Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Schedule 2014

Christmas Schedule
Lighting the candles on Christmas Eve
Wednesday, December 24th
Vigil of the Nativity
Christmas Eve Children's MassChristmas Eve
5:00 PM   Family Mass with Christmas Story for Children and Setting Up of the Creche
10:00 PM  Lessons and Carols 
10:45 PM  Solemn Procession and High Mass

Thursday, December 25th
The Nativity Of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Christmas Day
7:45 AM    Christmas Day Mass at Dawn
10:15 AM   Solemn Procession and High Mass

(There will be no 5 PM Mass on Christmas)

The church office closes at noon on Tuesday the 23rd, and will be closed on Friday the 26th.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Advent International Bazaar Is This Weekend!

Advent International Bazaar 
Sat. Dec. 6, 4 to 7 p.m., and Sunday Dec. 7, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., 
St. Michael and All Angels, 602 N. Wilmot Road (at 5th Street) 

The Advent International Bazaar offers gifts and goods from around the world and close to home. Purchase directly from local non-profit groups and Ten Thousand Villages. Enjoy live performance while you shop. 

Added treats: 

  • Sat. Dec. 6, free reception, Celtic fiddle at 4:30, and Balkan song at 5:45. 
  • Sun. Dec. 7, classical guitar, noon; Yoeme traditional song,1:30; Ted Warmbrand, 2 p.m.; Indian tacos, tamales, and fry bread on sale after 11 a.m. 

Participating groups and parish artists: 

  • Ten Thousand Villages (sponsored by St. Michael's Social Action), joined by 
  • Tucson's African Education Fund, 
  • Bob Bennett art, 
  • Casteñada Museum of Ethnic Costume, 
  • Derechos Humanos, 
  • GUAMAP, 
  • Hermitage Cat Shelter, 
  • Iskashitaa Refugee Network, 
  • Just Coffee, 
  • Kelli Peacock photos, 
  • Mary Uhrig, 
  • Nafofa, 
  • No More Deaths, 
  • Owl and Panther, 
  • PowerSource of Tucson, 
  • Samaritans (Tucson); 
  • St. Michael’s Angel Food Candy, 
  • Guatemala Project, Recycled gifts; 
  • Sierra Club, 
  • Silpada jewelry (for an Episcopal Relief and Development project), 
  • Tucson Arts Brigade, 
  • Walk With/ Caminamos Juntos, 
  • Zambian Children’s Fund. 

Noted: Grace Sheppard, the 16-year-old classical guitarist playing informally Sunday at noon, has won two international youth guitar competitions and was recommended by Tom Patterson, head of guitar studies at the UA. 

GUAMAP (Guatemala acupuncture and medical aid project) can't send "stuff" but is sponsoring sale of a children's book, The Pancake Tree, by GUAMAP co-founder Laurie Melrood and Jacky Turchik, and illustrated by Emma Huang -- all local, and published in Tucson as well (we remember that "international" begins right here). Turchik will be available to sign the books. 

Details: 623-3063,

A Religious Response to Climate Change – II: Living

Thank you for joining us for "A Religious Response to Climate Change: Learning" held at St Michael and All Angels Parish in Tucson on October 4th. Please join us if you can - and bring friends! - to the followup session, "A Religious Response to Climate Change II: Living" to be held at St Michael's on Saturday, December 13th, 9am-2pm. All are welcome!
A Religious Response to Climate Change – II: Living
Advent, Stewardship, and Metanoia
The Episcopal Parish of Saint Michael and All Angels
602 North Wilmot Road, Tucson, Arizona 85711
Saturday, December 13, 2014, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Mass (optional) at 8:30 AM & lunch at 12:00 PM (free-will offering)
“We praise you and we bless you, holy and gracious God, source of life abundant. From before time you made ready the creation. Your Spirit moved over the deep and brought all things into being: sun, moon, and stars; earth, winds, and waters; and every living thing. You made us in your image, and taught us to walk in your ways.” – Enriching Our Worship, Eucharistic Prayer
“On November 2nd the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which represents mainstream scientific opinion, said that it was extremely likely that climate change is the product of human activity... Many factors influence the climate but perhaps the single most important is carbon dioxide (CO)… At the start of the industrial revolution, in about 1800, there were 280 parts per million (ppm) of CO in the atmosphere. That had been the level for most of human history. This year, however, concentrations exceeded 400 ppm, the first time it had reached that level for a million years. Most of the increase has been caused by people burning fossil fuels.” – The Economist, November 2, 2014.
How do we respond to the realities of climate change with an eye to stewardship of earth’s resources and responsible changes in practice? In other words, given what we have learned, how are we now to live?
As we seek to make an informed religious response to climate change, we come together to discuss and discern plausible actions. In this follow-up to our first forum on climate change (October 4th), we will seek practices for sustainable living, related to food, water, and energy.  
We will be invited into theological reflection on the spiritual context for environmental action by The Rev. John R. Smith, The Rev. Nadine Martin, and The Rev. Dr. John R. Leech.
  • What does it mean to have stewardship of all our natural resources?
  • What change of direction (metanoia) is needed for sustainable living?
We will be listening to presentations on challenges of sustainable living from:
  • Alexander D. Cronin, Associate Professor, Department of Physics and College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona.
  • Margot Garcia, Professor Emeritus, Department of Urban and Regional Studies and Planning, Virginia Commonwealth University.
  • Taralynn Reynolds, Population and Sustainability Organizer, Center for Biological Diversity.
The presenters will address questions concerning energy, water and food in terms of:
  • What is a “sustainable world”?
  • What are the current levels and rate of consumption?
  • What are the effects of current consumption, especially on energy, water and soil?
  • What are the means to change the current trends and where are we in this change?
Our speakers will participate in a moderated panel discussion after their presentations.
Moderator of the panel: Ke Chiang Hsieh, Professor Emeritus of Physics, University of Arizona. Senior Warden, St. Michael & All Angels Parish.
Host: The Rev. John R. SmithRector, St. Michael & All Angels Parish.
RSVP by calling (520) 886-7292, Monday through Thursday, or e-mail to, no later than December 8th.  Please leave your name, your affiliation, and the number of people planning to come with you. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Announcements For Week Ending Nov 29th

St. Michael's School is holding their annual food drive on Monday, November 24.  The food they provide goes to St. Michael's Food Pantry and to the Community Food Bank.  We need volunteers to stock the shelves in our food pantry and our storeroom.  Please come to the church office at 9:00 on Monday morning.  With your help, we'll be finished in an hour or two.

