Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Sunday reflection: Holy Women of the Old Testament:  16 AugustMemorial-For All the Saints, A.C.C.

When the Church honours the Blessed Virgin Mary (Aug. 15), it is often inclined to view her in isolation and to forget that she was a Hebrew woman. The evangelists, especially Saint Luke, did not make this mistake, but saw her in the light of a long line of women mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures — Sarah, whose husband was Abraham; Miriam, the sister of Moses; Deborah, one of the Judges of Israel; Hannah, the mother of Samuel; Ruth, the legendary grandmother of King David; Bathsheba, the wife of David and the mother of Solomon; the widow of Zar’ephath, who trusted the prophet Elijah and received mercy in the time of her grief; and the mother of the Maccabean martyrs, who encouraged them to keep faith with God and perished with them because she would not join in pagan sacrifices.

These women all had one thing in common: they were people who first appear as living on the edges of their society. For instance, Sarah and Hannah suffered the reproach of being childless in a culture which counted a woman’s worth by the number of children she bore; while Ruth, Bathsheba, and the widow of Zar’ephath were all foreigners in Israel, women from other nations which worshipped other gods. But all became the vessels of God’s mercy and crucial symbols of the salvation that God sought to make for Israel. Indeed, the very fact that they came from the edges of society made them bearers of Israel’s truth before God. For Israel itself was a society on the edges of the world, a nation easily scorned by the more powerful kingdoms round about, repeatedly invaded and oppressed. What set Israel apart was, of course, its covenant with the one true God — and its tenacity in faithfulness to this covenant. Thus, the holy women of the Old Testament symbolized Israel’s faithfulness to God in a hostile world. For just as each was vindicated for her faith in the God of Israel, so they became models of Israel’s vocation and living testimonies to the vindicating power of God. That is why we specially remember these holy women today.

Collect for the Holy Women of the Old Testament:
Blessed are you, Lord, God of our mothers, for you raised up generations of holy women in the house of your people Israel that they might preserve the way of your covenant. Grant us a measure of their faith, that we may be unafraid of rulers in their might and strong in our hope of your vindication; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Rector’s Corner: I would like to thank Gayle and Cris for providing leadership in our music ministry this morning. Again, we encourage parishioners, families and friends of St. Michael to offer your talent as we continue to worship and give praise to the Holy One. Praise the Lord!

Stewardship – Our parish is in need of additional volunteer greetersreadersprayer leader, and counters for the 10am worship service. If you are called to this ministry, please let me know and I can provide you some basic training for these ministries.

Pastoral Visits: I am doing some home visits during the summerI usually offer prayers, reflections and conversation that may support your spiritual needs. My contact info; saintmichaels@telus.net or at 604-591-8323.

I have met with our church wardens and some other parishioners to reflect on a few ministries centered on our spiritual renewal. Initially, it will start with a sacred gig among the “leadership team, then the “insiders” of our congregation and hopefully even to the “outsiders” of our faith group.

We have formed a small pastoral team who will assist me in doing home visitation in the next few months. Our goal is to provide an opportunity to have some conversations around what you think the church, -priest, leaders, and members- should start doing, continue doing and even stop doing.

This small pastoral team may also update you on the various ministry of our parish.  If you have any suggestions to the above information or should you want to assist the team in any way, please let me know. We would appreciate all the help we can get from each and everyone of you. 

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

The Transfiguration of the Lord:  6 August-Holy Day-For All the Saints, A.C.C.

An account of Jesus’ transfiguration on the mount is included in each of the first three Gospels, and in each one it serves as an epiphany, a manifestation of the truth that Jesus is not only the messenger of salvation but also the saving message itself.

Jesus took Peter, James, and John up a mountain, where they beheld his figure clothed in dazzling glory and his conference with Moses and Elijah. Moses was the servant of God who received the divine covenant and delivered it to Israel; while the prophet Elijah was expected to come again and inaugurate the end of the ages, when Israel would be restored and vindicated in the sight of all the nations. The vision of Jesus conversing with these two figures revealed that he was the third founder of Israel and, as God’s very Son, the fulfillment of all the promises made in the Law and the Prophets.

