The Beacon

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

MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS -- For years Bev and Jerry Harris & Fred Garside have overseen the preparation of the Sunday 4th of July Breakfast between the Services. This year, even though Fred was incapacitated, Bev and Jerry were committed to carrying on the tradition -- The Breakfast must go on! -- and as always happens at COS, others stepped forward to take Fred's place. I saw Patti Beith, Tom Lenzo and Henrietta Ma serving, and I know that Cynthia Berne arrived early to set the tables and that Aaron Lowe "was on eggs". The food was delicious and the conversation stimulating. What a wonderful Community we have!!!

THE OLDEST & THE LONGEST -- June was not a good month for THE Church of Our Saviour Community. On the 26 Anita Brandow passed away in her 103rd year. Before this loss, Fred Garside, at 87 the longest living member of the parish, had suffered a stroke. We prayed for both of them Sunday, and Fred's daughter Cheryl Townsend reported that he is somewhat better but recovery is challenging.

CELEBRATE ANITA BRANDOW'S 103 YEARS ON JULY 11 @ 11:00 AT THE CHURCH OF OUR SAVIOUR -- There will be a Reception afterward in Cleaver Hall.

Time does move on, and with it memories are lost. This is why the recent interview of Canon Dorris Dann which Carrie Voris and Gabe Vazquez-Reyes did was so important. If you have not viewed it, you should. New parishioners in particular will learn much about the history of Our Saviour Center in general and the creation of the Cleaver Clinic and the Dorris Dann Kid's Center. The point is that none of us is getting any younger; and as we complete our 150th Year, we can not afford to let any more 'history' disappear without attempting to record the memories.

17 OF THE LAST 25 YEARS -- In this regard, The Rev. Canon Denis O'Pray will be preaching on July 23; and afterwards Gabe will be recording his memories as the Rector of COS from 1990 to 2007. Institutional memory disappears quickly. While Denis was Rector Cleaver Clinic & Beatrice Bird Center and the Dorris Dann Youth Center were built; Cleaver Hall and Grace Chapel were built; Allan Hall was renovated; Jubilee Homes and Bill Doulos were incorporated into our Outreach Ministry; the organ was refurbished; the Sister Parish Relationship with St. Paul's in the Galilee was established; and numerous parishioners were inspired to enter into the ordination process. I note these accomplishments because I know Denis and when asked by Gabe about his time here, he will say "the parishioners made all of this happen. I just got out of the way!" BULL!!! So, we will be monitoring what Denis tells Gabe very closely BECAUSE his time here was one of the most important periods in the 150 years of this parish, and his contributions MUST NOT BE FORGOTTEN.

AS OF JULY 8, THERE WILL BE A NEW BISHOP COADJUTOR IN TOWN -- I don't know where you will be at 1:30 on Saturday, but the Smocks will be processing into the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to celebrate the Consecration of The Rev. Canon John Taylor as Bishop Coadjutor of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. The theme for the Consecration and his Episcopate will be Feeding The Hungry, and Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and Bishop Bruno will officiate. For us personally, we are excited to note that our friend and fellow Pilgrim Canon Lydia Lopez will be presenting Rev. Taylor, and the music will be provided by Canon Phil Smith. We also are looking forward to seeing the COS Banner displayed in the Pavilion and then at the luncheon in Grand Park. No other Banner will be able to boldly proclaim that its parish was established in 1867.

PERSONAL MEMORIES OF BISHOP JON BRUNO -- The Episcopal News Magazine, a publication of the Diocese of Los Angeles, features write ups on Bruno and all five other Bishops of our Diocese. The one on Bishop Bruno is comprehensive and captures just how much he has accomplished over his 17 years of service, WITH ONE EXCEPTION. No where is there any mention of the tremendous contributions he made in supporting the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem spiritually and financially AND how important was his advocacy on behalf of the Palestinian people -- Christian, Muslim and secular. WE CAN STATE WITHOUT FEAR OF CONTRADICTION THAT NO OTHER BISHOP IN THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH DID MORE TO EDUCATE PEOPLE ABOUT THE "FACTS ON THE GROUND" IN THE HOLY LAND THAN DID BISHOP BRUNO FROM 2004 THROUGH 2011. 

His active interest began right here in Rectory's backyard in August of 2004 where he first met The Rev. Canon Fuad Dagher and Canon Iyad Qumri, Palestinian Christian Israeli Guide. His interest piqued, he himself introduced a Resolution at the 2004 Diocesan Convention establishing a three year Companion Relationship with the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. (This subsequently has been renewed four times since, and it is the longest standing such relationship between dioceses in the entire US church.) At the same time, he and The Rev. Canon Denis O'Pray negotiated the purchase of the property adjacent to St. Paul's Parish Hall, with Bruno giving $70,000 to complete the transaction. He also made substantial contributions to the completion of an affordable housing project in Ramallah and a retirement home in Beir Zeit. When The Rev. Suheil Dawani was installed as the 15thBishop of the Diocese of Jerusalem in 2007, Bishop Bruno was not only invited to process but also was honored to preach AND place the miter on Bishop Dawani's head. In recognition of Bishop Bruno's continuing support, he later was named an Honorary Canon of St. George's Cathedral. 

