A Message from Our Bishop: Living in Harmony with God and Creation
Dear Friends in Christ,
One of the joys in serving this diocese is driving through the beautiful landscapes: woods and forests, rivers and streams, beaches and mountains. In the summer and early fall especially, the scent of the earth, of ripening wild berries, and the sparkling water of our ocean, bays, and rivers all remind me of the grandeur of God. The harsh reality of fires, floods, and earthquakes also reminds us of the vulnerable nature of our natural world. The beauty enjoyed one day can be swept away in minutes by a natural disaster. The tragedy of the fire on Maui continues to remind us of our fragility.
The frequency of these disasters, along with the magnitude of destruction, has drawn critical speculation and careful reflection on the ways in which our management of our natural world has accelerated these events. I recently read a Pew research report on the correlation between those who identify as “religious” and those who are aware of concerns about the science related to climate change. Those who describe themselves as religious believe, in overwhelming numbers, that the earth is sacred and created by God. Yet, of those same believers, very few believe that climate change is a matter of serious concern. One of the factors the researchers point to as an explanation for this disparity is that the faithful report they do not hear about climate change in church. Apparently, religious leaders are not lifting up climate change as a real and present danger.
I can only speak from my context within the Episcopal Church as I direct our attention to the Catechism. The second question of our very long Catechism sets forth the Q. and A. that directs our attention to our created world.
Q. What does it mean to be created in the image of God?
A. It means that we are free to make choices: to love, to create, to reason, and to live in harmony with creation and with God. (Emphasis added)
BCP p. 845
Surely as the second question, we are to surmise the importance of this teaching. Positioned to emphasize the first book of The Bible, Genesis, in which God creates and breathes life into all that is, this question in our catechism is prioritizing where we ought to start: with creation. And although some interpretations of the Creation story use verbs like “subjugate” or “dominate” to describe how humans are to interact with the created world, the overarching message about creation throughout the Bible is one of fecundity, generativity, and capacity to nurture and support life. God’s love, activity, and desire for us is that we should live in harmony such that the created world lifts us up with its life-giving force.
We are called, if not commanded, to become faithful stewards of the created world – to care for the water, the soil, the vegetation, the air. Without these, we cannot live. Without these, there is no life as we know it.
I was delighted to speak to one of the members of our Creation Care Working Group this past weekend as he described to me the important work they are doing to engage both the science as well as the common sense needed to respond to our rapidly changing climate. Earlier in the month, I met with a group of high school student leaders at Oregon Episcopal School who are passionate about climate change education. They told me they are eager to meet with our Creation Care Working Group to explore ways they can work together to address climate change in our diocese.
These conversations give me great hope about the way forward as we hasten to respond to a natural world that is groaning from neglect and misuse. We are called to “live in harmony with creation and with God.” There is an undeniable assumption that living in harmony with creation assumes that we are also living in harmony with God. There is an intrinsic connection and one that, in fact, cannot be separated. This returns us to the disconnect revealed in the Pew study. If we believe that the created world is sacred and that sacredness begins and ends in God, then our response to climate change ought to be informed by our desire to live in harmony with God. Living in harmony with God is living in harmony with creation.
Let us, in our worship, praise, and mission, shine a light on climate change and the unique ways God calls us to step up to live in harmony with our Creator, from whom all things have their being.
For the first time, we are devoting a portion of the community garden to help Jyoti Rout run some experiments using corn to test some hypothesis that he has. Jyoti is trying to discover a new way for fast breeding corn, methods he thinks should be applicable to breeding other crop plants. His experiments involve growing many different corn lines, making different test crosses and observing the progeny.
By 2050, the world population is expected to grow to 9.8 billion from the current population of 7.6 billion. According to estimation reported by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), by 2050 our world would need to increase food production by about 60% more. Therefore, developing faster breeding methods are necessary.
Current breeding methods involve crossing two or more parents and transferring the desired traits by repeated back-crossing with the chosen parent. This process is time and labor intensive and may take anywhere from 3-7 yrs. Jyoti hopes that his methods should speed up the processes of varietal development and save cost and resources.
This is not genetic modification. Jyoti will be happy to explain the difference and to and teach you about different corn lines that he is currently growing and even teach you how to make crosses in corn and other plants.
To reach Jyoti, please contact our church office 503-645-0744 firstname.lastname@example.org and we can connect you. He invites you to visit the corn field and bless his experiments.
In our community garden, being situated so close to a place of worship, it gives Jyoti an immense happiness while he works with these plants for a noble cause. Jyoti appreciates all the support he has been receiving from the church and its leadership and his fellow gardeners. 🙏
We invite you to make a peaceful visit to our small corn field at the west side of our Community Garden and bless Jyoti Rout’s experiments.
St. Gabriel is happy to announce that we have a new musician joining our music ministry in September as the pianist and organist for our 10:00 am Rite II Eucharist on Sunday mornings, Stephanie Thompson.
Stephanie takes delight in exploring textures and tone colors in solo and collaborative repertoire. A passionate advocate of art song, she is committed to text analysis and expressing poetic nuance in music.
She is staff accompanist and teaches classical piano and piano accompaniment at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, where she performs with all three choral ensembles. When not playing piano, Stephanie can usually be found entangled in yarn or trapped under cats.
She is an alumna of the Aspen Music festival and is a founding member of the Lewis & Clark Faculty New Music Ensemble, The Friends of Rain. She studied piano at Willamette University and USC and her teachers include Jean-David Coen, Antoinette Perry, and Daniel Pollack.
Due to the extreme heat, our roof project has been delayed one week- please note new approximate dates.
What’s the status of our new church roof?
First of all, the repair of the water-damaged siding on one side of the church is complete, and it looks great (see photo)! Thanks to all who helped with this part of the project.
Now- we have a roofing update since the announcement last Sunday. On Tuesday August 8 we had the pre-job meeting with the roofing contractors. We are now scheduled to start on the three tab roofing on the steeple portion on Wednesday, August .
On Monday, August 14 the three tab shingles will be delivered and placed on the roof. No cars can be parked that day in the handicapped parking or on the other edge of the circle driveway because we do not know what time the shingles will arrive. The delivery truck will need to use the whole circle to deliver the shingles moving from one place to the other.
On Monday or Tuesday August 14 or 15 the porta-potty will be delivered. It will be placed near the bicycle rack. Therefore, they will need all of the handicap spaces empty to unload the porta-potty.
On Tuesday August 22 the 40-yard dumpster bin will be placed in the circle. They will need the entire circle to place it. If you are there on Tuesday, please do not park in the circle parking lot. As soon as they have unloaded the dumpster, the circle parking lot will be again available.
On Wednesday morning August 23 at 7:00 am they will start working on the pitched roof. They anticipate being done by Friday night August 25.
The crew will work from 7:00 am until 6:00 pm each day until completed. If we get an Oregon rainstorm, they will delay the roofing for one day at a time until they get it done. The entire time they are working on the pitched roof there can be no parking in the circle area, including the handicapped spaces.
On Sunday, August 27 the circle area will be available for parking including the handicap spaces. However, the dumpster will still be there and we will have to avoid it.
On Monday, August 28 the replacement of the flat roof will begin. The crews will work 7:00 am until 6:00 pm Monday through Thursday August 28-31 until it is completed. We anticipate the flat portion of the roof taking two weeks. The circle parking area will be available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday August 25-27 except the dumpster, will still be there.
If you have any questions, please email jr. warden Gene Dietzman at email@example.com.
Thanks so much for your patience during this time of upgrading the building!
~Gene Dietzman, Jr. Warden
Roofing/Parking Lot Use Schedule:
NOTE: Dates could change if there is a rain delay or other circumstances
Aug 14- Tuesday, Aug. 15: Please don’t park in handicap parking spaces in circle parking lot
Tuesday, Aug. 15: Don’t park anywhere in the circle parking lot until the dumpster is delivered. Once it is placed you can park there again Tuesday only.
Wednesday, Aug. 16- Saturday, Aug. 19th: Don’t park in the upper circle parking lot including handicap spaces at all. Upper circle lot can be used on Sunday, Aug. 20th.
Monday, Aug. 21- Thursday Aug. 24: Upper circle parking lot closed.
Friday Aug. 25- Sunday Aug. 27: Upper circle parking lot open.
Episcopal churches celebrate Pride Month with special worship services, parade participation, fundraising events
By Shireen Korkzan/Episcopal News Service
Episcopal churches across the United States will be celebrating the 52nd annual Pride Month in June with events ranging from special worship services and festivals to hosting LGBTQ+ proms and advocacy discussions.
This June’s Pride Month events will take place as anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment continues to rise in the United States. Currently, bills targeting LGBTQ+ rights introduced by state legislatures have more than doubled since 2022.
Additionally, hate crimes targeting marginalized groups, including LGBTQ+ people, are predicted to rise in 2024 consistent with an ongoing trend in reported hate crimes during U.S. election seasons, according to a report by The Leadership Conference Education Fund. The current political climate is “rife with opportunities for the trend of increased hate to continue,” the report says. The Leadership Conference Education Fund is the education and research arm of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the oldest and largest civil and human rights coalition in the United States.
A number of Episcopal churches are hosting Pride Month events. Check online for additional events hosted by local dioceses and parishes. To see a list of churches and read the rest of this story, click here.
Dear Friends in Christ,
I have a confession. In the early days of the pandemic shut-down, someone sent to me (hoping to embolden and reassure) the words of Julian of Norwich: “All shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.” My immediate thought was, “Oh please. You obviously don’t know what we’re going through.” As the months dragged on, this quote echoed in the back of my mind. Eventually, it began to make sense. Not because medical science predicted a promising future and not because I had a psychological breakthrough. The quote made sense because I came to my faith senses. I remembered who was in control. It wasn’t me, and it wasn’t any of the people working so hard to control the virus. The only one I knew who was in full control was God. And the kind of control God has is, ultimately, a mystery. I find this to be deeply reassuring and grounding.
We have now been informed that the pandemic is officially over. People are still becoming infected by the covid virus, and we are all experiencing residual effects – and probably will for years to come. Yet, the news that the entire world is no longer on alert over the virus is an enormous shift in our reality.
I am wondering now about the spiritual residual effects of the pandemic. What do we know about ourselves as followers of Jesus that we did not know before the pandemic? What do we know now about our relationship with God that deepens or expands our understanding? How has our response to the pandemic affected our faith practices?
The author Cole Arthur Riley invites us to experience our lived reality as an ongoing revelation of God’s mysterious presence. “Awe is not a lens through which to see the world but our sole path to seeing. Any other lens is not a lens but a veil. And I’ve come to believe that our beholding—seeing the veils of this world peeled back again and again, if only for a moment—is no small form of salvation.”
A number of times during the pandemic, I observed that we would not fully comprehend what we were going through until we had distance from the experience. I predicted that researchers and scholars would be mining this period in history for years. For Christians, one of the central reflections ought to be on the ways that God was made manifest – deeply known and felt – in the midst of great suffering. The manifestation of God, as we know from the Scriptures, is often an experience of inexplicable awe. The extent to which we see our world through this lens will shape and inform our relationship with God.
