From the Rector
May 26, 2019
In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
You've probably never heard of Bill Shankley. He was a
ttish football player who went on to manage Liverpool Football Club in the 1960s and
70s. When I say "football", I mean "soccer", which is the winter game played in Great Britain. When Shankley first arrived at Liverpool, it was a struggling second division team with poor facilities and low morale. One of the soccer pitches looked as if bombs had been dropped on it; Shankley asked if the Germans had been
over in the war.
Shankley took Liverpool Football Club from the second division to the Premier League, making them one of the most successful clubs in history. Once he was asked about his philosophy in a television interview. He replied, "Someone said to me 'To you football is a matter of life or death!' and I said 'Listen, it's more important than that'."
Bill Shankley's remark struck a chord with me - not because of football, but because of my faith. If someone said to me, "To you, Christianity is a matter of life and death", I would reply, "It's more important than that!" Living as a Christian, as a follower of Christ, is something which demands my life and my all.
I know these days we are supposed to do everything in moderation, (to which I say, especially moderation), but where God and Jesus Christ are concerned, being moderate just doesn't work, at least not for me. In fact, the closer I get to God and the more I surrender my life to him, the happier I seem to be. As I said to someone recently, you can't get close enough to Christ.
For Jesus' disciples - the first of whom were the brothers Andrew and Simon, John and James - getting close to Jesus began when Jesus said to them: "follow me", and they left what they were doing, and followed him. Of cours
e that command of Jesus - "follow me" - is a deceptively simple one. It's like Columbus saying to someone in 1492, "come sail with me". When you get on board there's no way of knowing what each day will bring or how long the journey will take. You begin the journey more in hope than in expectation. That's what the Christian journey is like - it's one of adventure and exploration, where you can never be sure what you will find over the horizon.
This journey begins when you decide to place your trust in the one whom you are following: Jesus Christ. He is both our captain and navigator; the closer we stay to him, the more certain it will be that we will reach our destination. Of course, what Jesus doesn't promise is a trouble free time. The first disciples were fishermen, and they knew the dangers of the sea: how the wind could pick up and the swell beneath them turn into waves that could swamp the boat. The gospel of Luke records an incident where Jesus and the disciples are in the boat together and this event happens. The disciples fear that they will perish, and tell their Lord in their alarm what is happening. Jesus rebukes the wind and the raging waves; and there was a calm. He then says to the disciples, "Where is your faith?" (Luke 8:24-25) The point of the story is that the disciples call upon Jesus in their hour of need. Jesus is always there when you need him.
I want to stay with the analogy of the boat because our sails are useless unless the wind fills them. So it is with our Christian journey, that the breath of the Holy Spirit is needed to move us along. The Holy Spirit is the breath of God - like the wind, you cannot see the spirit but you can see what the spirit does. When the Holy Spirit fills a church, its members are fired up with love for God and neighbor, and with a passion to serve others. You can tell a "spirit filled" church by its main attribute, which is joy. Where the Holy Spirit dwells there is joy in abundance.
The Holy Spirit is here today, because in a moment the Spirit will descend on the newest member of the Church and put some wind in her sails. Ella Rose Quinn will be baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. With the water she will be washed clean of sin and brought into right relationship with God. The oil of chrism with which she will be anointed is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. By God's grace she will be reborn into the new life of faith and begin her spiritual journey as an adopted daughter of God. Today is the beginning of that journey, and she will set sail today with the prayers and good wishes of her parents, godparents and brothers and sisters in Christ. I feel very privileged to be a part of her beginning on this great adventure.
Today my own journey takes me away from a place where I have been blessed, loved and brought closer to Christ. That place is the Church of the Redeemer. The thing about the Christian journey is that each person's journey is different. For some people the journey involves lots of twists and turns while other people's journeys seem to be in more of a straight line. I am definitely in the first category. I'm not sure why this is - I sometimes think that God has a history written for me that he only reveals to me as I go along. I trust in God's providence for me, and try to put into practice a saying I learnt a while ago - "bloom where you're planted". I feel incredibly blessed to have served you and known you
As I leave you today I want to direct you to the words of Scripture in today's service. The first reading is from the Book of Deuteronomy: it is part of the farewell speech that Moses gives before the Israelites cross into the Promised Land. As you know, Moses never reached it himself; he died before they reached their destination. His words therefore have the force and power of a final testament. Listen to these words again:
"Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob."
