Sunday Reflection & Messages

Sunday Reflection:  In Ancient Near Eastern societies, “shepherds” was also a term used to refer to kings or leaders. Today, our readings look specifically at the kings of Judah who are subject to the judgments given in Jeremiah 23:1.
The shepherd metaphor is used for God (Psalm 23), humans (Ezekiel 34), and, in Christian tradition, Jesus (Mark 6:34).
A shepherd brings sheep – or, in this case, people – together and protects them, tends to them. Who are the shepherds in your life? Whom do you shepherd? How are you mirroring God’s shepherding in these relationships?

The reading from Colossians gives us a twofold message. The first part lays out a multitude of ways in which we are can grow and be transformed in Christ: strength, power, glory, endurance, patience, joy, and thanksgiving. The second part of the reading gives us a Christological vision of ways to describe and understand Christ: He is the visible image of the invisible god, the creator, redeemer, and sustainer, a direct channel to the timeless eternal things of God. What does this text tell us about the connection between our daily lives and our ability to let God transform us interrelate with the facets of who Christ is? (Sermon That Works)

MICHAEL’S ADVENT WORSHIP SERVICES

Advent 1: December 1, 2019 – Lighting of Advent Candle and Joint Worship Service at 9:30am. Lectionary: Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Romans 13:11-14 Matthew 24:36-44

Advent 2: December 8, 2019 – Lighting of Advent Candles and Holy Communion Services at 8:30 and 10:00am. Lectionary: Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Romans 15:4-13; Matthew 3:1-12.

Advent 3: December 15, 2019 – Lighting of Advent Candles, Lessons and Carols & Holy Communion Services at 8:30 and 10:00am.

Advent 4: December 22, 2019 – Lighting of Advent Candles, Christmas Pageant & Holy Communion Services at 8:30 and 10:00am. Lectionary: Isaiah 7:10-16; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25.

Christmas Eve: December 24, 2019

7:00pm – Carol Singing at 7:00pm.

7:30pm – The Lighting of the Christ Candle
Holy Communion and Candlelight Service 

Dec. 25 -Christmas Day Morning Eucharist at 10:00am

NEWS AND INFORMATION

2019 LEN SHEPHERD CHRISTMAS LUNCHEON: On Monday, December 16th 2019 at 1.00 pm, the Tri-Parish Ministry of St. Helen’s, Church of the Epiphany and St. Michael’s will participate in their Christmas Luncheon.  We can help with set up, food finishing, serving and cleanup. We will also be donating some money, desserts and gift bags for approximately 35 residents. We will also have caroling like last time. Each parish will provide 2-4 volunteers. Talk to Jeddy for further details.

2019 ADVENT CALENDAR AND RESOURCES: A daily email with meditations from Archbishop Melissa and Spiritual Directors of the Diocese during Advent will be available. Each day will include an Image, Hymn, or Poem that reflects Advent themes as well as a brief reflection. The sign up web link is, 2019 Advent Calendar | Diocesan Resources | Anglican Diocese of New Westminster

ONLINE SAFE CHURCH TRAINING: The new online Safe Church Training has now launched. Parishes received information on Friday, Nov. 1st, detailing how to enroll lay parishioners and employees. The Archbishop’s bulletin to clergy outlined her expectations for clergy to register and complete this new training over the next three months. More information can be found on the Safe Church training page of the diocesan website, Safe Church training | HR / Screening in Faith | Anglican Diocese of New Westminster

 

 

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Sunday Reflection & Messages

Sunday Reflection:  In today’s gospel some were speaking about the temple, its beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God. It is what structured their community. It gave identity and meaning. It was the center of Jewish life. Jesus looks at it and says, “The days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.” Jesus is speaking about more than just the physical temple in Jerusalem. The Jerusalem temple includes every temple you and I have.

So what do we do on the day our temple falls?

Some people will simply give up and walk away in despair. They can see nothing left. All is lost and the situation is hopeless. That is not Jesus’ response.
Jesus’ response is just the opposite. Be still, be quiet, do not be led astray. Do not allow your life to be controlled or determined by fear. Do not listen to the many voices that would cause you to run and go after them. Endure he says. Be faithful, steadfast, persevere here and now. Jesus is calling us to be present and faithful in whatever circumstances we find our selves. If we cannot find God here, in our present circumstances, even in the midst of our temple ruins, we will find God nowhere.