If there is one thing we humans fight and resist, it’s being out of control. And if there’s one thing God reveals to us again and again, it’s that we are not in full control. In fact, God did not create us to be in full control. It is not part of the human call to be in ultimate control.
Seeing the world and all its uncontrollable events with a sense of awe changes everything. This is not to suggest that we see through rose-colored glass – as if putting a cheerful face on things will actually transform a devastating truth. Rather, we are called to engage our world with awe. I do believe that we were created for awe. We are created to live into our call to not be the center of the universe, but as stewards and collaborators – as God’s chosen to serve others while standing in awe and wonder as God’s love is revealed in the most unpredictable ways. Our faith forms us and calls us to embrace our limitations and, therefore, to be unfettered – free to walk with one another in all states of grace toward a life that heals, comforts, and connects us to the source of all being.
The pandemic is over, and for that, we are grateful. Even more true is what we know, by faith, on this side of the pandemic. God has never failed us, never left us, and in fact, has been with us even in the hardest and most isolated times. The truest way to know this is in each moment, however fleeting, that we were able to focus differently, allowing a sense of awe to anchor our hearts to God.
~Article from Diocese of Oregon, image from Forbes
Join Us for an Adult Formation Class on Understanding the Parables
Come Monday, May 8, from 6:00 to 7:00 pm, in the church library or online via Zoom to learn what to look for and discuss Jesus’ parables. What is a parable anyway, and how is it different from a fable or moral tale? What is unique about Jesus’ parables? How might his listeners have received them? How can we take meaning from them in our world today?
Parables were important to Jesus – the Gospels relate at least 30 of them. But if you sometimes read or listen to one of Jesus’ parables and are left scratching your head, wondering what it means, you’re definitely not alone! Even his disciples sometimes asked for help. How can we gain a better understanding of these very special stories?
Carol Reifsteck will be facilitating our group, looking at several parables in depth. Put May 8 on your calendar and join us for a lively discussion. Newer members are most welcome – this is a great way to get involved and meet more people.
To get the Zoom link, please contact the church office firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-645-0744. For those of you on Zoom, we have new equipment that will improve the sound and visual quality.
Hope to see you there!
Adult Formation Ministry
Our Jr. Youth Group of 4th-7th grade church school at St. Gabriel’s is going to busy the rest of the school year with their twice-yearly Ecochallenge challenge. Last Sunday April 16th the group cleaned the playground as their first project, raking leaves, pulling weeds, picking up toys, removing trash, and doing small repairs. It was raining, but the group voted to go ahead with the planned project, saying, “Hey- we’re Oregon kids- a little rain won’t hurt us.” The playground looks great now! The Ecochallenge ends in April officially but will go on for us through June 4th. Below are the goals they chose:
8 Jr. Youth Group Ecochallenge Goals 2023 April 16- June 4th
Climate and Ecosystems:
CREATE & SHARE A LOVE LETTER, POEM, SONG OR PICTURE: May 21st
(1) We will express our love and gratitude for our planet by writing a love letter, poem, song or taking a picture. We will share in the Ecochallenge feed/St. Gabriel’s social media.
WATCH A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE OR NATURE: June 4th
(2) (3) We will watch 1 documentary about climate change and then go on a Ecochallenge field trip TBD.
Economy and Communities
MEND (UPCYCLE) CLOTHING: May 7th Create something new from old socks
(4) We will mend clothing for myself, family or friends.
Health and Equity
DONATE FOOD: April 23rd Make soup kits for food bank
(5) We will find out what food programs are in our area and donate food and/or other items that they request.
Education and Livelihood
MAKE CLEANING PRODUCTS: April 30th
(6) We will make a few homemade cleaning products.iCloud Photos (2)
HOST OR JOIN A CLEANUP EVENT: April 16th Playground clean up
(7) Within my community at home or work, we will organize or attend a local cleanup event.
Basic Needs and Security
PREPARE AND SERVE A VEGETARIAN MEAL May 14th
(8) Prepare and serve a vegetarian meal for after service coffee hour in honor of Mother’s Day for the congregation.
Palm Sunday Community Egg Hunt!
Sunday, April 2nd at 3:00 pm sharp!
(youth helpers please show up at 2:00 pm)
Hundreds of hidden prize eggs, with special prizes awarded for those who find gold eggs.
The egg hunting will go on rain or shine.
Please dress and wear footwear appropriate for the weather.
Bring a basket if you have one or borrow one of ours.
Everyone is welcome, so invite friends and family.
Children through 5th grade are invited to hunt.
Everett+ will tell us a Palm Sunday story.
There is no charge to join in the fun. Come join us for the earliest egg hunt in the neighborhood!
St. Gabriel the Archangel’s senior youth group of 8th-12th graders gave a testimonial presentation on Sunday, February 26th on “The Pronoun Project.” Our youth started this work in October of 2022 as part of the People’s Ecochallenge, a nationwide digital platform based in Portland that has groups take on challenges to encourage new habits to build a more sustainable and equitable world. Our sr. youth chose to concentrate on how asking and using someone’s correct pronouns are two of the most basic ways to show people love and respect. But it goes so much deeper than that. They are also providing pronoun stickers and new hand-beaded lanyards for members’ nametags.
Here is what the group wrote together and presented along with youth leaders Abby Mulcahy and Gabbi Boyle, called “Neighbors”:
As Episcopals, we agree to a lot of things in our Baptismal Covenant. We say that we believe in God – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and will follow the teachings of the apostles and prophets. We say that we will resist evil and proclaim the good news of the Gospel. But that’s not all. Towards the end of the Baptismal Covenant, we make two big promises.
First, we promise to seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves. What does that mean? Who counts as our neighbor?
A neighbor isn’t just someone close to us. People all over the world, wherever they may be, are our neighbors. And a neighbor isn’t just someone who looks or talks like us. People of different races and people who speak different languages are our neighbors. And a neighbor isn’t just someone who agrees with us. People with different religious, political, or social beliefs are our neighbors.
As a senior youth group, we know that church is a place for us to show up and be loved as our whole selves. We know that there are not special qualifications for being someone’s neighbor. We are all united in God’s love.
The second big promise we make is to strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being. What does this mean?
To respect the dignity of every human being, we can start, funny enough, by loving our neighbor. We do not have to agree on everything. We do have to agree that every human being is important. This means that every person should have their needs met and determine their own path in life–and we should be part of making that possible. Every human being deserves the respect that too many of us take for granted.
Now, how do we strive for justice and peace among all people? There are a lot of people out there! This feels impossible. As a senior youth group, we have talked about how we are not called to solve every problem, but that we should be active in our faith. When we recognize that something is wrong or unjust, we have to do something about it. We are called to stand for Christ’s work in all that we do and, importantly, our job is NOT to determine who qualifies for justice and peace.
Some of you out there may be thinking to yourself, ‘what does this have to do with pronouns?’ We’ve been talking about the pronoun project for months now and, for the last few weeks, there have been inserts related to pronouns in the service booklet.
Pronouns are used in everyday speech and writing to take the place of people’s names.
How many times has someone used your name today? How does it feel when you’re called the wrong name? Pronouns are just like names.
We use pronouns a lot without even thinking about it. Asking and using someone’s correct pronouns are two of the most basic ways to show respect.
When people get it right or show that they are trying, it means a lot. If you make a mistake – just apologize and move on – we are all human! With God’s help we can expand our language to grow our community and deepen our faith
Ok but what does this have to do with the Baptismal Covenant? Pronouns are never explicitly mentioned, why should we care?
First, using correct pronouns are part of how we love our neighbor.
Second, using and talking about pronouns in community is how we respect the dignity of every human being.
Third, continuing to learn about and understanding how to use someone’s pronouns correctly is part of how we strive for justice and peace.
It can feel scary to try new things. As a senior youth group, we talked about how hard it can be to be in a situation to correct older adults and authority figures, how this can feel disrespectful. Even bringing up these topics can be hard and intimidating. But our Baptismal Covenant reminds us of our unity in God’s love. The words we use, the way we invite change or invite new neighbors are all part of our promise.
Eco-Social Justice Projects like the Pronoun Project belong in the Episcopal Church because they help highlight opportunities for us to find new ways to live out our Baptismal Covenant. We here at St Gabriel’s are a small community. As a senior youth group, we discuss how our relationships with God are deeply personal but that, in community, we also need to focus on the whole person.
The way I like to think about this is the way I talk to my friends. It’s ok for me to make mistakes because my friends know that I have good intentions and am trying to get it right. It’s not a big thing for them to correct me and move on so I can do better next time. It shows that we all care about each other and our relationship. Our friends are our neighbors, and our neighbors are our friends.
The senior youth group bulletin board has been updated to contain more information about pronouns. When you stop by, please take a sticker to add your pronouns to your nametag. We look forward to getting to know you all a little better.”
On Sundays February 26th- March 26th at 6:30 pm, please join us as St. Gabriel offers Lenten Evensong.
Each week will feature different prayer traditions and live piano instrumental music inspired by the text.
Week 1, February 26th: The text will be from the 1979 BCP and the music will be meditative hymns for Lent from the 1982 Hymnal.
Week 2, March 5th: The text will be from A New Zealand Prayer Book with instrumental music ranging from French composer Léo Delibes to American composer Stephen Sondheim.
Week 3, March 12th: The text will be from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church with music by the Ukrainian composer Viktor Kosenko.
Week 4, March 19th: The text for Week 4, Laetare Sunday, will draw from a service for the Mother of Sorrows featuring music ranging from ancient hymns to compositions by Ralph Vaughn Williams and Boris Gounod.
Week 5, March 26th: The text will come from the Book of Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals with music from Hillsong Worship.
Meet Our Pianists:
Dan Gaynor (All Sundays except March 26th)
A native of Portland, pianist Dan Gaynor studied at Mt. Hood Community College and Portland State University with teachers including Randy Porter, Dave Barduhn, Darrell Grant and Glen Moore. He played with many musicians including Nancy King, Esperanza Spalding, Chuck Israels, Glen Moore, Bob Mover, Bobby Torres, Dan Faehnle, Marguerite Jeunemann, David Friesen, Kelly Joe Phelps, Alan Jones, Lawrence Williams, Rob Scheps, Robert Moore, John Stowell, Ingrid Jensen, Emily Braden, Ron Steen, Mel Brown, “Sweet Baby” James Benton, Chris Conrade, Dick Berk and many others. Dan is also a versatile vocal accompanist, with a wide knowledge of repertoire and musical styles. He appears on Oasis by David Valdez & Pere Soto, Good Morning Geek by the Portland Jazz Orchestra, and En Route by Ed Bennett. To read an article about Dan, please click here.
