Sunday Reflection

Sunday Reflection: Fire is a multivalent biblical image. It can represent the presence of God – think pillar fire in Exodus (13:17-22) and the tongues of flame at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). Fire also represents purification — Zachariah (13:9) and Malachi (3:2-3) each refer to God’s intention to purify Israel like a refiner purifies silver by fire. Jesus embodies the presence of God which simultaneously judges and purifies. Baptism also is used in the New Testament to represent both judgment and purification and was connected with fire by John (3:16-17). The baptism of which Jesus speaks seems clearly to be an event that dominates every moment of his mission. The One who embodies the presence of God is not simply meting out the fire of judgment and purification but bears it also himself.
The kingdom of God he proclaims represents a new order governed not by might but by forgiveness, not by fear but by courage, and not by power but by humility. We find the courage to look forward to discern the opportunities and challenges of our own ministry, joining our hopes and fears, and to serve as disciples of Jesus Christ. What imaginative renewal do you hope for in our St. Michael’s community?

 

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Sunday Reflection

Sunday Reflection: Jesus seems to say to the young man desperately wishing to draw him into his family quarrel, “You’re paying attention to the wrong things!” Jesus tells them to “perceive,” and then follows with, “Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions” (v. 15). By saying this, Jesus indicates that this goes beyond objective reality or rationalizations of the mind. He wants the young man and the crowd to feel the meaning within their bodies, and to know in a different kind of way.

This does not necessarily seem to be a lesson centered on sharing, but the rich man in the parable uses the word “my” five times in the span of just two verses: “my crops,” “my barns,” “my grain,” “my goods,” “my soul” (v. 17-19). Then, he knocks down his old barn and builds a bigger one to hold his stash. Luke stresses the importance of an equitable society, so the truth to be perceived comes directly from Jesus’ use of the word abundance. Luke drives this point home when God says, “You fool!” (v. 20), echoing Jesus’ opening sentiments to the young man. God seems to say, “Your eyes are so narrowed on your material accumulations, you cannot see the destruction your greed rains upon you or the others around you.”

 

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Sunday Reflection

Reflection: At times, we make prayer into something much more difficult than God intends it to be. In this passage from Luke’s gospel, we hear that Jesus’ disciples saw him praying and asked him to teach them how to pray. The prayer he taught them is one that we know and pray virtually every time we gather as a community to pray. The words may be so familiar to us that we overlook the simplicity of the petitions. Jesus invites his followers to address their God as Father, showing them that the invitation to prayer is an invitation to a relationship with an intimate God, not one who is distant and unconcerned with our needs and desires. Jesus teaches his followers to pray for the coming of God’s kingdom, for the sustenance they need each day, for the forgiveness of their sins and the strength to forgive those who have sinned against them, and for protection from times of trial. They are simple yet powerful petitions. Jesus taught his disciples to come before their God and bring their requests with simplicity and honesty.  Jesus also reminded his followers that God is always good and faithful. God hears our prayers and always provides for us. Jesus never promised that all of our prayers would be granted just as we asked them. Though it may seem that God does not hear our prayers, Jesus promises that those who ask of God will indeed receive. A collect on page 394 of the Book of Common Prayer puts it this way: “Heavenly Father, you have promised to hear what we ask in the Name of your Son: Accept and fulfill our petitions, we pray, not as we ask in our ignorance, nor as we deserve in our sinfulness, but as you know and love us in your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

How can you simplify your life of prayer to draw closer to God?

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Reflection:This Gospel story brings up a question of identity and roles. Martha accuses Mary not only of not helping to serve dinner—which is the duty of a woman—but for sitting at Jesus’ feet—which is the prerogative of a male disciple. Women were not permitted to receive religious instruction under the rabbinical law, but nevertheless some persisted. By sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening to his religious teachings, Mary demonstrated bravery in transgressing the deep-seated prohibition of women in the role of disciple. And Jesus was complicit in the (righteous) transgression by allowing and then praising Mary for it. He doesn’t necessarily denounce the old ways, but gently affirms the new models.

Today we celebrate such stories in which Jesus allowed and invited women into his ministry and mission.

How do you live into your role as a disciple of Jesus?

Examine what societal norms govern your life, especially around gender. What comes up?

Rector’s Corner: I would like to thank all parishioners who took the time and participated in our second parish bowling and fellowship for this year. A special shout out to Dave and Natasha for organizing the event.

