January 31, 2006
Prayers for Coretta Scott King
Please remember in your prayers Coretta Scott King, widow of Dr. Martin Luther King. Mrs. King died overnight
; she had suffered a serious stroke and heart attack last year and had not attended recent observances of Martin Luther King Day in Atlanta.
There are several audio files on the NPR news page; the most recent is an interview she gave to NPR commentator Tavis Smiley.
January 29, 2006
What is "Pence Sunday?"
Today's bulletin mentioned something that we at Holy Innocents take for granted: "Next Sunday is Pence Sunday." Parishioner Wally Jacobs recycles small cans (typically, they are baking powder cans because of the handy plastic snap-on lids). He labels them with our names; we take them home, collect pocket change, and bring them back. The money collected goes to the Schaumburg Food Pantry.
Visitors are welcome to participate; there should be an unlabeled can or two on the shelves near the door. Eventually... you get a can of your own!
Readings for February 5
Set us free, O God, from the bondage of our sins, and give us the liberty of that abundant life which you have made known to us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
2 Kings 4:
[One day Elisha was passing through Shunem, where a wealthy woman lived, who urged him to have a meal. So whenever he passed that way, he would stop there for a meal. She said to her husband, "Look, I am sure that this man who regularly passes our way is a holy man of God. Let us make a small roof chamber with walls, and put there for him a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp, so that he can stay there whenever he comes to us."
One day when he came there, he went up to the chamber and lay down there. He said to his servant Gehazi, "Call the Shunammite woman." When he had called her, she stood before him. He said to him, "Say to her, Since you have taken all this trouble for us, what may be done for you? Would you have a word spoken on your behalf to the king or to the commander of the army?" She answered, "I live among my own people." He said, "What then may be done for her?" Gehazi answered, "Well, she has no son, and her husband is old." He said, "Call her." When he had called her, she stood at the door. He said, "At this season, in due time, you shall embrace a son." She replied, "No, my lord, O man of God; do not deceive your servant."
The woman conceived and bore a son at that season, in due time, as Elisha had declared to her.]
When the child was older, he went out one day to his father among the reapers. He complained to his father, "Oh, my head, my head!" The father said to his servant, "Carry him to his mother." He carried him and brought him to his mother; the child sat on her lap until noon, and he died. She went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, closed the door on him, and left. [Then she called to her husband, and said, "Send me one of the servants and one of the donkeys, so that I may quickly go to the man of God and come back again." He said, "Why go to him today? It is neither new moon nor sabbath." She said, "It will be all right." Then she saddled the donkey and said to her servant, "Urge the animal on; do not hold back for me unless I tell you." So she set out, and came to the man of God at Mount Carmel.
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When the man of God saw her coming, he said to Gehazi his servant, "Look, there is the Shunammite woman; run at once to meet her, and say to her, Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is the child all right?" She answered, "It is all right." When she came to the man of God at the mountain, she caught hold of his feet. Gehazi approached to push her away. But the man of God said, "Let her alone, for she is in bitter distress; the LORD has hidden it from me and has not told me." Then she said, "Did I ask my lord for a son? Did I not say, Do not mislead me?" He said to Gehazi, "Gird up your loins, and take my staff in your hand, and go. If you meet anyone, give no greeting, and if anyone greets you, do not answer; and lay my staff on the face of the child." Then the mother of the child said, "As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave without you." So he rose up and followed her. Gehazi went on ahead and laid the staff on the face of the child, but there was no sound or sign of life. He came back to meet him and told him, "The child has not awakened."]
When Elisha came into the house, he saw the child lying dead on his bed. So he went in and closed the door on the two of them, and prayed to the LORD. Then he got up on the bed and lay upon the child, putting his mouth upon his mouth, his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands; and while he lay bent over him, the flesh of the child became warm. He got down, walked once to and fro in the room, then got up again and bent over him; the child sneezed seven times, and the childd his eyes. Elisha summoned Gehazi and said, "Call the Shunammite woman." So he called her. When she came to him, he said, "Take your son." She came and fell at his feet, bowing to the ground; then she took her son and left.
