Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

The Mission of God for the People of God

Jesus used much of the time He spent with His disciples both telling them and showing them why He came to Earth. It is about the mission that the nations and peoples of the world would be blessed.

This blessing ultimately is a restoration of the relationship between God and Creation. But the blessing, and thus the mission, goes beyond just having a personal relationship with God.  It includes a meeting of the simplest –and yet most profound—needs of all people. This mission has a global initiative.  It includes our own communities.

As the Church has been called and commissioned to continue the Mission of Jesus Christ.  Our passage this morning goes a long way in helping us understand a little better what this mission is and what it means to us.

We see all through the Gospels and the first part of Acts, Jesus preparing the disciples to take on His ministry. So when we speak of what Jesus was anointed to do, we can safely say that His mission is our mission, that we are a part of the Mission of Jesus Christ.

This is what the Church is all about. Jesus said to preach “good news.” So the idea of this Mission and Stewardship, this making everything right is a hope that we have for the future, hopefully the near future.  It is a hope for a “making everything right.”

There is also an element of the “acceptable year of the Lord” that should be “already.”  That is the mission that Jesus, in this passage, was saying that He was on:  part of the Mission of God.

When we give Him our all and invite Him to fill  us that is when He fills us.  God will fill you fully and that is when you can know how to accomplish the mission of God.  You won’t have to wonder; the Holy Spirit will guide you!

Stewardship: A Faithful Response to God’s Mission: STEWARDSHIP is a core Christian practice rooted in scripture. The Bible offers stories on human stewardship that begins with God’s purpose in setting our first ancestor in the garden “to till and keep it”, and ends in the new creation, in a recurring pattern of crisis and resolution. That pattern of human crisis and divine resolution flows through the Bible — in the creation, in the covenant with Abraham, in the law, the prophets and the writings of the Hebrew scripture, in the life of Jesus, and in the continuing life of his disciples after the resurrection.

The gospel today opens up the beginning of the Galilean Ministry of Jesus. This stewardship models a unique approach for all baptized. When are called to turn our focus on MISSION.  When we use the language of stewardship to address our missionary calling, its means that our religious agenda is all about God’s mission to and for the world.

God sets out in mission to make all things new. It is God’s mission to transform persons, to redeem us and restore us to joyful and useful participation in God’s work. It is God’s mission to transform the church as well, to redeem and restore our common life so that we might live as stewards of God’s abundant gifts, and invite others into that stewardship – for the sake of the world God loves.

Stewardship is a response to the mission of God. When we invite persons into the church, we also invite them into the practices of faithful stewardship.

There is only one essential stewardship question: Will we make use of resources entrusted to us to serve God’s mission, or for purposes that we ourselves devise or that are thrust upon us by an economy that depends absolutely on growing consumption to sustain it?

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Sunday Reflection: Mark 9:38-50

My grandfather is known to have said, “My purpose in life is to get to heaven and take as many people with me as I can.” Here, Jesus gives us a piece of that road-map. First, the well-known, “Whoever is not against us is for us,” warning us to avoid looking for reasons to make enemies. Then, a dramatic and thorough drama about the more perilous parts of the journey. There may be temptation on the way, but stay the course and sacrifice anything to persist in the journey. Winding up in heaven without an eye, hand, or foot is still better than wandering around for eternity. In fact, wandering so far off course so as to cause sinfulness in a child is worse than a painful death itself.

After all that, it’s the third piece that is the hardest to interpret. Taking salt to represent a purification, preservative, or maybe a binding contract, Jesus says that we will all be purified and preserved eventually. We will soon be bound by an everlasting contract. So, it’s best to start here and now, to purify ourselves to prepare for this journey. “Be at peace with each other” – this must be the way to properly train for an expedient trip, no detours. Perhaps Jesus is hinting that the best way to get to heaven is to start living now like we are already there.

  • The phrases used here are about entering into life and the kingdom of God, not heaven. How would our choices and behaviors change if we believed that heaven could actually begin in this life?