Clay Giberson (Sunday, March 26th)
Well-traveled geographically and musically, keyboardist and composer Clay Giberson’s artistic talent and musicianship are coming to the forefront, A Southwest Washington native, he studied in Coral Gables, Florida, University of Miami (B.M. Cum Laude, Studio Music and Jazz) and New York City, New York University (M.M. Magna Cum Laude, Music Technology) where he studied with Jim McNeely, Fred Hersch and Vince Maggio. Clay has released three recordings on the Seattle based Origin Arts record label. He has performed throughout Europe, Scandinavia, the Mediterranean, the South Pacific and Caribbean and Japan. Having been influenced by all types of music, Clay draws from these idioms in his own compositions and in the interpretation of others. He is currently on the faculty at Clackamas Community College where he teaches electronic music and piano.
Ash Wednesday Worship Services at St. Gabriel the Archangel- The Beginning of Lent
9:30 am Ash Wednesday Rite I Eucharist and Imposition of Ashes
A quiet service without music.
Join us in-person or online via Zoom (call office for link 503-645-0744 or use password on our website’s opening page).
12:00- 5:00 pm Ashes-to-Go
Drive up to the upper parking lot round-about to receive ashes.
You can call the office for an appointment during office hours, call us when you arrive, or just honk! 503-645-0744.
7:30 pm Ash Wednesday Rite II Eucharist and Imposition of Ashes
A quiet service without music.
Join us in-person or online via Zoom (call office for link 503-645-0744 or use password on our website’s opening page).
St. Gabriel’s jr. youth group of 4th-7th graders and their teachers baked, popped, frosted, dipped, rolled, and decorated their hearts out to raise money for something they chose that is dear to their hearts- supporting the planting of native plants. Thanks to the parish’s generous support, they raised $300 on Sunday, January 22nd! The money will go to either buying individual native plants, buying 1-2 larger shrubs or trees, or be donated to an organization that supports native plants- we will let you know what is decided. Visting fill-in priest Canon Linda Potter also joined in the fun. Thanks to everyone, especially Page Clothier, Tom, James and Nicholas Martin, Ann Horton, Polly Bass, the Parker family, everyone who baked and brought items to sell, and all who purchased goodies or even donated money without taking treats!
One of the great joys, and one of the most fulfilling, as members of the Gabriel Center, St. Gabriel the Archangel’s outreach ministry, is sending grants to agencies whose work serves the underserved in our community. This last Christmas season, our committee awarded $1000 grants each to William Temple House, The NAYA Family Center, and the Helping Hands Re-Entry Program. Additionally, PCC Rock Creek Panther Pantry, Westview Cat Cave and Beaverton Clothes for Kids received $500 each.
Some of these bequests were unexpected by the recipients, and others still gratefully received by organizations with which we have continuing relationships. We want to share a few ways the “thanks” has been expressed to the people of St. Gabriel, and some of the impact these donations make.
From Westview High School: “Thank you so very much for your generosity and support of Westview High School’s Free Student Clothing and Household Items Closet, AKA the “Cat Cave”. Your recent donations have made a tangible and lasting positive impact on our homeless and at-risk students…. As of December 6, we had served 130+ Westview students, over more than 400 visits, providing school supplies, clothing and shoes, personal care items, and household supplies, as well as a safe and welcoming space for our students. Without the support of community member such as you, this would not be possible.”
From the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA): “We are grateful for you, for our community of donors and partners, who have continued to support our mission as we navigate the pandemic and its impacts on the health of our community, providing life-affirming and life-changing services…. Our mission is to enhance the diverse strengths of our youth and families in partnership with the community through cultural identity and education. We could not do this without you! Thank you again for standing with NAYA and Portland’s Native American community.”
From William Temple House:
“Thank you for supporting a stronger, healthier community for our area neighbors!
Your gift of $1000.00 to the Nourish Our Neighbors campaign makes it possible for us to continue providing affordable mental health counseling, healthy food, and more to our community to those most affected by mental health challenges, hunger, and houselessness. Your generosity supports these vital services so everyone in our community is full nourished – emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
Together, we are building a stronger community through counseling, food, and connection. Thank you for joining us to Nourish Our Neighbors.”
From Portland Community College Foundation:
“Thank you for your recent gift in support of student success at Portland Community College. Your contribution will have a lasting impact on our students and our community.
Your investment…allows our students to pursue their goals and continue on a path towards fulfilling careers. And, because of your support, many of our low-income and first-generation college students believe they can finally realize their dreams of high-quality education. Thank you for making this possible!”
And a resounding THANK YOU!! to the community of St. Gabriel from The Gabriel Center. Your support through your pledges, donations, and gifts make this joyous work possible. Please continue on this path with us, doing the work God has given us to do!
~Kathy Prenger, The Gabriel Center
image from NWPriorityCU
“Helping Us Live Out Our Faith in This World”
There are wonderful things in the works at St. Gabriel the Archangel in the education arena. A new ministry of Adult Formation will be presented in the new year with the formal name “Christian Formation/Education.” Its intent is to develop our Christian faith and offer ways of actively living out our faith in this world. We would like to focus on four ways of moving toward this goal:
First, we have our Episcopal liturgy and Eucharistic practice – there’s a lot to learn that can deepen our worship experience.
Second, Christianity and our Hebrew heritage have a rich and varied history over three thousand years. By exploring the roots of our faith, we can find new ways of understanding our world today.
Beyond that, each of us is also an individual, looking for spiritual growth in our own way. We can explore new (and old) ways, within the Christian tradition, to enrich our inner world and relationship with God.
Finally, we can explore ways of acting, through the radical love of Jesus, to try and make our community, and the world around us, into a better place. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and our Bishop Akiyama are deeply committed to this goal, and we can become a part of that effort. These are not independent activities – they are tightly connected.
We are proposing four areas of focus beginning in 2023:
- Episcopal Liturgy and Eucharistic practice
- Christianity and our Hebrew heritage
- Spiritual growth
- Learning about acting in our community through the radical love of Jesus.
Episcopal Liturgy and Eucharistic Practice:
Cradle Episcopalians may be familiar with how our services are constructed and the sources of the Book of Common Prayer, but many of our members (including myself) have arrived from other religious traditions. And it’s just possible that long-time members might enjoy refreshing their knowledge.
St. Gabriel already has a number of ways to learn: At a recent service, Fr. Everett gave us a guided explanation of the Liturgy and Eucharist, along with a guide booklet to capture what he said. We will repeat that periodically and offer the booklet to new members.
Each year, our Liturgy focuses on one of the four Gospels – Matthew is the one for 2023. In mid-January, the Bible Reading group will offer a time where, over several weeks, we can all listen while volunteers each read one chapter at a time. Yes, we hear selections each Sunday, but it’s amazing how much more comes out with a full reading. It will deepen your appreciation of Matthew for the whole year.
When we have the right timing, we will offer a special training course, called a Catechumenate, which gives all the knowledge required for confirmation. One can take the course even if one has already been confirmed, and it’s especially useful for those who were confirmed in another tradition. It’s a fascinating journey through our religion and offers a lot to think about.
Finally, we will offer a series that takes us through the Book of Common Prayer – its history, structure, topics, the Rites and much more. There’s a lot to cover, so we will break it up into smaller bites and hold them from time to time.
Christianity and Our Hebrew Heritage
The Bible is a wonderful book, but it is not always easy to understand. Some passages conflict with others. Parables may leave one wondering what to think. Other parts can be genuinely disturbing. Yet, it is altogether a vast and inspiring canvas – a lifetime of study is not enough to take it all in.
In service, our Episcopal Liturgy selects key passages, and our priest helps us to gain a deeper understanding of what it can mean for us in these times, in our daily lives. But, useful as it is, a fifteen-minute sermon may not be enough time to really illuminate the text, and most of the Bible is never brought to light. We may hunger for more. The purpose of the Christian Formation Ministry is to take more time to explore the Bible, linking up to our priest’s goals and the Liturgy.
The Bible Reading Group has been meeting weekly for several years with the simple goal of hearing different books. After all, they were written to be read aloud. Many of the books that are not part of the Liturgy, as well as the Gospels and the Epistles, are read all the way through. If you’re interested, we’re going to have the group sponsor a reading of Matthew in the New Year.
A similar group meets weekly to read a Psalm three times, to gain a deeper experience of these beautiful songs.
In 2023, we will begin a monthly Bible Discussion Group, focusing on more specific topics to gain perspective on some of the interesting aspects of the Bible. For example, Jesus told many parables, some of which are, frankly, quite obscure. Why? What was the effect on those who heard Him? What can we take from them today?
Learning About Acting in Our Community Through the Radical Love of Jesus
What does that mean? Actually, it has many shades of meaning. At its core, it is not enough to learn about being Christian without using what we have learned. We are called, by God, to practice radical love on the ground, with real-life people and in real-life scenarios, to look out for each other and to look after each other, in practical terms. Jesus didn’t just preach and teach us to pray. With love and compassion, He healed, He fed, He changed the day-to-day lives of people he had never met before. More than that, He demanded that, to follow Him, we must likewise show our love in truth and action.
How do we go about doing this? First, we must learn how to look at others as God looks at them, without preconceptions or judgment. Only then can we begin to understand their deepest needs. To do this, we must learn how to create a safe place in our collective hearts and minds, a nonjudgmental space where people with differing beliefs can explore aspects of our spiritual and physical world. There, we can find truth.
Our society sometimes teaches us that uncomfortable facts should be feared and avoided. A “safe place” is a way to get past that, to encounter the world, with all its troubles, with unconditional love. That opens the door to action through forgiveness, compassion and mercy. Loving action, as Jesus demands, is the true path to justice.
Over time, we will choose from a variety of topics. Some may interest you, others may not. But each will allow us to understand, from a safe place of open discussion, the lived experience of people who are not as fortunate as we are, or who are simply different. The goal is to open a door for compassionate action.
So this is how our Christian Formation Ministry fits together. Through Liturgy, Bible and spiritual study, we can find ways to change ourselves, and thereby change St. Gabriel and our community. Radical Love takes us along the same path, in the other direction – we strive to change the world, which changes St. Gabriel, and by our actions we ourselves are changed. It is all one path, the Christian path.
Here’s a picture of what we’ve been discussing as the path of St. Gabriel’s Christian Formation Ministry:
I want to thank several people who have generously contributed to this: Terry Brennan, Ava Martin, Abby Mulcahy and Evelyn Shoop. As we go forward, I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions too. This ministry is for you – add to the conversation! You can reach me, Rod MacDow, at email@example.com.
Jesus image from bonifacius
Yes, we had terrible technical difficulties on Sunday, December 18th, but we still did our best to still capture a video version of our children’s Advent play with music “God’s Gift to Us: Immanuel,” and it was wonderful! Thanks to everyone who assisted in presenting this production as a gift to St. Gabriel the Archangel’s congregation.
The play about the prophecies and events leading up to the birth of Christ was adapted by Page Clothier from The Lectionary Story Bible by Ralph Milton. The music was arranged by Jessica Israels.
It can be viewed at link here, with the play starting at the 26 minute point.
At 8:00 am our senior youth ministers Abby Mulcahy and Gabbi Boyle presented a live reading of the play, and that is available at a link here starting at the 12 minute point.
Finally, to view our favorite children’s version of the nativity story “The Story of Christmas” as told by the children of St Paul’s Church, Auckland, New Zealand, click on the YouTube link here.
