This Week’s Bulletin – August 26th, 2018

Parish News

 All Souls’ Episcopal Church

Miami Beach

August 26th 2018

Fourteenth Sunday of Pentecost

CALENDAR

August 26th: Fourteenth Sunday of Pentecost

Holy Eucharist 8.00am

Sung Eucharist 10.30am

Saturday September 1st

Centering Prayer, All Souls’, 10.30am

September 2nd: Fifteenth Sunday of Pentecost

Holy Eucharist 8.00am

Sung Eucharist 10.30am

Tuesday September 4th

Casa dei Bambini Montessori school year begins

Thursday September 6th

Girl Scout Parent’s Meeting 6pm

Saturday September 8th

Centering Prayer, All Souls’, 10.30am

September 9th: Sixteenth Sunday of Pentecost

Holy Eucharist 8.00am

Sung Eucharist 10.30am

Saturday September 15th

Centering Prayer, All Souls’, 10.30am

September 16th Seventeenth Sunday of Pentecost

Holy Eucharist 8.00am

Sung Eucharist 10.30am

O Lord, you have taught us that without love whatever we do is worth nothing; Send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts your greatest gift, which is love, the true bond of peace and of all virtue, without which whoever lives is accounted dead before you. Grant this for the sake of your only Son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer, page 216

Search Corner Information

We ask you to hold in your prayers the members of the Committee as they continue their important work of discernment:

Sheila Collins and Freddy Tovar (Co-Chairs), Aracelis Mullings (Vestry), Kathi Armbrister, Laura Keith, Rafael Padilla, Glen Velker and Jim Carlton (Chaplain).

Rev Hans Gustafson 

Arrangements are being made for a memorial service which will be held here at All Soul’s in September. Date and time to be announced. Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family and loved ones

Hymn Singing

With our choir hiatus until September, it’s up to the entire congregation to keep singing the hymns! Our aim in summer is to schedule hymns that are familiar for ease of singing. Let Gregory know if you have a favorite hymn and he will do his best to include it in an upcoming Sunday.

Stewardship Opportunities

During this exciting time of transition for All Souls’ Episcopal Church, we have numerous stewardship opportunities to give your talents and time to our church community. Stewardship is rooted in the belief that we all have inherited wonderful and unique gifts from God. This recognition of our giftedness leads to a life of gratitude and desire to share our gifts with our family, church and community. Please speak with a vestry member to learn more about the ways you can give your gifts to the All Souls’ congregation

Hospitality

If your surname begins with A-E, a reminder that there’s an opportunity for you to provide a much needed food item for our hospitality next Sunday. Please check with Joyce Foreman this morning and ask her what she needs for next Sunday. Items needed usually are a starch (pasta, potato, etc.), a meat, a salad, a vegetable, a dessert. 

FORWARD DAY BY DAY

Sunday August 26th

John 6:64. “But among you there are some who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him.

 

Some of my friends are distressed because their adult children have fallen away from regular church attendance. These parents tried hard to raise their children to love the church as much as they did and feel deeply hurt when their children slowly drift away from faith.

I can relate – but mostly to the children. I was a pious altar boy when I was young. When I moved away to college, I also moved away from church. I began to doubt everything about Christianity, certain that I was too smart to believe in God. In graduate school, I became interested in religion again. Finally, at thirty, I started to re-engage with my childhood faith – first through books and then through my local Episcopal church.

God works in mysterious ways, and always in God’s time – not ours. Don’t worry too much. The kids will be fine.

 

Monday August 27th

John 6:56. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.

 

From losing my parents and dear friends to a career failure, I have had my heart broken many times. During those periods, I have often struggled to find God’s peace, the peace that passes all understanding. I’ve also had a hard time achieving what the country songwriting duo Red Hayes and Jack Rhodes called a “satisfied mind.”

When we feel unsatisfied – empty or bereft or left out or marginalized (and at some point, we all feel this way), Jesus has a gentle suggestion for us. Come to the table, he says. Come and eat. Come and drink. Let me live inside your failing heart. Let me bring my light to dispel the darkness enveloping your soul.

Because holy Eucharist is one of God’s mysterious graces, I can’t explain its power. But maybe understanding it isn’t the point. Maybe what most important is to simply let Jesus come and abide in us, to heal us from within, to find the source of that deep, holy communion. There is powerful serenity – and satisfied mind – when Jesus abides in you.

 

Tuesday August 28th

Job 6:14. Those who withhold kindness from a friend forsake the fear of the Almighty.

 

A few days ago, I was attending a social event and was shocked to run into a former friend with whom I’d had a falling out. Suddenly, this person stood in front of me, and I had to make a split-second decision on how to react. So of course, I made the wrong decision. I passed without saying a word, snubbing the person.

Today, I am faced with writing a meditation about withholding kindness from a friend. Go figure. Theologian C.K. Chesterton said that coincidences are spiritual puns, so I hope God is laughing at my ego.

Pondering my experience with the former friend, I remember my first impulse was to offer a greeting and to seek at least a passing reconciliation. But I denied that holy itch and acted like a jerk instead.

