God’s Liberating Love

…where all can deepen their understanding and experience of God’s liberating love

Our patronal namesake is Christ the Redeemer, the One whom all the saints seek to emulate. But why Christ the Redeemer? Why not Christ the Savior or Christ the King or Christ the Light? Those who originally named this community chose to focus on Christ’s role as the One who Redeems. So what does that mean?

The Collect for the First Second Sunday of Advent invites us to repent, to forsake our sins in order “to greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer.” These theological terms— “sin,” “repentance,” and “redemption”—can be very daunting and off-putting, especially since they have been used and abused by fire-and-brimstone preachers who insist that we are all worthless sinners in the hands of a deeply offended and angry God who can only bear to look at us if we repent and reject ourselves and our desires completely in order to be saved and redeemed by God’s excessively worthy Son. Many preachers understand this message as the Gospel, but honestly, it does not sound like good news to me. However, I still understand myself as a repentant sinner continually in need of redemption. But what do I mean by that? I mean that I am someone who needs to continually seek my true freedom, my true liberation, my true healing in my belovedness.

I am going to condense a whole library of theology about what is called the economy of salvation and redemption by offering this very simple definition of Redeemer: the Redeemer is the One who frees us to be our true selves because he loves us more than we can imagine. The Greek word for Redeemer is lutrotes from the verb lutroo, which means “to liberate from any bondage or oppression.” The Redeemer is the Liberator. It would not be theologically inaccurate to call us the Episcopal Church of the Liberator. And Christ the Liberator “redeems” us primarily by his death on the cross, which reveals to us how far he is willing to go in order to show us how madly in love he is with us. And he wants us to find our freedom in that belovedness. That is Redemption.

Imagine the One who has known you since you were in the womb, being fearfully and wonderfully made, the One who delights in you and is proud to call you his own, the One who smiles with tears of joy in his eyes every time he thinks of you. Imagine how much he loves you. He wants you to find your freedom in that love. Freedom from all anxiety, anger, depression, fear and greed.

The problem is that we often struggle to find sufficient security and freedom in our belovedness. Often we seek our identity and security in other people, in institutions, in money and wealth, status and prestige and in various addictions. This is what the prophets referred to as idolatry and when we seek our ultimate identity and security and liberation in things outside of God’s love, we are committing idolatry. And we do it all the time. I know I do. And when various addictions and idolatries prevent us from finding our true freedom in our belovedness, we fall into what Christians have historically called “sin.” And this “sin” prevents us from seeing not only our own belovedness but also the belovedness of others and of all creation. And that is why the prophets, including Jesus, call us to “Repent!” The Hebrew word for “repent” is “shuv” which means to “turn around.” If we are seeking our freedom in something apart from God’s love (which I know I do all the time), we are invited to turn around and find our freedom in our belovedness. So again, when I say that I am a repentant sinner continually in need of redemption I mean that I am someone who needs to continually seek my true freedom in God’s love for me.

The Redeemer community exists to help deepen everyone’s understanding and experience of this liberating love of God, this love that ultimately frees us. At Redeemer, we strive to live up to our name by discovering our freedom and helping others to discover their freedom in our belovedness; to find our deepest liberation and redemption in what Presiding Bishop Michael Curry calls the “liberating” and “life-giving” love of God.

“Redeemer Lives!” Jan 6, 2018

An End and a Beginning

Last night was the twelfth night of Christmas, which is a special night not only because it is the end of the Christmas season (and the title of a Shakespeare play) but also because it is the Eve of Epiphany. We simultaneously observe an ending and celebrate a new beginning. So the church calendar once again coincides with the life of our community as my time as your priest comes to an end and a new season of leadership begins.

Epiphany is a season in which we honor the surprising ways that God shows up in our lives whenever we have eyes to see and “look around” (as we will sing in Justin’s wonderful Epiphany song this Sunday). Epiphany asks us a question that I asked you all on my first Sunday here, and that is, “Are we open to the God of surprises?” On that same Sunday, we prayed in the Collect of the Day that God’s grace may always precede us and follow us. That is my prayer for Redeemer during this time of transition, of endings and new beginnings, that God’s grace may continue to go before us just as God’s grace remains behind us. As we worship and sing this song once again this Sunday, let us be open to the God of surprises, to God’s unexpected epiphanies and to the beautiful ways that grace will follow us and precede us.