Psalm 142 Page 798, BCP Voce mea ad Dominum
1 I cry to the LORD with my voice; * to the LORD I make loud supplication.
I pour out my complaint before him *
and tell him all my trouble.
When my spirit languishes within me, you know my path; *
in the way wherein I walk they have hidden a trap for me.
I look to my right hand and find no one who knows me; *
I have no place to flee to, and no one cares for me.
I cry out to you, O LORD; *
I say, "You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living."
Listen to my cry for help, for I have been brought very low; *
save me from those who pursue me,
for they are too strong for me.
Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your Name; *
when you have dealt bountifully with me,
the righteous will gather around me.
1 Corinthians 9:16-23
If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel! For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward; but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with a commission. What then is my reward? Just this: that in my proclamation I may make the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my rights in the gospel.
For though I am free with respect to all, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law) so that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.
Jesus left the synagogue at Capernaum, and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon's mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, "Everyone is searching for you." He answered, "Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do." And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.
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January 28, 2006
PADS Laundry Team Schedule
PADS Laundry Team:
Prince of Peace Lutheran
Holy Innocents members are shown in bold. Please feel free to partner with one other person as there are several doors to hold and the laundry cart can be somewhat unwieldy.
Laundry can be picked up from the Prince of Peace Lutheran laundry room in the basement any time after Sunday services, and clean sets are available from Alexian Brothers. Be sure to count how many bags you pick up, as each contains one dirty set of laundry. Pickup the same number of clean sets from the hospital loading dock. Drop them off at Prince of Peace by Thursday evening.
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church: 930 West Higgins Road
They are offering PADS training on Wednesday, February 15:
Attendance is required at one 2 hour training session which will acquaint the volunteer with the needs of the homeless population the volunteers will be assisting. Training sessions will begin at 7:00 p.m. No registration is required. Talk to your family and friends about volunteering. Contact Michelle Vahlkamp at if you have questions
Alexian Brothers 800 Biesterfield Road, Elk Grove Village (847) 437–5500
Further information on pickup and dropoff points is available here: Download PDF document
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in Reaching Out
January 27, 2006
Readings for January 29
Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of your people, and in our time grant us your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Moses said, The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you shall heed such a prophet. This is what you requested of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said: "If I hear the voice of the LORD my God any more, or ever again see this great fire, I will die." Then the LORD replied to me: "They are right in what they have said. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will put my words in the mouth of the prophet, who shall speak to them everything that I command. Anyone who does not heed the words that the prophet shall speak in my name, I myself will hold accountable. But any prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, or who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded the prophet to speak-- that prophet shall die."
Psalm 111 Page 754, BCP Confitebor tibi
1 Hallelujah! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, * in the assembly of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are the deeds of the LORD! *
they are studied by all who delight in them.
His work is full of majesty and splendor, *
and his righteousness endures for ever.
He makes his marvelous works to be remembered; *
the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.
He gives food to those who fear him; *
he is ever mindful of his covenant.
He has shown his people the power of his works *
in giving them the lands of the nations.
The works of his hands are faithfulness and justice; *
all his commandments are sure.
They stand fast for ever and ever, *
because they are done in truth and equity.
He sent redemption to his people;
he commanded his covenant for ever; *
holy and awesome is his Name.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; *
those who act accordingly have a good understanding;
his praise endures for ever.
1 Corinthians 8:1b-13
Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; but anyone who loves God is known by him.
Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that "no idol in the world really exists," and that "there is no God but one." Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth-- as in fact there are many gods and many lords-- yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge. Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as food offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. "Food will not bring us close to God." We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols? So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom Christ died are destroyed. But when you thus sin against members of your family, and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling, I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them to fall.
Jesus and his disciples went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God." But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!" And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, "What is this? A new teaching-- with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him." At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.
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January 17, 2006
United Power for Action and Justice
Father Ted and I are attending a presentation by United Power for Action and Justice tonight to be held at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Arlington Heights. This is something he set up for us to attend after a discussion in the Bishop's Committee about how we as a small congregation could make connections with other groups to make a difference in people's lives.
