Archives for July 2015

Bulletin Insert: Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost (B)

Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Before and after the bombing at Hiroshima, 1945

Before and after the bombing at Hiroshima, 1945

August 9th, 2015

This week the international community marks the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In August of 1945, at the end of WWII, the United States dropped the world’s first two atomic bombs, killing 129,000-246,000 people. The first bomb, “Little Boy,” was dropped August 6th on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, and the second, “Fat Man,” was dropped August 9th on the Japanese city of Nagasaki.

In Hiroshima, the immediate explosion wiped out 90% of the city (5 square miles), and killed 80,000 citizens on impact; however, this devastating blow did not lead to Japanese surrender. Three days after “Little Boy” was dropped on Hiroshima, “Fat Man” descended on Nagasaki. Although “Fat Man” was a stronger bomb than “Little Boy,” the bomb missed its target causing destruction to be limited to 2.6 square miles unlike the 5 square miles destroyed in Hiroshima. Even years after these two explosions, Hiroshima and Nagasaki experienced tremendous losses due to radiation poisoning.

Over half of Hiroshima was rebuilt following the attack in 1945, although one section, Peace Memorial Park, will be forever set aside in remembrance of the destruction from WWII. Every year on August 6th, thousands of people gather at this park to join in various religious services to commemorate the bombing.

Through a General Convention resolution in 1997, The Episcopal Church expresses sorrow to the Japanese people for the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Today, Hiroshima and Nagasaki finally have radiation levels matching the rest of the World’s; however, the painful memory of the atomic bombings will live on much longer. Episcopalians should continue to remember this tragic historic event by promoting reconciliation and remembrance.

 

Prayer for Hiroshima from the Anglican Diocese of Leicester:

God, you are the Father of all the Families of the Earth,
and call the nations to live in peace and unity.
We remember with sorrow the devastating destruction and death
unleashed upon the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
We pray for the people of Japan,
and all whose lives are disfigured by war.
We pray for ourselves,
the often unwise stewards of the powers of the universe.
Transfigure the lives and cities scarred by conflict
by the revealing of your glory
and move us by your uncreated energies
to advance your sovereign purpose of peace.
This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ,
our light and out salvation. Amen.

 

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Spanish bulletin inserts are available on the Sermones que Iluminan website.

Bulletin Insert: Tenth Sunday After Pentecost (B)

General Convention Part II

August 2, 2015

The 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church was held in Salt Lake City June 25- July 3. This week’s bulletin insert features several photos of action from Convention.

 The triennial budget was approved with a renewed focus on racial reconciliation and evangelism at General Convention. Here Central New York deputy Chuck Stewart studies the budget, with fellow deputy the Rev. Georgina Hegney.  Photo: Tracy Sukraw/Episcopal News Service


The triennial budget was approved with a renewed focus on racial reconciliation and evangelism at General Convention. Here Central New York deputy Chuck Stewart studies the budget, with fellow deputy the Rev. Georgina Hegney.
Photo: Tracy Sukraw/Episcopal News Service

 

Every day at General Convention, Episcopalians gathered for worship. Here, the Rev. Becca Stevens, founder of Magdalene House and Thistle Farms in Nashville, TN, preaches about “The Lost Sheep.” Photo: Thistle Farms

Every day at General Convention, Episcopalians gathered for worship. Here, the Rev. Becca Stevens, founder of Magdalene House and Thistle Farms in Nashville, TN, preaches about “The Lost Sheep.”
Photo: Thistle Farms

 

About 1,500 General Convention participants joined a Bishops United Against Gun Violence procession in Salt Lake City decrying the “unholy trinity” of poverty, racism, and violence.  Photo: Melodie Woerman

About 1,500 General Convention participants joined a Bishops United Against Gun Violence procession in Salt Lake City decrying the “unholy trinity” of poverty, racism, and violence.
Photo: Melodie Woerman

 

The exhibit hall allowed Episcopalians to share and learn about mission and ministry. The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society booth featured several exhibits including a life size United Thank Offering blue box.  Photo: Tracy J. Sukraw/Episcopal News Service

The exhibit hall allowed Episcopalians to share and learn about mission and ministry. The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society booth featured several exhibits including a life size United Thank Offering blue box.
Photo: Tracy J. Sukraw/Episcopal News Service

Download bulletin insert as PDF:
full page, one-sided 8/2/15
half page, double-sided 8/2/15

black and white, full page, one- sided, 8/2/15
black and white, half page, double-sided 8/2/15

Spanish bulletin inserts are available on the Sermones que Iluminan website.

