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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Caramel was Everywhere!

The team has been working hard making crafts and hosting fundraisers for the homeless this fall.  However, last Friday’s “Fear Not” Halloween Youth & Family Night was a time to celebrate and now the smiles live on! To get ready for the evening, Christian, Evan and Joachim spent the day visiting the McGrath Farms pumpkin patch, carving pumpkins for the raffle and picking oak tree nuts to paint with glitter and gold and include in this year’s pinecone Christmas crafts. Their sister Ella joined the team at dinner time enjoying Marie Callender’s Chicken Pot Pies before the party began.

Mental note for next year, “Don’t use the tubs of dipping caramel from the produce department when making candy apples. The caramel never hardens and when the kids went to eat them, turned the place into the equivalent of a game of summertime ‘Slip & Slide.’” Caramel was everywhere!

Congratulations to Claudia and her family, the winner of the pumpkin carving (she bought 5 tickets which helped)! Joachim’s dad, Carlos joined the event for the first time as well as Evan and Ella’s dad, Art made it over as well. They were both successful in playing the “Angels and Afterlife” quiz game. Here are sample questions, one set for kids and one set for adults. Everyone won prizes! Enjoy the pics too . . .

The devil before he decided to be bad was what?
A. A father of 4 children
B. Manager of a McDonald’s Restaurant
C. A beautiful angel.

One dark stormy night Jesus’s friends were in a fishing boat at sea all alone, frightened, scared, shaking, cold, and hungry and they saw whom?
A. Ghost
B. Moby Dick, the gigantic whale
C. Jesus walking on water

Who in the Bible witnessed a ghostly hand moving in the air writing on a castle wall?
A. King Belshazzar
B. King David
C. Prophet Daniel

For which king did the pagan witch of Endor call up the prophet Samuel from the dead?
A. Saul
B. David
C. Hezzekiah









 
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Monday, October 28, 2013

Twitter & Tweak

Follow on Twitter Servants of the Father of Mercy mission to 3.5 million homeless in America and thousands more homeless in elderly facilities and sadly, billions more languishing all alone in purgatory; fly to their rescue on Twitter . . . GaryJoseph@Help4_Homeless 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Two Churches Team Up


The Historical Weller Baptist Church and  the Servants of the Father of Mercy Team Up Serving the Los Angeles-based 1,000s of Homeless on Skid Row, Saturday, August 26th.
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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Remembering Mother Antonia




Mother Antonia Brenner, who left a comfortable life in Beverly Hills in 1978 to minister to inmates in a notorious Mexican prison, eventually becoming a nun and spending more than 30 years living in a cell to be closer to those she served, died of heart failure on Thursday in Tijuana, Mexico. She was 86.  Her joyous transition has been in recent days reported by the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, CNN and many others taking note of  her remarkable life.  She is the founder of the Eudist Servants of the Eleventh Hour, a community of about 50 sisters serving prisoners and the poor.

Born Mary Clarke, she was a twice-divorced mother of eight children when she initially began doing volunteer work for the poor in Mexico in the 1960s. In 1978 she had been led to La Mesa state penitentiary, which housed convicted murderers, gang leaders, rapists and other serious felons. Mother Antonia began providing for inmates’ basic needs, giving them aspirin, blankets, toiletries and prescription eyeglasses. She sang in worship services. She received a prison contract to sell soda to prisoners and used the proceeds to bail out low-level offenders. If a prisoner died, of illness or in a gang fight, she prepared him for burial.

Inmates tell the story of how Mother Antonia once walked into the middle of a prison riot while bullets flew and tear gas filled the air. When the inmates saw her, fearless in her habit, the fighting stopped. She never seemed to stop smiling.

Mother, early on in her ministry moved into the women’s section of the prison in a cell that was about 10 feet by 10 feet with only cold running water for showers. She could come and go freely, but she devoted herself to the lives inside. Her mission constantly expanded, from the inmates and guards to their families.  “It’s different to live among people than it is to visit them,” she told The Washington Post in 2002. “I have to be here with them in the middle of the night in case someone is stabbed, in case someone has an appendix [attack], in case someone dies.”