In my psychotherapy education, our professors always told us that if we missed an opportunity to say something insightful to a client, we would always have another chance. Issues don’t just disappear. I hope god gives me another chance with my friend. I’ll be ready this time.

 

Wednesday August 29th

Job 7:19. Will you not look away from me a while, let me alone until I swallow my spittle?

 

When I was a young boy, I imagined God as an omnipotent version of my parents, watching me every hour of the day. Every sin, even the smallest misstep, was seen from on high and recorded in the great book of my blunders.

I now understand this was a distorted and wonky image pf God, one that put no emphasis on God’s mercy. So what image are we to use to imagine God? The Bible supplies us with many possibilities. God is portrayed as a mighty king, a great counselor, and a nursing mother. The images of a mother hen protecting her chicks, dazzling light and a consuming fire are also used to describe God.

When you think of God, what picture forms in your mind? Do you see God as a mother with a smile on her face or a father with a scowl? Do you imagine the warmth of the sun or the cold of winter? Images form our theology.

 

Thursday August 30th

Psalm 18:2. My God, my rock in whom I put my trust, my shield, the horn of my salvation, and my refuge; you are worthy of praise.

 

Many years ago, I attended training for a special trauma therapy developed by groundbreaking psychologist Francine Shapiro. The training included a relaxation exercise called the Safe Place.

The person facilitating the Safe Place exercise asks the client to imagine the safest place he or she can think of – real or imaginary. The therapist then guides the client in developing the Safe Place in rich detail. What does it look like? What does is smell like? What do you feel when you think of this safe place?

                When you imagine God as a rock that you hide in, how do you feel? When you imagine god as a fortress, do you grasp a sense of how much God loves you and wants to protect you?

 

Friday August 31st

John 8:45. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.

 

Sigmund Freud believed that human beings will go to great lengths to deny unpleasant truths about themselves. The method he developed to treat mental illness helped his patients face these truths. By doing so, they were often able to eliminate the symptoms.

Based on today’s reading, it appears that Jesus was way ahead of Freud in diagnosing the problem of human self-deception. Without exception, we excel at denying truths that we would rather not acknowledge. While we often deny it, the truth is exactly what we need. Truth is what Jesus comes to offer. But when Jesus tells people he’s the Son of God, they do not believe him.

I worked with many clients over the years who have ignored the deep truths God has spoken into their hearts about who they are and what they are capable of. Looking back at my own life, I have ignored these truths many times too. We are afraid to face truth. What if Jesus really is telling the truth about himself – and about us?

 

Saturday September 1st

Job 10:4. Do you have eyes of flesh? Do you see as humans see?

 

I am writing this reflection eleven days after I was on the streets in Charlottesville, Virginia, protesting a white supremacist rally. The streets were desecrated by the presence of evil made manifest. No amount of spiritual preparation could have readied me to walk that day, and the fear and shock still stand gaping in my community. We will live under the pall of a Holy Saturday moment for quite a while. For me, time stands still.

Yet despair can be a holy thing. Like Job, I am dwelling on how suffering begs the deepest questions of God’s relationship to us. My questions do not center around God’s existence or God’s goodness but rather around wondering how we could possibly stitch these events together in a way that points toward resurrection. I believe that time will come, slowly. I believe God sees and feels this pain with us, and God isn’t rushing us through this hard moment. Now is a time to cry and wail. And that is a holy and right thing to do.

 

We Hold in Prayer:

For peace throughout the world.

All military women and men serving at home and overseas. Veterans and their families. Wounded warriors and the work of the V.A.

The Wardens, Vestry Members, Fr. Errol Harvey, and our supply priest. Our Choir, Organist, Altar Guild, Lectors, Altar Servers, and Eucharistic Ministers. And Alitza our Administrative Assistant

Thanksgiving for ongoing refurbishment of our church facilities. All Souls Episcopal Church Foundation, Inc.

Our Diocesan Recovery Ministry and those living with any addiction and those in recovery.

Our Bishop Peter and Kate Eaton, Canon John Tidy and Jill. The Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry.

Refugees, Dreamers, and asylum seekers.

Our Visitors today and for their safe travel back to their homes.

Our Companion Dioceses: Diocese of the Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Islands; Diocese of the Dominican Republic; Diocese of Haiti. Congregation members living in Broward, Miami-Dade, Aventura, North Miami Beach, Bay Harbor, Bal Harbor, Sunny Isles Beach,  and Surfside.

Those celebrating birthdays & anniversaries.

Memorial Hospital staff and patients.

For Healing: Nellie, Sheila, Ken, Gary, Richard, Jim, Lily, Dennis, Greg, Irene, Bob, Bobby, Paul, Laura, Rick, Jim, Karen, Rev. Kleban, Santos, Bronwen Daphne, Bishop Sturdy, Rose, Rito, Darryl, Tania, and Deacon Katon.

All Hospice and Palliative Care Units

The dying and those who watch and care for them, and mourn for their loss.

The Departed: Rev Hans Gustafson may they rest in peace.

Blessed Jesus we seek your mercy on Fr. Hans, may his death as it was for you, a birth to everlasting life. May his soul and the souls of all the departed through the mercy of God rest in peace    Amen