Episcopal Church
of the Resurrection
1433 NW R.D. Mize Road
Blue Springs, Missouri  64015
 
(816) 228-4220

Weekly E-mail

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Sunday Services on-line only
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2020
Third Sunday of Advent
Third Sunday of Advent
     Gaudete Sunday

Holy Eucharist Rite I at 8:00 am
Holy Eucharist Rite II at 10:30 am

- Both services broadcast on-line on

Due to COVID, our Parish has returned to only on-line services until further notice. 
From Father David Lynch+
FIND JOY IN YOUR DAILY LIFE.
Fr. David Lynch_
As more and more things are cancelled and the frustration of not being present with each other are likely to endure for the foreseeable future, know that there is still joy to be had as we continue to find innovative ways to share by different means. I pray for all of you daily and hold you dear to my heart, especially without being able to greet you and have fellowship with you face-to-face. I thank you also for your prayers for Debbie and me. Below is a link to a message from Pope Francis that helps to put a spiritual response to managing through the time of Covid. I commend to you to take the time to read this message from the Pope in the NY Times article:

Pope Francis: A Crisis Reveals What Is in Our Hearts: "To come out of this pandemic better than we went in, we must let ourselves be touched by others' pain."


HOPE - LOVE - JOY - PEACE.
Celebrating Advent

These are the themes of the season as we wait for the feast of the coming of the Lord. Our new liturgical year began with the First Sunday of Advent. This year follows the lectionary cycle "B" which focuses on the Gospel of Mark for many of our gospel lessons this year


THIS SUNDAY IS GAUDETE SUNDAY

So why is one candle on the Advent wreath pink?  The three purple candles mark the preparation Christians undergo awaiting the arrival of Christ on Earth.  Gaudete (pronounced "Gow-DAY-tay") Sunday reminds us that the gift has not yet arrived, but it's very near.  The word is Latin for "Rejoice" and takes its name from the first word of the Introit, "Gaudete in Domino Semper," Latin for the introduction of Philippians 4:4, "Rejoice in the Lord always."


PRAYER LISTS AND THE NEW YEAR.

As we begin a new year, we make use of our season of hope believing that our prayers have borne good fruit. The prayer list located on our webpage and the listing of names in our church directory serve as great resources for praying for all our parishioners. The most up-to-date parish prayer list appears on the parish website at https://www.episcopal-bluesprings.org/prayer-request

Prayer Requests All members of our community are asked to pray for everyone on our prayer list. Please call 816-228-4220, e-mail the rector@episcopal-bluesprings.org , or ECORPrayers@att.net to share your prayers of thanksgiving (births, weddings, new jobs, anniversaries, etc.), to notify us that you have a loved one serving in the military, to share that someone you love is suffering, or to tell us that someone has died. The congregation longs to stand with you in your grief and offer support.

Note that we usually leave names on these lists for several weeks. We would very much appreciate your help letting us know when names can be removed or moved from prayers for the sick and suffering to prayers for thanksgiving [for healing].


THANK YOU FOR YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT.

Thanks to all who have returned their pledges of giving for 2021.  I am so grateful for your generosity! If you haven't returned your completed pledge yet, you are invited to do so and we will receive it with tremendous gratitude. Completing your 2020 pledge is important too. Thanks for the way you show your love for the church, the people of Resurrection, and for God!!
Pledge cards due
REMEMBER YOUR PLEDGE.
Faith Filled Generosity


Although this year's campaign has ended, we still have many parishioners who have not yet returned their pledge card for 2021.  Your generosity inspired by faith will determine the ministry of our parish next year and how we will share our gifts with the community and the world.

We ask you to please make a conscious financial commitment to support the mission of our church as an individual or household.  Follow the Christians of the early church in Corinth and Macedonia who also made pledges.  Making a pledge is a biblical act.   Thank you for your generosity!
Advent Retreat Day
NEXT SATURDAY, DECEMBER 19.
Advent Retreat Fr. David will present an Advent retreat time with prayer and Advent themes on Saturday, December 19 from 10:00 am to Noon, ending with Noon Day prayer via ZOOM.

This will be a time to contemplate the readiness for coming of Christ, the intention of Advent for all personally and a time of prayer.  Materials will be shared in the presentation.  Please invite others!
 
