April 2019

 

Day By Day

The Story of Mark Eklund
by Sister Helen Mrosla

He was in the third-grade class I taught at Saint Mary’s School in Morris, Minnesota. All thirty-four students were dear to me, but Mark Eklund was one in a million. Very neat in appearance, he had that happy-to-be-alive attitude that made even his occasional mischievousness delightful.

Mark talked incessantly. I had to remind him again and again that talking with out permission was not acceptable. What impressed me so much, though, was his sincere response every time I had to correct him for misbehaving. “Thank you for correcting me, Sister!” I didn’t know what to make of it at first, but before long, I became accustomed to hearing it many times a day.

One morning, my patience was growing thin when Mark talked once too often, and then I made a novice teacher’s mistake. I looked at Mark and said, “if you say one more word, I am going to tape your mouth shut!” It wasn’t ten seconds later when Chuck blurted out, “Mark is talking again.” I hadn’t asked any of the students to help me watch Mark, but since I had stated the punishment in front of the class, I had to act on it. I remember the scene as if it had occurred this morning. I walked to my desk , very deliberately opened my drawer, and took out a roll of masking tape. without saying a word, I proceeded to Mark’s desk, tore off two pieces of tape, and made a big X with them over his mouth. I then returned to the front of the room. As I glanced at Mark to see how he was doing, he winked at me. That did it! I started laughing. The class cheered as I walked back to Mark’s desk, removed the tape, and shrugged my shoulders. His first words were, “Thank you for correcting me , Sister.”

At the end of the year, I was asked to teach Junior high math. The years flew by, and before I knew it, Mark was in my classroom again and just as polite. Since he had to listen carefully to my instruction in the “new math,” he did not talk as much in ninth grade as he had in third. One Friday, things just didn’t feel right. We had worked hard on anew concept all week , and I sensed that the students were frustrated with themselves and edgy with one another. I had to stop this crankiness before it got out of hand. So I asked them to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then I told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment , and as the students left the room, each handed me the papers. Charlie smiled. Mark said, “Thank you for teaching me, Sister. Have a good weekend.”

That Saturday , I wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual.

On Monday I gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. “Really?” I heard whispered. “I never knew that meant anything to any one!” “I didn’t know others liked me so much,” No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. I never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn’t matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another again.

That group of students moved on. Several years later, after I returned from vacation, my parents met me at the airport.. As we were driving home. Mother asked me the usual questions about the tip, the weather, and my experience in general. There was a lull in the conversation. Mother gave Dad a sideways glance and simply said, “Dad?”

My father cleared his throat as he usually did before something important. “The Edlunds called last night,” he began. “Really?” I said. “I haven’t heard from them in years, I wonder how Mark is.” Dad responded quietly. “Mark was killed in Vietnam. The funeral is tomorrow, and his parents would like it if you could attend.” To this day, I can still point to the exact spot on I-494 where Dad told me about Mark.

I had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. Mark looked so handsome; so mature. All I could think at that moment was, “Mark, I would give all the masking tape in the world if only you would talk to me.”

The church was packed wit Mark’s friends. Chuck’s sister sang “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” Why did it have to rain on the day of the funeral? It was difficult enough at the graveside. The pastor said the usual prayers, and the bugler played “Taps.” One by one, those who loved Mark took a last walk by the coffin and sprinkled it with holy water. i was the last one to bless the coffin. As I stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to me. “Were you Mark’s math teacher?” he asked. “Mark talked about you a lot, “he said.

After the funeral, most of Mark’s former classmates headed to Chuck’s farmhouse for lunch. Mark’s mother and father were there, obviously waiting for me. “We want to show you something,” his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket. “They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognise it.” Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded, and refolded many times. I knew without looking that the papers were the new on which I had listed all the good things each of Mark’s classmates had said about him.

“Thank you so much for doing that,” mark’s mother said. “as you can see, Mark treasured it. “Mark’s classmates started to gather around us. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, “I still have my list. I keep it in the top drawer of my desk at home.” Chuck’s wife said, “Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album.” “I have mine too,” Marilyn said, “It’s in my diary.” Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet, and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. “I carry this with me at all times, “Vicki said without batting an eyelash. “I think we all saved our lists. “That’s when I finally sat down and cried. I cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.