Grace Before Us

Grace Behind Us

Grace Under Our Feet

Grace Within Us

Grace Over Us

Let all around us be Grace

Register NOW:  CLICK ME

As is our tradition at Redeemer, we will be packaging 10,000 meals with Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now) on January 21, 2018 from 1:00 – 3:00 PM.  The event will be at St Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1123 Court St., San Rafael

Don’t forget to register NOW:  CLICK ME

Rise Against Hunger’s meal packaging program is a volunteer-based initiative that coordinates the assembly-line packaging of highly nutritious dehydrated meals comprised of rice, soy, vegetables, and 23 essential vitamins and minerals. The program was created to give dedicated individuals and organizations — from businesses to civic clubs — the opportunity to participate in a hands-on international hunger relief program and to become educated, engaged advocates for the world’s hungry. The events also give volunteers hands-on experience in leadership development, team-building, relationship-building, creative problem-solving, and goal-setting and achievement.

Since the inception of the meal packaging program in December 2005, these packaged meals have been used primarily to support school feeding programs in developing countries. Hunger is the common thread among the world’s most challenging issues. Targeting hunger — specifically by supporting school feeding programs — leverages support to other causes including poverty, disease, education, and the welfare of women and children.

IMPACT

  • 94,17 Meals Packaged This Week
  • 371,192,150 Total Meals Packaged
  • 74 Countries Served
  • 1,040,351 People Served in 2016
  • $17.6 million Gifts in Kind Distributed in 2016

Did I mention that you should register NOW:  CLICK ME

***

Chalking the Door

There is a centuries-old Anglican practice known as “Chalking the Door” that I invite you to participate in after Eucharist this Sunday. It is a concrete way to both honor the Epiphany event of the Magi’s welcoming of the Christ child and to ask for Christ’s blessing on our parish home for the new year. The practice traditionally involves a priest writing the following formula with chalk on the lintel of an entrance door: “20 + C + M + B + 18.” The letters C, M, and B have two meanings. First, they are the initials of the traditional names of the three Magi who visited Christ: Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar. They also serve as an abbreviation of the Latin phrase Christus mansionem benedicat which means, “May Christ bless this home.” I especially appreciate how the Latin word for home is “mansionem” since our church has such a rich historical connection to a mansion (and we continue to make room for others in the mansion of our hearts). The “+” signs represent the cross and “2018” the new year. Together this formula functions as a humble request that Christ bless our parish home, watch over our comings and goings, bless all visitors and dwell with us throughout the entire year. After Eucharist this Sunday, you are invited to gather with me by the front door of the church for a brief liturgy in which we will participate in this fascinating tradition of “Chalking the Door.” You are also welcome to take some of the blessed chalk home with you and chalk the doors of your own home for the new year, using the same prayers.

***

Listen to Christmas Eve Sermon here

Ever since the Diocesan Agricultural Chaplain the Rev. Elizabeth DeRuff invited us to pay attention to our gladness, we have been receiving flour for Communion bread from Honoré Farm and Mill, along with several other Episcopal parishes in the diocese (including Grace Cathedral). This season, the Rev. Elizabeth asked Fr. Daniel to write the meditation that accompanies the flour:You can read and follow Fr. Daniel’s other sermons and publications on his blog here: https://deforestlondon.wordpress.com/

3 Most Watched Redeemer Videos in 2016 -17

By posting audio recordings of sermons and other videos on youtube, Church of the Redeemer reaches out to people all over the world (in the UK, Canada, Australia, Philippines, India, South Africa and more). Over the last year, there have been more than 3,200 views of the sermon videos. Here are the top 10 most watched:

3) Sermon on the Mount: Teachings of a Jewish Mystic (Part 3)

2) Praying “Interly” with Julian of Norwich

1) Praying Silently with the Cloud of Unknowing (over 550 views)

* * *

Redeemer is a sacred space for sharing individual gifts and diverse views as we seek to embody the love of God in San Rafael and the world. Inspired by intellectual curiosity and radical hospitality, we strive to provide a welcoming place where all can deepen their understanding and experience of God’s liberating love through prayer, worship and service.

