The Franciscan - April 2013


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Monthly newsletter by St. Francis Anglican Church located in El Paso, Texas,

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The Franciscan - April 2013

  1. 1. April, 2013 Exalt Educate Equip Evangelize Extend Issue #234FROM THE DESK OF BISHOP FELIX ORJI:I am excited about the fact that the Lord has called us to join up with him on his mission to seek and save thelost. What a privilege! At St. Francis we have chosen to be a Missional church rather than a Consumer Church.Mike Laverde sent me this picture because it is a pictorial illustration of part of my message last Sunday. I de-cided to share it with you.Thank you for the opportunity you have given me as your rector to be a blessing to other churches and chris-tians. This is part of our mission to these churches and fellow believers. I hope your realize that. Fulfilling thismission comes with tremendous sacrifice on my part/family and on your part. The Lord will bless us as webless others through our mission!Our Diocese now has a Facebook page: Diocese of CANA West. Go ahead and befriend it. Its yours. We alsohave a Website:
  2. 2. 2PAGELay Pastor David: David BaschDear Friends of the Anglican realignment,Easter week is by custom a time of slower pace in the church, partly because of the exhaustion many churchleaders face from the multitude of services in Holy Week and Easter. In The Episcopal Church (TEC) of yes-terday, the second Sunday of Easter (the first one after Easter) was generally called Low Sunday, in part, I sup-pose, because the attendance was usually lower than average. More recently, lower attendance on a regular ba-sis in TEC has been blamed on a variety of causes, including an aging membership, transfers to other denomi-nations and churches, other competing activities such as childrens soccer, boating, watching TV, etc. In theEpiscopal Church of my earlier years, larger churches had many priests on staff, and even smaller churcheshad a rector and a curate or associate and perhaps a full time Christian Education lay specialist, but the loss ofmembership and the costs of staff salaries have resulted in larger TEC churches having just two or three priestsand smaller churches just one, with many churches unable to afford a full time priest at all.When I was a young priest in Montana, I had three churches at once, racing back and forth trying to cover theirneeds and keep the multi-church arrangement viable. Years after I left, first one church closed, then a second,and now only one is left. All across TEC land in the USA the numbers have continued to shrink. The adoptionby the Episcopal Church of a new and significantly different prayer book in the 1970s together with allowingwomen to be ordained as priests caused many to leave and form new non-TEC Anglican congregations. Thenin 2003, the selection of a non-celibate, divorced, homosexual priest to be bishop of New Hampshire causedthe next large exodus. In all these cases, though, the actual event was only a trigger, not the cause. A growingsense of change in theology was making many uneasy. Controversies over the authority of Holy Scripture andthe doctrine of the Trinity, and of the person and sacrifice of Jesus Christ and whether his resurrection was lit-eral or figurative had set the stage with high tension.Even before the second large exodus, growth had plateaued. Diocesan conventions were filled with politicalpolemics and resolutions pushing one agenda or another, and attending them was conflict-ridden and full ofdisquiet. Who needs a church full of conflict? Who needs to live in dread of what the Saturday religion page ofthe local newspaper will quote the local bishop as saying or doing? Even now, as the full realization of the re-visionists capture of the Episcopal Church becomes more and more apparent in the local church, people arestill leaving, though in smaller numbers than before.Those who left had a tough road ahead of them. Bitterness and negativity are not attractive values to build co-hesion or congregations around. Often they lost their property and had to start from scratch, sometimes in aliving room, sometimes in a small store front or borrowed church after the regular congregations service wasfinished. The people who left knew why they left and counted the cost worth it, and most of them by the graceof God left the bitterness and negativity behind. They loved the Lord Jesus and wanted to build their life andtheir church around Jesus and his ministry, and now churches are sprouting up all over. Not every church plantwill prosper, but what is amazing is that, having survived eviction from their church, lawsuits which were of-ten directed against them personally by TEC, and a cultural environment increasingly secular, materialistic,and uninterested in church, so many of the churches have done so well.(Continued)
