2022 Sun Sept 4

Plastics Polluton

Plastics are present in furniture, construction materials, cars, appliances, electronics and countless other things. According to the New York Times, the main cause for the increase in plastic production is the rise of plastic packaging. In 2015 packaging accounted for 42% of non-fiber plastic produced. That year, packaging also made up 54% of plastics thrown away.

Plastic pollution is now recognized as a hazard to public health and the human body

Chemicals leached from some plastics used in food/beverage storage are harmful to human health. Correlations have been shown between levels of some of these chemicals, and an increased risk of problems such as chromosomal and reproductive system abnormalities, impaired brain and neurological functions, cancer, cardiovascular system damage, adult-onset diabetes, early puberty, obesity and resistance to chemotherapy.

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Season of Creation, 2022

The burning bush is the Symbol for the Season of Creation 2022. Today, the prevalence of unnatural fires are a sign of the devastating effects that climate change has on the most vulnerable of our planet. Human greed, desertification and land misuse lead to the disintegration of ecosystems, the destruction of habitats, and the loss of livelihoods and species at an alarming rate. Creation cries out as forests crackle, animals flee, and people are forced to migrate due to the fires of injustice that we have caused.

On the contrary, the fire that called to Moses as he tended the flock on Mt. Horeb did not consume or destroy the bush. This flame of the Spirit revealed God’s presence. This holy fire affirmed that God heard the cries of all who suffered, and promised to be with us as we followed in faith to our deliverance from injustice. In this Season of Creation, this symbol of God’s Spirit calls us to listen to the voice of creation.

May this 2022 Season of Creation renew our ecumenical unity, renewing and uniting us by our bond of Peace in one Spirit, in our call to care for our common home. And may this season of prayer and action be a time to Listen to the Voice of Creation, so that our lives in words and deeds proclaim good news for all the Earth.

Dr. William P. Brown of Columbia Theological seminary wrote the following about creation care. “The fundamental mandate for creation care comes from Genesis 2:15, where God places Adam in the garden to “till it and keep it…” Human “dominion” as intended in Genesis is best practiced in care for creation, in stewardship, which according to Genesis Noah fulfills best by implementing God’s first endangered species act.”

Keys to the Season of Creation

For centuries, our theology our theology has focused on relationship with God and our human relationships with one another. The Season of Creation focuses God’s relationship with all creation and with our relationship with creation (and with God through creation). It highlights our role in understanding and addressing address the ecological problems we face today as a part of God’s creation.

“Imagine a great circle. God encircles everything else in this circle.

Inside the circle is a second circle, and that circle is us. We human beings encircle the rest of creation, at the center of the circle. Look at the word, earth. If you move the letter “h” from the back of this word to the front, the word “earth” becomes the word “heart.”

We are going to look at 6 keys to the Season of Creation

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Sermon, Season of Creation 1, Sept. 4, 2022

Sermon, Proper 18, Year C Season of Creation I 2022

We are no strangers to counting the cost of things. 

In these days of high food prices, I see people going through the grocery store, calculators in hand, counting the cost of items on the shelves before placing those things in their grocery carts. 

A person who is buying a car counts the cost of driving the  car under consideration over time, considering gas mileage, the inevitable upkeep and repair charges, the cost of new tires, and insurance costs. 

Many people count the costs of having children  before deciding to have children. 

Buying or building or renting a house—what will the cost be? 

I don’t know about you, but I get put off by what Jesus has to say in today’s gospel, when he tells the crowds who are traveling with him that if they expect to be his disciples, they must count the cost.

Jesus says that the costs of discipleship include our possessions, our families, and even life itself. 

These costs don’t make sense to rational, sensible people who work hard for what they have, love their families, and treasure their life here on this earth and, in addition, as followers of Jesus use all of what they have for good purposes.

But for dreamers, who often seem to lack sense and to be irrational, these demands of Jesus make perfect sense, 

because dreamers can see beyond what is to what might be. 

Dreamers are willing to pay any cost, no matter how high,  to realize the dream.   

Jesus himself was a dreamer.  He dreamed of bringing God’s kingdom of love to earth.  Jesus lived as if his dream were already a reality. 

