Sunday Reflection & Vicar’s Corner

Sunday’s Reflection: “When have you been called to give up the pleasures of the moment for lasting things?” Mark 8:31-38

Jesus is straightforward in this passage – no sugar coating his fate. He will be rejected, suffer, die, and rise again, he tells his disciples, drawing a reprimand from Peter. Jesus in turn scolds Peter for thinking from a human perspective rather than a divine one. Jesus continues with a similarly difficult message for his followers. Following him means losing one’s life and taking up the cross.

To “follow” Jesus is to deny one’s own wants and desires and do the right thing – the thing given you to do. Jesus didn’t want to die on a cross, but we see that he was confident in the glory of God that was to come, despite the painful costs. Important to consider is that as someone who loved Jesus, Peter was well-meaning in his “human perspective”. Certainly, he shuddered at the thought of Jesus’ suffering and death.

It’s easy to think that we must follow a lot of rules and do good things in order to be accepted by God, rather than trusting in his grace. 

How have you seen God do the seemingly impossible in your life or the lives of others?

Resources are from “Sermons that Work”

Vicar’s Note:

We would like to remind all parishioners and worshippers of our church to continue sending your tithes, donations and/or offering envelopes to our church office. We are so incredibly grateful for your continued generosity and support to the work and ministry of our parish. For your pastoral care, prayers and/or spiritual counselling, please contact me at 604-591-8323 or at vicar.lengnan@gmail.com

Today, (February 28, 2021) Bishop Stephens will be seated and installed as the 10th Bishop of the Diocese of New Westminster. The livestream on YouTube and diocesan website are linked to the diocesan Facebook page, Anglican Conversation will begin at 3:30pm. The livestream will begin with a video featuring music from around the diocese and images of diocesan parishes at worship, in ministry and in community. The livestream of the liturgy from Christ Church Cathedral will begin at 4pm. Please pray for Bishop John as he starts to minister to our diocese. Bishop Stephens’ contact information is   jstephens@vancouver.anglican.ca Phone 604.684.6306 ext. 218.

World Day of Prayer: If anyone is interested, the Women’s Inter Church Council of Canada has a one hour video for World Day of prayer, which is normally the first Friday of March.  It can be accessed at wicc.org/servicevideo. We have permission from the Anglican Church Women, Diocese of New Westminster, to circulate the link to anyone who might be interested. 

Holy Week Online Services

Palm Sunday Service, March 28, at  9:30 a.m.

Maundy Thursday Service, April 1, at 6:30 pm

Good Friday Service, April 2, at 10am.

Easter Sunday Service, April 4, at 9:30 a.m.

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Sunday Reflection & Vicar’s Corner

Sunday’s Reflection: Jesus spends forty days in the wilderness, surrounded by wild animals and tempted by Satan. However, before he enters the wilderness, he is baptized and given a concrete reminder of his identity as God’s Son and God’s Beloved, which must have been a comfort and encouragement to him during his ordeal. When he returns, he is ready to begin his ministry by proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God.

Today, we experience salvation through the waters of baptism. We are buried with Christ in the waters, and through Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection, we are forgiven for our sins and granted a clean conscience before God. Christ’s ascent into heaven and his victory over all authorities and powers assure us that this is true. 

This mirrors our experience in Lent. As we begin our forty days of fasting and repentance, the scriptures remind us of our baptismal identity. We are God’s children and God’s beloved, and God’s promises of forgiveness will sustain us during these forty days. After Lent is over, we will proclaim Jesus’ resurrection and God’s kingdom during the season of Easter.

May we find comfort and hope in the promises of our Savior during this season of repentance.

How do our baptisms and seasons of repentance ready us for mission and ministry?

(Resources are from, Sermon that Works)

Vicar’s Note: Our Wednesday bible Study session will resume on Feb. 24th at 11am. You will receive the appointed bible passage and zoom invite at the start of that week. 

We would like to remind all parishioners and worshippers of our church to continue sending your tithes, donations and/or offering envelopes to our church office. We are so incredibly grateful for your continued generosity and support to the work and ministry of our parish.

For your pastoral care, prayers and/or spiritual counselling, please contact me at 604-591-8323 or at vicar.lengnan@gmail.com

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Sunday Reflection & Vicar’s Note

Sunday’s Reflection: In this scene, Jesus is talking with Elijah and Moses. In this moment of God’s glory revealed in the Transfiguration of Christ Jesus, as the disciples stood stunned and as Jesus spoke with Moses and Elijah, there is silence. 