Our Primavera team prepares and serves the evening meal at the men’s shelter on the second Sunday of each month. We are now in great need of a chili cook. We will give you our recipe). We also need people to substitute. If you can help, please call Joel Williams ~ 520/886-1804. Just another opportunity for giving!


Don’t forget your “Angel Food” for a different and delicious Christmas gift in an attractive gift-ready box. This is an affordable means of sharing the fund raising effort by your parishioner volunteers. Just stop by the church office for your Angel Food. Share the goodness and sweetness of St. Michael and All Angels Church!

Fr. Smith’s Pantano Rotary Shoebox Project is underway bringing joy to children in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. These children live in makeshift houses on hillsides around Nogales. Many of these households have no one employed. This is a THREE-NATION effort for 600-800 or more filled shoeboxes – infants through 12 years and 500 blankets. Warm mittens, caps, toys, etc can fill the wrapped shoe box with top lid NOT attached to the bottom (border inspection). Blankets may be new or used and if used must be dry cleaned (leave cleaning tag attached). Shoeboxes need to be returned to the Parish Office no later than Sunday, December 14. Blankets need to rolled like a bedroll and tied with twine or ribbon. More information in back of church.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Douglas Leightenheimer in Concert!

American Guild of Organists Showcase Concert
Sunday, November 16, 7:00 PM
Catalina United Methodist Church
2700 E. Speedway Boulevard

Our own Douglas Leightenheimer and Will Thomas will perform music by Mendelssohn, Vierne, Sowerby, and others on Catalina’s new four-manual Quimby organ. 

Rex Woods with guests Sara Fraker, Jerry Kirkbride, Daniel Katzen, and William Dietz will perform Mozart’s Quintet for Piano and Winds, K. 452

Suggested donation is $10. Reception follows.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Announcements November 9th throught 15th

St. Michael’s Angel Food !
Angel Food production has ended. Remember an angel you love this coming Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season with the best Coconut Macadamia Toffee you have ever tasted. Fill out the order blank, drop it in the collection basket and pick-up the delicious Angel Food from the Parish Office beginning Monday, November 10. You will be glad you did!

CASA MARIA VOLUNTEERS WILL MEET, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 14TH at 5:00 PM, in the Parish Center to prepare sack lunches. Your help is needed - the volunteers can always use a few extra hands and two dozen SHELLED hard-boiled eggs. Join us for fellowship and to help with this good work.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Reminder: Maya Textile Sale and Exhibition is This Weekend!

Maya Textile Sale / Exhibition, with a Silent Auction 
(items from local businesses)

Exceptional and daily use textiles from 
Indigena Imports of Austin

St. Michael and All Angels
602 N. Wilmot (at 5th St.), Parish Center

Friday, Nov. 7, 5 to 8 p.m.: Opening reception and sale. Hor d’oeuvre gala. Charles King, solo guitar. $10 suggested donation (to help cover costs) will be applied in full to your first purchase from Indigena Imports). Guatemalans, volunteers, and special guests gratis, of course.

Saturday, Nov 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Sale, Exhibit and Silent Auction continues. Morning coffee.  Fry bread and Indian tacos on sale after 11:30 AM (Maria Garcia, indigenous form Michoacan and owner of La Indita Restaurant, will step across traditions to feed us well).  No requested donation.

Sunday, Nov 9, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Same as Saturday, including food.

Who benefits? St. Michael’s Guatemala Project, The Castaneda Museum of Ethnic Costume, Maya women who continue the weaving tradition, and you.  This is a unique opportunity to celebrate and explore.  Please come, whether you intend to make a purchase or not.

What else to look for? Castaneda Museum’s exhibit of some of their 4000 textiles and other artifacts from around the world; Guatemala Project’s recent acquisitions from rural communities on sale (many quite inexpensive).

Maya women leaders in Guatemala frequently say they will build a just society the way they weave, one thread at a time. We’ll add that they do so with consummate artistry, skill, patience, and resilience. As CPR-Sierra leader Berta reminded us in Guatemala last summer, even in the darkest years of the war, culture and tradition sustained them, as did moments of cheer and laughter. We have much to learn from these sisters (and brothers) who have persisted in the face of great adversity.
-- Ila, Coordinator, Guatemala Project

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Announcements Through November 2, 2014

It is time again for St. Michael’s Angel Food !

Remember an angel you love this coming Christmas Season with the best Coconut Macadamia Toffee you have ever tasted.
Candy production begins on Monday, November 3rd and will continue through Thursday, November 6th. We need YOUR help! Many hands are needed to make this year a success.
A sign-up sheet for volunteers is located in the back of church, or if you prefer, give the church office (886 - 7292) a call to sign up. 


Al   All Souls Novena begins on Saturday, November 1 and concludes on Sunday, November 12. During this time, your deceased loved ones will be remembered at all the Masses. There are envelopes in your contribution envelope box or are available on the usher’s table for listing your deceased loved ones who you would like remembered at Mass. Simply complete the cards and drop them in the collection basket or at the parish office.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Maya Textile Sale - November 7-9

November 7 - 9, with Indigena Imports of Austin, TX
St. Michael and All Angels, Parish Center,
602 N. Wilmot Rd at 5th Street

A Benefit for St. Michael’s Guatemala Project and
The Castaneda Museum of Ethnic Costume

Featured: pre-1975 traje from the Vourvoulias collection, never before shown in Tucson.  Other exceptional examples, and everyday and bargain items.
More than 300 textiles on exhibit.
Come help us celebrate cultures and artistry!

Silent Auction daily -- small, select, and varied.

Fri. Nov. 7, 5 to 8 p.m. Opening sale and Reception
Hors d’oeuvre and beverage gala.
Charles King, solo guitar.
$10 suggested donation (Fri. only), applied in full to purchases.