Upcoming Worship

Readings for the First Sunday after Epiphany

Genesis 1:1-5

Psalm 29

Acts 19:1-7

Mark 1:4-11

Lay Eucharistic Minister and Reader of First Reading: Terri Leinsteiner (Genesis 1:1-5)

ALL LECTORS: PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO AND PLEASE REVIEW AND PRACTICE READINGS BEFOREHAND AND ARRIVE AT LEAST 20 MINUTES BEFORE SERVICE

Communion Bread: Carol Ann Falk

Second Reading: Cindy Smith (Acts 19:1-7)

Prayers of the People: Cindy Smith

Coffee Hour and Lunch: Redeemer Family

Altar Guild: Kelly Mason

Service Host: Stephanie Ortega-Kennison

Cantor: John Geist

Music Director: Justin Schrum

Preacher and Presider: Fr. Daniel London

Rise Against Hunger – Register NOW

Register NOW:  CLICK ME

As is our tradition at Redeemer, we will be packaging 10,000 meals with Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now) on January 21, 2018 from 1:00 – 3:00 PM.  The event will be at St Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1123 Court St., San Rafael

Don’t forget to register NOW:  CLICK ME

Rise Against Hunger’s meal packaging program is a volunteer-based initiative that coordinates the assembly-line packaging of highly nutritious dehydrated meals comprised of rice, soy, vegetables, and 23 essential vitamins and minerals. The program was created to give dedicated individuals and organizations — from businesses to civic clubs — the opportunity to participate in a hands-on international hunger relief program and to become educated, engaged advocates for the world’s hungry. The events also give volunteers hands-on experience in leadership development, team-building, relationship-building, creative problem-solving, and goal-setting and achievement.

Since the inception of the meal packaging program in December 2005, these packaged meals have been used primarily to support school feeding programs in developing countries. Hunger is the common thread among the world’s most challenging issues. Targeting hunger — specifically by supporting school feeding programs — leverages support to other causes including poverty, disease, education, and the welfare of women and children.

IMPACT

  • 94,17 Meals Packaged This Week
  • 371,192,150 Total Meals Packaged
  • 74 Countries Served
  • 1,040,351 People Served in 2016
  • $17.6 million Gifts in Kind Distributed in 2016

Did I mention that you should register NOW:  CLICK ME

Prayers for Redeemer

On this last day of 2017, which is also my next-to-last Sunday here with you, I want to say thank you for these fifteen months of ministry together. It’s been a true joy for me and it feels like it’s been a real good match. One of my youth minister colleagues said she felt like I had found my “sweet spot” here at Redeemer. So thank you.

Also, I want to invite you to consider what you have heard me preach during these last fifteen months. Although I have preached several different sermons, I’m wondering if you noticed a common theme or thread; or perhaps a particular message that you found especially pertinent to you or to this community. And if so, what is it?

Today, in the place of a sermon I would like to briefly summarize several of my sermons I have preached here by offering them as short prayers.

May we be open to the God of surprises.

May we pray with the feisty chutzpah of Habakkuk and the other Hebrew prophets, even if that includes complaining, kvetching and arguing with God.

May we all be saints (subversive agents inspiring nonviolent transformation), subverting structures of oppression.

May we read, mark, learn and inwardly digest our sacred Scriptures.

May we find our true freedom in our belovedness.

May we make room for others in the mansion of our hearts.

May we bask in our belovedness and be spiritually refreshed by the Word made flesh.

May we behold the Lamb of God and cast our nets wide.

May we live justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.

May we reconnect with our divine spark and see that same divine spark in others.

May we experience Christ through our five senses by listening to the wind, quenching our deepest thirst, seeing God in the mud and earth, aromatizing our prayers, and touching the Risen Christ within this community, the church, which is the Body of Christ.

May we pray boldly like Julian of Norwich and spend time in silent prayer each day, in the tradition of the 14th century author of the Cloud of Unknowing.

May we experience the Trinity by participating in the eternal circle dance (the perichoresis) of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit through prayer, worship and service.

May we let go of our old and violent images of God.

May we deepen our roots in the soil of the Psalms.

May we let the healing power of this community fall gently upon us like the dew of Mount Hermon upon the hills of Zion, like oil running down Aaron’s beard.

