Grace Episcopal Church
29 October 2015
Bl. James Hannington and Companions (d. 1885), all martyrs, are remembered this day. It is timely, therefore, that in a piece appearing this week in Relevant (http://www.relevantmagazine.com), we are reminded of the difference between persecution and lack of privilege. I’ll come back to that point, but first let’s review a little about Hannington.
Hannington was appointed missionary Bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa in 1884. In 1885 he and his companions were apprehended on the shores of Lake Victoria by forces of King Mwanga. Mwanga feared that the missionaries were agents of imperial design, and the Hannington and his companions were tortured at length, and then murdered on this date in 1885. Hannington’s last word were: “Go, tell Mwanga I have purchased the road into Uganda with my blood.”
That’s persecution for the faith; martyrdom. What is not is what happens when people in society around us ignore faith-based positions on social issues. What is not persecution is when those around us fail to accomodate to our positions. Even when those who are at best indifferent to the faith (and who may even be frankly hostile to the faith) are heavy-handed, and use state power to order all to comply with a statute or court decree, that’s not persecution. Persecution involves being seized bodily, or having one’s church burned down by hostile forces. Persecution involves “ethnic cleansing,” as we are now witnessing in Syria, in Nigeria, and elsewhere.
Being ignored or ridiculed; being ordered to comply with the secular law, these are not persecution. They reflect, rather, that the Church no longer enjoys a position of privilege in our culture and society.
Losing privilege when we are used to it (even when we have failed to recognize our status as privileged) certainly doesn’t feel good. It can certainly be traumatic. When anyone is used to “how the world works” and now finds himself or herself redefined into a minority opinion, it is shocking to suddenly find that one’s image on the “RADAR screen” of society is now ghostly at best. Loss of privilege means that others can ignore those in a minority; that the views of the minority are not taken into account because they “don’t matter”.
Persecution will come. Scripture reveals this. But short of witnessing to Jesus as Lord with our blood (and note that Hannington’’s final words were accurate), we need to recognize the loss of privilege to be no more (and no less) than a call to action, a reminder that we are each called to be witnesses to God’s glory and mercy, and that by perservering in faith when it may be less popular or convenient not only will we become stronger in our own faith, we will call those around us to better consider their own, or their own lack.
Grace abounds: Please thank:
§ Jane Hanson the Sunday coffee hour.
§ All those who helped in cleanup following the potluck stewardship luncheon: Ed and Mary Clabots, Julie Davidson, Leslie Kohler, Ty Massey, Jennifer Pawlus.
§ Ben Dobey and Elizabeth Schaffenburg for grounds maintenance.
Call for Contributions: If you have a spiritual reflection to share, or want to point your fellow worshippers toward a resource, submit your contributions to Fr. Karl (by email) by Wednesday in the week of publication.
Advent meditations: For several years the parish has prepared and published a booklet of Lenten meditations, in which parishioners have reflected on the prayer and scripture lessons appointed for each day in Lent. This year we will begin an additional meditation series, with meditations offered for each day in Advent.
Advent, sometimes called “Little Lent,” begins on 29 November (First Sunday in Advent) and concludes at sundown of the Vigil of the Nativity, 24 December. For each day a prayer and scripture lesson will be provided. Those who participate will offer a brief meditation (up to 400 words) in response to the prayer, meditation, and progress of the season as we each prepare to receive Our Lord become flesh. These meditations will be published in print and online, and can be submitted for attribution or anonymously. In addition, meditations can be read aloud on Grace Abounds, as part of our podcast series.
If you wish to participate, please sign up for a day, and have all meditations completed and submitted to the parish office not later than 16 November.
Music this Week: All Saints’ Day, 1 November
Mass Setting Eine Deutsche Messe Franz Schubert
Prelude Prelude on Gaudeamus Omnes in Domino G. Vintner
Entrance Hymn #287 For all the saints Sine Nomine
Offertory Anthem “Give us the wings of faith” Ernest Bullock
Communion Motet “The souls of the righteous” Eric Thiman
Communion Hymn #620 Jerusalem, my happy home Land of Rest
Recessional Hymn #293 I sing a song of the saints of God Grand Isle
Postlude Toccata on Christe, Redemptor Omnium Paul Benoit
§ Simple Potluck Supper and Compline: Sunday, November 1st we will have our first Sunday of the month Simple Potluck Supper at 6:30 p.m. Come and enjoy the fellowship then stay for Compline at 8:00pm. The Schola Cantorum will be singing Compline which is the night time prayers said or sung just before retiring. It is a wonderful and peaceful way to end the day.
