Parish News

excerpts from our parish newsletter

July 2018

A message from our deacon:

Seeing the Face of Faith, Hope and Love

“We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ…” I Thessalonians 1:2-3.

This week I was reflecting upon all of the good things that are happening at Holy Comforter and the verses from St. Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians came to mind. I was also struck by the way St. Paul describes our life as Christians in a very active way. Faith works. Love labors. Hope is patient. I was reminded that our life as Christians is not a sprint but a marathon. And I would like use this article to encourage all of you to see how God is using everything in our lives to accomplish his work through us.

First, we should rejoice in the completion of the repairs to the parish hall and chapel. There is so much more involved in it than shingles and paint and canvas for the awnings. It is a work of faith and a labor of love. The sacrificial giving was done with a spirit of joy by people who believe that “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Thanks to the work and faith of so many, God has placed us in the position to invite our neighbors to an outwardly beautiful place that we may come and worship Him in the beauty of holiness. This is a blessing from God. But let us press on to the next step of blessing others. The Church prays “God be merciful unto us, and bless us…THAT thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations” (Psalm 67:1-2; BCP, p. 418). God blesses us so that we may bless others by calling them to the one true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent.

Second, in order to point out ways in which we may do this together, I ask you to make use of this newsletter. It too is a work of faith and a labor of love. The articles are written in order to build you up and inform you of the things that are going on in the parish. Many of you have requested prayers for your friends, family and neighbors.

Please take time and let them know not only that we are praying for them but how we are praying for them. The prayers are in the Prayer Book and are as follows: For those who are home-bound, we pray For the Absent, p. 596; For those on our corporate prayer list, we pray For the Recovery of a Sick Person, p. 597; For the faithfully departed, you may share with the family that we pray For an Anniversary of One Departed, p. 598. Share this with them personally or write them a handwritten letter. Also, intently read the articles from our Senior Ward, Choirmaster and the well-written study by Mr. Steve Williams, on the Lord’s Prayer. Remember also the faithful work of the editor of the newsletter, his beloved wife Mrs. Gwen Williams. These all are works of faith and labors of love. Let us use them wisely.

Another way that we can bless others, through Christ and His gospel, is to participate in this month’s Food Drive for the S.E.A. Mrs. Karen Pendleton works hard for others each day. As we bring our donations and drop them off in the kitchen, take a Prayer Book and pray the prayer For all Poor, Homeless, and Neglected Folk on p. 599. This way your offering is sanctified to God’s use and serves to further Christ and His Gospel.

Next, I would like to announce that through the work and labor of Mrs. Carole Sawada and Stan Graham, the new Holy Comforter website is now up and running. Pray that God may use this tool to bring others into His Church.

Finally, I debated about using people’s names in this article. It seems that the Apostles did not shy away from it. St. Paul named specific names in his letters. Especially when he wanted to praise the example that was being set by the faithful. I know that there are many others in our parish who are faithful and devoted to Christ. My intention is so that you would know about the things that some of our parishioners are doing. I personally thank you all for your work of faith, labor of love and especially, your patient hope. Thank you, members of the Altar Guild! Thank you, members of the Vestry! Thank you, choir members! Thank you, ushers! Thank you, all of the Faithful who attend the Holy Communion and worship God on Sunday and throughout the week! Your work of faith, labor of love, and patient hope are not forgotten! They are the fruit of the Spirit and evidence of Christ among us.

Faithfully yours,

Deacon Clark+

Musical thoughts from the Choirmaster

“Let the melody start. Let music fill your heart.”

Two anthems and a hymn with music by Russian composers will be used during the month of July.

The tune for “Lo, a voice to heaven sounding” was arranged by Piotr Tchaikovsky from a composition by Dmytro Stepanovych Bortniansky (1751-1825). Bortniansky was born in Ukraine and grew up singing in the choir of the Russian Imperial Court. During his directorship of the Imperial Court Chapel, the choir performed not only his music and that of other Russian composers but also Handel’s “Messiah” and Haydn’s “Creation.” Two of Bortniansky’s hymns are found in The Hymnal, 1940 – “Saviour, breathe an evening blessing” and “Before Thy throne, O God.” The text is by Henry Wilder Foote (1875-1964), a Unitarian minister, scholar, teacher and hymnologist.

The tune for the hymn “God the Omnipotent!”, the Russian National Anthem, was composed by Alexis Fyodorovich Lvov (1799-1870), an army officer, violinist, composer and conductor. His father, Feodor Petrovich Lvov, succeeded Bortniansky as Maestro of the Imperial Chapel in St. Petersburg. Lvov counted Mendelssohn, Mayerbeer and Spontini amongst his personal friends. Henry Fothergill Chorley and John Ellerton wrote the words.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul” is an anthem based upon Psalm ciii. Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov (1859-1935) composed the tune for his beautiful setting of the Divine Liturgy. It illustrates the simplicity of this piece that belies the depth of spirituality through the marriage of words and music. Ippolitov-Ivanov entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1875 and was a composition pupil of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. On 1 May 1886, he conducted the premier of Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet.” In 1893, Ippolitov-Ivanov became a professor at the Conservatory in Moscow, of which he was director from 1905-1924. He also served as conductor for the Russian Choral Society and Bolshoi Theatre.

Treasurer’s Report

We had some rather major expenses in June, as we had to spend more than $8,000 replacing an HVAC unit, and we also completed work on the Parish Hall.  But at the same time, we had very good contributions for the month so the deficit was actually smaller than one might have expected and we still have a surplus for the year.  I am thankful for this.