Mary Clarke was born on Dec. 1, 1926, in Los Angeles and grew up in Beverly Hills, Calif., the second of three children. Her mother, Kathleen, died while pregnant with her fourth child. Her father, Joseph, was a successful sales executive in the office supply industry, and the family had a second home overlooking the ocean. She married at 18, but it did not last long. A second marriage, to Carl Brenner, lasted 25 years, but it also ended in divorce. 

Mother Antonia’s work drew praise around the world, including from President Vicente Fox of Mexico and President Ronald Reagan. In 1991, she met Mother Teresa when she visited Tijuana.  She went to her eternal reward this past Thursday, funeral Mass and burial arrangements are pending.

One of her last public appearances was a few months ago speaking at our annual Servants of the Father of Mercy retreat at the Benedictine Prince of Peace Abbey in Oceanside, CA.  Mother, although told to go to ER immediately by her physician, instead she came to the retreat first, giving her message, consolation, wisdom and encouragement and then tended to herself second.  That is classic Mother Antonia, putting others first - always.  She told the participants to give all to God - not just part, expect nothing in return and most of all, to live charity serving the poor, homeless, broken and prisoner.  May you be blessed by these photos, some of the last pictures of her life here on earth.
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Monday, October 21, 2013

Fear Not!

Well it’s almost here, the "Fear-Not" Halloween Celebration at the Servants of the Father of Mercy Youth & Family Night.  It is not to be missed THIS Friday, October 25, 2013, 6:00 pm - 9 pm; always free and always the last Friday of the month.  Come and inspire your children and family's faith for a lifetime.  Get in the "pumpkin and spice and everything nice spirit"!  Join the children along with parents for a spiritually uplifting fête.  All GOOD costumes and GOOD spirits welcomed.   At 6pm we plan to divide into 3 teams.  What would you like to do?

Team 1:  Make Homemade Caramel Apples from 6p – 7:30p
Team 2:  Play a game of Flashlight Tag from 6:30p – 7:30p
Team 3:  Pumpkin Carving and Roasting Seeds from 6p – 7:30p
Everyone:  Treats, Friendship & Fellowship! 7:30p – 8p
Everyone:  True uplifting afterlife stories – bring your teddy bear, blanket & pillow. 8:00p – 8:30p
Everyone:  Angels & Afterlife Quiz Game, Win Prizes 8:30p – 9p

Email us and let us know you will be there:  contact@servantsofthefather.org

Enjoy some pics from a previous “Fear-Not” Halloween Celebration and altar des los muertos!






Since 2007, the fellowship and community of the youth and families of the Servants of the Father of Mercy have dedicated themselves to helping the homeless by having fun creating various seasonal crafts, selling them and having fundraisers for the poor throughout the year.
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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Saturday Fall Fundraiser

It's official, Mai's Cafe is hosting a fall fundraiser for the homeless, this Saturday, 9a to 3p, October 19th, 1967 E Main St., Ventura, just past Seaward and the high school on the right.  Look for the purple awning. Mai & Tu (pictures) often make homemade PBJs for distribution to area homeless.  However, when it comes to food, Mai has the best Hawaiian and Vietnamese food - especially the Pho!  Visit this Saturday for lunch or dinner and take in our fall homeless fundraiser that features fresh McGrath Farm pumpkins, fresh flowers (picture) from Carpinteria and handmade pinecone crafts created by the children, youth & families of the Servants of the Father of Mercy.  Everything by donation, just give & take. Tell your family and friends - See you there!
 
 
 
 
 

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Armchair Quarterback Season

It’s easy to play armchair quarterback by judging others - often assuming the reasons why people are poor, homeless, broken and addicted while sitting comfortably in one’s car, home or office.  Whenever one passes judgment on another or group of others (the root is pride, the original sin); God is always on the side of the person(s) being judged.  The sin of judging as Paul says sets us up as if we are God and the law itself.  The serpent (Lucifer, once a most beautiful and powerful angel and later evil pride specialist) said in the Garden of Eden, "You will become like God!" and our first parents arrogantly bought it.  Pride makes us think we can judge others, and unfortunately all other sins quickly spin off from the first.
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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Queerness of Christianity