  3. 3. 3PAGEThe hand of God has seemingly rested upon the churches that honored him, his Son, his Word in Scripture,and the discipline of his Word lived out in daily life.We know that there are still thousands of true believers in the Episcopal Church who have not yet been greatlyimpacted by TECs revisionist, anti-orthodox pogroms, and for the moment they still feel safe. For each ofthem there will be a different day and hour when they make a decision, and my prayer is that the orthodox An-glican churches in the realignment will welcome those who choose to join them in the same spirit of grace thatwe have felt welcomed by the Lord.As the heresies and tensions of the American Episcopal Church spread worldwide throughout the AnglicanCommunion, the communion itself must necessarily change. Perhaps it, too, will split and divide, or perhapsnot. Perhaps the Church of England will divide over similar issues, and perhaps the volatility of the issues willfree it from governmental establishment. No one knows how these things will all work out, but one thing isknown: we are asked by the Lord to be faithful to him. Whether our churches grow or shrink, whether govern-ments agree with us or persecute us, whether our enemies seize our buildings, rectories, or bank accounts, weknow that if our souls belong to Jesus Christ they cant be seized by the enemy. In building the Anglican re-alignment, we need to keep things simple and straightforward while staying focused on the essentials of thefaith and the Lord whom we are called to serve. The motto of the United States Marine Corps has long beenSemper Fidelis, and, as long as it applies to our relationship with Christ, it can be ours as well.Have a blessed Easter Season celebrating the actual resurrection of Jesus Christ, the first fruit of what will beours as well.+DavidThe Rt. Rev. David C. Anderson, Sr.President and CEO, American Anglican Council
  4. 4. 4PAGEBob Tipton: Resident ScholarCHRISTIANITYBob TiptonChristianity is a rather strange religion.Most religions are based on beliefs, actions, and duties. Some religions do not relate conduct to a god. Some teachmen to be successful and respected. Some propose to allow him to live in peace with others. Some require great devo-tion and heroic deeds. Some require very little. In short, most emphasize the doing of something more than the beingsomething.When Jesus came, he practiced Judaism. Now Judaism has commandments and rules beyond our comprehension.Start in Exodus 20 with the Ten Commandments thundered down from Sinai by Jehovah Himself; then read further.Chapter after chapter of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and especially Deuteronomy add statute upon statute, law uponlaw, and rule upon rule, all of which must be obeyed to the letter. The penalty for disobedience was death. It is no won-der that the scribes of the New Testament had created interpretation after interpretation of these laws just at our modernAmerican courts and lawyers have fashioned a whole body of regulations which are devised to clarify the details of theintent of the laws. The honest Pharisees, such as Saul, spent all their life trying to master and obey every jot and tittle sothey could please Jehovah.But Jesus rejected the Rabbis’ thousands of rules intended to clarify the principles and meaning of the Mosaic Lawas revealed in the Tanach—our Old Testament. In fact, He was crucified because he did not observe the thousands of“traditions of the elders,”—instead He declared that the practice of love is more important. In effect, he was crucifiedbecause he did not consider the rituals to be the purpose or end in themselves, but a means to relate to God.Once a lawyer came to him asking what the most important law was—the one that gave meaning to the system ofreligious rules and practices. His answer was a quotation from the Law itself: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is oneLord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your soul; and thesecond is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12.29-31; compare Deuteronomy 6.4-5 and Leviticus19.18). Love God; love your neighbor. The word that Jesus used for love is the highest possible form of unselfish love.It is so complete a love that we might translate it: you shall put first the Lord your God in all your will and in all yourintellect and in all your emotions; and you shall put first your neighbor before yourself. Thus every legitimate law,whether divine or human, is fulfilled in these two commandments. Put God first in your life and serve your neighboreven at your own expense.Another man, hearing this, asked, Who is my neighbor? Jesus answered with the story of the good Samaritan (Luke10.25-37). After the priest and the Levite—the “religious” people—had passed the man who had been beaten, robbed,and left to die by the wayside, the hated, “erring,” Samaritan tended to his wounds, took him to shelter, and paid for hisstaying there until he had recovered. Jesus’ comment was: You should do the same. John Henry Cardinal Newman ob-served: True religion is a hidden life in the heart, and although it cannot exist without deeds, yet they are for the mostpart secret deeds, secret charities, secret prayers, secret self-denials, secret struggles, secret victories. This is the trueprofession of Christianity.The hallmark of the true Christian