Sat. Nov. 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.,  and  Sun. Nov. 9, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sale and exhibits continue. Coffee, gratis.  Food for purchase.
Indian tacos with Maria Garcia of La Indita on Saturday!

Tucson’s Castaneda Museum cultivates appreciation and respect for the world’s peoples and cultures through the study and exhibition of hnic and folk costume.  The collection includes over 4000 textiles, ethnic dolls, and related items.

St. MIchael's Guatemala Project is a 21-year informal partnership with rural Maya of the CPR-Sierra, who became refugees within their own country during Guatemala’s 36-year internal conflict. It focuses on health needs, arts and culture, and indigenous self-determination.

The Museum will have items on display from its global collection, and Guatemala Project will offer a new selection of Maya daily use textiles from the communities served for sale.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Bake Sale!

Don’t Miss It! 
ECW – Casserole and Bake Sale! 
(After all morning Masses) 

We will be selling delicious homemade items in the Parish Center. ECW members, please bring your contributions to the office or the kitchen.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Notes from the Parish Office - 9/25/14

Just a few notes to keep everyone one up to date with what's happening here at St. Michael's:

Sunday, September 28 ~ Michaelmas Celebration - one Mass only at 9:30 am with the Festive Brunch to follow in the Parish Center, to including the "Slaying of the Dragon Pinata". All are invited to attend our annual celebration.

Wednesday, October 1 - 10 AM ~ For Our Special Parishioners age 90 and over, there is a special meeting in the Parish Office workroom, just to decide if: 1. Would we like to meet?  2. How often ?  3. What would we like to do? We would like to see you and your ideas!

Saturday, October 4 - 9 - 3 pm  in the Parish Center ~ "Forum on "Global Climate Change - A Religious Response". Experts will be attending. The day begins with Mass at 8:30 am (optional) with a Buffet Luncheon at noon (a fee will offering is suggested to defray the cost of the food). (there are reservation sheets located in the back of church) All are invited.

Sunday, October 5 ~ Episcopal School Sunday and Blessing of the Animals.  The 9:00 am Family Mass and the 10:15 am High Mass will be combined with one Mass at 9:30 am. The Mass will be followed by the traditional "Boy Scout Pan Cake Breakfast" coordinated by Byron Brandon. A generous donation will certainly help our Boy Scouts. (there will be the regular 7:45 am, 12:30 pm and 5:30 pm Masses that day.)

Tuesday, October 7 ~ Taizé Service at 6:45 pm in church.

​Many Blessings and Peace.​


Monday, September 22, 2014

Sermon: Put on Christ

Putting on Christ
A Sermon for Sunday, September 7th, 2014
By Father John R. Smith

Lesson: Exodus 12:1-14
Psalm: Psalm 149
Epistle: Romans 13:8-14
The Holy Gospel: Matthew 18:15-20

Last week at coffee hour someone said they had trouble understanding my sermon.  (This is not too surprising for me, because I have trouble with my sermons too!) Her question:  What are we to do about the violence in the world?  Are we supposed to sit back and let violent people kill others and us?  Is this what God wants?

I was truly thankful for the questions, and, given the person's discomfort, caused by me, I thought coffee hour was as good a place as any to begin to address them! 

Here goes:  God is Sovereign over all life:  Only God gives life and only God can take life away.  God does not want us to have our lives or the lives of our loved ones taken away by violence, or, for us to do violence to anyone else, including the violent.  Like the Passover story from the Exodus reading today, God loves his chosen people, they have been suffering as slaves at the hands of the Egyptians, so before the final and tenth plague, God gives them directions for a meal of a perfect lamb and the smearing of the blood of that lamb on the door posts and lintels of their homes, so that, when the Angel of Death sweeps over Egypt it will “Passover” the houses of the Israelites and they will live.  Christians have been given a meal where Christ, the Lamb of God, saves us by his Blood.  “Alleluia, Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us.”  God has a plan for saving the world, and is working this plan right this minute, but it helps so much if we choose to seek and follow it.

What is “it?” God has invested one hundred percent of this plan in Jesus, his Son's life, death, and resurrection.  For us, the most operative part is Resurrection.  As St. Paul put it:  If Christ is not raised from the dead, then our faith is in vain.  Period.  When we, as followers of Christ, contemplate death, whether natural, from disease, or from violence, we have to keep the hope of Resurrection foremost in our mind.  This is what I prayed most recently in the dramatic beheading of James and Scott.

With whatever faith we have, even a mustard seed's worth, it will always comes down to this:  Do I believe that Jesus was truly raised from the dead and that I too, believing in him, will be raised from the dead as well?

Coffee hour conversations go all over the place.  But as we pursued this difficult subject of violence I think we both came to the realization that it did all come down to firm belief in the Resurrection.  That Christ rose from the dead, and promised that those who believe in Him will also conquer death, becomes the great equalizer when someone has a gun pointed at your head or a knife on your throat.  “Don't be afraid of those who can kill the body, but can't kill the soul,” scripture says [Matthew 10:28].

Put on the Lord Jesus ChristTruth is, I said to my friend, if I faced that trial I  probably would be afraid and even XXXX in my pants,  but in that moment of testing, I hope I could persevere in my faith in Jesus and his resurrection.  I hope that I had, like Romans says today, “Put on Christ.”

“Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” [Matthew 18:20]

I don't think it would work if my coffee hour companion and I agreed to ask that we win the lottery and give the money to the church, but what we did ask for:   an ever-deepening faith in Jesus' resurrection and the ability to “love our neighbors as ourselves,” doing no wrong to a neighbor far away or near.  I think the Father will answer that prayer.  Nothing could be clearer in these confusing and violent times than the admonition to “Owe no one anything, except to love one another.”  Of course this is Jesus' “agape” love that lays down one's life for another and not the “sweet-nothing” variety.

Let's end these thoughts with a prayer by St. John Chrysostom that often concludes Morning Prayer each day:

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting.


