Sunday Reflection: In this selection from the Gospel According to Matthew, Jesus is fulfilling his mission of teaching, preaching, and healing throughout the entire Galilean region of Israel. Motivated by compassion for the people whom he had realized were in great need of healing and leadership, and also realizing the task was too great for himself alone to fulfill, he gathers together twelve of his followers, representing the twelve tribes of Israel, to assist him in his task. He delegates his authority to them. These disciples were a diverse group from all walks of life and Jesus would often complain about the lack of faith shown by the apostles he had chosen, but nonetheless, they were faithful enough to accept the task Jesus had given them, even to the point of leaving their former lives behind and experiencing suffering. Jesus, in asserting his messiahship over his own people, while also knowing they were in great need of healing and spiritual guidance themselves, made the priority of his new apostles to go first to the Jewish people. They would provide healing to them and announce the coming of the Kingdom of God, for which John the Baptist had long been preparing them. However, while they were to accept whatever the people gave them to provide for their basic needs, they were not to request payment in the same way that Jesus himself had not requested payment from them. God’s unmerited, merciful love and healing were already payment in full.
How often do our church communities expect leaders to fulfill the mission of the church while being unwilling to actively assist in this great task? Do we see simply attending church on Sundays and perhaps participating in a Bible study session as enough of a burden in our busy lives? If we do offer to assist, do we expect something in return, even payment, before we are willing to do it? As Jesus himself realized, while there is much to do and people are in great need of healing and spiritual guidance, there is an even greater need for all of us to actively assist in this work. Let us be generous with our time and talent, even if we believe our faith is insufficient for the task, and simply offer ourselves in faithfulness and allow God to work through us.
- In what ways does your church community fulfill its mission in the world? Do the church members actively assist in this mission?
- In what ways can you use your time and talent to assist in the mission of your church? (Daniel Woods, The Episcopal Church)
Re-Opening plans for St. Michael’s Church (Updated June 10, 2020): A draft of our parish application to re-open on Sunday, July 5th, is now being reviewed by members of Parish Council. After review, and if there any further suggestions, Jeddy and Ven. Louie will make the necessary edits before submission to the office of the Archbishop.
What to expect if and when we come back to our church building(s) for in-person worship and other events into Phase II. Please see down below some of the re-opening protocols.
- Service will be Morning Prayer. No Holy Communion.
- The entrance door will remain open to prevent surface contamination of handles and to increase ventilation.
- Pews will be measured off in 6 feet sections and marked with tape – only alternate rows will be used.
· Physical distancing must be observed and we must refrain from touching each other.
· Music will be piano/organ only – congregational singing is not allowed but a soloist is permitted.
· The offering plate will not be passed – it will be left on the table at the back of the sanctuary.
· Washrooms are for emergency use only – users will be asked to sanitize surfaces following use – gloves, paper towels and sanitizer will be provided.
· Bulletins will not be handed out – they can be collected from the table at the entrance doors and placed in recycle bins by the exit doors at the end of the service – books will be removed from the pews.
· Coffee time is suspended for now and parishioners are encouraged to leave the building when the service is over.
· Guests are required to sign the guest book upon entry to the building with their full contact information in case they need to be contacted because of any COVID-19 alerts.