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September 15, 2015, 3:57 PM

From the Rector


I wonder if the congregation understands the awesome responsibility that is placed on the vestry as these men and women answer the call to work with the Rector to lead this congregation. The weariness of responding to every aspect of the needs for what is necessary for the proper functioning of the facility alone can be very tiresome, if not exasperating. Earlier this year the vestry dealt with issues of dying grass, servicing air-conditioning units, leaky pipes, unlit areas, reduced handicapped parking spaces, and various incidentals that the person in the pew could care less about.

What seem to plague the leadership most is the lack of adequate funds to carry out the work of the church. This awesome burden should not be placed solely on the Vestry. These men and women are only asked to assist and enable the Rector to lead the church, but the church is all of us who worship and claim this place as meaningful and a house of prayer for all people. The responsibility for the financial viability of the church rests on the shoulders of all participants, not just the Vestry. Struggling with decisions about keeping the cleaning staff or paying to maintain the proper standards we have come to enjoy health wise, should not be items to vacillate about; because cleanliness is next to godliness.   

The cleaning of the facility should not be left to an ad-hoc group who may be excited about this idea for a few weeks and then decide that cleaning is not for them. Or, to someone who is too busy to respond to the job; or to a volunteer who will choose what he/she wants to do and when they want to do it. The cleaning and care of the facility should be a person who is committed to cleanliness. One who can be trusted and can work together for the good and the cleanliness of the people of God: but one who has the care of the facility foremost in their mind. We already have that person.

These are areas of concern that those of us who enjoy the newness and the freshness of this clean sanctuary need to know what the Vestry struggles with, and that even when we are on vacation it is very important for our tithe and offering to continue.  Lots of the weariness associated with being a Vestry member can be mitigated if we, the people of God, would be truly obedient to what God asks of us, but until we all get there, let us who believe in the power of prayer continue to do just that; let us continue to pray.

I am yours, for the building up of God’s kingdom.

Fr. Chris 2015-08-09

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January 16, 2015, 9:08 PM

Father Chris' Corner


Cartoon creators and greeting card makers are getting cleverer with the images and words they use to bring joy and comfort to many people. They think of the psychological state of a person's mind and make sure what they are presenting to the public is a product that meets a specific mental or emotional
situation. The cognitive thinking of a sudden response to a change needs to be placated with humor, wit, and the sensitivity of the need for normal.

Once we had a flood at the house, water was gushing from everywhere. Rugs and carpets were soaked and the neighbor came over with a single 6x6 wall tile that read, "This too shall pass,  now would be a good time" that bit of wit did not stop the leak, but the timing of it showing up started the trek back to normal.

Now that we are dealing with another one of life's challenges, a couple sent us a card, it reads, "Maybe we can't stop the downpour, but we can join you for a walk in the rain." More often than not, Jesus is in the downpour, but it is the daily walks through the rain that he left for you and me. As Christians, when we are battered by the challenges of life, we find help and encouragement in the things people do. We must note that as Jesus sent his disciples out, he reminded them that he will be with them to the end of the age. The practice of us offering comfort and encouragement to one another when normal is not normal, is what Jesus asks of each one of us.

May we continue to help by reminding each other that the contours of life are not meant for a lonely journey but that we come alongside each other on the journey, because He walks with us, and talks with us, and He reminds us we are his own.

All for the building up of God's kingdom!