Everyone is invited to join us for the first ever performance of our original Advent play “God’s Gift to Us: Immanuel.” The play is about the prophesies of Isaiah that the Messiah is coming in the form of a child, and then the events leading up to (but not including) the birth of Christ. The story leaves us still waiting anxiously for the baby to be born.
The play was written by Page Clothier based on the book The Lectionary Story Bible by Ralph Milton. Page is directing the play with much help from Whitney Joshi, Abby Mulcahy, Gabbi Boyle, Ava Martin, and Aiden McKee. Page created the costumes and props. The music was arranged by music director Jessica Israel and will be performed by Jessica, David Saffert, and members of the choir.
At the 8:00 am service our senior youth leaders Abby Mulcahy and Gabbi Boyle will do a live reading of the play without music, and at the 10:00 am service 20 children and teens will perform the play with music.
This play is a very special presentation and offered as a gift to St. Gabriel’s, and we hope you can join us in-person or over Zoom!
NOTES to performers and parents:
Children participating in the play performance at 10:00 am should come to their regular classrooms at 10:00 am: preschool- 3rd grade classroom #2 and 4th-7th grade classroom #4 (youth room), to get their costumes on and prepare.
Senior youth/teen participants can sit on the purple pew with Abby and Gabbi until performance time (in place of the sermon).
If your child is sick or otherwise unable to attend and play their part, PLEASE contact Page by texting her at 503-720-1254 and letting her know so we can arrange a substitute.
After the performance, children will come back into the sanctuary to sit with their families with a pew project.
Prayers that you stay well, and see you Sunday!
image from abstrancy
Rev. Karen Tiegs’ “Advent for Every Body” Podcast Segment
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland has offered an invitation this Advent to join them as we consider all the ways in which human bodies have and continue to bear God in our world with Advent for Every Body, a daily Advent Calendar podcast. How is our understanding of God deepened and nourished in one another – in bodies that have been held up for generations as inappropriate, shameful, or incomplete?
St. Gabriel the Archangel parishioner Rev. Karen Tiegs spoke about her very personal take on the theme for the podcast for December 5th. Listen to her tender and thought-provoking segment by clicking the link below. “Anyone with cancer knows the challenge of loving our bodies when it seems like our bodies have turned against us.” Please continue to keep Karen+ and her family in your prayers.
Other daily Advent podcasts from Trinity can be accessed here.
~images from Trinity
Notes from the Corner Office…
Dear Beloved Community,
Madeleine L’Engle, who some of you might know as the author of A Wrinkle in Time, was also an essayist, a poet, and an Episcopalian. Her poetry often explored and expressed her Christian faith. In a collection of her poetry and essays, Miracle on 10th Street: And Other Christmas Writings, there is an essay entitled “Redeeming All Brokenness” in which she discusses John of the Cross. She writes, “Judgement: John of the Cross says that in the evening of life we shall be judged on love; not on our accomplishments, not on our successes and failures in the worldly sense, but solely on love.”
What an amazing concept and if you stop and think about it, how obvious. Remember what Presiding Bishop Michael Curry famously said, “If it isn’t about love, it isn’t about God.” Of course, if God is love, then how we love is the only thing that matters. Not who we love because we are called by Jesus to love our neighbor (everyone), but how we love.
“God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son.” John 3:16. This is what we remember and celebrate on the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, otherwise known as Christmas. Imagine God, so in love with us that God wanted to reconcile us to God’s self. Imagine God, so in love with us, that God ached for us to turn back towards God and God’s love. Imagine God, so in love with us, that God took on our form, our existence, to teach us how to love each other and to love God. Imagine God, so in love with us that God was willing to suffer death on the cross, so that through the resurrection, we would be saved from sin and death. Imagine God, so in love with us, that God promised to return to the world to complete the remaking.
How we love is all that matters. How we love informs everything else we do in this life. How we love is what defines us as disciples and apostles of Jesus. As the folk hymn says, “They will know we are Christians by our love.” As the holiday shopping season, which often competes with the Season of Advent for our attention, compels us to think about getting those in our lives “the perfect gift,” perhaps the what of the gift doesn’t really matter as much as the why of the gift. The why of course being love.
In the peace and love of Christ,
~image from gracebcdansville
Honoring Our Land
In our Prayers of the People each week, we pray for the Tualatin Kalapuya people, who originally occupied the land in most of the Willamette Valley. Do you ever wonder why?
Land acknowledgments have become more common recently. They serve as a way to honor the ancestors of our land and, in remembering their sacrifices, come to better understand our responsibility to protect it. At Portland State University, where I work, this has been customary at events for several years, and our commencement ceremony has even included a traditional drum performance of an honor song since at least 2017. As someone who identifies as both Anglo-American (my mother is of Irish, English and Welsh descent) and Native (my father is Lumbee, a tribe primarily centered in North Carolina), this has always been special to me to hear. Recently I attended a virtual conference held at North Carolina State University, and the acknowledgment not only included the Lumbee, but was given by a Lumbee. A lot of people in Oregon haven’t even heard of the Lumbee, so this moment filled me with a sense of community I hadn’t expected.
In some ways, saying this prayer is like a moment of silence for someone who has passed, or when we pray for those in need of healing or repose of the soul. For some, they may just be names on paper, but for those who are connected, those prayers bring deep feelings. The Prayers of the People bring us together in community as we focus our thoughts and words on something in common. I hope you will take a moment as we celebrate Native American Heritage month to remember the original custodians of our land and honor their legacy.
~Blessings, Becki Hunt Ingersoll
If you want to learn more about the Tualatin Kalapuya check out this site: https://ndnhistoryresearch.com/tribal-regions/kalapuyan-ethnohistory/
Image from Oregon Encyclopedia
Greetings, Beloved Community.
There are afternoons, like this one, when Ann has gone home and locked me in (to keep me safe or to keep me from getting out – you guess), that I sit at my desk looking out the windows of the corner office and am amazed at the beauty of this place and its surroundings.
This afternoon, as the sun moves over the east side of the church and is lighting up the trees which are turning color, I feel truly blessed that God has called me to St. Gabriel. There are mornings I wake up and think to myself – “This is really what I get to do with my life!” I think I may be waxing poetic because the anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood is about a month away. I will begin my third year as a priest on December 12th. If any of you remember, I was ordained on a Saturday and on Sunday I was the de facto priest-in-charge and Christmas was just around the corner. Dcn. Greg Rainey and I had the great idea to move our all-Zoom services from our homes into the church- which actually did turn out to be a great idea. What I remember is how this community worked to support me in my new ministry and came together to create a new way to worship. It was pretty wonderful.
It is not only the anniversary of my ordination that has got me ruminating and reflecting. We are about to begin a new liturgical year on November 27th. With the first Sunday of Advent we begin Year A 2022 – 2023 which coincides more or less with the end of my first six months as the official priest-in-charge. The year to come will be the first full liturgical year that I will be sitting in the corner office. All of this has got me thinking about what the new year will bring.
We are officially back in business so to speak. Actually, what we’ve done is to begin a new way of being St. Gabriel. Part of that is the result of the times we live in, part is the result of new people having joined our family, and part – perhaps the largest part – is the Holy Spirit powerfully pulling us forward. The coming year is going to offer new opportunities for folks to step into the role of ministry leaders as well as ministry members. The coming year is going to offer new opportunities for adult education and adult spiritual formation. The coming year is going to offer new opportunities for ways to experience worship. And that’s just the stuff we already have planned!
So, as the sun drops further in the afternoon sky, I will end this by inviting you to get ready for the church’s new year. We are going to be celebrating a traditional Advent this year by offering special Taizé Evensong services each of the four Sundays of Advent starting at 5:30 pm. These will be services of light, meditative music, prayer, and preparation for the coming of the Messiah. I hope you will join me and the worship ministry team.
In the peace and love of Christ,
Where will you be as polls close for U.S. midterm elections?
Join us online for Election Day Prayers
Tuesday, Nov. 8th, 5:00- 9:00 pm PST
Special guests from around the church will offer 10-15 minutes of reflection and prayer throughout the event. Scheduled guests include the following:
- Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
- House of Deputies President Julia Ayala Harris
- The Rev. Chuck Robertson, canon for Ministry Beyond The Episcopal Church
- The Rev. Charles Graves IV, missioner for Houston Canterbury
- The Rev. Donna Gleaves, Episcopal Public Policy Network Ambassador, Montana
- Willis H.A. Moore, Episcopal Election Activator, Hawaii
Join us at St. Gabriel the Archangel on Sunday, October 30th at 2:00 pm for a concert featuring Jecca Jazz Ensemble to raise money to help fund medical expenses for Clara Battles, who has been diagnosed with Niemann-Pick Type C; a rare, progressive genetic disorder commonly known as Childhood Alzheimer’s. Admission will be by donation. Spread the word and enjoy an afternoon of jazz for a good cause- our beloved Clara!
On Sunday, October 9th our Jr. and Sr. Youth groups and their families made a visit to our congregants’ local farm as part of their October People’s Ecochallenge goals. The group had lunch together, learned about the farm’s sustainability practices and how climate change has affected it, pet and fed animals, and harvested popcorn cobs. It was a glorious fall day in Oregon, and we are so grateful to our hosts and to God!
By Lexiann Grant For the Episcopal Cafe and Journal
“The discomfiture we feel may be our most accurate human sensation; reminding us we are not quite “at home” here. — C.S. Lewis
In his novel “Anxious People” Scandinavian author Fredrik Backman writes about how life hurts sometimes simply because we don’t feel like we belong in our own “skin,” that it doesn’t feel like it is ours.
We are often so uncomfortable in our own skins that we want to crawl out of them like a shedding snake.
Because we don’t feel we belong. Because we are uncertain about being where we are, or doing what we’re doing.
Because we are not at home within ourselves.
Some of us may point fingers and blame other people, while others chalk it up to fate or the universe. A few may be introspective enough to understand when our choices place us in a specific situation. Regardless we still don’t want to be us, within it.
Whatever our circumstance, we need to realize that either God put us where we are or will use us where and as we are. We are who we’re supposed to be, where we’re needed, like it or not, discomfited or not.
As a guide to those seeking to become comfortable within their own skin without numbing their reality, “The Big Book” of Alcoholic’s Anonymous advises, “…acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find…— some fact of my life — unacceptable to me. I can find no serenity until I accept that person (including myself??), place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment…nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.” *1
Acceptance might seem easier said than done. But Paul in his letter to the Romans suggests how:
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…whether living in plenty or in want.
I can do all this through him [Christ] who gives me strength.”
So … get comfy in your “skin.” It is not ours anyway; it is on loan from God.
Wear it. Move forward. Do what is in front of you. Turn it over, accept it.
Give thanks for having a life with doubts that provides an opportunity to do God’s work.
*1 excerpt from “The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, pg 417, 4th edition.
Parenthetical inserted text is mine.
