Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Gift of Mission


We've received the Child Christ, God's gift of love--not in celebrating December 25th, but in having believed and baptized to be 'set apart for God.' We are set apart, not above. As a follower of Christ, God is sending you to bring God's gift of love into the lives of those around you; to make Him known.

We are to bring God's gift to someone this Christmastide. To whom will you bring Jesus. God has placed you where you are, at this time and in this place, so that God's gift of life might touch someone in your reach. God came to heal a broken and wounded world. And so you are sent to bring that healing into a person close at hand, someone you know, someone who you can see the hurt and the pain in their lives. You are bringing Jesus to them: How Jesus has made a difference in your life & Your belief that God can bring a change to this person's life.

You need to know Your Story. How has God changed you? How has God made a difference in your life? How has God healed you and made you whole? Make it short! I was searching, hurting, beaten down, without hope, alone, etc. And I asked God to take control. And this is what happened, how God transformed my life. The before only needs as much detail as will let the hearer know you had a real hole, a real wound, in your life--like them. What they want to hear is how God made things better--give them hope that God can do it in their life too!

Telling our story is something we should be doing with each other, over and over again. This is what I want to hear from other followers of Christ. It never gets old. It always reminds me of the good things God has done and is doing in my life too! Telling your story in Christ is what builds our foundation in Christ as the fellowship of believers.

There is no shortage of people who desperately need God in their lives. Talk to God about them; God knows who around you is hurting, lost, or lonely too. He knows whose hearts are open to receive Him and whose hearts are hardened. Ask God for an opportunity to tell your story and be ready.

You can measure the gift you've truly received this Christmas by the measure you've give Jesus to someone in these days that follow. God didn't so love the world that He kept it to Himself. And we can't call ourselves Christians if we aren't giving Jesus to people who need Him.

Alpine Christmas Day Community Dinner

Those who didn't have a place for Christmas Day dinner were able to join those who were willing to make a place. The good people of Blessed Trinity invited others to be part of the family this day and it was a great feast of song, food, fellowship, and happy people who were not in the least dampened by the cool winter rain on this Christmas Day.

This wasn't just a free meal. We asked everyone to help just as we do with family. Some folks brought food, some cooked, some set tables, some played music. We prayed and we got to know and be known by our neighbors. All said and done we worked together to make this a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus together and to share it with one another.

It was a great way to continue our celebration of the incarnation and sharing the gift of the Child Christ in our community. A blessed first day of Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas is Coming


FTGC at Viejas' Dream Catcher Lounge
Several of the guitarist played for the Welfare to Work Christmas Party thanks to Wanda and the SCAIR Center. We had a great time. You can hear the FTGC at Christmas Eve or Christmas Day Carols.
So what Gift are you getting?
As Christmas preparations enter their final week, we shouldn't forget to ask God to open our heart to recieve the true gift of Christmas: the Child Christ. If we're worrying about the stuff we can easily be disappointed with rain drenching our parties or our decorations. We can easily be disappointed when folks are not of good cheer and downright mean or worse--having your house robbed will definitely disappoint most people's view of men and women. Opening gifts or having them opened; visits with relatives or friends. Freezing temperatures (yes, it is Southern California--it wasn't me singing White Christmas!).
So talk to God about what He wants to give you this Christmas. Let Him know all of the stuff going on in your life (the good, the bad, and the ugly). But it's His time to give you His most precious, most loved, most costly gift, His Son Jesus. With Jesus all the other gifts, all the other stuff, is put into perspective of your life with God for eternity.
I know that I want Christmas; God picked it out special for me.
Christmas Eve Service
6:00pm Carols at Alpine Elementary School
6:30pm Christmas Eve Mass at Alpine Elementary School
Christmas Day
9:30am Christmas Day Mass at Victoria House
11:00am Set up for Christmas Day Community Dinner at Alpine Community Center
11:30am Carols & Noon Dinner
10 Minute Teaching & Sunday Sermons Online
The first of our video recordings is now online. You can watch the video at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4640895686160729028 The sermon should be posted by the weekend. Thanks to Gavin for requesting the leap in technology!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas: Sharing the Gift



"Keep Christ in Christmas" and "He's the Reason for the Season" are just two of the popular phrases to combating the secularization of the Birth of Jesus Christ. At least in some stores you're now wished a Merry Christmas instead of the flat Happy Holidays. But for Christians we need to remember that Christmas is about the Gift and sharing the Gift. Not the presents left under the tree. The Gift is the Christ Child--God's love made visible in our world in our mortal flesh.


