~ E p i s c o p a l ~
Deans' Note
January 31, 2021

This year, 2021 begins our sixteenth year at St. John's (Fr. Mark in January, Fr. Dan in May of 2006). As we prepare for our annual celebration of Candlemas and the celebration of the dedication of St. John's church building in 1925 and as the Cathedral in 2008, we've been reflecting on the years past and looking forward to the future. 

Some of you were here before we came and have walked alongside us on this journey. We give thanks to the Lord for each and all of you. We especially remember all those who now dwell in a larger light and on a distant shore whose love, support and encouragement have blessed our ministry and strengthened the life of St. John's. We think also of those who came before us since 1880, who hoped and envisioned for this community of faith, and who have handed on this work of God to all of us.

Throughout these years there have been many joys and challenges. We have shared these together and will continue to do so. Perhaps the greatest challenges we have faced have come in the year just past and continue into 2021. Primarily, the pandemic continues to rage around us and we all still live in uncertainty as to when we will be able to worship physically together again. The political climate of our nation highlights the fissures between so many different groups and ideologies. In the midst of these and many other challenges we as the community of faith in this place still stand upon the firm foundation of Jesus Christ and as his disciples we face forward into the future in hope.

This past year we entered into an agreement to develop our property that will provide steady economic footing for St. John's for at least the next hundred years -- a project we began exploring in 2008. Many of you have come to be part of this community in recent years and give us hope for the future. We look forward to what the Holy Spirit might be doing in our midst, in the whole Church, and in the world in a new post-pandemic reality. 

Finally, it is no coincidence that the day of our dedication celebration is the Feast of Candlemas, a celebration of light in a dark place, the day when Jesus came into the temple and was recognized only by two wise elders who had the eyes to see him. The hope for God's new creation was emerging almost imperceptibly in the midst of the old world. And so it is now. We have no idea specifically what the future holds, but we do know that God the Holy Spirit is already at work, creating new possibilities in the midst of the old and that you and we can be agents of that life and light if we open ourselves to it and allow God to act in and through us. 

A hymn sung at the dedication service in 1925 prays in these words "Come to this temple now thine own, and let thy glory fill this place." Let these words not only be true of our beautiful church building but of each of us. Shine in through our hearts Lord Jesus.
Black History Month

Our celebration of Black History Month continues through our celebration of Absalom Jones on February 7.

The Gathering: A Space for Asian American Pacific Spirituality invites the diocesan community to "Far East Deep South: Film Screening and Conversation with the Filmmakers Larissa Lam & Baldwin Chiu," on Saturday, Feb. 6. The online screening will begin at 2:30 p.m.; the Q&A with the filmmakers will begin at 4 p.m.

Far East Deep South explores the seldom-told history of early Chinese immigrants living in the American South during the late 1800s to mid-1900s through the eyes of Charles Chiu and his family as they travel from California to Mississippi to find answers about his father, K.C. Lou.

The film provides a window into the lives of the Chinese in the South and the discrimination they faced in the midst of segregation. Included in the story is the bond between the Chinese and Black communities as two groups disenfranchised by racism. The film highlights the struggles and perseverance of the Delta Chinese and explores the added challenge of exclusionary immigration policies, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act. Additional information on the film and filmmakers is available here.

The Gathering, a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles to Asian Pacific Americans, holds events to engage topics relevant to Asian Pacific American communities and offers a space for Asian Pacific Americans to gather to share in their spiritual journeys.

The event is free and all are welcome to attend virtually. Advance registration is required: click here. For additional information, email TheGatheringEDLA@gmail.com.
Mass for the Feast of Absalom Jones
February 7, 2021 at 11 am on Facebook
Join us on Sunday morning, February 7 at our 11:00 mass for the Feast of Absalom Jones. The Rev. Canon Jordan Casson, Rector of St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Yeadon, PA will be our guest preacher.
The Rev. Canon Jordan F. Casson was born a Roman Catholic on Good Friday in New York City. Casson's formation and understanding of Catholic social teaching led him to become an advocate for civil and human rights, a vocation that led him to Morehouse College in 2005.