 

Messages:

ST. MICHAEL’S ADVENT WORSHIP SERVICES

Advent 1: December 1, 2019 – Lighting of Advent Candle and Holy Communion Services at 8:30 and 10:00am. Lectionary: Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Romans 13:11-14 Matthew 24:36-44

Advent 2: December 8, 2019 – Lighting of Advent Candles and Holy Communion Services at 8:30 and 10:00am. Lectionary: Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Romans 15:4-13; Matthew 3:1-12.

Advent 3: December 15, 2019 – Lighting of Advent Candles, Lessons and Carols & Holy Communion Services at 8:30 and 10:00am.

Advent 4: December 22, 2019 – Lighting of Advent Candles, Christmas Pageant & Holy Communion Services at 8:30 and 10:00am. Lectionary: Isaiah 7:10-16; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25.

NEWS AND INFORMATION

2019 LEN SHEPHERD CHRISTMAS LUNCHEON: On Monday, December 16th 2019 at 1.00 pm, the Tri-Parish Ministry of St. Helen’s, Church of the Epiphany and St. Michael’s will participate in their Christmas Luncheon.  We can help with set up, food finishing, serving and cleanup. We will also be donating some money, desserts and gift bags for approximately 35 residents. We will also have caroling like last time. Each parish will provide 2-4 volunteers. Talk to Jeddy for further details.

2019 ADVENT CALENDAR AND RESOURCES: A daily email with meditations from Archbishop Melissa and Spiritual Directors of the Diocese during Advent will be available. Each day will include an Image, Hymn, or Poem that reflects Advent themes as well as a brief reflection. The sign up web link is, 2019 Advent Calendar | Diocesan Resources | Anglican Diocese of New Westminster

ONLINE SAFE CHURCH TRAINING: The new online Safe Church Training has now launched. Parishes received information on Friday, Nov. 1st, detailing how to enroll lay parishioners and employees. The Archbishop’s bulletin to clergy outlined her expectations for clergy to register and complete this new training over the next three months. More information can be found on the Safe Church training page of the diocesan website, Safe Church training | HR / Screening in Faith | Anglican Diocese of New Westminster

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Reflections on Remembrance Day & Sunday Reflection

Reflections on Remembrance Day: Love is more than words; it’s more than a feeling; more than doing what’s easy and convenient. Love means getting down in the hold with someone to give them what they really need. It means getting dirty and being inconvenienced and it sometimes means “laying down your life for a friend” (John 15:13).

When we celebrate Remembrance Day, at churches and in arenas and at cenotaphs across our land, we remember that others laid down their lives so that we might be able to live with the freedom that we now enjoy. But the price was steep. In Churchill’s finely tuned words it was paid “in blood, sweat and tears”.

As Canadians, we are so blessed to live in a peaceful country. But we have not been shielded from the horrors of war; while, for some of us, our view comes from media – often a report of a soldier lost in some far away land; for others it is the terror that wracks a mother, a wife, a husband, a child, whose loved one is a life time away, wearing our flag – fighting in a place so far away as to be unreal, and sometimes losing a life for ideals that although bigger than any one individual, may bring small consolation to those attending a grave.
While in a peaceful and peace loving nation such as Canada, we are not immune from paying a price for our commitment to building a better world. Today, our hearts are with the families of fallen soldiers, and we pledge our support to those who return home, sometimes fractured in body in soul.
It is important that we remember that hate can build when power is found by suppressing the rights of any part of our population. In many ways, the battle lines have shifted – from more narrowly focused battles between countries, to conflicts between ideologies whose borders shift and change. A war between those whose hearts and views are open enough to wish more for all people, and those who would strip away rights, subjugate women, use rape as a tool of war and control, hold a power not freely given from a people, but stolen used for self-aggrandizement, for ego, for wealth.
Remembrance Day is a day to reflect on our shared values and individual histories, and on what we can learn from the past. Today, we ask each other to quietly reflect on what this day means to you, to honour those with the courage to engage when justice demands it, and most of all, to thoughtfully reflect on the role you can play in building a more just and peaceful world.

