The Beacon


"Celebrating our past...and igniting our future"

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

A WARM FEELING IN THE HALL!!! -- One of the goals of the Forum between the two services is to foster Community. Never was this more successful than Sunday when the world's greatest ALTAR GUILD hosted the breakfast. The offerings were wonderful, only exceeded by the warmth and friendship generated by the overflow crowd. Thank you, ladies. You are a blessing to this parish and second to none!!! 

A STANDING INVITATION -- In the spirit of inclusiveness which permeates The Episcopal Church, our Diocese and this parish in 2016, Altar Guild Chairwoman DEBBIE ANDERSEN welcomes men to join the Guild. I can think of no better way to meet the people who really run this parish than to join this group of incredible women.  

A WARM FEELING IN THE SANCTUARY (AIRCONDITIONING NOTWITHSTANDING) -- For some reason, the 10:00 Service was particularly meaningful to me. In part, it was a follow up to the joyful Forum gathering, but the music also contributed to this feeling. Instead of the organ, the piano, played robustly by EDDIE ZHANG, husband of LISA HSU who sings in the Choir, added a wonderful dimension. The Offertory "Like As A Father" was sung by Brian Dyer, Rebecca Rasmussen and Pauline Sablan and was beautiful. During Communion a lovely violin solo was played by YINA MA. I continue to be amazed by how much musical talent we have available in this parish. And, the numbers continue to grow.

"ALTAR" EGO? -- "An Altar's secondary or alternative location." Let me see if I can explain the difference between a Transcendent God and an Immanent God, the subject of Fr. Gary's Sermon which he entitled "Close Encounters of the Divine Kind". If so, then you won't be surprised when you walk into church next Sunday and find the Altar in a "secondary, alternative location".

As I understand it, the Transcendent "God is beyond us, so far above us that we must tremble to approach". The manifestation of this in the sanctuary is the Altar at the front of the chancel and turned away from the congregation.

The Immanent God? "God is close to us in the healing of the world, so close that God is within us." The manifestation of this in the sanctuary first occurred in the late 20th century when the Altars were turned versus populum toward the people. More recently, "altars in medio fidelium in the midst of the faithful is the goal of that theological recognition expressed liturgically."

The Bottom Line: "Next Sunday, you will enter the church and find the altar has been moved closer to you -- not quite in medio fidelium -- but closer."

 To quote Fr. Gary -- "How we pray clarifies what we believe."

WATER SHORTAGES, YES: WISDOM SHORTAGE, ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! As I have noted (ranted about?) previously, contemporary American society has little use for the demographic above 60 years of age. If you don't believe me, check out the ads in the AARP Magazine. Three industries ONLY warrant our attention -- Health Care, Travel and Financial Services. Apparently, we don't eat, drink, drive or involve ourselves in any other activities.

Not so at COS. We honor our Seniors as RELEVANT members of our Community because we recognize the incredible amount of WISDOM which each possesses. In addition, each month SAGES, a self sustaining Ministry, offers monthly programs in Cleaver Hall balanced between just plain fun and education on topics important to Seniors. In case you are wondering, the updated Mailing List now contains 78 Addresses and 99 people. If you view yourself as a Senior, join us, you like it!    

5 NUMBERS: 62.8%, 54.3%, 53.7%, 59.0%, 61.8% -- Change is inevitable; what isn't is how we respond. We can resist OR we can embrace and get ahead of the curve. In this context, consider that 166 years ago when California became a State, there were almost NO PROTESTANTS in Southern California. Several denominations tried to establish a presence, BUT the FIRST ONE TO SURVIVE IN THE SAME LOCATION was THE Church Our Saviour established 150 years ago.

Fast forward to 2016 and consider how things have changed. COS is still worshipping in the same location, but the demographics of the surrounding communities have changed dramatically as witnessed by the above percentages. They represent 2010 Census numbers for Asians in San Gabriel, San Marino, Alhambra, Temple City and Arcadia. So, just as Francis Vinton and Don Benito Wilson provided COS with the opportunity to impact the region in 1867, so does The Episcopal Church's decision to locate the Li Tim-Oi Center at COS provides us with the unique Base Camp from which to build for the next 150 years. With The Rev. Thomas Ni at the helm, we have begun.  

COMMUNICATIONS --A major Strategic Initiative being worked on by parishioner volunteers is Communications, and the Committee is being headed up by CARRIE VORIS, assisted by GABE VAZQUEZ-REYES. They already have made substantial headway as witnessed by the logo they and KENNETH QUAN have developed to mark the 150th Anniversary. In addition, Gabe has developed a new web site address -- No longer will googlers be unable to find us because they don't spell "savior" with an "u". FYI, this is just the beginning of the revamping of the web site, but for now this new and easy to remember address will take you to the existing site.   


On October 28, the Asian Youth Center, in celebration of its 27th Anniversary, will honor Sally Baldwin with the President's Recognition Award for 25 years of service as a member the AYA Board. Fittingly, sharing the evening with Sally will be Hilda Solis, Los Angeles County Supervisor. This only confirms what everyone in and around San Gabriel knows about the Baldwins. They know everyone. If you don't believe this, take them to Luna's for dinner some night!!!

EVERYBODY IN THE POOL -- There is no end to the offerings this parish's many Ministries make available to our many clients and friends. For instance, last Saturday Fr. Gary and Rev. Peg opened the Rectory's swimming pool to the Deacon Bill Doulos and the residents and families of Transitional Housing. Reports confirm that this was another successful event, highlighted by Chef Bill's B-B-Qing skills. Momentum being an elusive thing, Bill followed up Sunday with Transitional Housing' Annual Dodger Game outing Tuesday night.         



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