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StMarks Postmark Sept2012 - St. Mark's Episcopal Church

StMarks Postmark Sept2012 - St. Mark's Episcopal Church

From our Rector

From our Rector September 2012 Episcopalians and Politics It seems clear that in recent years political and religious rhetoric have become increasingly intertwined. Presidents Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Carter rarely brought issues of God and faith into their speeches and political positions. Times have changed. When Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan to be his running mate for the upcoming presidential election, one of the first things reported about him was his “solid Roman Catholic background.” Ryan clearly identifies as a Catholic and says quite clearly that his faith guides his political policies. Mitt Romney is a Mormon and needs to say nothing to spur conversation and speculation about his faith. There are still those who claim that Barack Obama is Muslim. He is in fact an adult convert to Christianity and was baptized in the Trinity United Church of Christ, a liberationist, Afrocentric denomination. The August 22 edition of The Christian Century had this to say: “The fact that the Constitution bars a religious test for public office does not, of course, bar citizens from taking religion into account when they vote. However, the spirit of the Constitution…calls us not to vote out of blind prejudice for or against someone’s religion.” Amen to that. As Episcopalians, I believe that we are called to participate fully in the political arena and also have a responsibility to raise the levels of integrity and quality of discourse. For years, Episcopalians were known, half jokingly, half seriously as “the Republican Party at prayer.” As a pillar of establishment, the denomination’s political leanings were decisively conservative in the sense of advocating for measured, orderly change and progress. George Washington was an Episcopalian as well as James Monroe, Franklin Roosevelt and most recently George H. Bush. St. John’s Episcopal Church is the church nearest to the White House and every president since James Madison has attended services there. Over the past several decades, the Episcopal Church has become more diverse, holding both conservative and progressive elements of politics and theology. I like the idea that the Episcopal Church is a “big tent” where there is room for all types of politics. As a church, we do not endorse specific candidates or political parties. We are called in the spirit of respect and fairness to listen and learn more about the religious traditions of candidates, whether they are Mormon, Jewish, Catholic or Protestant. In the coming weeks, as an important national election approaches, I encourage you to pray for all candidates, that they will be guided in the ways of justice, respect and peace, seeking the welfare of all people. When talking with friends and neighbors, we can bring focus and generosity to conversations and encourage others to look beyond slogans and media pandering. As we know, our baptismal covenant calls us to “respect the dignity of every human being.” My father was a Republican, and my father-in-law a Democrat. Perhaps it is just as well that they never met. But both influenced me and have helped me to see good elements across the political spectrum. I will cast my vote in November, not in anger or fear, but in thanksgiving for the opportunity to participate, make a choice and be a part of the unfolding of this experiment we call the United States of America. Yours in Christ, George+ Page 2

September 2012 25th Anniversary Celebration Celebrate and Honor Charles Snider’s 25+ years of Service as Organist and Choirmaster to St. Mark’s. Join us for one, two or all of the events planned for the 25 th anniversary celebration of Charles’ ministry at St. Mark’s. Saturday, September 29 th , 6:00 p.m. Join us for an evening of instrumental, vocal and choral music at the church, followed by a champagne reception in Mahon Hall. Sunday, September 30 th 9:15 and 10:30 Worship Sunday morning worship will include special music and preaching by Charles. A special coffee hour in Charles’ honor will commence after the 10:30 service. Men’s Group St. Mark's men's group is viewing a new a DVD series called "Saving Jesus" - a multi-session program which features 20 minute video segments with leading theologians such as John Dominic Crossan, Amy-Jill Levine and Matthew Fox. Topics focus on the person of Jesus, the world he lived in, his ministry and message, and his death and resurrection. For more information, please contact Leo Lanzillo at llanzillo@gmail.com. Pastor Robin in Morocco Pastor Robin is wrapping up three weeks of volunteering in Rabat, Morocco, teaching English to teens with Cross Cultural Solutions. Follow her experiences at rcmorocco2012.blogspot.com. Save the date: St. Mark’s second annual Pumpkin Fest Saturday, Oct. 20. Join the festivities that include games for the children, music, food and beverages set amid the pumpkin patch. This year’s event is sponsored by the One Church project. On the Liturgy September 2012 Angels have long been a popular theme in movies and on television, and a variety of angel books and merchandise is available. A 2004 Gallup poll revealed that 78% of Americans believe in them. The Bible clearly teaches the reality of angels and the liturgical year honors them with a feast day, September 29, the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, also known as Michaelmas. Who is Michael, this messenger from God? His name means, “Who is like God?” He is a leader of the angels, and is mentioned in Scripture in Daniel 10:13 and 12:1, where he is called Prince of the People of Israel; Jude 1:9, and Revelation 12:7, where he leads the heavenly armies. He is one of the few angels whose names are mentioned in Scripture. Contrary to popular belief, angels are not the departed spirits of human beings. In Scripture, an angel is a messenger from God, and may be visible or invisible and appear in human or nonhuman forms. Angels appear throughout the Old and New Testaments, being mentioned over 170 times, and they seem to be more powerful and to have more knowledge than human beings. Yet Jesus says of them that they rejoice in the repentance of a single sinner (Luke 15:10). Angels play a large part in the life of Jesus, including the announcement of Gabriel to Mary that she would bear the Son of God, the reassurance to Joseph that Mary’s baby was from God, the announcement to the shepherds, the leading of the Holy Family into Egypt, the act of ministering to Jesus in the wilderness, and the appearance at the Resurrection. As the collect for their feast day tells us, God has created angels to worship him in heaven and to help and defend us on earth (Book of Common Prayer, p. 193, 244). Remember the next time we pray the Great Thanksgiving that we "join our voices with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven who for ever sing...to proclaim the glory of [God's] Name." David Fletcher David.b.fletcher@wheaton.edu Page 3

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