Sunday, April 28, 2019

Visiting The Sick

Fr. Dale Matson

Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; (James 5:14)

One of my roles at St. James Anglican Church, besides a monthly stint at preaching and celebrating, is visiting the sick in hospitals, homes, recovery centers and eldercare living arrangements. There is one person in particular that I try and visit weekly on Sundays. She has provided a lifetime of service to God.

Click On Photograph To Enlarge

Reverand Dr. Arlynne Turnquist

The Reverend Dr. Arlynne Turnquist came to St. James about 14 years ago to worship, fellowship and participate in our prayer ministry. At that time, the prayer ministry was called, “Daughters of the King”. Since our departure from the Episcopal Church, the name was changed to “Daughters of the Holy Cross” (DHC). It is a small group of women who focus on prayer for our congregational needs, relatives, friends and clergy. Being a house of prayer is seen as a big part in our role as a church.
I met Arlynne when Sharon and I arrived in 2008 to be ordained to the Deaconate. Arlynne has a kind of “associate” membership at St. James since she maintained her membership in a Svea Lutheran Church in Minnesota where she was raised. She was born in 1935 in Minnesota.
She preached in Texas from 1989- 2005. Her congregations were both ELCA and Episcopal, allowed by an agreement between the two churches. She was both a supply and interim pastor there and performed similar functions in churches north of Fresno when she came here.
Her younger sister Carolyn Linn also lives here in Fresno and has been helpful in Arlynne’s transition from independent living because of infirmities and a more recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease.
Our time is spent together in a room she shares with another lady. It is a large four-bedroom home converted for elderly care and staffed with helping professionals.
I take the bulletin from our church service and start by reading the Gospel Lesson for that Sunday. We usually discuss the lesson and talk about any other issues of the week. Having a Pastor’s heart, she usually enquires about my health too. She is quick to take the spotlight off herself. After that we share communion together. Following that I anoint her with oil. We finish by praying for each other.
Arlynne never married and church is her family. It is a joy to visit this venerable saint and a consolation for both of us.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

The Bishop’s Note - The Agnes Dei

Bishop Eric Menees

Alleluia! Christ is risen! I pray that this week’s Bishop’s Note finds you well and blessed by your worship of the Risen Lord this past Sunday!

This week we continue our examination of the 2019 Book of Common Prayer and more specifically the Service of Holy Eucharist, Standard Form. We left off last week, appropriately, with the Prayer of Humble Access. Today, again appropriately, we look at The Agnus Dei.

The following or some other suitable anthem may be sung or said here

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take always the sin of the world; grant us your peace.

The Lamb of God here is a direct reference to Jesus, whom John the Baptist proclaimed to be the Lamb of God: “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) This proclamation was astounding in that it proclaimed Jesus as the only one who could be sacrificed for the atonement of sin. This is, of course, what we celebrated on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday that Jesus, the Lamb of God, would lay down his life for us so that we may have life eternally in heaven and abundantly on earth.

And so, in a threefold act of praise, we proclaim Jesus’ sacrifice as the Lamb of God and we simply state “have mercy on us.” This is both a petition and a thanksgiving. Jesus is the only one who can truly have mercy on us and the only one who truly has had mercy on us. As a result peace - true peace - is available to us in Christ. This is the peace that comes through reconciliation with God the Father, wrought by Jesus’ sacrifice and the peace that “passes all understanding.” It comes with the assurance of both our salvation and that we are loved beyond measure by our Heavenly Father who has made us His children by adoption.

This coming Sunday as you sing or say this beautiful prayer I bid you to open your hearts and minds to receive and acknowledge the mercy and peace that can be found in Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, and Him alone!

The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Bishop Menees

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter 2019

Christ has risen. He has risen indeed! Hallelujah
Happy Easter from the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Bishop’s Note – Maundy Thursday 2019

Greetings and blessed Maundy Thursday to you!

Today is Thursday in Holy Week – a day that we refer to as Maundy Thursday. That term “Maundy” is an interesting one. Many assume that the word comes from the word “maudlin” meaning “sentimental.” Actually, the word comes from the Latin “Mandatum Novum” meaning “New Commandment,” as in Jesus’ new commandment given in the Gospel according to John. “A new commandment I give you, that you love one another, just as I have love you, you also are to love one another.” John 13:34

The liturgy in many of our congregations will include the washing of the feet which is taken from the Gospel according to John:

13 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
John 13:1-20

Jesus has gathered with his disciples for the Passover Supper. He followed the tradition of his fathers and his father’s fathers. This was the night when they remember the work of God in rescuing the people of Israel from the bondage of slavery in Egypt, when the Angel of Death passed over them.

However, this would not be a “normal” Passover Meal for Jesus and the disciples because this was going to be his last. And Jesus, as he did in his entire ministry used this as an opportunity to teach his disciples.

Can you imagine what it must have been like for Jesus? In Jesus’ perfect knowledge he knew what would come this night in the garden. The arrest, the trial, the crucifixion all stood ahead of him. And how does Jesus respond in the face of what had to be tremendous pressure? WITH A PATIENT AND CONTINUING LOVE.

“Having loved his own who were in the world he loved them to the end.” John 13:1

How amazing to think of the depth of Jesus’ love! To know that the Devil had already worked in Judas Iscariot. To know that Peter would betray him. To know that the disciples would abandon him.

Jesus’ love of sinners is the very heart of the gospel. Because of that, no one should be afraid to come to Jesus. People will say, “How can he forgive or love someone as awful as me?” Answer: Because He is God! That same love of Jesus is not temporal but enduring: “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” John 6:37

I pray you all a blessed Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday!