Prayer For the Human Family
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us
through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family;
take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts;
break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love;
and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Scripture Readings For the Week
Readings for Trinity Sunday, June 7, 2020
A meditation by Richard Rohr, OFM,
on the Holy Trinity and Racism
A Franciscan priest, Richard Rohr is an author and spiritual leader living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation.
When you start with a conception of God as an old white man sitting in the clouds, it is of little surprise that white men,
empowered white men, are considered the closest to God and the most worthy of respect and value. It becomes a top-down universe, a pyramid much more than the circle marked by equality, marked by a gentle dance between all. The Trinity as a community, even a dancing community, is indeed the daring image that ignited the finest intuitions of early Christian theologians, prompting consensus around this utterly new revelation of God. It took them three centuries to make full sense of Jesus' language about what he named "Father," how he understood himself, and what he named "Holy Spirit."
Our common form of dualistic thinking just could not process such three-fold and one-ness evocations at the same time. It was frankly, illogical. How could we reconcile what seemed like a huge logical and theological problem? The human ego is so resistant to anything its mind cannot quickly process and control; it prefers separateness and a sense of superiority - precisely what the Trinity rejects.
Yet if we do not discern and celebrate difference on the level of what is visible in humanity, what hope is there on issues where "difference" is often much more striking (race, gender, and class)? Every one of these issues is searching for its own locus of authority today, and as naïve as it might sound to some, I believe the Trinity does provide such an appropriate locus of authority for those who are willing to trust it and allow it: God is precisely one by holding together very real difference.
God's pattern and goal has never been naïve uniformity but radical diversity (1 Corinthians 12:4ff) maintained in a communion "of perfect love" that infinitely self-empties and infinitely outpours-at the same time. This Divine pattern is, of course, most beautifully revealed in "the array of creation" (Genesis 2:1). God is forever "making room" and "infilling" all things throughout the creation; this is the Way of the Flow.
This is, in our finite understanding, an utterly new logic and is the foundation for the success of the human project for those ready to embrace at the level of experience what they already confess in the creeds.
Of course, it is precisely self-emptying that the human ego resists and opposes; yet without this self-emptying, the whole waterwheel of divine love does not flow through us. We may like infilling, being "empowered," but we do not know how to make room for that infilling. This is always and forever the spiritual problem. This is the root of racism: failing to make room within our communities and ourselves for others. This is what the tradition courageously refers to as "sin."
In my reading of the Gospels, this explains why Jesus exemplified the path of self-emptying (the kenosis of Philippians 2:7) and making room for "otherness" (John 16:7). The Jesus path is a constant visible lesson in both allowing and handing on, receiving and giving away what is received. He makes the Divine Waterwheel visible and attractive, so we can trust this process and even fall in love with it (1 John 1:1-2): we can step into what this mighty river of God's mercy and restorative justice has always been doing - challenging the idol of superiority, the idol of false oneness under their guise of uniformity, the idol of exclusion. Christ is the choreography of new creation made visible, and we are still being invited to this dance, this making room for "otherness" in our lives.
Richard Rohr, OFM, "How God as Trinity Dissolves Racism,"
, August 2016
Presiding Bishop Curry's Word to the Church:
When the Cameras are Gone, We Will Still Be Here
May 30, 2020
A word to the Church from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry:
"Our long-term commitment to racial justice and reconciliation is embedded in our identity as baptized followers of Jesus. We will still be doing it when the news cameras are long gone."
In the midst of COVID-19 and the pressure cooker of a society in turmoil, a Minnesota man named George Floyd was brutally killed. His basic human dignity was stripped by someone charged to protect our common humanity.
Perhaps the deeper pain is the fact that this was not an isolated incident.
It happened to Breonna Taylor on March 13 in Kentucky.