Moses exhorts his people to choose life and the very best life is one which has God at its center. And please don't be moderate where God is concerned - give yourself to God fully and whole-heartedly. The one who does is never disappointed.
Our gospel reading also has some beautiful words which Jesus says to his followers before he leaves them. I would like to make them my words to you.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you."
Those, then, are my parting words. And along with those words, I say "thank you". You and I have shared a journey together, and I have felt the wind of the Holy Spirit at our backs as we moved forward to where God wants us both to be. Thank you for your prayers and for your love. Thank you for sharing your stories, both good and bad. I have learned that there is so much pain in the histories of people that I wonder at the human spirit that it can withstand so much. And yet I know that God is a great healer and that when Jesus rose from the dead his wounds were still visible, so that he would not stand apart from us in our own suffering.
The job of a priest is to represent God to the people and the people to God. That is what I have tried to do, in my prayers and in my ministry. No prayers are ever wasted - God hears them all. Continue to keep one another in your prayers and remain strong in the faith.
Although there is sadness today, there is room for joy as well. The joy of friendship, and of growing closer to God. The joy in singing God's praises in our hymns. The joy of welcoming Ella into this new and exciting life in Christ. Be thankful in the Lord for the blessings that have been and for those yet to come. Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you". May God's joy and peace be yours always.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Father David Beresford
Senior Warden's Report, June 2019
As we say goodbye to Father David, we must begin to the process of figuring out how to proceed. On May 8, the Vestry met with Canon Arlette Joseph, Canon for Transition Ministry, to discuss our possibilities for going forward. She outlined the following options:
- Interim - A period of time, length to be determined, in which we finish an examination of ourselves and determine where we want to go in the future. If the interim rector is full time, we would be given a list of candidates from which we would choose. If the priest is part-time, he or she would most likely be assigned to us because the number of priests willing to work part-time is limited. The interim priest would be paid the same amount as our present rector. The interim priest could not be called to be the long-term rector.
- Priest-in-charge - A priest-in-charge would be an option if the examination or healing process would take longer than a year. The same conditions would apply to full-time or part-time. A priest-in-charge could be called as the longer term rector but does not have to be, so it is a way to see if the priest is a good match. The normal length of time for a priest-in-charge is three years.
- Shared ministry - Several churches in the area (including St. Stephens, Clifton Heights) cannot afford a full-time priest. under this arrangement, the priest would conduct services at both churches and share the pastoral responsibilities. Both churches would contribute to the salary.
- Supply and Call - We would use supply priests for a short time, interview candidates provided by Canon Joseph, and call a rector as soon as possible.
Canon Joseph then told us we need to complete some tasks and make some decisions in the near future. They include the following:
- We need to edit the Parish Report we prepared before Father David was called. It is too long.
- We need to determine how long it will take to complete the process of self examination we began with the meetings in people's homes and the mutual ministry review.
- We need to decide which of the options listed above best suits our needs?
- We need to decide what qualities we want in a new rector?
The vestry will be meeting over the summer to complete these tasks, consider these options, and interview possible candidates for interim, priest-in-charge, or rector.
You may be aware that there is a Jazzercise class meeting during the week and on Saturday. Their contract with Redeemer will yield $900 a month which we urgently need to make repairs on the building. A new stove will be installed in the kitchen in the near future.
As you can see, this will be a time of change for Redeemer. Please keep the vestry in your prayers as we move forward. We welcome your support and input.