Lexiann Grant is a retired writer & author, a former chalicer and layreader, but still an Episcopalian who enjoys encountering God in the mountain backcountry.
by Christine Sine- from The Episcopal Journal and Cafe
God has spread out for our delight a banquet that was twenty billion years in the making. A banquet of rivers and lakes, of rain and of sunshine, of rich earth and of amazing flowers, of handsome trees and of dancing fishes, of contemplative animals and of whistling winds, of dry and wet seasons, of cold and hot climates. But it is a banquet that works, this banquet called creation, the human planet. It works for our benefit if we behave toward it as reverent guests. (Matthew Fox Original blessing 112)
I have not been able to get these words out of my head this week. Every time I looked at a cloud formation, gasped in awe at the beauty of Mt Rainier or wandered my garden exclaiming at the beauty of the flowers, I thanked God for this incredible banquet twenty billion years in the making. Then I looked up at the stars, reminded of the incredible NASA photos of the place where stars are birthed. This banquet we call creation is incredible, and we are its guests, invited to admire the mystery of it with all our senses – looking, listening, tasting, smelling, touching – eating and drinking of the wonder around me.
Embracing the wild hospitality of God was my theme over the last few months. It revolutionized how I look at God, the world and our commitment to it. The concept of stewardship, so often used to define our relationship to the rest of creation seems so inadequate. It gives the impression that we are the ones in charge, responsible to look after all else that God created. God is seen as an often strict and critical master. There is no sense of mutuality, no recognition of the need to listen to the creation and consult it in what we do and how we steward.
If however I recognize myself as both a guest in God’s world and a host for God’s world my attitude changes. There is a sense of mutual relationship, of intimacy both with God and creation that is quite profound. I am a guest not a steward. My whole life is a generous gift of God’s lavish bounty. Beauty, abundance, joy, generosity and love, all these I receive from God and much more. All these are gifts to me of hospitality and caring. Gifts that I am responsible to share with all the other guests at the table – not just the human ones but also the animals and plants of God’s good creation.
Last week, in her article God’s Hospitality: Hosting and Guesting, Elaine Breckenridge asked: What does it mean to behave like a revered guest at the banquet God has created for us on our planet? The word “guest” invites me to consciously tread lightly on the Earth. Being a guest on the Earth has a more intimate feel to it than “being a steward of creation” or “reducing my carbon footprint.” It speaks to me of finding ways to reverence the Earth in the same way that indigenous people do.
Fox goes on to explain another stunning aspect of the hospitality of God – in the Eucharist God then becomes the banquet for us. When we share communion together we share the life of Jesus. The bread and the wine given from the earth, made by human hands to be shared with love and generosity are part of the banquet of God’s hospitality, and the sharing of them is an incredible opportunity to thank God for the amazing banquet of our lives. It is also more than that, however. It is a sharing of Christ’s life, and a commitment to live as followers of Jesus. As we share communion together, we are reminded of and celebrate together the life that Jesus shared among his community throughout the centuries and shares with us today. We are reminded and give thanks for Jesus the banquet feast of God who nourishes and sustains us in all that we do.
Last but certainly not least, according to Fox, God does not stop here.
God not only plays the host for us and becomes the banquet for us; God also has become guest for us. This is one of the deep meanings of the incarnation, that God let go of hosting long enough to become guest as well. It is as if the human race could understand the hosting side of hospitality, but the guesting side, was becoming more and more difficult to grasp. Love is not just setting the table and going out food; love is also the receiving end of the banquet. And for this the human race begged an incarnation, a fleshy enactment of the guesting side of God, of holiness and of hospitality. Jesus is an excellent guest, a true revelation of God’s guesting side. (Matthew Fox Original blessing 113)
Jesus is the guest who waits to be invited into our hearts and into our lives, inspiring and transforming us so that we long to become like him sharing our lives and our resources with those at the margins, those who need healing and those who need to see the love and generosity of our incredible God.
There is another dimension to this idea of God as guest I grapple with. It is easy for us to see God as our host, but God as guest is another matter. I am both inspired and stunned by the thought expressed by Richard Middleton in his book A New Heaven and A New Earth that our purpose is to transform the whole earth into a fitting place, a hospitable place, not just for humankind to dwell, but also for God to dwell. Can you imagine it? God longs for a beautiful place where all creation flourishes and enjoys abundant provision, a place in which God, too, feels welcomed and comfortable, able to walk once more in a hospitable relationship with humankind.
What is the appropriate response from deep within the human person to this banquet of blessings spread before us so lavishly? Fox asks, “True holiness, full hospitality, lead to gratitude.” Thankfulness and gratefulness bubble up inside us when we consider the wonder and mystery of a God who is both host and guest in this world. It is a thankfulness that seems to fill the whole universe and reverberate through every part of each ancient yet fresh day creation in which we find ourselves.
Take time today to get out and feast on the incredible banquet God still spreads for us. Feast your eyes on the wonder of cloud formations, listen to the wind whistling in the trees and the melody of birds around you. Stop and inhale the fragrance of the air after rain, run your fingers over the lavender and inhale its wonderful aroma and taste the fruit and herbs around you.
After your walk, sit in a quiet place and contemplate the wonder of a creation banquet feast that was twenty billion years in the making. Is there a response God is asking of you?
Two Weeks of Prayer for the Start of School
(Thanks to Lauren Gaines for writing them, and Ava Martin for offering them to us to share. Image from Romper)
Read aloud together one each morning before school. Children
can read one aloud for the family too!
Praying God’s word is not complicated. In this guide, I share with
you personalized prayers, but you can do this with any scripture
you read. After you read 2 to 3 verses, pray the words that stick
out to you. Declare the promises over your family.
Here is an
example of how to pray the psalms:
Read Psalm 121:3-4: He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel
shall neither slumber nor sleep.
Pray: Thank you, heavenly Father, that you never sleep nor
slumber. You are always watching over my family and me. I
praise you because you are watching over me even when I sleep.
I do not have to be afraid because you will not allow my foot to
move. Thank you for your faithfulness. Amen.
Speak the words that the Spirit leads you to pray. God’s word is
so powerful, and when we speak it out loud, something shifts in
the atmosphere. Now for the two weeks of prayer.
Scripture: But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them
ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those
who love your name may rejoice in you. Psalm 5:11 NIV
Prayer: Heavenly Father we thank you today for your protection.
We rejoice because you spread your divine hand over us. Lord,
we ask you to watch over our coming and going this school year.
In your Word, you said you’d rescue us from every trap (Psalm 91
verse 3). We declare that promise over our house and over our
selves today. No evil will touch us. As we come and go this school
year, bring us all home safely each day. Amen.
Scripture: As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
Proverbs 27:17 NLT
Prayer: Jesus, we thank you for friends! Thank you that you
created us to be in a relationship with you and with each other.
God, I pray we form kind, uplifting relationships this school year.
Friendships that build each other up and sharpen one another.
God, I pray we will be wise when choosing friends. Give us
discernment to find true friends. Friends who will speak life to us.
Give us the ability to say no when necessary and the bravery to
stand up for what is right. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.
Scripture: Intelligent people are always ready to learn. Their ears
are open for knowledge. Proverbs 18:15 NLT
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you that you’ve given us
a brain. The ability to think and learn! This year help us develop a
thirst for knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. May we hunger
and chase after wisdom. Give us a deep desire to learn. Ready
our hearts to learn this year, at home, school, and church. Open
our ears and eyes to see the things You do, O Lord. We pray our
hearts crave knowledge and seek it out every day. Amen
Scripture: Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for
me to follow. Psalms 25:4 NLT
Prayer: Heavenly Father, show us the right path this school year.
May we not be influenced by the unwise, but seek Your higher
purposes in all things. Guide our choices. Order our steps and
make our paths straight. Show us the right path as a family. Lord,
we pray for wisdom from above. Show us where to spend our
time and energy this year. Guide us in everything we do and may
we have open ears to hear your voice. In Jesus’ mighty name we
Scripture: Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will
be wise the rest of your life. Proverbs 19:20 NLT
Prayer: Dear Jesus, give us hearts to accept instruction. Give us
the desire to learn from the wise and to accept correction. Soften
our hearts so we can gain knowledge from our teachers (and
parents). Teach us as parents how to instill respect and
compassion in our children. May we learn to honor and love
everyone we come in contact with throughout the day. Amen.
Scripture: I have told you these things so that you will be filled
with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! John 15:11 NLT
Prayer: We rejoice in your name today. Thank you Jesus for
setting us free and for dancing over us at all times. Lord draw us
to you today! As we rejoice in your love, fill us with unspeakable
joy. Overflowing JOY! As we moves throughout our day, may we
find little things to rejoice in. May we delight in learning! Keep our
minds focused on excellent, praiseworthy things. Thank you,
Scripture: Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly
loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility,
gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12 NIV
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you for your lovingkindness
toward us. God clothe us with compassion, kindness, humility,
gentleness, and patience this year. May they stand up against the
bullies, speaking with love to each other at all times. Guide us to
encourage kindness and patience. As we plant these seeds, Lord
make them grow!
Scripture: I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen
you with power through his Spirit in your inner being. Ephesians
Prayer: We thank you for our teachers! We pray you would
strengthen teachers with your power this school year. Give them
guidance on instruction, strength to complete all the tasks, and
energy to joyfully interact with their students. God give our
teachers efficiency as they work. May they find times of rest and if
they do not know you, make yourself known to them this school
Scripture: But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the
purposes of his heart through all generations. Psalms 33:11 NIV
Prayer: Thank you Jesus that your plans stand firm forever! God,
we pray you would reveal your wonderful purposes to us. Show
us and our teachers the gifts and talents you have placed inside
us. Fill us with joy as we search these gifts out. Reveal to us the
great things you have planned for our lives. Point us toward the
road you ordained for us. We thank you for your greater
purposes. In Jesus’Name, we pray. Amen.
Scripture: Common sense and success belong to me. Insight
and strength are mine. Proverbs 8:14 NLT
Prayer: Lord, we thank you for your promises and your
faithfulness. Today we claim your promise that common sense
and success belong to us. Thank you that we are filled with
wisdom and understanding. Throughout the day give us insight
beyond our years. In any situation we face, may we use sound
judgment. We thank you that you have given us a sound mind! In
Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.
Scripture: ‘May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord
smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his
favor and give you his peace.’ Numbers 6:24-26 NLT
Prayer: Lord we thank you that you are the God of peace. We
thank you that even when the earth is trembling we can be still
and know you are God. Nothing can separate us from You. We
know the school year can be a stressful time for us, but we praise
you for giving us peace even in the midst of the storm. As we sit
in your presence and focus our hearts and minds on you, rain
down your perfect peace on our family. We trust that no matter
what, you will guide us, protect us, and be gracious toward us.
Scripture: Being confident of this, that he who began a good
work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ
Jesus. Philippians 1:6 NIV
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you that you are always
right beside us. We praise you because we can rest knowing you
never leave us! Remind us today how you hold our hands. Give
us strength and endurance to run the good race of faith. Your
word says you will carry on the good work you started until the
day of Christ Jesus. Continue touching our hearts. Remind us of
your steadfast love. Hold us up on your wings to keep fighting the
good fight. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture: Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and
there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring
the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that
are not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand, And I will do all
My pleasure,” Isaiah 46:9-10 NKJV
Prayer: Lord, we praise you, you are the alpha and the omega,
the beginning and the end. Give us your might and strength.