is not his activity, not his service, not his worship. Indeed, if we reduce Christian-ity to a list of rules to be kept, acts to be done, and words to be said, it no longer has the power to save us. Instead Chris-tianity is the reason, the love (agapē), for all the Christian does. Nothing is an obligation or a duty; instead everything isthe result of the love of God flowing through him. Agapē, putting others first, sounds so simple; indeed it may be themost difficult thing asked of a Christian.God first. What does God want of us? It is easy to say, “Love,” but extremely difficult for us to practice puttingHim before every other consideration. It starts in our minds—do we always consider what God wants before we make adecision? Before we say a word? Before we do what we do? I am not sure that we are consciously capable of this con-tinual consideration. Probably the best we can do is to so train our mind to think God’s thoughts that putting Him firstbecomes an unconscious habit. And when we have done our best, we probably must return time after time to con-sciously starting at the very beginning.(Continued)
  5. 5. 5PAGEA number of years ago there was a fad of wearing the letters WWJD, meaning “What Would Jesus Do?” The Chris-tian was to ask himself this question before speaking a word or doing an act. Jesus always acted in love—that is, he al-ways put others first. Putting us first was the reason He fed the multitudes, healed the sick, opened eyes and ears, re-stored the function of diseased and withered limbs, cast out demons, raised the dead, and finally died on the cross at Gol-gotha. Putting Him first is the reason the church has built hospitals, orphanages, hospices, and sent missionaries to theends of the earth to provide care to the needy and preach the gospel to everyone. Putting Him first personally means thatwe are to be about the Father’s business—learning His word and serving others.Having read this, do not dare reduce it to a rule! This was the error of the Pharisees whose intent in life was to serveGod perfectly by keeping all the rules. In Mark 12 we read of the scribe, approving Jesus’ teaching, who cited keepingthese great commandments as more important that all the rituals and sacrifices of the Law of Moses. It is the love (theprovision for the needs of others and the protection of others) that matters. Even if we do all the things that love de-mands, but only because of obligation, we have gained nothing. The Christian life is living with Jesus moment by mo-ment and joining Him in all He does through us.The Christian’s life is to be the fruit of reading and thinking God’s thoughts daily. This is the importance of dailyBible reading—we are training our minds to think God’s way. Too often we think this means only reading a verse andshort meditation on it. But then we must turn to the Scriptures which God has written for our learning, praying: Grantthat we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of thyholy Word …. (that we) may embrace and ever hold fast to the blessed hope of everlasting life (Book of Common Prayer,p. 184). Read the Scriptures. Mark them up—I have seen old Bibles so full of notes that it was difficult to read the text;but those notes were the residue of hours of reading and thinking and pondering. They were also a testament to thelearning and understanding of the Christian who had internalized them (inwardly digested them) so thoroughly that theybecame the mold of thinking in the person. Simple knowledge is not the goal; the real goal is understanding or a way ofthinking that translates into the actions of life that become habitual.To the extent our minds and hearts become attuned to the will of God through our reading and study of His word,our thoughts, words, and actions will be an ever better imitation (in the best sense) or replication of the Master who diedfor us. Because He gave everything that we might live, in our filling our minds and hearts with His example, we learn togive our all in service to those whom He would serve through us. As our mind and attitude are shaped, so our lives willincreasingly reflect the life of Jesus. If our life reflects His life, we will be known as His. Showing the gospel of Christin our lives is far, far superior to limiting our lessons to intellectual teachings about Him.Finally, people are probably more often brought to Christ by seeing the dedication of Christians in the loving servicethey show others than by all the sermons in all the pulpits of all the churches. And they are much more deeply impressedby loving deeds than by any bumper-sticker proclamations we make. Because the faithful are actively faithful in show-ing the love of Christ to the poor, the oppressed, the sick, the needy, and those who are faced by troubles and difficulties,they are more likely to attract people to the God who loves them. These are the people who have heard, read, marked,learned, and inwardly digested the Scriptures—they have put the gospel into practice. In their lives, everyone sees thelove of God and the genuineness of their faith in Christ.And this is the calling to which Jesus has called us.