Sermon: Blame It On God

Blame it on God
A Sermon for Sunday, August 31st, 2014
By Father John R. Smith

Lesson: Exodus 3:1-15
Psalm: Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45b
Epistle: Romans 12:9-21
The Holy Gospel: Matthew 16:21-28

Last week in the Gospel Peter got the Gold Star from Jesus, his teacher.  How? In Caesarea Philippi, a royal city in Galilee named after Emperor Caesar and Philip the Tetrarch, Jesus asked Peter “Who do you say that I am?”  And in this city, where, if you asked anyone on the street, “Who is the Son of God?” they would reply, “Why, Caesar is, of course.”  That was one of Caesar’s first and greatest titles:  Caesar was the Son of God.  Peter got the Gold Star because he with full faith in the middle of a society that had a completely different opinion of who was God, he says “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

But Gold Stars can lose their stickiness and fall off pretty easily.  Following directly last week’s Gospel, after Peter’s faith-filled confession, Jesus begins to tell his disciples that he must go up to Jerusalem, be tried at the hands of men, and be put to death.  When Peter objects and protests that this cannot be allowed to happen to his Lord, after all, Jesus is supposed to be doing the punishing of the evildoers, not the other way around.  So, Jesus, in the strongest possible words, calls “Gold Star” Peter, Satan:  “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

(I would like to think that James Foley, as he was kneeling there, about to be beheaded, was setting his mind on divine things, on Jesus, in whom he always believed, who gave his life and was raised from the dead.)

We have to know the purposes of God in whom we believe.

It is not divine violence or wrath that Jesus wants for us who sin, but release from the human violence of this world.  And the only way to be released from that violence is to believe in Him and follow his teaching.

Satan was behind Jesus’ eventual death, so much more so than the fearful leaders at the time.  Peter senses this.  Peter is against Satan’s plan.  You can’t blame him for objecting to Jesus’ desire to face the Cross in Jerusalem.  Peter still doesn’t understand what Jesus is about.  He doesn’t want Jesus, The Messiah, to be identified as a victim or scapegoat. This is all too close for Peter, if anyone is going to be a victim, let them be at a distance from us.  Peter wants Jesus to be a victorious God to crush the enemies of Israel, using violence if necessary.

Peter stands in the long tradition of belief which says that God will punish all evildoers (and, unfortunately, we add:  I’ll help you punish them Lord!) that even persists to this day, helped along by even the best translators of the bible.  People do bad things (We think:  I’m a sinner too, but I don’t do anything “that” bad) and God is the Punisher.  For example, in today’s reading from the Letter to the Romans where it states  “Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.  If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

Love Thy Neighbor. I meant that.What strikes me about the translation “wrath of God” (and I mentioned this before) is that no place in the Greek text is there “of God” (tou Theou).  It’s not there, nor is it implied in any way.  In other words “wrath” is what human beings do to other human beings, not brought about by God at all.  The weight behind this translation probably stems from reading the Hebrew Bible where “vengeance” from God was called down upon Israel’s enemies.  Sometimes we blame the violence in the world on God as necessary to bring protection and peace.  We feel better when we think in terms of “Sacred Violence,” violence that God sanctions against those we judge as evil, but God is not for anything that disregards the sacredness of life.  If we are going to continue with our notion of Sacred Violence, hurting others in God’s Name, thinking we’re doing God’s will, God lets us, and the “wrath” that ensues is wrath that we humans bring upon ourselves is our own doing.

Why is this, the case?  We should pick it up loud and clear in the question of Moses to the Lord at the burning Bush:  Who shall I tell the people you are?  And God said to Moses, tell them,  “I AM WHO I AM.” God is the verb “to be,” essence, life itself.  God is all about this life, learning to live with others, listening to their needs even if we disagree or have another take on the issue, trying to meet their legitimate needs as we are able.  Giving human beings, who receive their life from God alone, real respect and resist calling them names, refusing to hear them, and cutting off any dialogue that can lead to peace and away from the sin of violence. And, as the Eucharistic Prayer says: When we became subject to evil and death, God, in his mercy, sent Jesus Christ, your only and eternal Son, to share our human nature, to live and die as one of us, to reconcile us to you, the God and Father of all.  God is Father of all, not just some.

So the Good News is, if we accept it, is that God is one hundred percent into LIFE and, when death enters the picture of our human existence, God had a plan to bring life out of death manifest in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord.  May we dedicate ourselves to this LIFE and, when we die, be raised up with Jesus. 


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Announcements for Week Ending September 21st

Guatemala Project 2014 Team Reports, Tea and Textiles – Sat. Sept. 20th, at 4 pm in the Parish Center. Free. Summer team volunteers share timely stories and photos from rural Guatemala, while you enjoy tea, coffee, jamaica (hibiscus-flower punch) and tea-time treats. Among the presenters are medical students, nurses, a doctor and generalists,including a UA senior Taylor Nash and Coordinator Ila Abernathy.
 Newly-acquired Maya textiles available for purchase. Please join us and welcome Project guests to this public program. To help, contact Ila at 623-3063 or

Ενορία ζωή σας προσκαλεί να πάτε ελληνικά

Parish Life invites you once again to go Greek!
Join us on Thursday, September 25 at 6:30 pm

Fronimos Greek Café
3242 E. Speedway Blvd
(enter from the walgreen’s parking lot (in the rear)
east of country club and follow the signs)
                                       menu pricing ranges from $6 to $16m per entré

Saturday, October 4th ~ Forum on “Global Climate Change ~ A Religious Response”. Top experts on the subject attending. 9:00 am – 3pm. Free will offering for lunch. 8:30 am Mass (optional) All are invited. Stay tuned!

Sunday October 5th ~ Episcopal School Sunday and St. Francis Sunday with Blessing of the Animals at the combined 9:30 AM Mass. (No Mass at 9am and 10:15 am)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Last Minute Updates from the Parish Office

As many of you know, or may not, have heard, Steve Coulter has passed away. His funeral is THIS Saturday at 11am. Steve will be sorely missed.  Steve was so dedicated to St. Michael's and may other venues. We will miss his infectious smile and being ready to help at any given moment in any way.  May Steve's Soul and the soul's of all the faithful departed rest in peace.  Amen


Looking ahead:

THIS SUNDAY:  The Social Action Committee will meet immediately following the 10:15 AM Mass.  The meeting will take place in the Womble Library.

Tuesday, September 16: Taize at 6:45 pm

Wednesday, September 17:  Bible Discussionfacilitated by Peter Schmidt continues at 10 am in the Womble Library. All are invited.

