The Beacon

THE BEACON: "Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works." Matthew 5:16

"This is the Lord's Table and ALL are Welcome!" Fr. Gary 2017

TO REVIEW: WHAT DOES 'ALL' MEAN AT THE CHURCH OF OUR SAVIOUR? -- An easier question to answer would be "Is there any exception?" The answer is "NO!". ALL means Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Non-Voters, Children, Young People, Black People, Brown People, Members of All Other Christian Denominations, Atheists, Agnostics, Muslims, Jews, Members of All Other Religions, LGBTers, Palestinians, Asians, etc., etc., etc. EVERYONE!!! ALL!!!

SEPTEMBER 9, 1872 -- Twenty two years to the day after the admission of California to the Union, the place where we prayed Sunday was dedicated. As Fr. Gary and Canon Phil Smith pointed out before the Service began, this building was the only place 150 years ago in the San Gabriel Valley where Non-Catholics could worship. Phil then went on to point out the plaque on the east wall which commemorated the dedication acknowledging the contribution of Mrs. Francis Vinton, including mention of the BELL which she shipped to us around the Cape. This section of the Sanctuary just oozes history, and it was really inspirational worshiping where we had never sat before.

Over and above the impact of the building, Canon Phil made the Service even more historically relevant "by indulging in a bit of nostalgia in order to connect with the very early years of worship in this church beginning in 1867 until 1928. The form of worship followed in that day was governed by the Book of Common Prayer then in use which was the 1789 Episcopal Church Book of Common Prayer. That Book was based upon the Scottish BCP which itself was based upon the Church of England's BCP from 1662 -- which is STILL the only authorized book of worship in England."

All in attendance received the entire service printed, and we sang hymns written before this period. Based on conversations after the Service and comments I have seen on facebook, people enjoyed the experience and were particularly moved by the step back into the history of THE Church of Our Saviour.

Oh, by the way, according to the plaque on the wall, we were known as Church of THE Saviour. Sounds a little too evangelical to me; I much prefer THE Church of Our Saviour.          

TEA FOR 150?: SEE GEORGIE ERSKINE -- As I keep telling you in BEACON after BEACON, the most remarkable people make up this parish. This week, I give you Georgie Erskine who has been a member of this church for decades and believes deeply that 150 Years needs to be celebrated to the MAX!!! So, she has decided to organize and fund a Celebratory Tea Party on June 25 from 3:00 to 5:00 in Cleaver Hall. Working with the Altar Guild, this will provide us with the opportunity to view ALL OF THE VESTMENTS, HANGINGS, SILVER AND OTHER TREASURES WHICH THE PARISH HAS BEEN BLESSED WITH OVER THE YEARS. 

Georgie has retained a caterer who also is retained by the British Consulate, BUT in addition she is requesting that as many parishioners as possible volunteer to help in whatever capacities they can. She wants this to be an elegant affair which honors a place of worship for 150 of the 167 years California has been a state.

Georgie can be reached at 

NANCY BURROWS PRESENTS -- Another parishioner who is moved by the fact that people have been kneeling in exactly the same place for 150 years is Resident Anglophile Nancy Burrows. She has arranged for the appearance of

Dr. Steve Hindle, W.M. Keck Foundation Director of Research at the Huntington Library to speak at Cleaver Hall on MARCH 16 @ 7:30 PM.  

TOPIC: "Anglicanism Across the Seas: An Englishman's View"

Dr. Hindle joined the Huntington Library in 2011. His responsibilities include the co-ordination of the fellowship program (which funds approximately 170 scholars each year to work on the library collections); the design of the schedule of lectures and conferences; and the oversight of the Publications Department (including the Huntington Library Press and the Huntington Library Quarterly). 

On the 'talk' and 'news' show circuits, Dr. Hindle would be considered a 'huge get', and Nancy got him!!! What a perfect booking, given his British background and the fact that the topic he has chosen to celebrate is the establishment of the oldest Anglican Episcopal Church in Southern California. You need to be there to hear him, and you need to bring a friend. This is the San Gabriel Valley's equivalent to "Victoria" and "The Crown". THANK YOU, NANCY BURROWS.