Prayer: Lord God of hosts, you clothed us your servant Martin with the spirit of sacrifice and set us in the midst of your Church as a guide in the path of holiness. Give us grace that we may be clothed with your righteousness in the dwellings of peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sunday Reflection:  The gospel today continues a long line of reminders in Luke that we do not place value in the correct places in our earthly lives. The Sadducees were an aristocratic Jewish sect during Jesus’ time, often contrasted with the Pharisees. Historians describe the Sadducees as often being rude to their peers. As the passage indicates, they did not believe in the resurrection of the body or of the soul. They lay a trap for Jesus by invoking the Torah’s requirement that if a man should die before having children, one of his brothers should marry his wife. It was hoped that the woman would have a son so that the man’s family, and property holdings, could continue.

Yet Jesus deftly avoids the trap the Sadducees set for him by challenging the grounds for the question. Jesus reminds us that heaven will not be like earth. We are not able to comprehend just how different heaven will be from our earthly existence. We will not take the things we value with us into the afterlife. It reinforces Luke’s earlier messages about the importance of sharing our earthly abundance with the poor and suffering.

  • How do you picture God’s kingdom in heaven? How does it compare to your earthly life?
  • What parts of your earthly life do you value too highly? (Sermon that Works) 

 

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

SUNDAY REFLECTION: All Saints

All Saints had its origins in the fourth century, when churches in the East began to celebrate “the feast of the martyrs of the whole world” on the Sunday after Pentecost. Several Western churches adopted this festival and kept it on various dates in April or May, but in the early Middle Ages the church of Rome assigned it the much later date of November first and broadened the feast to include all the saints. Western Christendom has followed this custom ever since. Saints are Christians who in various ways, often against great odds, showed an extraordinary love for Christ. The Holy Spirit acted in their lives so that they chose to bring aid to the needy, justice to the oppressed, hope to the sorrowful, and the divine word of forgiveness to sinners. For the sake of Christ, they were servants to the people of their day; and the service they rendered in the past makes them examples to the rest of the people of God throughout history. The Church also believes that our life on earth has eternal consequences; and so our remembrance of what the saints were is directed to what they are. It is the Church’s conviction — a conviction often expressed in the Anglican tradition — that the saints continue to be our partners and fellow-servants before the face of God’s glory. We pray for our present needs, and the saints pray with us — not as if their prayers were better than our own, but because they are still bound to us in mutual service as members of the one body of Christ. For this very reason, we may say of the Church’s saints what the Letter to the Hebrews says about the Old Testament saints — that they and their service shall not be perfect until all of God’s friends have answered the invitation of Christ and arrived at the banquet of glory. For that is the ministry of the saints in heaven as on earth: to help others become partners in the salvation of God. (For All The Saints) 

Rector’s Corner: 

WELCOME!  Let me take this opportunity to welcome back The Reverend Peter Smyth who will lead our worship services for this morning. Please extend your warm hospitality and kindness to Peter. Thank you!

 

2019 ADVENT CALENDAR: A Companion

Sign-up for a daily email in Advent with meditations from Archbishop Melissa and spiritual directors in the diocese.

Each day will include a selected image, hymn, or poem that evokes the actions of Advent: waiting, longing, anticipating, expecting, and preparing. The art is a means for awakening our imaginations to renew our journey through Advent once more.

Advent is usually the season to once again celebrate the coming birth of Jesus. Yet the scriptures and hymns also point us to the central event we are expecting in Advent: the future coming of Jesus Christ.

This is the time of fulfillment, the time of the kingdom in all its wholeness, the time of final judgement which brings justice and mercy to all.

This is the event we await in Advent. Sign-up for the daily email by visiting this website https://www.vancouver.anglican.ca/diocesan-resources/2019-advent-calendar. It’s free to subscribe. Emails will begin December 1, 2019.