Peter, James, and John had been with Jesus for some time now and witnessed his many works, like walking on water. Yet, at the Transfiguration, they were still shocked to see Jesus’ divinity revealed in glory. Silence may unsettle us. And, like Peter, we may start talking simply to fill the air because we are uncomfortable in silence. Still, even in confusion and fear and trembling and silence, light shines and God speaks. We may not fully comprehend why we are there at that moment, why we have the privilege to be on the mountaintop to witness a revelation, but as disciples, we may be called simply to listen.

Today, we listen to so many voices, all of which seem wise and attractive—columnists, commentators, political analysts, preachers, celebrities and more. They promise us health, wealth, and happiness, but seldom live up to their promises and sometimes lead people toward devastation. Is there any trustworthy voice amidst the chaos in life? The voice from the cloud says that we can always trust Jesus—”Listen to him!” (Resources are from, Sermon that works)

Vicar’s Note: Our Wednesday bible Study session will resume on Feb. 24th at 10am. You will receive the appointed bible passage and zoom invite at the start of that week. 

We would like to remind all parishioners and worshippers of our church to continue sending your tithes, donations and/or offering envelopes to our church office. We are so incredibly grateful for your continued generosity and support to the work and ministry of our parish.

For your pastoral care, prayers and/or spiritual counselling, please contact me at 604-591-8323 or at vicar.lengnan@gmail.com

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Sunday Reflection & Vicar’s Corner

Sunday’s Reflection: In this text from Mark, we see three important points about Mark’s Jesus and one of his important practices. First, we see Jesus’ authority at the beginning. Jesus is healing the sick and driving out demons. People want to be present to that authority; in verse 33, we see that “the whole town was gathered around the door.” Another point worth noting is that Jesus makes sure that who he is remains a secret. In verse 34, Jesus “would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.” The final point, from verse 38, is that Jesus’ purpose for his ministry is preaching: “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.”

The important practice that we see Jesus undertake is in verse 35. He went off to a solitary place where he prayed. This is a practice that we need to form. Going to a solitary place forms both our outsides and insides. It is important to find a place to be with God – a space in your home, a walk, or a chair that envelops you. We also must find an internal solitary place, so that we can slow our minds, breathing prayer in and out. What is your current prayer practice? What are some examples of solitary places, both on the outside and the inside, where you can go for prayer? (Resources are from, Sermon that works)

Vicar’s Note: We are now in the process of preparing our Lenten study series. If you have any ideas, topics or reading materials that you wish to share, please let me know and we can discuss this matter. 

Our parish has organized a work party on Thursday, Feb. 11, 10m. Please feel free to assist for major cleanup around the church property. Bring your gloves and rakes.  We will have bags. Cleanup will be trash if there is any, leaves and lots of branches fall. Hope to see everyone there, as many people make for much lighter work for all.

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Sunday Reflection

The season of Epiphany means the church should celebrate those moments in Jesus’s life and ministry where he particularly disclosed his identity as the Messiah, our Deliverer and Redeemer. Mark’s Jesus is curt and impatient. He is on a mission to dismantle the system of evil we see around us. His Gospel is particularly interested in displaying how Jesus’ power extends into dispelling the works of Satan. Jesus’ command over the unclean spirits, his enmity with the forces that seek our oppression and ruin, is total.

But what about Moses? Remember Mount Nebo, where he is delivering his sermons in Deuteronomy. Moses can only peer into and not enter the Promised Land. And the salvation God promises through Israel is not completed when they cross the Jordan. It is the promised prophet who converses with God “face to face” – Jesus Christ – who announces the age of the final Exodus into the reign of God.

In the epistle, what Paul seems to be implying is that even though the forces of the Enemy exist, they no longer have the power to afflict those for whom “there is one God, the Father… and one Lord, Jesus Christ.” Christians then should indulge the consciences of those who wish to divest themselves of the surrounding culture’s complicit stance with “the ruler of the power of the air.”

As our Gospel reading will make clear, Christian experience has understood Jesus’ mission as the liberation of the human community from the kingdom of Satan and his fallen angels by the ushering in of the Reign of God. The liberty Paul speaks of is the Church’s exodus from darkness and sin into the light of God’s redemption in Christ.

How can God deploy our gifts to the work of his reign and to the banishing of evil? (Resources are from, Sermon that works)

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Vicar’s Note & Sunday Reflection

Vicar’s Note: We give praise to God for the consecration of Bishop John Stephens. His grace will serve as Bishop-Coadjutor until the end of February 2021. On Sunday, Feb. 28th, Bishop John will be seated and installed as the 10th Bishop of the Diocese of New Westminster. Please pray for Bishop John as he takes a big step forward to pastor the churches in our diocese. 

