The Messenger…September, 2017
publication of St. James on the Lake Episcopal Church
orthodox parish that welcomes everyone!
10707 CR 4022, Kemp, Texas 75143
FR. MELTON’S MUSINGS:
“This is Like “Deja Vu” All Over Again?”--Yogi Berra
Years ago Karen and I moved our son into his
college dorm and took a brief campus tour. We met and introduced him to the
campus minister of the local Episcopal church just a block from the dorm, with
the hope that he wouldn’t be a total stranger to that place.
The activity around the dorm and campus was a
bit nostalgic for
me as I recalled the excitement of my
move-in day at college 35 years earlier. The high energy of a new adventure,
meeting new people, guys awkwardly trying to impress cute girls, and the
strange familiarity of the collegiate environment
were eerily “deja vu.” And yet this was obviously no longer an environment
that catered to my comfort level, as a now much more chronologically advanced
person. I had to wonder what I would do differently if I had it all to do over again at Michael’s age. Hindsight is
an interesting perspective. You can’t go back, and even if you did, it’s not
the same because we’re not the same. Time doesn’t stand still for anyone. We
move on to where God leads us.
My time has come and gone from the dear old
college days, which were both some of the best and worst years of my life. New
challenges called me forth from the collegiate ranks. The work force, making my
own way, marriage and family, all introduced me to a new word I had to take seriously-- “responsibility.” Most of us realize that staying “still in time,” though tempting, is a dangerous thing and we need to
eventually move on with our lives from one level to the next as we journey on
down (or up) the road to maturity and wisdom.
Whether we ever arrive at our destination or not is sometimes arguable.
Yet the same is not always true with our faith journey, is it? We often
like to stay right where we are because we're too insecure to move on down (or
up) the road to new faith adventures. Like
Hurricane Harvey, our comfort zone tends to want us to stop and hover, to stay
put, resist change, and dare I say, personal transformation? Harvey will
eventually die unless he returns to the water. What is keeping us from
returning to the deep well of the Holy Spirit to be refilled and reenergized in
new ways? What is it that's so fearful that we dare not move to the next level
of our spiritual life?
Perhaps the one thing with which we're most secure is self-reliance,
which is the built-in safety net of comfort zones. Letting go of the security
of our self-perceived ability to control our environment seems unnecessarily
risky. The fear is in giving ourselves away to God in
faith, trusting Him to be our security. We're told that as we dare to walk in
His grace, the Lord will lead us more and more to new spiritual heights of
growth and maturity. But our loss of control seems to be a scary, dangerous business. And it is! We’re being introduced to a new
word that we’re called to take very seriously—“faith.”
Where is your personal spiritual comfort level? How does it reflect a
reluctance to stretch yourself toward greater spiritual maturity? Are you ready to reach out to the Lord and ask Him to help you
with your next step in faith? How might you transition from the way of comfort
to the challenge of Christ's call? So much incredible ministry is done here in
this amazing parish. But where might our comfort
level be stalling us as we seek to discern the Lord’s call to explore an even
deeper relationship with him? Where might the Holy Spirit be calling you to go
from here? How will you get there? Are you paralyzed by fear or do the
possibilities excite you? Are you satisfied
with where you are, or hungry for something more? What might going to the next
level “spiritually” mean for you? It may have more to do with your sense of
“being” in God than with your level of “activity” for God. It’s certainly worth thinking and praying deeply about, don’t you think?
ADDENDUM: I’m genuinely overwhelmed with a powerful sense of
excitement and gratitude for the presence of the Holy Spirit in this place and
what God is doing among us here! I'm talking a kind of “hair
standing up on the back of my neck” enthusiasm (that word literally means “inspired; in-breathed by God”)! God is doing a marvelous thing in this parish, a Divine
Happening! And you know what? It’s just beginning! Get ready! My gut tells me
that the Lord has unexpected surprises
in store for us. Stay tuned as we wait,
listen and discern together. All we have to do is get
out of the way and let Jesus take control by developing our spiritual gifts as
we dare to step out in faith.
Check out the new opportunities listed throughout this newsletter.
WE ARE A CHURCH THAT PRAYS
Sunday Services Holy Communion 9:00 a.m., followed by Snacks, Fellowship and Bible Study
(Healing Prayers at altar 8:30-8:45 a.m.)
