January 2013 franciscan


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January 2013 franciscan

  1. 1. January, 2013 Exalt Educate Equip Evangelize Extend Issue #231FROM THE DESK OF BISHOP FELIX ORJI:A Message From Bishop Felix & Lilian OrjiDear Friends,May grace and peace from God our Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all!This missive comes with our love, prayers and benediction. It has been a very busy and exciting year for us.We are still learning what it means to serve as Bishop & Bishops wife! As we come to the end of this year,Lilian and I wish to express our gratitude to you for your prayers and support. Many of you have blessed us inseveral ways. May the Lord grant you his mercies now and for eternity.As we step into the new year, the year of our Lord 2013 I ask you to remember four things.First, the year 2013 is the year OF OUR LORD as I noted in the last paragraph. I am aware that the number 13is seen as an ominous number in the United States! As a result many are fearful of what lies ahead. That is apagan worldview! We are not pagans, we are Christians! This is Gods year because the number 13 is Godsnumber. I want to encourage you to step into the year with faith and great expectations because God is in con-trol of you and the new year. Everything is his! His plan for us is good and not evil. He wants to give us ablessed year. Praise the Lord!Second, remember that the love that God has for you will always be there. He is and will remain faithful to useven to the end. The reason for this is captured by the Psalmist: “Your unfailing love, O LORD, is as VASTAS THE HEAVENS; your faithfulness REACHES BEYOND THE CLOUDS.” (Psalm 36:5).Inexhaustible love and faithfulness! Consequently we can trust in him.Third, remember to love one another with the same agape kind of love. Our Lord Jesus said: "A new com-mandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."(John 13:34-35). Lov-ing one another is difficult sometimes but I want you to determine by Gods enabling grace to love and a be aloving person in this new year.Finally, remember to walk in holiness in obedience to God. This is the evidence of Gods saving and trans-forming grace in your life as a believer. The Bible says: "As obedient children, do not be conformed to the pas-sions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it
  2. 2. PAGE 2is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."(1Peter 1:14-16). Holiness is not boring. As C.S. Lewis wrote inLetters to an American Lady, "How little people know who think that holiness is dull. When one meets the realthing ... it is irresistible.’" The most powerful influence in the world, according to Blaise Pascal, is holiness:‘The serene beauty of a holy life is the most powerful influence in the world next to the power of God.’ This isthe way the world will be changed. It starts with us. St Francis of Assisi said, ‘Sanctify yourself and you willsanctify society.’As we begin a new year, in this troubled and often dark world, we give thanks for the Gospel light of JesusChrist and the manifold hope and blessings of which this Christmas season is a powerful reminder to us. TheLord will make this year a much better year for you than the last one.May He whose love, grace and power are boundless, bless, preserve, and keep you. I look forward to seeingthe blessings that God has in store for you, your family, your ministry, our churches, and our countries in thiscoming new year.Happy New Year!Bishop Felix & Lilian Orji
  3. 3. PAGE 3Deacon Daphne: Daphne Orgeron2013 Greetings to all!!What I want to talk to you about this month will be very brief, but its something that really made an impact onmy mind.George and I enjoy watching football, and watched most of the bowl gamesthis year. The University of Texas played Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio last month. Texaswas not picked to win. The night before the big game, two of the Texas players, Case McCoy and Jordan Hicks,were out partying on the streets of San Antonio. I will not address the disgusting situation they found them-selves in when the police arrived. What I will addressis that they were out after the team curfew, on the night before a very big game. They were not thinking in ateam spirit way. They were thinking selfishly of themselves, and doing whatever pleased them at the moment.Even to the detriment of the team. Without a moments hesitation, Coach Mack Brown sent the two boys home.They would not be able to play with their teamthe next day, and they wouldnt even be able to stand on the sidelines and help to cheer them on. Indeed, theywouldnt even be able to be in the stands.Case McCoy and Jordan Hicks were both important players. McCoy played quarterback, along with David Ash.And Jordan Hicks was a starting linebacker. Coach Brown must have known that he was putting his team at adisadvantage by weakening the lineup in this way. But for this man,right was right, and wrong was wrong, and there was no but what ifs. The boys were sent home, and CoachBrown would deal with the results.How often in our own lives do we compromise whats really right; and what we really know we should do, be-cause of extenuating circumstances. We convince ourselves that in this particular case, its just not as simple asblack and white. There must be room for gray. And we figure that God will agree with us that in this instance,His rules must be bent just a little. After all, if the Longhorns had lost, the entire team would be punished for thefoolishness and selfishness of 2 boys. Mack Brown could have told himself hed deal with the transgressorswhen he got home, and in the meantime, he needed them in the game. But the rule was clear. 