Meanwhile, in Southern California, he established the Middle East Task Force within the Diocese and charged it to work for Peace WITH Justice in the Holy Land. (This later became the Bishop's Commission on the Middle East.) He also hosted an Annual Meeting of the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem at the Cathedral Center and led a Pilgrimage which we organized in 2007 of 44 Pilgrims from around the Diocese. During that trip he made a generous gift to Open Bethlehem, a non-Episcopalian group of Christians committed to promoting travel to the birth place of Jesus. In addition, he and Mary Bruno made many Pilgrimages of their own; and Mary, under the auspices of Bishop Bruno's Hands In Healing, continues to gather funds for Educate For Hope, her ministry to send the children of St. Matthew's in Zababdeh West Bank to the local Catholic school. At the Cathedral Center, Bishop Bruno made sure every single staff member was able to make Pilgrimage, and Hands In Healing sponsored a program under which 5 Youth Pilgrimages for teenagers have been made. When all is said and done, Bishop Jon Bruno will be able to say that well over 80 clergy and 800 parishioners of the Diocese have made Pilgrimage to the Holy Land on his 'watch'!!! We thank him and Mary for this great support and the incredible memories.

LA CITY PILGRIMAGE -- You will read elsewhere on Facebook and COS's web site comments by Gabe Vazquez-Reyes, Youth & Family Minister, speaking about the Diocese's Annual LA City Pilgrimage. This is how he describes it: "It is an exciting, exhausting, inspiring and sometimes uncomfortable 5 day experience that is designed to challenge students to think about how they are called to bring what they have heard in church to the rest of the world. Over the past few years, this trip has become my favorite trip we do because of the 'realness' of LACP."

On Sunday I happened to hear Gabe speaking with Fr. Gary about the week's experience, and I was deeply moved by how deeply moved he was by a visit the Pilgrims made to a Refugee Center in North Hills for people from Mexico and Central America run by the Methodists. Gabe said the young people heard testimonies from seven different refugees, including a 13 year old boy. Gabe says every Pilgrim was impacted by what he or she heard, and he doubts any of them will ever forget that experience.  

DURING THIS 4TH OF JULY WEEK YOU NEED TO FIND A COPY OF FORMER PARISHIONER ED BLECKSMITH'S TRIBUTE TO HIS SON JP AND 10 OTHER FALLEN AMERICANS -- On Memorial Day 2017 the City of Pasadena dedicated the Enduring Heroes Memorial in Defenders Park at the corner of Orange Grove and Colorado Blvd. to eleven members of the community who had fallen serving our country. Speaking on behalf of the Gold Star Families was Ed Blecksmith whose son JP was lost in Fallujah in 2004 serving in the Marines. Marcia Kreditor attended this Service and sent me a copy of his comments. You need to find them and read them. They will make you proud and reaffirm what it is that makes America what most of us still believe it is.

PRISM Restorative Justice Can Use Your Help -- On June 27 The Rev. Dennis Gibbs, CDL, and Director of PRISM, sent out a very informative letter chronicling some of PRISM's successes and new projects. What a MINISTRY!!! Any of you who know the Monks and their work know that austerity is one of many adjectives which can be applied to the way they manage their Ministry. Therefore, when you make a contribution to their work, you are guaranteed that every cent will be applied directly to assisting the inordinate number of Californians currently traveling their Journeys behind bars. 

Here are two ways to make a difference. 1) $100 provides five copies of Sr. Greta Ronningen's outstanding book "FREE ON THE INSIDE -- Finding God Behind Bars" which are being distributed free to inmates to resounding praise. 2) Send a check to The Diocese of Los Angeles with PRISM noted in the Memo Section. Your willingness to do so will allow the Monks to narrow a $10,000 Budget Deficit. Don't just sit there; MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

MILE22FILMLOCATIONS.COM -- If you ever want to show your friends fantastic pictures of COS, there are none better than those which appear on former parishioner Tracy Alderson's business web site.     

A QUOTE FROM ANTHONY BOURDAIN'S "PARTS UNKNOWN" CNN SHOW ON THE MEXICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY IN LOS ANGELES -- "We are not white enough to be Americans and we are not brown enough to be Mexicans, but we all are Californians!" Hooray for us!!!