May we live up to our own individual names and fulfill our true callings as beautiful and colorful expressions of the divine rainbow.

May we live up to our collective name (Redeemer) by embodying the liberating love of God in San Rafael and the world.

May we cling to the Name above All Names: Yehoshua, which means “God is my Salvation.” The name of our Redeemer (“Jesus”) who empowers us all to be God’s beautiful Rainbow of Love in this world.

May we practice and cultivate the Beatitudes, the attitudes that help us be, attitudes that help us be fully present to the here and now, to the beauty and wonder of each moment and to our belovedness in God’s eyes so that we are free to be our true selves and become like those saints and poets, who realize life while living it, every minute.

May we be like the medieval German Professor Martin Luther and discover our deepest freedom (our eleutheria) in our belovedness and find a faith that is living, bold, daring and audacious.

May we continue to make room for others in the mansions of our hearts by opening ourselves up to wisdom from outside faith traditions as we did during this last Advent season, and as we prepared our hearts for the coming of the Christ child as well as for the next coming of Christ, who will come to this community in new, surprising and unexpected ways.

Once again, may we be open to the God of surprises. Amen.

“Redeemer Lives!” Dec 22, 2017

Advent and Christmas All Rolled Into One

Throughout Advent, we have been on an interfaith adventure, engaging Islam, Buddhism, and indigenous spiritualities. On this fourth Sunday of Advent, we will engage Hinduism and the popular Episcopal greeting known as the “Dominus Vobiscum (The Lord be with you),” which I like to call the Episcopal Namaste.

Our Advent season and interfaith adventure will reach its climax and conclusion this Sunday evening as we celebrate the Eve of the Christ Mass at 5 PM.

The interfaith aspect of our journey can even continue as we recall the ancient Roman pagans who celebrated this time of year (when the dark nights slowly begin to shorten and the bright days begin to lengthen) as the “birthday of the unconquered sun.” When Constantine became emperor of Rome he decided to his give this winter solstice festival a new meaning by calling it the “birthday of the unconquered Son” and making it the day for Christians to officially celebrate the birth of the Christ.

Just as the sun of winter promises more light and brighter days to come so too does the Son of God promise new light and life and freedom for those who believe in his unconquered love. I look forward to basking in this holy and unconquered love with you all, as we gather this Sunday to worship and sing glorious words like these about a Jewish mystic, whom we Christians believe to be the Christ:

Come, Desire of nations come,

Fix in us Thy humble home;

Rise, the Woman’s conquering Seed,

Bruise in us the Serpent’s head.

Adam’s likeness now efface:

Stamp Thine image in its place;

Second Adam, from above,

Reinstate us in Thy love.

Hark! the herald angels sing

Glory to the new-born King!

 

Dec 24 Fourth Sunday of Advent Service at 10 AM

Dec 24 Christmas Eve Family Service at 5 PM

Dec 31 Lessons and Carols 10 AM

January 7 Fr. Daniel’s Last Sunday at Redeemer 10 AM

 

 

 

Help support the Marin Interfaith Street Chaplaincy Wellness Gatherings by clicking here

Below is a list of people who have died on the streets over the last several years

The Toy Shoppe was a success! Thank you for all the gifts you donated!

Since the Diocesan Agricultural Chaplain the Rev. Elizabeth DeRuff invited us to pay attention to our gladness, we have been receiving flour for Communion bread from Honoré Farm and Mill, along with several other Episcopal parishes in the diocese (including Grace Cathedral). This season, the Rev. Elizabeth asked Fr. Daniel to write the meditation that accompanies the flour:

 

 

3 Most Watched Redeemer Videos in 2016 -17

By posting audio recordings of sermons and other videos on youtube, Church of the Redeemer reaches out to people all over the world (in the UK, Canada, Australia, Philippines, India, South Africa and more). Over the last year, there have been more than 3,000 views of the sermon videos. Here are the top 10 most watched:

3) Sermon on the Mount: Teachings of a Jewish Mystic (Part 3)

2) Praying “Interly” with Julian of Norwich

1) Praying Silently with the Cloud of Unknowing (over 500 views)

* * *

Redeemer is a sacred space for sharing individual gifts and diverse views as we seek to embody the love of God in San Rafael and the world. Inspired by intellectual curiosity and radical hospitality, we strive to provide a welcoming place where all can deepen their understanding and experience of God’s liberating love through prayer, worship and service.

