I can’t believe that next week at this time many of us will either be packing or on the road to Fort Lauderdale! Where has the time gone. We all have worries and commitments and self-imposed restrictions on ourselves. It is my hope that the days we are gathered and our sharing will once again, renew our hope in our mission and in our ministry. If we don’t take time “away” from what we do every day and renew ourselves than we will eventually find ourselves in a rut that will warp our thought process and our judgment. We NEED this time together, for prayer, discussion and celebration. I look forward to seeing ALL of you next week!!
Just some household matters:
Don’t forget to bring your NCC white vestments for our celebrations for Saturday and Sunday.
AND don’t forget to bring your records for ALL your Baptisms and Marriages so we can put them in our new central register. I sent you copies for the individual information needed. Remember one copy paper per sacrament, please.
AND ALSO, please bring your book: “The Other Catholic” which we’ll discuss at one of our gatherings. Please take note that Mother JoEllen out of the Philly area will be with us and has a fair amount of her journey mentioned in the book.
BUT most of all, bring yourselves, your brains, your hearts and your excitement over your ministry with you. We will have a wonderful gathering in the name of our Risen Lord.
Continue to pray for our country and our government as we deal with issues of immigration, health care and budget. May we keep our priorities people and not dollars
'When you do a Google search or search for videos on YouTube, you will find “definite” proof that the world will end in 2017. Civilization, and the earth itself, are in a downward spiral. The number of natural disasters are increasing exponentially. Even the heavens are in turmoil with asteroids and Planet X (Nebula) all on a collision course with Earth. Solar radiation and winds continue to beat down the earth’s protective shield and will cause a gravitational pole shift. September 27,2017 will the planetary alignment of Revelation 12. The list of prophecies being fulfilled, unlike the world, never ends.
One of the things that all of these Biblical end-times prophets hold in common is that the world, meaning us, need to repent. Doom is on its way and unless we accept their beliefs, we are all sentenced to eternal damnation. Religion becomes a form of Fire Insurance, and churches are Fallout shelters to protect us from the fire that will rain down from the sky.
Only one problem with that position, that’s not what Jesus said. Faith is not Fire Insurance, but rather Life Assurance. Jesus tells us that Jesus came that we might have life at its fullest (John 10:10) and have life everlasting. The church is not a Fallout Shelter, but a Community Center. A place where we can come together to celebrate life, to build relationships and to support others in a common vision.
There is absolutely no doubt that we live in a messed up world. We are living in a time of fear and hatred, a time of greed and a thirst for power. There are wars and threats of wars, there is famine and persecutions, there are earthquakes and volcanos, there are apocalyptic events happening daily. Even in our personal lives there is conflict and divisions. We worry about our jobs and our financial stability, about our relationships and social status. There is so much competition that we live in fear of being replaced, and may even do things against our better judgement in able to keep what we have or get what we want. We try to create a persona and image that will be acceptable in our social circles. But inside, we wonder who are true friends are, and would they accept us if they really knew us. Sometimes it is difficult for us to even accept ourselves for who we are.
This is where the core of Faith exists. In our deepest revelation of our self, to know that we are wonderfully made. That no matter what the world may really think of us, that we are completely loved by our God, a love without judgement. God knows that we are not perfect, only perfectly loveable. We are not condemned because we are not what we think we should be. We are loved for exactly who we are. In the realization of this love we find the strength, the peace and the hope to live in a world so out of control. In the knowledge of this love, we can risk loving the other. When we give ourselves permission to be who we really are, there is no need to fear the future for we realize that the Reign of God is here and now.
I do not know if this is the day that the world will end. What I do know is that this is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.! (Psalm 118:25)
Fr. Jamie Forsythe
White lies, or lying for the greater good were considered permissible or even commendable under certain circumstances, while perjury, to give false testimony in a legal matter, was considered a grave sin. If one was found to have committed the sin of bearing False Witness, some ancient Rabi's, like Maimonides, mandated that the price was to have the same damage done to the other done to you, aka "An Eye for an Eye."
The Catholic understanding of this commandment is that there is no real destination between the forum in which an untruth takes place, and thusly it is accepted as a blanket prohibition against misrepresenting your own or other's character. Generally speaking we accept that there are 5 major actions that fall under the heading of bearing false witness: detraction (needlessly damaging someone's good name, even with truth), calumny (damaging someone's good name with falsities), gossip (spreading unverified rumors true or untrue), rash judgement (leaping to and publicizing damaging conclusions with insufficient evidence), lying, and violation of secrets.
If the FBI director's claims are true, than Donald Trump may be guilty of Calumny, Gossip (Apparently the origin of his claim of wiretapping may have been an article on a spurious "news" website), rash judgement, and/or outright lying. All with the intent of defaming his predecessor.
We now live in an age of "Alternative Facts," and "Fake News." As spiritual beings and Good Citizens we must be vigilant not to fall into the same trap that this president may have.
To quote William Shakespeare, "No Legacy is so rich as Honesty."
4. He returned to Ireland in 433 where he is reported to have used the shamrock to preach about the Holy Trinity.
5. He is not the only patron saint of Ireland: St Brigid of Kildare and St Columba share that honour too.
6. Although he is praised for the miracle of driving snakes out of Ireland, fossil evidence suggests that there never were any snakes in Ireland.
7. Although St Patrick’s Day is associated with the color green, St Patrick himself preferred blue.
8. From 1903-1970, St Patrick’s Day was classed as a religious holiday in Ireland and pubs were shut.
9. St Patrick is said to have died on March 17, 461 but the evidence for this is very slim.
10. March 17 is a holiday in Montserrat which was founded by Irish immigrants in the 17th century.
attuned to their needs? After-all, the sin described in this Gospel passage doesn't seem to be animus towards the poor, but rather indifference. One great way to help the poor is to put together blessing bags for those in need. Fill it with toiletries, and pass them out to the people in your community. Things like Snacks, Socks, Wash Rags, Tissues, Soap, Deodorant, Bandaids, and Body Spray can make a life or death difference for those in need.
