Sunday Reflection & Notices

Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.’  When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.” Luke 5:10-11

Each of the Gospels has its own way of telling how Jesus called his disciples.  In today’s reading from St. Luke’s Gospel we can see how Jesus used a miraculous catch of fish as the opportunity to call the first of those who came to be his disciples.
At some point early in his ministry Jesus established Capernaum as his home, on the NW corner of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Lake of Genneseret.
Jesus had become a familiar sight as he walked along the shore of that inland sea. Because of this Peter and those fishing with him could feel comfortable with him on that day when Jesus got into one of their boats and asked them to put out into deep water and let down their nets.
After having fished all night with no result it must have come as a shock to see the great net full of fish after Jesus had asked them to put down their nets.  Suddenly Peter was overcome with a feeling of unworthiness.  But Jesus recognized a potential within Peter that would be useful for the ministry that he was about to develop. Jesus challenged Peter and the others with the words, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.”  And so they did!
When the boats were brought to shore not only Peter, but James and John, partners with Peter, left everything and followed Jesus.  Soon after that others began to follow them as disciples of Jesus.

Does hearing stories like this one in today’s Gospel help you to understand Jesus’ call to follow him? (Reflection from SSJE)

Tuesday Evening at St. Mike’s –our parish offers a weekly evening prayer and bible study at 6:00pm in the sanctuary. We invite parishioners, family and friends to come and join us for a spiritual journey as children of God. Just bring your bible.

Annual Vestry Meeting: We are pleased to invite you to St. Michael’s Annual Vestry Meeting (AGM)to be held on Sunday, 24 Feb. 2019 after a Joint Worship Service at 9:30am. Registration will begin at 9:00am. Light lunch will be served.

We respectfully request your early attendance in order that the program may commence on time.

We continue to seek parishioners to serve in the leadership team of St. Michael’s. Please let the rector know if you wish to serve at parish council. Hope to see you all.

Clericus Host:St. Michael’s will host the next clergy deanery meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 13th, after the 11:30am Eucharist.

St. Mike’s 60th Anniversary: We are still seeking your ideas in preparation for St. Michael’s 60th founding anniversary. Our hope is get a few events started which would serve as build-up activities leading to the September 29, 2019 Parish Thanksgiving Day.

Donation for Church Furnace: We would like to inform all parishioners of St. Michael’s that the furnace which supplies heat to the back room of the church building has passed its life. In consultation of a few technicians, the parish leadership has looked at the different options on how to deal with this problem. With the help of a parishioner, parish council has decided to replace it with a new furnace.

We ask for your financial contributions towards this capital expense. Please make your donations payable to St. Michael’s Anglican Church, Surrey, with a memo designated for the “Church Furnace”. A tax receipt would be issued to you by the end of this calendar year. Thank you.

Our Companion Diocese: Archbishop Melissa Skelton and some other people in our Diocese will be making a visit to our Companion Diocese of Northern Philippines departing February 17. Please pray for their safe journey.

2019 Stewardship Day: Saturday, March 16, 2019, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM at the Synod Office in Vancouver. This year’s title of the Stewardship Day is, “Celebrating Generous Communities – Practical tools for Encouraging Giving”.

ANGLICAN JOURNAL AND TOPIC SUBSCRIPTIONS

Following the receipt of the June (Summer) issues of the Anglican Journal and Topic members of parishes will no longer be automatically subscribed to the national and diocesan publications. In order to receive print copies, folks will need to subscribe. Subscribing is very simple and there are four easy to follow options.  Everything you need to know about subscribing is available on the diocesan website.  The print copies of the two periodicals will also include detailed information on how readers can subscribe.

DIOCESAN STEWARDSHIP DAY, MARCH 16

Celebrating Generous Communities – Practical tools for Encouraging Giving is the title of the Stewardship Day 2019 taking place March 16. You’ll learn about Capital Campaigns (St. Hilda); Annual Campaigns (St. Faith); A Culture of Stewardship (The Rev. Tellison Glover); constructing a Narrative Budget with members of the Parish of St. George, Maple Ridge and treasurer, Dawn Parrott. And, you’ll get to plan your Stewardship Campaign for 2019.

LENTEN RESOURCES 2019 – A Select Menu

This Lent, choose from a number of recommended resources to take the journey from Ash Wednesday to Holy Week (March 6 – April 14, 2019). Whether it’s a small group gathering or an individual study, online or in print, we hope there’s something here for you. Keep an eye on your inbox for emails from the Reverend Jessica Schaap, Missioner for Christian Formation with more information about these Lenten program “menu selections” and how you can order
resources.  https://www.vancouver.anglican.ca/

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation.” Luke 2:28-30

The chief title of today’s feast, “The Presentation,” comes from the ancient Jewish law that every firstborn son had to be dedicated to God’s service. But the Law of Moses allowed parents to redeem their child by offering something else in his stead. In Jesus’s case, Mary and Joseph offered the redemptive substitute which the law appointed for the first-born of poor parents, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” Thus, paradoxically, the Redeemer himself was redeemed.