11:00 curfew, oryoure out of the game. And Coach Brown stuck with the rule. Doing the right thing is not always easy. And itsSURE not always popular. But I encourage all of us to keep the parameters fixed in our minds. This becomesmuch easier if we do a daily Bible study/devotional. And when we come to crossroads, lets make sure we lookback to our examples in Holy Scripture, and take the fork in the road which we KNOW that God would have ustake. Regardless of the consequences. May He bless your 2013 with His Grace and Mercy. Oh yes! and Texascame back to win the game in the second half! Deacon Daphne+
  4. 4. PAGE 4Lay Pastor David: David Basch OUR TRUE HOMEAll these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they onlysaw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on theearth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. (Hebrews 11:13-14,NIV)Newport, Connecticut. We mourn, we grieve, we question: Why? How? Who? We talk with friends about theevents. We point fingers. We question gun control laws. We question the violence of todays society in mediaand video games. We question school safety. We look at the effects of broken homes. We look at the effects ofGod being removed from schools. We all know that this is not the way it is supposed to be. This is wrong, thisis sad. Is this some mental illness that pills could have fixed? Why? Why, Lord? Children...children...what didthey do to deserve this?A whirlwind of thoughts consume us. The dust begins to settle. More information is provided. We read. Wegain knowledge on the details of the massacre. We hear stories of the children that were killed. We find outwho they were, what they liked, what their dreams were. We cry. We pull our children closer. We tell them welove them. We see the flags at half mast, and we remember.No matter where we live on earth, we all want a country that is better. We do what we can to protect our kidsfrom this terror. Community meetings. Restrictive laws. Educational programs. Mental health awareness.Then we read Scripture: "People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own."What do these people of faith say? That this world is not it.Here, things go wrong. Evil exists. We do what we can, but we ultimately resign ourselves: this world is notgoing to be perfect. Not even close. Our gaze turns up. Our heart yearns for heaven. Our hope turns from thehorizontal to the vertical. "And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on the earth." No, this is notour home. In creation was perfection; then, in the fall, sin welcomed evil on this earth.Now, by faith, we have hope for a future country. Faith, hope and love. Yet only one of these is eternal. Oneday, faith and hope will be realized when we see Jesus face to face. The greatest of these is love. Love is eter-nal.We fix our eyes on Christ. This is not our home. Come, Jesus. Our Rock and our Redeemer. Come.--Korky KempCopyright © 2012 Links Players International
  5. 5. PAGE 5Bob Tipton: Resident Scholar PRACTICAL CHRISTIANITY In general, we characterize Judaism as “keeping the Big Ten”—and as an afterthought; add “the little 600+.” In real-ity, true Judaism was a total way of life designed by Jehovah for the health and welfare of His people. Unfortunately wetoo often think of Christianity as having only two commandments: “Love God, and love your neighbor,” and concludethat being a Christian is easier. Nothing could be more deceptive. Our first over-simplification of Christianity is the definition of “love.” As modern Americans we have a very sim-plistic idea of love—a desirable emotion, a comfortable feeling. But the word used in these commandments is agape.This word has almost nothing to do with feelings and emotions, but rather focuses on priorities. It is a statement of will,personal decision, and acceptance of a rule of life. Agape is the parent who gives precedence to the welfare of the child:it is the mother’s love who nurses the sick child around the clock, resting only a few moments during the vigil. It is thelove of the man who works two jobs to provide for his family, then has time to be with his wife and children to meettheir, and his, need for personal affection and attention. It is the love of the emergency crew worker who works 36 hours(sometimes almost without food), takes a nap, then works another 24 hours in the hope of saving some. Agape is theexpenditure of self for the good of others. Jesus expressed it as denying ourselves, taking up our cross, and followingHim. Only this love can be, and is, commanded because only this love is decision and action; and it must keep the cor-rect priorities: God, neighbor, enemy. Moreover, we ignore too often what we are to expend in agape. We are to love God with ALL (one-hundred per-cent) our heart, mind, soul, and body. There is nothing withheld. In this context, heart refers to our will, our decisions. We are to dedicate totally our will, our goals, our dreams,our expectations, our desires, and our entire being to God. Whenever anything—job, recreation, hobby, pleasure—conflicts with our service to God, we must present them as a total sacrifice to God just as the Jew had to present hiswhole burnt offering on the altar. We must train ourselves to deny everything that