The Beacon


"This is the Lord's Table and ALL are Welcome!"

1 INCREDIBLY CARING BISHOP + 25 COMMITTED CONFIRMANDS + 2 "CATHOLIC RECEIVABLES" = 1 FABULOUS JULY 31 SERVICE -- As Bishop Bruno would say, "I gotta tell ya", I was not looking forward to Sunday's 10:00 Confirmation Service. Boy, was I wrong! Never, ever underestimate what one caring, loving, compassionante, enthusiastic, humorous and deeply spiritual person can accomplish. The Right Reverend Diane Bruce, Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of Los Angleles, confirmed and received 27 people in the most gracious and personal and joyful way possible. If the Episcopal Presentation and Examination of 27 Candidates Service can be made enjoyable for all in attendance, then you know you have been blessed by a very special Bishop. Thank You, Bishop Diane.

Given the number of those Confirmed and Received, it is easy to under play the number of people who stepped forward last Sunday. 27! TWENTY SEVEN! This is not indicative of a denomination which is in decline. In fact, if you paid close attention not only to numbers but the ages of those who stood before Bishop Diane, you would be seeing the future of The Episcopal Church and the San Gabriel Valley unfolding. Related to this development, I would point out the Anglican Communion continues to experience major growth around the world, most particularly in Africa. Locally, I think three of the wonderful assets COS has are The Rev. Thomas Ni, The Rev. Ada Wong-Nagata AND the Li Tim-Oi Center.  

If you would like to view the new Episcopalians in our midst, Junior Warden Kathy Feng took a beautiful picture of every single participant. Yet again social media provides us with this opportunity. This time it is facebook, and I urge you to sign up. Although no longer considered one of the cutting edge technologies (our grandchildren barely acknowledge it), it is the communication vehicle of choice for people above a certain age.(For example, befriend Rev. Ada or Sally Baldwin or Sharon Crandal or David Arnt to see what I mean.) 

One more exciting acknowledgement: Bishop Diane began the Service by asking everyone to welcome and celebrate our newly installed Verger & Liturgical Coodinator Joanna Cory. I gather that what she had to do to attain this designation was no easy task, so special Congratulations are order. Well done, Joanna!!!   

A LONG STANDING TREASURE IN OUR MIDST -- Founded in 1967 to serve the children of the parish and the community, A CHILD'S GARDEN SCHOOL has been faithfully achieving this goal generation after generation. Now, as it begins its 50th Year this fall under new parental and church leadership, I urge you to check out the newly revamped website I recently did and was particularly impressed by the first message I saw: "A Place Of Wonder And Exploration". Add this expanding vision to the incredible facilities and grounds, and it is obvious that Parent Board President Jessica James and Director Evie Escatiola and Assistant Director Rose Sevgiyan and the dedicated and talented staff have much to offer the children of the Community.

FYI, ACGS offers a Surround Care Program for parents who need a safe place for their children to stay before and after school while they are at work. The hours are as follows:

    Morning Care: Mon to Fri 7:30 am to 9:00 am

    Afternoon Care: Mon to Fri 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm

There also are some spaces in some age groups open for the coming year. Please call Evie Escatiola for information (626-282-2731).

THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN A CHILD'S GARDEN SCHOOL'S FUTURE GROWTH -- Parent Board President Jessica James recently sent a report to the Vestry updating the status of the school. Among the many interesting things she addressed was "Marketing, Website and Online Social Media". Whatever you may think of the rapidly evolving use of social media, Jessica reports huge successes across the board for the school. The Website created by Eunice Sosa and Gabe Vazquez-Reyes is experiencing a large increase in traffic. Eunice also has started a Facebook page. The Board has "solicited familes that are very pro-ACGS to write us glowing reviews" on Yelp. Again, the traffic has been terrific. To increase parent involvement, the school has implemented Signupgenius, a FREE online software tool for volunteer management and event planning saving time for sign-up sheets and schedules for schools, sports leagues and holiday events. Jessica reports 69% of all positions signed up for and filled for the entire year in one month! Finally, ACGS has moved over to Smart Tuition for ALL payments beginning in August. Now, all payments -- Tuition, Annual Fund, Surround Care, Monthly, etc. will only be accepted through Smart Tuition, greatly easing the Office's work load and guaranteeing much more accurate reporting. Technology sometimes really can be our friend!       

TWO (2) IMPORTANT VOTES IN YOUR FUTURE!!! -- Whether you are aware of it or not, there are TWO important votes in your future which could impact your Journey. One obviously is on November 8, and hopefully all of you will go to polls. On the other hand, ONLY FOUR of us lay folks will have the opportunity to vote on December 3 for the next Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.

However, just because just these four AND our clergy will be blessed to help in determining the direction of this great Diocese is no reason why we all should not take this opportunity to understand the role of this parish in the governance of the Diocese and ultimately The Episcopal Church. For you "newbies", we are NOT a neighborhood church, operating independently from the Bishop. Actually, we are one of 147 parishes and missions under his control, and recent court decisions have confirmed that the Bishop ultimately owns ALL of the property within the Diocese.

There are many responsibilities which come with this relationship, including the mandatory financial obligation to contribute a fixed per cent from a defined set of revenues to the Mission Share Fund. It is this revenue which sustains the operations of the Diocese, and historically COS has been one of the top 10 parishes contributing to MSF. So, we have a major stake in who our Bishop is, and over the last 20 years this has served us well. As opposed to other elections, our vote counts, particularly when added to the votes of clergy. FYI, The Rev. Ada Wong-Nagata is a voting member of the Search Committee which will provide the candidates for our vote.