On behalf of our parish congregation, I would like to Welcome Richard Leong for participating in our Sunday worship services for the past two weeks. It is indeed a blessing to see new members come to our church. A special shout out to Sow-Yuen and Gary for inviting Richard worship in our parish.

Again, I encourage you all to please include in your prayers our new primate, The Most Reverend Linda Nicolls, as she begins to shepherd The Anglican Church of Canada. More details about the conclusion of the 42ndGeneral Synod are available online at, gs2019.anglican.ca

 

 

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

General Synod 2019: A Primer.  The 42nd General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada will be held from July 10-16, 2019 at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia in the Diocese of New Westminster. The theme of the synod is “I Have Called You By Name” (Isaiah 43:1).

More than 350 Anglicans from across Canada—delegates, partners, invited guests, displayers, volunteers and observers—will gather July 10-16 in Vancouver for the 42nd General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada. While there, delegates will consider resolutions affecting the whole church.

General Synod is the highest governing body in the church. Although the Anglican Church of Canada is a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, it has final authority over its own affairs. It can pass, alter and strike down its own laws—or, in church parlance, canons.

The General Synod meets every three years, unless otherwise determined by Council of General Synod (CoGS), provided such meetings are not more than five years apart.

Who Is General Synod?General Synod is composed of clergy and lay delegates—who are elected at the diocesan synods of every diocese in the Anglican Church of Canada—and the church’s bishops.

These delegates are divided into three orders: The Order of Laity, the Order of Clergy and the Order of Bishops. The Order of Bishops includes the primate; provincial metropolitans; diocesan bishops; coadjutor and suffragan bishops; assistant bishops who have been designated by the synod/executive of their dioceses and who exercise episcopal duties within those dioceses; the Bishop Ordinary to the Canadian Forces; and the National Indigenous Anglican Bishop.

While members are elected at diocesan synods, they are not considered to be their representatives; they are free to vote however they choose.

General Synod also includes several voting officers: president and chairperson (the primate); prolocutor; deputy prolocutor; general secretary; and chancellor. The treasurer is able to participate in discussions but may not vote.

The Canadian House of Bishops nominated the following bishops for the election of the 14th Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.

The Right Reverend Jane Alexander of the Diocese of Edmonton;

The Most Reverend Ron Cutler of the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada;

The Most Reverend Gregory Kerr-Wilsonof the Diocese of Calgary and Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Rupert’s Land;

The Right Reverend Linda Nichollsof the Diocese of Huron; and

The Right Reverend Michael Oultonof the Diocese of Ontario.

A Collect for General Synod: Gracious God, you have called us by name,

and made us your own. Grant that hearing your voice, we may turn to you, and embrace and ever hold fast our communion in the Risen Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, now and forever. Amen. (From:gs2019.anglican.ca)

Reflection: Christ’s resurrection is central to the Christian faith.It’s one of those aspects of our faith that moves us beyond the normal realm of our experience.But the good news is that God does not operate within the limits of human capacity! Our faith in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead points us in hope to the possibility that God really is working to make all things new.That sounds attractive, but it’s still not easy.

But how do we encounter this presence of Christ? Faith enables us to move beyond believing only what we can see to entrusting our lives to the God of Creation.  It is a different path, a whole new way of life that sees the possibility of new life in our journey. But it is not an easy path. At the end of the day, it takes something of a leap for all of us to really entrust our lives to God.

What is your takeaway from John 20.1-18 in the context of a new leadership in the Anglican Church? Think about how it you can proclaim that same support to your church in the name of Christ?

 

 

 

 

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Sunday Reflection 

“Have you experienced a time when you have been forced to depend on the hospitality and kindness of strangers?” Though we speak frequently of the twelve named apostles appointed by Jesus, this passage reminds us that Jesus also appointed many others as messengers of the good news. Here we are told that He appointed seventy others to go out into the towns and cities. His advice to them may seem surprising: “Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals.” Jesus makes it clear that they are being sent out into potentially hostile territory, yet he demands that they take nothing with them, not even the most basic of supplies.

Instead, those appointed by Jesus are to depend on the hospitality of strangers. In their movements from house to house, they are to accept lodging, food, and drink wherever they can find it. If they are not welcomed in one place, they are simply to move on to the next one. Jesus’ instructions to these seventy apostles reminds us that the Christian life is not always one of comfort and stability. As Christians, we are sent out to face circumstances we cannot fully imagine, yet we know that God goes with us and will provide all that we could need. Have you experienced a time when you have been forced to depend on the hospitality and kindness of strangers? How did you respond to it? (Patrick Keyser, Sermon that Works, T.E.C.)