Growing in Unity “I am the vine, you are the branches” Jn 15:5a

1 Cor 1:10-13; 3:21-23 | Is Christ divided? 
John 17:20-23 | As you and I are one

Meditation: On the eve of his death, Jesus prayed for the unity of those the Father gave him: “that they may all be one … so that the world may believe.” Joined to him, as a branch is to the vine, we share the same sap that circulates among us and vitalizes us. 

Each tradition seeks to lead us to the heart of our faith: communion with God, through Christ, in the Spirit. The more we live this communion, the more we are connected to other Christians and to all of humanity. Paul warns us against an attitude that had already threatened the unity of the first Christians: absolutizing one’s own tradition to the detriment of the unity of the body of Christ. Differences then become divisive instead of mutually enriching. Paul had a very broad vision: “All are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God” (1 Cor 3:22-23). 

Christ’s will commits us to a path of unity and reconciliation. It also commits us to unite our prayer to his: “that they may all be one … so that the world may believe” (Jn 17:21). 

Never resign yourself to the scandal of the separation of Christians who so readily profess love for their neighbour, and yet remain divided. Make the unity of the body of Christ your passionate concern. The Rule of Taizé in French and English (2012), p. 13 

Questions for Reflection 

1. Each Christian tradition endeavours to bring us closer to God, through Christ, in the Spirit. Paul warns us not to use divisions as a way to separate Christ; indeed, Christ has not been divided. How can our differences strengthen our faithfulness? 

2. The imagery in John 15:5 of a vine and branches is a powerful one. Take some time to reflect on what that vine-and-branches imagery might look like in or for your community. Is it different across communities? 

3. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the interconnectedness of our lives – for example, the crucial importance of migrant farm workers, workers in food delivery and grocery stores, and other food industry workers, for our safety and well-being. How do our choices affect the lives of others? 2021 

From: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Canadian resources Biblical Reflections and Prayers

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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Celebrating 2021 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in Canada

Every year, Christians around the world are invited to celebrate a Week of Prayer for the unity of all Christians, to reflect on scripture together, to participate in jointly-organized ecumenical services, and to share fellowship.

The international resources for 2021 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity have been prepared by the Monastic Community of Grandchampin Switzerland, a group of religious sisters from different church traditions brought together by a common vocation of prayer, communitylife and hospitality and by their commitment to Christian unity.

The 2021 theme – Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit (John 15:5-9) – calls us to pray and to work for reconciliation and unity in thechurch, with our human family, and with all of creation. Drawing on the Gospel image of vine and branches, it invites us to nourish unity with God and with one another through contemplative silence, prayer, and common action. Grafted into Christ the vine as many diversebranches, may we bear rich fruit and create new ways of living, with respect for and communion with all of creation.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (WPCU) was first proposed in 1908 as an observance within the Roman Catholic Church by Fr PaulWattson, founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement in Graymoor, New York. Since the founding of the World Council of Churches in 1948, many other Christian denominations around the world have come to celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

In Canada, The Canadian Council of Churches and its ecumenical partners, the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism and the Prairie Centre forEcumenism, work for ‘unity in diversity’ by supporting WPCU celebrations across Canada. For over 40 years, our Canadian ecumenical writing team has adapted WPCU materials developed by the World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unityfor the Canadian context. We create additional English and French resources for the use of Canadian communities and share them, as well asinformation about WPCU celebrations across Canada, on weekofprayer.ca semainedepriere.ca, and via social media: #WPCU2021 /#SPUC2021

The Canadian Council of Churches and its ecumenical partners, the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism and the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism, invite you to support and participate in our work. You can learn more at councilofchurches.caoikoumene.ca or pcecumenism.ca.

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Sunday reflection

“You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” It seems counter-intuitive that John would go to the wilderness to proclaim his message. Why not go to the city, where people live? The answer is that the wilderness has special meaning to the Jewish people. It was to the freedom of the wilderness that God led them from their slavery in Egypt. It was in the wilderness that they became a nation.

Here in Mark’s Gospel, we get a voice from heaven, declaring that Jesus is a beloved child of God. We also have the sign of John himself, clothed in a way that ancient readers would have recognized as looking like the prophet Elijah, and saying that someone else – someone great – is coming. This just increases the anticipation and suspense at that moment when Jesus emerges from the river Jordan, dripping wet, and the sky breaks open and the Spirit comes down like a dove. An epiphany, for sure.

It is all about A NEW LIFE IN GOD. John baptized them to prepare them for the day when Jesus comes. It was a necessary first step toward a new life. A change of mind and direction. A total change of spiritual direction.

The purpose of Jesus’ baptism, in this Gospel, is to establish his identity as the Son of God. Verses 10-11, which tell of Jesus’ vision and the voice from heaven, constitute the core of this baptismal story.