Excerpted from Simple Truths book.
The Heart of a Teacher; A Treasury of Inspiration
by Paula J. Fox

Take care and God bless.

Fr. Benjamin A. Jance III
School Chaplain

 

Passion Play

 

Life Lesson

 

Prayers, Poems and Artworks

 

Good Friday and Easter


Good Friday

The Friday before Easter Day, on which the church commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus. It is a day of fasting and special acts of discipline and selfdenial. The liturgy of the day includes John’s account of the Passion gospel, a solemn form of intercession known as the solemn collects (dating from ancient Rome), and optional devotions before the cross (commonly known as the veneration of the cross). The Eucharist is not celebrated in the Episcopal Church on Good Friday, but Holy Communion may be administered from the reserved sacrament at the Good Friday service. The BCP appoints readings for Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer on Good Friday.

Reflection: Do we still need a sacrifice?
The Cross of Christ still teaches us that we don’t need to sacrifice our children, our enemies, or ourselves as our pagan ancestors did. It teaches us that God does not demand appeasement. “I do not desire sacrifice or delight in the blood of bulls and goats.” He came to us, as God in the flesh, to allow us to sacrifice him to himself. There is nothing left to offer, no greater sacrifice left to give! We are still human beings, and we still need that message, that Good News. (Greg Goebel, Anglican Priest, founder of Anglican pastor and currently the Canon Ordinary for the Anglican Diocese of the South)

Collect: Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Easter

The feast of Christ’s resurrection. 1) Easter Day is the annual feast of the resurrection, the pascha or Christian Passover, and the eighth day of cosmic creation. Faith in Jesus’ resurrection on the Sunday or third day following his cruciBixion is at the heart of Christian belief. Easter sets the experience of springtime next to the ancient stories of deliverance and the proclamation of the risen Christ. In the west, Easter occurs on the Birst Sunday after the full moon on or after the vernal equinox. Easter always falls between Mar. 22 and Apr. 25 inclusive. Following Jewish custom, the feast begins at sunset on Easter Eve with the Great Vigil of Easter. The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates Easter on the Birst Sunday after the Jewish pesach or Passover (which follows the spring full moon). Although the two dates sometimes coincide, the eastern date is often one or more weeks later.

Reflection: Why is the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ so important to
Christians today?

It is important because it is the symbol and center point of human healing, wholeness, and flourishing. The resurrection constantly points us back to the reality of our humanness as body, mind, and spirit. It vividly demonstrates the dignity of each and every human being, and the eternal nature of mankind. It calls us to care for the earth and the living creatures on it, and to care for each other. And it keeps us from dividing heaven and earth, moving toward either escapism or materialism. If you remove the resurrection from the equation, you end up having to choose once again between the ancient three options, a state of mind which paralyzed mankind for thousands of years. (Greg Goebel, Anglican Priest, founder of Anglican pastor and currently the Canon Ordinary for the Anglican Diocese of the South)

Collect
O God, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Sources:
https://www.episcopalchurch.org/library/glossary/easter
https://www.lectionarypage.net/YearC_RCL/Easter/CEasterPrin_RCL.html
http://anglicanpastor.com/good-friday-do-we-still-need-a-sacrifice/
http://anglicanpastor.com/why-resurrection/

 

Monthly Calendar

 

Brent Cares / Service Learning

Brent School has, over the years kept a strong Service Learning arm as an important part of its holistic approach to the Brent Educational System. Students, teachers, staff and administrators participate actively in the after school activity by giving of their time and resources in reaching out to those in need. The whole school goes into full support mode when the need arises, especially during the typhoon season. The generous time and preparations that everyone gives to those in need are concrete expressions of the values that Brent stands for.

Brent’s Expected School-wide Learning Results touch on the need for self-development, sincerely reaching out to our community certainly develops the minds and hearts of those in our school. Being responsible in all that we do at school and at work reinforces the service-learning element.

Helping another might be viewed as giving of your time and/or of sharing your talents and resources. It is, and more. It is in fact, a two-way street. The child and person who goes out of his/her way in return gets something that contributes to her/his own wellbeing. “You never know when one act, or one word of encouragement, can change a life forever.” ~( Zig Ziglar)

There is an inherent and spontaneous reward that comes from helping one another. Jesus speaks of such reality when He said: “for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me…. Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of theses who are members of my family, you did it to me.” ~ (Matthew 25:35-36, 40)

Indeed, the joy that one receives in giving far surpasses anything that anyone can ever wish for.