  6. 6. 6PAGEFROM THE EDITOR:"I just want to say, "I Love You..."English........... I Love You Hungarian... Se Ret LayPersian....... Du Stet DaramMaltese....... Jien InhobbokSpanish.......... Te AmoFrench........... Je TaimeGerman.......... lch Liebe DichJapanese....... Ai Shite ImasuItalian............. Ti AmoChinese......... Wo Ai NiSwedish........ Jag Alskar DigEskimo.......... NagligivagetGreek............ SAgapoHawaiian....... Aloha Wau la OeIrish.............. Thaim In Grabh LeatHebrew......... Ani Ohev OtakhRussian........ Ya Lyublyu TyebyaAlbanian....... Une Te DuaFinnish......... Mina Rakkastan SinuaTurkish........ Seni SeviyorumHungarian... Se Ret LayPersian....... Du Stet DaramMaltese....... Jien Inhobbok
  7. 7. 7PAGEINTERCESSORY PRAYER: Jim and Martha Williams will be leading the Intercessory Prayer minis-try at St. Francis. Intercessory prayer will be offered in the library at 9:30am every Sunday morning. You arewelcome to join. It’s a time to pray for God’s power and blessing on our Sunday service. I asked them tolead this ministry and highly recommend it to you. -Canon FelixLAVERDE CASA GROUP: Meets on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month at 6:00pm Pot luck sup-per and bible study. We will be studying the book of James. Call Mike for more information: 490-5402.FLOWER CHART - A new flower chart sign up is posted on the bulletin board across from the giftshop. Sign up for flowers on the altar in memory of, in thanksgiving for, in celebration of, etc. The cost of aflower arrangement is $30 each. Call Sheila Huchton at 833-2382 for more information.FIRST WEDNESDAY OF THE MONTH: Parish Prayer Meeting at 6:30 pm. All otherWednesdays: Evening prayer with homily at 6:00 pm.YOUTH BIBLE STUDY AND FELLOWSHIP: All junior and senior high youth are invited toparticipate. Sunday’s at 6:30 for dinner at the Church.SPRING FESTIVAL: “Hearts of Compassion” Lets all get together Saturday, April 27th from11:00 am—2:00 pm. for fun, fellowship and service at our Spring Festival. Opening prayer at 11:00, freelunch and lots of fun festival activities from 11:15 to 1:00, Community/Parish Service Projects from 1:00 to2:00. We will alsobe assembling bags for the less fortunate in our community. Please meet in Fries Hall andbring the following to the festival: last name A-F: a jar or two of peanut butter: G-I: a jar or two of jelly; M-R: a bag or two of bread; S-Z: some whole fruits (apples, bananas, pears etc.). Also please bring a bag ofchildren’s socks and a small toy for the bag. A huge THANK YOU in advance!!VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL COMING IN JULY: KINGDOM ROCK—WHEREKIDS STAND STRONG FOR GOD! Picture yourself in a colossal castle! You’re surrounded bystrong walls, brightly flaming wall sconces and a view of the King’s royal throne of red velvet. So strap onyour shield and enter Kingdom Rock!At Kingdom Rock, kids learn one important Bible Point each day, which is reinforced daily through Bibleadventures, Bible verses, songs snacks and hands-on activities that help kids know more about God and hislove for them.To volunteer, contact Neva Uphoff at 581-1292 or 227-1156.
  8. 8. 8PAGEMEN’S BIBLE STUDY: Now Studying Exodus. Meets Wed. at 7:00 am (after 6:30 wor-ship). Breakfast included! All men are invited.PASTORAL CARE - Please pray for Ed Azar, Ann May, Kay Lassiter, Susan Smith, Heather Stevens,Ainsley Hines, Bill Bihn, Mary Lou Nelson, Karli Baldwin, Sharon Carr Leamon, Sharma Brown, Mary JaneBrown, Clif Stevens, Midge McReynolds, Ed Moore, Pat Tipton, Loretta Ackley, Gete and Barney Garbow,Jim Berg, Scott Smith, Krista Moore, Katherine Harrison, Lu Griswold, David Faulk, Judy Swanson and Car-rie Gutierrez,.ADULT CHRISTIAN EUCATION: Meets downstairs in the conference room every Sun-day between 9:15 and 9:45 am.PRAY ACROSS THE MILES: If your children are away at school or getting into the work-force, they need prayer support. Join us to hold our children and each other before the Lord inan informal prayer group which meets every other Tuesdy (please note day change) from 6:00to 6:30 pm at Mark and Martha Heath’s home: 5709 Bonneville. Anyone is welcome. Formore information, call Nancy Hill, 479-5513.YOUNG ADULTS FELLOWSHIP: The Bishop has asked Jason and Stephanie Chapman to leadour Young Adults Fellowship. It will meet once a month. More information to follow.SUNDAY LUNCHES: Cookies and drinks will be available after both services on every Sunday Ex-cept The First Sunday, which will now be the pot-luck lunch. If you can help, call Linda Gunter at 203-4275.TRANSPORTATION MINISTRY: If you are unable to drive due to illness, recent surgery etc.,please call the church office and speak with either JoAnn or Lea . We will try and find you a ride to church,doctor appt. etc.THE CHOIR NEEDS YOU! We are looking to expand every section of the choir. Consider a tempo-rary membership and then decide after Easter whether to stay on. You do NOT need to know how to readmusic to join. We meet at 6:45 Thursday evenings, rehearse, laugh, pray together, and care for each other.We would love to have you join us either temporarily or permanently. - Lea Magruder
  9. 9. 9PAGELETS TALK! If you have any suggestions orcomments please call me at 581-1292 or 222-1729.Jim Uphoff, EditorCOMMUNITY CORNER - Ways to HelpAngela Guevara Child Development Center –Rock babies and/or read to preschoolersKelly Memorial Food Bank –Donate staples for the hungry- beans, rice, cereal, etc.L B Johnson Elementary School –Volunteer to mentor children once a month for 45 minutes beginning in the fallRescue Mission –Provide bake goods the first Sunday of the monthContact Sudy Todd for more information or to volunteer 490-5349 or sudyt@hotmail.comCHURCH FAMILY CHRISTMAS TREE: An exciting idea for decorating next year’s parish hallChristmas tree has been suggested. Yes, we know that is almost a year away, but as you are packing up yourChristmas decorations, save a special ornament. Bring it to church in a sandwich bag (protected if fragile)and labeled as to how you would like your family identified-ie-Uphoff Family or all the familys names etc..A red plastic box will be in Fries Hall; just place your ornament in it. For and questions, call Lynn Payne(584-2740) or Jim or Neva Uphoff. (581-1292).
