The Piper

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October 2017

In This Issue...
 Ramblings in the Redwoods
 Bible Study: October 15th
 Harvest Dinner is Here!
 Happenings
 The Back Page... An Geadh-Glas

Ramblings in the Redwoods
Father Blaine Hammond

Peace is one of the things that we read about in the scriptures, that we sing in our music, and that we see as a part of our Christian tradition. Peace is something Christians do have in some places, at some times, and in some ways.

We see peace sometimes as an individual thing, a product of a soul and spirit in harmony with God. Even those of us who have the most individual peace find times when that peace is harder to find or embrace. But we have confidence because of our scripture, tradition and experience that Christ wants us to find and live within that inner peace.

Those who find the inner peace may also find that it makes it easier to live in peace with their neighbors. It takes more work for us to live in peace with some people, particularly those who love conflict. That is when our search for peace can include a search for serenity, as the prayer goes:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
There is more to that prayer, as written by Reinhold Niebuhr, which most of us don’t have memorized:
Living one day at a time
Enjoying one moment at a time.
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace.
Taking, as he did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will,
That I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with Him forever in the next.

For someone who pastored a German-American congregation during World War I, and went through the Great Depression and World War II, Niebuhr lived in times of great hardship; the fact that he saw those as the pathway to peace (he
doesn’t say A pathway, he says THE pathway) shows that he saw peace as a product of a world which, as he says, is sinful; and he recognized that while he could not change that world, he could allow Christ to change his heart.

What is this will to which he worked to surrender? We have to look at his other writings to try to work that out; but in his prayer he sees that as a part of this path to inner peace.

But there is another kind of peace, one that the world has seen too little of. That is peace between peoples, between nations, between religions, between ways of thinking and believing, between ethnic and racial groups. This peace is more than just a lack of open conflict, though there are times when that is very welcome. It is a product of learning to live together and love each other. It means feeling like we are safe in our homes, safe in expressing our views; it means having our armed forces be safe abroad and our peacekeepers safe at home.

Early Christianity was a pacifist religion. They believed in someone called “the Prince of Peace,” and believed that his teachings required people not to harm one another. When the Roman Empire accepted Christianity as its official religion, Christians needed to think about how to be that official religion in a nation which needed armed forces to defend itself, and Christian thinking changed. Anglicanism, as another official religion of a nation, England, has the tradition of supporting a nation and its armed forces, and so the Episcopal Church has done so as well in the United States. I also noted in a sermon recently that there were Episcopalians among the armed forces of the Confederacy.

But war continues to be a difficult thing for Christians to deal with; as a former Assisting Bishop in the Diocese of Olympia, Sandy Hampton said one time (and I may not get this quote entirely correct, but I have the sense of it), “If there is war, there has been sin.” Somebody did something wrong for something so drastic to happen.

Bishop Hampton was a member of something called the Episcopal Peace Fellowship. You can look it up if you’re interested. That is our pacifist corollary to our ministry with soldiers, sailors and Marines.

I sometimes look around me in our society today and it seems to me like most of us have forgotten, most of the time, that some of our people are carrying arms in foreign countries. We are at war, and we have been since 2001. It is sad to me that this fact seems to make so little difference in the lives of so much of our population. This is one of the reasons that I include members of the Armed Forces in our prayers for the dead.

We are also in something that seems like war at home, as we have people killed solely because of their color or their language. We have seen this war play out very publicly, from the shooting of people of color by police, to the shooting of police by people of color, to armed vigilantes patrolling our borders.

Christianity has a default setting for peace, but we live in a world where peace can be rare, or can seem so difficult to attain that we try not to think about it. But we need to be aware of it, and at least pray for peace even if we don’t feel like joining a demonstration. We can write letters to the editor, we can write letters to members of our government, and we can support veterans who face all kinds of difficulties abroad and even after they return home. And we can ask that our government support diplomacy and negotiation as the proper tactic until and unless they prove to be futile. I should say here that I am not asking people to necessarily support my positions or causes but to carry your own consciences into the world in the name of Christ.

We need to see the truths contained in the Serenity Prayer not just as a means by which we can overcome addictions of one kind or another, but a means by which we can discover how God’s will in our lives can be more powerful than the difficulties we face.

Pray. Live in God’s Spirit. God is a God of peace, working in a world of conflict. There are prayers for peace in our Book of Common Prayer; learn them and use them. May the God of Love be with each of us and with all of us together.

Hurray for Episcopal Relief & Development! And Thanks to All! $769.00 was given in 3 Sunday collections for hurricane relief. Our prayers are going with the money, with love and hope for rebuilding.

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Why I Am An Episcopalian: Reason #63
My favorite reason for being an Episcopalian is the coherence of scripture, tradition, and reason/experience as basic tenets of our belief. I appreciate our melding of church and world, sacred, and secular, soul and body, sophistication and simplicity, literary and non-verbal, seriousness and nonchalance, holiness and ordinariness, indeed, our deeply rooted in the Incarnation. - The Rev. Malcolm Boyd, Diocese of Los Angeles, from 101 Reasons to be Episcopalian

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Bible Study: October 15th, 6-7:30pm, Parish Hall

Disciple Fast Track New & Old Testament Study Becoming Disciples Through Bible Study Bible study for busy lives. This 24-week study immerses us in the Old & New Testaments (12 weeks each). It provides a viable option for busy people who want to engage the whole biblical text. Includes a spiritual gifts assessment and ways to live out those gifts. Study manuals are $15.99 +s/h at cokesbury.com or call Elizabeth. Funds are available, if needed; see Fr. Blaine. Bring your own coffee mug and we’ll have some dessert, too.