The Transfiguration also foreshadowed the still greater event of resurrection, and it gave a foresight of what salvation and the life of glory would be like. The evangelists all began their accounts of the Transfiguration by focusing on Jesus’ clothing. It was not stripped off him, as it would be at the crucifixion; instead it was almost unbearably enhanced. Saint Paul would pick up on this image in his Second Letter to the Corinthians, where he spoke of the Christian hope in these terms: “While we are in this earthly tent we sigh with anxiety; not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.” Elsewhere he would speak of “putting on Christ” and of “being clothed with Christ.” Salvation, then, will not be a stripping away of what makes us human, but a donning of the vesture of glory; and the vesture of the blessed will be nothing other than the life of the risen Christ himself.

Collect for the Transfiguration:

Almighty God, on the holy mount you revealed to chosen witnesses your well-beloved Son, wonderfully transfigured. Mercifully deliver us from the darkness of this world, and change us into his likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Rector’s Corner: I would like to thank Gayle and Cris for providing leadership in our music ministry this morning. Again, we encourage parishioners, families and friends of St. Michael to offer your talent as we continue to worship and give praise to the Holy One. Praise the Lord!

Stewardship– Our parish is in need of additional volunteer greeters, readers, prayer leader, and countersfor the 10am worship service. If you are called to this ministry, please let me know and I could provide you some basic training for these ministries.

Pastoral Visits: I am doing some home visits during the summer. I usually offer prayers, reflections and conversationthat may support your spiritual needs. My contact info; saintmichaels@telus.net or at 604-591-8323.

I have met with our church wardens and some other parishioners to reflect on a few ministries centered on our spiritual renewal. Initially, it would start with a sacred gigamong the “leadership team, then the “insiders” of our congregation and hopefully even to the “outsiders” of our faith group.

We have formed a small pastoral teamwho would assist me in doing home visitation in the next few months. Our goal is to provide an opportunity to have some conversations around what you think the church, -priest, leaders, and members- would like to start doing, continue doing and even stop doing.

This small pastoral team may also update you on the various ministry of our parish.  If you have any suggestions to the above information or should you want to assist the team in any way, please let me know. We would appreciate all the help we can get from each and everyone of you.

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Sunday Reflection: Saint Mary Magdalene 22 July Holy Day

Mary was called the Magdalene because she was a woman of Mag’dala, a village in Galilee. In the Gospels it is said that Jesus cast seven demons out of her and that she was one of a group of women who followed him and used their wealth to provide for the rest of his companions.

Mary accompanied Jesus to Jerusalem, and three of the evangelists — Matthew, Mark, and John — give her first place among the women disciples who stood nearby while their Lord was crucified. All the Gospel accounts agree that, on the morning of the third day, she went to his tomb in order to anoint his corpse — and was astonished to find the tomb empty, except for mysterious strangers who told her that Christ was risen. According to John, it was just then that Mary became the first to behold and speak with the risen Lord himself; John also reports that Jesus appointed her to proclaim the news of his resurrection to the apostles. For this reason, Mary Magdalene is regarded as their equal by the Eastern Church, for she was the apostle to the apostles.

Collect: 

Almighty God, whose Son restored Mary Magdalene to health of mind and body and called her to be a witness of his resurrection, forgive us and heal us by your grace, that we may serve you in the power of his risen life; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Rector’s Corner: Last Sunday, we have had fourteen attendees for the Early Worship Service (8:30am) in our parish. For me, this was a significant indication of our ability as Anglicans to invite andwelcomea family member or a friend. I should also share with you that another person came back and worshipped with us for the second time. Perhaps, my reflection should focus more on how we intentionally orient and incorporatea new person, family or friend into our church family. Our communal goal is to find ways and means to invite, greet, orient andincorporatenew members to our congregation. Have you even considered someone to invite to attend a gathering at St Michael’s?

I have met with our church wardens and analyzed a few ministries centered on our parish spiritual renewal. Initially, it would start with a sacred gig among the “leadership team, then the “insiders” of our congregation and hopefully even to the “outsiders” of our faith group. We would continue to update you on this initiative.

On behalf of our parish leadership team, I would like to say thank you for your participation at our annual summer BBQ Fellowship. A special shout-out to our cooks and donors for your generosity and kindness. Also, to all who shared a dish, dessert, drinks etc.… and for inviting families and friends.

The leadership of our parish council will present a mid-year stewardship assessment. Our goal is to update your stewardship participation of time, talent and treasurein the life of the parish. Please continue to support and get involved in our stewardship ministry.

I am doing some home visits during the summer. I usually offer prayers, reflections and conversationthat may support your spiritual needs. My contact info; saintmichaels@telus.net or at 604-591-8323.