In celebrating the feast of the Presentation, the people of the Church become like Simeon, who cradled the infant Light of salvation in the crook of his arm and knew him to be as fragile as a candle-flame. In baptism, in meditating upon Scripture, and in the Eucharist Christians cradle the same Light and take responsibility for the life of Christ in our world. And yet the paradox continues. Even as they hold Christ in their hands, they may discover that they are really in the crook of Christ’s arms, being presented by him in the sanctuary of God’s joy and glory.

Prayer: Blessed are you, O Lord our God, for you have sent us your salvation. Inspire us by your Holy Spirit to recognize him who is the glory of Israel and the light for all nations, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Pastoral Concerns: Our brothers, Dave and Tony, have been home after staying in the hospital for a few days. Please continue to pray for their spiritual and physical healing.

Tuesday Evening at St. Mike’s –our parish offers a weekly evening prayer and bible study at 6:00pm in the sanctuary. We invite parishioners, family and friends to come and join us for a spiritual journey as children of God. Just bring your bible.

Annual Vestry Meeting: We are pleased to invite you to St. Michael’s Annual Vestry Meeting (AGM)to be held on Sunday, 24 Feb. 2019 after a Joint Worship Service at 9:30am. Registration will begin at 9:00am. Light lunch will be served. We respectfully request your early attendance in order that the program may commence on time.  We continue to seek parishioners to serve in the leadership team of St. Michael’s. Please let the rector know if you wish to serve at parish council. Hope to see you all.

PLEASE NOTE: A.V.M packages will be emailed out two weeks (February 10), before the A.V.M. If you require a paper copy, please let Natasha know and she will print one for you.  Paper copies will not be available unless requested.

Clericus Host: St. Michael’s will host the next clergy deanery meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 13th, after the 11:30am Eucharist.

St. Mike’s 60th Anniversary: We are still seeking your ideas in preparation for St. Michael’s 60th founding anniversary. Our hope is get a few events started which would serve as build-up activities leading to the September 29, 2019 Parish Thanksgiving Day.

Donation for Church Furnace: We would like to inform all parishioners of St. Michael’s that the furnace which supplies heat to the back room of the church building has passed its life. In consultation of a few technicians, the parish leadership has looked at the different options on how to deal with this problem. With the help of a parishioner, parish council has decided to replace it with a new furnace.

We ask for your financial contributions towards this capital expense. Please make your donations payable to St. Michael’s Anglican Church, Surrey, with a memo designated for the “Church Furnace”. A tax receipt would be issued to you by the end of this calendar year. Thank you.

Our Companion Diocese: Archbishop Melissa Skelton and some other people in our Diocese will be making a visit to our Companion Diocese of Northern Philippines departing February 17. Please pray for their safe journey.

2019 Stewardship Day: Saturday, March 16, 2019, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM at the Synod Office in Vancouver. This year’s title of the Stewardship Day is, “Celebrating Generous Communities – Practical tools for Encouraging Giving”.

 

 

 

 

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

“Then Jesus began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:21 

After the baptism of Jesus, He began his mission in life which is to proclaim God’s “kingdom” is now here, he goes around telling others this news. What does it mean for us to now be living in this “kingdom”? How can those around us tell that our lives reflect this reality? A faithful steward not only has an intellectual understanding of this reality, but actually lives it out. 

What is to be done is “to bring good news to the poor, release the captives,” bring “recovery of sight to the blind,” free “the oppressed,” and proclaim “the Lord’s favor.” It announces what Jesus will do in his public, ministry; and it announces how he will do it. As followers of Jesus, we can also choose to be persons who embody such aims in our actual day to day activities. The beginning of the Galilean ministry can represent, therefore, not only the message of Luke’s Gospel, but the shape of our lives in faith.

 Prayer: God of all mercy, your Son proclaimed good news to the poor, release to the captives, and freedom to the oppressed:  anoint us with your Holy Spirit, so that all people may be free to praise you in Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Rector’s Corner: Why did Jesus go to the synagogue on the Sabbath day to worship?

In the Anglican Church, “Worship, whether in formal ritual, personal devotion or in the activity of our lives are oriented, in love, toward the one who first loved us, in an offering of praise, adoration and gratitude. In so doing, we open ourselves to the working of God’s transforming grace and become ever more fully who we are intended to be.”

Worship is the heart and pulse of the Christian Church. In worship we celebrate together God’s gracious gifts of creation and salvation, and are strengthened to live in response to God’s grace. Worship always involves actions, not merely words. “To consider worship is to consider music, art, and architecture, as well as liturgy and preaching.

