Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Sunday Reflection: “Let those who have ears, let them hear!” It’s a well-known phrase. In the New Revised Standard Version, the language is “Let anyone with ears listen.”

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is telling the crowd the Parable of the Sower, and throughout the text, the exhortation both to listen and to hear is repeated several times.

Jesus is talking to the assembled crowd. Wouldn’t they already be listening? Wouldn’t they be hanging on every word, hoping to learn from the teacher? It’s not the only place that Jesus repeats this plea, but this passage perhaps contains the most emphasis, as he tells the story of one who sows seeds liberally, some falling on good soil where they can grow heartily, while others are immediately picked off by the birds, and still others fall on rocky ground where, even if they sprout, they will wither.

Jesus speaks in parables to help make his meaning plain, as he draws parallels between the situations of everyday life and the kingdom of God. Still, Jesus also knows that although we have ears, we often choose not to listen. It is easier to substitute our own meaning for what God is trying to tell us.

In what ways might God be trying to make something plain to you that it may be easier to overlook? In your life, in what situations are you the fertile ground for the seeds’ spread versus the rocky ground?

 

Rector’s Note: Praise God!!! St. Michael’s church is now open for in-person church worship. Thank you all for your presence at our service last Sunday. We also thank those who continue to follow us online.

Please note that if you a reader or prayer leader during worship, I am allowing you to bring your personal bible in the church. You can also use your electronic gadget to perform these ministries. We are all learning on how to serve God in the new normal of our church life. Again, be patient and should you have any other questions, please let me know.

The Venerable Louie Engnan, Vicar.

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Welcome back everybody! On behalf of St. Michael’s Church Wardens, Trustee and parish council members, I would like to welcome you all back to our in-person church worship service. It has been an uncertain time for all of us. While our parish had provided online church services on Sunday and Wednesday, there is no substitute to be back to the house of the Lord. It inspires me to share and reflect these words from scriptures: I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’ Psalm 122. Just like the Israelites of old, people praised God once they had entered the gates of the Holy City. This Church is the centre of our worship, and the place where the Lord continues to reveal himself to all of us.

I thank you for your patience and perseverance during the time that our church was locked-down due to safety reason. This is to comply to the guidelines from the provincial health office, and the Archbishop’s directive to all the parishes in the Diocese. This was so difficult to many of us, to stay home most of the time and not be able to gather in person for prayer and fellowship. It was very disappointing and discouraging as a parish congregation.

However, many of you supported our online worship service on Sunday mornings. In spite of the technological challenges, we managed to navigate and get through the past 15 Sundays participating in virtual services.

But today, we can give praise to God (in-person) and say, 24 This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118

We also thank you for sending your tithes, pledges and offerings in support to the ministry of our parish. To all our readers, prayer leaders, music ministry, people behind the scene preparing the Sunday bulletin, power point slides and operating the zoom video/audio communications. All your contributions have help to keep us all connected.

May God bless you all. May God’s love be with us all. May we be a stronger and faithful congregation now and in the days to come. Thank you so much!

The Venerable Louie Engnan, Vicar

 

Phase II: Church Re-Opening Protocol.

(Please read carefully before you come to Church on Sunday Morning)

Parish Council members are pleased to let you know that St. Michael’s Anglican Church is now open for in-person worship service.  Please note the new Sunday service times as follows: 8:00am – B.C.P. Service and, 9:15am – B.A.S. Service. Both services will be a Morning Prayer.

What to expect when you come back to worship at St. Michael’s? Please see down below some of the re-opening protocols that should be observed by all of us when we come back to our church building.

Hand gloves and Face masks will be available to anyone who wishes to use them while inside the church premises.

 

  • Worship Service will be Morning Prayer. No Holy Communion. 
  • The entrance door will remain open to prevent surface

       contamination of handles and to increase ventilation.

  • Pews will be measured off in 6 feet sections and marked with

       tape. Please sit on the pews that are unmarked with tape.

  • Physical distancing must be observed, and we must refrain

      from touching each other.

  • Music will be piano/organ only – congregational singing is not

      allowed but a soloist is permitted.

  • The offering plate will not be passed – it will be left on the table

      at the back of the sanctuary for your envelope offering.

  • Washrooms are for emergency use only –  users will be asked

      to sanitize the washroom sink and toilet after use – gloves,    

      paper towels, and disinfectant solutions will be provided.

