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Our Family, Our Future

A free seminar & resource fair on healthy parenting & relationships

Presented by ALLICE Alliance for Community Empowerment

In collaboration with Seton Medical Center & Thomasians USA

1:00 – 3:30 p.m., Saturday, June 25, 2011

Holy Child & St. Martin Episcopal Church

777 Southgate Avenue, Daly City, CA 94015

Family & health service providers will be present to address questions.

Free blood pressure & body mass index check by Kaiser Permanente FilAm Association.

Free raffle drawing.

Refreshments will be served.

EMCEES: Lloyd Lacuesta, KTVU Channel 2 News South Bay Bureau Chief

Kristine Zafrani Averilla, Allice Kumares/Kumpares Vice President

SPEAKERSHon. Marciano Paynor, Jr., Philippine Consul General

Hon. Carol Klatt, Mayor of Daly City

Kumare Nellie Hizon, Vice Chair, SF Archdiocesan Pastoral Council

Kaakbay Mariterie Adams, President, ECW, HCSM

With the survivor testimony of Edna Murray, mother and stage performer

Special father-daughter musical presentation by

Michael Clements and Michelle Martinez

This is for you our beloved community. Come, we need your support

 

RESOURCE PROVIDER

 Kaiser South San Francisco, PBRC, FALEO, PNANC,

 Health Plan of San Mateo, FMHI, API, PAUW-USA, AARS,

Bayshore Child Services, Bay Area Legal Aide, PCRC, YFES

 Alice Bulos, Bettina Santos Yap, Cherie Querol Moreno, Edna Murray, Elsa Agasid,

 Erlinda Galeon, Jei Africa, Jennifer Jimenez Wong, Joanne del Rosario,

 Kristine Zafrani Averilla, Lina Susbilla, Lorraine Canaya, Malou Aclan, Mark Reburiano, Nellie Hizon, Paulita Malay, Randy Caturay, Robert Uy, Sarah Jane Ilumin, Susan Roxas

Trinity Sunday/Father’s Day/HCSM 18th anniversary

Trinity Sunday/Father’s Day/HCSM anniversary                                  

HCSM, June 19, 2011

The Rev. Leonard Oakes

The beauty and joy of last Sunday’s celebration of Pentecost with The Rev. Dr. Fred Vergara, are still alive and fresh in my heart. Thank you all for sharing the presence of the Holy Spirit in our midst that day. The Holy Spirit surely continues to be present among us even now and until the end of the ages. And that is the gift of the Loving Father who said he is not going to leave us orphaned or abandoned but through His Son, we are restored to a relationship with Him and He has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us and unite us into all truth until that time comes when we all come together to that undiscovered country from whose Bourne to traveler returns, that house not made by hands eternal in the heavens.

The story is told about two long-lost classmates sharing stories about their lives and loves. One of the ladies said: “I married a librarian and a vegetarian. Everything was fine, till he became ‘trinitarian’—me, him and another woman. That’s when he became mysterious, hard to catch and understand. That’s when all our troubles began.”

Today is Trinity Sunday. Troubles begin when most preachers find the topic of Trinity to be hard to explain hence they end up sharing about other topics. Thanks be to God for father’s day and in our occasion, the church anniversary.

 But I wouldn’t like to leave that topic unattended, so all I could say about our faith in the Trinity is, there are many truths we cannot figure out nor understand with our minds. The mystery of the Trinity is one of them. But then, a lot of truths need not be understood by the mind but with the heart, and with faith like that of a child. There are a lot of unknowns and question marks we encounter in life. If so, do we give up, and conclude that life is incomplete and absurd, and open ourselves to cynicism and doubts? Precisely because life is incomplete, we need faith. We need belief. We need commitment. We need trust.

Even if the Trinity is a mystery that is hard to understand, it is a beautiful mystery! It invites us to a life of union and love with God. Other religions speak of a God who commands homage, but the Christian God invites people to a personal relationship with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The best way to approach the mystery of the Trinity is by way of humility. That is the starting point. As we go deeper into the mystery, may we meet gratitude along the way. And as we take the road of gratitude, may it lead us to love. As we encounter and experience deeply the Trinity, may we become more humble, more grateful and more loving persons!

