A Happy Father's Day to all men committed to the nature and care of children! In my family, there were usually "Happy Father's Day" cards not only for my father and grandfathers, but also our two uncles who were very engaged in the life of my generation. They lived nearby and did not have children of their own; so my brother and I got most of their attention and were the envy of our 15 cousins.
Some years after my paternal grandmother's death, my grandfather remarried, and my step-grandmother started organizing our Father's Day celebrations. If the weather was good, we played croquet and lawn darts; Granddad was ruthless at croquet. Inside, we'd play Scrabble and Dominoes; Granddad & Rita were very serious about Dominoes; they had a double-twelve set, and would beat us all handily.
May this Father's Day brings you happy celebrations and warm memories. In Sunday's prayers, we will give thanks for all who have been fathers to us, Sadly, some memories may call on us to forgive others, as we have been forgiven. That's part of our routine ritual of prayer, as well. Another part of our routine, is a lovely coffee hour honoring all our dads.
Thanks to all who made last Sunday's worship and picnic such grand celebrations. On Saturday, a crew did an amazing job of cleaning up our backyards. Thanks to all who turned out, and a special thanks to Ryan from LaFata Excavations who made many trips, hauling off mounds of yard debris.
On Sunday, the Choir invited us to participate in the final chorus of their offertory anthem, and Mark Rehnstrom taught us the refrain to his communion anthem. The rafters barely stayed in place!
We honored and thanked our Sunday School teachers and mentors, and gave thanks for the children in their care. Just as they all brighten our lives; so they received plants with bright red flowers.
The ECW honored Katherine Frydenborg and Elliot Wilcox with their "Pearl of Great Price" Award -- recognizing their many years of service to the life of our parish and our larger community.
After worship, we adjourned to the backyard for a totally splendid Parish Picnic. Thanks to all who helped with set-up, serving and clean-up; and thanks to all who provided such an amazing array of side dishes, salads and desserts! Special thanks go to InReach Chair Susan Leonard and her chief sidekick Tony Leonard! (They made multiple trips to the store to be sure we had everything we might need!) Special thanks also to grillmasters Richard Marvin and David Oshana.
We have a lot to celebrate again this coming Sunday; I hope to see you in worship!
In faith, hope and love,
p.s.: About Romans 13 As many of your know, I've been engaged in Yale Divinity School's Summer Study these past two weeks. This week it was "Biblical Values" all morning, and "The Letter to the Romans," all afternoon. So, you might well imagine how intrigued I was when I read an Associated Press on-line report, that the Attorney General of the United States had quoted scripture in a speech about immigration. Was he speaking about the responsibility of the powerful to protect the weak and vulnerable? Ezekiel, for example, condemns the leaders of Israel:
"You have not strengthened the weak, you have not healed the sick, you have not bound up the injured,
you have not brought back the strayed,
you have not sought the lost,
but with force and harshness you have ruled them."(34.4)
Or, since he was speaking about migrating people, perhaps, he had quoted Leviticus:
"The alien who resides with you
shall be to you as the citizen among you;
you shall love the alien as yourself,
for you were aliens in the land of Egypt:
I am the Lord your God."(19:34)
But no, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, offered a paraphrase of the opening verses of Romans 13: "I would cite to you the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order." Not bad as a paraphrase goes, but it certainly fails to explain how the administration's policy to separate migrating children from their parents, in his words, "protect[s] the weak and lawful."
The Attorney General seems to have ignored the rest of the chapter: In verse 10 Paul writes, "Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." In verse 11, Paul sees the coming end of the current age -- and of the Empire, "Besides this, you know what time it is, ... For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first became believers[.]" I find it odd for the Attorney General to equate our country to a doomed empire. Indeed, to my thinking, Romans 13, taken as a whole, offers no defense for the Administration's policy regarding migrating children.
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