Monday, March 28, 2011

RIP: The Reverend Dr. Canon Howard Happ

We -- the Diocese of Los Angeles and the Church of God -- have lost a faithful servant and great friend in Howard Happ. Here's the announcement that came from the bishops' office a few minutes ago:

I am very sorry to inform you that the Rev. Canon Dr. Howard J. Happ, a priest of this diocese for nearly 40 years and a distinguished professor of religious studies, died March 27 at the Canterbury Episcopal Home Community in Rancho Palos Verdes where he was a resident. Howard died peacefully in his sleep; he was 68 and will long be remembered for his great friendship, intellect, wit, and commitment to the Anglo-Catholic tradition. Howard is survived by many admiring friends, colleagues and students.

Requiem Eucharist is scheduled for Sunday, April 3, at 5:30 p.m. -- preceded by visitation at 4:30 p.m. -- at St. Nicholas Church, Encino. Burial will follow in Waterloo, Iowa, where Howard was born May 20, 1942. Since 1979, Howard was professor of religious studies at California State University, Northridge. Previously at CSUN he was associate professor for four years and assistant professor from 1971 to 1975. Howard assisted at St. Nicholas, Encino, for some 20 years starting in 1978. He was curate of St. Charles' Mission, Northridge, from 1973 to 1976, and then assisted at St. Andrew & St. Charles, Granada Hills, from 1977 to 1983. In 1996 he began assisting at St. Bede's, Los Angeles, continuting until his retirement. Starting in 2000, he served at St. Martin in-the-Fields, Winnetka, and also occasionally at the Cathedral Center, of which he was named an honorary canon in 2006.

Most recently, Howard had assisted and preached at St. Francis, Palos Verdes Estates, and St. Nicholas, Encino. Bishop Robert Rusack ordained Howard to the diaconate in 1973 and the priesthood in 1974. Howard held an A.B. from Cornell College in Iowa, M.A. from the University of Chicago, B.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University. Howard is the author of numerous theological articles, as well as a chapter in the diocesan centennial history, As We Remember.
Rest eternal grant your servant Howard, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon him.
Your brother in Christ, +J. Jon Bruno.

Monday, March 14, 2011

"At work in the Fields of the Lord" ... in Santa Clarita!

A couple of weeks ago there was an ordination at St. Stephen's in Santa Clarita and the church celebrated two brand new priests -- Sue Bek and Cynthia Jew. The local paper ran a nice feature piece entitled "Lifelong callings finally realized" on February 26 with some great pictures as part of the celebration.

One reader took exception to the feature and the paper ran his comments ("St. Stephen's wrong to ordain gay priest") on March 6. I understand from folks in the community that he's also taken to protesting outside the church.

So here's the op-ed response in yesterday's "Santa Clarita Valley Signal" by Santa Clarita rector Lynn Jay:

‘There will be no outcasts in this church’
Rev. Canon Lynn Jay, rector
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
March 13, 2011

The words that follow are from a prayer that is always used at ordinations in the Episcopal Church:
“Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord...”
I would like Mr. Miano (“St. Stephen’s wrong to ordain openly gay priest,” March 6) to know that St. Stephen’s, a congregation of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, is proud to convey to the world the inclusive love of Jesus — “that things which were cast down are being raised up” — women, people of color, the poor, the homeless, as well as gay and lesbian people.

And things that have grown old are being made new — not an old wrathful God who desires the death of sinners, but the new incarnate son of God, Jesus, who comes that all may be freed and made whole.

A former presiding bishop of the church said, “I think the Church has a role in being both prophetic in holding up issues, and using all its influences to try to bring about better conditions for the poor, the hungry, both in this country, as well as in the global village. There will be no outcasts in the church.”

The overwhelming power of God: father, son and holy spirit are evident in the all encompassing love at St. Stephen’s. There will be no outcasts in this church.
1 - Let the people say "AMEN!"
2 - Let the people send Letters to the Editor and/or add some comments to the online feature in support of St. Stephen's.
3 - Let the people take a minute to click here and send an email of thanks to Lynn+ for her powerful witness to God's inclusive love!