Daughters of the King 4:30 PM 2nd Sunday
Praise & Worship Service 6 PM 2nd Sunday
Women’s Bible Study 6:00 PM 2nd &
Men’s Reunion Group 7 AM Tuesday
Women’s Reunion Group 9 AM 1st and
Prayer Intercession Group 4 PM Tuesday
Vestry Meetings 6 PM 2nd Tuesday
Healing Eucharist Noon Wednesday (Starts September 20)
Evening Prayer & Parish Dinner 6 PM Last
Teen Youth Ministry 6 PM 1st & 3rd Wednesday
Men’s Bible Study 6 PM Thursday
Hungry Bunch Dinners 6 PM Friday (except 3rd Friday)
Movie Night 6 PM Friday (3rd Friday)
Fr. Randy will teach an Inquirer’s/Confirmation
Series from 6-8 PM on Sundays from September 17 through November 19. These
classes provide an overview of the history, teachings, spirituality, liturgy,
Book of Common Prayer, and the polity of the Episcopal Church. Fr. Randy will also make every attempt to answer ALL questions
presented by the Inquirers themselves.
Participants will learn the basics of what Episcopalians believe and be
prepared to make an informed choice as to whether they desire to be confirmed
in the Church. These classes also provide an
opportunity for those who just want to refresh their knowledge about the
Church’s Faith traditions and sacramental worship and/or desire to renew one’s
Baptismal vows. Bishop Smith, our assisting Bishop will be
here to confirm on Sunday, January 28.
Instructed Eucharist, September 10:
At the Sunday liturgy on September 10, in Lieu of a sermon, Fr. Randy
will explain the liturgical movements of our Eucharistic worship by briefly
highlighting some historical background, doctrine, and theology that touch on
why, what, when, where & how we do the things we
do as worshiping Episcopalians, regarding our rituals and ceremonies.
He will take each part of the liturgy and speak in 4 or 5 spots prior
each section, offering explanation. This is a wonderful opportunity to not only
learn more about the power of our worship, but to
invite someone who may be interested in our worship style and yet be a bit
confused by it.
You are guaranteed to learn something even if you’re a cradle
Episcopalian who has been worshiping like this your whole life! Sometimes we
can become so familiar with our worship that we don’t give much thought about
what it all really means. This will hopefully inspire
greater devotion in your worship.
Guest Sunday! Bring
Healing Prayer Offered Before Worship
sick? Call the church leaders together to pray and anoint you with oil in
the name of the Master. Believing prayer will heal you, and Jesus will put you on your feet. And if
you've sinned, you'll be forgiven, healed inside and out. Make this your
common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so
that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to
be reckoned with.”
(James 5:14-16, The Message)
Beginning in September, Fr. Randy will offer healing prayer at the altar
from 8:30-8:45 before the Sunday Eucharist, through the sacrament of unction (anointing with Holy Oil). If you or someone you know is
hurting in body, mind or spirit, and in need of God's healing touch, please
come yourself or invite your friend to come.
Feel free to join in prayerful support of your friends and loved ones by
coming up and laying your hands on their shoulders as
they're prayed for. Don't miss this opportunity to access God's healing grace
in your life and those you care about. God is at work in his sacramental
prayer and wills to make us whole again. Jesus always
heals that which is in most need of healing.
Want To Be An ACOLYTE?
Meet with Fr. Randy after church on September 10 to sign up
and discuss training schedules. Any Baptized member of the parish is eligible.
Must be at least 12 years old but not over 100.
TEEN MINISTRY Starts September 20!
Beginning Wednesday, September 20, a new teen ministry will be initiated
for 7th through 12th grades. We will meet 1st and 3rd Wednesdays from 6-8 p.m.
Come fill yourself up with pizza and Kool-Aid as we warm up with some fun
games. Then share your ideas with Fr. Randy about
potential parish youth group activities, field trips and a summer mission trip.
Noon Healing Eucharist Begins Sept. 20th
A new Wednesday Noon Eucharist will begin September 20. It’ll be an
informal, contemplative, said service (no music)
offering prayers for healing. One of the reasons for this worship opportunity
is to provide an option for those who, due to health issues, are unable to come
to Sunday worship at an earlier hour. This is also a wonderful opportunity for anyone desiring the spiritual sustenance and comfort
of the Holy Eucharist during the week as well as Sunday. It is not intended as
a substitute for our main community worship on Sunday, the Lord’s day, except
for those who otherwise are unable to come at that
time. The Wednesday Mass is simply an “additional” sacramental option to Sunday
worship. Bring a friend!
Blessing of the Animals and Hot Dog Cookout
Saturday, October 7, 5 p.m.
I used to have a sign in my office that said: “My Goal in life
is to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am!” Such an adoring and forgiving creature
he is, not to mention the comforting presence he offers! Most of us feel
that way about our pets and animals. The Blessing of the Animals commemorates the witness of St. Francis of Assisi, whose love for all of
God's creation is legendary. All creatures great and small are asked to gather
on the grassy area behind the church…that means dogs, cats, mice, hamsters,
horses, cows, pigs, goats, birds, fish, gorillas,
giraffes, alligators, elephants, reptiles, and snakes (did I say snakes? Yikes,
even them---cringe). All animals must bring their caretakers with them
(on a leash or in a cage of course) to join in the festivities. During
this brief service we will sing songs, sprinkle holy
water and give thanks to God for all creation, but especially for the animal
world, which not only helps, but also befriends us.