  • Bulletins will not be handed out – you will have to collect your

      bulletin on the table by the entrance doors. Afterwards, please

      place your used bulletin in the recycle bin by the exit doors at

      the end of the service.

  • Prayers books and Hymnals will be removed from the pews.
  • Coffee time is suspended for now and parishioners are

     encouraged to leave the building when the service is over.

  • Guests are required to sign the guest book upon entry to the

     building with their full contact information in case they need to

     be contacted because of any COVID-19 alerts.

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Sunday Reflection

Matthew 10:40-42. These two verses at the end of Chapter 10 of Matthew conclude a treatise from Jesus to his disciples on the role of mission. Jesus gathers the twelve, gives them the powers of healing and exorcism, and sends them into the world to cast out demons and heal (Mt 10:1). Jesus then warns his disciples that in performing these acts of love, they will meet persecution and disdain.
Jesus still commands us, his 21st-century followers, to share the Good News of Jesus, which brings healing and life to the world. This may not make us popular, and neither will the work be easy. In these two verses appointed for today, however, Jesus reveals the rewards for those who are faithful. Notice that these rewards do not include wealth, fame, or worldly goods. Our reward is “the reward of the righteous” (Mt 10:41). God calls each of us to spread the Gospel in different ways—some are wandering prophets, some are teachers, some are even little children. All of us, however, carry the light of Christ and can take that light into the dark places of this world.

  • What are your gifts, and how might you use them to spread the light of Christ?
  • What brings you great joy? How might God use that joy to spread the Gospel?
  • Where are the dark areas in your community that need the light of Christ?

    Romans 6:12-23.Paul uses the imagery of slave either to sin or to righteousness. Today, this can sound harsh or even inhumane. But Paul means something different here. Just as God told the Hebrew people going into the Promised Land, God has given us teachings through the Law and through Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of the Law, which will lead us into a place of life and abundance. In particular, this “free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23). Jesus’ whole life, culminating in his death and resurrection, was a testament to the Law which he summarized as “You shall love the Lord your God with all our heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind . . . [and] you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Mt 22:37–39).

  • How might obedience to God deliver you from that position into life?
  • Where is our church/town/state/nation a slave to sin, and how might obedience to God deliver us into life?

These reflections were written by Charles Lane Cowen, Sermon that Works

 Re-Opening plans for St. Michael’s Church (Updated June 24, 2020). 

We are very pleased to let you know that our application to re-open St. Michael’s Anglican Church to in-person worship has been approved by Archbishop Melissa Skelton. Our first in-person worship service will be on Sunday, July 5, 2020. Please note the new service times as follows; 8:00am – B.C.P. Service and, 9:15am – B.A.S. Service. Both services will be a Morning Prayer. Many thanks to our lay leadership team in preparing this application. 

FYI: St. Michael’s will provide hand sanitizer, face face, and hand gloves to those who wishes to use these items as additional protection to all of us coming back to our worship space. 

Phase II Protocol.: Please see down below some of the re-opening protocols that should be observed by all of us as we come back to our church building. 

 Service will be Morning Prayer. No Holy Communion. 

 The entrance door will remain open to prevent surface contamination of handles and to increase ventilation. 

 Pews will be measured off in 6 feet sections and marked with tape. Please seat on the pews that are unmarked with tape.

 Physical distancing must be observed and we must refrain from touching each other.

 Music will be piano/organ only – congregational singing is not allowed but a soloist is permitted.

 The offering plate will not be passed – it will be left on the table at the back of the sanctuary.

 Washrooms are for emergency use only – users will be asked to sanitize surfaces following use – gloves, paper towels and sanitizer will be provided.

 Bulletins will not be handed out – they can be collected from the table at the entrance doors and placed in recycle bins by the exit doors at the end of the service – books will be removed from the pews.

 Coffee time is suspended for now and parishioners are encouraged to leave the building when the service is over.

 Guests are required to sign the guest book upon entry to the building with their full contact information in case they need to be contacted because of any COVID-19 alerts. 

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

A Reflection on National Indigenous Peoples Day, 2020: As we approach the celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21 (National Indigenous People’s Day of Prayer in the Church), the news has been dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Then the George Floyd tragedy that happened in Minnesota on May 25.  This blatant murder by a police officer of an unarmed Black man has caused people to stop in their tracks and really consider what equality for all people is about.  The violence toward Black people in the USA, and the racism in our own country shows how deeply divided we are as a society.