The Rev. Darren Steadman, Sermons that Work

Rector’s Corner: St. Michael is a house of prayer for everyone.  We welcome all people seeking a spiritual home. Our hospitality is one form of our worship.
The Revd. Peter Smyth: I want to take a moment to extend a very warm welcome to our guess preacher this morning, The Reverend Peter Smyth. He is the Senior Port Chaplain of The Mission to Seafarers. We’re delighted to have you here. I also encourage members of the congregation to extend your hospitality and fellowship to Peter.

Pastoral Care and Concerns: If you need spiritual care for this week, please get in touch with our office secretary, Natasha Kaweski at natasha.kaweski@gmail.com, or the church wardens to facilitate your request.
Parish Information Day: Many thanks to all our program coordinators for leading our parish information day last week. Our hope is to keep you informed about the mission and ministry that we offer in the parish. We also thank all of our parishioners for offering your time to this event.
A.C.W. Thanksgiving Dinner: We would like to thank members of our St. Michael’s Anglican Church Women for organizing this year’s thanksgiving dinner and silent auction. And, members of our parish, friends, families and partners in mission for supporting this occasion. I hope that you all had a good time together.

“Selfless love is always costly; fear can’t afford it, pride doesn’t understand it (but) friends never forget it.” Archbishop Melissa Skelton. 

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Saint Michael and All Angels: 29 September Holy Day 

We celebrate those mysterious beings which Scripture calls “angels,” a name which comes from the Greek word for “messengers.” Messengers from God can be visible or invisible, and may take human or non-human forms. Christians have always felt themselves to be attended by healthful spirits — swift, powerful, and enlightening. These spirits are often depicted in Christian art in human form, with wings to show that time and space do not constrain them, with swords to signify their power, and with dazzling raiment to represent their ability to enlighten faithful humans. Of the many angels mentioned in the Bible, only four are called by name: Michael, Gabriel, U’riel, and Ra’pha-el. In the Book of Revelation, the Archangel Michael is presented as the powerful agent of God who wards off evil from God’s people and delivers peace to them at the end of this life’s mortal struggle. 

Many good and faithful Christians find it difficult to accept the existence of angels; for them, angels have no more reality in fact than unicorns, griffins, or the phoenix. It may be true that the existence of angels is not one of the things in which Christians must believe if they want to be saved. Yet whenever Christians say the Nicene Creed, they confess that God has created “all that is, seen and unseen.” Entertaining the possibility of angels may be one way of acknowledging the sheer diversity of life, visible and invisible, that God has ordained in creation. 

Collect: Eternal God, you have ordained and constituted in a wonderful order the ministries of angels and mortals. Grant that as your holy angels stand before you in heaven, so at your command they may help and defend us here on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. 

Rector’s Corner: St. Michael is a house of prayer for everyone. We welcome all people seeking a spiritual home. Our hospitality is one form of our worship. 

Jessie Ellis: Today, our parish will say goodbye to one of our long time members, Jessie Ellis. She has served in the various ministry of our congregation. There was also a time when she was the editor of our parish newsletter, Michael’s Messenger. It is a bitter sweet farewell, but God is Good. The past few years had been a very challenging time for Jessie, particularly when she lost Don. Some of you know how hard it is to live alone. But by God’s loving grace, Jessie will be fine moving to her new place. I ask you all to offer your love and prayers to our beloved and faithful member, Jessie Ellis. May God continue to Bless you! 

Parish Information Day: Today, a conversation will take place after our 10am worship service. We aimed at raising more awareness to both members and visitors of our church on the mission and ministry of the Anglican church. We will share some information with regards to the various ministry of St. Michael’s. This will also be an opportunity for the parish leadership to listen to your ideas and suggestions for the upcoming 60th founding anniversary of St. Michael’s Church. Hope you can stay after the service. 

Waking up each day to the miracle of still being alive makes life a holy adventure. God still has something for us. God’s presence and provision is promised for why-ever-it-is we are still alive today. 

Br. Curtis Almquist, SSJE 

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Holy Cross: On September 14, the church celebrated Holy Cross Day in honor of Christ’s self-offering on the cross for our salvation. This feast day is also known in some churches as the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross. It was one of the 12 great feasts in the Byzantine liturgy and remains a major feast day for the Anglican/Episcopal Church. 

