Sunday Reflection

 

Earth Day Message from Anglican and Lutheran leaders

BY GENERAL SYNOD COMMUNICATIONS ON APRIL 19, 2017

Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. —John 12:24

In recognition of Earth Day on April 22, 2017, we invite you to join us in praying for the humility and discipline to use Earth’s resources wisely and responsibly.

Through our Lenten Journey to Easter we have been reminded once again that Jesus offered his whole life and death for the love of the world; and the story was completed with his resurrection. As we celebrate this great mystery we recall how he helped us understand death and resurrection using the image of a seed planted and coming out of the earth as a new growth—budding, bursting, blooming, bearing beautiful fruit.

As followers of Christ, we are also challenged to offer our lives for the love of the world. What do we have to offer and to plant? What in us needs to die so that we can bear much fruit? What happens when we touch the earth with faith?

Our churches are committed to responsible stewardship of the earth. As we celebrate Earth Day, we re-commit to our care for creation and commend the efforts of our congregations across the country to live out this call. We recommend that you or your congregation get involved with the Faith Commuter Challenge, a creative way to reduce your carbon footprint and raise awareness of the impact of our actions. Visit greeningsacredspaces.net/what-we-do/commuter-challenge/ to learn more about how you can participate.

On Earth Day let us pray together:

Creator, we give you thanks for the intricate balance of relationships that sustains life. Bless us with the humility and discipline to use Earth’s resources wisely and responsibly.

Crucified and Risen Christ, we give you thanks for forgiveness, life and salvation that is the source of our hope for true community and abundant life. Help us, guide us and transform us so that we may walk in your ways of justice, equity and peace.

Holy Spirit, we give you thanks for fresh winds of renewal, that open our hearts to new possibilities and deeper insights. Grant us courage to act in diverse, creative and generous ways.

Creator, Christ and Spirit One: call us together for the love of the world, and send us to proclaim your gift of hope. Amen.

Yours in the spirit of Full Communion,

The Most Rev. Fred Hiltz           The Rev. Susan C. Johnson

Primate                                           National Bishop
Anglican Church of Canada        Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

‘Not one, but 50!’  (part 2)

FRED HILTZ, ARCHBISHOP AND PRIMATE

ReflectionOur joy in the Resurrection is also grounded in numerous accounts of the Lord’s appearing to his followers. Each one is marked by a greeting, a deep communion of hearts, and then a commission.
Mary Magdalene hears him call her by name. As her mourning is turned into joy, the Lord commissions her as Apostle to the Apostles.
Jesus shows the disciples his hands and side, and they are glad. As he speaks a word of peace, he also says, “As the Father sent me, so I send you.” (John 20:21)
Thomas is invited to touch the wounds of Jesus and to believe and doubt no more. In an instant, he leaves the gloomy haunts of sadness and knows himself to be among the others who would bear witness to the Resurrection.
Peter is given opportunity to undo his denial of Jesus in a three-fold confession of love and with that confession, he is commissioned by the Risen Lord to shepherd the Church.
A couple of disciples heading for Emmaus are unknowingly accompanied by Jesus. He opens the Scriptures and teaches them all the things concerning the Messiah. Then he breaks bread at the inn, and their hearts burn within them as they go back to Jerusalem to tell the others.

Rector’s Corner: Immediately after the 10am Worship Service, I will offer prayers to anyone who has special intentions and thanksgiving. Please join me up on the chancel of our church.

I had the opportunity to visit our sister, Darlene Cassell, post surgery at home. She can now move around her house with the aid of a walker. She appreciates our thoughts and prayers. Please continue to include Darlene in your prayers.

Notices

»Today, Parish Council meets in the Peart Lounge at noon. Parishioners are welcome to the meeting.

»Diocesan Confirmation Day,

April 21, 2018Christ Church Cathedral.

 

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

‘Not one, but 50!’  (part 1)

FRED HILTZ, ARCHBISHOP AND PRIMATE

Reflection:While society makes much of Easter Day and largely from the perspective of bunnies and chocolate and springtime, it is for Christians the first day of 50 in which we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter is the Feast of the Victory of our God, the Festival of Gladness, the Spring of Souls, “our joy that hath no end” (205, Common Praise). As often as we gather, we greet one another saying, “Alleluia! Christ is Risen! The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia!”

Our joy in the Resurrection is rooted in the message of an angel to some women who come to anoint the body of the crucified Lord. Seeing that the stone is rolled away, the tomb is empty and the grave clothes are lying there in a heap, they hear that angel say, “He is not here, he has risen”. (Luke 24:5) The angel goes on to say, “Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over…and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” (Luke 24:6)

 Rector’s Corner:I would like thank you all for participating in a joyous Easter celebration in our parish. I have received some encouraging feedback from members of our congregation. My hope is that we will continue coming to our common worship service. I also pray that we continue to invite our family and friends to join our church family.