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Sunday links, Pentecost 13, Sept. 4, 2022

Presentation from Victoria School in Jamaica

Sept. 4, 11:00am – Holy Eucharist

Season of Creation, Sept 1 – Oct. 4

  • Zoom link for Sept. 4 Meeting ID: 869 9926 3545 Passcode: 889278
  • Bulletin, Sept. 4, 2022
  • Lectionary for Sept. 4, 2022, Pentecost 12
  • Sermon, Sept. 4, 2022

  • All articles for Sept. 4, 2022
  • This Week

  • Ecumenical Bible Study, Wed, Sept. 7, 10am-12pm. Reading lectionary of Sept. 11
  • Thurs, Sept 8, 3pm Parish House Tea to welcome Alice Hughes
  • Pentecost 13, Year C, September 4, 2022

    I. Theme – Exploring the meaning of discipleship and commitment.

      

    "Climb That Hill"

    The lectionary readings are here or individually:  

    First Reading – Deuteronomy 30:15-20
    Psalm – Psalm 1
    Epistle – Philemon 1-21
    Gospel – Luke 14:25-33 

    Today’s readings explore the meaning of discipleship and commitment. In Deuteronomy , Moses challenges God’s people to “choose life” by remaining faithful to God. In his personal letter to Philemon, Paul disarms the slaveholder’s authority by bidding him to receive the slave as a dear brother. In today’s gospel, Jesus describes a disciple as one who knows the cost and is willing to make a radical surrender to Christ.

    The Gospel says, "Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple."

    Hate our parents? Reject our spouses? Deny our children? The traditional hyperbole of today’s gospel may have been designed to separate the serious followers from the crowd. Whenever huge throngs gather, we can assume a variety of motives. Did they follow Jesus from curiosity, hope for healing, need for security, peer pressure or self-interest? He dispels all motives but one: radical commitment to a way of life that carries an exorbitant cost.

    The final verse of today’s gospel reading (Luke 14:33) reiterates Luke’s concern that possessions might be an obstacle to Christian commitment. His concern can be interpreted in many ways. Jesus was addressing people who didn’t have any possessions, so why would it pose a problem to them? Luke Johnson argues in The Gospel of Luke that the language of possessions is symbolic, referring not so much to wealth (which can be used for good or ill) as to attitudes. Jesus wants vulnerable people, ready to surrender their assumptions and find a new identity in him. On the other hand, he rejects those who cling to comfortable ideas and who resist transformation.

    Yet to over-emphasize symbolism would blunt the evangelist’s sharp social criticism. He wrote for a wealthy community, or for well-to-do Gentiles concerned that conversion might mean grave economic loss. He challenged them to continue Jesus’ welcome to the economically poor and to work for a reversal of the social order that would bring justice to all.

    While Luke does not offer a definite answer to the problem of possessions, he suggests a direction that is fleshed out in Paul’s letter to Philemon. There we find a concrete example of the radical commitment Jesus demanded. Paul has the audacity to ask a slave owner to give up a costly possession; in this case, a human being. Furthermore, he invites a shift in attitude: that Philemon see Onesimus not as slave but as brother. His plea combines both elements of Luke’s message: relinquishment of possessions, change of heart. If we have the courage to apply the message to our own lives, we probably respond with an honest “Ouch.”

    There are other thoughts about living a life according to God.  There are two ways to live: to live into God’s ways, or to live into the way of the wicked. It is clear in the Scriptures that the way of the wicked is to abandon God. Do we abandon God in exchange for a set of rigorous rules? Do we abandon God in exchange for worldly success, comfort and wealth? Do we abandon God to be around people who think, look and act like us, where we are comfortable? Or do we seek God’s ways, which are not always easy but are often hard—to be among people who are different, to be open to learning new ways of thinking, to stand against war, injustice, and poverty? One way is more straightforward and easy, but serves ourselves. The other way is harder, but serves others, and is concerned about the whole community—the whole kingdom—the whole reign of God.

    Read more…

    Ordinary Time, Sept 4- Luke 14:25-33 – The Cost and Benefits of Discipleship

    Climb that Hill

    Here is the passage


    This is at least the third time Jesus has said something provocative. Jesus makes a statement in 12:51 about not bringing peace. Also consider his actions on the sabbath in 13:11. Now another teaching moment on the cost of discipleship.

    Picture yourself in the crowd following Jesus. You can only see his back. Occasionally, he turns around to deliver a difficult saying, almost as if daring people to continue following him. Yes, he is probably trying to reduce the crowd by making the way harder than it is now. Jesus is beginning to sense the "all" that lies ahead for him personally (betrayal and denial by his closest companions, followed by false arrest, torture, and brutal execution). He is trying to find the genuine seeker.

    This text begins and ends with an "all or nothing" injunction about following Jesus, with two practical illustrations in between.

    a.  introductory statement (25)

    b. "hating" family members (26) // Mt 10:37; Th 55:1; 101:1-3

    c.  bearing one’s cross (27) // Mt 10:38; Mk 8:34; Mt 16:24; Lk 9:23; Th 55:2

    d.  tower builder (28-30) –illustration 1 no parallels

    e.  warrior king (31-32) –illustration 2 no parallels

    f.   renouncing all possessions (33) no parallels

    Jesus has three demands three demands or renunciations:
    Read more…

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