Dear friends of St. Junia’s House,

There are some upcoming activities in the next couple of months that I wanted to give you a heads up, so that if you are interested you can plan to attend.

Sunday, May 15th, 2011, 9:30-10:15 AM at St. Matthew ECC Church
, in Orange, CA: Adult Religious Education Seminar on Who was St. Junia? Controversies about “Apostleship” in the New Testament. We will overview the so-called “Junia controversies.” If you are not familiar with biblical reference for Junia, she and her coworker, Andronicus, are mentioned by St. Paul in Romans 16:7:  “Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives and my fellow prisoners; they are prominent among the apostles and they were in Christ before me.”

While the early church seems to have been perfectly clear that Junia was a female apostle, after the time of Luther, she began to be depicted as a male – “Junias” – a name that is not found anywhere in Rome. The verse was also translated as though she and Andronicus were “known by” the apostles rather than being “prominent among” them. And the New Testament concept of “apostle” was also seen to narrow over time from Paul’s usage to that of Luke in the Gospel of Luke and Acts. There are implications for who was allowed to participate as leaders in the early church. Using just the four canonical Gospels, it can be demonstrated that where the role of Mary Magdalene and other women is more prominent, Peter is diminished, and vice versa. It appears clear that controversies about women’s place were alive and well even within the first century. This was not simply a later development, attributable to Gnostic sources, nor is it a feminist idea that has been superimposed on the New Testament. We will discuss research on the early house churches in the first century, and early patterns of leadership in them. There will be some written study materials which will be provided to attendees, and those of you who are too far away to come will be able to download these from our website.

We have planned for this educational event in anticipation of the celebration of the consecration of the St. Junia’s House Chapel, to follow a week later. I also hope that the seminar will be videotaped and available to post on-line and DVDs of the event will be available for purchase for $5.

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011, 2 PM at St. Junia’s House, in Anaheim, CA:  ECC Presiding Bp. +Peter Hickman will consecrate the chapel here at St. Junia’s House. There will be a reception with coffee and dessert afterward. If you would like to attend, you can contact me for the physical address, which we do not publish for security reasons because of my professional work in the criminal justice system. Everyone in other nearby ECC communities, including St. Matt, as well as friends who belong to other religious communities is invited to attend.

Friday, June 3rd, 2011, 7 PM at St. Junia’s House, in Anaheim, CA: This event is for all women from St. Matthew and St. Junia’s, ages 15-95! Or any woman who is interested in “checking us out” is certainly welcome too. We will be having a pot luck dinner plus assembling “care packages” for the homeless. Something I started to do several months ago was to build “care packages” in bags, which I keep on the floor in the back seat of my car. When people panhandle, I hand out these bags. I have had some very interesting reactions and conversations with homeless people who have received them. They include individual portions of food that won’t spoil, such as snack packs of crackers and tuna fish, cheese, ham spread, chicken salad; fruit juice, bottled water, packets of coffee or hot chocolate, small cans of fruit, candy bars. In addition, we include some other useful items such as small terrycloth towel, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, stationery, envelopes, stamps, plastic bags, etc. I also include a Psalm 23rd prayer card.

So we are requesting that those planning to attend who can afford to do so contribute $7 for each bag you’d like to build. I will collect all the items in advance, if you can tell me how many bags you’d like to make. However, if you cannot afford this, please don’t stay away! You can help me and others put together our packages! Your companionship in our group is the most important thing to us! I need to know who is coming a week ahead May 27th, so that I can make sure I have the items that we will need. Once I know who is coming, we can decide who is bringing what for the pot luck dinner. You can call or text me at 714 606 4365 or email me at, or message me on Facebook.

Saturday, June 4th, 10 AM – 1 PM, at St. Junia’s House, in Anaheim: We will have a mini-retreat  focusing on spirituality across our lifespan, particularly the differences in the spiritual life for the first and second halves of life. We will watch and discuss a DVD presentation by Fr. Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest who has written many books and conducted spiritual retreats all over the world. I’ll write more details on our plans as this shapes up. But generally, the plan is for a nice brunch and time of sharing. Anyone from any ECC community or anyone who would be interested is cordially invited.

Blessings, M-J+