May 21, 2013
Reflection: (In celebration of Trinity Sunday this coming Sunday)
Who’s on First? A Holy Trinity
J: So when you come to church, there are a couple of things you need to know.
L: Oh yeah. Like what? J: Well, you need to know the key players, the key figures, you know, the ones who are worthy of honor and praise.
L: Honor and praise, huh? Well, who are they? J: Okay, now listen closely. There is one God.
L: One God. That seems easy enough. What do you call this God?
J: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
L: Now wait just a minute. You told me there is one God, right? J: That’s right.
L: And this God has three names?
J: That’s right.
L: So which is it? J: So which is what?
L: Which name do you use? J: The name I told you.
L: But you gave me three names!
J: That’s right!
L: What’s right? J: God---Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
L: So you have three gods?
J: No, one God.
L: So which is it?
J: Which is what?
L: Father, Son or Holy Spirit?
L: Yes to what?
J: That’s God’s name.
L: Which God?
J: Our one God.
L: But you gave me three names.
J: Three names, one God.
L: Why three names, why not just one name?
J: Because they aren’t the same.
L: But you just told me there is one God.
J: There is! A wonderful mystery, isn’t it? L: So which is it?
J: Which is what?
L: Which name is the name of your God? J: I already told you: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
L: But that is three.
J: Yes, but it is only one God.
L: I don’t think I want to go to church with you!
J: What is the problem? L: You won’t tell me the name of your God!
J: I told you the name: Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
L: Let me get this straight. There is only one God.
L: Is it God the Father?
J: And the Son and the Spirit.
L: And God the Father is same as God the Son.
J: No, they are different.
L: AHA! So there ARE two!
J: No, just one.
L: Well, what about the Spirit?
J: Same thing.
L: Can you explain to me how this can be, three in one; separate yet together, all in one God?
J: I think you have already done it yourself.
L: I have? J: Sure---three in one. One God. Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
L: It doesn’t seem very logical.
J: Sometimes logic isn’t the answer. Some things we need to accept by faith.
L: You know, I don’t think I am ever going to understand completely. Why don’t we just go to a baseball game! Who’s on first?
--Written by Charles A Woodward, St. Paul Lutheran, Westerville, Ohio
God in three persons, Blessed Trinity!
* Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of the devastation of tornadoes in Moore, Oklahoma and surrounding areas. The Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Program, a nationally recognized and respected partner in disaster response, is already assembling a team (which includes Rev. John Cheek, Northminster) to deploy to this ravaged region. (John leaves this afternoon.) For ways that you can respond in addition to the PDA presence on our behalf go to PDA
*This invitation from a couple of your sister churches: Calling all those inside the faith, outside the faith, those inside the faith but outside the church, conservative, moderate and progressive. We are calling anyone who so desires to meet at the University of Arizona Campus Center for an hour or so on Wednesday Nights during select dates in June and July at 8:30 at night. Jim Toole (TE, St. Andrews, and Tucson) and Alison Harrington (TE, Southside, and Tucson) will co-facilitate table discussions on Andrew Martin’s book Love is an Orientation which is elevating the conversation with Christians and the Gay Community. What the Bible and Christianity have to say about the homosexual lifestyle is one of the most debated topics in the global church today and people are usually firmly planted on one side of the debate or the other. The result is two diverse communities often at odds with each other. We hope to bring people from all sides of this issue together. This is not a teaching time and we will not tell you what to believe. It literally is what we call a “faith or theological swap meet” where we can dialogue, friendly debate and live in the tension with each other in a safe setting where there is no agenda at the end of the night. We envision all ages: adults, high school students, college students, and any age folks who are looking for an open forum for theological conversation with a fun community feel. Check out “Book Study – Love is an Orientation” on FB to respond. Or just show up! June 5, June 12, June 19, July 10, July 17, July 24.