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St. Andrew’s Women’s Reading Group

When: Tuesday, October 17th, 7 pm
Where: Lynn’s house
Book: "Commonwealth" by Ann Pachett.
All are welcome!

Call Jean for more info.

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You are Cordially Invited to St. Andrew's Annual Harvest Dinner
Saturday, October 14, 6pm - 8pm

This dinner is for our Parish family and friends to celebrate in gratitude your support of our Parish ministry and God's blessings on this 118 year old historical family.

A potluck dinner with a variety of entrees/casseroles, rice salad, bread, wine and dessert with coffee/tea will be served.
Following dinner we are pleased to have as our guest speaker, Lynn Robinson, Executive Director of Valley Churches United Missions. Lynn is very enthusiastic about the services VCUM has been able to provide to the SLV community, and this has been one of the ministries our Parish has supported since its inception after the 1981-82 floods and Love Creek mud slide.

Reservations are requested.

Please RSVP on the sign-up sheet posted next to the office by Sunday, October 8th. Contact Kim Rooks at larocca_rooks@hotmail.com for any questions or to make reservations.

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Meet Lynn Robinson

Lynn Robinson has been immensely enjoying her role as the Executive Director of VCUM since November 2015. “Each and every day has been another day of gratitude for all the amazing work that happens at Valley Churches,” she says. Along with longtime staff members Linda Lovelace and Linda Meyer, Lynn oversees the day to day operations of the food pantry and several other programs that provide a hand up, giving hope and self-sufficiency to those in need in our community.
Lynn has had a very long career as the owner of Lynn R. Designs, a landscape and garden design business. She considers her decades in so many gardens throughout Santa Cruz County to be one of her many blessings in life. She was a member of the Santa Cruz City Council for eight years, and had the privilege of being the mayor of Santa Cruz in 2014. She and her husband, John, were married by Father Joe Kennedy in 1984, and have two wonderful adult children who live in San Francisco and Boston. She feels she has come full circle in her life, and considers it an honor to speak at our Harvest Dinner.

Valley Churches United Missions
9400 HWY 9, Ben Lomond, CA 95005
831-336-8258

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Happenings

Sharon Fishel is planning a Pampered Chef Party to benefit St. Andrew’s. It will be in October, so watch for an invitation in the Sunday announcements and via your email. A fun time is guaranteed for all!

Evening Prayer-Wednesdays - 5:15-5:45 PM
It’s brief, quiet, and a great way to refill your spiritual tank half way through the week. Join us.

2017 Convention in November The 2017 convention will be held on November 3rd and 4th at Sherwood Hall in Salinas. Register online at the Diocesan website, realepiscopal.org, or call the Diocesan office, 831-394-4465. The opening worship is at 2 pm on Nov. 3rd, followed by business and hearings, then a social hour and banquet. Copies of the Resolutions are available from our delegates, Janet Butler or Jennifer Kennedy. To better prepare us for the convention, there will be a presentation and discussion of these resolutions at St. John’s, Aptos, on Sunday afternoon, October 8th. See Jennifer or Janet for further information.

Healing Service
October 29th, One Service Only at 10:00 AM
Canon Brian Nordwick will be our guest preacher at the Healing Service. He is the Canon to the Ordinary for Finance and Administration for our diocese, which means he looks after our business affairs. Beyond that, however, he is an inspiring brother in Christ and a friend of St. Andrew’s. Don’t miss this special opportunity to visit with Canon Brian.

It’s Halloween time again! Tuesday, October 31st, 5-8 PM As is our tradition, the church will be open on Halloween evening to give out candy at the Riverside Street Trick or Treat Extravaganza. We have hundreds of visitors and so need bags and bags of candy. Please bring candy to the church any time between now and Halloween. We also need folks to hand out the candy. Sign up with Paula Jansen to cover for an hour or more. This job is loads of fun! Not only do we have fun with the kids, but many of the adults come in to see our sanctuary and the Día de los Muertos altar which the preschoolers make. You are also invited to add your remembrances of loved ones who have died to the altar.

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A HUGE Happy Birthday to our October babies out there!

Our birthday list is sooooo out of date. Who will help us update it? If you can help with this, please call Elizabeth Forbes. Pauline sends each of us a birthday card and regrets it deeply when she’s missing someone.

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The Back Page...

An Geadh-Glas

The Celtic Christians had a name for the Holy Spirit that has always intrigued me. They called her An Geadh-Glas (pronounced on God gloss) or the Wild Goose...The name hints at the mysterious nature of the Holy Spirit. Much like a wild goose, the Spirit of God cannot be tracked or tamed. An element of danger and air of unpredictability surround Her. And while the name may sound a little sacrilegious at first earshot, I cannot think of a better description of what it’s like to live a Spirit-led life than Wild Goose Chase. I think the Celtic Christians were on to something that institutionalized Christianity has missed out on. And I wonder if we have clipped the wings of the Wild Goose and settled for something less - much less - than God originally intended for us. When I pronounce a benediction at the end of our services I would like to think that I am releasing dangerous people back into their natural habitat to wreak havoc on the enemy, unleashing people to really experience the true reality of what the Holy Spirit wants to do in our lives.
Aug 18, 2008 | Mark Batterson, http://www.markbatterson.com/uncategorized/an-geadh-glas/

+ + + What’s your story? When you are released back into your natural habitat at the end of the service, where is the Holy Spirit leading you? Write your story here. Share your story with someone and ask to hear theirs. You are sure to meet An Geadh-Glas.

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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.