You are What you Eat – Proper 15(B) – 2015

 

1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14 and Psalm 111; Ephesians 5:15-20; John 6:51-58

We are what we eat; therefore, we must mind carefully what we eat and digest spiritually, for the health of our souls. The world offers us a lot of unhealthy diets – diets of materialism and greed and selfishness. Feeding on the word of God and partaking of the body and blood of Christ ensures life-sustaining nutrition for the spirit – food for the soul. By faith, eating the bread and wine of Holy Communion, we can enable the process by which Christ penetrates our beings and nourishes our lives. In this sacrament, God’s very life comes to us through the elements of bread and wine so that we can have union with God. We are re-called to the truth that this union with God through Jesus, the Christ, is the connecting link for us with all that is good and true and holy.

To read the sermon, click here.

Download the sermon for Proper 15B.

Written by the Rev. Ken Kesselus, author of John E. Hines: Granite on Fire (Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest, 1995), is retired from full-time, active ministry and lives with his wife, Toni, in his native home, Bastrop, Texas.

God gives us Bread – and Everything Else We Need – Proper 14(B) – 2015

1 Kings 19:4-8; Psalm 34:1-8; Ephesians 4:25-5:2; John 6:35, 41-51

God gave Elijah and Israel bread, and Jesus gave the crowds on those mountainsides bread, and God gives us bread – God gives us all we need for life – so that we may be drawn beyond all of these and see more than we would see otherwise, so that we might understand that we do not live by bread alone.

To read the sermon, click here.

Download the sermon for Proper 14B.

Written by The Rev. James Liggett recently retired as rector of St. Nicholas’ Episcopal Church in Midland, Texas. He is a native of Kansas and a graduate of the University of Houston and the Episcopal Divinity School. He has served parishes in Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma.

Bread of Life – Proper 13(B) – 2015

2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a and Psalm 51:1-13; Ephesians 4:1-16; John 6:24-35

Jesus is daily sustenance. He is bread to be savored, gathered around. Bread to inspire thanksgiving, to remind us of the wonder of life, to strengthen us. We can contemplate him thoughtfully, chewing slowly, pondering, but we will gain more if we come to him as hungry beggars, open to whatever he places in our outstretched hands.

To read the sermon, click here.

Download the sermon for Proper 13B.

Written by The Rev. Amy E. Richter is rector of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Annapolis, Maryland.

 

Bulletin Insert: Ninth Sunday After Pentecost (B)

General Convention

Presiding Bishop-elect Michael Bruce Curry

July 26, 2015

The 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church was held in Salt Lake City June 25- July 3. On June 27, Bishop Michael B. Curry of the Diocese of North Carolina was elected as the 27th Presiding Bishop.

Presiding Bishop-elect Michael Curry, 62, was elected by the House of Bishops from a slate of four nominees on the first ballot. He received 121 votes of a total 174 cast. The election was confirmed an hour later by the House of Deputies, as outlined in the church’s canons, by a vote of 800 to 12.

He will serve a nine-year term that officially begins Nov. 1. On that date, Presiding Bishop-elect Michael Curry will succeed current Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and he will become the first person of color to hold that position. The election also made history by being the first time a presiding bishop was chosen on the first ballot.

A liturgy marking the beginning of Presiding Bishop-elect Michael Curry’s ministry as presiding bishop and primate will be celebrated Nov. 1, All Saints Day at Washington National Cathedral.

Presiding Bishop-elect Michael Curry defines his priorities as formation, evangelism, and witnessing in the public square. In an interview with Episcopal News Service after his election, Curry said:

“There’s a lot of suffering in this world. There’s a lot of heartache, there’s a lot of nightmare. We are people who believe that God has a dream and a vision for this world, and that Jesus has shown us how to follow him in the direction of that and how to help this world live into God’s dream and vision for us now.”

