Saturday, January 5, 2019

Thoughts for the New Year

Adoration of the Magi
Edward Burne-Jones, 1904
Source: Google Cultural Institute

...Or an epiphany (of sorts) from Pastor Mark Wingfield of Dallas, Texas.  Something to ponder on the Eve of Epiphany:  

3 Words for the Church in 2019:
"As we look toward new year’s resolutions, my hope is that the Christian church might be able to utter just three simple words in 2019. These are words that would change the course of history, foster civil dialogue and perhaps even bring skeptics back into the church. But they are hard words to say: 'We were wrong.'"  (emphasis, Blog Editor)
-- Pastor Mark Wingfield, published by Baptist News Global 

To read the article in its entirely, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Advent IV: Love

What greater love is there in humanity, than the love of a parent for a child -- expressed in the willingness to let that Child be who that Child must be?

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know
That your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered
Will soon deliver you?

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will calm a storm with His hand?
Did you know
That your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby
You've kissed the face of God?

Mary, did you know?
The blind will see
The deaf will hear
And the dead will live again!
The lame will leap
The dumb will speak
The praises of the Lamb!

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know
That your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding
Is the Great I Am?

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Advent III: Rejoice!

We await the Incarnation with joyful anticipation as this Sunday we celebrate
 with a service of Lessons and Carols.

With joy, this Sunday we celebrate our blessings as part of the family of God in Christ.

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, 'Rejoice!''
-- Philippians 4:4

Monday, December 10, 2018

Advent II: A Prayer for Peace

The Candle of Peace joins the Candle of Hope

Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the infinite peace to you.

-- Celtic Blessing

Wishing you peace...

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Carrying the Light: News About Lay Ministry & Mission

The Anglican Diocese of Calgary has been examining Lay Ministry and what it means to and for and throughout the Diocese.

As a result of this process, a new "school" is being launched: the Calgary School of Mission & Ministry (CSMM) -- a school without a fixed address, that will offer new opportunities for Lay Ministry education and practice.

To learn more about this new endeavour, all interested parties are invited to read the first Newsletter put out by the CSMM.  This is a pdf file available for download.  To access it via the Diocesan website, click HERE.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Lean in Toward the Light

Today is the First Sunday in Advent -- the first season of the liturgical year, a season set aside to prepare for the coming of the Christ -- the Annointed One of God -- into the world, surprising us all by arriving as a tiny, newborn child with all the needs, wants and vulnerabilities associated with infancy.

This year, the beginning of Advent coincides with the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah (Chanukah), which commences at sun-down this evening.  Also known as the Festival of Lights, this eight-day observance commemorates a miracle in the Temple in Jerusalem ca. 165 B.C.E., when the Jews under the leadership of Judas Maccabeus took back control of the land of Judah after it had been captured by their then-enemies, the Syrians.

The Temple had been ransacked and the oil for the lamp of Perpetual Light had been defiled.  However, there was a small amount of pure oil remaining -- enough for one day.  When it was lit, a miracle occurred -- for it kept burning for eight days until the supply of pure, fresh oil could be replenished.

The Hebrew word 'Chanukah' (or Hanukkah) is translated as 'dedication'.

At this dark time in our calendar year -- when days grow short and nights, long -- and at a time when it seems our quest for a world filled with peace, kindness, unity and joy is up against equally dark forces of animosity, cruelty, disunity and cynicism, it seems fitting that these two seasons -- Advent and Hanukkah -- should dove-tail.

Christians are called to Prepare the Way of the LORD by re-dedicating themselves spiritually with periods of fasting, prayer, and special contemplation through services of Lessons and Carols -- reflecting not only on the First Coming of Christ, but also on the hope for Christ's Second Coming -- the adventis (Latin) or parousia (Greek), and on the reality of a 'Third' Coming of Christ, which is that He comes to us daily in our hearts.

We light Advent candles each Sunday to mark different aspects of our lives in Christ: hope, peace, joy and love.  Each lighting is accompanied by a special time of prayer.

Just as the Jews cleaned the beloved Temple to banish all marks of idolatrous worship, and returned the Menorah -- the lamp to carry the Perpetual Light -- to its pride of place therein, and just as the miracle of light was wrought, renewing God's presence in their most holy place of worship, so must we take time in the next few weeks to 'clean the temple of our hearts', to rekindle the light of faith, and then go forth into the world with God in Christ's messages of hope, peace, joy and love.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God whose name was John.  He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe.  He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.
-- John 1: 5-9 (NIV) 

Let's lean in toward that light...

Monday, November 12, 2018

An Act of Remembrance

At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the guns fell silent, and the War to End All Wars was over.

Our Parish held a simple Act of Remembrance ceremony within the folds of our Eucharist service on Sunday, November 11, 2018.

After the service, people were invited to come up to take a close look at the memorabilia on display at the front of the church, commemorating those from the Parish who gave their lives in service, and also relatives of various parishioners who served, and gave their lives in service.

Thanks to Nila R. for her photographs:

Full table display.
From left: photos and postcards from Sheila C's grandfather,
who married her grandmother during WWI.  His two brothers also
served.  Next, commendations, medals and a photo of Pat C's father,
who served in the Royal Air Force in WWII.  Centre; list of
parishioners who died in service, WWI. Right: actual WWI
jacket, medals and beret, and a replica of a WWI helmet.

Close-up of the uniform, with
thanks to Grant O and his son, who
collects militaria.

Photo of Mike C's father who served in the Royal
Canadian Air Force in WWII and was shot down and
lost over the English Channel a few months before Mike was
born (1943).  Photo of Margaret B's father who, in his late
thirties, signed up with the Black Watch of Canada (Royal
Highland Regiment) and was seconded to the British
Army of the Rhine to work in military government (1944 - 1946).
An incident in a Displaced Persons' Camp in the spring of 1946,
when he was Acting Colonel in charge, lead to injuries that
caused his death a few years later, just months before Margaret was born.
On the table: a journal and letters home from Mike's father
and letters home from Margaret's father.