THE BEACON: Celebrating Our First 150 Years...And Igniting The Future"This is the Lord's Table, it's closer than ever and ALL are Welcome!"
IGNITING THE WEEKEND!!! -- Next to our family, nothing is more important to us than the Community of THE Church of Our Saviour. Next to our family, nothing gives us more joy than the Community of THE Church of Our Saviour. This weekend it was COS's turn to add dimensions to our Journey which are not available to us anywhere else, with every single Outreach Ministry "igniting" at once. Read what we experienced chronologically and hopefully you will be as proud, as thankful as we are!
SAT. @ 10:00AM: LI TIM-OI CENTER ALIVE & REALLY WELL -- COS was privilged to host a most amazing individual, Dr. James He Qi, Artist in Residence at the Claremont School of Theology. Dr. He Qi, like Fr. Thomas Ni, is a unique presence in So Cal. He is first among Mainland Chinese to earn a Ph.D. (1992) in Religious Art after the Revolution, and his area of focus is Religious Art Theory & Christian Creation as it relates Christian Art in China. In addition, he is an accomplished artist in his own right and is recognized around the world for his interpretations of Bible stories in his own unique style.
What was fascinating about his presentation is how interestingly he incorporated his experiences growing up in the Cultural Revolution with his development as an artist AND eventually his recognition as one of the most prominent experts in the history of Christian art in China. Our take-away, after listening to Dr. He Qi, aside from being exposed to beautiful art, is that So Cal in general and COS in particular are fortunate, so blessed, to have folks with such reputations in the Chinese world available to us. By the way, Dr. He Qi's reputation brought Suffragan Bishop Diane Bruce and her husband all the way from southern Orange County. As many of you know, Bp. Diane has been a steadfast supporter of the Li Tim-Oi Center and the incredible work of Rev. Ada.
SAT. @ 6:00PM: TRANSITIONAL HOUSING MONTHLY DINNER FOR RESIDENTS, ALUMNI & THEIR FAMILIES -- The Monthly Dinner is one of a number of events which Deacon Bill Doulos and his Board sponsors for the Transitional Housing residents and alumni over the year in Cleaver Hall. Food is always provided by one or several of the residents who are working or training in the food industry. It is always a celebratory event energized by a number of children usually in attendance, AND there is a totally chaotic raffle featuring some of the most worthless items imaginable. However, this month's Meeting was particularly moving because it also served as a place to remember House Manager Jim Martin who recently passed away suddenly. Every House Manager spoke and of course Deacon Bill remembered their long relationship working together to assist others in achieving and maintaining sobriety. What an incredibly RELEVANT Outreach Ministry COS is providing to the Community!!!
SUN. @ 8:00AM: THE REV. CANON FUAD DAGHER -- We knew Sunday was Thanksgiving Sunday in the Holy Land for the Palestinian Christian Community. Unlike churches in the U.S. there is no Stewardship Season in the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem; whatever is placed in the plates is the amount the parish has for its operating budget for the year (although the Bishop does pay the priests). So, this is a big deal, made even more so by the fact that Fr. Fuad was celebrating the completion of the final restorations to St.Paul's Church.
Not surprisingly, Bishop Suheil was in attendance to consecrate the Church, but he also had a surprise for Fr. Fuad. He announced that Fr. Fuad is appointed as the Canon for Peace & Justice and Ecumenical & Inter-Faith Reconciliation at the Cathedral of St. George in Jerusalem. This is a huge and extremely well deserved recognition of what Fr. Fuad is accomplishing in the Galilee, and we were so proud that he took the time Sunday night (his time) to call and share his great news with us. A ray in hope from the Holy Land that a person of immense faith can make a difference!!!
SUN. @ 10:00AM: THE CANTONESE CONGREGATION SAYS GOOD-BYE TO REV. ADA -- What a joyful way to say "thank you" to The Rev. Ada Wong-Nagata by the members of the Cantonese Congregation which she has shepherded over the last 7 1/2 years. The breakfast they prepared was second to none, as Fr. Gary noted; and the praise directed her way was so heart felt and well deserved. I was particularly moved by Alan Kreditor's comment. He was Senior Warden when Rev. Ada was called, and he remembered that many thought the move was "high risk". He called the move "DARING", but history shows that it was the second best addition to the staff in the 15 years Sue and I have been parishioners. Her presence will be difficult to replace, but the "Macedonian Call" to which she is responding speaks volumes about how highly regarded she is within The Episcopal Church. Yet again, THE Church of Our Saviour is contributing another outstanding person to work for the greater good. THANK YOU REV. ADA -- GO AND DO GOOD WORK!!!
