Pray for Peace

June 4, 2017

“Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation, united in religion, but He intended to test you in what He has given you; so race to all that is good.”                                         – Holy Quran 48th verse of chapter 5

 

Islamic Scholar Scott Alexander shared this verse with us when he was a guest speaker at St. John’s on May 13th.  An audience member had commented about his experience sharing worship with Islamic and Jewish communities and observed, “We are more alike in our beliefs than we are different.”  Alexander then quoted the Quran verse above – which inspired further discussion.  Is it possible to respect each other’s differences and allow each person to follow their own path?  And then, how do we “race to all that is good” or as different translations have it, “compete with each other in righteousness” or “vie one with another in good works” ?

Alexander was challenging us to examine our reaction to the concept of “different.”  Can we look at real or perceived differences and let go of the need to argue, to alienate, or to force changes?  He brought up the idea of language: baby animals are born able to communicate, but, for humans, several years pass before babies can speak the language of their parents and community.  That hard-won gift of language unites us as a community and gives us identity, but diversity of language around the world divides us, emphasizing our differences.  How can I get to know you and love you if I cannot understand what you are saying?  Can I see (and hear) that you are different and open my heart to you?

Inspired by these ideas, we move towards Pentecost Sunday: a celebration of the Holy Spirit, in wind and fire, granting the disciples the ability to pass on God’s message of love without the barrier of language.

So join us this Sunday in a flurry of wind and symbolic flames and sing with gusto in a multitude of languages the beautifully simple song “Dona Nobis Pacem” that translates into a heartfelt “Grant Us Peace.”

And…. don’t forget to wear RED! (We didn’t!)

 

Christian Civic Engagement

Christians are called to participate in the kingdom of God by working for peace, justice and the common good. These organizations act politically, motivated by faith. Get involved!

The Episcopal Public Policy Network (part of The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations located in Washington, DC) is a grassroots network of Episcopalians across the country dedicated to carrying out the Baptismal Covenant call to “strive for justice and peace” through the active ministry of public policy advocacy. advocacy.episcopalchurch.org

Believe Outloud works for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality in our families, our churches and our communities. believeoutloud.com

Faith in Public Life advances faith as a powerful force for justice, compassion and the common good. faithinpubliclife.org

All Our Children is a national network of people of faith who are exploring, forming, and leading community partnerships between congregations and public schools. Through these partnerships, AOC is part of a growing movement to create meaningful improvements in the quality and equity of public education. allourchildren.org

Faithful America: Love thy neighbor. No exceptions. faithfulamerica.org

Interfaith Power & Light is a religious response to global warming. interfaithpowerandlight.org

Groundswell inspires faithful action to heal and repair the world. Powered by Auburn Theological Seminary. action.groundswell-mvmt.org

Take your Place at the Table

A Capital Campaign for St. John’s Episcopal Church

THREE YEARS – $375,000 – capital campaign window websiteACCESSIBILITY – HOSPITALITY – SUSTAINING OUR MISSION AND MINISTRY FOR GENERATIONS TO COME

We invite you to join us in extending the welcome and hospitality of St. John’s to an ever-widening community.

Phase One Goal $176,000 REACHED!

Accessibility from street level to the Sanctuary and Parish Hall IN DESIGN AND PERMITTING PHASE
Church Garden Restoration and New Memorial Garden FINISHED!

10% of all gifts to the Capital Campaign goes to our endowment for the use of future generations.

Phase Two Goal $143,000

Accessible Bathrooms
Kitchen Renovation
Office Reconfiguration

Phase Three Goal $56,000

Restoration of Stained-Glass Windows

To give to the Capital Campaign please use the DONATE button and use the memo line to designate your gift to the Capital Campaign.

Conversation on Islam and Christianity

May 13, 2017
5:00 pmto6:00 pm

St. John’s hosts “Conversations that Matter:  Islam and Muslims in the Current Global Context” on Saturday, May 13 at 5:00 p.m.. The talk will be led by Scott C. Alexander, Ph.D., associate professor of Islamic Studies and director, Catholic-Muslim Studies at Catholic Theological Union. This event is free and open to the public.