Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Something New Breaks Open

Wednesday in Holy Week

In the midst of this Holy Week, we fully grapple with the enormity of the sacrifice of Jesus as he moved from a parade of palms to the pain of the passion. We are reminded once again that God is not remote and distant from us, but through Christ, enters our lives filled as they are with both sorrow and joy.

In the season of Easter that is upon us, we make an awesome claim that God who relentlessly pursues us in love will not abandon us. We are not left to sin and evil; we are not left to death. The miracle of the empty tomb is a promise of life. Between Good Friday and Easter, something happens to Jesus. Between Good Friday and Easter, something should likewise happen to us. We too are to be changed.

And so as the Easter light breaks, something new should break open in us. There is a new future for the world for which Christ died. The late William Sloan Coffin once said in a sermon,

Christ is risen to convert us, not from life to something more than life, but from something less than life to the possibility of full life itself. Christ’s resurrection promises to put love in our hearts, decent thoughts in our heads, and a little bit more iron in our spines.

In these Great Fifty Days of Easter may you live into our Easter love, have the mind that was in Christ Jesus, and be a courageous Church that dares to follow Jesus Christ in his life of fearless love for the world.

God’s blessing be upon you.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bishop's Appeal 2011

Dear Friends,

Many of us enjoy God’s abundant blessings every day: families, friends, and food on the table. God calls us to share of our abundance with people in need. Together, we make possible ministries and programs that we could not as sole congregations. Our campus ministry at UCSD is growing with our support. Over 40 youth attended our diocesan convention. Happening and New Beginnings, renewal weekends for youth, are attracting record numbers. We are building up the church through our work in our companion diocese, the Diocese of El Salvador. These are just some ways we can do some good and share what we have.

Here are some concrete ways your donations make a difference:

  • $350,000 develops congregational growth and ministries
  • $120,000 supports redeveloping congregations throughout our diocese
  • $30,000 supports campus ministry at UCSD and SDSU, connecting young adults with the church at a critical time in their lives
  • $8,000 provides youth events for middle-school and high-school students, enriching their walk with Christ
  • $7,000 develops worldwide outreach mission programs in Kenya, Western Mexico and El Salvador

Please share in providing these vital ministries by making a gift to the Bishop’s Appeal. One hundred percent of your gift will support outreach in the area served by our diocese. You may donate today on our secure, convenient web site:, or you may fill out the enclosed response envelope and mail your contribution. Your gift provides help and hope to people in need while it helps to expand our ministry in the world around us.

I am most grateful for your support – past, present, and future. Together, we are accomplishing greater things than any of us can do alone. May God bless you with renewed faith, abiding hope, and deep compassion for all God’s people.

The Rt. Rev. James R. Mathes

Please respond to this opportunity to do good and share what we have by the Day of Pentecost, Sunday, June 12. Make a difference all year long!