Our Lady of Guadalupe

The feast in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe goes back to the 16th century. Chronicles of that period tell us the story.

A poor Indian named Cuauhtlatohuac was baptized and given the name Juan Diego. He was a 57-year-old widower, and lived in a small village near Mexico City. On Saturday morning December 9, 1531, he was on his way to a nearby barrio to attend Mass in honor of Our Lady.

Juan was walking by a hill called Tepeyac when he heard beautiful music like the warbling of birds. A radiant cloud appeared, and within it stood an Indian maiden dressed like an Aztec princess. The lady spoke to him in his own language and sent him to the bishop of Mexico, a Franciscan named Juan de Zumarraga. The bishop was to build a chapel in the place where the lady appeared.

Eventually the bishop told Juan to have the lady give him a sign. About this same time Juan’s uncle became seriously ill. This led poor Juan to try to avoid the lady. Nevertheless the lady found Juan, assured him that his uncle would recover, and provided roses for Juan to carry to the bishop in his cape or tilma.

On December 12, when Juan Diego opened his tilma in the bishop’s presence, the roses fell to the ground, and the bishop sank to his knees. On the tilma where the roses had been appeared an image of Mary exactly as she had appeared at the hill of Tepeyac.

Mary’s appearance to Juan Diego as one of his people is a powerful reminder that Mary—and the God who sent her—accept all peoples. In the context of the sometimes rude and cruel treatment of the Indians by the Spaniards, the apparition was a rebuke to the Spaniards and an event of vast significance for the indigenous population. While a number of them had converted before this incident, they now came in droves. According to a contemporary chronicler, nine million Indians became Catholic in a very short time. In these days when we hear so much about God’s preferential option for the poor, Our Lady of Guadalupe cries out to us that God’s love for and identification with the poor is an age-old truth that stems from the Gospel itself.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Patron Saint of: The Americas & Mexico

                                                                                                               From: Franciscan Media

This Week

 

The Outside Angel: Half Way There

Altar Flowers 2019

The Financial Page:  End of November Statements

The Financial Page:  Bill Woods:  Fr. Bob is Cheap!

Help Decorate the Church for Christmas

Level 3 Writing the Children's Christmas Eve Liturgy

Outreach: Uganda Christmas Tree 

Christmas Flowers

Emmaus Road:  They have no wine!

Calendar: December 16, 2018

Altar Flowers 

The Altar Flowers are given by Roberto Marquez in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Juan Diego. 

Altar Flowers are $55.00.  Please make your check to Church of the Angels and mark it “Altar Flowers.”

 

Daily Scripture Readings online

http://prayer.forwardmovement.org/the_daily_readings.php?d=20&m=9&y=2017

 

Drop down to The Daily Readings Anytime

When you get to Daily Readings Anytime, you will see how to find the day you want.

 

December 16 Third Sunday of Advent

Coffee Hour:  7:45 Patrick Dore

                       10:15 Need Volunteer

 LEM & Ushers:  7:45 a.m. Jim Goltz, Lary Ohlson

                            10: 15 a.m. Natalie Cox, Richard Henderson

                                              Jennifer Uniack, Jerry Tutt 

Church of the Angels Restoration Begins:  Halfway there for the outside angel

 

People from the Monuments Department at Forest Lawn are here this week repairing the outside angel.  As you can see from the photo we're half way there as one of the arms has been restored to the statue.  A closer look reveals the restoration of the nose and work being done on the eyes.

Close up of the restored nose and progress on the eyes.  What's left?  The other arm, the top of the cross, and the Mona Lisa Smile!

Thank you to Forest Lawn for their help.  Thank you to Eric Jones for his coordination and supervision.

 

Altar Flowers for 2019

It is time to sign up for Altar Flowers for the coming year 2019.  The Sign Up Sheet will be outside Church on Sunday.  You may pick the date/s you want and record the offering as a memorial or some other occasion.

 

The Financial Page:  End of November Statements

Statements reflecting parishioner's giving to Church of the Angels through the end of November

will be mailed out this week.  This will give everyone a chance to check on the status of their Annual Giving Pledge for 2018 and complete it before year end.

As always we are happy to correct any errors that have crept into the system.  Thank you all for your support of our Parish.

 

The Financial Page:  Bill Woods

Over the next several Sundays, Bill Woods, a member of COA's Finance Committee will speak to the parish at the Announcements during the Sunday Eucharist.  He is giving a series of short talks on how the Finances of Church of the Angels works.  This is part of the Annual Giving Drive for 2019.  

Over the coming weeks he will explain the Operating Fund, How the Movie income works, the management of the Church's endowment , all so parishioners can see how their donations make possible the life at COA, both the value we create and the value we receive.

Below is the talk Bill gave last Sunday on How We Spend Your Money

I had set aside this Sunday to talk to you about what our contributions to Church of the Angels meant when I initially thought about what I'd say on each of these four weeks.  However, I realized I didn't have much new to say about our contributions as I prepared.  I've already told you that our contributions amount to a little more than half of what it takes to run Angels every year.  You know how to make those contributions.  I mean, it isn't as if the plate doesn't get handed around every Sunday.  Oh, there is the electronic contribution option through our website, that many of you have used.  Yes, PayPal has arrived at Church of the Angels!

