The Beacon

THE BEACON: Celebrating Our Past 150 years...And Igniting Our Future
"This is the Lord's Table, it's closer than ever and ALL are Welcome


"Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord? I have heard you calling in the night. I will go Lord, if you lead me. I will hold Your people in my heart."

I encourage each and every one of you to read (or watch right here) Rev. Ada's Sermon because then each word of the above refrain from the Hymn "I, the Lord of Sea and Sky" will resonate. Basically, her Sermon provided the details and thinking behind her decision to re-locate to the Church of Our Savior in Lower Manhattan.

Take Aways: 1) Rev. Ada is a very, very brave person who has decided to change the status quo at a time in her Journey when most people are buying La-Z-Boys. 2) One of the catalysts for this was the former Presiding Bishop's challenge at last year's General convention: "Get up girls, boys, men and women, you are not dead yet." 3) "I still have enough energy, physical, spiritual, and mental to apply the rich experiences that I have learned here in the past years to a new ministry." 4) The Episcopal Asiamerican Ministry of TEC needs her because there really is a growing shortage of Chinese priests in the U.S. 5) This parish continues to provide talented priests, both established and newly ordained, to the Church. FYI, I believe COS currently has three people in the Discernment Process AND one awaiting Ordination.  

"Here I am Lord. Is it I Lord?

I have heard You calling in the night.

I will go Lord, if You lead me.

I will hold Your people in my heart. Amen" 

IT TAKES A VILLAGE -- After the magnificent effort put forth by Jane Fall and the Hospitality Committee. I sent her an e-mail thanking and congratulating her for what I know was an incredible accomplishment. As is her way, she said she was only the point person and praised everyone else on her team. My response was that indeed it does take a Village, but a Village functions best when led by a really qualified Mayor. This certainly was the case with Jane in charge, as witnessed by some information I was able to obtain from various sources.

When Jane's team arrived for duty, there were lists of duties to be performed taped to the wall in the kitchen. Nothing was left to chance! NOTHING! However, knowing that people are not necessarily motivated by pep talks alone, she also had prepared a breakfast spread laid out for everyone in a special place in the kitchen. Then, in one final, creative gesture of appreciation, she served her wonderful helpers with champaign and cider after everything was cleaned up.You gotta' love Jane's dedication and leadership. THANK YOU, JANE FALL and the following volunteers:

Will Dumain, Henrietta Ma, Patti Beith, Kathy Macauley, Jane He, Diane Rivera, Maurice Saldebar**, Tom Lenzo, Katherine Feng**, Cheryl Townsend**, Juli Kennedy**, Paul Kilian**, David Arnt**, Carrie Voris**, Laurel Bullock**, David Coleman, Rary Simmons, Marge Telleen, Sherm Telleen, Nancy Burrows, Dorcye McCutchan, Mark Goluskin, and Kim Sirean. ** signifies a Vestry Member as is Jane Fall    

BOY, THERE ARE A LOT OF WAYS TO ABUSE US! -- If you are one of the dozen regular readers of The Beacon, you know that one of my favorite words is "Relevant". So, I was a little concerned when Tom Lenzo, COS's resident expert on everything from identity theft to fire extinguisher locations to illegal Parking in the Circle, approached Sue Smock with the following idea for a speaker for SAGES. He had heard Ralph Pascual from the Adult Protective Services (APS) Training & Cultural Outreach Office speak on Elder Abuse: Understand It, Help When You See It! and thought it would make for a meaningful presentation. He could not have been more correct! Ralph Pascual delivered a highly informative set of facts about what unfortunately is becoming a "growth industry" as the baby boomers join us geezers.

I don't remember the exact numbers, but they are stunning; and the ways seniors can be abused is equally eye opening. Of course, we can be abused PHYSICALLY, but we also can be abused FINANCIALLY or MENTALLY or NEGLECTED or even SELF NEGLECTED (leading a hermit life by choice). The other point made which also is incredibly unfortunate is the fact that the vast majority of elder abuse is committed by family and extended family members. This is really important information which Tom Lenzo brought to us, and I recommend that we make more efforts to disseminate information regarding the realities of this growing problem.

ANOTHER SIGN THAT WE ARE AN AGING POPULATION -- Back in the day, the last high school or college Reunion anyone expected to attend, assuming he or she were so fortunate, would be the 50th. Last Saturday Sue and I attended her 60th Reunion from San Marino High School. FYI, the Class of 1956 was the first graduating class from SMHS. It was a wonderful night of memories, but I noted two things. There were no walkers; obviously only those who felt comfortable in who they were attended. Secondly, I was amused that the "evening" began at 4:00 and we were home by 9:00.     


