“Witnesses of All These Things”, April 22, 2012

Title:“Witnesses of All These Things”, April 22, 2012

Lily looking through rain on pane

Today is Earth day. And what a change in the weather! Blessed rain, a soaker and temperatures in the lower 50’s. We had 41 in church today. Lay Eucharistic Visitor training occurred afterwards. 

Communion April 22, 2012

We celebrated Tierra’s birthday a week late and the Hicks’ anniversary coming up this week. She is our youngest communicant.

Tierra's Birthday

In our Gospel lesson from Luke, we hear the resurrected Jesus give his peace to his disciples who are startled by his post-crucifixion presence.  To further set them free he models his peace by posing a simple routine request of food and then eating as any live person would.  Then Jesus explains the scriptures to deepen their understanding and pronounces them to be "witnesses of these things."  By proclaiming them as witnesses, Jesus charges them to be stewards of the faith and of peace in an anxious world that he has come to set free.

It’s God’s reconciling love for all of us and for creation itself,  appropriate for Earth Day. But it is not easy, full of suffering.

 The sermon related the story of Dorothy Stang  as an example.

"Dorothy was born in 1931 in Dayton, Ohio, and became a nun at the age of seventeen. In 1961 she went to Brazil to work in a Catholic mission, and eventually she became a Brazilian citizen. She learned the languages of the Amazon, set up remote parishes, taught the Gospel in the twenty-three schools she established, and created a structure for the poor to reclaim land that had been illegally taken from them by the illegal loggers and ranchers, the people that Sr Dorothy did not hesitate to confront.  

"She says, “That I’ve been able to live with, love, be loved by, and work with the Brazilian people, to help them find confidence in themselves, to profoundly sense God’s presence in their lives and then be a creative influence in society from which a more human society can be born, I thank all of you. It’s a chain reaction. We can give positive input-energy into life, but we need to be charged also. In the midst of all this violence there are many small communities that have learned the secret of life: sharing, solidarity, confidence, equality, pardon, working together. God is present—generator and sustainer of all life. This life is productive and transforming in the midst of all this.” She asked her family for the following prayer.

She was gunned down in 2005 trying to help poor farmers being harassed by illegal loggers and ranchers. "Two days later, the president of Brazil announced the creation of two new national parks in the Brazilian rain forest, expanded another, and placed eight and a half million acres under environmental protection. And– he suspended the illegal logging that had been taking place in the contested areas that Dorothy had worked so hard to protect."

Lay Eucharistic Visitor training

As one conduit for living out the ministry of Jesus, training was held today for Lay Eucharistic Visitors, a ministry missing her for 10 years. A Eucharistic Visitor is a lay person authorized to take the Elements following Holy Eucharist to members of the congregation who, by reason of illness or infirmity, were unable to be present at the Celebration. We have a new manual and a corp group of people to get started. Here is the new LEV page.

The bulletin is here and the readings.

Leave a Comment