WANDERING IN THE WILDERNESS 2009 - 2016 -- Further evidence that Rev. Ada is truly loved and respected by her Cantonese flock was revealed by Rev. Ada herself. Do you realize that since this Congregation has been at COS, it has been asked to worship in five different locations and to conduct its Service at six different times? True, the Campus is a small Wilderness, but how many of us would have been as flexible as they have been? THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED PRESENCE AND COMMITMENT TO THIS PARISH!
SUN. @ 10:00AM: SUPERSIZE THAT FAITH WITH HEARTFELT GRATITUDE -- October is Stewardship Season, and Fr. Gary in his Sermon challenged us to consider increasing our pledges, to consider Supersizing them. Some might think that reducing the Stewardship Message to a take off on an advertising campaign trivializes the importance of the request.
I do not!!! Here's the thing. Some years ago, during another Stewardship Season, we personally reviewed all the causes and institutions we cared about or belonged to, and none except our family was more important than THE Church of Our Saviour. So, that time we resigned from a club we did not use much and supersized our pledge by the amount of the dues.
This time around, the reason for doing so again is because, believe it or not, COS is even more important in our Journey than ever before. No where else do we find a place where we can escape from the "complete breakdown of civil discourse, of the unwillingness to yield or compromise on any point, lest the opposition to be seen to 'win'". This is a great place for the kinds of Christians we think we are to find comfort in 2016. Hence, Fr. Gary's message was an important reminder of where we were finding peace and serenity.
A LOSS OF IMMEASURABLE PROPORTIONS: GOOD-BYE GABBY SUNDARAMOORTHY AND THANK YOU -- Many years ago when Dorris Dann volunteered to head up the Outreach Ministry which became Our Saviour Center, she was aided not only by enthusiastic parishioners but also by a handful of young people whom she recruited. Most of them are still in El Monte, but Gabby who was hired 22 years ago is now moving on. She has made huge contributions to OSC over the years, most recently in overseeing the financial reporting of this increasingly complex Ministry. However, she is moving on to a terrific opportunity which is best for her and her family. I know of no other word to describe her role at OSC than irreplaceable!!! THANK YOU, and we wish you the very best in this next part of your Journey.
SUN. @ 11:30: OKTOBERFEST 2016 -- I don't know how this Annual Fund Raiser for Our Saviour Center could have been more perfect. The setting was welcoming; no beer garden could have provided more ambience. No seat was left unoccupied, the brats were delicious, the music infectious. Most importantly, none of this would been possible without the continuing support of volunteers from within and outside of the parish. OSC has been characterized as the "defining Outreach Ministry of COS", and the commitment of financial and personal resources certainly confirm this. THANK YOU TO YOU ALL AND THE STAFF.
COS IS IN GOOD HANDS AT THE DIOCESE OF LOS ANGELES ANNUAL CONVENTION -- One of the many responsibilities of the Vestry is to select Delegates to the Annual Convention. Every year this is important because this is the place where the 147 parishes and missions can express their desires by vote. As I have noted before, it also is the vehicle we use to elect our Bishop, which is going to happen this time. COS has 4 Lay Delegates this year which also requires 4 Alternates. They are Jonathan Burke, Patrick Crandall, Juli Kennedy and Robin Kassabian, backed up by Katherine Feng, Will Dumain, David Arnt and Cheryl Townsend. FYI, their task just got more challenging. A sixth candidate for Bishop Coadjutor was nominated by clergy and laity from the Diocese. He is The Rev. Canon John Taylor, Vicar of St. John Chrysostom Rancho Santa Margarita. In our opinion Canon John is a strong addition to the List. He has extensive administrative experience before being ordained and is by the far the most knowledgeable of all of the candidates about what this Diocese is all about. If you ever were going to know more about how The Episcopal Church works, this is BEST OPPORTUNITY you ever will be given. Go to Ontario on December 2 and 3 and bear witness from the Visitors' Gallery.