Do you remember that book, “Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum? He said, “When you go out into the world, hold hands, and stick together.” I thought of that last night, visiting Mary Magdalene Church to hear Bill Welch sing at a coffeehouse. Mary Magdalene is a community that gives me hope! I love their by-laws that talk about transparency, participation, empowerment and accountability. I love the way they are working together to build the church they dream of. Our two fledgling communities are indeed holding hands and sticking together, offering moral support and encouragement that goes both ways. I think it’s wonderful that there are these little churches springing up – here, and around the country. The larger church is like a great big garden with all kinds of flowers in it – big ones, little ones – all beautiful. In the garden of the church I think we’re the forget-me-nots!
On Ash Wednesday, March 8, I will celebrate Mass at Mary Magdalene Church, 401 Main St in East Rochester at 7 pm. You are welcome to come and receive ashes with our sister community.
Our reading this Sunday is what has been called “the Gospel in a nutshell”: “Seek first the kindom of God and God’s justice, and everything else will be given to you besides.”
That seems to me not so much a challenge, as simply the truth. We’ve lived that. In my thirty years at Corpus/Spiritus Christi and St Joe’s, we’ve seen over and over the truth in the words of Jesus: don’t be afraid. Put God first, love each other, love the poor and all the people on the outside, make sure everybody is included – you won’t do it perfectly but IT DOESN’T MATTER just keep doing it. And all is well.
And now, I hear that as a call to us at St Romero’s. Don’t worry about numbers, or money, or even having a church to celebrate Mass in. Just do the work of the church: nurture the spiritual growth of the people of God, and work to build the world God dreams of, where everyone has what they need for life and growth, and you will have whatever you need to get that done.
We ask your prayers for our friend and brother, Joseph Tamba Moore. He has been trying for many years to get his asylum petition granted, has been turned down and is facing deportation to Liberia. There is a slim hope of appeal, but it is very expensive. In addition, Joseph is grieving the death of his brother, Fayiah, in Africa. In his seven years with us, Joseph has become our brother. He was the best man at Sarah and Kevin’s wedding in 2004, and in 2010 he was one of the people who laid hands on me in blessing at my ordination. He has worked so hard – recovering from a stroke as well as years on the street. He has gone to school, worked as a greeter at Wal-Mart, made many friends. There was a glad day about two years ago when he got his driver’s license. We are so proud of him, and now, we fear we will be saying farewell. Please pray for our Joe.
We invite you to come and hear Kathy Kelly speak at the UR Interfaith Chapel this coming Sunday night, February 27, at 7 pm, as part of the Gandhi Center’s Season for Non-Violence. I heard Kathy speak at Corpus Christi years ago, and she was wonderful. She has been a part of the Christian Peacemaker Teams movement, people willing to put their bodies in the way, to stand with those being victimized by war. A group of us will leave from St Joe’s at 6:30 on Sunday, and you are welcome to join us.
Some folks are planning on a Peace Walk to Syracuse during Holy Week to protest the drones that are based at Hancock Air Field, there. People will be walking from around New York State, converging in Syracuse on Good Friday. The need right now is for someone who can take on organizing places for the Rochester walkers to eat and stay each night. If you would be interested in helping with that task, or in walking, please contact Peg Gefell at Peg.Fink.Gefell@gmail.com
For more info on drones, here are two websites:
Blessings and love to all, Chava
Save the date: Thursday, March 24, 5:30 pot-luck, 7pm Mass in honor of the 31st anniversary of the martyrdom of Monseñor Romero. A filmmaker in Mexico has made a new documentary about him called “El Cielo Abierto” (The Open Sky). Here is a link to the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIOkVwyMMEc It’s in Spanish but you can hear Msgr Romero preaching!
Our Wednesday morning Spanish-practice breakfasts will be on hiatus for two weeks, and will start up again on March 16.
Have a blessed week, and come visit us some Sunday!
Oscar Romero Church
An Inclusive Church in the Catholic Tradition
Mass: Sundays, 11 am
St Joseph's House of Hospitality, 402 South Ave, Rochester NY 14603