Make yourself real in our hearts. Your purposes will be
accomplished no matter what. Reveal to us your heart. Amen.
Scripture: Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be
discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help
you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Prayer: Thank you Jesus that you are holding us up right now in
your victorious hand. Lord help us live victorious lives. May our
hearts not be discouraged by any setbacks this year. For we
know Our God has overcome every sickness and disease. We
claim the abundant life you promise for our families. May we
experience your mighty power this year. In Jesus’ Name, we pray.
Guests, Not Hosts
based on this Sunday’s gospel reading, Luke 14: 1, 7-14
In the beginning,
our very first story about ourselves ends
with the reminder we were born hungry,
body and soul:
On the day before God rested, at the dawn
of time, God granted the newborn humanity
every herb and fruit tree for our food,
sprung from the same soil
as we were. God invites us all
to a seat at the wedding table of creation-
creation we are bound to
creation we are bound to care for,
into which we ourselves are woven
as a part of the whole. There is
one table, and it is the altar
and sacred precincts
of life itself, insisting on our unity
in shared need for nourishment.
And so it is that we are reminded
in our body’s hunger, and by our food,
from the juiciest boredom-plucked berry
and truffles worth their weight in gold,
to bologna with spelled-out first and second names,
that all the sustenance we receive
is provided from this fragile planet
by God’s tender loving-kindness.
And so it is the soul’s hunger
draws us around God’s holy table
for a foretaste of heaven,
bearing our offerings from God’s creation
formed by human hands, yes,
but sacrament at the invocation
of the finger of God in our midst.
It’s a wonder
our hair doesn’t stand on end.
We are fed
not through our words
but by holy gift
that calls us into God’s own unity.
You can have communion,
or you can have competition,
but not both.
We share with each other
what is not ours to give
or take away.
There can be no jostling or jockeying
for the best place at this table, just rejoicing
that all are invited,
that there is room to spare,
that we are guests, not hosts.
~By Leslie Scoopmire
Reprinted from The Episcopal Cafe, Aug, 24, 2022
image from ocatm.org
I’m in Canterbury, England, at the Lambeth Conference of bishops. It’s August the
second. I don’t have a script in front of me, but I did want to talk with you—just briefly,
especially for our LGBTQ family. I know that there is legitimately some anxiety and
concern about the conversations and the direction that might emerge from this Lambeth
Conference, specifically regarding same-sex marriage.
I want you to know, though, that at the end of this day, when we did discuss same-sex
marriage and marriage in general, in the context of talking about human dignity, and the
ministry of reconciliation in Christ, I left that conversation hopeful. I left it hopeful, not
because we all came to agreement across all of our differences. No, no, we didn’t even try
to do that. I left hopeful not because I convinced anybody of where I stand, or that they
convinced me of where they stand. I left hopeful because this group of bishops today
seem to be able to recognize and affirm our love and respect for each other as brothers
and sisters in Christ in the body of Jesus Christ. And that we could find a way to honor
and respect our differences. If we love each other, and love our Lord. That, my friends, is
a sign of hope. That is a sign of hope. That makes room and space for all of us to be in
the course of our conversations.
There was a document that we reflected on—we didn’t take any votes; we didn’t try to do
that—it was called a call on human dignity. And in this call on human dignity, the
premise that was behind the document was that we have all been created in the image and
likeness of God. And that that image of God confers a dignity and a worth on every
human being. My daddy used to say nobody got any more of that image than anybody
else. We all got it equally which means we are equal before God, and we should be equal
before the law.
We began our discussions around human sexuality and around marriage. With that in
mind, and in the document that we were reflecting on, that document said that we in the
Anglican Communion live with a plurality of views on marriage. That there is what
might be called a traditional view of marriage between a man and a woman, and that
view is held probably by the majority, certainly, of Anglican churches around the world
and probably Anglicans—but that there is another view equally to be respected: a view
that includes and embraces same-sex couples who seek the blessing of God on their
loving relationships, their commitments and their families.
My friends, I’ve been a bishop 22 years. I’ve been a priest over 40 years. And I have to
tell you that as far as I know that is the first time a document in the Anglican Communion
has recognized that there is a plurality of view on marriage. And that these are
perspectives that reflect deep theological and biblical work and reflection. That they
reflect and respect the context in which we live and seek to address the pastoral needs of
our people, of all the children of God—that’s why I say today is a hopeful day.
There is work to do, but hope can help us run the race that is set before us. As the prophet
Isaiah said, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount
up on wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.”
This group of bishops today are finding a way to walk together as a church.
And the words that have echoed in our ears over and over again have been the words of
Jesus: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples.” Not that you agree. But
that you love one another. And so we are still walking together. And in our church, we
are making “plenty good room” for all of God’s children.
God love you. God bless you. And may God hold us all in those almighty hands of love.
# # #
For more info contact:
Public Affairs Officer, The Episcopal Church
BY MARY FRANCES SCHJONBERG
[Episcopal News Service – Baltimore, Maryland] The 80th General Convention of The Episcopal Church is one for the history books, and not just for the decisions made but also for how the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way the church conducted its business.
The July 8-11 gathering – postponed a year because of COVID-19 and shortened from eight days – conducted what Presiding Bishop Michael Curry had referred to during the planning process as “matters essential for the governance and good order of the church.” Still, 412 resolutions were filed for consideration.
Legislative committees acted online most of the resolutions before gathering in Baltimore. That cleared the way for the House of Bishops and House of Deputies to devote the in-person gathering only to legislative floor sessions. They passed most of the resolutions in batches through consent calendars. Bishops and deputies had floor debates only on more controversial measures or on actions that they wanted to raise to greater prominence.
Among those essential actions, the bishops and deputies passed a $100.5 million budget for the next biennium (the 81st General Convention is scheduled for the summer of 2024), approved the first reading of a constitutional change to clearly define the Book of Common Prayer, continued the church’s commitment to reckoning with it history of racism, elected Julia Ayala Harris to succeed the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings as House of Deputies president and the Rev. Rachel Taber-Hamilton as vice president, and agreed to the reunification of two dioceses in Texas.
To read the full article, please go here.
Dear Beloved Community:
Acknowledging the peoples and the nations who were the historic stewards of the land that churches stand on has become an important part of the Episcopal Church’s reckoning with the role it has played in their genocide and intergenerational trauma. Many parishes have begun to include a “Land Acknowledgement” statement alongside their Mission Statement; we felt it was important to add an acknowledgement to our weekly Prayers of People. So, starting this Sunday, and every Sunday thereafter, at both the 8:00 am and 10:00 am services, you will hear the following addition to the Prayers of the People: “We acknowledge the Chinook, Kalapuya, and Atfalati peoples, the traditional custodians of the land on which we now worship and we ask your blessing on their continuing contributions to the life of this region.” We are a people for whom prayer is of the utmost importance and making this acknowledgement a part of our weekly prayers as a people reflects, I believe, the seriousness of our intention.
In the peace and love of Christ,
Last Sunday, June 19th, St. Gabriel’s Sr. Youth Group gave a sermon on the topic of Juneteenth at both services. Parishioners learned the meaning of the observance, and how it connects to our faith as Christians. It was also an opportunity to support our Youth as they develop into ever more mature Christian thinkers. They worked diligently and gave great thought to this topic. In the process they challenged themselves, and each other, to better understand how they can live life more reflective of Christ’s call to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Our Youth appreciated seeing you, being supported by you, and ministering to you through their sermon last Sunday. The sermon can be viewed on our YouTube channel . Thanks to our Youth and leaders for this meaningful offering.
Juneteenth image from epiphanyseattle.org
We are happy to announce that at our Pentecost services on Sunday, June 5th, our Sr. Warden Rod MacDow and the Missioner for Thriving Congregations Christopher Craun announced that the search committee and vestry made the decision to welcome our interim priest-in-charge Rev. Everett Charters as our permanent priest! As a fairly new priest, Everett+ will retain the title of “priest-in-charge for two years, after which his title can be changed to rector. Cheers rang out after the announcement at both services, as many congregants got exactly what they were praying for. We look forward to many years of Everett+ leading us, loving us, and forging forward into a renewed post-Covid reawakening at St. Gabriel’s!
The Sound Out of the Ground
Cain murdered and buried his brother
No one knew Abel’s blood had been shed
Out of the ground came a mournful sound
Abel’s blood cried out in his stead
Our precious children of Newtown
Ask us all for this one sacrifice
Grieve our demise with your eyes on the prize
Save the children, our blood paid the price
Young brother and sister died asking
Must we fall so that others seem tall
When we all see, we are one family
Life will be so much better for all
What is that sound coming out from the ground
It’s the blood of God’s fallen children
The blood in our veins should be crying
With their blood that’s still crying today
Rise above fear, speak out loud and clear
For our children, put weapons away
What is the sound coming out of the ground
It’s the blood of God’s fallen children
What is their crying trying to say
We’ve got to stop this senseless killing
We’ve got to stop this senseless killing
We’ve got to stop this senseless killing
We’ve got to stop this senseless killing
What is their crying trying to say
We’ve got to stop this senseless killing
We’ve got to stop this senseless killing
—James A. Forbes Jr.
image from Washington Monthly
Dear Beloved Community –
I’ve been thinking about public witness. At this week’s 9:30 Wednesday Eucharist, several folks witnessed or testified to times in their lives when they felt the very real presence of God working in their lives. I use the words witnessed and testified intentionally because they conjure up images of tent revivals, I actually said that it was like we were having a mini-revival. Words like a revival, witnessing, and testifying are not ones we are used to hearing very often in an Episcopal church but our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and his Evangelism Team have been organizing “Episcopal Revivals” across the country. So, they are words we should be hearing and talking about.
It was a Holy Spirit moment to be graced with hearing people I have come to know and love share their faith in this way on Wednesday. It was truly powerful. I wish more of you could have been there to experience it and perhaps to share your testimony. I also realize that the Wednesday Eucharist is attended by a group of “regulars” who have come to know, trust, and pray for the healing of each other. It is, even on Zoom, an intimate and safe space. This is what has got me thinking. What other ways can we create intimate, safe spaces for ourselves? This is not a question I want to try and answer by myself. I’m hoping that perhaps some of you who are reading this might hear the Holy Spirit calling you to work with me to think creatively about how it might happen. I see part of my job as your priest to toss out these spiritually baited fish hooks to see who strikes which I guess sort of makes me a fisher of people. So, consider this baited hook tossed into the waters of St. Gabriel. Can I get a witness?
In the peace and love of Christ,
Notes From a Vestry Member….
I have often looked at weekends as time to recharge and take a break from doing work. It has been easy to sit back in church and let others acolyte, do readings, host coffee hours, usher…you get the idea.
My attitude about this changed during Holy week when I realized that we need more people to actively participate because there were so many services, multiple readings, etc. So, I decided to face my fear about not knowing how to pronounce all those people and cities mentioned in some readings and decided to volunteer to be a reader. However, I will start easing into it by reading the Prayers of the People. I tend to over think things so for me, starting something requires more thought than continuing to do it.