      Also on Wednesday the 17th. ~ ECW Women will have their Annual Fall Pot Luck.Just bring a dish to share, all ladies of the Parish are invited. During the meeting this coming year's activities will be planned.  Hope to see you there for fellowship, lively conversation and good food !

       Wednesday evening at 6:30 pm the Women's Bible Study will meet at 6:30 pm in the Parish Center. All women are invited to join us for video and lively conversation while learning about the Psalms.

       Sunday, September 28th ~ Celebration of Michaelmas.  One Mass only at 9:30 amfollowed by a "Festive Brunch" in the Parish Centered prepared by Chef Andy Bruno. Join us for the Holy Eucharist at 9:30 AM. All are invited to join us to celebrate the Feast Day of St. Michael and All Angels!
        Stay tuned!


Also: Karen Blocher, the editor of The Messenger, is out of town arranging her brother's funeral and burial. Parishioner Carrie Harris has kindly agreed to guest edit this week's issue. Thanks, Carrie! Please contact Senior Warden John Hsieh, Carrie herself or the church office for Carrie's email address to submit your article.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Announcements For Week Ending September 6

Taizé is held Tuesday September 2nd in the church at 6:45PM Come to Taize service of Prayer, Readings and Meditation. All are invited to join is in this quiet and peaceful 45 minutes as the day closes.

Many thanks to all those who continue to generously donate to the small Central American children traveling with their mothers. The numbers of recent border crossers have declined considerably. Give to the Florence Project to ensure that unaccompanied immigrant children have legal support a they face immigration judges. About 500 of these children are still detained in Arizona on any given day. There is no public defender system in immigration. The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project is the only organization that provides free legal services to unaccompanied children, along with the thousands of men and women, who are detained by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Arizona. The staff from the Florence Project are available to speak with churches who want to assist unaccompanied children with social and legal services. Address is PO Box 654, Florence, Arizona 85132.

Parish Life invites you once again to go Greek! Join us on Thursday, September 25 at 6:30 PM at Fronimos Greek Café, 3242 E. Speedway Blvd. (Enter from the Walgreen’s parking lot at the southeast corner of Speedway and Country Club and follow the signs.) Menu prices range from $6 to $16 per entree.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sermon: Shiphrah and Puah in Tucson: White Privilege and the Power of One

Shiphrah and Puah in Tucson: White Privilege and the Power of One
A Sermon for Sunday, August 24th, 2014
By Mother Clare Yarborough

Lesson: Exodus 1:8-2:10    
Psalm: Psalm 124
Epistle: Romans 12:1-8    
The Holy Gospel: Matthew 16:13-20

Episcopal News Service photo: Ferguson merch Aug 15 20141.    The first I heard about the news out of Ferguson was from a cryptic remark on Facebook made by Mike Kinman, dean of Christ Cathedral in St. Louis, Mo on August 10. It said, “Sometimes events happen that compel you to tear up your sermon and start over.  Yesterday’s shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson is one of those events.”

At the time I sort of assumed that this was a local kerfluffle in St. Louis that needed to be addressed but would quickly subside.  Mike cares for his community and he’s in the forefront of trying to make systemic change for the better in St. Louis and its neighboring communities.  (Not surprisingly, he’s a St. Michael’s Eagle.)  So I thought it was natural that, of course, he would tear up his already written sermon to address a local concern—that’s the mark of a good pastor.

It wasn’t until the next day that I realized that the shooting of Michael Brown was not a small local incident, but one more chapter in a much larger story that implicates every one of us in this country. 

Another unarmed black youth shot by a white police officer in the name of self-defense.  His body lay on the street for hours, his mother prevented from going to him as it was a “crime scene”. 

You can imagine the rage that erupted as a result in that mostly black community with the mostly white police force.  You can also imagine the fear in the police force, the defensive reaction to the rage that resulted in the riot gear, the tear gas, the rubber bullets and the sound horns.

This, (of course), produced more rage, then more fear, and even more violence. 

2.    There came a time in Egypt where a king came to power who did not know Joseph.  And he said to his people, “Look, the Israelite people are more numerous and more powerful than we. Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, or they will increase and, in the event of war, join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.”

Bring out the riot gear!

Shiphrah, Puah, Jocheved, Miriam, Pharoah's Daughter, and the infant Moses - mural, Dura-Europos SynagogueAt first the fear simply led to enslavement.  Pharaoh needed builders and the Hebrew slaves built, first Pithom and then Ramses.  They became more numerous.  Pharaoh’s fear grew and so he instructed the midwives Shiphrah and Puah: “When you act as midwives to the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, she shall live.”

The Scripture says that these two women feared God more than Pharaoh, and so they did not do what they were commanded.  They let the boys live and became the first non-violent “conscientious objectors” of Scripture.

When questioned, they adopted a nonchalant shrug: “Oh, it’s those Hebrew women, they aren’t like the Egyptian women, they are vigorous and have their babies before we even arrive!”  Thus,
Pharaoh’s fear is intensified—the Hebrews aren’t like us.  The Hebrews are the other

3.    Egypt and the Israelites.  Europeans and Native Americans.  Turkey and the Armenians.  The Nazis and the Jews.  The Killing Fields of Cambodia.  Montt and the Ixil Mayans.  The Hutu and Tutsi of Rwanda. 

The history of genocide is a long and bloody one.  Although there are some overall patterns of how a single population is first defined, then marginalized and then systematically persecuted—each genocide seems to leave its own distinctive mark.  Some erupt almost spontaneously, such as Rwanda and Cambodia, others develop gradually over time—moving so slowly that it’s hard to actually identify the Tipping Point into wholescale mass slaughter.

Not every genocide has a Kristallnacht. 
But all usually have a Ferguson, and not just one, many.  There has to be a well-defined other to be feared.

Ferguson is Ferguson because it is not an isolated incident.  Mike Brown is not the only young unarmed black man shot because of being in the wrong place at the
wrong time, mouthing off the
wrong words to the
wrong person. 

This has happened too many times.  Too many times this has been the end result of a situation that could have been resolved in so many other ways.

