My sisters and brothers in Christ:
The news this week — from Baton Rouge and Minneapolis, where Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were killed, and last night from Dallas, where Brent Thompson (the only name now available) and four other police officers were killed and seven more wounded — has sometimes felt like it’s too much to bear.
But it isn’t. It can’t be. Not for us who walk in the Way. When darkness falls, we gather the light. As followers of the Crucified and Risen One, when the world is cruel, we are commanded to be gentle, especially toward those with whom or from whom we differ. Even when malice toward others is fashionable and profitable, we keep loving and trusting people and proclaiming the good news of the unity of Christ.
So know the hope of Christ, and pray the prayers.
Pray for those who have died. Pray for those who have been injured. Pray for freedom, peace, equality of opportunity, righteousness, and justice, at home and around the world. Pray for an end to violence. Pray this:
Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, and especially the hearts of the people of this land, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, page 823)
And then let’s go #spreadsomelove.
We worship as usual this weekend: Our services at 5 p.m. on Saturday (July 9) and on the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost at 8 and 10 a.m.
We’ll hear our LORD’s parable of the Good Samaritan. Here’s the short version: #spreadsomelove.
St. John’s people can do just that this weekend by joining us on Saturday morning at Isaiah House, 316 South Cypress Ave. in Santa Ana, where day in and day out, for nearly a quarter-century, our friends Dwight and Leia Smith have spread love by housing and feeding people whose setbacks have landed them on the street. We gather at 9:30 a.m. to serve breakfast and offer fellowship to the residents, all homeless women who have stories to tell and who are curious about yours. If you can help, please contact Paula Neal Reza at email@example.com. See you there!
Because of all the work we have to do, spreading love out in God’s vineyards, it’s important to tend our inward spiritual gardens. Our summertime “Physical and Spiritual Muscles” workshop is coming up this Wednesday, July 13 at 7 p.m. featuring yoga, a scripture meditation, and a labyrinth walk under the stars. Please sign up this weekend in the narthex or by writing our Spiritual Path missioner Linda Allport (who works hard and lovingly as she plans and produces these wonderful and always-timely events for us) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joyful people spread love best. And what greater joy than baseball movies in the summertime? If you haven’t done so already, watch or re-watch “Field of Dreams” today or Saturday (dig out the DVD, or find it at the library or on-line) and then come to our discussion, moderated by Pam Kelley, this Sunday, July 10 at 9 a.m. in the Bishop’s Room. Coming up on July 17 and 24: “Angels In The Outfield” (1994) and “42,” the story of Jackie Robinson. It’s all called “A Summertime Search For God In Baseball Movies.”
And signups continue for David Stevens’ moving love story on July 22 at 6 p.m. in the church (David is shown here), including a fellowship reception beforehand, and our love-giving Red Cross Blood Drive on July 24 from 8 a.m.-2:15 p.m. in the multipurpose room.
Your fellow Christ’s love-spreader, Fr. John
P.S.: All are invited to a celebration of the life of our Joe Michelson, who died on June 28 after a long illness, this Saturday, July 9 at 1 p.m. at St. John’s. Please keep his beloved wife and daughter, Cynthia and Jessica, in your prayers.
P.P.S.: Our St. John’s School alumna Caleigh Haber, a victim of cystic fibrosis who received a double lung transplant last year, is battling for her life at Stanford Medical Center against infection and an intestinal obstruction. Please pray hard.
P.P.P.S.: That couple who were searching for their dog, Kelly? They found her Thursday morning, safe and sound.