*And this invitation from the Catholic Diocese. “Dear Interfaith Partners, n the landmark Interfaith Statement in Support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, organizations and representatives from every major tradition came together to acknowledge that, “We see and hear the suffering of immigrant families who have lost loved ones to death in the desert or immigrants themselves who have experienced exploitation in the workplace or abuse at the hands of unscrupulous smugglers and others.” It is in a similar sentiment of coming together for the sake of the common good that we invite you to participate in the Roundtable’s 27th Annual Social Action Summer Institute, June 16-20 on the campus of the University of Arizona in Tucson. The Institute’s theme, “Many Borders, One Body in Christ,” will profile the hopes and challenges faced by those working on the physical border in the Southwest, and transcend this question to ask what borders we face in reaching out to others as people and as a church. The Social Action Summer Institute is developed and sponsored by organizations of the Catholic Church annually. This year, we are inviting our ecumenical partners.” I encourage you to check out the event. John Fife (TE, HR) is one of the speakers as is Daniel Goody who is a recognized leader in this conversation.
*From Rev, Ellen Dawson, Campus Pastor to the UofA and Pima Community College: I'm leading a Summer Service Mission Trip to Nepal June 2-July 16, in conjunction with the New Wilmington Mission Conference (NWMC). NWMC is a week-long, multi-generational, Presbyterian Church (USA)-related, mission conference held on the campus of Westminster College in western PA. While in Nepal, Ellen and the 6 college students will live and work with the Koinonia Patan Church, located in Kathmandu. They will worship with them daily, teach and participate in Sunday School, learn about the church's programs and outreach, spend a week with one of the 55 sister churches in rural Nepal, and also visit several mission organizations in the area. Upon their return, they will share what they have learned with the Conference family as they participate as part of the mission staff. To follow Ellen and her team, visit www.ssnepal2013.blogspot.com.
Making plans for the summer/fall?
The Synod of the Southwest invites all our brothers and sisters in the Synod to spend three wonderful, informative days together in Phoenix for "NURTURING GENEROUS HEARTS", a Synod event celebrating the Spirit of Stewardship. This exciting event will take place at the Hilton Phoenix Airport Hotel from August 22 - 24, 2013.
BILL BROWN (Professor of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary and member-at-large of de Cristo) will be one of the speakers at a conference at Ghost Ranch from June 24-30. The title of the conference is "A Desert Faith for a Desert Time." This quote advertises the conference: "Life may have begun in Eden, but faith began in the desert."
November 8-10 - Presbyterian Women of the Synod will gather at the Hotel Albuquerque for "Meeting God at the Borders." Deadline to register is October 4. Contact Susan McMichael, email@example.com or (480) 969-6482.
Congratulations to Claudia Harbors who is retiring on May 31st as the Office Manager for St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. Claudia has worked at St. Andrew’s for 20 years.
*Congratulations to Lois Siegel who retired on May 17th, as Administrative Assistant at Immanuel Presbyterian. Lois worked at Immanuel for over 13 years. The Presbytery joins your congregations in gratitude for your faithful service.
*What emergency telephone numbers do you need to post beside EVERY telephone in your church? Presbyterian Disaster Assistance recommends these, for a start:
9-1-1 for fire, EMS and/or police
City Water Department
Poison Control Center
Your church's insurance company rep
All members of the church staff (including Clerk of Session)
Your church's facilities chair
Presbytery Office (520.624.9070)
By thinking these things through now, you may be able to respond more quickly and effectively in an emergency.
*For Moore, Oklahoma in their mourning and loss. God, in your mercy, hear our prayer. And for John Cheek, the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Program and other humanitarian responders to this devastation.
*For the Young Adults of Northminster (Tucson), St Andrew’s (Tucson) and Valley Pres (Grand Canyon) as they travel and work later this coming week on a joint mission trip with partners in the Yucatan.
*For a deacon from First Douglas who was pulled over for a minor traffic violation and is now being detained and facing deportation. Prayers for her, her three children who are US citizens and for continued efforts to bring justice and peace to our immigration system.
*For George Bitar and family and the Middle Eastern Fellowship AC, for Eneyas Frietas and family and the Maricopa AC, the Ministry for Administration, the Ministry for Witness and Outreach, and the Joint August Presbytery Meeting Planning Committee all meeting this week.
*And from the Mission Yearbook: The Presbytery of the Twin Cities and prayers for my friend who is the executive presbyter there, Chas Ruark.
*Prayers of gratitude for the women and men who have lost their lives in the service of their country.
firstname.lastname@example.org 520.624.9070 or 520.490.1261 (cell)