The Christmas season (Advent to Epiphany) is our opportunity to Give Christ. We decorate our homes and our churches, prepare special meals, and play Christmas music. We sense that most people around us are trying to get into the Christmas Spirit. So if we want to truly combat secularism our task of first importance is to bring others to see the Christ Child.


Our Church, like many others will be having a Christmas Dinner. Many will invite those in their community to come to dinner. Ours will actually be on Christmas Day at noon. But the real opportunity we have is not providing music, prayer, a meal, and conversation with those who come from the community and how we witness Christ's love to them. Our real opportunity is to invite someone, to come help. They want to be part of the giving to others that goes beyond the material gifts. When you invite them to come with you to help at Christmas Dinner, you are asking them to help you, to be part of the Christmas Spirit, and to give the Gift of Service.


Share this Christmas in following the Servant Christ. ASK your neighbor or co-worker, Can you and your family come help serve Christmas Dinner to the Community. Give them a Gift of seeing the Christ Child, God's love being manifest to this world.

Invite someone to come and help you this Christmas Day. Allow them to help make something for the meal. Do let us know so we can plan on setting extra places at the table. The Location is the Alpine Community Center. Call or eMail Alice or Dru who are coordinating the food.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Dec 4, 2008 "As We Forgive" A lesson from Rwanda

As We Forgive
While I have heard of the genocide of 1 Million Rwandans which occurred in 100 days in 1994, I was unaware that it was neighbor on neighbor and not tribal conflict. Imagine it was your neighbors, the people on your street, and those who you knew. I really couldn't imagine the depth of the impact on everyday life.
Last night I was blessed in seeing the Best Documentary winner of the 2008 Student Academy Awards film "As We Forgive." Laura Waters Hinson, the Director, spoke and answered questions afterward. She is an Anglican from the Washington DC area and had 30 days to document the courageous effort of Christians to forgive and bring forgiveness to hurting people.
Unlike watered down "Christianity" of our Western culture, the Rwandanese forgiveness is being brought to those who confess their sins. In our culture we rarely see the shame, the guilt, and the brokenness in the lives of those who are willing to admit their sin. The few surviving members of families killed in the genocide are paralyzed in their anger, fear, and the inability of any meaningful justice for these murders.
The blessing for me was to see the need for a return of God's peace in these broken lives and Christians working to bring the power of God's forgiveness into these lives. In responding to a victim's family member, the murderer could only respond, "Lord, have mercy" knowing his pleading was not enough. But the grace of God is transforming lives. The Rwandan bishop said, "Transformation is our life as Christians."
With all the horror, the pain, the devastation, this is a film about hope. Hope for individuals, for communities, and a Christian nation. For a poor country rebuilding the roads, the buildings, and the houses was the easy part. And for a wealthy nation like ours, how are we entering into the ministry of reconciliation?
Take the time to watch the 2 minute trailer As We Forgive.

FreeTeenGuitarClass Gives Thanks

The FTGC students helped provide music for the Alpine Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service. The guitarists were joined by the musicians of Bethel Christian Assembly. It was great having Bass, Drums, and Keyboard!

The FTGC will be playing at Alpine Anglican Church of the Blessed Trinity on Sunday, December 7th. On Saturday, December 13th they'll be playing Christmas music before the theatre presentation of "A Journey through Christmas" at the Pine Valley Bible Camp Worthington Hall. The play features several of the Barrett kids and Jack Arnold. The music starts at 7pm & the play starts at 7:30pm.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

July 3, 2008-Thursday

Independence Weekend Edition




Awesome Concert in the Park



The FTGC provided some great music to get folks ready for the Marine Corp Band--San Diego. We were thrilled to have Sargent Aaron volunteer to play drums for our 45 minute set. Sgt. Aaron is interested in playing with us for some of our future performances. While the "Alpine Sun" newspaper didn't print the review article or a picture from the concert, we have some great coverage on http://www.freeteenguitarclass.com/ with pictures from our various photographers.



This Sunday the FTGC will be providing music for our worship service and following the service and snacks we'll be showing the Video on the Big Screen and with the Sound System. I'm looking forward to seeing the concert from the other side of the stage. Next week we'll add some video to the website. If you haven't taken a look at the website in a while it has a new look and we're adding a Guitarist page for each of our performers.




July 4th Crown Hills Parade



Alpine Anglican will have serveral vehicles in the Independence Day parade. We'll be joined by a number of friends who will be riding in or on the Fire Truck or the various military vehicles. The FTGC will be playing some favorites from the Troop Transport. After the parade we'll have a picnic in the Park. The Staging area will be at the Park (9:15am); the Parade starts at 10:00am in Crown Hills; and we'll be back to the Park for the picnic at 11:15am.



