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June 23, 2010
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June 23, 2010 The Coquille Valley Sentinel Page 7 Learning from Pelicans by Pastor Sylvia Ulett This morning I reluctantly forced myself to look at pic- tures of Louisiana's oil-soaked pelicans. I immediately experienced a soul-deep ache in that place usually reserved for the suffering of a loved one. 1. Oddly, like an ornithological voyeur, once I opened my eyes to the horror I couldn't look away. A brown pelican was trapped in the dark, stinky goo. His distinctive pouched bill was open as he gasped for air. His magnificent wings (which can span up to eight feet) occasionally flopped as though he wasn't willing to con- cede defeat, as if he might still be able to rise above it all. Next to him was a gull, once elegant as it soared over the coastline calling out the familiar "caw caw" of its species. Now it no longer resembled a bird at all, wings and feet splayed out at unnatural angles and feathers matted together in clumps. The gull's eyes were vacant and unsee- ing as it surrendered to exhaustion and slow suffocation. A photographer was quoted as saying, "In the eyes you can see that something is wrong. The eyes always tell a story." An Audubon naturalist described how oil prevents birds from regulating their body temperature, inhibits their breathing and fills their bloodstreams with toxins. Were they able to lay eggs, the shells would no longer be white and filled with the promise of new life. They would be a muddy brown, the occupant dying long before birth. What I saw in those pictures was a holocaust for birds, fish, turtles, plants, dolphins and everything else that lives and is nourished under the sea. In Matthew Chapter 6 Jesus asks us to consider the birds of the air, "Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds." My response was angry. "Then where are you, God? More than 400,000 gallons of oil continue to spurt into the ocean each day. Your beloved creation is asphyxiating; choking to death. Have you somehow forgotten the peli- cans?" No answer. If you visit Florence, Italy's Galleria dell'Accademia and walk down the hall past Michaelangelo's David, you will see Pacino di Bonaguida's "Tree of Life" which dates back to about 1310. A peculiar element rests at the top of the painting. A pelican. Catholic columnist Ft. William Saunders explained: "The symbolism of the mother pelican feeding her little baby pelicans is rooted in an ancient legend which preced- .... ed Christianity. The legend was that in time of famine, the mother pelican wounded herself, striking her breast with the beak to feed her young with her blood to prevent starva- tion. Another version of the legend was that the mother fed her dying young with her blood to revive them from death, but in turn lost her own life." In the hymn "Adoro Te" St. Thomas Aquinas addresses Jesus with, "Pelican of Mercy, cleanse me in thy precious blood. Looking at the images of dead and dying pelicans filled me with profound sadness. How could such a thing hap- pen? But then I began to wonder... When was the last time I felt that degree of passionate grief for Jesus on his cross? When did the unfairness of his death propel me to my knees in humble perplexity? When did I last look into his exhausted eyes? The eyes always tell a story. When urging the Jews to abandon the practice of animal sacrifice, God said, "Every creature in the forest is mine, the wild animals on all the mountains. I know every moun- tain bird by name; the scampering field mice are my friends. If I get hungry, do you think I'd tell you? All cre- ation and its bourity are mine." Psalm 50:10 - 12 I don't begin to have foreknowledge of how the Gulf Coast's horror will end. But I know the story of the cross of Jesus. Like the Pelican's legend, he fed and continues to feed us with his own blood. And like the legendary mother Pelican it cost him his life. There is comfort in knowing that God transformed his son's seemingly senseless slaughter into holy and unde- served redemption. I can only trust that He will similarly use the current situation so that in all his creation, not one of his precious birds lived and died in vain. Welcome