Upcoming Worship

Readings for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16

Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26

Romans 16:25-27

Luke 1:26-38

Lay Eucharistic Minister and Reader of First Reading: Joan Westmoreland (2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16)

ALL LECTORS: PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO AND PLEASE REVIEW AND PRACTICE READINGS BEFOREHAND AND ARRIVE AT LEAST 20 MINUTES BEFORE SERVICE

Communion Bread: Carol Ann Falk

Second Reading: Carol Ann Falk (Romans 16:25-27)

Prayers of the People: Carol Ann Falk

Coffee Hour: Carol Ann Falk

Altar Guild: Kelly Mason

Service Host: Ann Zolezzi

Cantor: John Geist

Music Director: Justin Schrum

Deacon: The Rev. Margaret Trezevant

Preacher and Presider: Fr. Daniel London

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Readings for the Eve of the Christ Mass

Isaiah 9:2-3a; 6 – 7a

Story of Christmas based on the Nativity accounts in Matthew and Luke

Lay Eucharistic Ministers: Terri Leinsteiner and Mike Providenza

Communion Bread: Carol Ann Falk

Hebrew Scripture Reading: Greg Poulos (Isaiah 9:2-3a; 6 – 7a)

Readers of Christmas Story: John Geist, Billie Barbash, the Rev. Bentley Stewart

Prayers of the People: Greg Poulos

Coffee Hour: Carol Ann Falk

Altar Guild: Kelly Mason

Service Host: Liz Chiarolla and Cindy Poulos (Hand out service booklets, collect the offering, bring offering and elements to altar, and direct people to receive communion)

Assistance with Creche figurines: Billie Barbash and Kelly Mason (Hand out creche pieces and “stars” to children with instructions of when to bring them to the altar. Billie, it would be great if you could please count the number of people in attendance)

Assistance with Silent Night Candles: Kelly Mason (Hand out candles to be used during singing of Silent Night and dim the Sanctuary lights during the singing)

Music Director: Justin Schrum

Deacon: The Rev. Margaret Trezevant

Preacher and Presider: Fr. Daniel London

Also..
Cindy Smith – Purchase poinsettias to be placed in front of the altar and in the Narthex.
Joan Westmoreland – Ordered altar flowers (They will be delivered on Saturday and kept in the Sacristy until we set up for the service.)
After the 10:00 am service, the Altar Guild will set up for our 5:00 Christmas Eve service. Busy day!!
All will be well!

“Redeemer Lives!” Dec 16, 2017

Welcome to the Trezevants: Rich and Deacon Margaret!

I am thrilled to introduce two new members of the Redeemer community: Rich and Margaret Trezevant. Margaret and Rich started attending Redeemer on the first Sunday of Advent this year and Deacon Margaret served liturgically as the deacon at Redeemer last Sunday, which meant that she proclaimed the Gospel, set the altar table, bid the Creed and said the dismissal. Deacon comes from the Greek word “diakonos” which means servant and part of the deacon’s role is to inform the church about the needs and concerns of the world as well as to inform the world about the resources of the church. She is pictured on the far right in the photo above.

Margaret and Rich are very happy to be joining the community at Church of the Redeemer.  Margaret was ordained a Vocational Deacon in 2009 and has served at All Saints’ and St. Luke’s parishes in San Francisco.  Following their move to San Rafael in 2015 Margaret served at Church of Our Saviour in Mill Valley until her retirement from formal parish ministry this past November.

Margaret is a retired RN, and was the Nurse Manager of the Emergency Department at San Francisco General Hospital, which is where she met Rich, who was a Firefighter-Paramedic with the San Francisco Fire Department.  They met over gurneys when he would bring patients in to the ER.  He retired as a Paramedic Captain.  Margaret completed a dual master’s degree in Community Health and Adult Psychiatric Nursing at UCSF when she was the Nurse Manager of Homeless Programs for the San Francisco Department of Public Health.  Following her ordination she served for 6 years on the Board of Episcopal Community Services, and also coordinated weekly Eucharist services at the Next Door Homeless Shelter.  Upon moving to San Rafael, she went on the board of the Ritter Center in San Rafael.  She and Rich continue in their volunteer work with persons who are homeless.