It happened to Ahmaud Arbery on February 23 in Georgia. Racial terror in this form occurred when I was a teenager growing up black in Buffalo, New York. It extends back to the lynching of Emmett Till in 1955 and well before that. It's not just our present or our history. It is part of the fabric of American life.
But we need not be paralyzed by our past or our present. We are not slaves to fate but people of faith. Our long-term commitment to racial justice and reconciliation is embedded in our identity as baptized followers of Jesus. We will still be doing it when the news cameras are long gone.
That work of racial reconciliation and justice - what we know as Becoming Beloved Community - is happening across our Episcopal Church. It is happening in Minnesota and in the Dioceses of Kentucky, Georgia and Atlanta, across America and around the world. That mission matters now more than ever, and it is work that belongs to all of us.
It must go on when racist violence and police brutality are no longer front-page news. It must go on when the work is not fashionable, and the way seems hard, and we feel utterly alone. It is the difficult labor of picking up the cross of Jesus like Simon of Cyrene, and carrying it until no one - no matter their color, no matter their class, no matter their caste - until no child of God is degraded and disrespected by anybody. That is God's dream, this is our work, and we shall not cease until God's dream is realized.
Is this hopelessly naïve? No, the vision of God's dream is no idealistic utopia. It is our only real hope. And, St. Paul says, "hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit" (Romans 5:5). Real love is the dogged commitment to live my life in the most unselfish, even sacrificial ways; to love God, love my neighbor, love the earth and truly love myself. Perhaps most difficult in times like this, it is even love for my enemy. That is why we cannot condone violence. Violence against any person - conducted by some police officers or by some protesters - is violence against a child of God created in God's image. No, as followers of Christ, we do not condone violence.
Neither do we condone our nation's collective, complicit silence in the face of injustice and violent death. The anger of so many on our streets is born out of the accumulated frustration that so few seem to care when another black, brown or native life is snuffed out.
But there is another way. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, a broken man lay on the side of the road. The religious leaders who passed were largely indifferent. Only the Samaritan saw the wounded stranger and acted. He provided medical care and housing. He made provision for this stranger's well-being. He helped and healed a fellow child of God.
Love, as Jesus teaches, is action like this as well as attitude. It seeks the good, the well-being, and the welfare of others as well as one's self. That way of real love is the only way there is.
Accompanying this statement is a card describing ways to practice the
Way of Love in the midst of pandemic, uncertainty and loss
. In addition, you will find online a set of resources to help Episcopalians to LEARN, PRAY & ACT in response to racist violence and police brutality. That resource set includes faithful tools for listening to and learning from communities too often ignored or suppressed, for incorporating God's vision of justice into your personal and community prayer life, and for positively and constructively engaging in advocacy and public witness.
Opening and changing hearts does not happen overnight. The Christian race is not a sprint; it is a marathon. Our prayers and our work for justice, healing and truth-telling must be unceasing. Let us recommit ourselves to following in the footsteps of Jesus, the way that leads to healing, justice and love.
Hospitality - it's time to sociali
During this time of separation, we are looking for ways to stay connected as a family of faith. One way is to gather as family and friends of St. John's on Sunday after our worship service for a virtual time to be together - "Coffee Hour". So bring your coffee, tea, juice and whatever pastry you want to eat and join us for our Zoom Coffee Hour.
You will be sent the Zoom link prior to Sunday. Click on the link (or enter the identification number if you already have Zoom). If you have never been on a Zoom session you may be asked to download a small program or application.
For security purpose, you will be put into a "waiting room", where the host (me) will let you in.
In Zoom, "Gallery View" view will allow you to see the most amount of people.
Please join us! This is a time to reconnect, socialize, see friends, and support one another during this time.
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!
Reopening St. John's
Bishop Susan has recommended that parishes form a task force for the reopening of the parish. The task force is looking at the guidelines and practices set forth by the state and church authorities that need to be in place when we receive the word that churches are allowed to reopen. The reopening of our parish will be a slow, phased process.