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Sunday reflection & Rector’s Corner

Sunday Reflection: Ephesians 1:3-14 (Sermon that Work)

St. Paul’s letter to the Christian community in Ephesus, a Greek city in modern-day Turkey, incorporates themes of church unity, purity, and holiness.

In this section of his letter, St. Paul tells us of the blessings received from God the Father through Jesus Christ—blessings which we were destined to receive from the beginning of time. He explains that out of love for God, we should strive to be holy and blameless. Although unworthy, we are forgiven our sins through faith in Jesus, setting us free to do better.

We know God’s will for our lives through the example of Jesus’ own life. As the creator of all things, God desires all things to be united with him through Jesus Christ, a legacy which we who have faith in him have also inherited. We should live with a desire for God to be praised by all. Through our faith in Jesus Christ, we are assured that the Holy Spirit will always enable and empower us in this task.

As Anglicans (Episcopalians), this message from St. Paul should remind us of the Anglican Communion’s First Mark of Mission: “To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom,” which is regarded as Jesus’ own summary of his mission on earth and the key statement about everything we do in mission. This requires all of us to be committed to personal evangelism. Nobody is exempt. In fact, the legal name of the Episcopal Church is the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society! Of course, we can be creative in our evangelism, but we are all called to share our faith in Jesus Christ with others in some way. St. Paul reminds us that the Holy Spirit is always with us as we engage in this task and we should also be reminded that the fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). So it should be with these gifts that we fulfill our task of proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom. 

  • How do you feel when you hear praise being given to God, especially from those new in faith?
  • How is your local church community (Parish of St. Michael’s) fulfilling the First Mark of Mission?
  • How are you personally fulfilling the First Mark of Mission?

Rector’s Corner:The leadership of our parish council will present a mid-year stewardship assessment. We hope to give parishioners an awareness of our stewardship of time, talent and treasureparticipation in the life of the parish. We also expect that parishioners will continue to support and get involved in our stewardship ministry.

I will also be doing some home visits during the summer. If you wish that I come over and have some time with you, please contact me at saintmichaels@telus.net or at 606-591-8323. I usually offer prayers, reflections and conversationthat may support your spiritual needs.

St. Michael’s Summer Barbecue Potluck Fellowshipwill be on Saturday, July 21, 5:00 to 8:00pm, in the porch area of the Millennium Hall. Invite a friend and family. Share your favourite dish.

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Sunday reflection:        Mark 6:1-13 (From Sermons that Work)

This passage from the Gospel of St. Mark offers revelatory insight into a life of discipleship. As Jesus and his disciples continue their ministry in Jesus’ own hometown of Nazareth, they are met with the breadth of human response to that which is unexpected: astonishment, incredulity, and even antagonism. One might expect a homecoming to be joyful and rich in blessing, but how often have we returned home, changed after a time away, to find ourselves somewhat distant from those who knew us best? Even for Jesus, a life in God’s service (into which he is knit intimately as the second Person of the Trinity) is rife with complexity. Notably, Mark stands alone among the gospels in mentioning that despite rejection, Jesus “laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them.” His work continues even amidst unbelief, and the following description of the commissioning of the disciples is thus imbued with particular power. Though the world may refuse them honor, hospitality, or even dignity, they are to go forth, to travel light in companionship with one another, to seek sustenance among this fledgling community of believers, and to persist in the holy work of their beloved Lord.

There is a delicate irony in Jesus’ instruction to the disciples to “shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against” those who do not receive them. Rabbinic literature features the image of shaking the dust from one’s feet as a ritual act of the faithful Jew upon return to Israel after a journey through unclean lands. Jesus has just been rejected in Nazareth. What might this statement mean regarding his own community? Ultimately it is revealed to be true that hardship, uncertainty, and rejection are just as much a part of discipleship as joy, fruitfulness, and peace. In fair weather and foul, the work of the Word continues to heal and to redeem.

  • How do we change how we live out our faith based on the circumstances that surround us? Do we remain authentic to who God has called us to be?
  • Where do we find hope amidst the hardships of discipleship?

 

Rector’s Corner:The leadership of our parish council will present a mid-year stewardship assessment. We hope to give parishioners an awareness of our stewardship of time, talent and treasureparticipation in the life of the parish. We also expect that parishioners will continue to support and get involved in our stewardship ministry.

