In the Sunday Morning Forum at St. Margaret’s in Lent we were introduced to Kiva.org: “We are a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world.” About Kiva
Folks like us browse Kiva.org and find a person or community we would like to help. Through Kiva a loan is made. The loan is used and then repaid through Kiva.
While you are on the website check out the requests being made from around the world: Lend through Kiva.org
Finally, choosing a gift for Dad (or grad) from Kiva.org is simple and will allow the recipient (Dad or grad) to choose with whom to share the gift. Simply follow the link to the Gift Card page on Kiva.org. Choose a Gift Card process and follow the instructions and your gift will go way beyond a necktie hanging in a closet. Your gift will have the chance to give grace and life to people you may never meet, and all for God’s glory.
Listen to the Apostles’ Creed sung by a choir of Tongan youth in the Uniting Church Sydney Australia.
What is the Apostles’ Creed?
The Apostles’ Creed is the ancient creed of Baptism, it is used in the Church’s daily worship to recall our Baptismal Covenant.
An Outline of the Faith: The Book of Common Prayer, p. 852
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
For further reading and reflection
The Symbolum Apostolorum was developed between the second and ninth centuries. It is the most popular creed used in worship by Western Christians. Its central doctrines are those of the Trinity and God the Creator. It has been called the Creed of Creeds.
Legend has it that the Apostles wrote this creed on the tenth day after Christ’s ascension into heaven. That is not the case, though the name stuck. However, each of the doctrines found in the creed can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period. The earliest written version of the creed is perhaps the Interrogatory Creed of Hippolytus (ca. A.D. 215). The current form is first found in the writings of Caesarius of Arles (d 542).
The creed was apparently used as a summary of Christian doctrine for baptismal candidates in the churches of Rome. Hence it is also known as The Roman Symbol. As in Hippolytus’ version it was given in question and answer format with the baptismal candidates answering in the affirmative that they believed each statement.
Note: the link will take you to a page devoted to the Apostles’ Creed including additional links to the text of the creed in Latin and Greek, historical notes and much more
When the new St. Margaret’s sanctuary was available for use in June 1989 The Rev. Brad Hall, Fourth Rector of St. Margaret’s, preached a sermon, “Solomon’s Prayer: Our First Day in the New Church Building” (June 4, 1989), that we continue to live up to and into as a community.
Though speaking about the building itself and the entire St. Margaret’s community, Brad’s words give us a vision when spoken into our little community–The Sunday Morning Forum–within the larger community. We need to make our room and our presence match what the congregation does in the sanctuary in Sunday worship. Here is an excerpt of Brad’s sermon; hear that the Spirit is saying the same thing to us 22 years later:
God’s House is a House of Hospitality
This is truly a beautiful building, and people will come and visit it. Whether they are drawn here by its architectural majesty, its open, light-filled sanctuary, or to worship and pray, we must always be prepared to welcome and accept all sojourners and visitors who wish to enter our doors.
This is an Episcopal Church, a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion of over seventy million peoples. We are also a community church, a part of this Coachella Valley, and our church is a gift to all who live in their beautiful desert. And so the doors of our building and our hearts must be open to welcome, in God’s Love, all who come to us seeking peace, seeking an answer to their prayers, seeking God, Himself.
My final prayer for us is that your love and Christ’s Love will so shine through these doors and windows that all sojourners who come here seeking will find that their prayers will be answered and that God’s Peace and Joy will fill their hearts.
Note: the entire sermon will soon be posted in the Supplemental Resource category 6/7/11
The Rev. Lane Hensley, current Rector of St. Margaret’s, continues this fine tradition among us. In November 2010 Lane set out some principles for our ministry. Here is an excerpt to help guide our work in the Sunday Morning Forum, a community within a community:
Our collective task is to take our place as members of the Body of Christ, and to come collectively “to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.” Here, then, are some principles that I think need to guide that process.
We are a public Church, and a ministry leader in outreach, formation, music, and worship. Our efforts should be directed to the community we serve in mission, and their highest hopes, deepest fears, and most important deliberations should find home at St. Margaret’s.
We expect God’s blessing on our work, and to grow and be transformed into the Body of Christ.
Lane’s principles can be viewed or downloaded here: From the Rector’s Desk, November 2010
Let us be open and inviting to others in the spirit of Christ’s love as we build community. We have a fine vision and strong principles and God’s amazing grace guiding us along the Way.
Your thoughts and observations and questions are important. Please use the Comment section to continue the conversation.
Jesus said, “you know the way to the place where I am going”
Thomas replied, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”
Jesus said “I am the way….”
We know where we are going: into the reign of God. We know the way. With a lot of patience and steadfast diligence, with a little humor and an unwavering focus, we are followers of the Way (one of the earliest descriptions of “Christians” see Acts 9:2). So what does that mean?
As the week ends try finishing this sentence 5 times “As a follower of the Way I . . . .”