Vestry Statement after the Elections
We, the Vestry and Clergy of St. Jude's Episcopal Church in Cupertino, affirm the reconciling statements of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and our Bishop of the Diocese of El Camino Real, Mary Gray-Reeves copied below.
We further recommit ourselves to the opening statement of our St. Jude's Mission Covenant: "We, the parishioners of Saint Jude's Episcopal Church in Cupertino, strive to follow Jesus Christ and his Great Commandment to 'love God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength...and love our neighbor as ourselves.'" In this challenging time, we encourage all St. Jude's parishioners to prayerfully consider the importance of these statements in their own lives and spiritual journeys. November 15, 2016
A Message from Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves November 11, 2016
After the Election: Responding to Celebration and Grief
It is quite a time for our nation indeed. Following Tuesday’s election, there is both exultant celebration and deep grief. May we be respectful and gentle with one another as we express whichever is true for us. I encourage you to gather, pray and engage in civil discourse. We must find our common ground as a nation and move forward. We must do so even as we grieve or celebrate. We must remember that things are dying in our nation. What they are and whether it is a good and right death are debatable points. No matter; since the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is our central truth in which we trust. If something is dying, then, something is rising. The Kingdom of God is coming. That is the process of life and this is what we serve. May we do so prayerfully and as conscious of all our brothers and sisters on this planet as we are able.
I encourage you to be bold and host a Living Room Conversation. The questions were included in my article to you last week. I had the pleasure of leading one at York School last week, focused on our post-election life. The scene was 230 or so students and faculty, crammed into the York chapel, engaged in small group sharing of their personal responses to their set of LRC questions.
At the end of the process, one ninth grade student gently shared: “I think we are better friends now because of this time. See…my friend, whom I did not know so well before now, has laid his head on my knee…” Now, there was probably some typical ninth grade napping happening as we gathered our conversation back into the larger group; yet friendship was clearer, deeper and more tender as personal perspectives were shared.
Jesus words, “I call you friends…” (John 15:15) was not a call to agree, it was a call to be in community as equals in knowing the truth of Jesus and a shared commitment to the way of Jesus. In this they would lean on one another and trust one another amidst diversity. In this, they would be a witness to power of God in the world.
And now in these times of great change, may we witness to the graceful way of Jesus, and to the power of our reality as Christian community.
Following the way of Jesus: Statement from Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry
November 14, 2016
Last week I shared what I pray was a reconciling post-election message to our church, reminding us that ‘we will all live together as fellow Americans, as citizens.’ Today I want to remind us that during moments of transition, during moments of tension, it is important to affirm our core identity and values as followers of Jesus in the Episcopal Anglican way.
Jesus once declared, in the language of the Hebrew prophets, that God’s “house shall be a house of prayer for all nations”(Mk 11:17). He invited and welcomed all who would follow saying, “come to me all who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens” (Mt. 11:28).
We therefore assert and we believe that “the Episcopal Church welcomes you” – all of you, not as merely a church slogan, but as a reflection of what we believe Jesus teaches us and at the core of the movement he began in the first century. The Episcopal Church welcomes all. All of us!
As the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement today, we Episcopalians are committed, as our Prayer Book teaches to honor the covenant and promises we made in Holy Baptism: To proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ; To seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves; to strive for justice and peace among all people, and to respect the dignity of every human being.
As Christians, we believe that all humans are created in God’s image and equal before God – those who may be rejoicing as well as those who may be in sorrow.
As a Church, seeking to follow the way of Jesus, who taught us, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself,” (Mt. 22:39) and to “do to others as you would have them do to you” (Mt. 7:12), we maintain our longstanding commitment to support and welcome refugees and immigrants, and to stand with those who live in our midst without documentation. We reaffirm that like all people LGBT persons are entitled to full civil rights and protection under the law. We reaffirm and renew the principles of inclusion and the protection of the civil rights of all persons with disabilities. We commit to the honor and dignity of women and speak out against sexual or gender-based violence. We express solidarity with and honor the Indigenous Peoples of the world. We affirm the right to freedom of religious expression and vibrant presence of different religious communities, especially our Muslim sisters and brothers. We acknowledge our responsibility in stewardship of creation and all that God has given into our hands. We do so because God is the Creator. We are all God’s children, created equally in God’s image. And if we are God’s children we are all brothers and sisters.
"The Episcopal Church Welcomes You," is not just a slogan, it's who we seek to be and the witness we seek to make, following the way of Jesus.
Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael B. Curry
Whoever you are, wherever you are on your journey of faith, you are welcome here.