appeals to us so that we can subjugateall desire to serving God. To do this, we must subject our mind to “stay in contact with God.” God speaks to us principally through his Word;hence we must dedicate ourselves to reading the Word, to meditating on the word, to studying the word, and to internal-izing the word so that it controls our every thought, word, and action. Recently I read of a minister who dedicated aminimum of 15 hours of study and prayer to every lesson he presented. Then in his visits to the sick and in counselinghe spent even more time in study and prayer. He thought this the minimum preparation for serving God. This is an ex-ample of putting God first in our mind. This is also the way to prepare our soul to live with God. The soul is our everlasting being. What we see in eachother with our physical eyes is body. The body is a temporary dwelling place, a tent, for our soul; the soul will departthis body in death and return to God who gave it. Our soul itself must prepare to meet God. When the real person weare stands naked before God, it must have been prepared to totally submit to the will of God with joy and thanksgiving.However we define the reality that we are, we must be totally dedicated to Him in agape. Finally, our physical body must be wholly subjected to the service of God. It is a gift from God for us to use to glo-rify Him. Therefore, every physical action, every ounce of our energy, every fiber of our being should be dedicated tothe glory of God. We must discipline the body so it can do the 36 hour shift serving others, so it has the strength to liftthe wreckage and debris that obstructs our service, so it will be able to respond to every demand for service to others. Each of us has a unique calling from God, but that calling will require everything that we are and have in His ser-vice. It will be a total commitment that requires us to give up everything that conflict with our “reasonable service.” Alltoo often we—every one of us—gets the feeling that this is too much, too great a demand. So let’s put this in perspec-tive.
  6. 6. PAGE 6 Jesus is infinite—He had and has no limitations. Thus He could do unimaginably far more than we can possibly do.So what did He do? He gave up heaven to come to earth to live our impoverished life. This means that he gave up joysand pleasures beyond anything that we can imagine. He gave up peace and contentment that we cannot even recognize.He gave up perfect communion with the Father and the Spirit to live in a truly alien place with truly alien peoples toserve truly alien needs. Because of our sin, because of our damnation, because of our destination in hell, He gave upeverything holy and just and good to experience everything fiendish and hellish and evil beyond our ability to recognize.He loved—agape—100%. He suffered more than we could possibly tolerate; He was infinitely separated from God onaccount of our sins and bore them in an infinite death. Not once did He turn His attention from us and our needs to con-sider Himself. It is not accidental that He commanded us to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him. Onetranslator attempted to make us understand by saying, be reckless (having absolutely no concern for ourselves), andready for our execution, and die with Him. This defines the agape of our Lord. Even when we are able to give all, wehave only given the same 100% that He gave for us. C. S. Lewis suggested this image of our life: our lives are to be mirrors to reflect the life of Christ in us. And reflect-ing that life, that agape, requires that we put others before ourselves. And this is just the first commandment. The second, love your neighbor as yourself, is limited to the love we havefor ourselves—a piece of cake! Or it was until He defined neighbor to include everyone—even our enemies! Thismeans that everyone around us takes precedence over us. If Christ truly dwells in us through agape, then everything wethink, say, and do must be turned toward benefiting others before ourselves. It is in our service to those around us thatour agape and commitment to God is demonstrated. Our service, our thoughts, our intentions, our actions must reflectthe mind of Christ for it is Christ in us that is our hope of glory. Yes, we just have two commandments: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and withall your mind, and with all your strength. The second is: Love your neighbor as yourself. We must not and He will notaccept anything less. Judaism was God’s kindergarten to mold His nation in His image. Now we are His people so we don’t have “theBig Ten and the Little 600+.” Our only goal is perfection.
  7. 7. PAGE 7FROM THE EDITOR:Auld Lang Syne was partially written by Robert Burns in the 1700s, it was first published in 1796 afterBurns death. Early variations of the song were sung prior to 1700 and inspired Burns to produce the modernrendition. An old Scotch tune, Auld Lang Syne literally means old long ago, or simply, the good old days. Here are the lyrics: however, many people seem to remember only the first verse. Auld Lang Syne Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot and days of auld lang syne? For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, well take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne. Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot and days of auld lang syne? And heres a hand, my trusty friend And gies a hand o thine Well takA cup o kindness yet For auld lang syne.