Margaret and Rich are also supporters of Episcopal Relief and Development.   Margaret has traveled with them to Ghana and Israel.  She and Rich support Project Pearls, an organization working with families who live on the garbage dumps in Manila, and Margaret travelled there in 2014 with parishioners from St. Luke’s.  She also travelled to Guatemala last year to support the work of another DioCal Deacon Phyllis Manoogian, who runs an after-school program, as well as other programs serving special-needs children in Guatemala City.

Margaret and Rich have a daughter, Molly, who lives in San Francisco and works at Whole Foods, and is looking forward to meeting everyone.  They also have a Cockapoo named Lucy and a Persian cat named Stanley.

 

Listen to Sermon by Zen Buddhist Priest the Rev. Kōgen Dito-Keith: “Bring Your Own Jingle Bells: A Buddhist Perspective on Advent”


 

 

Dec 24 Fourth Sunday of Advent Service at 10 AM

Dec 24 Christmas Eve Family Service at 5 PM

Dec 31 Lessons and Carols

January 7 Fr. Daniel’s Last Sunday at Redeemer

3 Most Watched Redeemer Videos in 2016 -17

By posting audio recordings of sermons and other videos on youtube, Church of the Redeemer reaches out to people all over the world (in the UK, Canada, Australia, Philippines, India, South Africa and more). Over the last year, there have been more than 2,900 views of the sermon videos. Here are the top 10 most watched:

3) Sermon on the Mount: Teachings of a Jewish Mystic (Part 3)

2) Praying “Interly” with Julian of Norwich

1) Praying Silently with the Cloud of Unknowing (501 views)

* * *

Redeemer is a sacred space for sharing individual gifts and diverse views as we seek to embody the love of God in San Rafael and the world. Inspired by intellectual curiosity and radical hospitality, we strive to provide a welcoming place where all can deepen their understanding and experience of God’s liberating love through prayer, worship and service.

Upcoming Worship

Readings for the Third Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11

Canticle 15 (Luke 1:46-55)

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

John 1:6-8, 19-28

Lay Eucharistic Minister and Reader of First Reading: Gail Spencer (Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11)

ALL LECTORS: PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO AND PLEASE REVIEW AND PRACTICE READINGS BEFOREHAND

Communion Bread: Carol Ann Falk

Second Reading: Cindy Smith (1 Thessalonians 5:16-24)

Prayers of the People: Mary Sparks

Coffee Hour: Mary Sparks

Altar Guild: Gail Spencer

Service Host: Stephanie Ortega-Kennison

Cantor: John Geist

Music Director: Justin Schrum

Preacher and Presider: Fr. Daniel London

Thomas Merton Sunday this Sunday: Zen Buddhist Priest as Guest Preacher

Thomas Merton Sunday this Sunday!

I appreciate the simultaneous joy and upheaval proclaimed in the readings for the Advent season. Jesus and John the Baptist warn about cosmic and imminent catastrophe while the prophet Isaiah joyfully declares God’s coming Reign and Mary sings her song of God’s promises fulfilled.  In the Gospel appointed for the feast day of my favorite Trappist monk Thomas Merton (John 12:27-36), we hear this same concurrence of bliss and disaster. Jesus says, “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” In John’s Gospel, this is the closest Jesus comes to expressing the agony that the other evangelists portray, in which Jesus undergoes such dread that Luke describes him as sweating drops of blood. Here, Jesus admits that his soul is troubled, and yet he also knows that this apparent disaster will simultaneously be the glorification of God and the fulfillment of his entire ministry.  The high point of Christ’s ministry in the fourth Gospel is not his resurrection, but his crucifixion, where joy and upheaval collide.