to KGCN - Kids' and God's Communication Network. Get ready for a week of games, stories, crafts, and activities for kids, ages 9 - 14, as we focus on God and the great ways He communicates with us Join us as we visit the sets of our do-it-yourself television shows and see for yourself how much fun it is to spend time learning about and communicating with God. Our event takes place at the Seventh-Day Adventist church; July 5-9, 2010 1051 North Cedar Point Road in Coquille at 9:00 am 541-396-3890 ERAL ICE Offering... Locally Managed Cremation & Traditional Arrangements Friends of the family for over 85 years 541-396-3846 Coquille Chapel 225 N. Birch, Coquille "All of the treasures we want the most in life: love, freedom, joy and peace of mind, are attained and sustained by giving them to someone else. Let us increase the joy in our own lives through contribution. May we encourage each other to be generous with our words, deeds and earnings. t At a time in our history when we are tempted to find blame in others, may we draw closer together and bring light to the hoped of those who need our loving encouragement within our own families, our communities and throughout the world." Amen. Preyer offered at Coquille Rotary meeting, June 18, 2010 by Judy weeks. BIBLE BAPTIST CHURCH North Dean at 12th Street Pastor: Bruce Perkins (541) 396-5613 Sunday Services 9:45 am # Sunday School 11 am Worship @ 6 pm Wednesday Services 7 prn @ Prayer Meeting 7 pm @ Youth Group PIONEER UNITED METHODIST 180 N. Baxter, Coquille 541-396-4645 Morning Worship....11:00 am Sunday School for all ages & Adults ..... 9:45 am Pastor Elaine Steele COQUILLE CHRISTIAN COblMIJNITY CHURCH 10th & Folsom, Coquille 541-396-3542 Sunday Morning Worship 9:30 am Educational Classes 11:00 am Ken Smith, Pastor Jeremy Dotson Ministries Pastor VICTORY TABERNACLE FULL GOSPEL CHURCH, INC. 360 E. 3rd, Coquille, OR Pastor dim Walter 541-396-4500 OR 541-396-5393 PRAISE CENTER FOURSQUARE 1546 N. Hemlock, Coquille 541-396-5548 Sunday School 9:20 am Service t 10:30 am Pastors Jim & Brooke Settle HOPE COVENANT REFORMED CHURCH 580 E. 9th St. Coquille, OR 97423 Sunday School...9.'45 am Morning Worship....11:00 am Afternoon Service....4:30 pm Pastor Ron Joling 541-396-4183 CHURCH OF CHRIST 2nd & Gould 0 Coquille Sunday Morning Classes 10:00am Sunday Morning Worship 11:00 am Sunday Evening Worship 6.'00 pm Wednesday Evening Classes 7:00 pm 541-396-2508 HOLY NAME CATHOLIC CHURCH Vigil Mass 6 pm, Saturday Sunday Mass 9:30 am 50 S. Dean St., Coquille Father John McGuire 541-396-3849 FAITH LUTHERAN CHURCH 970 N. Central, Coquille Sunday Worship 9:30 am OWorship Service 10:30am Fellowship PHONE 541-396-4652 CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE 997 W. Central Blvd, Coquille Sunday School 9:30 am Morning Worship 10:45 am Evening Worship 6:00 pm PHONE 541-396-259.1 SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH 1051 N. Cedar Point Rd OCoquille 541-396-3890 Worship Hours t Saturday Sabbath School ..... 9:45 am Divine Worship Service....10:50 am Wednesdayt Bible fellowship...7:00 prr Pastor - J.R. Agosto KLYF IO0.7 FM LifeTalk Christian Radio FIRST MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH 1170 W. 1 lth, Coquille Sunday School t 10 am Worship @ 11 am Sunday Evenings @ 5:30 pm Wednesday Evenings@ 6:30 pm Prayer Service... 7 pm FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHERCH Worship: Sunday, 11 am Corner of Railroad Ave. and Maple St. in Myrtle Poi.nt. Reverend Sandy Collins 541-572-5958 EPISCOPAL CHURCHES of the Coquille Valley St.James  Coquille Sunday Eucharist 9:30 am Holy Eucharist Noon...Thursday St. Paul's  Powers Holy Eucharist Sunday .... 12:15 pm REVEREND ALBIE HAZEN 541-396-2322 FIRST ASSEMBLY OF GOD 457 E. Second 0 Coquille Sunday Fellowship....9:00 am Worship Services 10:00 am & 6:00 pm Ken Duke, Pastor 541-396-4205 EMMANUEL BAPTIST CHURCH 282 W. 6th, Coquille 541-396-2921 Senior Pastor Mark Elefritz Assistant Pastor Aaron Finle Bible Studies, Morn to Morn Ministry, Men's group & Wednesday Family night for all ages. M[lrtle Grove FUNERAL SERVICE 94105 Rink Creek Lane, Coquille Or Offering the only crematory in the Coquille Valley as well as complete burial services in all area cemeteries.