§ All Soul’s Day: All Soul’s Day will be celebrated Monday, November 2nd. We will celebrate the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed with a 6:00pm mass with hymns. Please come and remember the Saints who have gone before.
§ Adult Formation: At 9:00 a.m. today we will continue with a validation phase of live-streaming adult education on the web. To do this we will start with a “rerun”. We will offer a course first offered in early 2012, as updated, to test how existing educational materials can be adapted and expanded in a webcast context. The course will be Anglican Identity, a four part series for which the written (from 2012) materials can be found already on our website. The Anglican Identity course focuses on what it means to follow Jesus Christ in the unique ways that are Anglican. What is different about being an Episcopalian, for example, than about being a Christian in another tradition? How is this identity manifested uniquely, and what strengths and challenges exist in being not just a Christian but an Anglican Christian? This course can provide a good refresher or process check for lifelong Episcopalians, and a more complete grounding for new Episcopalians. Come prepared to share!
§ Lindsay Fischer is the solo cellist: at the next Sheboygan Symphony Concert on November 14th at the Weill Center, in their performance of the J.S.Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 6. The concert also features Ana Sinkovec Burstin playing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. For more information go to weillcenter.com or call 920 208-3243. The Symphony Office number is 920-452-1985 and their website also has information sheboygansymphony.org
§ Christmas Shoe Boxes: We will also be looking for these items to fill the shoeboxes: toothpaste and individually wrapped toothbrushes, and mild soap bars and wash cloths pencils, colored pencils, erasers and pencil sharpeners, paper to write on. These items must be able to fit into a shoe box. Thank you so much. Please bring items to church for the Christmas shoe boxes.
§ Israel Pilgrimage: On October 28th, a group of 25 pilgrims from the Diocese of Fond du Lac, including Deacon Michele and Jon Whitford, Ed Clabots, and Leslie Kohler, as well as friends from other dioceses and other denominations, will be going to Jordan and Israel. Please hold these pilgrims in your prayers for safe travel and enrichment. For further information go to https://stthomas2israel.wordpress.com/
§ Refugee Crisis in Croatia: Missionaries Aaron and Winnie Horvat are trying to help the Syrian refugee families flooding into Croatia. The stories of hardship, horror and desperation are hard to imagine. Most have had to leave everything behind, coming with only the clothes on their backs. Many have makeshift shoes. Aaron and Winnie’s main focus has been mothers with small children. Deacon Mike Burg is collecting clothing and miscellaneous items. For a complete list of items please refer to the insert in this bulletin as well as notice on the bulletin board. Deacon Mike will box and ship the items. Donations towards shipping are also welcome.
§ Tripartite Thanksgiving Eve Worship: Join the Celebration on Wednesday, November 25th at 7:00pm at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church. Join in the Tripartite Combined Choir and enjoy fellowship and deserts following the worship. The Thanksgiving Offering will benefit the Salvation Army. We will need two people to serve as ushers and a reader, if you can help please call the office. Thank you.
§ Salvation Army Bell Ringing: Volunteers are need for hourly slots of bell ringing on November 28th at Piggly Wiggly Northside 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. and Pick & Save Southside 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Sign-up sheets can be found in the Narthex. For any questions please call Nancy Yurk at 453-9948.
§ Advent Meditations: For several years the parish has prepared and published a booklet of Lenten meditations, in which parishioners have reflected on the prayer and scripture lessons appointed for each day in Lent. This year we will begin an additional meditation series, with meditations offered for each day in Advent. Advent, sometimes called “Little Lent,” begins on November 29th (First Sunday in Advent) and concludes at sundown of the Vigil of the Nativity, December 24th. For each day a scripture lesson will be provided. Those who participate will offer a brief meditation (up to 400 words) in response to the scripture reading. These meditations will be published in print and online, and can be submitted for attribution or anonymously. In addition, meditations can be read aloud on Grace Abounds, as part of our podcast series. If you wish to participate, please sign up for a day, and have all meditations completed and submitted to the parish office no later than November 16th. Sign-up sheets and scripture readings can be found in the Narthex.
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