  1. Clubs
Name of ClubStudents AdvisorsBrief Description
Best BuddiesGr. 6 -12P. Leighton /
P. Valley
Aims to create one-to-one friendships between students and develop student leaders.
Blood Typing CommitteeGr. 9 -12R. BrittonBrent students will develop and then maintain a resource data bank for the Brent community’s use as needed. This resource will comprise of contact information, blood types and donation plans of Brent families, faculty and staff. Once composed, the resources can then be used by our committee to locate blood donors for anyone in the Brent community that encounters a medical need.
Building Bridges with Biñan
• Mamplasan Elementary School
• Pagkakaisa Elementary School
Gr. 3 -12


L. Baldwin /
Fr. Jance


Z. Belaguas /
Fr. Jance
Brent students to reach out to children in our local community. We will be assisting elementary students from two local elementary schools with their English skills, forming friendships and support our neighbors.
Gawad Kalinga
• Philip’s GK Village, Laguna
Gr. 9 -12G. DubroofA tutoring program for children in a local community on Saturdays.
Geek SquadGr. 9 -12R. CastañedaSolve computer problems * Refurbish computers and donate to a local classroom * Help organize Tech Week *Produce videos * Develop computer programs * Play computer games * Share your knowledge and skills in I .T. and learn from others as well.
Global Issues Network (GIN)Gr. 9 -12R. Britton /
K. Regan
GIN approaches the 20 largest problems in the world and tries to address them at a local level. Global Issues Network (GIN) is a group focused on solving Earth’s most pressing economical issues. We aim to encourage young people to take initiative to spread awareness for modern global problems such as poverty or improving education in developing countries. Working within a network of “global citizens” creates a platform to develop, share and implement sustainable methods for solving these global issues. Anyone willing to contribute brilliant ideas are welcome.
Junior Global Issues Network (GIN)Gr. 3T. NaudeStudents will explore the global issues that we face such as shortage of water, climate change, pollution, extinction, disease and much more. Students will learn ways in which they can help the environment, create awareness and to decrease the carbon footprints implanted on earth as time goes by.
Good SamaritanGr. 9 - 12K. Pozon /
D. Mapua
Aims to provide meaningful concern of and realistic commitment with the less privileged and inculcate deeper understanding and appreciation of ones many talents.
Green Earth AmbassadorGr. 9 - 12M. Baldwin /
D. Michaelsen
An environmental advocacy club focused on bringing sustainable solutions to environmental problems in the Philippines. Our projects have focused on recycling, food waste, refilling markers, and environmental field trips. We are looking for students who are dedicated to making the world a better place and are interested in learning about working with local stakeholders to solve local environmental problems.
Model United NationsGr. 6 -12B. Jewell /
T. Selga
A student-driven educational simulation in which students learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations based on current and relevant international issues. MUN involves and teaches research, public speaking, debating, and writing skills, in addition to critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership. Brent MUN hosts an annual conference to teach these skills to local schools as a training exercise and then attends a larger MUN conference with these schools in Manila in the fall at the World Health Organization
Project CompassionGr. 6 - 8R. Richards /
G. Tang /
S. Roxas
Designed to bring up culture awareness, to create solidarity and compassion for the people in needs. This club helps our students to engage in meaningful service -learning activity with the Holy Family Mission Children with kindness, empathy, and generosity.
Project CompassionGr. 9 -12R. RafiñanA service-oriented club that develops a sense of camaraderie, leadership, and character in its members. It aims to help everyone create a better world by spreading awareness and increasing engagement in kind actions. We organize a variety of activities and projects to benefit our school and community.