This issue before us today isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue. It isn’t a liberal or conservative issue. It is a human issue, a moral issue, a dignity issue. It’s about love. It’s about Jesus way of love for us Christians. It’s about His Golden rules of love:
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
So, what is America becoming? Are we to be a nation of walls that block God’s love? Are we to be a nation that blocks physical, psychological, spiritual and moral righteousness? Are we to be a nation that lives a type of love invented by the human mind rather than the divine love freely given to us by our God, “who is love” [1 John 4:7-21].
We as Christians, then, need to be true to the Jesus message. This message needs to shout to us that God’s love is an all encompassing love, with no exceptions [Romans 9:35-39]. For too long now, I believe, we’ve permitted ourselves the liberty to compromise His love so as to fit it into our ways and wants to form what is now our American lifestyle. Now we are being challenged about the very core of what it is to be called a Christian.
All to many times over the past we’ve reasoned our way to a comfortable lifestyle here in our great nation. Even the poor are rich here if we but compare them to the poor of the worn-torn countries around the world. Now, we Christians are being confronted with a way of living that is foreign to most of us Americans, a way that is xenophobic, isolationist, and unrecognizable to the Christian Way. We are being called to not just resist this new lifestyle, but to look from the depths of our being at how we have lived the fullness of the Christian concept of love and our need to be faithful to His love. Perhaps, then, this immigration issue is just the tip of the iceberg as to how we, as Christians, have lived the Lord’s love in the past and how we need to live God’s love in our future, both as a nation and as individuals.
We need to come together as a Christian people, putting aside our political philosophies and begin with a lot of humble appreciation for what we have been given, and with the need to learn how to sacrifice for the many who have nothing, who are lost, or are displaced, and who are being hurt and killed on a daily basis in our nation and beyond us. We must live beyond the fears of the day, knowing that living His love is to accept the fear it will produce by its very nature.
We need to be those who comfort and welcome all God’s children into our arms and our nation’s arms, trusting in God’s ways and not in the ways of this fear and negativity and, ultimately, wrong action.
Let us never forget that the Holy Family was once homeless and refugees living in a foreign land. Can we be any less welcoming of our current refugees than was the Holy Family fleeing to a foreign land seeking safety and being welcomed? We need to look at every refugee who seeks our help and see the faces of the Holy Family. We need to respond to the injustices perpetuated upon them, the helpless and those begging for our help and aid.
We’ve got to be convinced that God’s love has no boundaries [1 John 3:17-18] and that His love is always open to even the dangers of the unknown . We’ve got to remember that God’s love has no walls preventing starving and helpless people from coming to us. We’ve got to remember, in our humility and gratefulness, that what we have been blessed with, that this wealth must be shared with all God’s children without exceptoin. And we’ve got to remember that this cannot be just words we preach or commit to but an action we live as easily as we breathe.
We’ve got to stop playing God and begin living on God’s terms, by showing ourselves as his “Other Self.” We’ve got to make sure we project Jesus in our actions and find Jesus in every single person He calls to us. We’ve got to stop trying to control God through our politic and begin living God through our actions and attitudes. We need to go beyond our comfortable lifestyles and be willing to sacrifice so others may have the same freedoms we’ve been blessed with.
The burden is heavy but we also know that the burden will be light [Matthew 11:28-30] if we permit the Lord to walk with us in this journey towards equality and dignity of self and country. We are called to resist the evil [1 Peter 5:8-9] and compromised ways that are becoming so apparent around us. Let this burden we willingly carry be our light and our drive to live Jesus without compromise. And let us see all God’s children as our brothers and sisters, not just in our writings or proclaimed from our lips but rather by our definitive action. Resist and have faith! Resist and be persistent in His love!
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty
and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.” [Matthew 25:35-36]
We are called to do it His way. We need to avoid the little “fiefdoms” we’ve created with their boundaries and misguided philosophies, theologies, ideologies and politic. We need to trust, not just a little bit more, but a lot more in the Jesus Way. Welcome all! “Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God, is with you wherever you go.” [Joshua 1:9]
Blessings to All,
+Thomas J. Sterner,
National Catholic Church of North America
A special Mass will be celebrated on August 14th at 10:30 At St. Anthony's Catholic Community in thanksgiving for the gift of her vocation, all are welcome to attend.
On July 30th, 2016, Fr. Csar Guzman of Agape National Catholic Church in Key West will celebrate His 5th Anniversary to the Holy Priesthood. He was ordained in 2001 by The Most Reverend Terry Villaire at First Congregationalist Church, where he would serve as Associate Pastor for several years along with Father (now Bishop) Thomas Sterner. Affirming Clergy Present included Rev. Marsh Brandt, Pastor of St. Anthony's Parish in Jacksonville, Fr. Jim Profirio-Bond Pastor St. Dorothy's Parish in Orlando, Fr. Jamie Forsythe 1st Associate Pastor of Holy Angels Catholic Community in Ft. Lauderdale, and Deacon Sarah Fowler, co-pastor of Agape National Catholic Church. Fr. Csar was recently named Pastor of Agape National Catholic Church, and is known for his innovative style. He celebrates 2 Masses on Sunday, one amidst the beauty of Nature at Flagler Beach, Key West, and the Second at Peace Covenant Presbyterian Church, also in Key West.
Congratulations, Fr. Csar!!!! Ad Multos Annos! Like any antique, you've only gotten better with age!