Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Sunday Reflection

The gospel today begins to turn the perspective of the disciples outside of themselves. They are not disciples for their own sakes, and their own actions, but for the sake of those around them as well. There is an accountability, a responsibility to the other for the sake of good of the community.

We know that when we live out a part of a Gospel, we are always preaching the name of Jesus Christ. This should be a reminder to all baptized. It is in Matthew that Jesus says, “23 So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.”

Nothing we do as Christians, as believers, should be separate from our worship life. It should be an action of what we pray to God, and to what we continue to read and reflect from holy scriptures. When we consider the people around us, perhaps then our actions might very well be shaped by the teachings, life and mission of Christ.

Spirituality is also about preaching the actions of our individual faith and as a community to the individuals we meet and have interactions during the week. What we do during the week should reflect on or give witness to the life of Jesus Christ. Christian revelation is also a manifestation of whom you are in relationship to God and to all of God’s people. When we start thinking and understanding that our actions not only reveal who we are but also the communities of which we are a part, we begin to feel the fellowship of what it means to be an Anglican member at St. Michael’s.

  • When you are praying or before coming to church for worship, what helps you to listen to God’s call through this passage from St. Matthew?
  • What does it mean for you to be blessed or happy? What brings you joy, peace, and hope in serving Jesus?

Parish leadership Team: I invite members of our parish to serve in the leadership team of St. Michael’s. Should you feel called to this ministry, you can talk to the Wardens or send a note to the church email at, saintmichaels@telus.net

Thank you! We would like to thank Father Paul Illical for leading our 10am worship service. Again, please extend your warm welcome and hospitality to our former rector.

2020 O.D.N.W.: The members of St. Michael’s “Order of the Diocese of New Westminster, O.D.N.W.” met last week. They are now in the process of endorsing a parishioner to be nominated for this year’s investiture service.

Lenten Resources: This Lent, choose from a number of recommended resources to take the journey from Ash Wednesday to Holy Week (February 26 – April 11, 2020). Choices include small group gatherings or individual study and they are available online and in print. You can check it out at, https://www.vancouver.anglican.ca/diocesan-resources/lent-2020-resources

 

Posted in Messages from the Revd., Sunday Reflection | Leave a comment

Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Sunday Reflection: “You are the salt of the earth…. You are the light of the world.” Don’t think this is about somebody other than you. Jesus isn’t talking to particular individuals. He’s talking to the crowds that have followed him from Galilee, the ten cities known as the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan. That means they’ve come from everywhere. They’ve come to see this one they’ve heard about. They’ve come to listen and learn, to be healed, and to have their lives put back together. They’ve come in search of meaning, direction, and purpose.

You and I stand among that crowd. We’re one of them. We’ve come today to see this one we’ve heard about. We’ve come to listen and learn, to be healed, and to have our lives put back together. We’ve come in search of meaning, direction, and purpose. Jesus’ words are as true and applicable today as they were two thousand years ago. “You are the salt of the earth…. You are the light of the world.”

Jesus doesn’t stop there, however. There are profound implications to being named salt and light. It means that we are to flavor the world. We are to season and transform human activity in such a way that it reveals God in this world. It means we are to help people better see God’s life in theirs. It means we are to enlighten the dark places of the world. You and I are the means by which God flavors and illuminates life and the world. If last week, the Feast of the Presentation, Christ’s gospel showed us to be God-receivers, this week Christ’s gospel shows and calls us to be God-givers, God-sharers.

Where is the salt and light in your life? What does it look like? How does it show up? There are probably as many expressions and manifestations of salt and light as there are people. Ultimately though, they always look like the life of Jesus Christ.

“You are the salt of the earth…. You are the light of the world.”

Michael K. Marsh, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church 

I have received a couple of requests to restart a bible study group in our parish. In consultation with the people’s warden and some parishioners, we will offer a mid-week gathering. One of the designs would be a bible study get together. Further details will be shared to you soon. Any suggestions are welcome.

You may be aware that in the past, we have had medical emergencies occur in our parish. Parish Council members have considered purchasing an Automated External Defibrillator (A.E.D.) for our church. It would be included in our 2020 Parish budget. If you wish to make a donation towards this project, the parish will be grateful to your contribution. Then, we will conduct a training on how to use an A.E.D.

Next Sunday, Father Paul Illical will lead our 10am worship service. Please extend your warm welcome and hospitality to our former rector.