Children of ALL ages are encouraged to bring their pets. If you
don't have a pet and wish to participate in the celebration, bring a small
plant to be blessed. Immediately following the blessings, a hot dog cookout will
be served for both animals and their owners.
This year we're asking for donations to help support the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake. Items needed include Clorox bleach, laundry
detergent (“HE” only), Dawn, heavy duty cleaning supplies, antibacterial dish
soap, hand sanitizer, paper towels, toilet tissue, heavy duty 40 gallon 3-ply
trash bags, cat litter, dog biscuits and cat treats, dry
cat and dog food (no red dye), canned dog food (lamb or chicken & rice), 13
gallon trash bags, ink pens, notepads, old or new towels and blankets, white
printer paper, metal food and water bowls, medical supplies (sponges, gauze,
bandages), heavy duty water hoses, spray nozzles,
postage stamps, You get the idea. Thanks for helping our furry friends!
NOTE: Caretakers are responsible for
taking up the collection of any voluntary “offerings” their animals may choose to
donate to the church premises.
QUOTES WORTH PONDERING
is a statement which, if false, is of no importance, and, if true, of infinite
importance. The one thing it cannot be in moderately important.”
— C.S. Lewis
Jesus Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he
lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” — St. Paul (Ephesians 1:7-8)
Christ is Risen nothing else matters, and if Christ is not Risen nothing else
matters.” — Jaroslav
"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me
will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never
die. Do you believe this?" --Jesus Christ (John 11:25-26)
FR. RANDY'S RAVE REVIEWS
(or Books to Buy, Beg or Borrow)
SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME
By Ron Hall and Denver Moore, with Lynn Vincent, Thomas
Nelson Press, (c) 2008
My two older sons
recommended this book to me several years ago. I was immediately engrossed
because one of the main characters grew up in the DFW area and had relatives in
East Texas. He attended East Texas State University (my alma mater) because it
was the cheapest college in Texas at the time. Then
he transferred to TCU so he could meet some pretty, rich girls. I never had
that luxury, but I did just fine at ETSU because that’s where I met Karen!
Anyway, the other
character is a black man from Louisiana, who was the
son of a sharecropper and describes his life as modern-day
slavery. The lives of these two men are eventually brought to gather by a
remarkable woman as the story of the breakdown of racist stereotypes begins and
a lifelong friendship is developed.
The last few
chapters of the book were so emotionally moving that I cried like a baby as I
finished the book late one night in my living room (fortunately alone). Note: I
used to not even know what emotions were in my younger days, but since I’ve aged, I even cry at Michelin tire commercials where the
Michelin man goes out in a storm to search for his Michelin dog, and they’re
happily reunited—go figure!
digress. This is a true story, very inspirational and a must read. It will give
you lots to think about and you won’t want the book
to end. It’s coming out as a movie in mid-October, so read it ahead of time!
God's Annoying Love for Imperfect People
By Mike Yaconelli, Zondervan Press © 2002
[5 STARS: Easy and enjoyable
Do ya ever think:
“I don't pray enough. I don't read my bible enough. I don't
share my faith enough. I don't love God enough. I'm not committed enough.
I'm not spiritual enough. I guess I'm not a very good Christian.” Well, do you ever feel that way?
I've been ordained for over 34 years and I still sometimes resonate with those
statements. That's why I so enjoyed this book.
co-founded Youth Specialties Ministries and the Wittenberg Door, a
Christian satire magazine akin to MAD Magazine. As
an EYC sponsor and later as a young priest, I regularly attended Mike's youth
ministry conferences whenever he came to Dallas. What always struck me about
him was his nitty gritty approach to Christian spirituality and his candidness and authenticity. When he described spiritual
struggles, you knew he knew what he was talking about because you knew from
your own experience the truth of his words. Sadly, Mike died about several
years ago in a tragic car accident. Yet his Christian
realism lives on.
His book is an
attempt to convince us that Christian perfectionism is not about us becoming
perfect, but about us being comfortable enough in our imperfection that we're
willing to give our messy lives to Jesus. It's only through our acknowledgment
of our deep, personal need for God's grace
that we can truly be in fellowship with God. Not one Biblical character,
outside of Jesus, is anywhere near perfect, and most are terribly flawed...like
us. That's why they become saints! Confused? Read
the book! Its truth will free you from the bonds of perfectionism.
little book is filled with earthy, moving stories that everyone can relate to.