  10. 10. 10PAGEJUST FOR FUN ETC….Children in ChurchA little boy was in a relatives wedding.As he was coming down the aisle, he would take two steps,stop, and turn to the crowd.... While facing the crowd, he would put his hands up like claws and roar.So it went, step, step, ROAR, step, step, ROAR, all the way down the aisle.As you can imagine, the crowd was near tears from laughing so hardby the time he reached the pulpit.When asked what he was doing, the child sniffed and said,"I was being the Ring Bear."One Sunday in a small West Texas town, a young child was "acting up" during the morning worship hour.The parents did their best to maintain some sense of order in the pew but were losing the battle.Finally, the father picked the little fellow up and walked sternly up the aisle on his way out.Just before reaching the safety of the foyer, the little one called loudly to the congregation, "Pray for me! Prayfor me!"One particular four-year old prayed, "And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in ourbaskets."A little boy was overheard praying: "Lord, if you cant make me a better boy, dont worry about it. Im having areal good time like I am."A Sunday School teacher asked her little children, as they were on the way to church service, "And why is itnecessary to be quiet in church?"One bright little girl replied, "Because people are sleeping."The preacher was wired for sound with a lapel mike, and as he preached, he moved briskly about the platform,jerking the mike cord as he went.Then he moved to one side, getting wound up in the cord and nearly tripping before jerking it again.After several circles and jerks, a little girl in the third pew leaned toward her mother and whispered, "If he getsloose, will he hurt us?"
  11. 11. 11PAGEInside this issue:EVERY WEEK AT ST. FRANCIS…Sunday8:00 am Worship Service10:00 am Worship Service10:00 am Children’s Sunday School4:00-6:00 pm Youth Bible StudyWednesday6:30 am Morning Prayer & Bible Studyweekly at the church.7:00 pm Bible Study; Parish Prayer Meeting—1st Wed. of the monthThursday7:00 pm Choir PracticeCLERGY AND STAFFBISHOP FELIX C. ORJI, RectorTHE REV. DAPHNE ORGERON, DeaconTHE REV. Dr. MYLES CALVIN, Asst. PriestTHE REV. CINDY ANDERSON, Asst. PriestDAVID BASCH, Lay PastorTHE REV. H. EUGENE MYRICK, Rector EmeritusMIKE LAVERDE, Lay Pastor (Pastoral Care)PAUL COLEMAN, Lay Pastor (Bible Study andDiscipleship)STEVE ANDERSON, Lay Pastor (Evangelism andMissions)RANDALL CROSSLAND, Chair of Buildings andGroundsDr. BOB TIPTON, Scholar in ResidenceLEA MAGRUDER, Director of Music, ChurchSecretaryJOANN CASPER, Parish AdministratorSONIA LOPEZ, Sunday School DirectorLEA MAGRUDER, SecretaryVESTRYBill Burton, Sr. WardenBill Stevens, Jr. WardenMark Musgrave, TreasurerJustin Benedict, Sonny Brown, Bill Burton, JasonChapman, Elvia Crossland, Sonia Lopez, DavidMoody, Bernard Moye, Ron Munden, KirkRosenlund, Pam Slusher, Melinda Skillern, BillStevens, Kevin Coleman (Youth rep.)* * * *FRANCISCAN : Editor; Jim Uphoff Staff; NevaUphoff, Loy DotyFrom The Bishop Page 1David Basch Page 2Bob Tipton Page 4From the Editor Page 6St Francis Happenings Page 7Just For Fun Page 10Child care is provided