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South Park – North Park – Golden Hill

Monday, May 10, 2021

Mark Price as Saint Joseph - In His Own Words - The Desert Collection

 Mark Price as Saint Joseph

In His Own Words - The Desert Collection 

Dear Friends,

In October of 2001 I was invited to perform Simon Peter at the Retrouvaille International Conference which was held that year in Kansas City.  

Retrouvaille is a powerful Ministry which focuses on saving marriages worldwide.  I have often told them over the years that they are saving the world one family at a time

After the performance that evening I answered many questions from the audience and participants.  They told me that they loved my portrayal of Simon Peter but asked me to consider doing Saint Joseph as Saint Joseph was the patron Saint for Retrouvaille.

I told them that I did not expect to do St. Joseph simply because I was focusing on the Apostles.

Over the next month or two the wonderful people of Retrouvaille sent me many letters, books and video tapes about St. Joseph.  They reached out to me in many different ways urging me to reconsider and to pull together a performance of Saint Joseph.

Finally I gave in, and to this very day it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I love the Saint Joseph story that I tell and the character I have created.  I have enjoyed performing him around the world since 2005.  

This Saturday, May 15, 2021 at 10 AM Pacific Standard Time, Retrouvaille is going to offer free of charge, via Zoom, a film of my performance of Saint Joseph taped live in the desert. After the film I will be there live and talk about the filming as well as talk about Saint Joseph the man, The father, the husband, the Saint.  I will then respond to questions from those participating through zoom.

The generous people at Retrouvaille have allowed me to pass the link to the zoom presentation on to my friends and family - YOU.

The following is the link to the free of charge presentation on zoom.  They are limited I think to 1000 people, so if you are interested in seeing the performance of St. Joseph and participate in my live conversation about Saint Joseph and my responding to questions I encourage you to use the following link and participate this Saturday 10 AM Pacific Standard Time,  again it is completely free of charge.

The following is the Zoom presentation link:

Please click the link early to register.

More information about Retrouvaille.


Largest church in SBC ordains three women as pastors

For some pastors, the past year was a sign from God it was time to quit
Religion News Service: Already stretched thin, these clergy found the demands of the pandemic -- from producing video church to combating conspiracy theories -- took all the joy out of the job.
Hundreds of Palestinians injured in Israeli police clashes as tensions soar in Jerusalem
CNN: Hundreds of Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli police at one of Jerusalem’s holiest sites on Monday, as tensions in the city continue to soar.
A Pennsylvania lawmaker and the resurgence of Christian nationalism*
The New Yorker: How Doug Mastriano’s rise embodies the spread of a movement centered on the belief that God intended America to be a Christian nation.
Megan Rohrer elected as 1st openly transgender bishop in U.S. Lutheran Church
NPR: Rohrer will serve as bishop of the Sacramento-based Sierra Pacific synod, which encompasses close to 200 congregations in Central and Northern California and northern Nevada.
Largest church in SBC ordains three women as pastors
Baptist News Global: Saddleback Church ordained three women as ministers May 6, sending shock waves through the male-centric leadership of the nation’s largest non-Catholic denomination.

Six tips to connect with nature

'Vos Estis' expires in one year. What works and what changes are needed in version 2.0?

Two years ago this month, Pope Francis issued a sweeping new church law on bishop accountability, establishing a global system for investigation allegations against bishops of abuse or its cover-up. 

Known as Vos estis lux mundi ("You are the light of the world"), the norms encourage — but do not mandate — the involvement of lay experts in the process of investigating allegations against bishops. When it was signed into law, Vos estis was adopted for a three-year period "ad experimentum." 

To date, there are at least six known authorized Vos estis investigations into U.S. bishops by the Vatican. Since taking effect, several other bishops have also come under investigation, although the Vatican has used different processes for handling their cases. 

While many canon law experts believe the norms in Vos estis represent a turning point in the church's efforts to hold bishops accountable, others believe much could be improved upon, including greater transparency on disclosing when an investigations are taking place, the need to mandate the use of lay experts and clarity on the status of bishops removed from office following an investigation. 

You can read more of the story here.

More background:

Shut in, locked down, no green space? Six tips to connect with nature

Studies increasingly show connections between physical and mental health and access to natural settings — although there's a shortage of studies from parts of the world where urban overcrowding is greatest. Throw in the past year's COVID-19 lockdowns, with teleworking and online classes, and it's no wonder people talk about having a "nature deficit."

As COVID-19 vaccination rates rise and summer approaches, people in the U.S. will probably have more opportunities for outdoor activities. But large parts of the world are still in lockdown, and not everyone in the U.S. has access to outdoor spaces.

So what can you do to stay connected with the natural world if you're shut in, locked down or living in a place with very little green space? EarthBeat asked six people how they stay spiritually rooted in the natural world even in the middle of the city or inside an apartment. 

You can read more of the story here.

More background:

More headlines

  • At Global Sisters Report, read about Casa Corazón de la Misericordia in Honduras, which has served more than 1,000 HIV-positive children who have come through its doors since it was established in 1995 by Mercy Srs. Masbely Del Cid and Sandra Hernández.

  • An academic statement published by the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research  alleges inconsistencies in the Vatican's arguments against same-sex relationships, and urges the church to review its stance in light of modern research.

  • NCR political columnist Michael Sean Winters wonders what if prominent Catholics guest hosted "Jeopardy" and had a part in the selection of the categories.

  • ICYMI: In a commentary, John Gehring writes about how bishops have every right to challenge Catholic politicians on abortion, but deploying Communion as a bludgeon to selectively sanction elected officials on a single issue is not the answer.