Let the Trinitarian spirit of reaching out and self-giving guide us. We all must go out of our comfort zones baptizing and reaching out to people in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit for God is with us until the end of ages. For us to move on, we must cross over from “us” and “they,” toward “we.”

A good question for all of us to ask ourselves today is: Am I a source of peace and unity? By my words and life, am I a plus or a minus factor toward peace and unity? The outcome to this is the question: Am I a blessing or a burden for others? In other words, we must raise again the question whether this world became a better place because we passed by.

 Today is father’s day. It was said that behind all beautiful women are better men. May I request all the fathers and grandfathers, godfathers and surrogate fathers to please rise for recognition? Let us give a round of applause to all good and better fathers and grandfathers or any man who stands as a parent or guardian to our children. We salute these men for being the torch bearer of love of God and Family. Fathers who strive to uphold that torch and pass on to their children their traits, physical genes, hair color, eye color and size. Such torch also carries the flame of their spiritual and emotional DNA: Great Attitudes, good habits and impressive mind-sets. The passing of the torch becomes a tradition where our children will get to run a few laps and hand it to their children, and on and on. Every lap that we run with purpose, passion, and integrity is one more lap that can be used for good by those that come after us. In a sense, the laps we run will put future generations further down the road toward significance and success. Let us continue to pass a line better off than it was before. Let not selfishness, addictions, or bad habits diminish the light of the torch and your life. Let everything about our lives now to make it easier for those who will come after us.

As a father and a godfather, I took my son Joshua and my godsons who are now considered in the youth category to St. Dorothy’s Rest for the Asian Youth summer camp last Wednesday thru Friday. It was so good to be with nature and all of God’s creation. The youth enjoyed canoeing, and hiking and just being with other youths away from game cubes, x-box and televisions. It made me proud to be a parent. I know you also make your time and space to be with your family in places that would impress good memories in their minds of your lives together. Let us continue to uphold that family moments.

 It is also our church anniversary! It is our 18th year anniversary!!  Let us give ourselves a round of applause!! We have come this far with the Holy Spirit ever blessed us with His presence!! Look around you, inside and out. What do you see? Who do you see? How do you feel? I said to you in the beginning of our journey, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Fr. Vito Villalon and those who have gone before us are surely happy to see the fruit of their labors.

 We thank God for the many blessings he has given us in this holy place; the gift of friends, visitors, families and all. Thank God for the gifts of ministry, in-reach and in our out-reach programs. And in every miracle that happens in and around us, thank God.

Let me personally announce to you that at the last meeting of the bishop committee, the committee unanimously approved during my absence, that beginning July of this year, I will be your full time Vicar. Thank you all for your supports and prayers. My wife is more than willing to extend her services to the church in her capacities. Our children have become so active in every liturgical and outreach programs. I thank you for giving us the love. Now, let us share that to you and your families as well, with humility.

Let me just add that I intend to keep my Nursing License and my nursing skills up to date, hence, I will still visit patients in the fields who may need my presence, my love and care as part of my pastoral visits during my days off.

Last week, the bishop called me on the phone and said, “Leonard, I think Holy Child and St. Martin is ready to apply for parish status.” I asked him with great curiosity, “What made you think we can, bishop? You know that we don’t have a school or any other source of income to be able to sustain a parish.         ” He replied, “Your people have significantly increased and your givers are more inspired to support the church and her programs.” I said, “Thank you for the encouragements. I will certainly bring this up to the committee and the members and will continue to dream with positive results in the coming years.”

Let me tell you, that was a great challenge!! I couldn’t sleep. Negative thoughts try to flood my vision.      I am aware that such challenge entails a lot of prayers and good decisions. I can only think positive as I am always reminded by the words of St. Paul, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” I shared this to the Senior Warden and the Rev. Dr. Lynn and they smiled.

It is not impossible to dream. As the song goes “To dream the impossible dream, to touch the unreachable stars, And I know if we’ll only be true To this glorious quest That our heart will lie peaceful and calm” I know for certain that the love of God is with us, and if this is what He plans for, then let it be according to His will.

Let us keep a great vision with the Triune God being on our side. Let us always be inspired with the torch of life in the family and humble ourselves as we come together as a church, built with the very foundation of Faith with God, Hope in the resurrection and Love that surpasses all understanding as the basis of our being.

