Our hot Southern California Septembers make the transition to Fall programs a little bit later. That's why for the past several years we have made the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels the date of our Start-Up Sunday.
The weather isn't the only reason though. St. Michael is the great helper in our Christian tradition, the one who defends us against the attacks of the forces working against God's purposes in the world. So as we begin this new program year, let's remember we are part of a community of love that extends not only to us here at St. John's, but to the church throughout the world. In being part of this community, we have come near to a much greater reality: to countless angels in a festival gathering, to the "assembly of God's firstborn children who are registered in heaven" (Heb. 12:22-23).
This week at our 11:00 Mass, we celebrate the community of love by welcoming our choir back from the Summer recess, by a special and glorious festival liturgy, in which we participate in the heavenly feast. We continue our celebration with a special festive lunch (and a breakfast after the 8AM Mass) for the whole congregation in the garden and we begin our fall stewardship campaign where we invite you to participate more deeply in the life of the community of love here at St. John's by the gifts of your time and talent - and especially in this season, prayerfully considering your sacrificial financial contribution.
In the coming weeks we will have a particular way to share together. Everyone who is a part of this community will receive a call inviting you to set up a time for a face to face meeting to get to know another person in our congregation and to share your hopes and dreams for our life here at St. John's. I hope you will take the time to make that connection.
As we await the celebration of the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, we would like to share with you a simple prayer. We encourage you to use it in your daily devotions:
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray: and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who pro
wl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Pray this prayer. Pray the prayer from the Book of Common Prayer we are using to guide our vision in our stewardship campaign this year. Let us stand up and stand tall as we proclaim God's new creation, a community of love, in the midst of the dark forces who try to bring us down in this world. St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!