I invite members of our parish to serve in the leadership team of St. Michael’s. Should you feel called to this ministry, you can talk to the Wardens or contact me at your convenience at, saintmichaels@telus.net

Posted in Messages from the Revd., Sunday Reflection | Leave a comment

Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

The Presentation of the Lord: Luke the evangelist tells us that Jesus was presented in the house of God, as the Law of Moses required. He also records how the Christ-child was greeted by Simeon and Anna, two figures who represented Israel’s longing to see the Redeemer promised by God. The evangelist gave Simeon a song to sing, the Nunc dimittis, which acclaims Jesus as the saving Light of God. To symbolize the enlightening truth of Christ the western Church developed the custom of blessing candles on this feast — hence its other title, Candlemas.

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 instead. 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.

Many Christian writers have delighted to see the deepening of this paradox in the story of Simeon. In the fourth century, Ephrem of Edessa wrote: “When Simeon the priest received Christ into his arms and presented him to God, he understood that he was not offering Christ, but was himself being offered.”

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. (The Anglican of Canada/For All the Saints) 

Rector’s Message: If you are wondering about the ongoing Outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-CoV) in Wuhan, China on what the church is doing in connection with our conduct of public worship, particularly the administration of the holy sacrament (bread and wine), last week, Archbishop Melissa Skelton announced during our regular clergy day meeting at the Synod office that she, together with some other people in our diocese, are now in the process of writing specific guidelines about the conduct of our public liturgy during this time. The safety of our congregation is the top priority of our church and we do not want our churches to be a place of transmission of this virus or any other disease that may impact the health of any one of us. We will inform you once we received the guidelines from the Archbishop’s office.  We would also like to ask your prayers for all the people affected by this virus. May God heal those people. And, that we may be safe and be protected from this outbreak.

You may be aware that in the past, we have had medical emergencies in our parish. Parish Council members have considered purchasing an Automated External Defibrillator (A.E.D.) for our church. It will be included in our 2020 Parish budget. If  you wish to make a donation towards this project, the parish will be grateful for your contribution. Then, we will conduct training on how to use an A.E.D.

I invite members of our parish to serve in the leadership team of St. Michael’s. Should you feel called to this ministry, you can talk to the Wardens or contact me at your convenience at, saintmichaels@telus.net

Posted in Messages from the Revd., Sunday Reflection | Leave a comment

Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Sunday Reflection: It’s hard not to read Paul’s letter to the Corinthians 1:10-18 without thinking of how applicable this message is to any church in the 21st century. Christians are humans and we disagree on many things even within a single denomination. Paul’s organization in this letter to the young church in Corinth is so important, first reminding the people that they are brothers and sisters—a family now, and then reminding them in whose name they are united: Jesus.

For the church in Corinth to be strong and healthy, the basis of their unity is in the mind and purpose of Jesus. That’s different than urging people to agree with one another in an accord of their own. Paul continuously points to Jesus, telling the Good News, and reminding the people that it’s the Good News of Jesus Christ, not of his own ministry. He keeps pointing to the cross because if the people will only look to him, their unity will fall apart when he is not present.

Paul knows that he must pay attention to many places where gentiles will hear his message, because he believes that he must invite everyone into the Body of Christ. That is the mission that God has called him to, a mission of inclusivity! Paul powerfully reminds the church members: it’s not his (Paul’s) church. Nor is it Apollos’ nor Cephas’ church. The church is the Body of Christ.

  • What are some ways in which your church may have disagreements, and how might you come to a meeting of the minds?
  • What does Paul mean in V. 18 when he says “For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”?
  • Paul urges the people to be united and in the same mind and in the same purpose. What is that purpose?

(From: Sermon that Works)

I have received a couple of requests to restart a bible study group in our parish. In consultation with the people’s warden and some parishioners, we will offer a mid-week gathering. One of the designs would be a bible study get together. Further details will be shared to you soon. Any suggestions are welcome.

You may be aware of that in the past, we have had medical emergencies in our parish. Parish Council members have discussed purchasing an Automated External Defibrillator (A.E.D.) for our church. It will be included in our 2020 Parish budget. If you wish to donate towards this project, the parish will be grateful for your contribution. Then, we will conduct training on how to use an A.E.D.

On behalf of Donna and Mike, we would like to thank you all for the prayers and support you have shown them during the difficult times in their lives. Also, to those who attended the memorial service of Linda.