For some of you, standing in front of people might be intimidating, so with the advent of hybrid services we all have the luxury of reading in front of our laptops. Though it might not seem like it is a big help, I was told that it will be very appreciated by existing readers to lighten their load – kind of like “many hands make for light work.”
I encourage us all to check our comfort level and find something you enjoy doing or might enjoy doing. The beauty of this is that it is not a long-term commitment so if we try something and want to try something different next week, that’s fine. We never know what new things we do will speak to us and how we will personally and spiritually gain from the experience.
~George Kyler image from gregburdine
Read about what happened when a church decided to practice anti-racism during Lent by giving up music composed by White musicians. Instead of hearing familiar pieces by European composers, they explained their “intent was to lay aside our usual frames of reference and open ourselves to hearing the Gospel message through the voices of Black People, Indigenous People, and People of Color.” As the pastor of that church said, “If you haven’t sung ‘Amen Siakudumisa’ by Stephen Cuthbert Molefe, do yourself a favor and sing it immediately!”
~Article from A Public Witness online blog, article by Brian Kaylor and Beau Underwood
~Image of Rev. John Edgerton from same blog
~Hymn from YouTube by Chorale Universitaire de Rouen
“We have stunned the world out of wonder” says Robert MacFarlane in his fascinating book Landmarks. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0241967872/
MacFarlane goes on the suggest that “once a landscape goes undescribed and therefore unregarded it becomes vulnerable to unwise use or improper action.” I think the same is true of animals and even something as small as the microbial bacteria in the soil. Not just a landscape or an animal I speculate as I think of the 1 million species that might become extinct [https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/06/world/one-million-species-threatened-extinction-humans-scn-intl/index.html] as a result of human action and the millions of faceless refugees and houseless people that live around us but that we rarely notice. “Language is fundamental to the possibility of re-wonderment for language does not just register experience, it produces it” MacFarlane says.
I love that Easter and Earth Day fall at the same time of the year. On Earth Day this year (Friday), why not consider celebrating God’s good creation with a walk on which you try to name each plant and tree that you pass – not with the generic name of its species but with specific names that describe its beauty and its glory? The lilac bush outside my window could become the fragrant purple flowered bush that fills my heart with delight. What if I try to find out the name of the man who sits on the corner each day begging for money and address him with a name that gives him dignity and respect? If I can’t find out his name I can give him one – the man with rugged face and far away eyes who speaks a language I do not understand.
The way we name things matters. “A desert wasteland” does not need to be respected. An undulating dune landscape hiding the wildflower seeds of future glorious blooming does. With a wave of our hands and the words of our mouth, we have re-enchanted this landscape, re-invested it with wonder and expectation.
I think this is what happened when Adam named the animals in Genesis. Each naming I suspect was an occasion of awe and wonder. I cannot imagine that he just gave them a generic “horse”, “dog” “antelope” kind of name without forethought or consideration for what the animal was. My impression is that he sat and pondered each one. Looking closely, maybe examining the creature, seeing how it was created and then naming it. The more intimately he knew the animal the more certain he was of what to call it.
The origin of many of the names by which we now know our animals has been lost but they still have meaning for us. Gazelle immediately conjures up an image of a swift, fast running antelope. Elephant is a large mammal with a long nose and beautiful curving tusks. Unfortunately there are many other created creatures we rarely name. Some of them we know better as cars that speed along our highways like cheetah, jaguar and impala or that trample its beauty with off road driving like rams and broncos. I was very concerned as I read MacFarlane’s book to hear that in the latest version of the Oxford Junior Dictionary there was a culling of words concerning nature. Words like dandelion, heron, herring, kingfisher, lark, and leopard have been repealed with blog, voice-mail, cut-and-paste instead.
How many creatures no longer register on our consciousness because we have no name for them or else have given them a name with negative connotations – like dandelions – weeds to one person but the most nutritious plants in the garden to another?
I love my friend Lilly Lewin’s suggestion that we should take a a wonder vacation, not to get away from wonder but to reintroduce it into our lives. To re-wonder our world we need to rediscover that this is a place of mystery and that means slowing down and taking time to notice. Re-wonderment means noticing not just the flower, but the unique and beautiful arrangement of each petal, the stamens at its center beckoning insects to its feast.. Re-wonderment means stopping to inhale the fragrance, the heady aroma, more exotic than any perfume, that often only lasts for a few short days before it fades.
I call my daily walks awe and wonder walks. They have opened my eyes to new depths of the beauty and my growing passion to become a better steward of God’s good creation. Awe does beget awe. Wonder inspires wonder, and in the process, there is that sense that we once more walk in the garden with God.
I challenge you to pause for at least 1/2 an hour today, and go on your own awe and wonder walk. Re-expose yourself to the wonder of God’s world and the delight God intends you to find in interacting with it.
Walk around your neighborhood. What catches your attention? It could be something as seemingly insignificant as an ant crossing the pavement. Where did it come from? Where is it going? What is its purpose? What would you name it? What do you learn about yourself and about God as you watch it. In what ways does it open you up to the awe and wonder of our world?
~Christine Sine from The Episcopal Cafe online blog
Dear Beloved Community:
This week, I want to share with you some thoughts on Holy Week.
April 10 – Passion Sunday (Palm Sunday)
This Sunday begins the holiest time of year for Christians. Holy Week, as a series of special and unique services, dates back to the late 3rd and 4th centuries. Palm Sunday, or more correctly, Passion Sunday begins with the Liturgy of the Palms where we remember Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem with shouts of “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest” and then quickly moves into the telling of the Passion, this year as found in the Gospel of Luke, where Jesus is first brought before Pilate and at the finish will die crying in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” It can produce a kind of spiritual whiplash. Tradition tells us that the reason for the blending of the two was because few people attended Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, or the Great Vigil of Easter services, so our spiritual ancestors made sure we would hear most of the story of Jesus’ last days in one sitting. If you would like to know more about Palm Sunday, click on this link below to watch a video made by Trinity Wall Street:
Please click here> Holy Week Explained: Palm Sunday.
April 13 – Holy Wednesday/Tenebrae Service
It isn’t a tradition to hold a Tenebrae service here at St. Gabriel, but I hope it is something many of you will attend. Tenebrae is a Latin word that means “darkness” or “shadows” and one of the more dramatic aspects of the service is that it begins with 15 candles being lit and then slowly being extinguished throughout the service until only one is left burning and the church is left in near darkness. This is to symbolize the apparent victory of evil until at the very end of the service a loud noise is heard symbolizing the earthquake at the time of the resurrection. In between all of this, there is the reading of Psalms, Canticles, and Scripture. It is a truly meditative experience. Trinity Wall Street has produced a video describing the service. It can be found here:
Please click here>Tenebrae Explained: Holy Week in the Shadows
April 14 – Maundy Thursday
Maundy Thursday begins what is known as the Paschal Triduum, the three great days of Easter. Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Great Vigil of Easter is thought of as all one service which is why we leave the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services in silence.
On Maundy Thursday we recall the Passover meal Jesus shared with his disciples, his washing of their feet, and his proclamation of the new commandment which is where the service gets its name from. Maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum which means “commandment.”
In John’s gospel, Jesus says, “you also ought to wash one another’s feet,” which we will do. Rather than have me as your priest wash everyone’s feet, we will be washing each other’s feet. I think this is because I, like all of you, are a disciple of Jesus and so I should not assume Jesus’s role (not because I don’t want to be washing a lot of people’s feet!). Here is Trinity Wall Street’s video:
Please click here>Holy Week Explained: Maundy Thursday
April 15 – Good Friday
On Good Friday, we once again experience the Passion of Jesus, this time from the Gospel of John. The altar will be bare, having been stripped the night before. We will pray the Solemn Collects which are divided into five sections that address the five major areas of life that intercessory prayer is designed to address: prayers are said seeking God’s aid for the Christian church, for all the nations of the world, for those sick and in need, for any not yet reached by the missionary efforts of the Church, and for the people who are praying, that they may act holily and live eternally. We will also take time to Venerate the Cross which is offered as a time to use our replica of the Cross as a way to focus our prayer and meditation on Jesus’ Passion. Here is Trinity Wall Street’s video:
Please click here>Holy Week Explained: Good Friday
I hope that many of you will take advantage of the opportunity to attend some if not all of these sacred services. Look for a post later in the week for the meaning of the Great Vigil of Easter and Easter Sunday.
In the peace and love of Christ,
P.S. Don’t forget to be working on your Easter bonnets – everyone! You can use a baseball cap, a beanie, or a cowboy hat if the word bonnet is bothering you. Heck, you can even wear bunny ears!
Palm Sunday Community Egg Hunt
Sunday, April 10th at 3:00 pm SHARP
The hunt for prize-filled eggs happens outside (if conditions permit)
Dress for the weather with shoes or boots that can get dirty
Bring your own basket or borrow one of ours
Hunt is free and open to all kids through 5th grade-
Invite friends, neighbors, and family!
Afterwards we will hear a Holy Week story from Everett+
and award special prizes
St. Gabriel Episcopal Church 17435 NW West Union Rd. Portland, OR 97229
Put on by St. Gabriel’s Youth Group
image from villagerealtyobx
Kathy Prenger and Vicki Fitzgerald of The Gabriel Center dropped off a wealth of donations from the people of our church to the Beaverton Resource Center on Wednesday including:
- $218 worth of quarters for people to use the laundromat;
- 1000+ diapers purchased with a grant from Thrivent Financial;
- Two cases of shampoo;
- Toilet paper and tissues;
- Lots of “love and care”.
Easter Food Drive
Our next focus will be on a Youth-led food drive for individually packaged, microwavable lunches for PCC Rock Creek’s Panther Pantry free store at our Easter services.
…..Get an Easter candy and an affirmation
for each one!
Instant soup cups
Mac & cheese, chili, pasta, beef stew cups
Ramen noodle cups
Instant oatmeal cups
All donations will go to PCC Rock Creek’s Panther Pantry free store for low-income HUNGRY college students
Food drive is being conducted by St. Gabriel’s Jr. and Sr. Youth Groups on behalf of the Gabriel Center’s Lenten Outreach and as part of the April Eco-challenge
A Message from Everett+
“I believe [this] states perfectly what we should be trying to become.
