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Walking with the Saints

The Martyrs of Sudan

It is small wonder that young people are fed up with organized religion. What they see is one group killing the other group, not only now but throughout time. It is shocking the level of distrust and even hatred that exists between people of faith. Young people see this and the long history of religious wars and want to have nothing to do with it. Many of our youth are choosing the Eastern traditions that emphasize compassion and inner peace. Honestly, the future of Western organized religion is on shaky ground.

I think Jesus is very sad about all this strife. I think the Prince of Peace is angry that we can’t get along as a human family. I really don’t think that Jesus demands that all worship in the same way. We need only look at the Parable of the Good Samaritan to see what Jesus feels about those who worship differently.

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Walking with the Saints

Julian of Norwich

How does one exactly distill Julian of Norwich into a short reflection?  It may very well be an impossibility.  More wizened and learned people have given their lives to journey alongside Julian in their spiritual paths.  I say this to offer this reflection as a very brief entry point, because in my week journeying with Julian, I am thirsty for more.

Let us start with what we do know about Julian.  Julian of Norwich was an Anchorite, a person who for religious reasons has removed themselves from secular life to devote their lives to an intensely prayer-oriented life.  This was an early form of monasticism, in which Anchorites would vow to be confined to a certain place, certain cell or something of the like.  Julian took her name from the church that resided in for most of her life: St. Julian’s Church in Norwich. 

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Walking with the Saints

Athanasius of Alexandria

Almost every Sunday we all stand in unison and recite the Nicaean Creed.  I love the words of that creed.

I marvel at how expertly it is crafted as a full explanation of what we believe about the Trinity and our faith.

Today we celebrate the feast day of one of the proponents of this creed and he is attributed with writing a key portion of it.

The saint whose feast day we celebrate on May 2nd is Athanasius born in 295 AD.  He was ordained a deacon in 319 He became the advisor to Alexander, Bishop of Alexandria.

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Walking with the Saints

Reflection on Genocide

The United Nations refers to Genocide as “the denial of the right of existence of entire human groups, aiming of complete extermination of such groups.”  Much to my horror I found out that this has been a favorite past-time of many nations.  Many nations now seem to have a day of remembrance, and some continue with this inhuman practice.

We can start with Rwanda where 800,000 people were murdered in a church building and continue with the extinction of the Romas.  Then in Bengali, Greece, the Armenian Holocaust, Russia’s pogroms of Jews, Pakistan, the massacre of Sikhs in New Delhi, and more.

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Dorris Dann Kids Campus Spotlight

On Saturday, April 13, Marguerite Ponce, the Dorris Dan Kids Campus Program Director was honored at the Los Angeles Girl Scouts Council award luncheon.  Marguerite received the Appreciation Pin (picture nearby) for delivering outstanding service to  at least one service unit.  Marguerite was honored because she has “significantly contributed to meeting one or more council goals in membership growth, retention, or increased community visible in one service unit”.    

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Walking with the Saints

Deaconess Emily Cooper

This week we commemorate the life of Deaconess Emily Cooper who devoted her later life to orphans as the Director of The Home of the Innocents, founded in 1880 in Louisville, Kentucky. The home’s primary purpose was to rescue helpless children suffering from neglect, disease and abandonment. The home provided the very first kindergarten in Kentucky.

During her time as Director of the home she assisted in the baptisms of 284 children, many of whom were nameless and given Christian names by Sister Emily upon their baptism. Sadly, the number of children she buried was even larger than those baptized.

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Dorris Dann Kids Campus Spotlight

Parent’s vs. Staff Event

On Friday, April 5, 2019, Leadership Club hosted a very successful Parents vs. Staff Event.  Leadership Club is comprised of 10 very enthusiastic and dedicated 2nd through 6th grade students.  They have made it their goal to plan and carry out events not for a specific crowd, but rather for families, where everyone can feel included and invited.  For two weeks, the Leaders were out in the patio during sign outs recruiting parents and families to take part in the event, which included two games with an intermission in between.  Club members were also able to recruit nine staff members, who graciously volunteered their time to make this event possible.

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Walking with the Saints

Wednesday, April 10 is the Fest of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Scientist and Military Chaplain, who believed that God’s creation continues today and that each of us participates in that creation.  We each have a role in the creation, says de Chardin, if only by the “humble work of our hands” and, I would add, using our hands in service to others.

Someone once said, “Nothing is little in God’s service,” and I believe de Chardin knew this as well.  The Bible, of course, tells us much about service:

Luke 12:35 – Jesus says: “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he come and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.”

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Dorris Dann Kids Campus Spotlight

What’s it really like to be an Intern at the Dorris Dann Kids Campus?  Our Interns share their experiences…

Hello, my name is Kassie Krueger and I am currently a senior at California State University, Los Angeles. On top of being a student, I am also an athlete at CSLUA, I am part of the women's basketball team. I am set to graduate May 23, 2019, with a bachelor’s degree in Public Health, and I am currently an intern here at the Dorris Dann Kids Campus. The days and times I attend the internship are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesday from 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.  My duties at Kids Campus consist of tutoring and mentoring students, supervising gymnasium activities, and having presentations on beauty, health, and anti-bullying.