If you can't make tomorrow's parade, you still have a chance to bring some friends to be part of the Descanso Parade on July 12th (10:00am) or Pine Valley Parade on July 26th (9:00am).



Global Anglican Future Conference & Alpine Anglican



While Alpine Anglican wasn't at the historic meeting in Jerusalem last week, Alpine Anglican Church of the Blessed Trinity is living out the Gospel faith in cooperation with Anglicans worldwide. What does that really mean in our local situation?

We are part of the formation of a new Anglican Province for North America. However, in our working together, it already exists. The formal recognition has been called for at the world meeting of Primates, but we are living in unity of faith and practice with Anglican in Southern California and around the world. Anglican isn't just a name you tack on to the name of your church, it is lived and practiced. And it is rarely easy or popular.

So how is Alpine Anglican Church of the Blessed Trinity part of the worldwide fellowship of Anglicans? 1. In our bishop, "where the bishop is, there is the Church." Our Diocese of the West participated in GAFCON as Bishop Boyce was asked to participate. Bishop Boyce is committed to leading us live out Jesus' call for us to be one. 2. We associate, make fellowship with others who uphold the Christian faith and practice. We're a Forward In Faith NA parish (which had 7 delegates at GAFCON). Our larger organization, the Anglican Province of America is merging with the Reformed Episcopal Church which are both in full communion and interchange of ministers with the largest Anglican Church in the world (the Anglican Church of Nigeria). We are represented in the Federation of Anglican Churches in America through the Anglican Province of America, Forward in Faith NA, and the Reformed Episcopal Church) and each of these organization is part of the Common Cause Partnership which is the organization the Primates are looking to recognize in North America. Locally, we have associated with the various Anglican parishes of Southern California known as Western Anglicans which relates directly to the Common Cause Partnership.
But what do all these names really mean to us, our fellowship? We are standing in unity of faith with those who believe in the historic faith and practice we recieved as Anglicans. In our associations we clearly stand for the plain Scriptural teachings on the Christian sacrament of marriage being between one man and one woman as a life long union. This affirms the appropiate place to express our sexuality is in marriage, and we reject our leaders to be engaged in sex outside of marriage, multiple marriages (serial or simultaneous). It is unfortnate when any Christian is not a wholesome witness to Christian living, but it is a scandal when leaders fail. Yes, the world notices those in our leadership.

Unfortunately, Anglicans have not done a great job in making these teachings clearly understood. The fact that it hasn't been adequately taught. We hear of clergy in positions of leadership while living contrary to scriptural teaching. Our sister churches in the Global South are challenging us in North America to take more seriously the nature of Christian marriage. In most of Anglicanism a divorced and remarried clergyman is just not permitted as it damages the Christian witness. Yes, it is hard to hear in our multiple marriage society!

Likewise, it is uncomfortable or unpopular as the 2008 Assembly of Forward In Faith has asked the Common Cause Partnership to enact a moratorium and biblical study on women in the sacrament of holy orders. The majority of the Common Cause Partnership does not ordain women to holy orders as a matter of scriptural teaching. It is fundamental for Anglicans to understand the teaching of Holy Scripture, in marriage, in holy orders, in all areas of our Christian Life.

Living out the Christian Life is not static, we will continue, not to redefine the Truth (to redefine God's revelation), but to live out that life in Jesus Christ where He is Lord. The dynamic is we are God's creatures; we are to be changed to reflect the glory of God. Taking up our Cross is about asking our Lord and Savior to work that change in us, to conform us to His Reality.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

20080626
CA Marriage Amendment


The Fall ballot amendment to the California constitution is a matter of affecting reasonable loving Christians and our religious rights! The infringement has started already. San Diego County Clerk, Greg Smith, is now forcing the clerks to violate their religious convictions. Earlier Smith pledged to accomidate the religious beliefs of the deputy clerks who didn't want to perform same-sex "marriages." But when 14 of the 30 deputies normally assigned to that duty wanted to opt out, Smith is forcing 14 deputy clerks to participate or find another job. Glen Lavy of the Alliance Defense Fund said, "The federal Constitution protects religious freedom in the First Amendment--that is our first liberty." [quoted in http://www.onenewsnow.com/]
To redefine "marriage" to include same-sex couples is to make it a "protected class" which will afford all of the non-discrimination resources opening the door to litigation of Christians who will not be afforded "easy accomidation" of our Christian belief and practice. We need to understand that redefining "marriage" to include same-sex couples is an attack upon Christian belief and practice.
More information is available at http://www.protectmarriage.com/


Be Part of the Joyful Noise unto the Lord!