Liturgical unity is expressed by our faithfulness to an authentic core shaped by our invitation into the life of the Holy Trinity, the witness of the Holy Scriptures and the historic faith as expressed in the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds.

The resurrected Christ whom we worship, and through whom by the power of the Holy Spirit we know the grace of the Triune God, transcends and indeed is beyond all churches. Baptism and Eucharist, the sacraments of Christ’s death and resurrection, were given by God for all the world.

The great narratives of Christ’s birth, death, resurrection and sending of the Spirit, and our Baptism into him, provide the central meanings of the trans-cultural times of the Church’s year: especially Lent/Easter/Pentecost, and Advent/Christmas and Epiphany.

In all of these, there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one Eucharist.  (Introduction: On Christian Worship, Anglican Church of Canada) 

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

On Marriage in the Church

(An Anglican Exploration of Marriage in Church and Society)

  1. The Anglican Church of Canada affirms, according to our Lord’s teaching as found in Holy Scripture and expressed in the Form of Solemnization of Matrimony in the Book of Common Prayer, that marriage is a lifelong union in faithful love, and that marriage vows are a commitment to this union, for better or for worse, to the exclusion of all others on either side. This union is established by God’s grace when two duly qualified persons enter into a covenant of marriage in which they declare their intention of fulfilling its purposes and exchange vows to be faithful to one another until they are separated by death. The purposes of marriage are mutual fellowship, support, and comfort, and the procreation (if it may be) and nurture of children, and the creation of a relationship in which sexuality may serve personal fulfilment in a community of faithful love. This covenant is made in the sight of God and in the presence of witnesses and of an authorized minister.
  2. The Church affirms in like manner the goodness of the union of man and woman in marriage, this being of God’s creation. Marriage also is exalted as a sign of the redeeming purpose of God to unite all things in Christ, the purpose made known in the reunion of divided humanity in the Church. Cf. Gen. 1:27–31 2. Eph. 5:31f. 3. Eph. 1:9f. 4. Eph. 2:11–16.

The changing of water to wine is Jesus’ first public act in John, the inaugural “sign” of God’s presence in the world through him.Present at the wedding are Jesus, his disciples, and Mary.

This miracle is subdued and quiet. It is not some flashy show of divine power. Only a few people know what actually happened. Faith is the purpose of the miracle, as it is in all the miracles in John’s Gospel. Faith is the reason John wrote the book (20:31). Faith is why we pray. Christians are called to participate in the transformation and renewal of society. We should communicate that faith through Jesus Christ. Good works are by-products of faith. Faith is not a matter of coercion but of wonder at the miracle of Christ. It is an overwhelming gift in which the Giver Himself resides.

God is responsive to people’s needs. God’s heart is larger than the stone jars.  In Christ, the very nature of glory is being redefined. It is glory with a silent purpose and aim, to create and maintain faith in Christ Jesus who responds to human need in ways that seem hidden and mysterious, but whose deeds are open to the eyes of faith.

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Upcoming Events

St. Michael’s Annual Vestry Meeting 2019: Our parish hereby invites you to the Annual Vestry Meeting (AGM) to be held on Sunday, 24 Feb. 2019, beginning at 9:00am for registration and coffee, in the Church building. A Joint Worship Service will begin at 9:30am. All Ministry Coordinators are requested to submit their reports on or before Sunday, 27 Jan. 2019 via email to saintmichaels@telus.net. Hope to see you all.  If you think you are called to serve in the leadership team of our church, please let your rector know. We are seeking members of our congregation to offer their stewardship to our church. Hope to see you all.

Parish Council meets next Sunday, 12noon, at St. Michael’s House. Parishioners are invited to observe the proceedings of the meeting.

Prayer Service for Healing will be offered by our parish at Zion Manor on Sunday, Jan. 27th, at 3:00pm. Everyone invited to come to the service.

Evening Prayer and bible Study resumes on Tuesday, Jan. 22nd, at 6:00pm in the Sanctuary. Just come and bring your bible.

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” Luke 3

Baptism is a coming into the Body of Christ, in which we become members of one another and of Christ – it is about who we are in Christ, and whose we are: God’s own. In baptism we are gathered… and sent forth, in the ministry that is God’s own ministry of transformation, reconciliation, healing and salvation of the world. So, baptism is not just about identity and belonging, it’s also about being sent in mission and ministry.

“Baptism is the sign of new life in Christ. Baptism unites Christ with his people. That union is both individual and corporate. Christians are, it is true, baptized one by one, but to be a Christian is to be part of a new creation which rises from the dark waters of Christ’s death into the dawn of his risen life. Christians are not just baptized individuals; they are a new humanity. As the World Council of Churches document – Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry has reminded Christians, the scriptures of the New Testament and the liturgy of the Church unfold the meaning of baptism in various images which express the mystery of salvation.

