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St. Paul's Weekly Enews
ORANGE EDITION - May 29, 2022
We follow Jesus, nurture ministries
and welcome all.
If it looks like your Enews is cut short, click "view entire message"
at the end of the email so you can see everything.

Enews ORANGE EDITION
Responding to the urgent need
to do something MORE
to keep God's Children safe
Are you asking,
What's an ORANGE edition?
Why ORANGE?

The ORANGE stole is the one we never want to wear. It's the one we wear when hatred rears its ugly head and gun violence takes innocent lives. We wear it when our hearts are breaking and when we, once again, need to stand up to the injustice of it all.

I spoke about it in my sermon last Sunday. If you'd like to see it, Click on this link.

This week, things went from bad, to worse. We are stunned, heartbroken and furious at the news of the 19 children and 2 teachers who's lives were stolen from them at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

We are people of love, hope, compassion and mercy AND we're people who stand up for justice; people committed to respecting the dignity of every human being. We pray for the victims, the families, and even the shooters, but we don't stop there. Prayers are important, a vital part of a Jesus-Centered life, but we're called to do more than just pray. We're called to act.

As Episcopalians, we embrace the Via Media, recognizing both sides of many issues. We seek to be in relationship with everyone, welcome everyone, and value everyone. Some mistake our commitment to these sacred traditions as weakness, but it's not. It's a great strength. It's our way of helping the world to become more and more, day by day, closer to the dream that God intends for it.

And, because of our commitment to justice and respect for the dignity of every human being, when it comes to certain issues, we stand up and call out loud and clear for things to change. Again, and again, the church has done this.

This week, in a statement from the Episcopal Office of Government Relations the church did it again. "We reiterate today our urgent call for legislation that will restrict who can own firearmsrequire background checks, eliminate loopholes, tighten laws against gun trafficking, require gun safety training, fund gun violence prevention programs, and address gun violence as a public health crisis."

We want all children to know peace and we can't stop calling for it until this dream comes true.

At the NATIONAL VIGIL FOR VICTIMS, FAMILIES AND SURVIVORS OF GUN VIOLENCE in 2018 this was shared:

From so many heartbreaks comes forth a united commitment to go into the streets of our cities and towns and promote a way of peace and well-being for all people. With compassion sown from the threads of sadness and horror, we will mend a nation tattered by gun violence and weave a new cloth of hope and peace.

We start with thoughts and prayers, mighty and strong commitments to hold one another up in faith. We pray for those who walk through the valley of the shadow of death and send love and light to all who grieve. But make no mistake. That’s not where we stop. Thoughts and prayers are where we start. After that, we gather our strength and put our faith into action.

We need to get to work! We need to call for change and make a difference. How? I'm so glad you asked! Read on! You'll find lots of great information and some good ideas to get you started.

With prayers for peace and healing,
and the desire to never have to wear my orange stole again,
Rev. Susan+
Let us Pray...
Where does the Church Stand
on the Issue of Gun Violence?

Episcopal Church Resolutions and Resources
The Episcopal Church is a strong advocate for common sense gun safety policies.

The church works through its Office of Government Relations and through the Episcopal Public Policy Network. The church’s positions on Gun Safety and Gun Reform have been approved by our General Convention.

Here are individual resolutions on issues relation to gun violence:
Looking for Ways to
Put Your Faith into Action?

Click HERE for Resources to help
Put an End to Gun-Violence

Light Dispels Darkness...
Be the LIGHT!

START SOMEWHERE. KEEP GOING. YOU CAN DO IT.
YOU CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE!
From the Diocese...

Doing Our Part
to Turn Anguish into Action
The diocese has a Gun Violence Prevention Toolkit, which includes litanies and other worship resources, and a range of ways in which individuals and congregations can take steps to help prevent all forms of gun violence. Click the button below to download it. Give it some careful thought and consideration. Let's all find ways that we can help to make a difference!
From the Episcopal Church...
Resources to Respond to Gun Violence
May 24, 2022
Office of Government Relations

Since at least the 1970s, The Episcopal Church has resolved to support legislation that would reduce the risk of gun violence. More than a dozen times, General Convention has urged Congress to act to restrict the ownership, sale, and use of firearms, to do all it can to prevent gun violence, to limit the availability of weapons, and to lament the lives broken and destroyed by violence. We have recognized the efforts of Bishops United Against Gun Violence, and commended the leadership of young people who desperately want to end this violence. Decades later, we see gun violence continuing on a daily basis, in communities with high rates of violence, acknowledging the disproportionate impact in communities of color and the impact of racist violence. We acknowledge the harm caused by intimate partner and family violence, the lives lost to suicide, and those terrorized by mass shootings.