I invite members of our parish to serve in the leadership team of St. Michael’s. Should you feel called to this ministry, you can talk to the Wardens or contact me at your convenience at, saintmichaels@telus.net

The Venerable Louie Engnan, Rector

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sunday Reflection

WHO WANTS TO BE AN EVANGELIST? I wonder how many of us are willing to be God’s hands and feet to the world.  Perhaps, the concept about ‘evangelism’ has become a scary word for some of us.  It could be that evangelism is something we do not want to be associated with. However, looking at our mission statement, we have affirmed, as members of this congregation, that, “St. Michael’s Church seeks to know Christ and make Him known by continuing in the Apostles’ teaching and fellowship and exercising our faith by integrating justice, love and compassion in all ministries.
I wonder what does this mission statement mean to us, and, what is your idea of an evangelist today?
As Anglicans, we acknowledge that God is calling us to a greater diversity of membership, wider participation in ministry and leadership, better stewardship in God’s creation and a stronger resolve in challenging attitudes and structures that cause injustice.
What does it mean to you to have been commissioned by God and share His saving grace to all people? The Venerable Louie Engnan, Rector.

Pastoral Statement Regarding Flight 752

The Most Reverend Melissa Skelton, January 13, 2020

Dear People of the Diocese of New Westminster

At St. Christopher, West Vancouver on the morning of January 12, we celebrated the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus. I was privileged to be a part of the baptism of four Iranian-born people and the confirmation of those same men and women along with a larger number of Iranian-born Christians who are thrilled to have found the Anglican Church of Canada and St. Christopher’s. Before the liturgy began, one of the women to be baptized and confirmed read the following message to everyone gathered in the church (I have edited in the most minimal way).

“First of all, we are really thankful to people and government of Canada for their sympathy about the recent plane crash in Iran. A special thanks to Mr. Trudeau for his great efforts to push the Iranian government to clarify the painful facts for us. We would like to ask him to continue his attempts to bring peace to our country and to our region in this critical situation .

As you know, today is a great and unforgettable day for all of us. On this day, let’s pray for all people around the world to avoid war. There is nothing more odious than war, and the Iranian people hate it. Death and murder, demolition and ravage, bleeding, poverty, crying—all of these are the only results of it.

Let’s pray that all people live in a more peaceful world. And let’s pray that God and Christ bless the innocent people who were on that plane as well as the Canadian and Iranian people.”

I write to share these touching words with all of you and to join with the newly baptized and confirmed at St. Christopher’s in asking you to pray for all who died in the terrible tragedy of Flight 752, a plane shot down as it left Tehran. Please pray for their families and friends, for a cessation to the conflict in the Middle East and for a lasting peace both there and in other conflicted regions of the world.

May you and those you love continue to receive the light of Christ during these Sundays after the Epiphany,

+Melissa

Posted in Messages from the Revd., Sunday Reflection | Leave a comment

Sunday Reflection

What is baptism? Baptism is the sign of new life in Christ and unites Christ with his people. When we become baptized we make a commitment to follow Jesus Christ. We let go of our old ways of seeing others and ourselves. We learn to see one another through the eyes of Christ. We make a conscious decision to respect others and ourselves, to grow in our ability to live in harmony with others, and to forgive. We have a responsibility to resist evil in our own lives and to work to transform our society into a caring family centred on Christ’s passionate love for the world. At the time of baptism, the person is formally received as a member of the church, and may receive Holy Communion (or Eucharist).

What if I wish to become an Anglican but am already baptized?

Baptism in any Christian church or denomination in the name of the God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, is accepted by the Anglican Church of Canada. Anglicans do not re-baptize. Any baptized person may become a member of our church by regularly attending an Anglican parish and contributing to its life and ministry. In some parishes individuals new to the Anglican Church may wish to acknowledge Anglican membership publicly by participating in the services of confirmation or reception.

The Five Marks of Mission: All baptised are expected to live-out the following Marks of Mission. 1-To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom. 2-To teach, baptise and nurture new believers. 3-To respond to human need by loving service.  4-To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation. 5-To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.

Resources are from the Diocese of New Westminster, Anglican Church of Canada.

 

Posted in Sunday Reflection | Leave a comment

Sunday Reflection

Reflections on Epiphany Sunday:  Today in our parish we celebrate an episode which is recorded in the Gospel according to Matthew — the epiphany or “manifestation” of Christ to “wise men from the East.”

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.”

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.”

(For All the Saints – The Anglican Church of Canada)

Prayer: Everlasting God, the radiance of all faithful people, you brought the nations to the brightness of your rising.  Fill the world with your glory, and show yourself to all the world through him who is the true light and the bright morning star, your Son, Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen. (Evangelical Lutheran Worship:  Leaders Desk Edition 2006)

Posted in Sunday Reflection | Leave a comment