Smartphone is now ‘the place where we live’


White evangelicals are more divided over the COVID-19 vaccine

White evangelicals are more divided over the COVID-19 vaccine than the rest of America, but preaching a pro-vax message may not be the best strategy to address skepticism.

Evangelicals only make up a tiny minority of Ukraine’s population. But last October, 500 were elected to every level of government. In a nation in crisis, can these Christians make a difference?

Evangelicals are partly responsible for the Equality Act. The LGBT movement was shaped by populist evangelical animosity towards LGBT people.

How church communities can support people in grief even after bringing casseroles.

In other news

Mission Aviation Fellowship has partnered with the government of Lesotho to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to remote villages.

A historic Mexican church that has been submerged under a lake for 40 years is visible again after water levels dropped during a recent drought.

The British government will no longer require Anglican ministers to maintain marriage registry books. (The Church of England will.)

At Abilene Christian, college students aren’t too old for VeggieTales.

Friday, May 7, 2021

June 19, 1865 Is Now Known as Juneteenth


Domestic abuse surged under COVID-19

India’s Christians ask for prayer as virus overwhelms crematoriums
Christianity Today: A severe oxygen shortage is one of many challenges as India suffers the world’s worst surge of COVID-19 cases and deaths.
Domestic abuse surged under COVID-19. Clergy need better tools to help survivors.
Religion News Service: Ready or not, clergy are likely to be sought out more frequently by those leaving homes after a year of quarantine and quarreling.
This Mother’s Day, let’s work to change the Constitution
Sojourners: We are closer than ever to winning the 100-year battle to add the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Ramadan in China: Faithful dwindle under limits on religion
Associated Press: Tursunjan Mamat, a practicing Muslim in western China’s Xinjiang region, said he’s fasting for Ramadan but his daughters, ages 8 and 10, are not. Religious activity including fasting is not permitted for minors, he explained.
Meeting in the middle on religious and LGBTQ rights
Deseret News: There is a way to protect the LGBTQ community and people of faith if Americans would rediscover a passion for compromise.

When will it be safe to sing?

Praying can be easy. But understanding how it works is hard. An expert explains why scientists struggle to put prayer under the microscope.

Christian moms share how the pandemic has changed their family discipleship routines for the better.

The coronavirus may be novel, but the church’s calling to care for the welfare of the human body is not.

Christians unite to pray as COVID-19 deaths overwhelm India’s crematoriums.

In other news

The European Union has appointed a new special envoy to advocate for international religious freedom, after more than a year of concern it was no longer an EU priority.

The Anglican Diocese of Sydney has appointed a non-Anglo archbishop for the first time in its history. Born in London to Sri Lankan parents, Kanishka Raffel is also a convert from Buddhism.

Two hundred members were expelled from a Florida Baptist church in a Friday night email during an ongoing fight over leadership and finances.

Mennonites ask, when will it be safe to sing?

How to bring Laudato Si' into your wardrobe

How to bring Laudato Si' into your wardrobe

When the deadliest accident in fashion industry history killed more than 1,100 Bangladeshi garment workers at a Rana Plaza factory collapse in 2013, Pope Francis condemned the conditions under which these garment workers toiled as "slave labor," saying "that goes against God."

Eight years later, business models that demand low-cost labor in unsafe conditions, like those that contributed to the Rana Plaza tragedy, still undergird much of the global apparel industry. But the way that we currently make clothing leads to more than just the sweatshops that remain sadly all too familiar — it's also contributing to the kind of ecological sin that wrongs future generations and the Earth alike.

These sins perpetrated by our current apparel system range from the minute to the monumental. Polluting microplastics shed from synthetic garments have been found everywhere from Mount Everest to the Mariana trench.

Toxic dyes from apparel factories have colored whole rivers in Bangladesh and China a deadly rainbow of next season's trendiest hues. Landfills in nations like Ghana are dangerously overflowing with secondhand clothing shipped from the Global North.

And the fashion industry is also contributing to the most existential threat facing the planet today: climate change.

You can read more of the story here.

Founder of bishops' parody Twitter account comes clean

A few days after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act and sent it to the Senate for consideration in late February, the Twitter account of the U.S. bishops' conference posted a seven-tweet thread laying out its opposition to the legislation.

The bill to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity would "discriminate against people of faith," the bishops' tweet said.

For one young Catholic, it was the last straw, writes NCR executive editor Heidi Schlumpf in her latest column. This person, whom Schlumpf calls "Alex" to protect their anonymity, started a new account and began tweeting as if it were speaking for the bishops.

"Initially, I was just working out my own emotions," Alex told Schlumpf. "I was saying, 'What is it that I would like to hear from the bishops at this point?' "

Within 48 hours, Twitter shut down the account. It turns out that if you are more or less mimicking someone else, your account must explicitly be labeled "parody." Thus "U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (parody)" was born.

You can read more of Schlumpf's column here.

More headlines

  • NCR political columnist Michael Sean Winters says a big lie has emerged at the heart of the GOP — that Donald Trump is the legitimate president because the 2020 election was stolen. "Until that lie is dispatched, American democracy is radically unsafe," he writes.

  • NCR readers respond to a recent Villanova University panel that intensified the debate about denying President Joe Biden Communion because of his support of legal abortion.

  • ICYMI: LifeSiteNews, the ultraconservative website that often features faith content, was removed from Facebook for "repeatedly violating our COVID-19 policies."

  • ICYMI: The CEOs of vaccine-makers Pfizer and Moderna joined cardinals, academics and the lead guitarist of Aerosmith in opening a unique Vatican conference on COVID-19, other global health threats and how science, solidarity and spirituality can address them.