The celebration of the Holy Cross occurs on September 14 to commemorate the consecration of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on that day in 335 by the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. Constantine’s mother, Saint Helena, is said to have discovered the True Cross during a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and Constantine built the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on the site of her discovery. A portion of the Cross is said to have been placed inside the church. 

 Do you ever need to be reminded that God rejoices when we follow the cross of Jesus Christ? 

 How might you practice being a better follower of Jesus in the week to come? 

Collect: Almighty God, whose Son our Saviour Jesus Christ was lifted high upon the cross that he might draw the whole world to himself, may we who rejoice in the mystery of our redemption have grace to take up our cross and follow him, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. 

Rector’s Corner: St. Michael is a house of prayer for everyone. We welcome all people seeking a spiritual home. Our hospitality is one form of our worship. 

Parish Information Day: Next year, St. Michael’s Parish will celebrate its 60th founding Anniversary. A conversation will take place next Sunday after our 10am worship service. We aimed at raising more awareness to both members and seekers in our church the mission of our congregation. There will be some information that will be shared on that day. It will also be an opportunity for the parish leadership to listen to your ideas and suggestions for the future of our parish congregation. Hope you could attend to this event. 

Sunday School! To all the children, teachers and parents of our Sunday school program, Welcome back to our church family. I hope that each and every one of you had a relaxing and enjoyable summer time. 

The teachers and I have met and discussed a few things about the program this year. We will use a curriculum that would suit the age level of our children. I think this will be another year of fun and learning for our kids. So, please help us to get the word out. It is FREE and open to all children. 

Michael’s Messenger! To everyone who sent an article/write-up to the recent issue of Michael’s Messenger, we would like to acknowledge your contribution and support to our parish newsletter. Thank you so much! 

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Upcoming Events

Wednesday, Sept. 12th: 1:00 pm – A.C.W. Meeting

6:45 pm –Evening Prayer

7:00 – 8:00 pm Bible Study, Church Sanctuary

Saturday, Sept. 15thSpecial Synod Preparation Seminar

1:00 – 2:30pm, St Cuthbert Anglican Church, Delta

Wednesday, Sept. 19th: 6:45 pm Evening Prayer

7:00 – 8:00pm, Bible Study, Church Sanctuary

Saturday, Sept. 22 Café Church: ‘Taste and See’

11 – 12:15pm, Church Sanctuary

Sunday, Sept. 23rdParish Information Day

11:30 – 12:15, Church Sanctuary

Saturday, September 29th.St. Michael’s A.C.W. Harvest

Thanksgiving Dinner.  The doors will be open at 5:30 pm and dinner will be served at 6:00 pm.

Wednesday, Oct. 3rdCommunity Senior’s Day

11:00 – 12:30 pm: Soup and Fellowship at St. Michael’s House

Wednesday, Oct. 3rd: 6:45 pm Evening Prayer

7:00 – 8:00pm, Bible Study, Church Sanctuary

Saturday, Oct. 6thChurch Decoration for Thanksgiving

Sunday, 10:00 – 12:00 noon (Altar Guild members)

Sunday, Oct. 7th:Thanksgiving Sunday Celebration

8:30 and 10:00am Worship Services.

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

It is hard to keep quiet when we have good news to tell. What kind of Joy or gratitude do you have in your heart that wants to be shared?

James 2:1-10, 14-17

Scholars have long debated the identity of both the author and the intended audience of this epistle, but its message remains strong and clear: one who claims to have faith in Jesus as Messiah and Lord must live in a way consistent with that faith. When we genuinely trust God’s power and love, we cannot turn our backs on the poor or show favor to the rich based on superficial distinctions.

Debating the relative importance of faith and good works is like asking the old question about the chicken and the egg – indeed, neither is viable without the other, and so we must look to the true source of life in both. Some people receive and respond to God’s love in an outpouring of faith that then is expressed through their sharing of that love with others. Some people act in just and compassionate ways out of an intellectual commitment that gradually deepens into faith. What James warns his readers about is the disconnect – we cannot say we have faith and then act unlovingly without violating our own integrity. It is in this sense that he challenges them, “Can faith save you?” The superficial faith that does not urge us to action for the sake of God’s reign and love of God’s children is truly dead and useless.