Stan Graham

Deliver Us from Evil

by Steve Williams

“Deliver  us  from  evil”  is  a  somewhat  misleading  translation.   In  the  Greek of  the  New  Testament,  it  reads  deliver  us  from   “the  evil”  or,  more precisely,  “the  evil  one.”  It  makes  a  rather   large  difference.  For  there  is only  one  evil,  and  that  is  sin.   Nothing  can  defeat  us  as  long  as  we  keep faith  with  God.   Loneliness,  rejection,  grief,  cancer,  and  many  other  things   can  cause  us  suffering,  but  they  cannot  defeat  us  if  we  remain   strong with God’s  own  strength.  The  only  real  enemy  is  sin.

All  sin  traces  its  ancestry  to  the  sin  of  Satan.  Before  Adam   and  Eve  faced him  in  the  garden,  he  had  already  refused  to   serve  God,  and  enticed  a third  of  the  angels  in  heaven  to   follow  him  in  rebellion.  And  today  he  still wages  his  war   against  God  and  all  His  works.  He  has  never  ceased   perpetrating  lies  and  murder  against  God’s  children.  “Your   adversary  the devil  prowls  around  like  a  roaring  lion,  seeking   some  one  to  devour”  (1 Pet.  5:8).

The  Devil  lives  to  oppose  God’s  will.  He  temps  us  at  every   turn so  that  we might  follow  him  in  rebellion.  Yet  his  work  is   perpetually futile. For  God  is omnipotent,  His  will  is   inexorable,  and  God  never  wills  that  anyone  should sin.  God’s   plan  will  be  accomplished  in  spite  of  all  of  Satan’s  efforts.  God   alone  can  “cause  good  to  emerge  from  evil”,  as  Saint   Augustine  said.  Even the  greatest  evil  in  history,  the  torture   and  murder  of  God’s  only  Son, “brought  the  greatest  of   goods:  the  glorification  of  Christ  and  our redemption.”  In  the   words  of  Paul,  “where  sin  increased,  graced  abounded all  the   more”  (Rom.  5:20).

As  long  as  we  remain  united  to  Christ,  we  need  fear  nothing   from  our trials,  or  from  Satan  himself.  The  Devil’s  works  are   self-­‐defeating,  and they can  only  work  to  our  benefit.  For   when  we  struggle  against  temptations, we  grow  stronger  in   faith,  and  share  more  deeply  in  grace.  Pope  John Paul II  said   that  “Satan  cannot  block  the  construction  of  the  Kingdom  of  God … Indeed,  we  can  say  with  St.  Paul  that  the  work  of  the   evil  one  cooperates for  the  good  (Rom.  8:28)  and  that  it  helps   to  build  up  the  glory  of  the ‘chosen’  ones  (2  Tim.  2:10).”

We  find  proof  positive  in  the  Book  of  Job.  The  Devil  afflicts   Job  with disease  and  poverty,  and  he  brutally  takes  the  lives   of  Job’s  children  and his  livestock.  But  Job  remains  steadfast   in  his  faith  in  God’s  goodness. Through  the  ordeal,  Job  grows   in  wisdom,  and  he  proves  his  love  for  God. In  the  end,  Job  is   holier,  wiser,  and  even  richer  than  he  had  ever  been; and  so   he  is  happier.  It  seems  that  no  one  worked  harder  to  bring   holiness  to  Job  than  did  the  Devil  himself,  and  no  one  wanted   it  less.

Satan  still  works  the  same  way  today.  No  one  is  working   harder  for  our holiness  than  the  Devil  –  as  long  as  we  remain will  be  holier,  wiser,  and richer  in  the  end.  On  our  own,   we  do  not  have  the  strength  to  defeat  the Devil,  and  he   has  been  the  downfall  of  many  highly  intelligent  men   and women.  After  all,  he  is  an  angel  of  the  highest   order,  with  an  intelligence to  match.  We  pray  “deliver   us  from  the  evil  one”  because  we  know  that we  cannot   defeat  him  in  our  own  strength.  So  we  pray  the  prayer   of realists:  “Lead  us  not  into  temptation,  but  deliver  us   from  evil.”

Saint  Cyprian  said,  “When  we  have  once  asked  for   God’s  protection  against evil  and  have  obtained  it,  then   we  stand  secure  and  safe  against everything  which  the   Devil  and  the  world  work  against  us.  For  what  fear   does  a  man  have  in  this  life,  if  his  guardian  in  this  life  is   God?”  I  would add  that  He  is  not  merely  our  Guardian,   but  our  Father.

Next  time:  “The Kingdom,  The  Power,  and  The  Glory”  

Events

4 July — Independence Day.

The collect:  O ETERNAL God, through whose mighty power our fathers won their liberties of old; Grant, we beseech thee, that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain these liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

8 July — Vestry meeting, in the library following the service.

15 July — Anglican Church Women meeting, in the library, following the service.

Birthdays

  • 7th — Blake B.
  • 8th — Lou L.
  • 12th — Tasha C.
  • 13th — Keegan E.
  • 14th — Butch H.
  • 16th — Kaitlyn N.
  • 25th — Pat L., Fr. Rob Philp
  • 26th — Scott D.
  • 28th — Donnie M.
  • 29th — Cana C., Janet S.

Anniversaries

1st — Bill and Donna P.

 

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