About the contributors: Archbishop Melissa Skelton will offer the meditations for each Sunday in Advent. Each meditation will include a question for reflection that you can mull over for the day. Over fifteen different spiritual directors from throughout the diocese will offer the weekday reflections. Spiritual directors are lay and ordained people who have trained and are skilled in the ministry of listening, especially listening for the movement of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the people they companion. Spiritual direction has a long and rich tradition in the Anglican church.

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Sunday Reflection: ‘“Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart… For context, the section that appears before this parable in Luke’s Gospel is helpful, and we see that today’s reading forms the second part of a teaching that began in chapter 17: “The days are coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it” (Luke 17:22). Jesus’ teaching on the value of persisting in prayer is not to say that we should badger God until we get what we want, like the widow. Rather we are invited to consider that if even finite humans are capable of getting around to justice (even if for the wrong reasons), how much more is God ready to establish the justice of God’s kingdom? Today’s readings paint a picture of a God who has promised to establish a world where all live justly and in an intimate relationship with God. They encourage us to stand firm in our faith in that promise while continuing to pray for its fulfillment. Every Sunday, we pray, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done.”
What does it look like to persevere in praying for this in ways that are specific to your community? (Sermon that Works) 

Rector’s Corner:  Let me take this opportunity to welcome The Reverend April Stanley who will lead our worship services for this morning. Please extend your warm hospitality and kindness to April. Thank you!

Next Sunday, our worship services will observe All Saints and All Souls day. Prayer requests may be sent to the church email address, or you can leave a note to the prayer request box in our Sunday bulletin.

Sts. Simon and Jude: Apostles

Prayer: Almighty God, we thank you for the glorious company of the apostles, and especially on this day for Simon and Jude. As they were faithful and zealous in their mission, so may we with ardent devotion make known the love and mercy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

2019 ADVENT CALENDAR: A Companion

Sign-up for a daily email in Advent with meditations from Archbishop Melissa and spiritual directors in the diocese.

Each day will include a selected image, hymn, or poem that evokes the actions of Advent: waiting, longing, anticipating, expecting, and preparing. The art is a means for awakening our imaginations to renew our journey through Advent once more.

Advent is usually the season to once again celebrate the coming birth of Jesus. Yet the scriptures and hymns also point us to the central event we are expecting in Advent: the future coming of Jesus Christ.

This is the time of fulfillment, the time of the kingdom in all its wholeness, the time of final judgement which brings justice and mercy to all.

This is the event we await in Advent. Sign-up for the daily email by visiting this website https://www.vancouver.anglican.ca/diocesan-resources/2019-advent-calendar. It’s free to subscribe. Emails will begin December 1, 2019.

About the contributors: Archbishop Melissa Skelton will offer the meditations for each Sunday in Advent. Each meditation will include a question for reflection that you can mull over for the day. Over fifteen different spiritual directors from throughout the diocese will offer the weekday reflections. Spiritual directors are lay and ordained people who have trained and are skilled in the ministry of listening, especially listening for the movement of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the people they companion. Spiritual direction has a long and rich tradition in the Anglican church.

James Hannington 29 October, Bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa, and His Companions Martyrs, 1885 — Commemoration 29 October

We remember James Hannington, the first Anglican bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa, who was murdered with most of his company while trying to enter Uganda in 1885.

Hannington was raised in a wealthy Congregationalist family but in his youth conformed to the Church of England, went to Oxford, and chose to enter the ordained ministry. He combined two qualities which Victorians found especially attractive in their clergy — he was a first-class athlete as well as a priest with heartfelt religion. After five years in an English curacy, he volunteered his services to the Church Missionary Society for work in the Victoria Nyanza district. When the Society decided to organize this district into the diocese of Eastern Equatorial Africa, Hannington was their choice for first bishop. He was consecrated in June, 1884, and a year later was heading inland from Momba’sa with a large party of European and African Christians.

He hoped to open a more direct route to the people around Lake Victoria and, after two months on safari, decided to divide his party and proceed with a smaller group. Five days later, the bishop and his companions reached the eastern shore of Lake Victoria.

In the meantime, news of Hannington’s approach had reached Mwanga, the king of Buganda, who immediately ordered the European party to be seized. Hannington and his companions were ambushed, captured, and then subjected to privation and torture for over a week. On October 29, 1885, they were butchered. The bishop’s last words were: “Go, tell Mwanga I have purchased the road to Uganda with my blood.”