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Walking with the Saints

Richard of Chichester

Today April 3rd is the feast day of Saint Richard in the Roman Catholic Church and some provinces of the Anglican Communion. Richard was born around the year 1197 in Wyche, (now known as Droitwich), near Worcester, England. He was the second son of the family. When their parents died, Richard and his siblings were very young. They were left in the care of guardians who mismanaged their father's estates and squandered the income. When Richard was older, he was forced to give up his studies in order to help his brother manage the estate. After they restored the estate, Richard’s brother offered to turn over all of his lands to Richard in grateful recognition for Richard's help during the difficult time and even arranged for Richard's marriage with a certain noble lady. However Richard rejected the proposals, preferring a life of study and the church. 

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Laetare Sunday, We Remember

This Sunday March 31st, the 4th Sunday in Lent, we Remember and Celebrate Betsy Hathaway and Fred Bock.

Harry and Betsy Hathaway have been members of this congregation for many years. Harry has asked we remember his dear wife, Betsy, at the services on March 31, which would have been close to her 77th birthday. We sing the anthem, “Eternal Love” a setting of the words of Dorothy Gurney, “O Perfect Love”, and for communion, we sing the beloved setting by Cesar Franck, of the Latin text “Panis angelicus”, Bread of Angels, from Franck’s “Solemn Mass”, Opus 12. We are happy to welcome a friend of this congregation, as cellist this morning, Mary Anne Steinberger.

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Follow up to Budget Discussion on March 24

Thank you to all that attended the budget discussion forum this past Sunday. The turnout was great. Thank you to all that had questions and comments. All comments were noted and will be considered when moving forward.

The book that Dennis Duling mentioned is Christianity for the Rest of Us By Diana Butler Bass. He is encouraging the Search Committee to read this book. This could be a book for a Small Group discussion in the future.

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Y(Our) Saviour Center Update

Film students from Cal State Dominguez Hills recently filmed part of their documentary on food distribution and limiting food waste at (Y)Our Saviour Center’s Food Pantry. The students learned about (Y)Our Saviour Center’s Food Pantry from a local resident! The students interviewed Family Services Program Manager Diane Williams about how we source food and how we receive donations from a variety of organizations.

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Walking with the Saints

How good and pleasant it is, when people live in unity! - Psalm 133:1

Many years ago, my good friend Malcolm Boyd wrote to me about being a leader of the future in ministry and the church, He encouraged me with these words: “Be wise, be faithful, be courageous, be flexible, and let Jesus be the center of your life.” I still keep these words in front of me. They are a sort of a plumb line that Rev. Bob talked about a few months ago. They direct me to my spiritual center – the core of my being.

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El Monte Soccer for Success Does it Again!

El Monte Soccer for Success has had a great history of enrolling players within the community who develop great stories on and off the field since 2012.  Every season has success stories and players move on to the next chapter in their lives.  In 2014, there was a success story brewing that not only made headlines for the program but continued to develop as a success story within the community and the hearts of a specific group of players.  In the Fall season of 2014, there were enough girls in the El Monte Soccer for Success program at Potrero School to make an entire 7th and 8th grade all-girls All-Star team. These girls went two seasons playing with each other against other El Monte Soccer for Success teams at our weekly Saturday Game-Day tournaments.

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Walking with the Saints

Thomas Cramner

Archbishop of Canterbury, Liturgist, and Martyr, 1556
This coming Wednesday, March 20, we commemorate the life of Thomas Canmer. I am pleased that Thomas was on my day to “preach”!  He is, to me, the GREAT Reformer, along with Martin Luther, and other Lutheran reformers, as you can read in this bio.

Cranmer was associated with King Henry VIII, after meeting the King in 1529, he later became involved in the annulment of the King’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon. King Henry VIII, upon the death of Archbishop Warham, appointed Cranmer to the See of Canterbury (still a Roman Catholic church), and he was consecrated on March 30, 1533. 

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Y(Our) Saviour Center Update

We are working hard to raise money to support our services!

We have 3 wonderful grant writers submitting requests to foundations to help pay the operating costs of Our Saviour Center. Operating costs include things like staff salaries, rent, utility bills, maintenance, etc. We are preparing grant requests to The Autrey Foundation and The Armand Hammer Foundation and are looking for ANY contacts within either / both of these organizations.

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Walking Club @ the Dorris Dann Kids Campus!

The students at the Dorris Dann Kids Campus are at it again.  Every day after school, about 120 children in our walking club walk about a 1.3 mile to the Dorris Dann Kids Campus after school.  Each day they walk for about 30 minutes on a designated safe route.  Each week they have over 500+ students participating in the walking club along our dedicated staff, even during the cold days.

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