After Sunday's Annual Meeting (the shortest in living memory), the leadership and congregation of Holy Innocents areng ourselves up to new opportunities to serve in our community. One way is to find out what ongoing programs we might join or adapt.
One of our new initiatives is to assist with some of the local PADS programs, and I notice that Our Savior is another PADS site, and they're looking for laundry volunteers, too. If possible I hope to make contact with their coordinator so we can get our small but enthusiastic band of volunteers on their schedule. We're waiting to hear back on scheduling from Prince of Peace Lutheran's Friday night crew regarding laundry detail. Both churches require laundry pick-up and return on Sundays, so we might have to split up a volunteer team to cover both.
Something wonderful happened at Sunday's service; it's hard to explain, but people are excited about what we hope to do this year, not just for ourselves as a church, but for people in need right in our own communities.
If interested in any volunteer opportunities, or if you'd like to drop off bags of groceries for our Supplemental Food Pantry, please call the church office, or and I will forward the request to Father Ted.
January 14, 2006
Readings For January 15
Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ¹s glory, that he may be known, worshipped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
1 Samuel 3:)
Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD under Eli. The word of the LORD was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.
At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was. Then the LORD called, "Samuel! Samuel!" and he said, "Here I am!" and ran to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you called me." But he said, "I did not call; lie down again." So he went and lay down. The LORD called again, "Samuel!" Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you called me." But he said, "I did not call, my son; lie down again." Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, and the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. The LORD called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you called me." Then Eli perceived that the LORD was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, "Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, `Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.'" So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
Now the LORD came and stood there, calling as before, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening." [Then the LORD said to Samuel, "See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make both ears of anyone who hears of it tingle. On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. For I have told him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them. Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be expiated by sacrifice or offering forever."
Samuel lay there until morning; then hed the doors of the house of the LORD. Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. But Eli called Samuel and said, "Samuel, my son." He said, "Here I am." Eli said, "What was it that he told you? Do not hide it from me. May God do so to you and more also, if you hide anything from me of all that he told you." So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. Then he said, "It is the LORD; let him do what seems good to him."
As Samuel grew up, the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was a trustworthy prophet of the LORD.]
Psalm 63:1-8 Page 670, BCP Deus, Deus meus
1 O God, you are my God; eagerly I seek you; * my soul thirsts for you, my flesh faints for you, as in a barren and dry land where there is no water.
Therefore I have gazed upon you in your holy place, *
that I might behold your power and your glory.
For your loving-kindness is better than life itself; *
my lips shall give you praise.
So will I bless you as long as I live *
and lift up my hands in your Name.
My soul is content, as with marrow and fatness, *
and my mouth praises you with joyful lips,
When I remember you upon my bed, *
and meditate on you in the night watches.
For you have been my helper, *
and under the shadow of your wings I will rejoice.
My soul clings to you; *
your right hand holds me fast.
1 Corinthians 6:11b-20
You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
"All things are lawful for me," but not all things are beneficial. "All things are lawful for me," but I will not be dominated by anything. "Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food," and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is meant not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is said, "The two shall be one flesh." But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Shun fornication! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against the body itself. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, "Follow me." Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth." Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see." When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, "Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!" Nathanael asked him, "Where did you get to know me?" Jesus answered, "I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you." Nathanael replied, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!" Jesus answered, "Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these." And he said to him, "Very truly, I tell you, you will see heavend and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man."
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Remembering Martin Luther King
[Episcopal News Service] As the nation and the church devote this weekend to honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and his civil rights achievements, Episcopal News Service offers its readers the following reprint of his "Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution" sermon preached March 31, 1968, at Washington National Cathedral.
Given four days before King was slain on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, the sermon offers perspectives on time, change and non-violence. It also acknowledges Dean Francis Sayre's welcome of King to the cathedral - which is not only a "house of prayer for all people" but the central sanctuary of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and denomination churchwide.
The text of Dr. King's sermon on the Episcopal News Service is here.
Visit the King Center for more information or if you would like to find a service opportunity here (sound file will play).
The image is of Dr. King's statue at Westminster Cathedral in London, part of a memorial over the entrance called "10 Modern Martyrs."
