Betty Hobbs lived at Leisure World Seal Beach California for 41 years and was a faithful member of St. Theodore of Canterbury until her death early this year. She and the amazing Anne Walshe, a retired hospital administer, shared wardens’ duties.
I popped in this morning to celebrate Holy Eucharist, preach, sing along with organist Laura Dickey, and join with congregants in inviting the Holy Spirit’s blessing on a new portable altar, where Betty’s photo was prominently featured, all followed by a delicious lunch al fresco — but not at St. Theodore’s. When the church lost its lease four years ago, the Rev. Gil Moore at nearby Redeemer Lutheran Church of Leisure World invited St. Theodore’s to share worship.
Thanks to him, our wise and warm-hearted vicar, the Rev. Lisa Rotchford, and the two friendly, willing congregations, the twinning is going swimmingly. Gil’s retired, though still actively involved, so Lisa is pastoring both churches, supported until recently by the Rev. Canon Mark Shier, who designed the beautiful worship book we used today, and the Rev. Reese M Riley.
Discussions are underway about sharing governance. Lisa reminded me that ten years ago, she, Canon Kathy Hannigan O’Connor, other St John Chrysostom Church pilgrims, and I had visited Israel and Palestine together. “Back to the Holy City” is our Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles theme this year. Its spirit is fully alive in Seal Beach in this flowering of practical ecumenism. Jesus Christ always takes delight when two become one.