Convention Delegates will be selected by the Vestry at one of its fall Meetings.

ANOTHER REASON WHY 150 YEARS IS SUCH A BIG DEAL IN SO CAL -- Look around you. How many institutions, let alone structures, can you identify which were in place in 1867? In fact, there were not even that many people in Southern California, witness the fact that the 1870 U.S. Census recorded only 5,728 citizens in the City of Los Angeles. Adding to this uniqueness, consider the incorporation dates of the cities which surround us: San Gabriel (1913) Alhambra (1903) San Marino (1913) Arcadia (1903) and South Pasadena (1886). THE Church of Our Saviour Bell Tower AND the Bell have been in the West San Gabriel Valley longer than anything else except the Mission! In fact, if we prove to be good communicators in delivering the COS Story, we should be witnessing a steady stream of visitors to our remarkable Campus over the next 18 months.  


"Stand with those the world treats as disposable, until the world stops throwing them away."


NO HACKING WAS EMPLOYED HERE: A MAGNIFICENT STATEMENT OF PERSONAL WITNESSING -- I have no doubts that bishops, deacons, clergy and lay folks sometimes wonder whether all their work for peace, justice, doing unto the other... and caring for the least among us makes any difference. The following was posted on facebook Sunday for all to read, and I believe you who missed it will be as deeply moved as Sue and I were and are:

David Arnt -- "For a while now, I have been filled with doubt. Doubt about who I am, what I'm doing, and what I'd like to do in the future, both for myself and others. I've questioned whether I was 'relevant'. This morning, another parishioner and I were discussing my work with chaplains and PRISM Restorative Justice. I was asked to think about doing a forum regarding that work. Not so much about my personal journey, but why I was relevant in it.

"There's that word again! (private joke)

'With my personal doubts peeking their heads out, I wondered if I really were. Relevant, that is. This afternoon, I went to Men's Central Jail and spoke with 25 individuals of the LBGT community who were incarcerated there. What a privilege! I spoke of my love for the Episcopal church and how it's members welcomed me when few others would. Speaking with them, looking them in the eyes, hearing them, holding their hands...loving them.

"They were relevant. I was relevant. WE.....ARE.....RELEVANT!!!"

With David's comments in mind, consider again Fr. Boyle's statement: "Stand with those the world treats as disposable, until the world stops throwing them away."

RAGBRAI: Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa -- For 43 years, 10,000 crazed bicyclists have made Pilgrimage to Iowa in late July to spend one week riding the 550 miles across the state. They begin in the west, dipping their rear wheels in the Missouri River and then make their way east to the Mississippi River, camping each night in a designated town.

We made this Pilgrimage once, in 1998, but only as drivers of a van for Team Summit which was captained by the best man in our wedding. It turns out that what this really is for the majority of the 10,000 riders is a great big Doo Da Parade on Wheels. Costumes abound, and many teams spend as much time in the beer gardens along the way as they do on the road. During our experience, the weather was hot, hot, hot and humid, so much so that we asked our best man why the Des Moines Register Newspaper would schedule an event like this in July. His answer: "How else could they get 10,000 tourists to come to Iowa in the summer?"

Why all of this background about an event half way across the country, you are asking. Well, one of this year's crazies was our own Senior Warden Juli Kennedy!!! This is not the first time she has joined this event, but it is the first time she has done it as a 59 year old!!!

THE SAN BERNADINOS ARE FULL OF THE SOUNDS OF MUSIC -- For most of July Canon Phil Smith, our Minister of Music & Organist, has been on Sabbatical in Crestview at the invitation of the Bradleys'. Although well earned and probably really needed, Phil and Fr. Gary also had another motive for providing him with this time away; they had agreed that Phil would use a portion of this time composing a Hymn and an Anthem for the 150th Anniversary. On facebook last week, Phil provided the following update: "The Hymn is coming along...and I selected text for the Anthem to be written for my choir and the 150th year of celebrating for the founding of THE Church of Our Saviour. It's challenging and exhilarating to be working at composition again, after some years of dormancy." This is a wonderful example of how one person has stepped forward and assumed responsibility of making a contribution to our Celebration. Many other parishioners are doing the same, and it's going to be a very interesting year. Stand by for additional stories.

While I have the attention of you aficionados of music, I urge you all to support, financially and by attending, COS's Music for a Season 2016 - 2017 Series. The first three are perfect programs for beginning the Celebration of our 150th Anniversary:

    Sep 25 -- Juli Kennedy 60th Birthday Celebration - 4:00 pm

        Our Saviour Choir & Guests

    Oct 16 -- Choral Evensong @ 4:00 pm

        Our Saviour Choir & Guests

    Nov 06 -- All Saints Sunday @ 10:00 am

        Requiem -- John Rutter

        Chamber Orchestra & Our Saviour Choir

REV. ADA GOES NATIONAL -- Sunday before last Rev. Ada's Sermon was entitled "Rich Toward God", and it attracted the attention of The Rev. Fred Vergara, Missioner for Asiamerica Ministries in The Episcopal Church. As a result, he had it published by The Episcopal Church Center in its Sermons That Work Series so that everyone within the national church would have access to it. Congratulations, Rev. Ada.


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