A Collect for General Synod: God of our ancestors, God of our future, who was and is and is to come, you have named us in baptism, and called us into friendship with you and one another. In this General Synod,
give all participants grace to listen well, to speak with respect, to deliberate with wisdom, and to honour this gathering of your beloved Church; through Jesus Christ, before whose name we bow in adoration and praise, now and for ever. Amen(The General Synod Worship Planning Team)

 

General Synod 2019: The 42nd General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada will be held from July 10-16, 2019 at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia in the Diocese of New Westminster. The theme of the synod is “I Have Called You By Name” (Isaiah 43:1).

As a partner in the world wide Anglican Communion and in the universal Church, we proclaim and celebrate the gospel of Jesus Christ in worship and action. We value our heritage of biblical faith, reason, liturgy, tradition, bishops and synods, and the rich variety of our life in community. We acknowledge that God is calling us to greater diversity of membership, wider participation in ministry and leadership, better stewardship in God’s creation and a strong resolve in challenging attitudes and structures that cause injustice. Guided by the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves to respond to this call in love and service and so more fully live the life of Christ.

Vision 2019: Summary – Practices for the Church Ready for God’s Mission

To enable the church’s mission, the church nationally will

1. Create structures that work for the church now and for God’s mission The Council of General Synod will renew the mandate of the Governance Working Group to study and recommend appropriate changes in the organizational life of the General Synod in light of Vision 2019. (From:gs2019.anglican.ca)

 

 

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Sunday Reflection 

“God keep our land Glorious and free,” It may not surprise you to see these words in our Sunday bulletin. The words “Glorious and freedom” are found in our national anthem. July 1 marks the anniversary of the formation of the union of the British North American provinces in a federation under the name of Canada; that’s the technical explanation according to Jane Mclean.
Over the years, the word “freedom” has become our national vocabulary when we celebrate Canada’s birthday. The most obvious meaning of freedom is the ability to do and say whatever we want, without interference from any authority or institution.
Our second lesson today tells us that, “For freedom Christ has set us free.” The freedom St. Paul writes about here is in contrast to the “yoke of slavery.” Sin is slavery because we lose our freedom to do good. In our sin, our failures crush us. The more laws we break, the more the law breaks us. We become discouraged with our lack of progress—our inability to be the kind of people we think we ought to be. In sin, we are locked into a yoke, unable to do anything but repeat the same cycle of failure, shame, trying harder, and more failure.
Tomorrow, we celebrate our freedom with parades and fireworks; we commemorate those who died in war with the phrase, “Freedom isn’t free,” and we uphold our freedom of speech vigorously. But, despite talking a lot about freedom, we are always reminded of God’s loving arms in our history. God continues to shape our future in ways that are expressive of our diversity, acceptance and inclusion.

Collect: Sovereign God, ruler of our hearts, you call us to obedience and sustain us in freedom. Keep us true to the way of your Son, that/so that we may leave behind all that hinders us and, with eyes fixed on him, walk surely in the path of the kingdom.  Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.   Amen. (Opening Prayers:  Collects in Contemporary Language 1997, 1999, 2001)

General Synod 2019: The 42nd General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada will be held from July 10-16, 2019 at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia in the Diocese of New Westminster. The theme of the synod is “I Have Called You By Name” (Isaiah 43:1).

As a partner in the world wide Anglican Communion and in the universal Church, we proclaim and celebrate the gospel of Jesus Christ in worship and action. We value our heritage of biblical faith, reason, liturgy, tradition, bishops and synods, and the rich variety of our life in community. We acknowledge that God is calling us to greater diversity of membership, wider participation in ministry and leadership, better stewardship in God’s creation and a strong resolve in challenging attitudes and structures that cause injustice. Guided by the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves to respond to this call in love and service and so more fully live the life of Christ.

Vision 2019: Summary – Practices for the Church Ready for God’s Mission

To enable the church’s mission, the church nationally will

  1. Create structures that work for the church now and for God’s mission The Council of General Synod will renew the mandate of the Governance Working Group to study and recommend appropriate changes in the organizational life of the General Synod in light of Vision 2019. (From:gs2019.anglican.ca)

 

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