Sermon by The Rev. Canon Stephen C. Casey, Rector
QUILTS OF VALOR FOUNDATION
How St. Edward’s works with this foundation to honor those serving in the military who are members of St. Edward’s:
Sunday, August 6, 2017, we were pleased to be able to acknowledge and award Kate Peterson for her military service during World War II with the quilt approved by the Quilts of Valor Foundation and provided by the local Quilts of Valor group. Father Casey has created the opportunity for additional award presentations each November on the Sunday closest to Veterans Day. All are invited to make a recommendation for a Quilts of Valor for any military in our congregation who has been touched by war, by visiting the Quilts of Valor website at www.qovf.org For any questions about this process you can contact any of the following: Dina Cerase, Sharon Hubbard, or Donna Holwager, listed in the St. Edward’s directory. These quilts are not a charity and they are awarded to the military member in a proper setting as will be the presentation at St. Edward’s. The deadline for nominations for the November, 2017 St. Edward’s presentation is September 30th.
Dear Members of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania,
As this new day dawned I turned on the news for an update on hurricane Irma and learned of the magnitude 8.1 earthquake off of Mexico’s southern coast that hit last night and has, so far, claimed the lives of at least 29 people and now threatens to bring tsunami waves ashore for further damage.
Category Five/Four Hurricane Irma is, this morning, making her way past Cuba and towards Florida, leaving small islands that she has flattened behind her and dozens dead.
The Eagle Creek Fire and the Indian Creek Fire in Oregon have merged in to a blaze that is now 33,000 acres wide in the Columbia River Gorge. The fire is just 5% contained as of this writing. A haze from the fire has blanketed the Pacific Northwest.
It is a collage of disaster that calls for our fervent prayer and intercession.
The Christian tradition is grounded in Hope. The knowledge of God’s boundless love for us, God’s desire for our wholeness and eternal reconciliation is demonstrated in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. This is what allows us to persist in the face of tragedy and loss. When we are overwhelmed, we know that God is near us. When we do not know how to pray, we need only open our hearts, for the Spirit “intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8: 26-27)
It is time to support relief efforts. My earlier appeal for contributions to Episcopal Relief and Development after the recent hurricane in Texas and Louisiana still stands as one of the best ways for us to assist in national and international crises. We will learn in the days and weeks to come about opportunities for service in the torn parts of our country and elsewhere, and it is appropriate to begin discussing the resources that we have in Central Pennsylvania to contribute to the relief effort: housing for those who are suddenly without homes; sanctuary for displaced pets; food, household goods, vehicles. When I return to Pennsylvania early next week, I will learn what our own Disaster Coordinator, Mr. Ed Robertson, has to recommend to us. I would also encourage you to follow his good advice to work as parish communities to update your own disaster plans.
For now, I urge your continued prayers. To remain steadfastly faithful to the God who will not abandon us, and in whom we find our courage. I have been praying this portion of Psalm 46 and invite you to join me:
1 God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
God will help it when the morning dawns.
6 The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge
With love in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Audrey C. Scanlan