Wednesday, May 11, 2011

In the Harshest of Circumstances

It started out as all the Program Group on Black Ministry meetings start -- with someone near the coffee pots setting out food for dinner. Then there was the exclamation, "Oh My!" as the Rev. Margaret Hudley McCauley discovered that right outside the window was a bird's nest with two eggs in it.

What is most unusual about this bird's nest is that is was built in a dangerous area -- you see there are spikes sticking up so that birds do NOT nest there. Here, in the midst of these spikes, a pigeon had made a nest and laid her eggs. Two pigeons came and sat near the nest -- resting on the edge of the window sill. In the pictures perhaps you can see the "spikes" sticking up around the eggs and silhouetting where the pigeon is sitting.

I couldn't help but think about and pray for all the families in our diocese -- and in the world -- who are trying to raise children in the most difficult of situations -- surrounded by war, poverty and/or disease.

Today I'm praying for all these families -- and for these birds.

Friday, May 6, 2011

UCI Canterbury

As the interim Chaplain is at Credo this week, I volunteered to go to UCI Canterbury last night to celebrate the Eucharist, have dinner, and chat with the students. Here is a picture that was posted on facebook of the group (not the best or biggest, but you get the idea.)

Two of the students had to leave right after dinner -- one was running to a midterm exam, the other to a rehearsal. I couldn't believe the young lady that was running to a midterm came to Canterbury before hand! She plays the piano for the group, and was very helpful to me during the service.

We had a great discussion during the service and during and after dinner. This is an incredibly talented group of young people. I felt privileged to be with them!

One of them, Jeff, is reorganizing the Orange County 20s/30s group. They are meeting on May 14th at 2:30 in Tustin at the district to plan activities, service projects, etc. -- and to see a movie after this discussion. I can get you in touch with Jeff if you'd like more information about this group for yourself or for members of your parish.

I wonder what I will find when I wander back to UCI Canterbury this fall? Hmmm.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

Alleluia! Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia!

I couldn't help but say these words during my sermon yesterday at St. Gabriel's in Monterey Park. I was there to celebrate the re-dedication of the sanctuary after a horrible fire last year destroyed the sacristy, the altar, organ, and did major damage to the chancel and nave.

Yesterday, the "new" church was absolutely gorgeous! The altar, which was made in China, is an amazing piece of art depicting the Chinese heritage of this congregation in its design and the use of Chinese Christian motifs in the carved wood (for example, the use of the lotus flower in lieu of a lily, the use of a cross that was used by missionaries to China hundreds of years ago). Beautiful!

We celebrated together the ending of the long "Lent" of being in 1/2 of the parish hall since the fire. I had the privilege of being with the people of St. Gabriel's the Sunday after the fire to talk with them and to let them know that the diocese was there for them. During a visitation in October, I was able to see the progress (slow, but there) in rebuilding the sanctuary. I was in contact with Fr. Peter Lo, the Rector of the parish, during the months of re-construction.

Yesterday, Easter joy abounded as the "new" space was blessed and re-claimed by the people. It is a new day for the people of St. Gabriel's -- a beautiful day. Look for an upcoming Just Action video on this great day of thanksgiving, love and life.

Alleluia! Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!