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The Chalice
Friday, May 06 2022

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The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:

thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever (Psalm 23 KJV).

I ask you to listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd. Maybe you are like Thomas and ask, “How can we know the sound of your voice?” One way to hear the voice of the shepherd is to align your mission with our Anglican Mission. The Five Marks of Mission are:

  • To proclaim the Good News of the kingdom of God.
  • To teach, baptize and nurture new believers.
  • To respond to human need by loving service.
  • To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind, and to pursue peace and reconciliation.
  • To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the Earth.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer has been one of my favorite theologians because he loved the Lord and followed the Good Shepherd. He wrote about the beatitudes and helping the poor and oppressed. He challenged those who where doing evil to others. Unlike many Christians that kept silent during the Nazi reign, Bonhoeffer gave his life to try and stop Hitler. The Quakers heard the voice of the Shepherd and spoke up against slavery when most churches were silent. They stood up for a group of people that had no money nor power and therefore had no voice. God calls those with a voice to stand up for those who have no voice. The White Supremacy movement, as of late is very disconcerting. The Racial Reconciliation and Social Justice Committee at St. John’s urges you to join us in the next section of Sacred Ground. The Episcopal Church, the Diocese of Long Island, and the congregation of St. John’s have all committed to the long term work of transforming unjust structures and promoting racial reconciliation in our community. I believe that the Good Shepherd calls us to this work and I hope that you will participate in this ministry. I for one will not be silent about our need in America for racial reconciliation. Who in the church will stand up with me and speak the truth against the hate mongers in our midst?

Another way to hear the voice of the Shepherd is through creation. God created every living thing and everything in the universe. I like to garden with my wife. This month we will begin a unit on creation care. We will try and improve the way we care for creation. We will assemble a green team that will gather recommendations for both St. John’s and individuals. More people hear the voice of God in nature than in churches. We will invite Rev. Matthew Moore to preach on July 17th and he will speak as the Missioner of Environmental Justice in the Diocese of Long Island.

Last weekend we confirmed, received and gave first communion to many of our children, youth, and adults. We will continue to teach children and have baptisms. Please pray for Christine and our teachers and bring your kids to Sunday school at 9:45 on Sunday mornings. It takes a whole village to raise a child. This week our confirmands will decide where the money collected last weekend will go to support mission and outreach per our bishop.

We will continue to respond to human need by helping the homeless through HIHI, helping families in need through laundry love, donating to charities through our ECW, and helping others through our Thrift Shop. Please drop off some cloths, buy a raffle ticket, or visit us on Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Saturdays.

In Christ’s love,

Fr. Duncan

Posted by: Rev. Duncan A. Burns AT 12:56 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email