We are looking at all areas of our parish life - liturgy, discipleship, evangelization, outreach, and spiritual formation. I have formed that task force with members of the vestry and other lay leaders of the parish who have convened this week to begin our planning.
The reopening of the parish will be done with an act of love for our neighbor, respect for government and public health experts, and with an opportunity to be "church" in a new way. Please keep St. John's in your prayers as we continue this very important, careful work of reopening the parish.
We Are Available in Your Time of Need
If you have a pastoral emergency when the parish offices are closed,
Today and every day include some time for prayer, for yourself,
for your church family, and for those in need.
For our Military
Matt, Drew, Cody, Cameron,
Jamal, Matt, Daniel, Jocelyn, Devon,
Taylor, Jorge, Katherine, Sebastian and Richie.
For Strength in Time of Need
Scott, Betty, Rob, Bill, Barbara, Paul,
Kevin, Sophia, Dean, Brain, Ed, Fr. Jack, Jan
and for all first responders, medical professionals,
essential workers and their families.
For the repose of the soul of Nancy Parlato.
May light perpetual shine on her.
For Churches in Transition in our Diocese
Christ Church, Coronado
St. Paul, Palm Springs
All Saints', Vista
St. John's dear friend and former parishioner Dean Peters was recently diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Dean is living with his daughter in Oregon. Cards may be sent to him at the following address:
37054 Redwood Highway
O'Brien, OR 97534
Stewardship is about the offering of our time, talent and treasure.
Thank you to those who make the work and ministry of St. John's continue.
We have made it even more convenient to give online. You can find a "Give Now" button on our St. John's website:
There are 4 other ways to stay current on your pledge:
1) US mail
2) the secured mail slot next to the parish office door on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9:00am and 3:00pm
3) Sally can add an automatic credit or debit payment by providing to her in writing the necessary information (bank name, account number, expiration date and amount to be withdrawn,
4) you can go to your bank (physically or on line) to set up an automatic payment to St. John's by bank check once a month.
If you need help with any of these options, please contact Sally via email (
) or phone call to the office on Thursdays for assistance.
ECS Annual Meeting
San Diego Episcopal Cursillo Ministry
June Issue Cursillo Newsletter
The Forward is an informational newsletter for Cursillistas in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego.
- It is published every other month and on special occasions.
- It contains useful information, dates and messages of encouragement as we live out our Fourth Day.
Gala Thank You
A huge THANK YOU to all the churches and
individuals who supported the virtual ECS Gala this year! We are so grateful for your partnership and investment in our work to support, empower, and encourage some of our most vulnerable neighbors - the men, women, and children served by our programs each day, especially during this challenging time in our country and world!
Two great resources for those who need food assistance:
JFSSD, Jewish Family Services of San Diego distributes/delivers hot or frozen meals to seniors in need, in SD county.
South Bay Community Services... free, drive-thru food distribution They provide produce and some good nutritious staples to anyone in need (Adults). They have other locations on other days, too.
Opportunities for Service
Donate Snacks to Uptown Safe Haven
- The ECS Uptown Safe Haven clients love snacks and treats as they shelter in place together. You can send treats via Amazon or drop them by the house and leave them on the doorstep.
Address for mailing or dropping off snacks:
Uptown Safe Haven, Attn: Christina Zeman/UTSH Staff
San Diego, CA 92103.
Volunteer with Head Start Food Distribution Program -
ECS Head Start preschool programs are closed, but we are distributing food to families Tuesday through Friday, 9:15am to 12:30pm, each week and are looking for volunteers to help! This is taking place outside in South Bay, families drive by to get bags of food, and safety precautions are in place. Volunteer roles include helping with set up, break down, directing traffic, and handing bags to families through car windows.
* Pill Bottle and Monthly SBCS grocery list collections are currently suspended at St. John's.
Current office hours are 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, Wednesday and Thursday.
