Hope in Struggle:
Weekly Flame for Thursday, July 30, 2020
There is a remnant of God that lives and looks and speaks to the future in the minds of those who understand struggle; in the hearts of those who have dedicated their lives; in the hopes of the people for whom it is waged; in the fears of those against whom it is directed; and in the strength of those who will carry it out.
– The Right Rev’d Barbara C. Harris, Hallelujah Anyhow! A Memoir
This week I’ve been present to several conversations on the themes of beloved community, racial truth-telling, justice, and healing. As people have shared or reflected upon stories, I have felt the presence of the holy. The experience has reminded me once again of the power of storytelling to draw people together and to create new possibility and hope, even when speaking from out of painful experiences.
Earlier in the week, I and others in the St. Aidan’s and wider diocesan communities began participating in the wider Episcopal Church’s three-day “Becoming Beloved Community Now” gatherings. The days focused on truth, justice, and healing respectively. They were designed to bring together people engaged in antiracist work from across the Church, to build community and further equip us for this ministry in this moment. I was able to attend two out of the three days, and I’m glad to know that all three of the gatherings are still available to be viewed via the Episcopal Church’s Facebook page. The first video can be found here
. A video of yesterday’s gathering can be found here
. And you can access today’s gathering here
. The speakers included Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, President of the House of Deputies Gay Jennings, and lay and clergy leaders from across the Church. Today’s speakers included our own diocese’s Rev’d Eric Metoyer, who was recently called to be the rector of our neighbor parish St. Francis Episcopal Church in San Francisco. He spoke of what he described as an ongoing experience of healing from experiencing racism growing up in Vermont. Another speaker was the Honorable Byron Rushing, Vice President of the House of Deputies, who is now retired from his longtime work as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and who previously served as a community organizer. He spoke about the importance of listening and being willing to change direction in response to the needs of the community.
That spirit of listening was with us last evening as we began our four-week series on Bishop Barbara Harris’s memoir Hallelujah Anyhow. If you’re interested in jumping in and need help getting a copy of the book, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I love this book and want you to read it! As we discussed the first two chapters, we lingered on the quote with which I began, lifted up by one of our discussion participants. I was struck by it in part because earlier in the afternoon, during our COVID Connect Pastoral Care conversation, Deacon Margaret spoke about how important hope is right now. Not that hope hasn’t been important earlier in this pandemic, but that especially now, as August is around the corner and the fall is soon upon us, many are particularly reaching for hope as COVID stretches on with such resistant uncertainty. How can we remain grounded in hope even in the midst of ambiguous loss, as I wrote about last week and preached about last Sunday? Bishop Barbara cites a Philadelphia and wider church colleague in ministry, the Reverend Van Bird
, as the source of her quote. Rev’d Bird’s and her comments go right to the heart of struggle itself as somehow, in God, a site of persistence hope. There is something about understanding struggle and being engaged in its ongoing reality, something about the need for persistence and determination in the midst of struggle, that creates a space in the minds of those who engage it. It is a space for God to live, to look, and to speak to the future. Struggle in the midst of what Bishop Barbara earlier in the chapter calls “the nitty gritty nub of life where Jesus was in the lives of people,” that struggle which is ongoing, is a key place where God remains, abides, strengthens. Struggle and hope have a deep link.
I think of hope signaled in struggle when I think of Representative John Lewis whose funeral took place today at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia
. In his op ed in today's New York Times
, written to be published on the day of his funera
l, Representative Lewis wrote, “I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. You filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society.” As he made his way toward the conclusion of his life, even amid rampant COVID surging around the country, racist violence and police brutality, and unjust federal government interventions against peaceful protestors, Lewis wanted us to hear his bedrock hope.
I know I need to listen, truly to hear these calls to hope, hope specifically located in the midst of struggle. Perhaps you do as well.
So today I give thanks for the witness of Bishop Barbara, to Representative Lewis, and so many others, for their persistence in the midst of struggle and the bedrock hope in God present in midst of it all. I give thanks for that hope.
