Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Date Night

Last Friday, my husband Steve and I had a "date day" -- going to see Harry Potter in the morning followed by lunch at True Food and a trip to Costco. I know, you may not consider Costco as a date destination, but I personally enjoy shopping there. It was a wonderful way to spend time together.

Yesterday I had the great privilege of meeting 4 young people who are interns at the Episcopal Urban Intern Program in Long Beach. You can see them in this picture with the Rev. Gary Commins.

What is the Episcopal Urban Intern Program? I'm glad you asked! I found this on the JUBILEE CONSORTIUM WEBSITE:

"The Episcopal Urban Internship Program (EUIP) is a year-long service learning project of the Jubilee Consortium. Each fall, EUIP gathers a new class of young adults from across the United States to live in Christian community and to work for change in some of Los Angeles County's most innovative and effective social service agencies. The mission of the EUIP is to raise up a new generation of change leaders for the church and the world who will spend their whole lives working to expand God's reign of peace and justice for all people. EUIP prepares young adults to become such leaders. EUIP is part of the Episcopal Service Corps (ESC), a network of young adult programs within the Episcopal Church that work for social change and personal transformation through service to others."

You may be wondering to yourself, "what does this have to do with date night?" I'm getting there, don't worry.

These four young people -- Sarah, Wesley, Andrew and Katie live in a house near St. Luke's in Long Beach. Each have their specific focus and work in different social service agencies. They are articulate, witty, and on fire about what they are doing. They have different work schedules and lead busy lives. As they live in community, they have a "date night" once per week, where they take turns preparing dinner and they talk about issues of faith. It's a "date night with Jesus!" How wonderful! Not only are these young people, and more like them in other locations in the diocese, on fire to give back to the world, but also selected to become part of a group that is intentionally religious.

I wonder what it would be like if within our own families we took time once per week to have a "date night with Jesus" -- hmmmm.

PS -- If you would like more information about the Jubilee Consortium of which the Episcopal Urban Intern Program is a part, or to make a donation -- please go to

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Other St. Clement's

I have heard about it for a long time, but never managed to get over there. I know the priest, Fr. Santos, having met him when I was the Associate Rector at the Church of the Messiah in Santa Ana and he was working at St. Michael's in Anaheim.

Having spent 10 years as Rector at St. Clement's by-the-Sea in San Clemente, I was pleased to now be the Area Bishop for the OTHER St. Clement's -- St. Clement's in Huntington Park. I met Fr. Santos there, and he showed me around the grounds.

Fr. Santos shared with me that St. Clement's in Huntington Park is in a neighborhood that is plagued by drugs and violence. As we walked on the street, people in cars honked, called his name and waved to him -- he is known and loved in this neighborhood. Each Sunday about 150 people gather to worship in Spanish. There are many images of the Virgin of Guadalupe both inside and outside the church.

While the attendance at the church is wonderful, financial problems abound. This is a poor neighborhood, and sacrificial giving for the group that gathers is not enough to cover the expenses, even with a bare-bones budget. I noticed that the flowers at the altar were from the rose bushes in front of the church sign. They are making use of all the resources they can muster.

I wonder what it would be like if parishes around St. Clement's saw the needs here as part of their own outreach program? What if we could "expand the tent" and share out of the bounty we have received to those immediately around us? What if resources could be shared -- hmmm.