The Piper

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June 2017

In This Issue...
 Ramblings in the Redwoods
 Poetry Corner
 Angel in the Kitchen
 Around the World
 The Back Page... St. Andrew's Means

Ramblings in the Redwoods
Father Blaine Hammond

As we move out of Eastertide into the season after Pentecost we return to the practice of saying the Confession and Absolution. The tradition of not saying the Confession during Eastertide reminds us that we have already been forgiven; the tradition of saying it during the rest of the year reminds us that we continually need forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a difficult subject, both inside and outside of the Christian church. It is one of those subjects that has deep roots in Judaism. Both Judaism and Christianity have days and rituals devoted to forgiveness. This reminds us of a couple of things, among them that we, too, need for-giveness; that we, too, can be forgiven; and that we, too, need to forgive. These simple facts are some of the most difficult things for us to get our minds and hearts around.
If I tend to think of myself as someone who does not need for-giveness – i.e., that I am an essentially good person, and that everyone should appreciate that – then I allow my own lack of perfection to go unno-ticed and find people having false relationships with, and interactions with me without understanding why. If I tend to think of myself as someone who is too awful to deserve forgiveness, then I find myself simply trying to sur-vive my interactions with others rather than developing relationships based on honest interactions and, yes, mutual forgiveness. If I think of others as people who ought to live up to my expectations of them, then any failure on their part to meet my standards can lead to a break in relationship.
Some of us are harder on others than we are on ourselves; some of us are harder on ourselves than on others; some of us are too hard on both ourselves and others, and some of us avoid all unpleasant interactions by running from all conflict or by dismissing conflicts too quickly, before any healing has actually become possible.
There is a phrase which we ought to drop from our vocabulary: “Forgive and forget.” God forgives and forgets, and we should both remember that and be grateful for it. We can forgive, but we need to remember in order to learn. How can we improve our relationships with others if we can’t remember how they react in given situations? How can we keep from being used if we forget that certain individuals will use us if they get a chance?
One of our problems is we believe that if we don’t forget we haven’t really forgiven. The two concepts should not be paired. We also believe that if we cannot reconcile we haven’t really forgiven. Reconciliation is a positive goal but sometimes an unrealistic one; it takes two parties to reconcile. By forgiving we open the door on our end, but we also need to be hon-est about the need for something to happen on the other end.
Forgiveness does not mean we have to forget. It does not mean we have to not be angry if honest anger is called for. It does not mean we cannot ask for some amends or consequences. Forgiveness means that we see the other person as a proper object for God’s love and for our own. Forgiveness means we do not ask for revenge. Forgiveness also means we choose not to poison our own inner lives.
Lack of forgiveness is a poison. It tells us something about the nature of God and of God’s love that God chooses to forgive; it tells us that unforgiveness is a quality that cannot live in God. The Scriptures portray God as having a wide range of emotions, but the God portrayed by Jesus (who could be quite emotional himself)
always longs for our return, without ever forcing it.

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Why I Am An Episcopalian: Reason #62
Despite or perhaps even precisely because of our
present disagreements in the Episcopal Church I am
reminded that God calls us all together because we aren’t whole without each other.
Nancy A.G. Vogele, Diocese of Vermont, from 101 Reasons to be Episcopalian

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Fr. Blaine Wins 2017 Scotts Valley Poetry Contest

Talking Water
It has been the hawk
after it was a rat
eaten by the hawk. Listen!
It was your lover
after she breathed moist oxygen
once exhaled by the pine,
which gave its limbs a perch
to the hawk, breathed
carbon dioxide expiration.
It has passed through so many cells,
been alive so many times
without dying, by now
it has become aware.
You should taste
its memory.
-1st place winner

Nothing Divided By Something to Lose
The children came while we were away
and ate everything before they left.
We left the key so it’s our fault,
but they did leave the dishes
on the counter. The leaves
they tracked on the carpet
were laid in a straight
line from the door
to the kitchen.
This is the life we chose
when we thought
we were just
making love.
-3rd Place Winner

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Tag along Jesus or tagging along with Jesus?

This article is addressed specifically to Christians who just celebrat-ed Easter, though I believe it applies to all who have a relationship with God, especially those who profess Islam and Judaism.
I must confess that even as a priest of the church, sometimes my spiritual life devolves into one where I barely notice Jesus until a crisis brings me back to Him. I discover that I am most alive, though, when I un-derstand that I have the opportunity to tag along with Jesus instead of think-ing He is tagging along with me. It is during those times I am spending time in prayer with Jesus, not just for my needs or the needs of others, which too often dominate my prayers, but as a friend, in whose presence I am trans-formed.
Jesus calls us friends, brothers and sisters, and invites us to hang out with Him daily, weekly, monthly, annually and for all eternity. It is what we will do for all eternity, so we may as well practice it now. Hanging out with Jesus is Joy and Wonder and Wonderful. Tagging along with Jesus means wondering each day where we will travel together…Waking up each day with Jesus we have the opportunity to share a cup of coffee with Him and ask Him, as my friends and I did as teenagers, “Well Jesus, what do you want to do today?”
So, during this Easter season, we might want to ask ourselves, “With whom will we be hanging out or tagging along?” Are we tagging along with Jesus or expecting Him to tag along with us? What do you want to do today and every day?
“For now, we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face.” I Cor 13.12
Reprinted by permission of the Rev. James Shumard, priest in charge, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Casper, WY.

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Angel in the Kitchen
Feel'n good when cook'n and sharin' the love of God

Wine Cake
It's summertime, so go pick some strawberries and whip up that heavy cream!

