- Day By Day
- Life Lesson
- Prayers, Poems and Artworks
- What is Ash Wednesday
- Monthly Calendar
- Brent Cares / Service Learning
- Parish Organizations
- Parish Programs
- Parish Preaching Stations
Day By Day
Take care and God bless.
Fr. Benjamin A. Jance III
Prayers, Poems and Artworks
What is Ash Wednesday?
What is Ash Wednesday?
The name of the day comes from the custom that churchgoers are marked on the forehead with a cross of ash to symbolize death and regret for past sins. The priest will accompany the marking with a recital of Genesis 3:19 – “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”. The tradition of marking with ashes began in the early church as a way for persistent sinners to outwardly show their desire for repentance. This day marks the beginning of the season of Lent. https://www.officeholidays.com/religious/christian/ash-wednesday.php
Singing the Song of Our Enemy, Ash Wednesday
– March 6, 2019
Readings: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 or Isaiah 58:1-12; Psalm 103 or 103:8-14; 2 Corinthians 5: 20 9b – 6:10; Matthew 6: 1-6, 16-21
Today, Ash Wednesday, is the day we come to church to sing the song of our enemy. We come to church to confront our own mortality, to stare sin and death in the face and admit that they are real. We allow the abyss to approach. We quit fighting so hard against our unseen enemies that do us so much damage as we struggle to deny their reality day after day. We let ourselves be marked by the truth, the sign of the Cross in ash on our foreheads.
There is some primal place within us. It makes us afraid to admit our sin, afraid to admit our disappointment and our lack of faith, afraid to admit our hopelessness and our fear of death. We hide that secret place within us even from ourselves, ashamed to admit most of what lives there.
Jesus tells us, “Whenever you pray… pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” We are asked to come out into the open by going deep inside ourselves. Jesus said the Kingdom of God is within us, and here we’re being asked to find that kingdom in the least likely of places, the places we try to hide from God and from ourselves. What are the habits you can’t kick that you’re most ashamed of? What are the qualities about yourself you hate the most? What are the actions you’ve taken that you most regret?
“See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!” Paul says in our lesson from Second Corinthians. As much as we may realize the life-changing potential of going deep into the secret places within us, it never seems like it’s possible now. We’ll pay more attention to our prayer life when the economy settles down, when our parents get settled in the retirement community, when the kids move out, when things are less hectic at work. When things are easier, different, somehow not like today.
But that day never comes. If we wait until our voices are ready before we sing the song of our enemy, we will remain silent forever. And the deep grace of looking sin and shame and death in the face will never be available to us. “Now is the acceptable time,” Paul says, “now is the day of salvation.” And it is clear from the rest of the reading that Paul and his companions certainly didn’t have their lives on track when he wrote this. They were dealing with beatings, imprisonments, riots, sleepless nights, and hunger. The difference between Paul and his friends and us is that they allowed the crisis and upheaval to drive them deeper into God’s embrace. As our busyness and distraction and even suffering increase, we are all too prone to stay on the outer circle of relationship with God, clinging to some imagined self-sufficiency that we think keeps us afloat.
The place Jesus was talking about when he spoke of “your Father who is in secret,” is the spark of the Holy Spirit that shines forth within you and can never be dimmed by sin or suffering.
So what enemy’s song will you sing today, on this Ash Wednesday? And whom do you need to invite to join your choir? Who in your life has harmed you? Whom have you harmed? What chance is there that beautiful music of hope and new life and possibility could arise out of the ashes of grief and misunderstanding that mark your past? That sense of longing you sometimes feel deep inside you—for love, for life, for light—that is the music of God yearning to come through you to bless the world. And the world needs your voice, needs your music, needs your hope. If we are ever to escape eternally labeling each other as enemies, we must be brave enough to sing together.
Today we come to church to confront sin, death, mortality, because we know in the end they hold no power over us. Today we come to church to sing the song of our enemy, only to find that we are not alone, because the Father is singing it with us.
An excerpt from Sermons That Work: By Whitney Rice
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.
|Name of Club||Students||Advisors||Brief Description|
|Best Buddies||Gr. 6 -12||P. Leighton / |
|Aims to create one-to-one friendships between students and develop student leaders.|
|Blood Typing Committee||Gr. 9 -12||R. Britton||Brent 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 /
Z. Belaguas /
|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.|
• Philip’s GK Village, Laguna
|Gr. 9 -12||G. Dubroof||A tutoring program for children in a local community on Saturdays.|
|Geek Squad||Gr. 9 -12||R. Castañeda||Solve 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 -12||R. Britton / |
|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. 3||T. Naude||Students 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 Samaritan||Gr. 9 - 12||K. Pozon / |
|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 Ambassador||Gr. 9 - 12||M. Baldwin / |
|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 Nations||Gr. 6 -12||B. Jewell / |
|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 Compassion||Gr. 6 - 8||R. Richards / |
G. Tang /
|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 Compassion||Gr. 9 -12||R. Rafiñan||A 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.|
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.
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.
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
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, 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.
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 Child||Age||Condition|
|Gabriel de la Cruz||7||Cerebral Palsy with Epilepsy|
|Cassie Naval||7||Congenital heart disease due for surgery|
|Bobby Babon||2||Down Syndrome|
|Tricia Gagarin||4||healthy (sponsored)|
|Andrea Tabilog||5||healthy (sponsored)|
|Mark Sigue||2||healthy (sponsored)|
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.