Rector’s Corner: I would like to thank all of you for coming to our Ash Wednesday Services and pancake supper. Just like what I have said during the services, it is a day when we start our Lenten journey together by self-examination, penitence, prayer, fasting, and alms-giving, and by reading and meditating on the word of God. And I quote, “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return” Genesis 3:19.
On behalf of our parish, I would like to welcome our sister in Christ, Kim Hodge, who would facilitate our parish Mutual Ministry Review today in the Peart Lounge at 1:00pm. This conversation aims to provide a discernment process for the leadership team of St. Michael’s with regards to our common Mission and Ministry for this community. My hope is to share the perspective of church council during our annual vestry meeting.
I hope that all of us who were given copies of the Lenten Study Booklet have started your journey in “Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John”. Please note that there are more available resources for you to use for reflection by logging on to this website – www.meetingjesusinjohn.org
Annual Vestry Meeting reading materials: If you do not have access to a printer, please send us a note through email or leave a voice message on the church machine and we would have a printed copy for you to pick up on a particular time during the week or just after our Sunday Worship Service.
Last Thursday, I welcomed the new Director for Mission and Ministry Development, The Reverend Tellison Glover, in our parish. It was an opportunity for me to walk him around our premises. He was delighted to see that we have a couple of programs during the week. He admired our sanctuary for its beauty and an atmosphere of serenity and sacredness.
“An appeal to God for a good conscience” Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Anglican Church of Canada
In the midst of two stories we know so well, the story of Noah and the flood and the story of Jesus and his baptism we hear in the First Letter of Peter some teaching about the nature of our baptism. He speaks of it “not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience through Christ.” (1 Peter 3:21)
Lent is a time for us to be especially mindful of any and every arrogance reflecting the thought that some peoples are superior to others. I speak of the sins of racism, ethnic cleansing, and government-enforced policies of assimilation designed “to remake others in our image”. (The Anglican Church of Canada’s Apology to the survivors of the Indian Residential Schools in Canada, 1993)
Lent is a season to confess these sins against our brothers and sisters. It is a time to correct attitudes, words, and actions, blatant or subtle that perpetuate them. It is a time to forge new relationships grounded in our baptismal vow to strive for justice and peace among all people.
To quote First Peter, Lent is a season of “appeal to God for a good conscience”, cleansed of the sins of prejudice, and cleared for respect and affection, one for another in accord with the Gospel we proclaim.
Prayer “For all false judgements, for uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbours and for our prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from us, Accept our repentance, Lord.” (The Litany of Penitence for Ash Wednesday, The Book of Alternative Services, The Anglican Church of Canada)