Our church family is made up of many personalities, some likable, some irascible, but all necessary. We are all members of the Body of Christ.

Peace, Hozho’, Love,

Brewster Bird

Junior Warden, Saint John’s Church

559-731-6948

looking for a choir

We at Saint John’s are looking for a few good voices to form a choir.  We need at least 4 ( two altos and two tenors) will take one of each SATB. Please attempt to read music, however ear learners and sing-alongs also welcome. Please feel free to contact me through email or telephone-559-731-6948. Practices to be determined.

The Episcopal Church has formal liturgical music as well as a versatile hymnal with all sorts of music for the church seasons. We even sometimes sing fun stuff..( smile). We supply robes  and sometimes an organist(!) a capella is fun, too!