Several years ago, I attended a meeting on the Study of Anglicanism in Chicago led by former presiding Bishop Frank Griswold and former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey. While George Carey lamented the shattered state of the Anglican Communion, Frank Griswold held together both the joy and upheaval of the communion when he quoted Thomas Merton. Now Merton was a master at articulating his struggle to balance contemplation and action, the cloistered life and a life fully engaged with the ethical issues of his day: race relations, economic injustice, war, violence, and the threat to all of creation in the nuclear arms race. Merton, like the readings in Advent and like Jesus in John, expressed the concomitance of joy and upheaval, of love and suffering. In one of the most influential spiritual classics of the 20th century (and likely the most influential spiritual classic in my own life) New Seeds of Contemplation, Merton writes what Griswold twice quoted: “As long as we are on earth, the love that unites us will bring us suffering by our very contact with one another, because this love is the resetting of a Body of broken bones. Even saints cannot live on this earth without some anguish, without some pain at the differences that come between them.”

Not only does this quote help frame my understanding of the Anglican Communion with hope, it also helps me see the upheavals in my own life and in our own community as God restructuring our souls in order to deepen our capacity for joy and love.  As long as we are on earth, we will experience joy and upheaval because God through love is reforming and refining us and resetting our Body of broken bones.

And in a way, there is joy and upheaval during my final Sundays at Redeemer, as I give thanks for our time together and sadly starting saying goodbye as we move onto new adventures that will continue to reset the Body of broken bones that is the Church and bring glory to the God who comes to us this season in the joyful upheaval of a new baby boy.

 

Preacher this Sunday Dec 10: The Rev. Kogen Dito-Keith

This year, the Second Sunday of Advent falls on the Feast Day of Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk who delved deeply into Buddhist practice. Church of the Redeemer will celebrate this special day by having the newly ordained Zen Buddhist priest Kogen Dito-Keith preach and share a Buddhist’s perspective on the season of Advent.

 

Dec 24 Fourth Sunday of Advent Service at 10 AM

Dec 24 Christmas Eve Family Service at 5 PM

3 Most Watched Redeemer Videos in 2016 -17

By posting audio recordings of sermons and other videos on youtube, Church of the Redeemer reaches out to people all over the world (in the UK, Canada, Australia, Philippines, India, South Africa and more). Over the last year, there have been more than 2,900 views of the sermon videos. Here are the top 10 most watched:

3) Sermon on the Mount: Teachings of a Jewish Mystic (Part 3)

2) Praying “Interly” with Julian of Norwich

1) Praying Silently with the Cloud of Unknowing (489 views)

---

* * *

Redeemer is a sacred space for sharing individual gifts and diverse views as we seek to embody the love of God in San Rafael and the world. Inspired by intellectual curiosity and radical hospitality, we strive to provide a welcoming place where all can deepen their understanding and experience of God’s liberating love through prayer, worship and service.

Upcoming Worship

Readings for the Second Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 40:1-11

Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13

2 Peter 3:8-15a

Mark 1:1-8

Lay Eucharistic Minister and Reader of First Reading: Terri Leinsteiner (Isaiah 40:1-11)

ALL LECTORS: PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO AND PLEASE REVIEW AND PRACTICE READINGS BEFOREHAND

Communion Bread: Carol Ann Falk

Second Reading: Cindy Smith (2 Peter 3:8-15a)

Prayers of the People: Cindy Smith

Coffee Hour: Eileen Brennan

Altar Guild: Eileen Brennan

Service Host: Cindy Smith

Psalm Cantor: John Geist

Music Director: Justin Schrum

Preacher: The Rev. Kogen Dito-Keith

Presider: Fr. Daniel London

“Redeemer Lives!” Dec 1, 2017

Click here to read “Redeemer Lives!” Dec 1, 2017

Psalmathon Tomorrow at 2 PM

Today is the Feast Day of an Anglican deacon named Nicholas Ferrar who lived in England in the 17th century. He was a close friend of the Anglican priest and poet George Herbert; and he founded and led an intentional Christian community in a small village called Little Gidding in Cambridgeshire. Apparently, on a fairly regular basis, this Christian community would gather together and pray through the entire book of Psalms in one sitting. Although Fr. Christopher Martin and I did not know that our Advent Psalmathon would fall on the day after the Feast of Nicholas Ferrar when we first made our plans, we feel it’s God’s way of giving us a big thumbs up! Please join us in this deeply Christian, Anglican and Benedictine practice of reading through the Psalms. Come by Redeemer whenever and for however long you’d like tomorrow between 2 and 8 PM. Also, if you come by tomorrow, you’ll get a sneak peek at our new (experimental) liturgical configuration for Advent!