Except time and time again we have the same end result because that we have a
•    a history of oppression and persecution,
•    A history of threats and intimidation
•    A history of fear that has created a deadly dance of violence between black and white in our country.

4.    We are invited to a different dance. 

Instead of dancing with Pharaoh, we have the opportunity to partner up with Shiphrah and Puah and dance with God.

So how do we join in when it looks as though the dance floor is in another part of the country? 
How do we know in fact whether we are dancing to the right tune when there are conflicting reports about what actually happened at the time of the shooting, and its aftermath?  How do we know we are picking up the right rhythm to this dance?

First, I think we have to realize that whether we realize it or not, we are on the same dance floor regardless of whether we find ourselves in Ferguson or Tucson.  White privilege looks the same across the country.  It’s so embedded in our cultural DNA that most of the time we aren’t even aware of it—
•    We turn on the tv and most of the people will look like us. 
•    We don’t have to scrounge to find toys for our kids that have the same skin color or eye color. 
•    We can walk along the sidewalk without hearing car doors lock as we approach.  Or women nervously cross the street. 
•    We can even pretend that white privilege doesn’t exist because if we choose, we can surround ourselves pretty easily with other white people.

And so we benefit from the same set of circumstances that created a Ferguson.  And we, like it or not, are on the same dance floor.  The first step to doing anything about it is to recognize the privilege and the fact that we did not earn it, we were born with it.  We can feel a little guilty about having something we did nothing to obtain—but quite frankly, guilt is useless if it does not spur us on to action.  So we are obligated to acknowledge the advantage of white privilege and the power it gives us, and then use it to act.

And the first action we can take with this privilege and power is to SHUT UP and LISTEN.  We need to listen to the voices of those who live in other realities.

•    Listen to the mothers who have to tell their sons NOT to run down the sidewalk lest it attract too much attention from the authorities.  Listen when they tell you how their hearts are in the mouths every time they hear of a shooting until they see their own sons come through the door safe and sound.
•    Listen to the youths who all too often are stopped by police just because they look as though they might not have a valid driver’s license. 
•    Listen to the young women who leave history class during a movie on the Civil Rights Movement because the police are turning fire hoses on men who look just like their dads and granddads. 

When we feel their pain and their anger and their fear, then it is easier to replace our fear with compassion and empathy.

Then we are ready to dance with God.  We will be ready to stand up and witness that we human beings are ALWAYS going to have more that unites us rather than divides us.  We will be ready to act on the truth that there is no “other” when we are all children of God.

We do not have to journey to Ferguson to make this point.  There are ample opportunities to witness here in Tucson: ample opportunities to listen to stories of oppression with compassion and empathy! 

5.     Shiphrah and Puah were not exactly considered privileged by the standards of Egypt—not when compared to Pharaoh.  But they were able to make their own moral decisions and act accordingly within the sphere of their influence.  The moment came when their sphere of influence coincided with Pharaoh’s interests.  Where before they had limited power, in the birth room they had all the power.  

They chose compassion over fear.  Life over Death. 

And the boys lived.

None of us know when we will be called to moral action.  We do know for sure is that we have the power to choose: compassion over fear, God over Pharaoh. 

There may be more Fergusons in our future as a nation.  What we can do here is our best to keep our Tucson Compassionate, Kind, and Free of Fear.

We can be the Shiphrah and Puahs of the Old Pueblo—

and do what we can to keep our Michael Browns safe so that they can go home to their mothers at the end of the day.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Casa Maria and Other Notes from the Parish Office

boiled egg
CASA MARIA News: The Last Gasp of Summer!

Friday Aug 22nd - it's time again for Casa Maria sandwich making!
Kitchen opens at 5pm, come anytime after that!
St. Michael's Parish Center, 602 N. Wilmot
BRING FRIENDS!!  COME join the fun!

Please bring 2 OR 3 dozen peeled eggs  We NEED extra eggs!

We need medium sized boxes for transporting the lunches.
Fruit boxes from Costco or banana boxes are ideal.

YOU ALL have been so FAITHFUL since April! THANKS ARE NOT ENOUGH! In Sept we'll have student help.

JILL will deliver the sandwiches.**  (Thanks to KARL for July!)
NEXT CASA MARIA: FRIDAY SEPT 19TH. Mark your calendars for 2014. Casa Maria is every 4 weeks...
Aug 22nd * Sept 19th * Oct 17th * Nov 14th * Dec 12th


Some of you may know that our faithful driver for Casa Maria, Steve Coulter passed away on July 31st. Steve recruited volunteer drivers and proposed a yearly schedule to share the delivery responsibility so lunches would be arrive at Casa Maria promptly. Steve also served as Junior Warden at St. Michael's for many years, keeping the buildings sound and dry and the landscaping beautiful!

Steve was scheduled to deliver the lunches to Casa Maria this Friday. We are blessed that his loving and caring wife Jill has taken upon herself to do what Steve would have done. Thanks to Jill, to Steve and to God!

Steve's life will be celebrated on Saturday Sept 13th, 11 AM at St. Michael and all Angels Church.

PS. If you would like to lighten the load by becoming a driver once or twice a year, please let us know and we will add you to the schedule!  


Please note:  The Parish Life gathering at Fronimo's has been changed to THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28TH AT 6:30.

THIS THURSDAY.....AUGUST 28, Parish life invites you to Viro's Real Italian Bakery, 8301 East 22nd Street, at 6:30 pm.  A special Spaghetti Dinner will be served.  Cost is $7 per person.  Join us for good food, lively conversation and fellowship. All are invited.  Sign-up sheets are i n the back of church.


This Sunday, after the 10:15 am Mass, you are invited to a Mexican Lunch of chicken enchilada, beans and rice. The meal is prepared by Maria, a member of Mision San Miguel, to raise money for past-due house payments.  Several months ago, Maria's husband fell from a roof and broke eight ribs and his spine in three places and is unable to work.  They have three children and their son was confirmed here last year. Maria is working three jobs in order to keep their family afloat.  They are behind three months in their house payments.  The lunch is a free will offering.  The suggested donation is $5.  (Checks may be made out to Mision San Miguel with "Maria" place in the memo.)  Lunch will be served from 11 AM until 3 PM in the Parish Center. All are invited!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sermon: Faith Overcomes Resentment

Faith Overcomes Resentment
A Sermon for Sunday, August 17th, 2014
By Father John R. Smith

Lesson: Genesis 45:1-15
Psalm: Psalm 133
Epistle: Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32
The Holy Gospel: Matthew 15: (10-20), 21-28

Last Sunday I shared with you the need to “keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.” This flowed from the somewhat humorous Gospel story of Peter walking on the stormy sea toward Jesus. Peter sets out looking at Jesus, but when he realizes his situation and feels the strong winds and the turbulent waves at his feet, he takes his eyes off of Jesus and flounders and begins to sink and cries “Save me, Lord!”