On May 19, fourteen young people were presented to Bishop Rodney Michel for confirmation by their mentors/sponsors. One by one they were confirmed as adult members of the Episcopal Church by the "laying on of hands" from the bishop, their mentors, and members of their families. After the service, they were presented with Bibles, certificates, and a cake in their honor. Please support these young people as they take their place in the life of Redeemer:
Confirmation Class and Mentors
- Tristan Mason Brown - George Baughan
- Tyler Maurice Brown - Kyle Kolynych
- Sofia Hope Brzezicki - Cyn Mattson
- Matthew William Dobbs - Ruth Ward
- Amanda Ellen Fillipo- Trish Lambert
- Giovanna Louise Forte - Linda Bennett
- Emily Claire Lambert - Els Baldewijns
- Alexa Mae Milligan - James Mendez de Acerto
- Brooke Lorenn Milligan -Tom O'Connell
- Erinn Cassidy O'Connell - Joan Mendez de Acerto
- Riley Quinn O'Connell - Linda Pirollo
- Brandon Christopher Pirollo - Melanie Milligan
- Mia Elizabeth Reiter - Dot Hall
- Georgette Zahan Seke - Naomi Gordon
Message from Dot Hall
Just want to give a big thank you to everyone who participated with helping, and enjoying our May Tea. It is such a happy occasion once a year. The fellowship abounds, and it is so good to hear the laughter as the "good sports waiters" strut their stuff. They not only do a great job serving everyone, but they are also quite talented! The committee just falls into place, and without their help and several parishioners who bake goodies, it just couldn't take place.
Also a special thank you to all the ladies from the thrift shop who pitched in at the last minute due to a slight emergency, you are the best!
Birthdays and Anniversaries
6/5 Kristen Marie Pirollo
6/7 Barbara (Bobbie) Crosby
6/7 William Carlos Gutierrez
6/7 Gerald Gordon
6/8 Amanda Porter
6/15 Barbara Post
6/15 William Cottman
6/17 Bettie Welch
6/20 Brenda Gordon
6/22 Alexa Mae Milligan
6/24 Stephen Henry
6/27 Louis Annas, IV
6/28 Mary Jane DiSantis
6/5/04 Jim and Trisha Lambert
6/13/15 Stephon and Gabrielle Northern
6/14/69 John and Joan Strayer
6/20/85 Mary and Kurt Danenhower
6/20/98 Brian and Stephanie Forney
Charlotte Rose Zielke, daughter of Sarah and David Zielke of Secane, was baptized on Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019.
Ella Rose Quinn, daughter of Christine and Brian Quinn of Clifton Heights, was baptized on Sunday, May 26, 2019.
Redeemer Thrift Shop
Summer is almost here, and we are ready with cool tops, shorts, swim wear and lots of goodies for fun at the beach. Come see and shop. We are in the warm weather mode!
Our earnings for May were $1,724.
Total earnings year-to-date are $9,922.
TUESDAY 10 AM - 2 PM
9 AM - 2 PM
A long-standing tradition of weekly dedicated altar flowers is being revived. Efforts are being made to refine the process and insure proper recognition and increased participation. Members honor or remember their loved ones by providing flowers for the altar on a Sunday near or on an anniversary of an important date in the life of their family; a dedication notice is included in the bulletin on the designated Sunday. As there are two flower arrangements each week, there can be two dedications. The cost is $20 per dedication. To participate, either complete a flower request form (these are located at the back of the church) or call/email the church office. Please allow at least two weeks' notice for proper processing. The goal is to secure at least one dedication for each Sunday. Your participation is invited and encouraged!
Annual Redeemer Church Picnic, Sunday, June 16th,
11:30 am - 3 pm at Meadowgreen Park in Springfield. Hot dogs, PB/J and paper products will be provided. Please bring to share either a salad, finger veggies, chips, drinks or desert. Reserve with George Baughan so he has an accurate count for the hot dogs.
Darby Mission Dinner, Tuesday, June 18th, 6:30 pm.
To volunteer and/or contribute to the cost of food, please sign the sheet posted at the rear of the sanctuary.
Send corrections, remarks, or updates to the Redeemer Reporter to Israel Ramirez: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Church of the Redeemer, Springfield
145 West Springfield Road
Springfield, Pennsylvania 19064
Minister of Music
George Baughan '22
- Senior W
Lee Lucas '20 - Junior Warden
Keith Brown '22
- Accounting Warden
Sharon Appelbaum '21
Ginny Doyle '22
Jim Lambert '21
Helen Lightcap '20
Jane Nyiri '20
Gary Rew '21
"As people of God, we come together in joyful worship, to care for each other, to engage in Christian formation, and to reach out to others thoughtfully and compassionately."
"Becoming one with Christ, with one another, and with all God's people"