Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Sunday Reflection: “At that time, the tax collectors and sinners were all crowding round to listen to Jesus.They want to listen to Jesus.This is a sign that they do not feel condemned, but rather they feel accepted by Jesus.Jesus had told them to accept the excluded, the sick, the possessed and to gather them for the banquet.
“Which one of you, with a hundred sheep, if he lost one, would fail to leave the ninety-nine and go after the missing one until he found it?” Before giving a response, Jesus must have looked around to see who was listening to Him to see how they would have answered.“Yes, he will go after the lost sheep!”
Jesus wants us to become aware, conscious of the Pharisee or the scribe which is in each one of us.
Jesus makes them and us know: “If you feel that you are a lost sinner, remember that for God you are worth more than the other ninety-nine sheep. And in the case that you are converted, know that there will be “greater joy in heaven for a sinner who is converted, than for ninety-nine just who do not need conversion.”
Is there a person responsibility in looking for and finding lost sheep, or is it just an institutional one – just for the Church and priests and Deacons?
Prayer: God of power and mercy,only with Your help can we offer You fitting service and praise. May we live the faith we profess and trust Your promise of eternal life.

Rectors’ Corner: Welcome Back to The Reverend Peter Smyth! Today, Peter will preside and preach on both of our Sunday Worship Services. Again, please extend your warm welcome and hospitality to our guest clergy.

As we come closer to our parish 60thanniversary, my hope and prayer is that members of the parish have re-connected with people who have been part of St. Michael’s congregation.  I encourage you all to invite families and friends to come and celebrate with us on Sunday, Sept. 29th.
While we can do this is a variety of ways, I still think that the most effective way to invite people to come to St. Mike’s anniversary is by word of mouth.  Please make an intentional effort by giving someone a phone call, or if possible, a personal visit.

On another note. When you have received a copy of our parish newsletter, “The Messenger”, I would like to hear some of your feedback with regards to the articles or information about our Sunday attendance and financial status. I would ask the leadership of our parish to call a parish meetingbefore the end of this year. I wanted to know from you, members of the parish, on how best we could continue our parish ministry. I think it is important to weigh the viability and future ministry of our parish congregation.

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

Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Sunday Reflection: It is extremely significant that we consider this passage as we draw near to St. Michael’s 60thAnniversary. Jesus offered himself to all of us. He also was honest from the very beginning of his preaching about what it means to be involve in his mission. What Jesus asks for is first place in one’s heart. That is what successful discipleship requires.
A disciple is a learner, and the primary teacher in life is Jesus. This total loyalty is significant, given the challenges of mission work then and now. If his followers care more about other priorities than about Jesus, He made it very clear that we are not worthy to be His followers. Discipleship is not possible if Jesus is not the center of our life.
Discipleship is basically allegiance. To follow Jesus is to rely on him. Learning from Jesus means following him in spite of being rejected by other people. Discipleship is serious business to Jesus. To be a disciple and complete the task, we must count the cost. It is a good idea to actively be part of a church community and come to terms with God. But that means we must humbly come to him on his terms. Successful discipleship requires that God be first.

Do you build in time to pause and to re-evaluate habits and commitments and how we might live in a more Christ-shaped way?

Rectors’ Corner: We are just three weeks away from our parish 60th anniversary. My hope is that by this time, we, members of the parish, have
re-connected with people who have been a part of St. Michael’s congregation.  I encourage you all to invite families and friends to come and celebrate with us on the 29th.
While we can do this is a variety of ways, I still think that the most effective way to invite people to come to St. Mike’s anniversary is by word of mouth.  Please make an intentional effort by giving someone a phone call, or if possible, a personal visit.
On another note. When you have received a copy of our parish newsletter, “The Messenger”, I would like to hear some of your feedback with regards to the articles or information about our Sunday attendance and financial status. I would ask the leadership of our parish to call a parish meetingbefore the end of this year. I wanted to know from you, members of the parish, on how best we could continue our parish ministry. I think it is important to weigh the viability and future ministry of our parish congregation.

 

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

Sunday reflection & rector’s Corner

Sunday Reflection:The Pharisees closely watched Jesus during the course of his ministry, and the gospel today is not the first time Jesus would have encounter this group of people.

Jesus is very observant of the behavior of the dinner guests (14:7).

Their problematic snobby and exclusive behavior prompts Jesus to share a parable with them. Jesus observed that as the guests arrived they scrambled for front row seats closest to the host, in the VIP section.

Jesus makes an important point in the parable. People who uplift themselves will be humbled, but those who humble themselves will be exalted (14:11).

Also, in the Gospel of Luke, meals provide central settings for Jesus’ mission. The language of food, in general, serves as a basis for Jesus’ teaching. Eating is a sign of life and celebration. This is no different to what we do during St. Michael’s potluck fellowship. Food has religious connotations as well because it can be a tool to build community. Jesus “blessed” food and prayed for it daily.

This is a strong foundation in praying The Lord’s Prayer. How do we see the relationship of humility and the gift of food? How can we continue to build relationship around humility and fellowship? How can we exercise humility before God and people?

Rectors’ Corner: In my continuing quest to learn more about the history of our St. Michael’s Church, I came across this article written by Amy Barker on the occasion of The Consecration of St. Michael’s Anglican Church by The Right Reverend Thomas David Somerville, Bishop of the Diocese of New Westminster, on Tuesday, December 14, 1971, at 8:00pm.