This Sunday we again see the importance of trusting God and God’s Son Jesus as we consider the topic of resentments. (Here I shared a list of resentments around divorce, race, other religions, forms of suffered abuse, against power, the poor, immigrants, refugees, sexual orientation, etc.)  Have you had any deep-seated resentments in your life?  I have.  Has that resentment ever caused you to hold back forgiveness from the person or persons involved?  I’ve dealt with that.  Have you?

The scriptures this Sunday teach us the only way we can truly be healed from resentment.

We continue with the Joseph story.  Joseph, favorite son of Jacob who receive the multi-colored coat, was hated by his jealous brothers, who threw Joseph down a pit to die.  When the brothers thought better of it, they hauled Joseph out and sold him as a slave to some traders on their way to Egypt.  Joseph was a bright, good-looking fellow and he gets his first job in Egypt working for Potiphar, a regent of the Pharaoh.  Potiphar’s wife wants to seduce Joseph to lay with her and when he refuses, she runs out and yells rape.  On her word, Joseph is thrown into jail, even though completely innocent.  Can you see how resentment could grow in Joseph’s life?

Later, Joseph gets a chance to interpret Pharaoh’s dream and he is so successful Pharaoh lets him out of jail and Joseph is made Master over all of Egypt.  He virtually has the same power as the Pharaoh.  All this happens just in God’s time, you could say, so when his brothers, sent to buy grain in Egypt because of a severe famine in Israel, Joseph has power meet their need and sell them grain.  Now Joseph was no saint, but he did have a strong faith in God’s providence.  His resentment was such that he could have sent his brothers off hungry, with nothing to bring home, but because he believed God had a plan for him to be in power and to be in a position to help his family, and the resentment and hurt he had was let go and he was able to reconcile with his brothers and even see his father Jacob again.  And the proof of his healing was that he forgave his brothers from the heart!

Faith in God overcame deep resentment and hurt.

In today’s Gospel we see the same dynamic in play.  A few verses earlier, the Pharisees have caught Jesus’ disciples eating without washing their hands.  They complain to Jesus that his disciples are not following the traditions of the elders.  Jesus then tells them that it isn’t what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth.  This is offensive to the Pharisees and Jesus’ disciples tell him how much Jesus has just offended the Pharisees. The Pharisees resentment against Jesus builds up even more.  They think they teach the Law of God, but they refuse to recognize the fulfillment of that Law standing in front of them.  Their resentment festers and grows.  They want Jesus to die.

Juan de Flandes - The Canaanite Woman asks for healing for her daughter, c. 1500Then, continuing on his travels, a Canaanite woman approaches Jesus to ask for healing for her daughter.  Jesus ignores her.  She asks again.  The disciples want her sent away.  Jesus adds that his mission is to the lost sheep of Israel, not her ilk.  But the pagan woman persists.  Jesus basically calls her and her people “dogs.”  But then she comes back and says “even the dogs eat the scraps from the Master’s table.”  Jesus is conquered.  Jesus acknowledges her faith in him and heals her daughter “instantly.”

Just think of the resentments this women had:  being put down as a complete pagan and called a dog.  Yet clinging to her faith in this Jesus, those resentments lost their power.  She and her daughter were healed.  She could have walked off in a huff, flipped Jesus off, but instead hung in there with faith in the person of Jesus.  She didn’t take her eyes off Jesus- she believed in him.

I think most of the problems of the world, divisions between people, and wars, are the result of deep-seated hurts and resentments.  Only faith in a loving God, or those who incarnate the presence of a God of love in the world (us!), can heal those resentments and open the way to forgiveness and reconciliation.

So if we have any lingering resentments that we are holding on to, today is an opportunity to be healed and forgiven.  Perhaps have that intention when you come to Holy Communion and express your faith in Jesus.  Even if you think Jesus or one of his representatives (maybe a priest or other Christian person) has let you down and called you a dog, hang in there with faith, don’t blow God off, like so many have, stay right here and be healed.  


Stepping Up to Women's Bible Study! - and More

OK ladies! It is that time again when we are starting our new study! So excited! Come join us Wednesday evenings at 6:30 to 8pm at St Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church, Tucson AZ Love to see you there! All ladies are invited. - Terri Smith

Women’s Bible Study begins this Wednesday, August 20th at 6:30 pm in the Parish Center. This year we will travel thru the Psalms of Ascent, known specifically as psalms 120 ~ 134. Once again we will explore the great festivals and key elements that help us better understand worship and a life of faith and fellowship. Books are $15 and can be ordered ahead of time. Please contact Nancy in the office. (7 books are available now) You may also buy a book the first night of the study. Say it, work it, pray it. See you there!

Did You know.........Each Wednesday at 10:00 am in the Womble Library, classes on Church History take place. These informative sessions include a video and lively discussion, facilitated by Peter Schmidt. No sign-up sheets, no commitment, just how up. All are invited and we would love to meet you!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Announcements Through August 28, 2014

You are invited to join us for a quiet forty-five minutes of Taizé Service of Prayer, Readings and Meditation, this Tuesday, August 19th at 6:45 pm in church. This is perfect way to end a busy day.  All are welcome.
Interested in Church History? You are invited to a discussion group in Church History facilitated by Peter Schmidt. The group meets each Wednesday at 10 am in the Womble Library. Join us for videos, lively discussion, conversation and fellowship. No sign-up sheets, no cost, no committments, just show up, you'll be glad you did.

Women’s Bible Study

Begins this Wednesday, August 20th at 6:30 pm in the Parish Center.
This year we will travel thru the Psalms of Ascent, known specifically as psalms 120 ~ 134.