 

Parish Organizations

Youth Ministry (Samahan ng mga Kabataang Episcopal)

Our Youth Group is one of the most vibrant elements in our parish life.  They form a local chapter of of the National SKEP of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines, and are represented at the National and Diocesan meetings of that Organization.  Members of our youth group also participate in the life of our parish as

  • Sunday School Teachers (see below for Sunday School)  –  Our Sunday School and our VCS (Vacation Church School), under the supervision of Deacon Mary Balitog  is run and taught exclusively by the older youth.
  • Acolytes  –  Composed of young people, boys and girls,  between the ages of 8 and 19, the Holy Family acolytes assist at all parish Eucharists and are otherwise active in the life of the Church.  They are trained and supervised by Deacon Jonathan Britt  

ECW (Episcopal Church Women)  –  Early on, the women, the pillars of our church community,  organized themselves to form a chapter of the ECW and have since then been the heart of the community  . Beyond the traditional ‘women’s’ tasks, which they perform with gusto,  ( washing  and ironing  church linens and vestments, polishing utensils etc)) they are instrumental in organizing most parish social events and  run highly successful  fund raising activities. They meet every first Sunday of the month under the leadership of their elected officers.  

 

Parish Programs

Sunday School

This program aims to provide spiritual nourishment to our youngest members  through  singing,  interactive reading and watching appropriate videos..  Average attendance is between 20 and 30 youngsters every Sunday.   Some Sunday School ‘alumni’  are now  trained Sunday School teacher themselves, while others serve as acolytes and readers.Sunday School

Scholarship Program (for University Students)

This program, initiated by Brent School’s Project Compassion Club, supported a full time college student who graduated in April, 2017, passed the Licensure examination for teachers and has taught at a Pre- School in Biñan.  She plans to get into the Saint Andrew’s Seminary as a Masters in Theology (MTh) student for the school year 2018-2019. Another recipient, graduated last April, 2018. She will be preparing to take the Licensure Examination for teachers.  The program funds come from various Brent School clubs and private sources.

Education Assistance Loan Program (for University Students)

This program aims to support any student from a low-income family who is an active member of the parish and desires to pursue a College Degree.  Support is given in the form of interest free loans to be repaid once the student has graduated and gainfully employed.  The first student on this program will begin third-year studies this year.

Medical Emergency Fund

This program also aims to be able to provide cash for emergency purposes without any obligation from the recipient. This fund is taken from the fourth Sunday offering as well as private sources. Requests for help are evaluated by the vestry.

 

Parish Preaching Stations

Sunday School

Langkiwa

In 2015, the Pitong Gatang settlement from which most of our original members came was relocated in Langkiwa, a good 30 minute walk from Brent Chapel.  Some children still show up for Sunday School on Sunday mornings along with some adults. For those who can’t find the time,   Deacon Mary Balitog visits regularly with the Celebration of Word and Communion one Sunday a month.   

Timbao

Timbao, where some of our members reside, is  located at some distance from Brent School. For those who find it hard to get to us on Sundays,   Deacon Mary Balitog visits once a month to conduct a  Celebration of Word and Communion.

Cavinti (Our Lady of Walsingham Preaching Station)

In 2012 Deacon Jonathan Britt and his wife Grace opened a preaching station on their property in Cavinti, Laguna.  Before long a small but regular congregation was formed which meets twice a month.  Deacon Jonathan conducts a Celebration of Word and Communion first Sundays, and Fr. Joe Mock celebrates the Eucharist on the third.

Mindoro (Tubili)

 A contingent of Holy Family members lead by Deacon Mary and Mrs. Grace Britt had been going to Tubili in Mindoro with the permission of the Dean of the Southern Tagalog Deanery and the Priest-In-Charge of an existing church in the area to start a mission with the Mangyan Tribe of Mindoro. This mission was initiated in 2016.

WITNESSING: PARISH AT WORK IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

The Holy Spirit is using the Holy Family Episcopal Church through Deacon Mary by sending children in need of help her way.  Out of the blue, somebody calls Dcn. Mary about a kid in need, and there she is to help. Isn’t that amazing work of the Holy Spirit?

Name of ChildAgeCondition
Gabriel de la Cruz7Cerebral Palsy with Epilepsy
Cassie Naval7Congenital heart disease due for surgery
Bobby Babon 2Down Syndrome
Tricia Gagarin4healthy (sponsored)
Andrea Tabilog5healthy (sponsored)
Mark Sigue2healthy (sponsored)

Interns:

Recently we had an intern from the US who stayed with the Parish for a month and assisted the Deacon with the programs of the Parish.  She experienced the day to day living in a less privileged area in the Philippines that is different from where she grew up.  She helped in the Sunday school and some youth activities. With her is another intern from our local school who also helped in the parish works while they are here with the supervision of Deacon Mary.