In his book, “The Skin We’re In,” Black author Desmond Cole looks at Canada in the year 2017, month by month, and talks about his own experiences living with the injustices directed toward Black people on a daily basis.  He devotes a chapter to Canada’s Indigenous peoples, and urges solidarity with them as their experiences are similar.

We Indigenous people have lived with this for generations and in order to survive we have become numb to it all.  You might wonder what keeps us going on, and what is it that we have to celebrate on National Indigenous Peoples day….?

In the Diocese of New Westminster, and in the national Anglican Church, we have a lot to celebrate.  I cannot help but feel gratitude for how far the churches in this diocese and their Aboriginal neighbours have come in building relationships and celebrating each others’ communities. It is a joy to see churches celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day in their liturgies.  It has been wonderful to have an annual celebratory Feast on the grounds of the Synod Office, which includes singing and dancing offered by the Coast Salish and Nisga’a peoples, Métis dancers and fiddlers, and the Big Drum group representing the Plains peoples.  It was very special for the Kwhlii Gibaygum Nisga’a Dancers (of which I and members of my family are members) to be part of the Opening Eucharist for General Synod, July, 2019.

We can all truly look up to Indigenous heroes like; Dr. Martin Brokenleg, Dr. Chief Bobby Joseph, and Archbishop Mark MacDonald. Young leaders are emerging, such as Keane Tait who is keeper of Nisga’a knowledge. There are so many more people we can look up to as our Nations continue to grow and thrive.  Nii K’an Kwsdins (aka Jerry Adams) June 12, 2020

 

Re-Opening plans for St. Michael’s Church (Updated June 18, 2020). We are very pleased to let you know that our application to re-open St. Michael’s Anglican Church to in-person worship has been approved by Archbishop Melissa Skelton. Our first in-person worship service will be on Sunday, July 5, 2020. Please note the new service times as follows; 8:00 am – B.C.P. Service and, 9:15 am – B.A.S. Service. Both services will be a Morning Prayer.

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the members of St. Michael’s Parish Council for providing support in preparing this application.

Phase II Protocol. Please see down below some of the re-opening protocols that should be observed by all of us as we come back to our church building.

  •  Service will be Morning Prayer. No Holy Communion. 
  • The entrance door will remain open to prevent surface contamination of handles and to increase ventilation.
  • Pews will be measured off in 6 feet sections and marked with tape – only alternate rows will be used.
    ·       Physical distancing must be observed and we must refrain from touching each other.
    ·         Music will be piano/organ only – congregational singing is not allowed but a soloist is permitted.
    ·      The offering plate will not be passed – it will be left on the table at the back of the sanctuary.
    ·         Washrooms are for emergency use only –  users will be asked to sanitize surfaces following use – gloves, paper towels and sanitizer will be provided.
    ·         Bulletins will not be handed out – they can be collected from the table at the entrance doors and placed in recycle bins by the exit doors at the end of the service – books will be removed from the pews.
    ·         Coffee time is suspended for now and parishioners are encouraged to leave the building when the service is over.
    ·         Guests are required to sign the guest book upon entry to the building with their full contact information in case they need to be contacted because of any COVID-19 alerts.

https://www.vancouver.anglican.ca/news/documents-available-phased-re-opening-for-in-person-worship

 

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Sunday Reflection: In this selection from the Gospel According to Matthew, Jesus is fulfilling his mission of teaching, preaching, and healing throughout the entire Galilean region of Israel. Motivated by compassion for the people whom he had realized were in great need of healing and leadership, and also realizing the task was too great for himself alone to fulfill, he gathers together twelve of his followers, representing the twelve tribes of Israel, to assist him in his task. He delegates his authority to them. These disciples were a diverse group from all walks of life and Jesus would often complain about the lack of faith shown by the apostles he had chosen, but nonetheless, they were faithful enough to accept the task Jesus had given them, even to the point of leaving their former lives behind and experiencing suffering. Jesus, in asserting his messiahship over his own people, while also knowing they were in great need of healing and spiritual guidance themselves, made the priority of his new apostles to go first to the Jewish people. They would provide healing to them and announce the coming of the Kingdom of God, for which John the Baptist had long been preparing them. However, while they were to accept whatever the people gave them to provide for their basic needs, they were not to request payment in the same way that Jesus himself had not requested payment from them. God’s unmerited, merciful love and healing were already payment in full.
How often do our church communities expect leaders to fulfill the mission of the church while being unwilling to actively assist in this great task? Do we see simply attending church on Sundays and perhaps participating in a Bible study session as enough of a burden in our busy lives? If we do offer to assist, do we expect something in return, even payment, before we are willing to do it? As Jesus himself realized, while there is much to do and people are in great need of healing and spiritual guidance, there is an even greater need for all of us to actively assist in this work. Let us be generous with our time and talent, even if we believe our faith is insufficient for the task, and simply offer ourselves in faithfulness and allow God to work through us.

