On Spiritual Aviation: During Vatican II in the early 60’s, Pope John XXIII asked the monk Thomas Merton to reflect on the Monastic Communities contributions to the larger church. I trust you’ll appreciate Merton’s response:
The first duty of honesty is to admit frankly that we know nothing of ‘spiritual aviation’. When I first became a monk, I was more sure of “answers”. But as I mature in life and solitude I am aware that I have only begun to seek questions. I have been summoned to explore a desert area of man’s heart in which explanations no longer suffice, and in which one learns that only experience counts. I have learned that one cannot truly know hope unless he you have found out how like despair hope is.
God seeks Himself in us, and the aridity and sorrow of our heart is the sorrow of God who is not known in us, who cannot find God’s self in us because we do not dare to believe or trust the incredible truth that God could live in us, and live there out of choice and out of preference.
The contemplative is simply he or she who has risked her mind in the desert beyond language and beyond ideas where God is encountered in the nakedness of pure trust, that is to say in the surrender of our poverty and incompleteness. The contemplative has nothing to tell you except to reassure you and say that if you dare to penetrate your own silence and dare to advance without fear into the solitude of your own heart….you will truly recover the light and the capacity to understand what is beyond words and explanations.
This Sunday we celebrate the Baptism of Fiona Morris (McPherson). What a joyful day you can expect. As a special guest we will have with us Roshi David Weinstein of the Pacific Zen Institute where parents Toby and Chris have done some study.
Please return your Giving Tree Gifts this Sunday so they can be received by Christmas.
Help us decorate our Christmas Tree after worship. Carols and goodies to be enjoyed!
Want to be part of our Christmas Choir? All those interested are invited to one Grand Rehearsal after worship on December 23. Let Gary know.
Youth Group: 7 members of our Youth Group will be ‘up in the air’ on Wednesday night at I-Fly. Talk about spiritual aviation!
The Women of Peace have decorated our Gathering Hall. Many thanks. I will keep you updated with their future plans.
The Christmas Pageant will be outstanding on December 24 at 5:00 pm. If you have children, grandchildren or youth who would love to be part of this please let me know promptly. Our rehearsal will be on Saturday, December 22 at ????? [time to be announced]
Congregational Visits: It is wonderful getting reconnected with everybody. Please keep inviting me to meet with you when the time is convenient for you. January is perfectly fine and welcomed.
Please keep in your prayers: Fiona, the homeless, our children, people with disabilities, the people of Egypt, Bahrain, Syria, Yemen, Palestine and Israel; and, gratitude for the International Human Rights Day.
Architectural Tour – 8 – 10 people participated in the Tour. A historical context always enriches one’s appreciation of the present ‘realities’. So many people contributed in so many ways. Notes were gathered for the occasion and we hope to make them available to members of Peace in the near future.
Christmas Schedule: Christmas Eve Pageant at 5:00 pm; Candlelight and Communion with guest musicians at 10:00 pm. Christmas Day at 10:00 am. Invite your friends!
Thank you for your prayers for me and our congregation during my sabbatical. Please don’t stop. And thank you for my birthday gift and song this past Sunday.
Advent Blessings, Pr. Steve
Greetings from Brenda Bos
I wanted to send an update to the congregation: Janis and I welcomed a 16-year-old foster son named Joshua in September. He is from our neighborhood and has been able to stay in his high school. He is imaginative and funny and teaching us way more than we are teaching him. We are all hoping this moves toward adoption.
My internship at St. Paul’s in Santa Monica is going very well. My congregation has about 100 members. If all goes well, I will be eligible for call in October, 2013. (My supervisor is just back from a sabbatical as well.)
Peace to all my friends at Peace,
Brenda Bos, Vicar, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Santa Monica, CA