February 2016 Thoughts from Father Ron

Dear Friends in Christ,
This month we will begin the Lenten cycle as we prepare for the great feast of the Resurrection. During this time of preparation we will follow the theme of “Who Is My Neighbor” as developed by Trinity Episcopal Church, Wall Street, NYC.  This is a very timely theme both locally and internationally.  Locally, our Outreach Committee is working with other local organizations to identify the homeless on the mountain and, hopefully, after furnishing this information to County government, obtain assistance for this disenfranchised group.
Given the very recent terrorists attack here in San Bernardino, we will also focus our Lenten study on the topic of Dr. Colette Chabbott’s lecture on ISLAMAPHOBIA.  Following her recommendation, we will be using the text by John L Esposito, WHAT EVERYONE KNOWS ABOUT ISLAM.
Hopefully, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, our understanding of the Great Commandment will be deepened both personally and as a Faith Community called to witness .
Holding you all up in prayer as we begin our Lenten journey, I remain, yours in Christ,
Fr. Ron
A short message summarizing the actions taken by the Primates of the Anglican community at their January meeting:
We live in a complex world with great divisions. Religion, race, culture, and disparity in wealthy are sources of fear, contention, and violence. Within this context primates of the worldwide Anglican Communion gathered. It is a blessing that these leaders have affirmed relationship, that they “would walk together in the grace and love of Christ” [The statement] acknowledges the significant distance that remains but confirms their unanimous commitment to walk together.
The statement then focuses on the Episcopal Church and our recent decisions pertaining to same-sex marriage. The Primates ask that “the Episcopal Church no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee, they will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or policy.” I struggle to understand how this helps us to “walk together.”
This past Sunday’s epistle, the apostle Paul writes, “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” I firmly believe that all parts of the communion have much to teach each other. The Episcopal Church is making an important and painful witness to the Anglican Communion about human sexuality.
I pray that in the end walking together will prevail over the forces of division. In that spirit, we will strive to stay in relationship. We will also authentically follow Jesus in fearless love that transcends boundaries and border.
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