If you need assistance, please email Maria Love:
Year of Discipleship
In the Diocese of San Diego, Bishop Susan Brown Snook has called us to spend the year 2020 focusing on discipleship: How we grow in faith as followers of Jesus Christ. Discipleship grows as we adopt spiritual practices for daily living. Our diocese offers these resources to help you develop spiritual practices as individuals, families, small groups, and full congregations.
The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego invites you to
as part of
The Year of Discipleship 2020
in this holy season of Easter.
One Diocesan-Wide Experience
Bishop's Book Studies
Take part in this diocesan-wide book study led by Bishop Susan throughout the season of Easter. This will be an online offering, where each week Bishop Susan will post a reflection on a chapter and some discussion questions on the
, to which participants can respond interactively online. Alternately, participants may choose to use the reflection and discussion questions in small groups in their congregations, or for personal reflections at home. No need to sign up. Just buy the book and take part in the conversation throughout the season.
Here is a list of some things to do while you are quarantined at home:
Streaming of operas from the Metropolitan Opera, which are occurring daily. Go to https://www.metopera.org/ to enjoy the daily streaming available.
The Seattle Symphony is also offering live streaming at this site: https://seattlesymphony.org/
Museums worldwide are offering their exhibits online: https://artsandculture.google.com/partner?hl=en&tab=pop
One of the pianists who frequently visits our communities has made a free video performance, which you can enjoy by following this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MI_FTFZNGm8
A free class to take at YALE University: https://www.businessinsider.com/coursera-yale-science-of-wellbeing-free-course-review-overview
More Museums offering free virtual tours: https://www.housebeautiful.com/lifestyle/g31815495/museums-you-can-virtually-tour-right-now/
Free coloring books for adults from 113 museums: http://www.openculture.com/2019/02/download-free-coloring-books-from-113-museums.html
An article with links to a variety of things that are now free: https://www.npr.org/2020/03/20/818670715/getting-bored-heres-a-list-of-free-things-that-werent-free-before-coronavirus
Approved Minutes for the March 25th Vestry meeting can be found here:
Rev. Roger's Office Hours
Rev. Roger will be available, but working from home on Mondays and Tuesdays and in the office all day on Wednesdays and Thursdays. He will be available by appointment. Please call the office (619-422-4141) to schedule an appointment.
In case of a pastoral emergency, Rev. Roger may be reached on his cell phone at 619-301-0724.
To our Saint John's Family:
Here is your weekly newsletter highlighting important events at St. John's Episcopal Church. You can also find news about St. John's at
We welcome your feedback, photos, and news items. Contact Maria Love at 619-422-4141 or
Please submit your announcements by Tuesday of each week for inclusion in the Enews and Sunday bulletin.
Emergency Contact Information
If you had a medical emergency at church on Sunday morning, would the Wardens or church
staff know who to contact? If you would like to add someone to St. John's emergency contact
list in case of such an emergency, please contact Maria, our parish secretary (619-422-4141 or
email@example.com). A sign-up sheet will also be available in the church lobby to collect this information. Please provide your name, the name of your emergency contact, their relationship to you, their phone number and/or their email address. This is one more way we can show how we love one another.
As part of our ongoing commitment to creating a safe haven for everyone, our diocese trains people in the prevention of misconduct and encourages all to report misconduct. All reported incidences are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly and confidentially. If you believe you have experienced misconduct of any kind, please contact Mr. John Seitman, (firstname.lastname@example.org), 858-793-4555 or Ms. Equilla Luke, (email@example.com), 760-583-0485.
Safeguarding God's People
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May God's face shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
May God give you the grace never to sell yourself short;
Grace to risk something big for something good;
Grace to remember that the world is too dangerous for anything but truth
And too small for anything but love.
So, may God take your minds and think through them;
May God take your lips and speak through them;
May God take your hearts and set them on fire.
-William Sloane Coffin
pastoral care: 619/301-0724