  • In what ways does your church community fulfill its mission in the world? Do the church members actively assist in this mission?
  • In what ways can you use your time and talent to assist in the mission of your church? (Daniel Woods, The Episcopal Church)

Re-Opening plans for St. Michael’s Church (Updated June 10, 2020):  A draft of our parish application to re-open on Sunday, July 5th, is now being reviewed by members of Parish Council. After review, and if there any further suggestions, Jeddy and Ven. Louie will make the necessary edits before submission to the office of the Archbishop.

What to expect if and when we come back to our church building(s) for in-person worship and other events into Phase II. Please see down below some of the re-opening protocols.

  •  Service will be Morning Prayer. No Holy Communion. 
  • The entrance door will remain open to prevent surface contamination of handles and to increase ventilation.
  • Pews will be measured off in 6 feet sections and marked with tape – only alternate rows will be used.
    ·       Physical distancing must be observed and we must refrain from touching each other.
    ·         Music will be piano/organ only – congregational singing is not allowed but a soloist is permitted.
    ·      The offering plate will not be passed – it will be left on the table at the back of the sanctuary.
    ·         Washrooms are for emergency use only –  users will be asked to sanitize surfaces following use – gloves, paper towels and sanitizer will be provided.
    ·         Bulletins will not be handed out – they can be collected from the table at the entrance doors and placed in recycle bins by the exit doors at the end of the service – books will be removed from the pews.
    ·         Coffee time is suspended for now and parishioners are encouraged to leave the building when the service is over.
    ·         Guests are required to sign the guest book upon entry to the building with their full contact information in case they need to be contacted because of any COVID-19 alerts.

https://www.vancouver.anglican.ca/news/documents-available-phased-re-opening-for-in-person-worship

 

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Of Faith in the Holy Trinity: There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the Maker, and Preserver of all things both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

(Articles of religion I)

One of the most difficult to explain, and often misunderstood concepts in the Christian faith is the belief in a Trinitarian God, one God with three aspects. Often characterized as the ‘Father,’ Son,’ and ‘Holy Spirit,’ the trinity represents God the Father/Creator, Jesus Christ the Son and Savior, and the Holy Spirit, or the creative, inspirational force at work in the world.

It is this ‘three-in-one’ characterization of God that some point to as contradictory to the doctrine of there being one and only one God, that somehow Christians pray to more than one god. Christian teachings and belief however are clear on this point: there is only one God, the Creator of the universe, who has three ‘persons’ or aspects, inseparable yet unique parts of the whole.

These three ‘persons’ integrate into the one that is ‘God’ who is beyond these distinctions. Just as we ourselves consist of body and mind and spirit (among many other ways of subdividing the parts that make up the whole) these three aspects of God in combination represent God to the world in general and to humans in particular.

(An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church)

Re-Opening plans for St. Michael’s Church: After consultation with the members of Parish Council, we are looking at two possible dates on the re-opening our church facilities to in-person worship. These dates are either on July 5th OR July 12th.

The plan is to take a ‘phase approach’. Details of this plan can be found on the Diocesan website  at:  https://www.vancouver.anglican.ca/news/documents-available-phased-re-opening-for-in-person-worship

Here are some of the requirements and recommendations that we wanted to share with you as we plan to move into Phase II: Beginning Re-entry.

  • Before any re-entry, the parish must provide for a thorough cleaning of the entire church building, including pews, bathrooms, doorknobs, light switches, stair railings, and microphones. Please see the current cleaning guidelines from BCCDC.
  • Recommend considering removing all non-essential items from rooms (church sanctuary) so that there are fewer surfaces to touch.
  • Posting signs and making announcements about non-contact greetings and reminders to refrain from shaking hands and hugging.
  • If there are sick or are of a vulnerable population, they should stay home and join online, if available, through your parish or another.