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Sunday Reflection

Sunday Reflection:

‘“Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart… For context, the section that appears before this parable in Luke’s Gospel is helpful, and we see that today’s reading forms the second part of a teaching that began in chapter 17: “The days are coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it” (Luke 17:22). Jesus’ teaching on the value of persisting in prayer is not to say that we should badger God until we get what we want, like the widow. Rather we are invited to consider that if even finite humans are capable of getting around to justice (even if for the wrong reasons), how much more is God ready to establish the justice of God’s kingdom? Today’s readings paint a picture of a God who has promised to establish a world where all live justly and in intimate relationship with God. They encourage us to stand firm in our faith in that promise while continuing to pray for its fulfillment. Every Sunday, we pray, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done.” What does it look like to persevere in praying for this in ways that are specific to your community? (Sermon that Works) 

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Sunday Reflection & Rector’s Corner

Sunday Reflection: ‘If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea”, and it would obey you.
This is a good opportunity to ask, What is faith, anyway? Jesus is saying that faith is not, fundamentally, something we quantify. Keep in mind that verse 6 is prompted by the apostles’ petition, “Increase our faith!” (verse 5).
Jesus’ response suggests that the apostles’ request is misguided. He pivots from the question of quantity to the question of sufficiency. Faith “the size of a mustard seed” is sufficient for even the most demanding tasks of discipleship. The mustard seed was known both for its miniscule size (1-2 millimeters in diameter) and for the contrastingly large, unruly bush that it produced. It was therefore the perfect metaphor for small beginnings leading to big results. But again, the point of Jesus’ metaphor (now quite mixed) is not to quantify faith as much as to affirm its power. God works through a modicum of faith to empower us to forgive even the most annoyingly repetitive sinners.  By approaching each ordinary task as an opportunity to live their faith, they discovered the extraordinary depth of God’s love for them and for the seemingly ordinary (but quite extraordinary!) people around them. (By: Ira Brent Driggers) 

Rectors’ Corner: We want to take this opportunity to thank our heavenly Father for allowing and giving us this wonderful time and opportunity to celebrate St. Michael’s 60th founding anniversary. I also want to take this chance to say thank you for your stewardship and participation that took place in the church recently.

We are very much overwhelmed by the support we received right from our Archbishop to the organizing team that made it possible for us to have the celebration to take place.

We appreciate for all those who took part and the resources that were used, we say thank you to the church members, families and friends, and our Lord who is in heaven who knows how much we feel right now.

We thank the church community for supporting us in prayers and all the warm greetings they all have sent to us.

We say thank you and God bless you. Yours in the Lord.

Louie+

 

Francis of Assisi: 4 October-Memorial. The thirteenth-century Italian whose greatest honour was to be known as il Poverello, “the little poor one of Christ.”

He grew up in a very wealthy family and seemed to have not a care in the world until he was twenty years old, when a chance encounter with a leper left him appalled by his own uselessness. Soon afterwards he heard Jesus speaking to him from a painting of the crucifixion over the altar of a local church. He threw away his wardrobe and renounced his father’s wealth in order to care for the poor and the crippled. In 1208 he heard the commission which the risen Lord gave to his apostles, “Go, make all nations my disciples,” and knew that it was also addressed to him. Francis began to train his followers for the task of making Jesus truly known and loved among the ordinary people of Italy. Out of this movement developed the Order of the Lesser Brethren, commonly called the Franciscans.

Francis cared deeply for his new Order, but he also grew restless as it became an established institution of the Church. He distanced himself from its day-to-day life and eventually went his own way as he strove to imitate Christ’s total obedience to God. Two years before his death he was granted a sign which manifested this desire. One September day in 1224, he had a vision of the Crucified borne on the wings of a seraph. As the vision withdrew, the wounds of Jesus appeared in Francis’s own flesh — the scars like nail-wounds on his hands and feet, and in his right side a scar like a spear-wound. These marks, called the stigmata, remained on Francis’s body until his death two years later.

 

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