 

So, I decided to use this opportunity to tell you where our contributions go.  How do we spend our money?

 

About 60% of the Church's budget goes to compensation and benefits.  We have three employees:  Father Bob (full time). Alice Murray (choir director - part time), and Barbara Trevino (organist - part time).  OK, but is that staffing level good or bad?  It's hard to see how we would have fewer people working for the Church, but should we have more?  I won't quote numbers at you.  Instead, I'll tell you the story of how I realized that our staffing was really good.  

 

Last year, I gave the finance committee presentation to the Board of Directors of a nonprofit on which I then served.  Afterwards, a fellow board member asked if I'd join her and some fellow former vestry members of her church to talk about church finances.  My ears pricked up, because "vestry" is an Episcopal thing, so I might learn as much as I shared.  As things turned out, I learned a lot.  This church has an average Sunday attendance that's a little less than ours.  Their long-time rector had retired a few years ago, and they had called another rector.  This new rector wanted to focus on certain aspects of this church's ministry, and to get help for the rest.  This church hired three more senior people (none musicians) on a full-time basis to assist the rector in these other areas.  These people expected to be paid for their services.  This discussion group calculated that this church's endowment was going to be depleted within the decade in order to pay these people.  There was gloomy talk about what the Diocese would do with this church's buildings after they had to close their doors because they had run out of money.  They were surprised - and chagrined - to hear that we had just one full-time employee for a congregation a bit larger than theirs.

 

I made up some numbers in Church to give an example of what this might mean if we did what this other church had done.  I guesstimated that three additional full-time people would cost Angels about $200,000 a year.  That doesn't mean that we'd be packing the Church's payroll with people making about $70,000 a year each.  Instead, I guessed that these people would be making in the mid-$50,000's. Employment taxes and benefits costs that are imposed on the employer would make up the rest.  This would be a living wage, if not a lavish one.  Our most likely place for this money to come from is our endowment, as it actually was for this other church. We are budgeted to take $80,000 from endowment anyway, so we would be taking $280,000 per year from endowment if we added these three people.  We would deplete our endowment in about 5 years at this rate. We would then be faced with the same question as this other church appears to be faced concerning how we would keep our doors open.

 

I get to talk to you about how Angels needs us to come through so we can continue to do the things we have been doing.  My agenda talking to you doesn't include telling you that we are looking at closing the Church in the next few years because we will run out of money, so we all need to dig deep or else its curtains.  I get to do this because Fr. Bob has always spent our money like he spends his own - and he's cheap! Our staffing situation is good.

 

We will spend about $27,000 supporting the Diocese this year.  The Diocese has a calculation under which it asks every congregation to give it 12% of an amount that it defines.  We have some revenues within their definition, and others that we believe are better excluded from it.  We give the Diocese 12% of its base as we understand it.  Not every church does that.

 

We will spend about $50,000 this year in general operating expenses.  These expenses include utilities, phones, internet, postage and all of that.  It also includes a mole service.  We have moles in our three-acre patch of ground, and they dig holes.  In fact, we have even more moles since Hillsides began their construction.  Apparently, Hillsides' moles don't much care for skip loaders and bulldozers.  We hire a service to play a real-life version of "Whack-A-Mole" on our lawns.  We also have a photocopier, which has been a bone of contention between Fr. Bob and Leigh Torgerson, our treasurer, for years.  Fr. Bob sees the photocopier as his source for Food For Thought items and large print bulletins, among other things.  Leigh sees a machine into which you feed money at one end and get photocopies of New Yorker articles out the other.  I guess you can figure who generally wins that argument, given that both large print bulletins and New Yorker articles are typically to be found in Church.      

     

Finally, we will spend about $50,000 this year maintaining our buildings.  This is a really important number.  One of the easiest places to (try to) hide the fact that an organization has financial problems is in its buildings maintenance budget.  A financially strapped organization's buildings won't fall down tomorrow if they're not maintained today.  Maybe they'll fall down in ten years, but not tomorrow.  An organization that skimps on building maintenance typically hopes (and a "hope" never rises to the level of a "plan") that it will find the money somewhere, sometime, after which it will take care of everything.  All too often, those hopes come to nothing when the crash ultimately comes.  Fr. Bob found a bunch of this "deferred maintenance" when he arrived here 35 years ago, and has doggedly caught up with what had to be done, a little bit at a time.  Church of the Angels is up-to-date on its building maintenance.  That's good.

 

Next week, I'll talk about our unusual revenue sources, our movie money and our lease of our Parish Hall parking lots to Hillsides.  Don't miss it!