  • Think of a time when you met a person whose socio-economic condition was greatly different from your own. How did you feel? How would it feel if your positions were reversed?
  • What actions might you take to express your faith as you now understand it? In what ways might your faith grow if you take those actions?

From: Sermons that Work

Rector’s Corner: St. Michael is a house of prayer for everyone.  We welcome all people seeking a spiritual home. Our hospitality is one form of our worship.

We have started using for our Sunday worship service(10am) a liturgical material entitled “Season of Creation”. This sample liturgy was Prepared by the Very Rev. Ken Gray, Dean and Rector of St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral in Kamloops, B.C. I have the permission of Archbishop Melissa Skelton to use this service in our parish.

Sunday School! To all the children, teachers and parents of our Sunday school program, Welcome backto our church family. I hope that each and every one of you had a relaxing and enjoyable summer time.

The teachers and I have met and discussed a few things about the program this year. We will use a curriculum that would suit the age level of our children. I think this will be another year of fun and learning for our kids. So, please help us to get the word out. It is FREE and open to all children. 

Michael’s Messenger! To everyone who sent an article/write-up to the recent issue of Michael’s Messenger, we would like to acknowledge your contribution and support to our parish newsletter. Thank you so much!

Bible Study: Thanks to all who came last week and joined in for the first meeting of our parish bible study group. For our next session, we will read the following passages from scriptures; Numbers 21:4b-9, 1 Corinthians 1:18-24, and John 3:13-17.

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

If the church is the people of God, then, where is the church from Monday to Saturday? What it is doing? And where?

Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

What an invitation!

It’s hard to discern the emotions behind the words, but if the Pharisees and scribes tossed their question to Jesus innocently, then Our Savior’s response was not entirely gracious. It feels like a bit of an overreaction, really. Of course, the question may have snapped with snark, instead. Either way, it appears that the questioning of whether Jesus’ teaching resided within or outside of the “tradition of the elders” struck a nerve. Jesus didn’t see himself as the founder of a new religion, but rather an interpreter of his own religion, Judaism, as understood through a mysterious and profound relationship with God.

How much ought we to trust tradition in our religion? When does tradition constrain or enable our personal and collective spiritual growth?

The idea that the “church” and the “world” are distinct has gone in and out of fashion over the past two millennia; how does this distinction work for you? If the church is the people of God, then where is the church Monday through Saturday? What is it doing? And where?

My reflection:

 

 

Rector’s Corner: St. Michael is a house of prayer for everyone.  We welcome all people seeking a spiritual home. Our hospitality is one form of our worship.

Starting this week, until Thanksgiving Sunday, we will use during our Sunday worship service a liturgical material entitled “Season of Creation”. This sample liturgy was prepared by the Very Rev. Ken Gray, Dean and Rector of St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral in Kamloops, B.C. I have the permission of Archbishop Melissa Skelton to use this service in our parish.

I invite our parish leadership team, council members, coordinators of the various ministry group, and all members of our congregation to a “special joint leadership meeting” on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, 10:00am to 2:00pm in the Millennium Hall. The morning session, 10am to 12 noon, will be used to present a comprehensive program in preparation for St. Michael’s 60th founding Anniversary next year. In the afternoon, parish council officers and members will hold its regular monthly meeting. Lunch will be provided by the parish.

This will be an opportunity for us to have an open conversation on the various activities that will be presented leading to our special church celebration next year. This is NOT a planning session. I will be presenting some activities and events geared towards raising more awareness to the mission of St. Michael’s to both inside and outside of our parish community.

My goal is to seek your support and be able to renew our spiritual growth in terms of stewardship. Christian education, worship and personal prayer, and re-build a fellowship inside and outside of the parish. Please RSVP at 604-591-8323 or saintmichaels@telus.net.

Blessings, The Venerable Louie Engnan

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