Fr. Chris

2015-01-25

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December 29, 2014, 3:45 PM

Father Chris' Corner


My page is to express various issues that are on my mind which are relevant to the furtherance of God's kingdom. As a matter of fact, more often than not, my writing ends with "yours for the building up of God's kingdom" I firmly believe that when things are done that are beneficial to humankind, we clearly see the hand of God guiding and shaping those things, they are pieces which help in the building up of God's kingdom. Last week, the news about the small step toward the United States normalizing relations with Cuba was a tad more than refreshing; there was effervescence about the news. This was not political, but a prophetic revelation of God for His people who are enslaved by the tyranny of absolute power and control. In 2013 several members from St. Mark's Episcopal Church visited Cuba on a short-term mission trip. Our host was the Bishop, the Right Reverend Griselda Delgado Del Carpio, and the Episcopal Church in Cuba. Our focus was on learning about the people more than doing the normal hands on 'let me help you" work. Most of us had firsthand interactions with the natives who exemplify pride in their country, but also had visions of a better life. The Bishop and her staff expressed the limitations which challenge their vision for a more significant response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But those areas of concern did not cloud the fact that they too have a deep love and pride for Cuba, and if relations with the United States were different, their work would have a broader and deeper reach for the building up of the kingdom in Cuba. I remember quite vividly a conversation with the young lady who took care of our hotel room, she said, "one day I come to America.“ From all indications, it seems as though that wish may be within her reach in the not too distant future. I do believe that all of those who went on the short term mission trip to Cuba and spoke with the people felt their sense of country and their desire for a different opportunity in life. We will continue to pray that what we read about and saw on television will soon move from an idea of two wise men, to a new way forward for the people of Cuba. I remain yours, for the building up of God's kingdom.

 

Fr. Chris

 

2014-12-28

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December 23, 2014, 12:54 PM

Message from Fr. Chris


My page is to express various issues that are on my mind which are relevant to the furtherance of God's kingdom. As a matter of fact, more often than not, my writing ends with "yours for the building up of God's kingdom" I firmly believe that when things are done that are beneficial to humankind, we clearly see the hand of God guiding and shaping those things, they are pieces which help in the building up of God's kingdom. Last week, the news about the small step toward the United States normalizing relations with Cuba was a tad more than refreshing; there was effervescence about the news. This was not political, but a prophetic revelation of God for His people who are enslaved by the tyranny of absolute power and control. In 2013 several members from St. Mark's Episcopal Church visited Cuba on a short-term mission trip. Our host was the Bishop, the Right Reverend Griselda Delgado Del Carpio, and the Episcopal Church in Cuba. Our focus was on learning about the people more than doing the normal hands on 'let me help you" work. Most of us had firsthand interactions with the natives who exemplify pride in their country, but also had visions of a better life. The Bishop and her staff expressed the limitations which challenge their vision for a more significant response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But those areas of concern did not cloud the fact that they too have a deep love and pride for Cuba, and if relations with the United States were different, their work would have a broader and deeper reach for the building up of the kingdom in Cuba. I remember quite vividly a conversation with the young lady who took care of our hotel room, she said, "one day I come to America.“ From all indications, it seems as though that wish may be within her reach in the not too distant future. I do believe that all of those who went on the short term mission trip to Cuba and spoke with the people felt their sense of country and their desire for a different opportunity in life. We will continue to pray that what we read about and saw on television will soon move from an idea of two wise men, to a new way forward for the people of Cuba. I remain yours, for the building up of God's kingdom.

Fr. Chris

12 28 2014




December 18, 2014, 9:53 PM

Fr. Chris' Christmas Message


Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Season's Greetings

I am amazed at how much time people spend discussing whether it is appropriate to greet someone at this time of year with "Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas" this is not a new topic of discussion because it surfaces in some circles every year. There is not too much said about the words “Seasons Greetings.” Those who oppose the  'happy holidays' purport that the public has crossed out Christ from Christmas and substitute that with the less specific connection to the season, with 'happy holidays.'

The scripture is what sets the tone for this season. One might readily jump to the nativity story and come away with joy for the season, but we all can find lasting joy and reflection as we read the Apostle Paul’s writings in the Book of Titus.

He said, “The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:11-14).

As a Christian and a priest in the church of God, I believe that we should embrace every opportunity to highlight the season for what it is--it is the birthday of our Lord Jesus and the spiritual depth to which that is realized is what matters about the season.

From a different standpoint, I also find it necessary to pay attention to those who take the time to say happy holidays, because we humans cannot truly extend to someone something we do not have. Happy holiday may be all someone needs to say to bring some joy to the recipient’s heart.

I must admit that the other day I was shopping at one of my favorite stores and in the card section there was a card that deeply expressed my sentiments of the Christmas spirit, but I failed to purchase it because it said, Happy Holidays.  If this season in which our God deemed it fit to become one of us to redeem us to him, I think it is fitting that every rational thinking person should be happy or merry as the case may be.

So to you and yours, I say SEASONS GREETINGS!

Fr. Chris

Christmas 2014

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