Please click here to view: https://youtu.be/MhOZv5i7CHY
Spencer LaJoye “Plowshare Prayer”
Dear blessed creator, dear mother, dear savior Dear father, dear brother, dear holy other
Dear sibling, dear baby, dear patiently waiting Dear sad and confused, dear stuck and abused
Dear end-of-your-rope, dear worn out and broke, Dear go-it-alone, dear running from home
Dear righteously angry, forsaken by family Dear jaded and quiet, dear tough and defiant
I pray that I’m heard And I pray that this works
I pray if a prayer has been used as a sword against you
and your heart, against you and your word I pray that this prayer is a plowshare, of sorts
that it might break you open, it might help you grow
I pray that your body gets all that it needs and if you don’t want healing,
I just pray for peace I pray that your burden gets lighter each day
I pray the mean voice in your head goes away I pray that you honor the grief as it comes
I pray you can feel all the life in your lungs I pray that if you go all day being brave
that you can go home, go to bed feeling safe I pray you’re forgiven, I pray you forgive
I pray you set boundaries and openly live I pray that you feel you are worth never leaving
I pray that you know I will always believe you I pray that you’re heard
and I pray that this works
Amen on behalf of the last and the least, on behalf of the anxious, depressed, and unseen
Amen for the workers, the hungry, the houseless Amen for the lonely and recently spouseless
Amen for the queers and their closeted peers Amen for the bullied who hold in their tears
Amen for the mothers of little Black sons Amen for the kids who grow up scared of guns
Amen for the addicts, the ashamed and hungover Amen for the calloused, the wizened, the sober
Amen for the ones who want life to be over Amen for the leaders who lose their composure
Amen for the parents who just lost their baby Amen for the chronically ill and disabled
Amen for the children down at the border Amen for the victims of our law and order
I pray that you’re heard and I pray that this works
I pray if a prayer has been used as a sword against you and your heart,
against you and your word, I pray that this prayer is a plowshare, of sorts
Welcome to Lent 2022
In a short time, on Wednesday, March 2nd, we will hear the following words in the “Proper Liturgy for Ash Wednesday” from the Book of Common Prayer:
“Dear People of God: The first Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church to prepare for them by a
season of penitence and fasting. This season of Lent provided a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism. It was also a time when those who, because of notorious sins, had been separated from the body of the faithful were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to the fellowship of the Church. Thereby, the whole congregation was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need which all Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith.
I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word. And, to make a right beginning of repentance, and as a mark of our mortal nature, let us now kneel before the Lord, our maker and redeemer.” (BCP, 264 – 265)
The passage above from the BCP with its “notorious sins” and “separation from the body of the fellowship of the Church” can feel ominous and foreboding. Conversely, the ideas of fasting and self-denial (“This year I am giving up chocolate for Lent”) can almost sound like New Year’s resolutions to diet and exercise which by February are often forgotten.
Lent is an importance season in the life of the church and isn’t meant to be taken lightly but we should not forget the joy for which we are preparing, the “reason for the season” if you will.
One of the Proper Prefaces for the season of Lent captures this:
“You bid your faithful people cleanse their hearts and prepare with joy for the Paschal feast; that, fervent in prayer and in works of mercy, and renewed by your Word and Sacraments, they may come to the fullness of grace which you have prepared for those who love you.”
We are called to prepare with joy for the Paschal feast! Cleansing our hearts through a variety of practices: intentional prayer, works of mercy, reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word. These are all ways we are called to observe Lent. So, I would suggest, if I may, that this Lent we worry less about giving things up and more about adding things to our lives to enrich and deepen our connection to our faith. Let these 40 days of Lent be a time to experiment with opening up more space in your daily life for expressions of your faith, knowing that the space you have opened will be filled with the glory of our risen Savior at the Paschal feast.
A blessed Lent to you all.
Worship at St. Gabriel for Ash Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022
9:30 am Rite I Eucharist with the Imposition of Ashes in-person and online via Zoom
11:00 am- 12:00 pm “Ashes to Go” Drive-Through upper parking lot at church- call 503-645-0744 to let us know you are here or make a reservation
5:30- 6:30 pm “Ashes to Go” Drive-Through upper parking lot at church- no reservation needed
7:30 pm Ash Wednesday Liturgy without Holy Communion in-person and online via Zoom
Lenten image from media.istockphoto.com
St. Gabriel is excited to have the Episcopal Bishop of Oregon, The Rt. Rev. Diana Akiyama, visit our parish for the first time since she was consecrated on January 30, 2021 at Trinity Cathedral in Portland, Oregon.
Get to know our bishop!
Bishop Akiyama was born in Wheeler, Oregon and grew up in a Japanese American community in Hood River. Bishop Akiyama was the first Japanese American woman ordained to the priesthood in The Episcopal Church in 1989 by the Rt. Rev. Rustin Kimsey, Diocese of Eastern Oregon. She holds a Ph.D. in Religion and Social Ethics from the University of Southern California (2001), a M.Div. from Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley (1988), and a B.S. from the University of Oregon (1981). Before returning to Oregon to serve as our 11th bishop, she served as the Vicar at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Kapaau, Hawai’i and as Dean at Waiolaihui’ia School of Formation for the Episcopal Diocese of Hawai’i.
Bishop Akiyama’s passion for living into the charisms of preaching, teaching, and the sacerdotal work of the priesthood continues to form her as a spiritual leader. Speaking the truth in love expressed through authenticity, trustworthiness, compassion and clarity of vision are the hallmarks of her spiritual leadership. “I am energized when my leadership helps communities to shift assumptions, restore expectations, and imagine a new way forward. Listening with empathy, courage and openness allows me to walk with individuals and communities to connect their deepest yearnings with God’s call,” Bishop Akiyama stated.
Her gifts as a spiritual leader find their fullest expression in work centered on discerning how God is calling each of us to participate in the Beloved Community. She is continually awed by the Holy Spirit’s activity in and through each of us and will continue this work in the various opportunities to walk with the people of the Diocese of Oregon.
Donate to the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund
In honor of her visit and important work, please consider a gift to The Bishop’s Discretionary Fund. “The funds are used to assist those studying for ordained ministry and aid clergy families in a difficult financial situation”. Checks may be made out to St Gabriel’s with the notation: “Bishop’s Discretionary Fund.”
We Need Ushers & Acolytes for the 10:00 am Service
We are looking for 2 ushers and acolytes to serve for the 10:00 am service on Sunday, February 20th with the bishop. You can contact Canon Linda or the church office if you can help.
We Will be Celebrating a Baptism!
We are looking forward to witnessing the bishop baptize a 2-year-old from our congregation at the Sunday, February 20th 10:00 am service. Church school students will be brought into the sanctuary from the classrooms to be witnesses, although they will be watching and waving their baptism wands from a safe distance away rather than be crowded around the baptismal font due to Covid guidelines.
Pick Up a Baptismal Wand to Wave Over Zoom
If you will be attending the February 20th 10:00 am service at home via Zoom rather than attending in-person, pick up a baptismal wand at church this Sunday Feb. 13th or outside on the bench by the church entrance anytime next week. Wave it at the screen along with the congregation when Clara is baptized!
Biography and images from the Diocese of Oregon website, wand image from cdn.diys.com
Notes from Canon Linda from St. Gabriel’s Annual Parish Meeting Report
January 30, 2022
Beloved of God, members of St. Gabriel the Archangel church,
I am offering to you this reflection as your Interim Rector. It is unlike any report that I have ever delivered to a congregation. The idea came to me as I was reviewing this past year with you and realizing how many of you I have not even met face to face. I submit to you the life of this parish as exhibited through the headlines in the weekly Messenger. This report is not in chronological order, it will not cluster ministry activities together, nor is it comprehensive (as I am sure that there are items that could be added to this montage). It is a window in time of the life of one unique congregation and I want to center this window in the verses from Jeremiah that we used for the 2021 Stewardship Campaign:
“For surely, I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope” Jeremiah 29:11
WINDOWS INTO THE LIFE OF ST GABRIEL
St Gabriel’s Mutual Ministry Review Gathering – where we have been, where we are and where we are going
Outdoor Eucharist- July 4th – attend in person or online – shared lunch to follow
The Four Quests of Jesus by Bishop Steven Charleston – summer book study on Native American traditions
Outreach Field Trip to Beaverton Resource Center
Profile Booklet approved by Vestry
Reopening Guidelines for in- person worship
St Gabriel’s website is fresh, new and ONLINE
St Gabriel’s Choir Has a New Storage Closet!
Our Playground is Ready for Play!
Service of Lament to Remember the Victims of Indian Boarding Schools
We Had LIVE MUSIC in the Sanctuary
Highlights from the 133rd Episcopal Diocese of Oregon Convention
Search Committee is Making Progress
“Clothes for Kids” Needs Donations of New Socks and Underwear
Our “Friendship Circle” for 55+ Starts this Thursday – Let’s Have Fun Together
FORWARD DAY BY DAY – devotional booklets available
St Gabriel College Student Starts GoFundMe for Afghan Refugees
Meet St. Gabriel’s New Youth Minister!
A Message from Bishop Akiyama – Making Community and Connection Through Cooperation
Deacon Greg Rainey is Headed for a New Deaconate Position
Drive-Through Eucharist this Sunday
Outreach Shopping Field Trip Planned for 4th – 7th Graders
DO NOT MISS Our St Francis Services, Sunday, October 3 – Our Own St. Francis and the Wolf
The Gospel for Kids for Sunday – Did Jesus Make Mistakes?
All Saints Welcomed Back on All Saints Sunday – Soup for the Saints Smashing Success
Ways to Help Our Hungry Neighbor
I invite you to look through these WINDOWS – how have you been part of what you see? What do you hope to SEE in the future? What WINDOWS will you help to create in this New Year. Encourage, love and pray for one another as you share the GOOD NEWS OF CHRIST’S LOVE within the church and out into the community.
With confidence in the ministry of God’s future of hope,
Let’s Move From Surviving to Thriving
at Our Annual Church Meeting
January 30th 11:30 am
Church members please plan on attending our Annual Meeting of St. Gabriel the Archangel either in-person or online via Zoom this Sunday, January 30th starting after our 10:00 am service at 11:30 am. All church members over 18 are invited to participate and vote, with children, youth, and others welcome as observers.
Important business is conducted at these meetings, and by attending you will learn about the “state of the church” including our 2022 budget, a review of last year, plans for this year, and voting for new members of the vestry and convention delegates. It’s vital that you participate to be heard, to be knowledgeable, and to keep our church community strong- together!
All those who attend in-person will be expected to observe Covid protocols including being vaccinated, wearing a mask, sitting in family pods and distancing from others, using hand sanitizer, and washing hands frequently.
Although we usually like to provide brunch or lunch for in-person participants, due to the current state of the Covid Omicron variant, we don’t feel it is safe to serve a group meal at this time. There will be coffee, water, and very light snacks served.
To get the Zoom link to join the Annual Meeting online, please call the church office after 8:00 am Sunday morning at 503-645-0744.
The booklet and any other materials for the meeting are available via a link to a Google folder here. Printed copies will also be available at the church.
Look forward to seeing you there!
image from canstockphotos.com
I would never have thought that COVID would play such a large part in our lives as a congregation as we go through this period of transition. Just today, Page Clothier and I had to make the difficult decision to suspend the nursery, church school, and youth group until February. We will continue to have in-person worship and offer Zoom as a worship option.
I think of the challenges we have faced and overcome, and the incredible love the members of this congregation have for one another, and I am reminded that the Holy Spirit is strong in this place and strong in each of us. I ask you all to take whatever steps are necessary for you to remain safe and secure. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you are in any need or even if you just want to talk. Know that the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, is with you and will remain with you always.
In the love of Christ, Everett+
The Rev. Everett Charters