From Cathy, our Rector

From Cathy, our Rector

We have been reading from Genesis since Trinity Sunday and will continue until the last Sunday in August. The Genesis stories are rich in meaning. Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden…Noah and the Flood …God’s call to Abraham…Jacob wrestling with the angel…. Joseph in exile in Egypt. The stories found in the Book of Genesis captured our ancestors’ imaginations more than three thousand years ago – and they hold us today. What explains their power and endurance?
For one thing, to millions of people they are more than stories, they are sacred texts, sanctified over time by so many communities of faith that they resonate with a power and knowledge beyond our own.
They also challenge. These stories do not all have happy endings. They offer no easy answers to hard questions. They can leave us puzzled, forcing us to congront our own quandaries without pat solutions. Reading the story of Noah and the Flood (this was not in the lectionary for Year A), I am haunted by the ordeal of the survivor. I find Noah after the Flood both mystifying and troubling: God had spared him because he was a man “righteous in his generation,” but he hardly behaves the way we’d expect a model of righteousness to behave. His story is full of contradictions and divine mystery – just like most of the stories in Genesis, just like our own.
But these stories also speak to us today because they are so starkly human. The people in Genesis rage at one another and at God; they struggle with temptation; they are jealous, grief-stricken, patient, conniving, loving, and hateful. And the dilemmas they face are ours: sibling rivalry and family violence; infertility and surrogate parenting; parents who play favorites; parents who grow old and frail; and children coming of age. Because their emotions and struggles are so real, the people of Genesis come to life in every generation, and their stories live on.
My older brother, Terry and my sister-in-law Linda along with my nephew Mitchell are arriving in Portland today. I look forward to spending time with them and exploring the beauty of Oregon. My brother and I haven’t always seen eye to eye so I can place myself into our ancestors’ stories. I can say that I am grateful that we are older because our relationship has mellowed and is more loving.
We can read ourselves into in to these stories. We begin to connect to past generations to better understand our lives and our relationships, to one another and to the Creator.
Yours in Christ,
Cathy+

I want to share a wonderful experience from last Sunday. Diana worshiped with us. She was visiting from the Trappist Abbey in Lafayette. She spoke to me after the service to enthusiastically say, “At least ten people came up to me and offered me a warm welcome!” What a tribute to St. Barnabas as the welcoming and loving congregation that you are!

150th Anniversary

150th Anniversary

On Saturday, June 15, 2024 at 5:30 p.m., St. Barnabas Episcopal Church will celebrate its 150th anniversary year with a Heritage Concert. All events are open to the public and there is no admission fee. However, a free-will offering will be collected and directed to the outreach ministries of the church.
The Heritage Concert will be a lighthearted look at the parish’s history, celebrated in story and song. Hymns, classical, secular and modern Christian music will be performed by the church’s vocal choir, handbell choir, organists and other local musicians. A cookie and punch reception is scheduled to follow the concert.
On Sunday morning, June 16, 2024 at 9:30 a.m., the Bishop of the Diocese of Western Oregon, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Diana Akiyama, is scheduled to visit the parish and celebrate the Eucharist at the regular Sunday morning worship service. The public is welcome at all worship services of the church. A generous church member is sponsoring a catered luncheon in honor of the Bishop’s annual visit and in celebration of the parish’s 150th anniversary. This luncheon will immediately follow the service.
Questions may be directed to the church office at 503-472-5831. All of these events will take place at the church located at 822 SW Second Street, McMinnville

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