July 4, 2015
My sisters and brothers in Christ:
Independence Day greetings from Simi Valley, where I had the privilege of officiating yesterday at the marriage of Joe and Analise Griffith. Joe is the younger son of our Sam and Deb Griffith, shown here just before the ceremony began.
Earlier in the day, Kathy and I paid a visit to the Reagan library to see aircraft 27000, one of two Boeing 707s that presidents once used as Air Force One. You can see a bit of its gleaming fuselage in this photo of the Stars and Stripes. Walking through the narrow cabin again was an emotional experience for Kathy. In April 1994, President Clinton sent the plane to bring President Nixon’s body from New York to El Toro for his funeral in Yorba Linda. Mr. Nixon’s aide for 14 years and his last chief of staff, Kathy spent much of the flight in a rear compartment with his flag-draped casket. Since yesterday was also the 15th anniversary of the death of her mother, Pat, you can say that Kathy’s heart was full.
In recognition of Independence Day, we will not offer a service this afternoon. We’ll worship as usual tomorrow (Sunday, July 5) at 8 and 10 a.m., when we’ll give thanks for our freedom in Christ and our freedom as Americans, which are related but not identical concepts.
Below please find a special invitation from DJ Gomer, who coordinates our women’s ministries, to recently scheduled midsummer events on July 14 and 19. Thank to you, DJ, and to all who are helping arrange these gracious times for our parish community.
Yours in Christ’s love and thanksgiving for all our freedoms,