Remote Worship to Continue at Least through August
Although the state of California, and some of its counties, are beginning to allow some religious in-person gatherings, we in the Diocese of California will only begin to do so when we feel it is safe. You can read the Diocese of California's recently released guidance for in person "regathering" here
. For St. Aidan's re-gathering will be no earlier than September, and perhaps later
. In the meantime we will continue the pattern we have been in, refraining from holding events in our building with the exceptions of the Friday Food Pantry and Diamond Diners, and now also with the exception of the Cielito Lindo Preschool, which has reopened in strict compliance with state, county and diocesan rules. This current state of affairs won't last forever, but we do need to keep staying the course to stay safe. Thank you very much for all your support as we continue to make our way forward together.
Diamond Diners Coming Up Wednesday, August 5 from 12-1 PM
This coming Wednesday, August 5th, we'll have Diamond Diners in take-out form from the main (driveway) door. We'll have soup (I believe corn and potato chowder), salad, and cornbread, as well as dessert, all shared by members of the Diamond Diners cooking team. Many thanks to them for making this happen, and we'll see you next week!
Wrestling with the Scriptures Bible Study This Tuesday, August 4th from 10:30-Noon
This Tuesday Elaine Mannon will be leading our monthly Zoom-based Bible study. This month our topic will be the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew chs. 5-7, with an emphasis on ch. 5. Please be in touch with our parish administrator if you need the Zoom access info, and we'll see you soon.
New Wednesday Night Series featuring Bishop Barbara Harris' Memoir Hallelujah Anyhow
continuing for three more weeks through August 19th
, our current Wednesday night Christian Formation series features Bishop Barbara C. Harris' 2018 memoir Hallelujah Anyhow.
After three weeks discussing the book (it's relatively short at 136 pages), on the last Wednesday (8/19) we will watch a portion of the video of her ordination as bishop in 1989. Bishop Barbara brought so much wisdom, energy, and insight to the Episcopal Church and far beyond. Her memoir is authentically +Barbara, lifting up some very difficult episodes in her life as well as the deep wellspring of hope and faith from which she drew. Hallelujah Anyhow
also brings the voice of the Rev'd Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas into conversation with Bishop Barbara through several interviews that are interspersed throughout the book. So join us for a powerful conversation, and if you would like any assistance obtaining the book, please reach out to Cameron.
Cards for Natalie Lloyd
Natalie Lloyd, who is at home, sheltering in place like many of us, but navigating some ongoing health concerns and more isolated than many of us, would very much appreciate a card in the mail. She might especially appreciate a humorous one. If you are able to take a few moments to send one to her, that would be wonderful. Her address is in the directory. Thank you!
New Jim Crow Anti-Racist Book Group
Our next meeting is August 30 at 4 pm, via zoom. We are reading My Grandmother’s Hands
by Resmaa Menakem. Please contact deacon Margaret (email@example.com
) if you would like to join, and she’ll send you the link.
Saturday, August 1, 9-10:30 am, via Zoom.
We will connect for prayer, study, DIY breakfast, and fellowship. All men are cordially invited. If you haven’t received connection information by July 30, contact Dave Frangquist (firstname.lastname@example.org
From Urban Angels: Socks for SF Homeless
Nelson Barry of Urban Angels reached out to us at St. Aidan's to ask if we would be willing to participate in a campaign to gather socks. Please see their flier, and thank you, Nelson and everyone of Urban Angels, for your continued and increased work during this time.
Resources for Engaging in Anti-Racism, from Elena Wong
Thank you to Elena Wong for sharing this list of resources at last month's vestry meeting that were in turn shared with her through her membership in the Western Association for College Counseling:
Please send in your recipes for the COVID Connect Cookbook!