Requirements for In-person Worship

  • During this phasepublicly sharing in the Holy Eucharist in person is prohibited.
    ·  There is no physical touching during any portion of in-person worship. This includes physical sharing the Peace if used at this time (although exchanging the Greeting of Peace, without physical contact, is encouraged).
    ·   There is no passing of an offering plate through the pews. To limit contact, parishioners may offer financial gifts online or to a stationary plate as they come in or during worship.

(more to follow) 

 

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

The Day of Pentecost: Pentecost is one of the Great Feasts in the Anglican Communion.

The term means “the fiftieth day. It is used in both the OT and the NT. In the OT it refers to a feast of seven weeks known as the Feast of Weeks. It was apparently an agricultural event that focused on the harvesting of first fruits. Josephus referred to Pentecost as the fiftieth day after the first day of Passover. The term is used in the NT to refer to the coming of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, shortly after Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension. ‘When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Acts 2

Christians came to understand the meaning of Pentecost in terms of the gift of the Spirit. The Pentecost event was the fulfillment of a promise which Jesus gave concerning the return of the Holy Spirit.
It emphasizes that the church is understood as the body of Christ which is drawn together and given life by the Holy Spirit. Some understand Pentecost to be the origin and sending out of the church into the world. (An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church)

 

Re-Opening plans for St. Michael’s Church: After consultation with the members of Parish Council, we are looking at two possible dates on the re-opening our church facilities to in-person worship. These dates are either on July 5th OR July 12th.

The plan is to take a ‘phase approach’. Details of this plan can be found on the Diocesan website at: https://www.vancouver.anglican.ca/news/documents-available-phased-re-opening-for-in-person-worship

Our priority is the safety of our parishioners. We will be guided by the advised of the provincial health officer and the directives of the Archbishop.
Should you have any thoughts about this matter, please let me or the Wardens know. Thank you!

The Venerable Louie Engnan,

Rector

Prayer: Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Receiving the spirit is God’s gift to the church. Some thoughts on today’s scripture.

Jesus breathes upon us and gives us the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of peace and truth and joy. At a time of crisis and fear, how do you see yourself empowered by God to be a sign of love, kindness and love to others?

Come Holy Spirit, Come!

 

 

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Sunday’s Reflection: John 14:15-21

“I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you.” This promise is the center of this section of the Farewell Discourse. In last week’s passage from John, Jesus told the disciples that he was going to the Father. This week, he reassures them that they will not be left alone. The Father will send “another Advocate” who will always be with them. Jesus is the first Advocate, the one who is the Truth, and the Advocate whom the Father will send will be the Spirit of Truth, the spirit of Jesus himself.

Twice in this passage, Jesus tells us that those who love him, who follow him, will keep his commandments, which involve love for others and will result in being one with him and the Father. This union with Jesus and the Father is the Spirit who is with us always. The world, that is, the powers that do not receive Jesus, cannot know either him or the Father and do not know the Spirit. Those who love will be loved and receive the revelation of Jesus’ Spirit.

  • What are the signs you see of the Advocate, the Spirit, moving in the life of the world today?
  • What does it mean to you to keep Jesus’ commandments?

(Sermons That Works, by Sr. Kate Maxwell)

Prayer: Faithful God, make our hearts bold with love for one another. Pour out your Spirit upon all people, so that we may live your justice and sing in praise the new song of your marvelous victory. Amen.

(Revised Common Lectionary Prayers (2002), 122 alt.)

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia!

I would like to start by saying thank you to all of you for your continued support to our St. Michael’s Church. In this unprecedented time, our church family has been connecting virtually every Sunday to pray and worship together as a faith community. I know that all of you miss each other, and we really want to come back and worship in-person in our sanctuary. Just be a little bit more patient, and one day we will see each other again.

Plans are now underway to start the process of re-opening our churches to in-person events. We are cautiously and carefully looking into some models that would assist the parish leadership of St. Michaels to make some plans. We would like to assure everyone that this will be according to public health safety protocols, and the Archbishop’s directive in using again our church facilities. If you have any thoughts, feelings, and suggestions on how we should proceed with this plan, please let me know or the church wardens about this matter for discussion during our meeting.

Reading listThe gifts of the small church in a pandemic is an article written by Allen T. Stanton. He wrote, “In times of sickness and anxiety, the deep relationships in a small-membership church can be a powerfully sustaining force.”

