Sunday Reflection: Acts 16 offers a compelling portrait of ministry for our consideration. This chapter begins with Paul choosing Timothy as his companion. This is a significant reminder that ministry is not a solo endeavor; it requires companionship.
Paul is convinced that God is calling them to proclaim the good news to the people of Macedonia. While in Philippi, on a Sabbath day, they go to where they assume they will find a place of prayer — they go outside the gate by the river. Here they find the women gathered. It is by the riverside that Paul and company encounter Lydia and a group of women. Lydia is described as a worshipper of God. Lydia and her household are baptized and she offers Paul a place to stay. An open heart results in open doors. Lydia tells Paul: “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.” She extends hospitality to Paul and his companions.
It is important to remember that this hospitality and generosity may be found in the expected places, coming from those who we do not anticipate will extend it. Paul sets sail looking for a man to share the good news with in Macedonia. Instead, he encounters a group of women.
Ministry is often equated to those individual and things that are visible — the ministers, the sacraments, the choir and ushers. However, ministry is made possible by those who often are not seen and at times are not named. Despite our tendency to want to identify a hero or personality, this text reminds us that it takes a team for the ministry to be effective. All are co-laborers. Paul was not alone, he was there with Silas, Timothy, and likely whoever it is that is recounting the story. The church is strengthened, then and now, by those who demonstrate their faithfulness in both their words and deeds and by those who extend generous hospitality. The proclamation of the word opens the heart and open hearts result in open doors. Let us welcome all who would come.
Rector’s Corner: Today, parish council meets at St. Michael’s house, 12noon. Also, St. Michael’s outreach team would be at Zion Manor, 3:00pm, for a service of praise and healing. All Welcome!
Last Week, our Bible Study talked about the mission work of the early church based on the Book of Acts. There were two interesting points that the group pondered. First, the early church modeled a belief on inclusiveness in preaching God’s word. And second, the vital role of women in the church ministry. What do you think?
Again, everyone is invited to come on Tuesday, 6:00pm to St. Michael’s House. We would read the following: Acts 1:1-11; Ephesians 1:15-23; Luke 24:44-53.
On behalf of our parish, a special thank you to Corri and Tony for representing our parish to the 119th Synod of the Diocese of New Westminster. For those who may want to know some highlights of Synod, we would make ourselves available during our Sunday coffee hour.
It’s almost here! The Tri Parish Ministry of the Church of the Epiphany, St. Helen’s and St. Michael’s will gather for our annual Service and Picnic in the Park on Pentecost Sunday, June 9th, 10:00-2:00, Bear Creek Park picnic area (entrance is off 140th Street). Bring your lawn chair. Share a side dish or dessert for the Fellowship Meal. All Welcome!