I greet you all again, happy Trinity Sunday, happy father’s day and happy church anniversary to all. Amen.

Life is a Sonata

“Life is a Sonata”

Last Sunday of Easter

John 17:1-11

June 5, 2011, HCSM

The Rev. Leonard Oakes

 

Whenever any official holiday falls on a Thursday, the following day will be considered a holiday too, thus extending the days off from work. That’s what we call sandwich holiday.

Today is what some in the liturgical world would refer to as the “Sandwich Sunday.” Such term was used in reference to the fact that this particular Sunday happens to be “Sandwiched” by two great feasts in the Christian year. Last Thursday was the Feast of the Ascension marking the 40th day after Christ’s resurrection. It being the last Sunday of Easter, we will then traditionally extinguish the Paschal candle to mark the beginning of Pentecost. Next Sunday, June 12th, is another great feast, the feast of the Pentecost, marking the 50th day after the resurrection as well as the day of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Next Sunday also, we will be graced by the presence of the Rev. Dr. Fred Vergara as our guest Preacher for the Philippine Independence Day celebration.

Of the two feasts, Pentecost is the highly celebrated one while the feast of the Ascension unfortunately rarely gets celebrated on its actual date of occurrence especially on smaller congregation like ours. While the feast of Ascension in over, we cannot really let it pass because such feast connects the dots of the grand plan of the whole story of the salvation theology. The Ascension cannot be forgotten. It must not be ignored. For without the Ascension, the death and resurrection of Jesus would carry far less value, if any, in the plan of redemption. It is this glorious Ascension that is the culmination of the atoning work of Christ, the guarantee of his promises, the proof of his claims, and the beginning of his dominion.

You see, we now arrived into the climax of the whole story of the book of salvation. Like a Sonata, it has forms where a song is first introduced, gradually exposed and developed until it reaches its climax then finally a recapitulation where the music is played again until it reaches the end.

At the beginning of the liturgical year, we are introduced to the liturgical cycle in the season of Advent where we await for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, and then the birth story is told and celebrated in Christmas. Shortly after that, we arrived to the season of Epiphany, as the exposition of the revelation of God in human form through Jesus Christ. It is gradually developed to the season of Lent as part of our deep search of our relationship with God and each other. The development extends to the Holy Week where we re-enact the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ. Then finally, we arrive to the climax in Easter where the true meaning of the grand plan is celebrated. A plan our Lord Jesus Christ has been telling his disciples even from the beginning of their encounter together; a plan that his disciples still cannot understand even after the resurrection.

In the Ascension story, Luke tells us that the disciples received from their risen Lord additional words of comfort and instructions, part of which was for them to remain in Jerusalem and wait for that which had been promised to them; the gift of the Holy Spirit. It wasn’t until Jesus Christ Ascended into heaven to seat at the right hand of the Father and finally sent the Holy Spirit of truth in the Season of Pentecost, that his disciples understood the grand plan of the salvation story. In the season of Pentecost, we wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ as he promised to go and prepare a place for us so that where he is, we may be also. This then comes the recapitulation part of the plan when we arrive to the same cycle until the end is reached when our Lord Jesus Christ will finally come back and the Kingdom of God is finally realized.

You see, we have been a part of this entire grand plan from the beginning. This Sonata, this song of redemption is about the Love of God for us. For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son as a sacrifice for us so that we may have everlasting life through him. These, therefore, we cannot let them pass and take for granted but rather take them in heart and be empowered by the Holy Spirit that we may be united just as Jesus Christ and the Father are one.

Did you realize that if there are seven last words of Jesus Christ, there is also the last prayer of Jesus Christ? You may well know by heart the Lord’s Prayer which Jesus Christ taught his disciples how to pray, but this one of the 17th chapter of the Gospel according to John is the most beautiful and meaningful prayer I have ever heard from our Lord Jesus Christ.

Some call this chapter the real Lord’s Prayer. Here, the Lord is in deep conversation with his Father in Heaven. Glorifying the Father always thinking and praying for us!!! “That they may be one just as I and you are one.” What a thoughtful and loving friend he is.