During his time at Morehouse, he taught tournament-level chess to elementary, middle, and high school boys and sang in the Morehouse College Glee Club at Morehouse. Father Jordan also led several campaigns to free a Chatham County, Georgia inmate, Troy Davis. In addition to his civic activities at Morehouse, he joined the Martin Luther King Jr. Chapel Assistant Program — an organization designed to expose Morehouse students to theological principles for parish ministry and seminary education after college.

Consequently, he felt called to religious life and attended the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta in 2010. While a student at Candler, he studied under a civil rights legend, the Rev. Dr. Barnard Lafayette Jr., and the Howard Thurman Scholar, Dr. Luther Smith. At Candler, his path led toward the Episcopal Church.

In May of 2013, Jordan+ received his master of divinity degree while interning at St. Paul's Episcopal Church of Atlanta. In August of 2013, he received the call to serve as the youth minister to St. Paul's Ivy Episcopal Church of Charlottesville as Director of Youth Ministries.

In August of 2015, Casson left Charlottesville to pursue an Anglican studies program at Virginia Theological Seminary. Father Casson completed this program in 2016. In July of 2016, Casson became the sixth rector of St. Michael's Episcopal Church. In November of 2020, Casson was commissioned Canon for Peace and Reconciliation for the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania by the Rt. Rev. Daniel Gutierrez. In addition to serving as Rector of St. Michael's and a Diocesan Canon, he chairs the Diocese of PA Absalom Jones Committee and co-chairs its Loving Presence group. He is a former member of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia Commission on Reconciliation with Truro Anglican Church, a Church that left the Episcopal Church over human sexuality disagreements. In 2014, Casson received induction into the Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers and Scholars. He is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Incorporated and has served as an NAACP president for both New York and Georgia Youth Divisions. In his spare time, Father Jordan plays the violin and cello and is extremely devoted to his family, friends, and mentors.
Book Study
Next Meeting:
Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 7 pm

How can we disciples of Jesus exercise our national citizenship grounded in our primary identity as citizens of heaven? That is the crucial question Bishop Andrew Doyle asks in his recent book Citizen: Faithful Discipleship in a Partisan World. Fr. Mark will lead a conversation in a book study sponsored by our Social Witness Committee.

We will be discussing chapters 3 and 4 at our next meeting on Tuesday, February 9, 2021, at 7 pm via Facebook Live.

You can get a copy of the book on Amazon available in paper and Kindle versions.
Christian Education
Reading the Gospel of Mark as Disciples of Jesus. Sundays at 9:30 am on Facebook Live.

Having trouble signing up for the Vaccine?
The current website for signing up to get the vaccine in LA County can be very cumbersome.
Do you need help navigating the website or know of a senior who needs help?
Are you tech savvy and want to help some of our seniors sign up?
Reach out to Father Dan at (213) 595-3499 and he'll match you up.
Let's Connect
We might be social distancing, but that doesn't mean we can't connect with our community. Follow us on social media for announcements, services, special content, live discussions and prayers.

Like us, tag us, share us with friends & family.

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Online Services

Services will continue to be streamed on our Facebook page here. Sunday morning mass is at 11:00 a.m. and Sunday night compline is at 8:00 p.m. on the 1st and 3rd Sunday. Tuesday and Thursday evening prayer are at 6:30 p.m., also on the Facebook page. The Sunday services are also uploaded to YouTube.
Online Giving

Giving is still important to the operation of the church in these interesting times. You can give online through our website donation platform here, or by the mobile version Give Plus on Android or iPhone. Checks made out to "St. John's Church" may be mailed to Clergy House; reply to this email for the address. You can also text STJOHNSLA to 44321 for a text-to-give option!