When we learn about what it means to be a “true” Christian, we may be surprised
at some of our own self-perceptions that are holding us back from developing a
joyful relationship with our Creator. Grace really is supreme! Jesus wants us
to come as we are, be willing to change, and yet our lives will always be
something of a mess on this side of eternity. Simply
learning to accept that fact is itself a welcome opportunity for grace. This
book is a MUST READ for ALL Christians!
S.S.I.: SHOW UP! SEEK GOD! INVITE OTHERS!
A wise man once said, “The main thing is to make the main thing
the main thing. And once you've made the main thing the main thing, then the
main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. That's the main thing!” If S.S.I. isn’t THE main thing, it’s definitely one of the main things in the life of every parish. SSI is essential
if we want to grow spiritually in our corporate life in Christ. It’s easy to
• SHOW UP at
worship, Christian formation opportunities, spiritual studies, outreach
ministries, and times of fun and fellowship!
• SEEK GOD and
ask Jesus to convert your heart to love him above all else. Seek God by making
a renewed commitment to Jesus as Lord and Savior. Seek God by offering
yourself just as you are, to be bathed in his grace, love and mercy. Seek God by praying regularly and listening for God’s voice
in response to the words of your heart. Seek God to regain your spiritual
passion as you continue to grow in your relationship with Jesus through the
power of the Holy Spirit.
• INVITE OTHERS to
join you in this glorious journey we share with God. As we make the effort to
show up and seek God, we encourage others to give it a try with us! We're all
seekers looking for Truth, the truth that will set us free, the truth that is
supremely revealed in Jesus, who is the Way, the
Truth and the Life.
S.S.I. will help us continue to be a church where Jesus Christ is
encountered as Lord and Savior, people are empowered by the Holy Spirit, and
lives are changed through the Grace of God. S.S.I. is s
simple yet essential means of allowing God to work in our lives and the lives
of others TODAY! REMEMBER….S.S.I. !
A SAFER WORLD FOR YOU
Here's some free advice on how to stay safe in the world today. Avoid
riding in automobiles because they are responsible
for 20% of all fatal accidents. Do not stay home as 17% of all accidents occur
in the home. Avoid walking on sidewalks or streets or because 14% of all
accidents occur to pedestrians. Avoid traveling by air, rail or water because
16% of all accidents involve these forms of
transportation. Of the remaining 33%, 32% of all deaths occur in hospitals.
So, above all else, avoid hospitals.
BUT, you will be pleased to learn that less that
.001% of all deaths occur in worship services at church, and these are usually
related to previous physical disorders. Therefore, logic tells us that the
safest place for you to be at any given point in time is at church! And Bible
study is safe too. The percentage of deaths during
Bible studies is even less. So, for safety's sake, attend church and read your
IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE! 😊
NEW UPCOMING EVENTS TO CALENDAR!
Confirmation Classes, Sundays, 6 p.m. -
September 17, 24, October 1, 15, 29, November 5, 19, 26
Teen Youth Ministry, Wednesdays, 6 - 8
September 20, October 4, 18, November 1, 15,
Noon Healing Eucharist
Wednesdays starting September 20
Acolyte Meeting (for Newbies)
Sunday, September 10, during
Sunday Morning Healing Prayers
Anointing offered from 8:30
- 8:45 AM on Sunday
Blessing of the Animals
Saturday, October 7, 5 PM on the grass behind the church
St. James Golf Tournament
Monday, October 9 Benefits Adopt A Family and other ministries
Office Hours & Contact Information
Monday: 9:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Tuesday: 9:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Wednesday: 9:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Thursday: 9:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Friday and Saturday: Office is Closed
NOTE: Fr. Randy will likely be in the
church at other times as well, but these are simply scheduled times he plans to
be in the office, though there may be exceptions due to outside appointments or
pastoral needs. If you don’t see his car, it’s because he parks in the back near the shade. Appointments may
certainly be made at other times if necessary.
FR. RANDY’S EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
FR. RANDY’S CELL: (830) 481-8290
CHURCH PHONE: (903)
CHURCH WEBSITE: www.stjamesonthelake.org
CALENDAR OF EVENTS FOR SEPTEMBER …
9th Daughters of
the King – 4:30 pm
Praise & Worship – 6:00
11th Women’s Bible
Study – 6:00 pm
16th Women’s Quiet
Day – 9:00 am
20th Begin Healing
Eucharist – NOON – weekly on Wednesday
22nd Movie Night
25th Women’s Bible
Study – 6:00 pm
30th Evening Prayer
and Parish Dinner – 6:00 pm
The Tuesday Morning Reunion group is
sponsoring a Quiet Day for the ladies at St. James as well
as the community. The date is Saturday, September 16. Flyers with details have been sent
out via email and will be sent again with this Messenger. Please plan to
attend and prepare to be soaked in worship, prayer and fellowship. There is no
cost and lunch is included. Please let Sunny Lasiter know you’re coming so we
can prepare for the appropriate numbers.