Meeting ID: 960 1845 5927
Passcode: 361117
Movie Night cancelled

Movie Night Cancelled
It appears there is no legal way for us to share over the internet the movie we hoped to see in person together on Friday, before COVID interrupted our plans.

So we commend to you to go to YouTube on your own and watch the movie "Buttons: a Christmas Miracle", starring Dick Van Dyke, Angela Lansbury, Jane Seymore and others.
 
Prayers for the joys of technology and the ability to find things online to enjoy!
Vestry nominations still open
THREE WILL BE ELECTED IN JANUARY.
Vestry
Vestry members exercise leadership by example and participation both in the business and spiritual life of the parish. Persons standing for election to Vestry should regularly attend worship services and demonstrate faithful stewardship.  Vestry members must be committed to attend monthly Vestry meetings, participate in a Vestry retreat during the year and complete the Safeguarding God's Church training course on-line.  Please contact Gabe Conn, Dr. Tess Garcia or David Hensen for information or to express your willingness to serve.
Monday Matters - RenewalWorks
FROM REV. JAY SIDEBOTHAM +.
Renewal Works
Monday Matters Column dated December 7, 2020

Love bears all things, believe all things, hopes all things, endures all things. -I Corinthians 13
 
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today." So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. All who saw it began to grumble and said, "He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner." Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much." Then Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost."  -Luke 19


Church fights

Turns out jolly old St. Nicholas wasn't always so jolly. The saint who we celebrated yesterday allegedly punched the heretic Arius in the nose at the Council of Nicea (325 AD). A good old church fight.

In my time, I've witnessed a few church fights. I bet you have too. There have been fights over social and political issues, for sure. Fights over liturgy and language and leadership. Fights over money, for sure. Fights over who's in and who's out. Fights over how to read the Bible and who gets communion. Fights over what kind of music is acceptable to our Lord. I've crossed the garden committee and the altar guild, the finance committee and the ushers, and lived to tell about it. I've witnessed fights over the most efficient ways to make sandwiches for a lunch program for people in need, prompting those words clergy fear: "We've never done it that way." I've negotiated fights between church ministries that had to share a refrigerator. I've noted the creativity of the human spirit, finding all kinds of things to dispute.

I had always known that church fights happen. I came to realize that sometimes they are not a dispute between a good and a bad thing, but the collision of two good and noble things. "My way of serving Jesus is just a bit more important than yours." How do we navigate such?

Since day one, the church has had to figure this out. The church in first century Corinth received several letters from St. Paul. Those letters describe church fights about food, liturgy, sex, money and leadership. Any of that sound familiar? Maybe there were valid arguments for both sides. But what St. Paul said is that what really matters is not who is right, but what builds up the church. In response to these various disputes, Paul writes his great hymn about love (I Corinthian 13).

In Morning Prayer we recently read the story of Zacchaeus (see above). He was a tax collector, held in low regard with good reason by his people. He had an encounter with Jesus that turned into a conversion experience, out of which he decided to give away half his wealth and restore any wrong he had done fourfold. Jesus is criticized for hanging out with Zacchaeus. While I've know this story since Sunday School, and while I've sung the song about the wee little man climbing up into a tree, I never noticed what Jesus says in response to this criticism. He says this about Zacchaeus: "He, too is a son of Abraham." In other words, to the critics Jesus says: "Hold on. As unlikable, perhaps reprehensible as he may be, Zacchaeus is your brother."

It's the wisdom of our baptismal covenant that we are to seek Christ in all persons (even when Christ comes well-disguised). What part of "all" do we not understand? It's the wisdom of eastern traditions that say the light in you greets the light in me. It's the wisdom of the South African theology of Ubuntu, which proclaims the inherent interconnectedness of humankind.

In case you haven't noticed, we live in a time marked by division and rancor. It bubbles up from our personal resentments. It trickles down from our leadership. In families, in churches, in political discourse, we too easily find reason to dismiss our connection to each other.

Jesus calls us to another way. I'm wondering where you hear that call this week. It doesn't mean we won't have disputes or disagreements. It doesn't mean we suspend deep convictions about what is right, what is just. It does mean that we embrace the sometimes annoying truth of our inherent interconnectedness. So we bless each other. We pray for each other. We forgive each other and seek forgiveness. And we do our best to walk in the way of love.

I'm working on it. In case you haven't noticed, I'm not quite there yet.
Helpful links
RESOURCES TO USE.