St Stephens Anglican Church, Fillmore, California

News from St. Stephens

"This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:24

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
Rev. 4:8

The Fourth Sunday after Trinity

Sunday June 19, 2016 is The Fourth Sunday after Trinity

Services are held: Sunday, at 9:30 a.m.

(Please Call (805) 524-1697 or e-mail rlhammond4764@hotmail.com for further information and location.

Collect for The Fourth Sunday after Trinity

O God, the protector of all that trust in thee, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy; Increase and multiply upon us thy mercy; that, thou being our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we finally lose not the things eternal,. Grant this, O heavenly Father, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sunday Lectionary

Epistle: Romans 8:18, page 194
Gospel: St. Luke 6:36, page 194

You will find the text of these lessions as well as the Collect of the Day, the minor propers and sermons at Lectionary Central.


Church Terminology

Affusion

One who serves the Celebrant at the Altar, sometimes called the server.

Ablutions

The pouring of water upon the head of the child or adult to be baptized. The Church allows Baptism by Immersion or Affusion (not sprinkling), according to the rubric in the Baptismal Office that "the minister, taking the child, shall dip him in the Water discreetly or shall pour water upon him" Prayer Book Page 279


Facebook Page For St. Stephens

facebookVisit the St. Stephens facebook page by clicking of the icon at the left.
 


ACA Web Site

Anglican Church in AmericaThe Anglican Church in America, the ACA, has a new web address: http://www.anglicanchurchinamerica.org. If you have bookmarked the ACA web site in your web browser, you should consider updating it to this address.


Be a beacon of His love and redeeming power, to a world dark and in pain.

Remember

"Small numbers make no difference to God. There is nothing small if God is in it."

Your prayers are important and do make a difference. If you know of anybody who is interested in being part of building Christ's Body, within a traditional Anglican Church, please tell them about St.Stephens and ask them to contact me. I would be pleased to call on anyone who might be interested.

If you have any pastoral requests or needs, please contact me, at (805) 524-1697 or at rlhammond4764@hotmail.com

Your Servant in Christ

Fr. Bob Hammond


Food for Thought

"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give."

— Winston Churchill

Luther's Demons

Martin Luther, believed in demons but he believed in God more. In that great Hymn "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" he writes:

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us, We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:

The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him; His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure, One little word shall fell him.

That hymn, first published in 1529, has been called "the greatest hymn of the greatest man of the greatest period of German history." It has also been dubbed the "Battle Hymn of the Reformation" and with good reason. The Reformation touched off one of the most influential movements in world history. But before this famous Battle Hymn could be written Luther had to battle his personal demons and exorcize them from his own life. Luther felt utterly worthless and incapable of carrying the burdens of priesthood. On occasion Luther even flogged himself in an attempt to keep himself from sin.

He was often, he felt, pursued and tormented by Satan and his cohorts. Until one day, while reading Paul's letter to the Romans, he suddenly understood the meaning of God's grace and how it is appropriated by faith. In that moment he came to understand that he was justified before God through faith and not by his works.

You might say that after this experience Luther was no longer possessed by his demons, he was sitting upright, dressed, and in his right mind.

— Brett Blair, www.Sermons.com 

When Jesus Comes To Town

In a recent lecture the popular author, Christopher Lasch, wonders about the lack of morality and human values in our society. Many liberals today, says Lasch, see public life as an amoral struggle for profit and power and relegate morality to the shadowy realm of private choice and "lifestyles." What we need, says Lasch, is a new sense of fraternalism, a new sense of brotherhood that is neither self-righteous nor exploitative. To bring more peace and wholeness we need to cast out the demons of greed and exploitation and indifference.

When Jesus comes into an area, he not only casts out demons, he changes the economy because he changes people, their goals and values. When Paul preached Christ's gospel in ancient Ephesus, the silversmiths and others, who made religious souvenirs and idols of the goddess, Diana, knew their economy was in trouble if Jesus' religion flourished.

John Newton, author of "Amazing Grace," finally stopped his slave trading when Jesus really got hold of his life. Charles Colson, Richard Nixon's hatchet man, was converted and now devotes his life to prison reform. What would happen to our frenetic age of greed if Jesus really got hold of us drove out our demons.

—  Maurice A. Fetty, The Divine Advocacy
CSS Publishing Company.

What Have You to Do with Me?

"What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the most high God?" the demented man cries out. Again we have a standard question in the demonology of the time. In the Gospels the demons are pictured as being scared stiff of the power of Jesus Christ. They try to get away from Him as fast as they can! This may sound quaint to us, but I would suggest this morning that in a deeper sense it is a question that has been put to Jesus by individuals and societies again and again. "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?" "Leave us alone. Mind your own business. Keep your hands off my life." "What have you to do with me?" the demented man asked. The answer is that Jesus has everything to do with him. Jesus had come to cure him and restore him to his right mind. He has authority over even the demonic: "Come out of him, you unclean spirit!" (Mark 5 v.8) He says. And it is done. Just so Jesus has cast unclean spirits out of men and women down through the ages - spirits of greed, lust, hypocrisy, aggression. That is not theory, it is history.

— Donald B. Strobe, Collected Works, www.Sermons.com

Return Home and Tell How Much God Has Done for You

As Ted Peters once pointed out, in the English language, it's curious that the word evil is "live" spelled backwards. And indeed, evil always destroys. Life is diminished if not wiped out where the demons rule. The death of the pigs reflects that. What's more, in the Ancient Near East, the sea represented one of the forces of chaos that people feared. So it's a double-whammy: first there is death but second there is death by drowning in the sea, thus piling up and compounding the sense of chaos and evil in this story.

But the sad spectacle of those hapless pigs rushing headlong into the sea also reminds us that the expelling of evil from our world always involves sacrifice. For whatever the reason, God does not simply wave a magic wand to eliminate evil. Rooting out evil takes time, takes effort, and takes above all sacrifice. This should hardly come as any surprise, however, to people who live their lives in the shadow of a cross.

One final point, however: Jesus was chased away by the townsfolk but the healed man remained and according to verse 39, he kept on talking about what Jesus had done. Something about his ongoing witness reminds us that this is also our role: lots of people in this world try to chase Jesus away. Our task is to hang around anyway and to just keep talking, just keep witnessing to Jesus' work, and just keep hoping that at the end of the day, that witness will bring people back to the very Jesus they once chased away. "Return home and tell how much God has done for you," Jesus told this man.

He tells the rest of us the exact same thing.

— Scott Hoezee, Comments and Observations


Posted 16 June 2016 at 1914 EDT