Jesse Wilson started attending St. Mark’s one year ago, and this past spring he was baptized at the Easter Vigil. In this video, he offers his faith story, as well as how St. Mark’s helps him grow in Christ.
Many of you have seen me serving as an acolyte or in some other capacity at our Sunday High Mass or at Evensong, or during one of the many other beautiful services we celebrate here on feast days throughout the church year.
In this Sunday’s gospel Jesus declares himself to be the bread of life. As many of you know, bread is one of my favorite foods (and one of the few things you will see me eat at any parish potluck or shared meal). It’s remarkable that from a few simple ingredients (flour, water, yeast) comes so much variety and diversity.
My first visit to the Episcopal Church was at St Mark's for Wayne Yoshigai's baptism over 25 years ago. I remember sitting in the pew watching my friend Wayne dressed in a white robe, standing in a cast iron tub and having water poured over him. Wow!
I love all of the arts - sculpture, ceramics, painting, music, all of the arts. There are Medieval paintings by the great masters of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that depict a very peculiar theme. These paintings I refer to do not depict the holy family, or our Lord, or the saints, or natural landscapes, or even beautiful women or handsome men.
Sunday is the Lord's Day, not our day. It is the day upon which we "render to God the things that are His" alone. It is our privilege, as well as our plain duty, on Sunday to offer to Almighty God that tribute of loving and obedient worship by which we express how much God is worth to us.
My journey to St. Mark’s is a modern Greek religious Odyssey. Stage one begins in Illinois where I was born to a Greek Orthodox couple, the mother of which embraced her religion devoutly. She expected here four children to do likewise. We had to attend church regularly, serve as acolytes, and sing in the choir.
In this book, Archbishop Tutu shares how we learn to talk with God; how he has heard God speak to us; how to tune in to God's language; how to understand and use God's words to guide us through life. The theme of stewardship is prominent throughout the book - how we are stewards of God's creation and our interconnected relationships with all persons.
Working at a money exchange in Waikiki gives me the opportunity to observe people and the way they handle their money. Some people are proud of their fortunes and take a bit of satisfaction in seeing it displayed across the counter. Others discretely pass me an envelope and make a request not to count their money out in the open.
Though I must admit to never having been a very good student of history in school, I have, as an adult, developed a fascination for the type of living history related to us by those who actually lived it--not the names and dates in a textbook, but the oral accounts of the factory workers, soldiers, and homemakers who experienced events firsthand and can tell us what it was like to have been an ordinary person in extraordinary times.
Of the three vows that all monastics take, poverty likely comes with the most baggage. While the other two vows-chastity and obedience-elicit their own powerful and primal responses as they concern sex and power, the vow of poverty governs the use of money, and money trumps them both.