We reiterate today our urgent call for legislation that will restrict who can own firearmsrequire background checks, eliminate loopholes, tighten laws against gun trafficking, require gun safety training, fund gun violence prevention programs, and address gun violence as a public health crisis.

In light of tragic and horrifying killings in Uvalde, Texas, we reiterate again the particular obligation we have to protect children. As expressed by General Convention in 2000, we “call upon Episcopalians to seek ways to develop community strategies and create sanctuaries for our children, so that all may come to identify and value themselves and others as the precious children of God that they are, and that they may come to know peace in their lives and to create peace for future generations.”
Overwhelmed?
It IS overwhelming!
But, don't let that stop you.

Here's a Quick, Easy Way
to Put Your Faith Into Action:

  1. Go to Facebook
  2. Search for "Episcopalians United Against Gun Violence"
  3. "Like" and "Follow"

START SOMEWHERE. KEEP GOING. YOU CAN DO IT.
YOU CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE!
For More Ideas,
Keep Scrolling...
Bishops United Against Gun Violence

We are a network of nearly 100 Episcopal Church bishops, urging our cities, states and nation to adopt policies and pass legislation that
will reduce the number of people in the United States killed and wounded by gunfire.

We have
a moral obligation
to address
gun-violence.
The Episcopal Office of Government Relations

Faith and Citizenship Guide is focused on helping the Church engage the
government, emphasizing
the work of
advocacy in bringing about systemic change
that will bring us closer to God’s kingdom.
The Episcopal Public Policy Network

A grassroots network of Episcopalians across the country dedicated to carrying out the Baptismal Covenant call to “strive for justice and peace” through the active ministry of public policy advocacy. Facilitated by the Office of Government Relations, this network helps influence the development of legislation and policy of the U.S. federal government on critical issues.
Election Engagement

Getting souls to the polls isn’t just about casting our own vote, but about working together so we all can vote and vote faithfully. We can empower every voice in our congregations in this work.

Episcopal Public Policy Ambassador Program
Launched June 2020, this program offers a chance for people to get more engaged in amplifying our advocacy efforts. Ambassadors work on a local level helping to promote our action alerts and advocacy resources to improve our reach.
Episcopal Election Activators
Help promote and facilitate local non-partisan voter engagement efforts for the 2022 U.S. midterm elections and beyond. We hope to identify a team of dedicated volunteers across the Church who will help Episcopalians and local communities cast their votes.

Ever feel
so OVERWHELMED
that you can't find the
words to pray?

Join us for a beautiful and peace-filled
Healing Service
Wednesday Mornings at 9am on Zoom
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84382606484 Meeting ID: 843 8260 6484
   
START SOMEWHERE. KEEP GOING. YOU CAN DO IT.
YOU CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE!
and what
about...
Safe Gun Storage
One gun safety measure seemingly everyone can agree on is the safe storage of weapons. Learn more from End Family Fire, from Everytown and from Be Smart for Kids.

Suicide Prevention
Most gun deaths occur due to suicide. The Episcopal Church in Colorado offers resourcesThe American Association of Suicidology and Brady are leaders in this field.

Violence Against Women & Domestic Violence
Domestic abusers with access to guns are particularly dangerous. Bishops United supports reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (learn more and reach out to your senator.) Learn more about the Lori Jackson Domestic Violence Survivor Protection ActRead a UN report on violence against women and girls.
Let us Pray...
Almighty and merciful God,
we come to you with heavy hearts and troubled minds after another mass shooting, this time at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Wrap your loving arms around the children and adults
who were the innocent victims of this senseless act of evil.
May their souls, through your mercy, find eternal safety and rest.
We lift the shattered families with their broken hearts
and send our love to surround them as they grieve.
Lord, send your Holy Spirit and inspire us to make the changes necessary
to stop the violence and heal the world.
Amen.