Our Free Teen Guitar Class has been reaching out. We need you to make this Summer a real mission of our congregation. Our Band is performing at the Concert in the Park on June 29th at 5pm in the Alpine Community Park (1830 Alpine Blvd). Bring friends and neighbors to meet your church friends. Plan on some food and bring a cooler--You know it will be hot! The music and the weather! Don't wait make actual plans to get them to the Park. Bring some extra snacks for the FTGC parents and their families and get them to sit with you and your friends. Many of the parents will be wearing their Roadie T-shirts. Make a point of wearing one of your Alpine Anglican shirts. This is an opportunity to let people see Anglo-Catholics have more fun!



A new Free Teen Guitar Class will begin on Wednesday, July 9th! Spread the word, tell people your church is doing a really cool thing, Giving Free Guitar Lessons. How nice to hear of a church not trying to raise money or doing things for themselves, but doing something for others that they might see God's love in action. For more information give them the church phone 619.722.1772 or send them to http://www.freeteenguitarclass.com/.



Be part of the Summer Parades


Get your neighbor or co-workers to bring their kids to ride in a Fire Truck at one of our parade events. Crown Hills--Alpine July 4th at 10am. Descanso--Saturday, July 12th at 10am. Pine Valley--Saturday, July 26th at 9am. We'll have a picnic after the July 4th parade.



Making a difference


One of our goals at Alpine Anglican is to spend 50% of what we recieve on work outside our congregation! Its not about buildings or the priest's salary or newspaper ads--Its about making Jesus Christ known to those we meet. We aren't there yet, but you'll notice 'We don't do fund raising.' We give when a worthwhile project is "making Jesus Christ known." We give from the heart.



Bishop Boyce let us know that Saint Andrew's Academy (this prepatory school in the Mount Lassen area, North-Western CA, is part of our diocese) is having some difficulty with the economic down turn. We had one of their teachers visit us last year and their choir has sung at Provincial Synod. These students are being trained to be leaders in the best of the Anglican tradition. These children are a bright part of our future! We are challenging the other congregations to join us in helping this vital ministry.



Prayer Team Updates


Do you want to know when your prayers have been requested? You can automatically get an update of the http://blessedtrinityprayerteam.blogspot.com/. Navigate to the prayer page and try Control+J (Microsoft Internet Explorer on later versions). This way I know when new requests are made. I've put the Prayer Blog into my desktop RSS feed so I'll be able to see the latest changes and be reminded everytime I go to my desktop.










Thursday, May 29, 2008

May 29, 2008 First Edition

Welcome to the Alpine Anglican Thurday Evening News!

Newsboys Concert
Several of our teenagers went to the Spirit West Coast Music Festival on Friday night at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Alex Springer, Jack Arnold, and Ryan Howell saw three bands, including the Newsboys (see photo with Jack & Ryan in the foreground). The Newsboys are the top Christian band. While the rain may have dampened the Captain Crunch it was a great show with great music. We'll plan on scheduling more concert trips in the coming months.

Shakespeare and Young Actors
This Saturday night your invited to attend a 35 minute adaptation of Twelfth Night. We have two actors participating in the production, Elizabeth Barrett & Jackson Arnold. This is a free performance at the Pine Valley Clubhouse (on Old Hwy 80 just past Major's Coffee Shop/Diner) this Saturday, May 31 at 7 PM. The Director has extensive experience at the Old Globe Theatre as well as UCSB and UCSD, and this is the first homeschool theatre group in Pine Valley history. Alpine Anglican is sponsoring the production's costumes and props.

Free Teen Guitar Class provides worship music
This Sunday, June 1 at 8:20 AM the FTGC students will be performing as they provide Alpine Anglican with music for the worship service. The Service begins at 8:30 AM, but the music start 10 minutes before the service. http://www.freeteenguitarclass.com/ offers teenagers free guitar lessons and opportunities to perform in the East County of San Diego.

This week's prayer requests
Ben Lizak has request thanksgiving after his angeoplasty, return home today, & continued healing.
Safety for this week's travellers: The Huber Family, Betsy & Maryanne Lane, Jan Macauley & Steph, and Ashley Welter.
From the heart
"It is best for us to begin with first and greatest principle, that is with God the Creator...and to show that there is nothing above him or beyond him," writes Irenaeus.