NI IN THE NEWS -- If you read the weekly E-News (and you should)  from the Diocese of Los Angeles, you will know that our own Fr. Thomas Ni appears on a fairly regular basis. Last week he and Sylvia Sweeney, Dean of Bloy House, the Episcopal Theological School at Claremont, awarded Certificates to students who had completed courses in Chinese lay leadership under the auspices of the Seminary AND the Li Tim-Oi Institute. The article noted that the Institute (Center) was founded in 2014 at THE Church of Our Saviour to provide learning and practical opportunities for lay leaders in Chinese speaking congregations. The certification ceremony was held at COS on February 4, and Bishop Suffragan Diane Bruce spoke. Who knew?   

MARONITES, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM, ARE WELCOME -- We experienced another one of those inspiring telephone calls from Fr. Fuad Dagher, Rector of our Sister Parish, last Friday night (at 10:30). He was just checking in, but he always has something incredibly uplifting to report. This time he wanted to report on the Celebration of the Feast Day of Saint Maroun on February 4. St. Maroun was a 4th century Syriac Christian monk whose followers, after his death, founded a religious movement that became known as the Maronite Church. The Maronites make up the majority Christian population in Lebanon, and there are smallish numbers in the Galilee, particularly in Nazareth. For those of you who have made Pilgrimage with Iyad Qumri, you will be interested to know that they currently worship in the Chapel at the Sisters of Nazareth Guest House.

Actually, it was this congregation who journeyed to Shefa 'Amr to celebrate the Feast of St. Maroun. When we pressed Fr. Fuad, it turns out that it was he who initiated this ecumenical gathering, in part because the Maronite leadership is attempting to receive permission from the Israeli authorities to build its own church in Shefa 'Amr.

A point of interest, a coincidence, maybe? It is believed that Saint Maroun was contacted by Saint John Chrysostom in 405 that they studied together in the great Christian learning center in Antioch, which at the time was the third largest city in the Roman Empire. So what?! Well, The Rev. Canon John Taylor, Bishop Coadjutor Elect of the Diocese of Los Angeles, currently serves as the Vicar of St. John Chrysostom in Rancho Santa Margarita. I love grasping for 'straws'.

A PERSONAL NOTE BECAUSE I NEED A LAUGH -- In 1957 and 1958 when I was stalking Sue in college, we occasionally traveled up the Bayshore Freeway to take in the sights of San Francisco. One of our favorite spots was the hungry i in North Beach where groups like the Kingston Trio got their start. In addition, one of the regulars was Professor Irwin J. Corey, the World's Foremost Authority. Born in 1914 he passed away last week, and his Obituary brought back all sorts of memories and laughs. Corey was known for what critic Leonard Feather described as his "mock didactic manner" and "rambling pseudo-historical explanations to which there is usually is some crazy logic". Two Examples:    

    "Did you realize that there are more Albanians in Hermosa Beach than there are in all of Ireland?"

    " Did you realize that Magellan circumcised the world and he did it with a 40 foot clipper?"

We loved that guy!!!

FERGUSON AND PALESTINE: CONNECTING THE DOTS --Seventeen years ago we returned from a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land with a whole new perspective on the Israeli / Palestinian Conflict. Since then we have dedicated considerable time to educating Episcopalians around the Diocese to the "other side of the story". Sunday afternoon we attended a presentation with Diane Rivera at All Saints entitled "Why I Drink My Coffee Black: In Pursuit of Justice from Ferguson to Palestine". To our great surprise and joy, Sweetland Hall, the largest venue on Campus, was filled to standing room only. We had never experienced this kind of turnout before for anything relating to Palestine, and we were not disappointed with the program.

The speaker was Amy Hunter, an African American woman from St. Louis AND Ferguson, MO. Currently, she manages the Diversity & Inclusion Program at St. Louis Children's Hospital. Before this, she was the Director for Racial Justice for the St. Louis YMCA and the Facilitator of the St. Louis Truth & Reconciliation Process. Last summer she helped to train and organize local leaders on issues of race and how to be supportive of indigenous black leaders. 

However, what brought her to speak Sunday afternoon was a trip to Israel and Palestine she took with Interfaith Peace Builders. It was during that trip that she became aware of the parallels between the African American experiences in the U.S. and the lives of Palestinians living under the Israeli Occupation.

This is the message she delivered: When talking with young African Americans in Ferguson, she was struck by the fact that their views of the police were identical to those articulated by the young Palestinian when they talked about the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Similarly, when Ferguson police speak about young African Americans, they use exactly the same terms as the IDF do about young Palestinians. Tragically, she also discovered that the tear gas canisters used by the IDF and the Ferguson Police against the young people are manufactured by the same U.S. company, located in Ohio!

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