Preparations for Christmas

Decorate the Church for Christmas:  Saturday December 22:  9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Please join with the Altar Guild to prepare the Church for Christmas.   We need people's help to:

 

Decorate the Christmas Trees

Clean the Altar Ware

Set up the Candles

Hang the Greens

General Clean Up

Stuff the Bulletins with Offering Envelopes

And anything else that comes to mind.

It's always fun and the more people that help, the more fun it is.  Please join us.

Preparations for Christmas:  Level 3 & The Children's Christmas Eve Liturgy

The Level 3 students have been hard at work this Fall looking at the structure of the Eucharist and revisiting the Prophecies relating to the birth of Christ from Levels I and 2 as well as the Infancy narratives introduced in Levels 1 and 2.  They are writing our Children’s Christmas Eve Service.

 

I would like to give you a glimpse into their thoughts as we have studied and made decisions.  We’ve been using the Color Base material that breaks the service into its parts and studies each one separately.  We’ve looked at the Liturgy of the Word and the Hymns and what we want them to say, we’ve looked at the Prayers of the People and written prayers for the service.  

 

We’ve worked on the Eucharistic Prayer and what it says and means.  Through this process, we’ve looked at our Prayer Book, particularly Eucharistic Prayers A, B, C and D.  The students first decided (after laughing) that Eucharistic Prayer C was too “crazy” they definitely didn’t like the reference to “interstellar space” and “our island home.”  Then they looked at Eucharistic Prayer D and decided that it was too “wordy.”  They then looked at Prayers A and B and what they mean.  They decided that they didn’t want to rewrite their own version, but that Prayers A and B were very similar.  Finally they settled on Prayer B, stating that it used the words that they liked best.

 

All of this takes a lot of time and thinking when you are between 9 and 12 years old, but it is actually the same process that Fr. Bob goes through each season.

 

I hope you will enjoy the service, knowing our students look carefully at the reason each part is included and how they want it to be said.

 

Faithfully,

Tracy

 

Outreach:    Christmas is coming

The Outreach Committee will be setting out the Christmas, giving tree but we wanted to give you a heads up in case you wanted to shop on Black Friday (shudder) or Cyber Monday.

This year the tree will have some items that the CoA team will be bringing with us to Suubi School.  Some of the items are for the library, some are for the teacher training and some are for our visit to 5 unsponsored students where we will bring food (purchased in Uganda), small gifts for the children in the family and a fleece jacket for the students.

In particular we need rechargeable AA batteries and chargers.  We have sent individual cassette tape players and cd players as well as the headphones for listening centers.  We need a lot of batteries and several rechargers that will be plugged into an outlet in the office (where there is a generator providing electricity).

We will be teaching the teachers how to take a Psalm from the Hymnal, write it on chart paper and post it for Shared Reading.  Each Primary School teacher and the Principal need a Hymnal.  

We need 2 globes for the library.  Most students have never seen a globe or know the countries and continents.  This was another oversight for the library.

We would like to bring 5 light weight fleece jackets in child’s size Small or Medium.  We don’t know the sex of the children, so anything except pinkshould be great.

We will have a few books to fill in some gaps or that we want to use to train the teachers.

We want a few lightweight toys like some bubbles or balloons or jump ropes or Soccer Balls (leather, regulation size) to give to the children.

You have all been generous with your time and money and books, we hope you will send us off with things to brighten the lives of teachers and children who have very little.  We will pack them up on Dec. 26th and fly out on Dec. 27th.  Please keep us all in your prayers.

 

Christmas Flowers

Thank you to everyone who has signed up for Christmas Flowers  The poster showing the flowers for Christmas along with the sign-up sheet for making donations will continue to be on the patio outside Church through the Sunday's of Advent.  Sign up for the ones you want.  Please note the memorial or offering.  There will be an envelope to receive your donation.  Make it to Church of the Angels and mark it "Christmas Flowers."

 

Here are the opportunities for giving flowers.

 

Poinsettia Plants             $10.00 each: Need 10 but we'll take as many as people want to give.

Arch Garlands                 $30.00 each: Need 1

 

You can email in your gift for Christmas Flowers to the Church Office and Fr. Bob will add it to the poster.  Please give your name and the memorial or offering the gift is for.  

 

Emmaus Road:  Jesus and his mother discuss wine!

 

When the wine gave out, the Mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine."  And Jesus said to her, "O Woman, what have you to do with me.  My hour has not yet come" 

                                                  

                                                                                          St. John 2: 3-4

 

Emmaus Road finished C.S. Lewis' book, Pilgrim's Regress, just in time for the wine to give out!  The group has chosen for its next book, Shusaku Endo's A Life of Jesus.  Endo, a Japanese Roman Catholic writer explores in his fiction the question why of all the cultures on Earth, the one culture where Christianity has not gained much of a foothold is the Japanese.  His take on the life of Jesus was intended as a help to his people to understand in their own way who Jesus is and what Jesus means.  So we'll be looking at a familiar story through very different eyes.

 

As for wine, well, in order to give time for the six stone jars holding 30 gallons to get filled up, we'll take a hiatus and begin again on Monday January 14.The book is available from Amazon