We acknowledge with respect that we worship on the unceded territory of the coast Salish people.

Baptism is participation in Christ’s death and resurrection (Romans 6.3–5; Colossians 2.12); a washing away of sin (1 Corinthians 6.11); a new birth (John 3.5); an enlightenment by Christ (Ephesians 5.14); a re-clothing in Christ (Galatians 3.27); a renewal by the Spirit (Titus 3.5); the experience of salvation from the flood (1 Peter 3.20–21); an exodus from bondage (1 Corinthians 10.1–2) and a liberation into a new humanity in which barriers of division, whether of sex or race or social status, are transcended (Galatians 3.27–28; 1 Corinthians 12.13). The images are many but the reality is one. Several dimensions of baptism became clear as the early Church developed its practice. Initiation into the Church was a vital concern of the whole Christian community and not only of the candidates for baptism and their immediate families. Preparation for baptism was a responsibility shared among various members of the community, both ordained and lay. Becoming a Christian had as much to do with learning to live a new lifestyle within the Christian community as it did with specific beliefs. When the day of baptism finally arrived, the event took place within the context of the Sunday Eucharist, when the whole community was gathered and where the newly baptized received communion for the first time.

Prayer: Eternal Father, who at the baptism of Jesus revealed him to be your Son, anointing him with the Holy Spirit, keep your children, born of water and the Spirit, faithful to their calling; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. (The Ministry of all Baptized, Anglican Church of Canada)

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s corner

“We have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2.2

The Epiphany of the Lord: 6th January – Principal Feast

Today we commemorate an episode which is recorded in the Gospel according to Matthew — the epiphany or “manifestation” of Christ to “wise men from the East.”

Such “wise men” were the high priests of an occult religion whose chief centres lay in Mesopotamia. They were supposed to have special insight into the ways of nature, interpreting dreams and reading the stars in order to determine the will of their gods. But then the appearance of a strange star in the heavens manifested to them the birth of “the one who is born king of the Jews.” So much their learning in the ways of nature told them; but they needed to go to Jerusalem, to those who were learned in the Jewish Scriptures, in order to locate this king. In Matthew’s view, true knowledge of salvation was from the Jews, but it was a knowledge now available to the Gentiles as well. The star of Bethlehem was an evangelical symbol. Because it manifested Christ to the wise men and brought them to worship him, it represents the proclamation of the Gospel to the pagan nations outside Israel.

If the star of Bethlehem symbolizes the Gospel, the wise men symbolize something equally important — the obedience of the Gentiles, in contrast to the anxiety of the rulers and official teachers of Israel. The wise men started with nothing more than their learning in the ways of nature; and yet this same learning enabled them to respond to the light of divine revelation. The Christian tradition has seen in this story a sign of hope for everything that humans know and endeavour by the light of nature. For it means that no truth or wisdom in the created order is contrary to the revelation of God in Christ. On the contrary, so far as humans are obedient to the light they possess by nature, God will complete it and manifest its fulfillment with “the truth as it is in Jesus.”

Prayer: Eternal God, who by a star led wise men to the worship of your Son, guide by your light the nations of the earth, that the whole world may know your glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

(For All the Saints, Anglican Church of Canada)

Rector’s Corner:

We acknowledge with respect that we worship on the unceded territory of the coast Salish people.

It’s Epiphany! This is the day of the year that we celebrate the Incarnation of God into the person of Jesus Christ. From the Incarnation flows everything else in our faith: the teaching of Jesus Christ, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection. Without the Incarnation, these things do not happen. Part of the power that comes from Epiphany is where it is placed in our liturgical season, for to get to Epiphany, we must go through Advent. We have gone through four weeks of fasting, repentance and darkness to get to the light of Epiphany.

The story that we celebrate on this day of Epiphany presents a clear dichotomy between Herod the Great, false king, and Jesus, genuine royalty, according to Ulrich Luz in “Matthew 1-7: A Commentary” (Fortress Press, 2007). Herod’s fright upon hearing from the Magi in verse 3 is the opposite of the joy that the magi have upon realizing that they will see Jesus soon in verse 10. Herod’s evil plan in verses 7-9 is frustrated by God in verse 12. Even in its structure, this story is meant to undercut Herod while “paying homage” to Jesus. This is clearly the story of the gentiles, the magi, coming for a connection with Judaism, for they specifically ask to see “the king of the Jews.”

Now, of course, what we always remember from this story is the star and the magi.The point is that God uses a miracle to symbolize God’s son’s kingship and divinity. This miracle shows God’s will in bringing the gentiles into the unfolding salvation plan. The star hanging in the sky is God announcing to the world, “Arise, shine; for your light has come”!

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