Jesus’ incarnation reminds us that we are all the Beloved, we are all children of God, with whom God is well pleased. Remembering this belovedness can strengthen us during difficult times and help us live into our call as followers of Christ. Have you heard God’s voice telling you how loved you are? Try sitting in silence for a few minutes and listening for that voice. When have you experienced an epiphany, a sudden insight into something deeply real, deeply true? Where did that insight lead you? (Sermon that Works)

Rector’s Note: I would like to thank you all for your active participation in our advent and Christmas online worship services. It was a joy for me to be able to serve you in another way. I would like to acknowledge the stewardship of all people who were involved to make this ministry a blessing to all of us. 

Also, we thank you all for picking up your 2021 parish envelope offering. If you were not able to pick up your offering envelope, please contact Natasha and she would arrange a pickup time for you with our envelope secretary. Please continue supporting the work that we do at St. Michael’s.  Blessings! 

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Sunday reflection

“Arise, shine; for your light has come” The prophet Isaiah’s declaration is an invitation to wake from sleep, to gather in the holy places, to pay homage to the one true Gift: God’s desire to know and be known by us. “We observed his star at its rising,” the wise men say, and it is a reminder that even the light of inconceivably distant galaxies has been caught up in the narrative of Divine Love made manifest, reaching across the vastness of space to find itself reflected in the eyes of an infant Lord. 

As such, the wise people in Matthew’s Gospel are ideal guides for our journey—strangers from another land, led through the night by wonder and hope, following the path to Christ fixed in the stars (which, of course, can only be seen in the dark). The Magi are not bound by the political machinations of Herod; they are not beholden to the present order of domination and exploitation. Instead, they are guided by dreams and visions, by the wisdom of hidden roads, by attentiveness to the signs around them. And in their journey—one that is itself the union of brightness and shadow—they are led to the place of our collective longing: to gaze upon the hidden face of God and to know that it is indeed God gazing back, beyond metaphor, beyond language itself, as pure, Incarnate presence.

How might we, too, encounter God again, if we are courageous enough to think deeply about the language, we use to approach Divine Mystery? How might we, too, be guided to travel “by another road,” a road upon which we acknowledge the limits and the lamentable uses of “light” and “dark” in our recent past and then push beyond them? What new ways might we dream of to depict and express the epiphany that God is, and always has been, reaching out from across eternity to abide with us, to heal us, to bring us back to ourselves? (Sermon that Works)

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.The Book of Alternative Services. 

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Sunday Reflection

The Birth of Jesus Foretold, Luke 1:26-38: The Good News is that God has a place and plan for every person—even the ordinary person—especially the ordinary person. God calls Mary to be mother of the Lord, but calls every mother to raise her child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Our work for God seems less-than-ordinary—handing out church bulletins, driving for a youth group retreat, preparing for a potluck dinner. In some cases, our calling seems higher—teaching a Sunday school class or singing in the choir—but the kids are unruly or someone sings off key and we wonder why we bother. The reality is that each task, low or high, fits into God’s scheme-of-things in ways that we cannot yet understand. It matters less that we execute our tasks with expertise than that we approach them with devotion. God desires, not the skill of our hands, but the love of our hearts. The person who has only the ability to love God and neighbor is all-important in God’s economy.

Virtual Worship Service: We offer online (zoom) worship service on Sunday morning, 9:30. This platform is an opportunity for us to reach out to more people by sharing the coordinates of the service. As a tool for church mission, we encourage you, sisters, and brothers in Christ, to be God’s witness to the world. 

Church Donations: We would like to thank you all for tour support and stewardship to the ministry of the parish. You can send your donations through one of the following: Pre-Authorized donations, e-transfer, mailing your offering envelopes, or dropping-off your envelopes in the church mailbox. Please contact the Wardens for details. We appreciate your stewardship! A Reminder: 2020 Tax Receipts must be in the offering plate by Sunday Dec. 27thto count as a 2020 donation.

Drive thru 2021 Offering Envelopes: On Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021, 10 to 11am, our church envelope secretary will distribute your 2021 offering envelopes in the church parking lot. For those of you who can make a quick drive thru, we would hand out your envelope, say hello and thank you, and give you a “big social distancing-hug” to express our appreciation to your support and continued faithfulness to our parish church. Hope to see you in-person on that day. 

Prayer: Love-bearer, you called a faithful handmaiden to carry the essence of love, make room in our hearts for your arrival, amidst the winter chill, so that we, warmed by your presence, may share the good news of your coming with all. We ask this in the name of our brother and friend, Jesus the Christ. Amen.  St. Hildegard, 2018 M. Calabrigo.

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