How is your prayer life? How’s life been treating you? Did you find life like a Sonata where there is a recapitulation of the good tidings you received? Or are you caught in the mud of life misery in the development process?

One day a preacher asked one of the congregation’s leaders to say a prayer in the service. That person stood up and began offering a prayer. As he prayed a guy on the back row yelled, “I can’t hear you.” The guy kept praying. The one on the back row yelled again, “I can’t hear you.” He kept praying and a third time the guy yelled, “Excuse me, I can’t hear you.” Finally the one praying stopped and turned to the man on the back row and said, “I wasn’t talking to you.”

Some Christians don’t think they need to pray. “Oh well, God already knows what I need and what I think and what I feel. I don’t need to tell Him.” My wife already knows I love her. I guess I don’t need to tell her. She knows I love her, but she still wants to hear it from me (Otherwise I won’t get it). In the same way the Father already knows what Jesus was going through. But Jesus felt the need to pray. If Jesus needed to pray, then we certainly need to pray!

If in the Lord’s Prayer we pray, “Our Father in Heaven, holy is your name, your kingdom come your will be done…” In the same manner Jesus begins this prayer, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.” Jesus’ first thought is God. You know some people seem to always talk about themselves. They focus on what others are thinking or feeling. Jesus’ first thought is God and God’s will and God being glorified. He is praying for himself, but that he would be faithful so that the Father’s will is done. Too many Christians think first of themselves, “what do I need; want do I want.”

Our attitude in prayer should be God centered, not self centered. Jesus is about to go through the worst ordeal a person could endure. Yet he focuses on God and God’s will. Yes we should pray in the face of trials. But our praying should be done in an attitude of humility before God.

Then finally, Jesus prayed for unity. I guess Jesus knew there would be divisions in the church. On every level Christians manage to divide themselves. We organize ourselves into theological factions and use labels like Liberal or Conservative or Evangelical or Charismatic. We divide ourselves into denominations: Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox… And even within congregations we make divisions between the young and the old and between people who like this ministry and those who liked that program, between those who voted yes and those who voted no,  between Miami  heat or Dallas Mavericks; Giants of Dodgers? Pacqiao or Mayweather?

But I don’t think Jesus wants us all to think and act alike. He made us different so that we could fulfill different purposes. A team has different groups. You might have the infield and the outfield. You might have the guards and the forwards. You might have the offensive line and the back field. But they are still part of the same team. We Christians may be different, but that doesn’t mean we should be divided.

Jesus prayed, so let us pray with him! We may go through some tough times as well as some wonderful times. Remember Jesus prayed for you and the Bible tells us that Jesus continues to intercede with the Father on our behalf.

Life is a Sonata, but let it be a song where its forms are guided with the Peace and Love of God and of His Son Jesus Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, so that when our time comes to meet God face to face, we may be able to say, “I have done with all my ability the things you wanted me to do, so here I am, please give me my room, I am tired and needing rest!!” “And Lord, please give me the one with a Spa.”

Amen.

HCSM June 2011 Events

June 12, 2011 at 10:30 A.M.

The Rev. Dr. Fred Vergara will celebrate Philippine Independence Day at Holy Child and St. Martin at the 10:30 A.M. Service. Come one, come all, learn about the culture and traditions of Filipinos. Come and taste the different Filipino foods and be entertained with filipino dances and songs.

 

June 25 at 1-3:30 P.M.

The ECW of Holy Child & St. Martin Episcopal Church Daly City Hosts:

“Our Family, Our Future” A free seminar and resource fair on healthy parenting and relationships presented by ALLICE Alliance for Community Empowerment in collaboration with Seton Medical Center & Thomasians USA.

Emcess: Lloyd Lacuesta, KTVU Channel 2 News Southbay Bureau Chief

Kristine Zafrani Averilla, Allice Kumares/Kumpares Vice President

Speakers: Hon. Marciano Paynor, Jr. Philippine Consul General

Hon. Carol Klatt, Mayor Daly City

Kumare Nellie Hizon, Vice Chair, SF ArchDiocesan Pastoral Council

Kaakbay Mariterie Adams, President, ECW HCSM

With the survivor testimony of Edna Murray, mother and stage performer

Special father-daughter musical presentation by Michael Clements and Michelle Martinez