  8. 8. PAGE 8ARBOL de VIDA: Thank you to the St. Francis members whose generosity enabled us to donate $1235dollars to Arbol de Vida for the children to go Christmas shopping. If you bought an ornament, please prayfor your child during your prayer time throughout 2013. If yu want to learn more about Arbol de Vida, go toYOUNG 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.A GIANT “THANK YOU”! To all who helped with the greening and decorating of the church andcleanup. Y’all did a marvelous job and the congregation was most impressed.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.ADULT CHRISTIAN EUCATION: Meets downstairs in the conference room every Sun-day between 9:15 and 9:45 am.YOUTH BIBLE STUDY AND FELLOWSHIP: All junior and senior high youth are invited toparticipate. Wednesday’s at 6:30 for dinner at the Church.FIRST WEDNESDAY OF THE MONTH: Parish Prayer Meeting at 6:30 pm. All otherWednesdays: Evening prayer with homily at 6:00 pm.LAVERDE CASA GROUP: Meets on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month at 6:00pm Potluck supper and bible study. We will be studying the book of James. Call Mike for more in-formation: 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.INTERCESSORY 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 Felix
  9. 9. PAGE 9MEN’S BIBLE STUDY: Now Studying Exodus. Meets Wed. at 7:00 am (after 6:30 wor-ship). Breakfast included! All men are invited.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.PASTORAL CARE - Please pray for Ed Azar, Ann May, Kay Lassiter, Susan Smith, Heather Stevens,Ainsley Hines, Bill Bihn, Mary Lou Nelson, Karli Baldwin, Jenny, Sharon Carr Leamon, Sharma Brown,Mary Jane Brown, Clif Stevens, Midge McReynolds, Ed Moore, Pat Tipton, Loretta Ackley, and Gete andBarney Garbow.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.CHURCH 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(581-2740) or Jim or Neva Uphoff. (581-1292).WOMEN’S RETREAT: Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Women’s Retreat scheduled for Febru-ary has been cancelled. We will instead have a Parish Retreat in the fall with Bishop Terence and Hazel Kel-shaw here in El Paso.COMMUNITY CORNER - Ways to HelpPolly Harris Senior Citizens Center –Provide cookies and punch the third Friday of each month for their Social from 1:00 to 3:00 PMAngela 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.com
  10. 10. PAGE 10JUST FOR FUN ETC…. Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2013, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great (not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country or is the only "AMERICA" in the western hemisphere), and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, or sexual preference of the wishee. By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms: This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.
  11. 11. PAGE 11EVERY WEEK AT ST. FRANCIS… CLERGY AND STAFF BISHOP FELIX C. ORJI, Rector THE REV. DAPHNE ORGERON, DeaconSunday THE REV. Dr. MYLES CALVIN, Asst. Priest8:00 am Worship Service THE REV. CINDY ANDERSON, Asst. Priest10:00 am Worship Service DAVID BASCH, Lay Pastor10:00 am Children’s Sunday School THE REV. H. EUGENE MYRICK, Rector Emeritus MIKE LAVERDE, Lay Pastor (Pastoral Care) PAUL COLEMAN, Lay Pastor (Bible Study and Discipleship) STEVE ANDERSON, Lay Pastor (Evangelism and Missions) Child care is provided RANDALL CROSSLAND, Chair of Buildings and Grounds Dr. BOB TIPTON, Scholar in Residence LEA MAGRUDER, Director of Music, Church Secretary JOANN CASPER, Parish Administrator Wednesday SONIA LOPEZ, Sunday School Director6:30 am Morning Prayer & Bible Study LEA MAGRUDER, Secretaryweekly at the church. VESTRY7:00 pm Bible Study; Parish Prayer Meeting— Bill Burton, Sr. Warden1st Wed. of the month Bill Stevens, Jr. Warden6:00—8:00pm Youth Bible Study Mark Musgrave, Treasurer Justin Benedict, Sonny Brown, Bill Burton, Jason Chapman, Elvia Crossland, Sonia Lopez, David Thursday Moody, Bernard Moye, Ron Munden, Kirk7:00 pm Choir Practice Rosenlund, Pam Slusher, Melinda Skillern, Bill Stevens, Kevin Coleman (Youth rep.) **** FRANCISCAN : Editor; Jim Uphoff Staff; Neva Uphoff, Loy Doty Inside this issue: From The Bishop Page 1 Deacon Daphne Page 3 Lay Pastor David Page 4 Bob Tipton Page 5 From the Editor Page 7 St Francis Happenings Page 8 Just For Fun Page 10