Have you heard enough bad news?
When you're overwhelmed
and tempted to turn away,
come to church and get renewed.

Come hear the Good News, get filled with the love of Christ
and find the strength to stand up, instead.

The children are counting on us.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
3290 Loma Vista Road, Ventura, California 93003
 SUNDAY MORNINGS
Holy Eucharist – 10:15am
Attend in-person or online at:


START SOMEWHERE. KEEP GOING. YOU CAN DO IT.
YOU CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE!
REACH Projects
Together we can make a difference by putting our Faith in Action
Each month we offer the opportunity to REACH out to the world in the name of Christ. Pick up a red REACH bag with information on items we're collecting to support our current project. Bring it back the next week and add your gifts to those of the rest of the congregation. Past projects have helped: Foster Families, Women recently freed from human trafficking, needy school children, the unhoused, the hungry, children of prisoners, and many others.
Together we can make a difference!
St. Paul's Peace Project
What is St. Paul’s Peace Project? It’s a series of one-minute videos that feature relaxing music, beautiful images of God’s Creation, and a blessing. We pray that they will help to bring peace in troubling times. We encourage you to incorporate spiritual practices into your daily life to build spiritual strength. This one is simple. It’s a brief sabbath in just one minute’s time. God bless you as you continue on the journey of faith. The people of St. Paul's Ventura wish you peace.
St. Paul's publishes two Email Newsletters each week - the Announcements Edition (Tues. or Wed.) and the Click & Go Edition (Sat. at Noon). Subscribing is the best way to keep us with everything going on at St. Paul’s. Receive weekly encouragement, learn practices to build up spiritual strength, and join with us as we put our faith into action. If you don’t receive it, please let us know. We’d be happy to add you to the list! office@saintpaulsventura.org
Are you new to St. Paul's?
Welcome to St. Paul's

Whether you attend services online or in-person,
if you're new to the church or have been a member of years,
you're invited to join us for the coming...

 

Church Information Series
SUNDAY EVENINGS AT 6PM ON ZOOM
(if you prefer to attend in-person, please let us know)
Meeting ID: 84325054293
6/12 Episcopal Worship: The Book of Common Prayer and the Bulletin
8/14 Ministry and Outreach: Getting involved and making a difference
9/11 Getting to Know One Another and the Episcopal Church

MEET PEOPLE, ASK YOUR QUESTIONS, EXPLORE THE FAITH
All are welcome!
Giving in the Name of Christ
Thank you for your generosity!
We look forward to doing great things with whatever you are able to share.

Donations to St. Paul's may be made by:
  • Check (mail to our office)
  • Txt - Just text StPaulsVentura to 73256
  • PayPal - just click here! (You can use debit cards and credit cards, plus set up a recurring donation)
  • Facebook Donate - Our Facebook Donate button goes to our PayPal

You can also arrange online payments, click the “Give” button at https://www.saintpaulsventura.org/give/ or click the QR code.

Members give of their time through many ministries and share their talents through lots of volunteer opportunities. Please contact our clergy if you’d like to get involved in something new. Generosity involves the giving of time, talent and treasure. Thank you for all the ways you give of yourself! We look forward to doing great things with whatever you are able to share. Thank you so much! It is great to be with you on this journey of faith.
Pledging to the Church
We are dependent on the generosity of our members. If you don't have a pledge to St. Paul's, we ask you to please consider making one. We hope that every household will make a pledge to support the church's mission and ministry through the year. Your pledge or gift is an offering of hope and an opportunity to put your faith into action. Things will get better, and St. Paul’s Ventura will continue its important work throughout this pandemic and beyond. Thank you so much for your support!
Thank you for your support in the past and for your faithfulness through these challenging times. Your support makes all the difference, and we are so grateful for it! Your pledge or gift is an offering of hope and an opportunity to put your faith into action. Things will get better, and St. Paul’s Ventura will continue its important work throughout this pandemic and beyond. 
The Rev. Susan Bek, Rector
The Rev. Dr. Richard Swanson, Assisting

805-643-5033

YOUR DONATIONS ARE GREATLY APPRECIATED!

Find out more here.
The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles
WE REMEMBER ~ WE BELIEVE ~ WE ARE THANKFUL
AND WE INVITE YOU TO JOIN US