1 pkg yellow cake mix
1 small pkg. Jello Instant Vanilla pudding mix
¾ cup oil
¾ cup dry sherry
4 eggs
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
Using a mixer, combine the first 4 ingredients till blended.
Add the eggs one at a time. Add nutmeg.
Lightly grease an angel food pan.
Pour mixture in pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until done.
To check for doneness, insert a long wooden skewer and
when you pull it out, it should be dry.
Cool for an hour.
Run a knife around the pan to loosen cake from angel food pan.
After placing your cake on a plate, lightly dust with powdered sugar or
wait when serving a slice with strawberries and whipped cream.
Enjoy!

Do you have a recipe to share? Contact Janet Butler at hermph54@gmail.com

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The Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement

What’s our work? Evangelism,
Reconciliation, and Creation Care.
Reconciliation: Embody the loving, liberating, life-giving way of Jesus with each other. What did Jesus say and do? According to Michael Hidalgo in a 2012 Sojourners article, “forgiveness is a form of suffering. Yes, you read that right. When people commit an offense against us, our natural incli-nation is to commit an offense against them. Not just any offense, but an offense that is bigger, badder, and one that hurts far more. We call this re-venge. Another option is to nurse a grudge rooted in unforgiveness. Some-one hurt us, and we will forever punish him or her by not forgetting or for-giving. When we have been wounded by another we want things made right. Something has been broken and we want it fixed. Forgiveness offers such a repair, but lays its demands on the one who has been wounded. It asks for us to absorb the sin committed against us. Forgiveness is a form of suf-fering, and for those willing to endure it they will discover the beauty in it. For when we are able to forgive — in that moment, we liberate the one who has sinned against us and we liberate ourselves. This is exactly what we see with Jesus. He absorbed the pain, sin, shame, and brokenness of this world. Whatever sin has been committed against us has already been absorbed by Jesus.”
As so much in Christianity is, this is a paradox. We allow the hurt to remain in us, we accept the pain, and the outcome is that we ourselves are set free from the hurt and pain. At the same time, the one who hurt us is also set free. Forgiveness fixes the broken, it makes things right. Didn’t Jesus say that whatever we loose on earth will be loosed in heaven? (Matt. 18:18)

Episcopal Church Jesus Movement

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Around the World

Around the Episcopal Church USA…
Episcopalians, Methodists Propose Full-communion Agreement
A Gift to the World: Co-Laborers for the Healing of Brokenness
[Episcopal News Service] A group of Episcopalians and Methodists has re-leased its proposal for full communion between the two denominations. Full implementation of the proposal will take at least three years. The Episcopal Church General Convention and the United Methodist Church General Con-ference must approve the agreement, which culminates 15 years of explora-tion and more than 50 years of formal dialogue between the two churches. General Convention next meets in July 2018 in Austin, Texas. The General Conference’s next meeting is in 2020.

Around the Diocese…
Pentecost: Learning to Play with Fire?
I wonder if we are not quite sure what to do with the Holy Spirit beyond our celebration of Pentecost. I wonder if we avoid a deeper education and articulation about the ways of Spirit. She is more difficult to get ahold of since this Holy One is not incarnated as Jesus was, or the Father who created all things. Spirit, numinous, urging new life to be born, this is harder for us to see, hear, anticipate, welcome, embrace. And so, perhaps we say, "don't play with that. It is dangerous."
From Bishop Mary’s message in the current “Along the King’s Highway”, the diocesan newsletter. To read the entire article, click here.

Around the Worldwide Anglican Communion…
Costa Rican Anglicans Urged to Live Their Faith Naturally
Anglicans in Costa Rica are being
encouraged to live their faith naturally – Vive tu fe naturalmente – in a new campaign designed to encourage environmentally sustainable lifestyles.
The Diocese of Costa Rica, part of the Iglesia Anglicana de la Región Central de America (the Anglican Church in Central
America), adopted the campaign at its recent National Convention, the
diocese’s first “Green Convention.”
The campaign is a response to Resolution 16.08 of last year’s
Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, which called on “Anglicans everywhere to join in pastoral, priestly, and prophetic action” in response to the global climate change crisis; and the Fifth Mark of Mission which “calls for reflection on the responsibility that as part of the creation of God we have in the care of it,” the diocese’s Jeroham Melendez said.
For more on this and other Anglican news stories, click here.

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June:
Corinna Stevenson
2
Mario Landeros
5
Karen Van Groningen
9
Jamie Mello
10
Sarah Townsend
11
Sandi Templeman
17
Joe Mello
18
Roxanne Spring
21
Lynn Mooney
22
Cory Marello
26
Duquan Ruff
25

July
Erik Snyder
8
Carol Freeman
13
Deidre Guindon
13
Miles Redman
27
Rebecca Waller
30
Peggy Dwyer
30
Doreen Anderson
31
Erin Newfield
31

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The Back Page... by Paula Jansen

St. Andrew's Means...

St. Andrew’s means community to me
and love
and friends
and God
and worship
and Jesus.
I came to St. Andrew’s looking for a church
and got all of the above - who knew so much could
come from a church? A little, tiny, historic church in a
neighborhood in Ben Lomond?
St. Andrew’s pulls me in when I feel like slipping away.
That's a very good thing.
St. Andrew’s is there for me when all I want to do is
cry. Who could ask for more?
St. Andrew’s had given me the opportunity to rise to
challenges I never thought I'd be ready for.
St. Andrew’s is a gem in the heart of Ben Lomond.
Let’s figure out how to share ourselves with more
people because we have so much to give.

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What do you think? Letters to the Editor are welcome! If you are interested in submitting an article in next month's newsletter, contact Elizabeth Forbes or Paula Jansen.