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in Main Page
January 05, 2006
The Blog of Daniel
The Episcopal Diocese of Washington has started a blog for discussion of the NBC series: Blog of Daniel
The series premieres tomorrow night, and has sparked controversy and plenty of news items. We'll have something new to talk about at coffee hour - see you there!
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January 03, 2006
NBC Series "The Book Of Daniel" Premieres Friday
A television series about an Episcopal priest that premieres this Friday is generating a lot of interest - and a lot of controversy.
On the interesting side, "The Book of Daniel" features a man of God who struggles with personal demons, family conflict, parish problems, and a more conservative (but female) bishop. Also, his best best friend Jesus often drops by for a chat.
On the controversial side, at least one prominent conservative religious group has organized a letter-writing and emailing campaign to protest the series, claiming that the series "mocks Christianity." Which is ironic, when you consider the gulf that divides conservative and progressive Christians over most issues - this particular group is more interested in objecting to the portrayal of a (secondary) gay character in a positive way than defending Episcopal priests from being portrayed as human, fallible, or conflicted.
They are very quick to condemn Daniel's addiction to painkillers and his wife's fondness for her afternoon martinis. They disapprove of the They also have a problem with the way the "very unconventional white-robed, bearded Jesus" is portrayed. However, from all reviews I've read, Jesus is shown to be a kind, supportive figure who refuses to be Daniel's fortuneteller, but who offers him insights and friendship.
It's up to each of us to decide for ourselves whether this series is worth watching. It may turn out that it's just not that good - in that case, it will end its short run of 8 episodes and no one will care. On the other hand, it might turn out to be compelling, thought-provoking, and even entertaining, as it's billed as a comedy-drama.
The cast includes Aidan Quinn as Daniel, Ellyn Burstyn as Bishop Congreve, and occasionally Phyllis Diller appears as one of Daniel's parishioners (I bet she's a lot of fun at potluck suppers).
Here's a description of the show from the NBC website:
Emmy nominee Aidan Quinn (“An Early Frost,” “Plainsong,” “Legends of the Fall”) stars as Reverend Daniel Webster, an unconventional Episcopalian minister who not only believes in Jesus - he actually sees him and discusses life with him. Webster is challenged on many levels as he struggles to be a good husband, father and minister, while trying to control a nagging addiction to prescription painkillers, and an often rocky relationship with the church hierarchy, led by Bishop Beatrice Congreve (Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn, “Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore,” “Requiem of a Dream”), Roger Paxton, a senior warden of the parish and stalwart churchgoer (Dylan Baker, “Kinsey,” “Happiness”).
The reverend also has loving, but challenging relationships with his three children: Peter (Christian Campbell, “Trick”), his 23-year-old gay son, who struggles with the loss of his twin brother; Grace (Alison Pill, “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen”), his 16-year-old daughter who doesn't try to push her father's buttons but succeeds at it nonetheless; and Adam (Ivan Shaw, “All My Children”), his 16-year-old adopted Chinese son, a handsome and cocky high school jock with a wicked sense of humor. Keeping Webster grounded is his strong and loving wife Judith (Susanna Thompson, “Now and Again”), who is fighting her own fondness for mid-day martinis, as well as Jesus (Garret Dillahunt, “Deadwood”), whose frequent chats with Daniel serve to remind him of his strengths and weaknesses.
"The reverend?" Well, it's rare that the entertainment industry gets the details right on the proper way to refer to an Episcopal priest. For unintentional comedy alone, this may be an interesting series to watch. It's generating a lot of heat, but what is more interesting is the issues that it raises.
Some of us may be troubled by the rather excessive number of challenges Daniel faces, but no one has ever said that the life of a man or woman of God is easy, or that perfection is a requirement for the clergy.
The pilot for the new series was shot in Pasadena, Calif., at All Saints Episcopal Church to the great delight of the congregation.
“How cool is it that a progressive Episcopal priest has a shot at being a prime-time drama protagonist,” says the Rev. Susan Russell, associate rector. “How surprising might it be to many who tune in to find out there actually is a church where women can be bishops – clergy can be human – and there’s enough good news around to extend to everybody?” NBC has ordered 13 episodes.
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