Henri Nouwen in his bestselling book, "Return of the Prodigal Son" makes the point that it is normal for us to feel uncomfortable when we are around others who are broken.  For instance, one may feel awkward talking with a wheelchair-bound person, a disenfranchised homeless person, an A.I.D.S. hospital patient, the very poor, a prisoner or elderly with dementia in a nursing home.  Yet, that is exactly who Jesus is - all the above.  He is prisoner, homeless, sick and he bore all our diseases.  Nouwen seems to say that Christ is encountered not in what we perceive to be the winners of traditional religion, but in the troubling and disturbing disguise of broken, miserable losers; the ones often hidden from sight in alleyways, under bridges, in our prisons and hospitals.  Nouwen concludes this is most clearly evident when he identifies the older dutiful son in the parable of the prodigal son as the one who really didn't get it.  However, conversely, the broken, humble and poor little loser brother did.  It takes humility to appreciate the fact that the kingdom of God is upside down.  What's down is up. Up is down.  The last is first. The first is last.  C. S. Lewis quipped in his book "Mere Christianity" that as an atheist before his conversion, "I came to the conclusion that Christianity must be the truth because it has a queerness about it that no human could have written."
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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Clean and Mean

Help Clean Up Prison Life
Mother Antonia, founder of the Servants of the Eleventh Hour spoke at the Servants of the Father of Mercy annual retreat this past May. Today she called and said she needs soap bars for the prisoners she serves at La Mesa prison in Mexico. Mother is 86 years old now, and after a lush life in Beverly Hills, she gave it all up in 1978 to voluntarily live a life sentence inside a prison cell in Mexico. She calls the incarcerated, the police and guards “sus hijos” her sons. She needs wash cloths too.

If you would like to donate soap bars and wash cloths, email us and let us know at contact@servantsofthefather.org.  We are preparing a care package that will be sent on Monday, October 21st. Please send the items to us or give us a budget and we’ll buy for you at the local 99 Cents Only Store.  You may wish to donate in the name of Jesus, the prisoner.

At 99 Cents Only Stores there is Palmolive Soap Bars 3.2oz - Green 3-pack for 99 cents. They also have wash cloths 2 for 99 cents.

God bless you and thank you for your compassion and help for the broken, lost, and homeless people we serve! 
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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Autumn Rains

"Blessed are those...who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools." (Psalm 84:4-6)

When I Don’t Live Love, Others Live Homeless
By Ann Voskamp

Love can only be what communion is — a pouring out, a breaking open and a passing around, a sacrifice.

And if love is what makes itself into a roof around a heart to absorbs all the storms, love is the only real dwelling place, and communion with another is all we have to offer and it’s all we have to crawl up under. When I don’t live love, others live homeless. When I don’t love like Christ, I evict souls.

Christ is love embodied and no matter where we are, He and His body are Home.

Ann Voskamp is creator of the online journal www.aholyexperience.com. She is the author of a New York Times bestseller, "One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are", published by Zondervan.
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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Homeless Fall


 
Homeless Fall

The brilliant colors of autumn have come right on schedule to the Servants of the Father of Mercy, children, youth and families.  Last week at “Youth & Family Night” (always the last Friday of each month from 6p – 9p), the gang got together to express their creativity and make “fall pinecone trees” as centerpieces for Halloween and Thanksgiving home and office decorations.  All-in-all, this unique fundraiser for the homeless people we serve includes 100 pinecone works of art.  Each cone, depending on its size, is potted in a small, medium or large Italian clay pot and decorated with fall leaves, moss, pumpkins and ribbons.  The families plan to sell them door-to-door, to businesses and church goers.  The suggested donation for each piece is $5, $10 or $15 depending on size.  If you plan to order one online, let us know via email and be sure to include an extra $7.00 for boxing, bubble wrap and shipping.  Email us your shipping address at contact@servantsofthefather.org and donate any amount you wish to our homeless family easily online at http://servantsofthefather.org/donate_2_homeless ; you can post checks as well.  Send to Servants of the Father of Mercy, P. O. Box 42001, Los Angeles, CA 90042.  All donations are tax deductible and will be used for Thanksgiving and Christmas StreetReach to homeless living under bridges and in alleyways; delivering to them food, water, clothing, blankets, spiritual supplies and more.  Enjoy the pictures!









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  • Post checks to - Servants of the Father of Mercy, Inc., P.O. Box 42001, Los Angeles, CA 90042. All Donations are Tax Deductible.