My goal in sharing to you the beginnings of St. Michael’s, as written by Amy Barker, is to inspire and renew your love, faithfulness and commitment to our congregation. Also, please know that there will be an official write-up that would be published in “The Topic” (Diocesan Newsletter) and “Michael’s Messenger” (Parish Newsletter) this month. The article below does not, in any way, contradict what you will read in the next issue of the newsletters. This is another perspective that may assist you reminisce the past but at the same time work even harder to keep St. Michael healthy and vibrant. Happy reading! Louie (on Home page)

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

Sunday Reflection

Sunday Reflection: Fire is a multivalent biblical image. It can represent the presence of God – think pillar fire in Exodus (13:17-22) and the tongues of flame at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). Fire also represents purification — Zachariah (13:9) and Malachi (3:2-3) each refer to God’s intention to purify Israel like a refiner purifies silver by fire. Jesus embodies the presence of God which simultaneously judges and purifies. Baptism also is used in the New Testament to represent both judgment and purification and was connected with fire by John (3:16-17). The baptism of which Jesus speaks seems clearly to be an event that dominates every moment of his mission. The One who embodies the presence of God is not simply meting out the fire of judgment and purification but bears it also himself.
The kingdom of God he proclaims represents a new order governed not by might but by forgiveness, not by fear but by courage, and not by power but by humility. We find the courage to look forward to discern the opportunities and challenges of our own ministry, joining our hopes and fears, and to serve as disciples of Jesus Christ. What imaginative renewal do you hope for in our St. Michael’s community?

 

Posted in Sunday Reflection | Leave a comment

Sunday Reflection

Sunday Reflection: Jesus seems to say to the young man desperately wishing to draw him into his family quarrel, “You’re paying attention to the wrong things!” Jesus tells them to “perceive,” and then follows with, “Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions” (v. 15). By saying this, Jesus indicates that this goes beyond objective reality or rationalizations of the mind. He wants the young man and the crowd to feel the meaning within their bodies, and to know in a different kind of way.

This does not necessarily seem to be a lesson centered on sharing, but the rich man in the parable uses the word “my” five times in the span of just two verses: “my crops,” “my barns,” “my grain,” “my goods,” “my soul” (v. 17-19). Then, he knocks down his old barn and builds a bigger one to hold his stash. Luke stresses the importance of an equitable society, so the truth to be perceived comes directly from Jesus’ use of the word abundance. Luke drives this point home when God says, “You fool!” (v. 20), echoing Jesus’ opening sentiments to the young man. God seems to say, “Your eyes are so narrowed on your material accumulations, you cannot see the destruction your greed rains upon you or the others around you.”

 

Posted in Sunday Reflection | Leave a comment

Sunday Reflection

Reflection: At times, we make prayer into something much more difficult than God intends it to be. In this passage from Luke’s gospel, we hear that Jesus’ disciples saw him praying and asked him to teach them how to pray. The prayer he taught them is one that we know and pray virtually every time we gather as a community to pray. The words may be so familiar to us that we overlook the simplicity of the petitions. Jesus invites his followers to address their God as Father, showing them that the invitation to prayer is an invitation to a relationship with an intimate God, not one who is distant and unconcerned with our needs and desires. Jesus teaches his followers to pray for the coming of God’s kingdom, for the sustenance they need each day, for the forgiveness of their sins and the strength to forgive those who have sinned against them, and for protection from times of trial. They are simple yet powerful petitions. Jesus taught his disciples to come before their God and bring their requests with simplicity and honesty.  Jesus also reminded his followers that God is always good and faithful. God hears our prayers and always provides for us. Jesus never promised that all of our prayers would be granted just as we asked them. Though it may seem that God does not hear our prayers, Jesus promises that those who ask of God will indeed receive. A collect on page 394 of the Book of Common Prayer puts it this way: “Heavenly Father, you have promised to hear what we ask in the Name of your Son: Accept and fulfill our petitions, we pray, not as we ask in our ignorance, nor as we deserve in our sinfulness, but as you know and love us in your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

How can you simplify your life of prayer to draw closer to God?

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Sunday Reflection | Leave a comment

Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Reflection:This Gospel story brings up a question of identity and roles. Martha accuses Mary not only of not helping to serve dinner—which is the duty of a woman—but for sitting at Jesus’ feet—which is the prerogative of a male disciple. Women were not permitted to receive religious instruction under the rabbinical law, but nevertheless some persisted. By sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening to his religious teachings, Mary demonstrated bravery in transgressing the deep-seated prohibition of women in the role of disciple. And Jesus was complicit in the (righteous) transgression by allowing and then praising Mary for it. He doesn’t necessarily denounce the old ways, but gently affirms the new models.

Today we celebrate such stories in which Jesus allowed and invited women into his ministry and mission.

How do you live into your role as a disciple of Jesus?

Examine what societal norms govern your life, especially around gender. What comes up?

Rector’s Corner: I would like to thank all parishioners who took the time and participated in our second parish bowling and fellowship for this year. A special shout out to Dave and Natasha for organizing the event.

On behalf of our parish congregation, I would like to Welcome Richard Leong for participating in our Sunday worship services for the past two weeks. It is indeed a blessing to see new members come to our church. A special shout out to Sow-Yuen and Gary for inviting Richard worship in our parish.

Again, I encourage you all to please include in your prayers our new primate, The Most Reverend Linda Nicolls, as she begins to shepherd The Anglican Church of Canada. More details about the conclusion of the 42ndGeneral Synod are available online at, gs2019.anglican.ca

 

 

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