Sep. 25 @ 4:00 Music For A Season: Juli Kennedy's 60th Birthday Celebration -- The Ninth Season of wonderful musical offerings by Canon Phil Smith and the COS Choir features musical favorites of our Senior Warden and long time Choir Member Juli Kennedy. I think this is an extraordinary way to celebrate a birthday, made more so by the return of former Choir Director James Person and several former members of the Choir. It should be a joyful celebration which is well worth supporting, and you might even be moved help support Music For Season financially. We do.

Oct. 1 from 10:00am to 11:30am Chinese Christian Art History --As noted last week, the existence of the Li Tim-Oi Center on campus does announce to the greater Chinese Community that COS does play a major role in The Episcopal Church in its commitment to this growing demographic in So Cal. The next opportunity to show this commitment occurs on Saturday morning, October 1, between 10:00 and 11:30. Dr. James He Oi, Artist-In-Residence at the Claremont School of Theology and the first person from Mainland China to earn a Ph.D. in Religious Art, will be the presenter as he discusses four periods of Christian Art. In addition, he will be displaying prints of his own work which will be for sale. This is a FREE EVENT, but Rev. Ada Wong-Nagata would appreciate the courtesy of a head count.

Oct. 2 from 11:30 to 2:30: Our Saviour Center Oktoberfest -- This function serves two meaningful purposes -- to raise the visibility of this foundational Outreach Ministry of COS AND to raise funds to help sustain it in these difficult times. The fact of the matter is that all non-profit organizations are facing the perfect storm of increasing demand for our services at the same time that traditional sources of funding are rethinking the way they fund non-profits.

So, please join the staff of OSC and your hard working and dedicated fellow parishioners who serve on the Advisory Board and volunteer to keep the Cleaver Heath Clinic, the Food Bank and the Dorris Dann Youth Center making relevant contributions to the children and families of El Monte. 

Oct. 8 @ 3:00pm & 6:00pm: The Golden Age of Romance -- I don't believe there is any activity which occurs in the City of San Gabriel in which Sally or Harry Baldwin is not involved. This fall the San Gabriel Valley Music Theater ( will be putting on three performances featuring great periods or genres of music, ALL AT CLEAVER HALL. On Saturday, Oct. 8, the Sally's performing friends will be singing songs from the 40's, 50's and 60's. We have attended these shows, and the level of professionalism always is excellent. Aside from providing another way to bring the surrounding Community onto our beautiful Campus, this also is a way to support the performing arts in the Community. Try it; you'll like it!

Nov. 5 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm: Ten Year Anniversary of PRISM Restorative Justice Fund Raiser -- We've got Monks, three of them, and no other parish in the Diocese of Los Angeles can make that claim. They bring quiet, serenity, reflection and peace to our Campus. However, their "day job"s address the message delivered in Rev. Ada's Sermon. Each answered God's challenge to reject the status quo and go into the world to assist the least among us.

In their case, it is the incarcerated in So Cal, and they have been doing this for TEN YEARS!!! Actually, there a is much bigger story here which addresses the incredible progress Deacon Dennis Gibbs and Sister Greta Ronningen have made on behalf of the Episcopal Church within the Jail System in the County, but that's for another time. What is important now is the fund raiser, and it's going to be fantastic.

The theme will be "I Was In Prison And You Visited Me" and the featured speaker will be Br. Greg Boyle, SJ., founder of Homeboy Industries and one of the great icons in the "justice movement" in So Cal. We have heard him before, and we challenge you to remain in your LA-Z-Boy after you have listened to him. Boyle's appearance should be enough to induce you to pay $100 to help support PRISM'S Ministry, but wait -- there's more!!! The Rt, Rev. Chester Talton also will be making an appearance, and Artist John August Swanson will be in Allan Hall displaying and selling his world recognized religious art work.              

"MAEZIE'S PUMPKIN PATCH" Based On A True Story -- Believe it or not, Halloween is fast approaching, and one of our long time parishioners has just the gift for us doting grandparents to give ot our above average grandchildren. The parishioner is Lynn Martin Snowden, and the gift is a true story written for children entitled "Maezie's Pumpkin Patch" Maezie is a senior, senior citizen friend of Lynn's who lives in Chapman woods. For years she has collected seeds of many varieties of pumpkins, and she grows them in her front yard and in the parking. However, what has intrigued neighbors and has become somewhat of a tourist attraction is the enormous size of the pumpkins.

So far, so good. Then, two years ago vandals destroyed every single one of the nearly full grown pumpkins. No one was ever arrested, but out of what was a tragedy for Maezie a book was born. It is a wonderful, joyfuland educational story which we encourage everyone in the parish to purchase. Tis the season!!!  

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