Once again we will explore the great festivals and key elements that help us better understand worship and a life of faith and fellowship.

Books are $15 and can be ordered ahead of time. Please contact Nancy in the office. (7 books are available now) You may also buy a book the first night of the study. Say it, work it, pray it. See You There!!!

Ενορία ζωή σας προσκαλεί να πάτε ελληνικά
Parish Life invites you to go Greek!
Join us on Thursday, August 28th at 6:30 pm
Fronimos Greek Café
3242 E. Speedway Blvd
(enter from the walgreen’s parking lot at the southeast corner of speedway and country club and follow the signs)
menu pricing ranges from $6 to $16 per entrée
please contact the church office if you need a ride!

Many thanks to all those who have generously donated to the small Central American children traveling with their mothers. The numbers of recent border crossers have declined considerably. Other ways to help these children as well as the unaccompanied minors will be featured in today’s bulletin and weeks to come.
  • Support mothers and fathers who are detained in immigration detention centers in Eloy and Florence, AZ. While separated from their children, women and men can benefit greatly from the support of community members who write and visit them while they await their immigration hearings before a judge. Spanish is helpful but not essential. Contact Marjorie King
at to learn more.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Feast of Saint Mary the Virgin ~ TODAY!

Come celebrate with us at St. Michael's!

Holy Eucharist at 6PM TONIGHT

"Pot Luck Dinner" to Follow in the cool Parish Center.

All are invited to bring a dish to share, or not, just join us!

All are invited! We'll be happy to see you!

Also, you are invited to join with the Society of Mary in the recitation of the Rosary at 7:45 am Saturday morning in honor of Saint Mary the Virgin. Rosaries will be available.

Many continued Blessings!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Don’t Look Down - a Sermon by Rev. John R. Smith

Don’t Look Down
A Sermon for Sunday, August 10th, 2014
By Father John R. Smith

Lesson: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
Psalm: Psalm 105, 1-6, 16-22, 45b
Epistle: Romans 10:5-15
The Holy Gospel: Matthew 14:22-33

This past week the Church celebrated the Feast of the Transfiguration on Wednesday, August 6. August 6 is also the anniversary of the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima. The Transfiguration commemorates Jesus taking Peter, James, and John up a high mountain where they get a glimpse of Jesus’ luminous glory and divinity. This Gospel is also proclaimed each year on the Last Sunday of Epiphany, so we hear it twice, which underlines its importance.

If you remember, Moses and Elijah appear alongside Jesus in this epiphany to the “Pillars” Peter, James, and John. That these two are included in the vision is understandable: Moses was given the Law and Elijah was foremost of the early prophets of Israel. What they have in common is they both dealt with idolatry.  When Moses comes down the mountain, after his dialogue with God and receiving the Law, he finds his people and the leaders he left in charge dancing around a Golden Calf they made in their impatience. He summarily orders the idols destruction and the execution of all the worshipers of it. And you might remember the Elijah story when he confronted the 600 prophets of Baal and challenged them to a contest to see which God was more powerful and real: the Baal (which means Lord) or the God of Israel. It was a fire contest. The prophets of Baal called down fire from heaven on their wood stack and nothing happened. Elijah has water poured on and soaked into his wood pile and when he calls down fire it ignites instantly to everyone’s amazement! Elijah then orders the 600 prophets of Baal to be put to death.

Moses and Elijah provide a great contrast to Jesus. Jesus who goes to the Cross demanding no persons death, forgiving those who will put him to death, and instead will offer himself in death for the sins and idolatry of the world. And the Voice from heaven declares “This is my Son, the Beloved, Listen to Him.  In other words, God is telling the three leaders of the three great Christian communities of the early church:  Be lead by Jesus’ teaching and example. Listen to Him.

For the first few centuries followers of Jesus were focused on Jesus example and words. No Christian would be a part of taking life in any form. And in those times people dealt with the same kind of issues we deal with today, human nature and response being pretty much the same. But over the centuries, mostly due to fear and the “rational” desire to “preserve our way of life,” we’ve accumulated so many arguments for not listening to Jesus or following his example. Or, perhaps more accurately, we prefer to practice a kind of moral religion where we determine good and evil without any real reference to Jesus.  We revert, as Joseph’s brothers did, to jealousy and hatred for our brother. (Granted, Joseph didn’t do himself any good in their eyes by playing up the favor Jacob had for him!) So the brothers try to get rid of Joseph, and as things work out, they end up needing their brother and he ends up, after some intrigue, forgiving them. In this important regard the Joseph story parallels Jesus’ story: both were made scapegoats by their own people and both end up forgiving those who sought to harm them.

I believe that the one thing that will get us through the our own difficult time (Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, the Sudan, immigration and refugee crisis) is by refocusing on the person of Jesus and his teaching, acknowledging God, as the General Thanksgiving in the Prayer says:  Not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up ourselves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days.

We can learn from today’s Gospel:  We’re all in the boat together, but the wind is blowing and the sea is rough.  It’s easy to be afraid in such a situation. So, when something or someone approaches us. We yell “It’s a ghost!”  We’re ready to defend ourselves. But the One coming toward us is Jesus, who says: “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” It’s almost comical, if it wasn’t so serious, but
Boucher, François, 1703-1770, Peter Tries to Walk on Water impetuous Peter, the one who would deny the Lord 3 times, recognizes that it’s Jesus, and asks Jesus to command him to walk to him on the water. Jesus says: Come! So Peter, jumps out of the boat, starts walking toward Jesus, but then looks down at the turbulent waves! The moment he takes his eyes off of Jesus he falters and begins to sink crying out: Lord, save me! 

Whatever happens, no matter how afraid we are, we must not support the lashing out at the object of our fear.  Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus at all costs. And, when we’re tempted to look down, rather than to focus on Jesus, his hand will be there to catch us and hold us up.  We have nothing to fear. Don’t look down! Look up---at Jesus!

A song I sing with the children:  Here Comes Jesus

Here comes Jesus
See him walking on the water
He’ll lift you up
And he’ll help you to stand now
Here comes Jesus
He’s the master of the waves that roll
Here comes Jesus
He’ll make you whole.