I will also be doing some home visits during the summer. If you wish that I come over and have some time with you, please contact me at saintmichaels@telus.net or at 606-591-8323. I usually offer prayers, reflections and conversationthat may support your spiritual needs.

St. Michael’s Summer Barbecue Potluck Fellowshipwill be on Saturday, July 21, 5:00 to 8:00pm, in the porch area of the Millennium Hall. Invite a friend and family. Share your favourite dish.

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

The Birth of Saint John the Baptist 24 June Holy Day

The birth of Saint John the Baptist is told in the Gospel according to Luke, where it serves as a bridge between the Old Testament and the time of Christ.

The initial focus of Luke’s account is Zechariah the priest and his wife Elizabeth; and the evangelist draws on phrases and motifs from the Old Testament in order to associate them with Abraham and Sarah. Like those ancient figures, the parents of John the Baptist were righteous but childless. Moreover, Elizabeth herself (like Sarah) was well past menopause, so that according to nature she was no longer able to conceive a child. But just as God intervened to make Abraham and Sarah have a child and become the forebears of the chosen people, so an angel announced to righteous Zechariah that he and his wife were to have a son who would be the forerunner of the Chosen One, the Christ. So it came to pass that Elizabeth conceived and gave birth to a son, whom she named John. Then his father Zechariah prophesied, saying,

“You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way, to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins.”

Zechariah also saw that his son’s mission would prepare the way for the fulfilment of God’s oath, the oath which he swore to our father Abraham, to set us free from the hands of our enemies, free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.

Thus, according to Luke, the birth of John the Baptist gathered up and embodied the whole truth of the Old Testament and made it ready for its own perfection in Christ Jesus, the One whose way John was born to prepare.(For All the Saints, Anglican Church of Canada)

Rector’s Corner: On behalf of the Tri Parish Ministry Team, I would like to thank you all for your active participation in this year’s Worship and Picnic in the park. For me, it was a blessing to see all three Anglican congregations in Surrey gathered in God’s name, proclaiming the good news of salvation, and receiving the body and blood of Jesus Christ as one big family. It was also a great privileged that our service was led by Her Grace, The Most Reverend Melissa Skelton, Archbishop and Metropolitan of B.C. and Yukon.

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Sunday Reflection: This is the third Sunday in which we are reading through the Gospel of Mark. Last Sunday, Jesus’ disciples picked grain on the Sabbath and he cured a man’s hand on the Sabbath. In the text of the gospel that we skip over to get to this week’s reading, a large crowd gathers around Jesus because of his miraculous healings, and he appoints the twelve apostles. This week, Jesus’ teaching continues with a series of sayings.

These sayings might seem to be randomly thrown together at first, without much uniting them. But if you look carefully, you might see a pattern. The reading begins mid-sentence; if you started from Mark 3:19b, you would read, “Then [Jesus] went home [literally ‘to a house’]; and the crowd came together again…” The theme of house, home, and family run throughout this reading.

  • What is Jesus’ true home, and who are his true family?
  • When has the Church been your family, your “brother and sister and mother” (v. 35)? Is there a time when it has supported you and your family, or when it has supported you in a time of conflict in your family                                                                                                 (From Sermon that Works) 

Rector’s Corner: “STYLES AND TITLES” (The information below is from the Diocesan Communications Office)

We now have an archbishop in our diocese and questions about styles and titles have arrived. In the Anglican Communion archbishops employ the written style ‘The Most Reverend’ and are addressed as ‘Archbishop’ or ‘Your Grace.’ These styles and titles are used for both the Primate and Metropolitan Archbishops.

By convention, the names of bishops and archbishops always follow the title of their office: The Archbishop of New Westminster, the Most Reverend Melissa Skelton (use Christian and surname). Thereafter, Archbishop Skelton or the Archbishop.  Anglican archbishops are entitled to be preceded by a server carrying an archiepiscopal processional cross (with two bars instead of one) in liturgical processions. Retired archbishops ordinarily would revert to being styled “The Right Reverend”, although they may be appointed archbishop emeritus by their Province on retirement, in which case they retain the title archbishop and the style The Most Reverend, as a courtesy.

Practically: In the Prayers of the People: We pray for Melissa, our Archbishop and Metropolitan.

In formal speech: Archbishop Skelton, Your Grace.

In informal speech: Archbishop Melissa.

Written: The Most Reverend Melissa Skelton, Dear Archbishop Skelton,

Hope this would assist us in addressing our Archbishop.

The Venerable Louie Engnan

Rector

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