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori reads letter of congratulations from President Obama to Presiding Bishop-elect Michael Curry. Photo: Sharon Sheridan/Episcopal News Service

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori reads letter of
congratulations from President Obama to
Presiding Bishop-elect Michael Curry.
Photo: Sharon Sheridan/Episcopal News Service

At the General Convention’s closing Eucharist, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori read a letter of congratulations rom President Barack Obama written to Presiding Bishop-elect Michael Curry. In part, it reads “Your leadership over the years has reflected your powerful vision for a more inclusive tomorrow.” Read the full letter from President Obama on Episcopal News Service here.

 

Additional Links:

Episcopal News Service full length interview with Presiding Bishop-elect Michael Curry: http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2015/06/30/video-interview-with-presiding-bishop-elect-michael-curry/

Presiding Bishop-elect Michael Curry’s sermon delivered at General Convention’s closing Eucharist: http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2015/07/03/video-presiding-bishop-elect-michael-curry-preaches-at-general-convention-closing-eucharist/

 

Download bulletin insert as PDF:
full page, one-sided 7/26/15
half page, double-sided 7/26/15

black and white, full page, one- sided, 7/26/15
black and white, half page, double-sided 7/26/15

Spanish bulletin inserts are available on the Sermones que Iluminan website.

Bulletin Insert: Eighth Sunday After Pentecost (B)

United Thank Offering

Photo: Grace Aheron, a United Thank Offering young adult grant recipient

July 19, 2015

125 years ago, the United Thank Offering was founded to help individuals pay more attention to the spiritual blessing in their lives and by making small thank offerings, those funds would go to support innovative ministries in the Church for which the church budget had not yet expanded to fund.

In 2015, the United Thank Offering annual grants and the special young adult grants are working towards God’s vision for His people and are seeking to change lives in a new way by a variety of actions. The United Thank Offering of The Episcopal Church awarded 55 grants for a total of $1,558,006.85 for the mission and ministry of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. The 2015 grants were awarded to projects in 46 domestic and overseas dioceses, which included 34 Episcopal Church Dioceses, 5 Companion Dioceses, 5 International Dioceses and 2 grants to the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society mission offices for Overseas Missions and Young Adult Service Corp (YASC). To celebrate the 125th Anniversary of the United Thank Offering, 9 Special Young Adults (21 to 30) were awarded, one for each Province.

The focus for the 2015 annual awarded grants was the Fourth Mark of Mission—to seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation. The focus of the young adult grant was to provide seed money for a new project that was based on any one of the Five Marks of Mission.

One of the Young Adult Grants, awarded to the Diocese of Virginia, will provide seed money for a new intentional community. Grace Aheron shares: “Beginning in September of 2015, the Charis Community—Greek for “grace”— in North Garden, VA, will establish a semi-monastic intentional community of young adult Christians who seek the way of Jesus. The Charis Residents—initially four young people—will attempt to integrate their faith into their lives by establishing a rule of life, a rhythm of prayer, a mission of hospitality, and a commitment to enacting justice together. The community will be rooted in radical discipleship which will translate into a permaculture-based farming project, invitational, creative liturgy, and social action. Through the hospitality of the Diocese of Virginia and Grace Church, Red Hill, the residents will occupy Good Shepherd Episcopal Church and vicarage, a previously unused rural church property and will invite Albemarle County residents, especially young adults, into their ministry. Imagine if, instead of closing their doors, “dying” churches in America opened their doors in hospitality to communities of young seekers and believers who desire the rhythm of a rural life— a connection to the land and a slower, more intentional way of being together. This project is, in short, a dream of what Christ’s church will be and can be in this new day.”

The United Thank Offering Grants are awarded from the ingathering from the United Thank Offering Blue Boxes—all coins and bills placed in United Thank for the many blessings that each of us receive. If you would like information on how to start the United Thank Offering, or for information on how to share the story with children, youth and adults, be sure to visit www.UnitedThankOffering.org.

The complete list of 2015 Grants is available here: www.episcopalchurch.org/UTO

For additional information, contact Heather Melton, United Thank Offering Missioner: hmelton@episcpoalchurch.org.

 

Download bulletin insert as PDF:
full page, one-sided 7/19/15
half page, double-sided 7/19/15

black and white, full page, one- sided, 7/19/15
black and white, half page, double-sided 7/19/15

Spanish bulletin inserts are available on the Sermones que Iluminan website.