Our sister, Darlene Cassell, had her surgery last week. She is now back home. She informed me that she is recovering well and should be up on the go in the next few weeks. A prayer for recovery and restoration is now is order. Please include Darlene in your prayers.

What: St. Michael’s Open House. When: 28th April 2018, 10am – 2.00pm.

Why:  A platform to promote in the community all the programs the Church and ancillary partners offer. We will have some refreshments in the form of tea, coffee, pop, appies, finger food. There will also be a Bake Sale at the event run by the ACW. We will need volunteers to show people around the Church and our facilities. Talk to the members of Church council for more details.

FYI: Diocesan Confirmation Day

April 21, 2018

Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver

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Sunday Reflection

 “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” Mark 16:3

Reflection: It’s only the beginning; this story isn’t over. It’s only the beginning, and we have a part to play. It’s only the beginning, and if you wonder why there is still so much distress and pain in the world, it’s because God’s not done yet. It’s only the beginning, and Mark is inviting us to get out of our seats and into the game, sharing the good news of Jesus’ complete identification with those who are suffering and his triumph over injustice and death with everyone we meet. It’s only the beginning, and we’re empowered and equipped to work for the good in all situations because we trust God’s promises that all will in time come to a good end even when we can’t see evidence of that. It’s only the beginning….

This is the word we’re invited to offer, today and every week. That what we read, preach, and confess is only the beginning, and the rest – and perhaps even the best – of this story is unfolding before our eyes and, indeed, through our lives. Please know that God’s love and care for all of us is tremendous, consistent, faithful, and steadfast. As a church family, we should proclaim the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the grace of our creator. Thank you and, even more, thank God for you on this Easter Sunday.

Rector’s Corner:I would like to acknowledge the faithful stewardship of each and everyone of you. Your continued participation in the life of St. Michael’s gives meaning to our mission and ministry. Again, its only the beginning. Let us come together and re-shape the work of our parish congregation to be more relevant to ourselves and to the people that we engaged with from day to day.

Your story and your life is the gospel truth that would encourage other people to come and join our church family. Our church is a church of the resurrection. Meaning, our goal is to live a risen life and share this joyous life with people that we meet in our daily living.

My prayer is that God would give us the strength and will to roll the stone and experience a renewal of our mission towards growth and development.

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!

The Venerable Louie Engnan

Rector

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Sunday Reflection

   “Hosanna!”

Bishop Susan Johnson

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

How quickly the crowd gathered around Jesus as he entered Jerusalem and how quickly they dispersed as he was arrested, tried and crucified. People were looking for a powerful figure to challenge the status quo.

As churches and as countries, we need to be aware of the ways in which we use power, even in the name of Jesus. We have a painful history of being colonizers and oppressors. How can we who proclaim Christ as our King resist the temptation to build kingdoms and instead work for justice and freedom for all people?

Prayer Blessed are you, Jesus, for in you we find strength and vulnerability. As we enter Holy Week, keep us mindful of all who are in need or are vulnerable. May your outpouring of love inspire us, in turn, to acts of deeper love. Amen.

Give us faith to face the forces, who line their pockets from this plague send us as salvation’s sponsors willing servants to love.

Refrain: God of freedom, Who leads us into life, Deliver us from every evil: And make us deliverers of others.

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Sunday Reflection

“The LORD sent fiery serpents among the people”

Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

The story of the serpents in the wilderness is intriguing. The people of God had been rescued from slavery in Egypt and were making the long circuitous way to the promised land. The initial euphoria of freedom had worn off and they grew impatient. They spoke against God and Moses, trusting more in human sense than God’s faithfulness, trusting above all else their construct of reality. This never ends well.

In their panic and pain the people pleaded for deliverance. God rescued Israel, not so much from poisonous serpents, but from Israel’s own faithless and poisonous rebellion that had appeared long before the snakes. In that faithlessness, Israel had set itself against God. Israel’s rescue was a restored relationship with God, not simply escaping the snakes. The symbol of their salvation was a fiery serpent—a bronze serpent lifted up on a pole. The very image of suffering and death was also the image of life and salvation.

I have read Numbers several times and there is no indication that the serpents ever left. The plague of serpents remained an ongoing threat and the raised bronze serpent an ongoing reminder to turn to God’s healing power. This is what intrigues me, the word for fiery serpents is seraphim. Seraphim – the same angels who, with the cherubim, attend God. Could the snake angels be fiery guardian angels who bring us back to the truth that left to our own devices we are helpless and sometimes dangerous?

