Celebrate your Easter with a service at St. James! Alleluia, Christ is Risen!
Saturday, March 31 at 7:30 PM Easter Vigil and Holy Eucharist
Sunday, April 1 at 10:00 AM Flowering of the Cross (bring flowers from your garden!)
at 10:30 AM Easter Service with Festal Holy Eucharist
Continue your Spiritual Journey by joining us for special services this Holy Week!
Monday, March 26 at 6:30 PM Holy Eucharist of the Reconciliation
Tuesday, March 27 at 6:30 PM Holy Eucharist of the Renewal
Wednesday, March 28 at Noon Healing Service with Holy Eucharist
at 6:30 PM Tenebrae Service (no Holy Eucharist)
Thursday, March 29 at 6:30 PM Maundy Thursday with Holy Eucharist, Foot washing & Stripping the Altar
Friday, March 30 at 8:00 AM Morning Prayer
at Noon Stations of the Cross
at 6:00 PM Stations of the Cross
at 6:30 PM Good Friday Service with Holy Eucharist
Saturday, March 31 at Noon Holy Saturday Liturgy at the Columbarium (in the Chapel)
In short, “run, hide, or fight.” I have participated in several training sessions on how to respond to an “active shooter.” This is a difficult topic to deal with in church, but we all know that such things happen in churches and, at the same time, we have some reluctance to talk about what to do. They happen in schools, too, so even our young children are familiar with the possibility and with what to do in the event of a “lock-down.” Conversations are ongoing among several members of our parish about preparing a plan to deal with mitigating this threat (and other risks as well). The following points will serve as an initial plan of response that should improve our chances of survival.
First, when you become aware that someone is shooting, run. During any emergency, most people run to the door through which they entered. That door might be blocked by the shooter or it might be blocked by other people trying to run. It is best to always notice all of the exits whenever entering a building or room—make a habit of it. In our worship space, there is an exit to the left of the lectern at the bottom of the stairs. It opens to the north and the parking lot. Run north and scatter between the houses. Another exit is to the right of the pulpit. It opens to the south. You will need to turn the deadbolt above the doorknob. Get in touch with 911. If you are being shot at while running, don’t run in a straight line. It is much harder to hit a moving target than a stationary one, so your chances of survival have improved just because you are moving.
Second, if you cannot run away, then hide. Find a closet, utility room, or other space. If the shooter has to go looking for people, then his rate of killing has slowed and more people are likely to survive. If you have gone into another room, such as the conference room in the church office or the gift shop, consider barricading the door. If the shooter comes to that door, then jump out the windows. All of our windows are new and easy to open. The sliding part, after opening, can be lifted out. You might break some bones, but students at Virginia Tech who did this survived.
Third, if the first two options are not possible, then fight. How in the world can unarmed people resist a man with a firearm? The point is to slow down the shooter’s rate of killing until the police arrive. Episcopalians are especially well armed in this regard. Throw prayer books and hymnals at him. If many people do this then he will not murder as many people in a given amount of time. This might sound like a sure way to die, and some will, but all of the mass shootings have shown that just hiding under a desk or pew will result in getting shot. The Virginia Tech shooter even put targets in rows on the ground and was observed slowly walking by and shooting each one, which is exactly what he did to the students who tried to take cover under their desks. If you fight and slow down his rate of killing, your chances of survival have improved and you have improved the chances of others too.
“Duck and cover” is precisely the wrong thing to do. “Run, hide, or fight.”
I recommend this excellent and brief article from the Wall Street Journal.
November 2017 bulletins and newsletters at St. Peter & All Saints Episcopal Church, Kansas City, MO
Wednesday, February 28th was our first Lenten Wednesday soup supper and Contemplative Mass. That’s because of the weather the week before. We had 30 people for the soup supper, study on Compassion, and then the Contemplative Mass. It was a beautiful celebration of community, study, and worship.
We are now in the season of Lent. It is a time for a deeper look into our lives, and make necessary changes from within. Sometimes the changes we make are small and simple, but the impact they may have in our lives is greater and powerful. For example, taking a cup of coffee or tea or a glass of water on a regular basis may not sound like a big thing. But doing it at the same time on a regular basis will form a ritual, which will span into the rest of our lives.
We all need rituals of some sort to help us calm us in a chaotic world. Rituals have the power to settle us into some routines that sometimes we take comfort in when everything else goes haywire. So, finding that ritual is a big deal and makes that happen on a regular basis makes it even more transformative.
We are blessed with a community with rituals and practices of faith. Every time I think of church I think of the Holy Trinity. When I have trouble understanding what Trinity is, I now look into what church is. That’s because I think of Trinity as a community just the same way I look at the church.
Do I understand what church is? Nope. Not all the time. It is hard to understand all that happens in a community, but at the same time once we become part of the community on a regular basis we find the community of believers formative, transformational and at the same time challenging. Church will call us to look into ourselves deeper and harder if we are honest with ourselves.
So my call to you today is, *be part of your worshipping community.* The church is a place where we truly find ourselves. It is only then we will find God. Until we see who we are, we may not find who God is. God is always and will always be present in the community. The mystery of Trinity can be solved. It’s not that hard. *It’s a matter of letting God find us in the community. *
We are right around the corner from the manger of Christ. We are eager to know what this new season brings to us and what can we be excited about. The birth of Christ and all the celebration that goes with it, in reality, is all about new life. We all love new life, and we all can put away those moments of darkness and depression behind and rejoice. Human beings love stress free, happy and joyful moments.
I want to wish you a merry, blessed Christmas. I want to tell you; we are in a new and exciting time in the life of St. James. We are growing and changing. We are becoming new every day. Christ is among us, and I want to encourage you to experience the Lord in the community. Belong and Believe!
We will launch a new website on Christmas morning. I had been working on this site for two months. We will announce the easy to remember address on Christmas Morning! I also want to share with you of the several new programs coming in 2018: Four new worship services each month, contemplative retreats through the year, musical offerings at various times in the year, Christian formation activities and more. There is now, even more, a reason for people to come to St. James and belong. We will provide more opportunities for those who are seeking a non-invasive, spiritually abundant community to belong. I need your help to spread the word. Share our new website with your friends, on Facebook and with those who are seeking a new community.
Once again a blessed and joyful Christmas. May the choicest blessings of the Little Child of the manger be upon you and your family.