As shared in previous weeks, Peter Fairfield and Linnea Sweet are putting together the COVID Connect Cookbook. He's received several recipes thus far but would very much like more. He writes:
We are living through a time that will change our world in ways that we cannot yet begin to understand. We can hope that our shared vulnerability to this virus worldwide will help us see that all humanity is connected and that we must all work together. As we shelter in place, many of us are concerned with food. If we are not working, how will we afford it? If we cannot go out, how will we get it?
In our community of Saint Aidan’s, many are able to feed themselves and to help others get fed. More than that, we appreciate the food that we get and are finding new ways of making the sharing of food as enjoyable as possible.
The soup recipes that Cameron has been sharing have made our diet much more enjoyable and have given Linnea and I the inspiration to collect recipes from all the congregation and share them. We ask that everyone with a favorite recipe email it to us at email@example.com. We will collect and edit them into a cookbook which will be a lasting reminder of this strange and special time in all our lives.
We hope to be able to publish this cookbook in printed form and sell it to raise funds in support of Saint Aidan’s food ministries. We know you have been sharing food. Now please share your recipes!
Contemplative Prayer continues: Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday from 9-10 AM via Zoom
Contemplative prayer continues during this time of sheltering in place, via Zoom. Contemplative Prayer is silent with the beginning and ending marked by a bell. You can practice meditation, silent prayer, journal, or otherwise enjoy the collective quiet. Thank you to Susan Spencer for offering to anchor this practice once again, especially the Saturday, during this time. Please feel free to reach out to Cameron for the Zoom access information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Morning Prayer continues: Mon, Wed, Fri at 7:30 AM via Zoom
We also continue to have Morning Prayer to help sustain and ground us, online/over the phone! Please feel free to reach out to Cameron for the Zoom access information: email@example.com.
Healing Touch: Cancelled Until Further Notice
Healing Touch San Francisco invites all Healing Touch students and practitioners in the Bay Area to a convenient Sunday afternoon monthly support group to meditate and share HT treatments. For those coming by BART please let Kathleen know if you would like to be picked-up at the Glen Park Bart Station. A $5-10 donation is requested to cover costs. Please bring a massage table if you can. RSVP to Kathleen Wyckoff at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415.577.8359.
St. Aidan's Gourmet Book Group
The St. Aidan’s Gourmet Book Group will continue to meet via zoom with LeeAnn DeSales serving as our zoom master. She will be sending you zoom instructions prior to our meetings. If you would like to be added to the book group e-mail mailing list, please contact Elaine Mannon at email@example.com
Monday August 3, 2020, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. via Zoom: Mornings on Horseback – The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt by David McCullough. A biography that tells the story of how young Teddy Roosevelt transformed himself from a sickly boy into a vigorous man who would become a war hero and ultimately President of the United States. RSVP: 415- 469-9832 firstname.lastname@example.org
*Please note change in schedule
ECS Shelter Dinners - Postponed/Paused
Join us in helping the kitchen staff to serve dinner at the Episcopal Community Services shelter at 8th & Howard every 4th Saturday. Tasks include serving food cafeteria-style, & cleaning the dining room after. You are needed! It's purposeful time with good friends & conversation - a great way to spend the evening! Please contact Lee Hammack if you would like to sign up!
To add an announcement to the weekly bulletin of the Flame,
St. Aidan's Vestry
David Mealy, Senior Warden
Will Crockett, Junior Warden
Dave Frangquist, Clerk & Treasurer
Peter Fairfield, Charlie Mader, Elaine Mannon,
Christine Powell, Nicole Miller, Elena Wong
Ninth Sunday After Pentecost
August 2, 2020
The Rev'd Cameron Partridge, Presider & Preacher
The Rev'd Margaret Dyer-Chamberlain, Deacon
The Rev'd Cameron Partridge, Presider & Preacher
The Rev'd Margaret Dyer-Chamberlain, Deacon
Barry Koron, Music Minister
John Gaffney, Elaine Jennings, Janet Lohr, Rolf Tollefson, Mini-Choir
Lee Hammack, Music during the Peace
Elaine Mannon & Patrick Hall, Lectors
Dave Frangquist, Intercessor
Betty Carmack, Greeter