In the ELCA March 10th is the commemoration of Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman. Both women devoted their lives to dismantling the sinful human construct of racism. Harriet Tubman was called Moses. She led her people to freedom. Sojourner Truth spoke with a fiery passion that bit deep into the false world order that propped up slavery. They were seraphim. We need seraphim today.

Prayer:  Ignite your refining fire, O God. Burn away both the lie of one people’s supremacy and the lie that leads another people to doubt their worth. Amen.

Rector’s Corner: Last week, the parish executives met and discussed a few items about leadership role and support to one another. For me, it was a good start and productive conversation to see how we may work together as a more cohesive team this year. Our hope is to guide our congregation in matters related to membership development.

Here is our 2018 Holy Week and Easter Worship Services.

Palm Sunday: Services @ 8:30 & 10am
Holy Mon. Tues and Wed.:  Silent meditation from 9am to 2pm in the Sanctuary.
Maundy Thursday Service @ 6:30pm.
Good Friday Service at 12 noon.
Easter Sunday: Joint Worship Service at 10am
Holy Communion with Music.
Easter Egg hunting in the Millennium Hall after the 10am Service.

Join us for Coffee and fellowship after the Church Service

Just a reminder that all of us who have copies of the Lenten Study Booklet continue to reflect using the 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 – http://www.meetingjesusinjohn.org

Clergy of the Peace Arch deanery: This week, St. Michael’s will host the clergy of the Peace Arch Deanery. We have agreed to do a “Walking Meditation” as part of our Lenten journey.

Anglican Can-Asian Ministry: Some clergy and Lay people from our Diocesan family will come and visit our parish this coming Friday. The purpose of this gathering is for fellowship and mediate on our calling in this diverse community as disciples of Jesus Christ.

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

“But we proclaim Christ crucified”

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

The Episcopal Church

Some things just don’t make much sense. Water doesn’t become wine, bread and fish do not suddenly multiply, the lame do not jump up and walk. And most certainly, dead people stay dead, especially those who experience the horrific death of crucifixion!  And yet, where Jesus is involved, all kinds of things that don’t make much sense…happen.  In those earliest years of the Jesus Movement, his followers didn’t wear crosses around their necks or hang them in the homes in which they worshipped. They had other symbols, certainly, but not crosses. Crucifixion was not a historical curiosity, but a still present reality, and an agonizing and shameful one at that. To be crucified was to be executed as a common criminal. Worse, according to the Hebrew Scriptures, cursed was one who hung on a tree, on the wood of a cross.  So to speak of “Christ crucified” didn’t make sense to many. It was a stumbling block, something foolish or offensive. But Paul said otherwise. Yes, Jesus could have avoided the cross, found some other way around it. But instead he faced the worst the world could throw at him, and then broke through death itself, and leave an empty cross behind as witness to his astonishing victory.  Some things don’t make much sense. The cross is one of them. But it stands now and forever as our rallying cry that God—not injustice, not suffering, not even death—has the final, victorious word.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace. Amen.

(Prayer for Mission, Morning Prayer II, The Book of Common Prayer 1979, The Episcopal Church)

Rector’s Corner: I would like to thank you all for your continued support and faithfulness to our parish of St. Michael’s. Once again, you have shown your unwavering love through your participation in our Annual Vestry meeting. To all who offered food, goodies, sandwiches, fruits and drinks, your generosity is much appreciated.  To the newly elected council members, I look forward to another year of collaboration focused on membership growth, stewardship and making our congregation a presence in the community.  I ask your prayers for our leadership team as we face another challenging yet exciting year of mission and ministry development. Our ultimate goal is to invite more people to come and join our church family. Thank you so much. Blessings.

2018 Holy Week and Easter Worship Services

  • Palm Sunday: Services @ 8:30 & 10am.
  • Holy Mon. Tues and Wed.: Silent meditation from 9am to 2pm in the Sanctuary.
  • Maundy Thursday Service @ 6:30pm.
  • Good Friday Service at 12 noon.
  • Easter Sunday: Joint Worship Service at 10am

Holy Communion with Music.  Easter Egg hunting in the Millennium Hall after the 10am Service.

Just a reminder that all of us who have copies of the Lenten Study Booklet continue to reflect using the 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 – http://www.meetingjesusinjohn.org

Clergy of the Peace Arch deanery: St. Michael’s, would host next month’s meeting. Clergy have agreed to do a “Walking Meditation” as part of our Lenten journey.

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