This gift that we have is a way on how we can continue to cultivate our relationship as a church family. We are sustained by this virtue at St. Michael’s. We have this very powerful gift that we can share to one another in times of isolation. The goal is always to support our people. Members of the small church depend on one another — for connection, for friendship, for help.

Please continue to pray and uphold one another in the name of the risen Christ15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandment.” John 14

The Venerable Louie Engnan,

Rector

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Sunday’s Reflection: How can you fix your eyes on Jesus?

  • Acts 7:55-60. In the midst of his suffering and persecution, Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he saw the glory of God. The fact that Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit shows the source of his courage, wisdom, and power in preaching. To make room for the Holy Spirit, he had to let go of his need for control – or the need to cling to his own life. In his hour of trial, Stephen saw Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father.
  • Where do you see the glory of God? Where do you find beauty, joy, and peace?
  • How can you fix your eyes on Jesus?
  • John 14:1-14. Jesus told his disciples, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.” Jesus never wanted his disciples, then and now, to have life without trouble. But Jesus promised that we could have an untroubled heart even in a troubled life. Jesus told us that putting our trust in him was the path to a non-anxious presence. Jesus told the disciples to put their trust in God. This was a radical call.
  • What does life in Jesus’ name look like?
  • What helps you to put your trust in God?

(Sermons That Works, by Santi Rodriguez)

Prayer: God of life, you sent your Son into the world that we might live through him. May we abide in his risen life, so that we may bear the fruit of love for one another and know the fullness of joy. Amen.

(Revised Common Lectionary Prayers (2002), 120.)

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia!

 

In one of my weekly readings, I came across an article entitled, Will the church financially survive the COVID-19 pandemic?This article talks about money, financial crisis, sustainability, Christian leadership, and congregations’ response in this time of crisis. Pastor Prince Raney Rivers shared some of his views about church giving and says;

In the short term, Rivers said, churches need to appreciate the importance of adopting online giving if they haven’t already, and convince members that it’s a viable alternative to the Sunday offering.

Our way of giving has been nurtured by brining our envelope offering and making an in-person contribution during our worship service. For me, this is still the ideal way of practising our stewardship ministry in the church. But like many other church congregations, what adjustments should we make in order to continue our commitments to the Lord.

Rivers said that giving lagged at his church during the shutdown until they scheduled times for members to drive by and drop off their offerings. Many people do not feel comfortable giving online or even mailing their checks, he said. They want to practice the physical act of giving at the church.

In doing so, I am so grateful to all of you for your continued love and support to the ministry of St. Michael’s. There will still be challenges in our parish even after the in-person worship gatherings will be lifted. However, every time I see you on our virtual Sunday worship service, it gives me more reasons to have faith in God and believe in the glory of Christ’s resurrection. Let us continue what we are doing and adapt to the new ways on how we could better make use of our stewardship ministry post the “isolation period.” I am always praying for your safety.

The Venerable Louie Engnan, Rector

(The quotations above are from, “Alban Weekly | Imagining congregational life after the pandemic”, May 4, 2020)

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Sunday’s Reflection: John 10:1-10. Jesus is the shepherd who knows and tends to his sheep. Jesus does identify himself as the Good Shepherd in verse 11, but our text stops at verse 10, leaving us with the identification: “I am the gate for the sheep.” How might you understand Jesus to be the gate in this passage?

We are not the first to ask this question, and numerous theories and approaches exist. One common interpretation is the idea of Jesus as the gate to salvation. For me, the most powerful meaning of Jesus as the gate is in connection with his will for all to have abundant life. Jesus as the gate stands between us and the thieves and bandits who would kill and destroy. But Jesus as the gate takes the full force of this threat, creating a safe pasture in which we might attain abundant life. (Sermons That Works, by Charlotte LaForest)

Alleluia! Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia!

Rector’s Message: Many thanks to all of you for your continued support to St. Michael’s Church. We have been receiving your tithes, offerings and donations to keep the ministry of our parish. Again, Church is NOT cancelled. We are just doing it in another way. This is just for the time being. Also, we have re-started our Wednesday prayers. Join us (virtually) for a time of prayer and reflection at 7:00pm.

Last week, I was in touch with some of our parishioners, and everyone I spoke with seems to be doing well. I mean safe and healthy. Pray for our church family. Pray for all frontline workers. Pray for all working from their homes. Pray for healing and restoration of the whole creation.

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