Sunday, May 24, 2020

The Ascension of the Lord: Worshipping "In Place"


Christi Himmelfahrt
(Christ Ascends)
Fresken von Gebhard Fugel, 1893/1894


Today's service comes to you from the Parish of St. Cyprian's, Lacombe, Alberta





The sermon is entitled "Working from Home"



Readings for The Feast of the Ascension:

The Book of Acts 1: 1-11
Psalm 93
Ephesians 1: 15-23
The Gospel of Luke 24:44 -53

Thanks to Rev. Dr. Robert Sears
and 
parishioners from
the Parish of St. Cyprian's, Lacombe

May your day be blessed.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Archbishop Greg on the Diocese's COVID-19 Transition Planning

Archbishop Greg Kerr-Wilson
Archbishop of the Diocese of  Calgary
Metropolitan, Ecclesiastical Province of Rupert's Land


To read this letter from the Archbishop, click HERE.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Reflections for a Pandemic: From the Garden

Gardening brings many of us a sense of peace and pleasure -- not to mention the beauty and bounty gardens provide.  And gardening is a way for us to co-create with God, the first Gardener.  In Scripture, life began in a Garden -- and ever since humanity was banished from Eden, we've been trying to make our way back...

For your consideration and reflection as those of us who are planters and tenders and reapers, setting out our plots and beds and field this time of year -- in a particularly difficult time in the world -- I offer a variety of resources.

The first is an episode from the podcast "The Growing Edge", co-created by educator and author Parker Palmer and singer-song-writer Carrie Newcomer -- both Christians who've been informed by the Quaker Tradition.  The episode is called "Gardening in the Dark" and you can listen to it HERE.  

The episode includes Parker and Carrie's reflection on a poem by Marge Piercy:

The Seven of Pentacles

Under a sky the color of pea soup
she is looking at her work growing away there
actively, thickly like grapevines or pole beans
as things grow in the real world, slowly enough.
If you tend them properly, if you mulch, if you water,
if you provide birds that eat insects a home and winter food,
if the sun shines and you pick off caterpillars,
if the praying mantis comes and the ladybugs and the bees,
then the plants flourish, but at their own internal clock.

Connections are made slowly, sometimes they grow underground.
You cannot tell always by looking what is happening.
More than half the tree is spread out in the soil under your feet.
Penetrate quietly as the earthworm that blows no trumpet.
Fight persistently as the creeper that brings down the tree.
Spread like the squash plant that overruns the garden.
Gnaw in the dark and use the sun to make sugar.

Weave real connections, create real nodes, build real houses.
Live a life you can endure: Make love that is loving.
Keep tangling and interweaving and taking more in,
a thicket and bramble wilderness to the outside but to us
interconnected with rabbit runs and burrows and lairs.

Live as if you liked yourself, and it may happen:
reach out, keep reaching out, keep bringing in.
This is how we are going to live for a long time: not always,
for every gardener knows that after the digging, after
the planting,
after the long season of tending and growth, the harvest comes.



-- Marge Piercy - source: Famous Poets and Poems.com


The second is a podcast entitled "The Art of Being Creatures, from On Being -- host Krista Tippett's interview with Ellen Davis, Distinguished Professor of Bible and Practical Theology at Duke University Divinity School, Durham, North Carolina -- interspersed with poetry from the farmer, poet and environmentalist, Wendell Berry.  Mr. Berry's poems, read by the author, can be listened to HERE.  (I commend to you in particular, "The Peace of Wild Things".)

And the third is a portion of the Tapestry @ 25 podcast from CBC radio, hosted by Mary Hynes.  Entitled "Back to the Garden", its Ms. Hynes' interview with Canadian gardening advisor and author, Marjorie Harris, which you can listen to HERE.

And then there are these small offerings...
God's Garden
...The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth --
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
-- An exerpt from "God's Garden", a poem by  Dorothy Frances Gurney

...We are stardust, we are golden --
And we've got to get ourselves back to the Garden.
         -- from "Woodstock" by Joni Mitchell



May these selections bring you a blessing this week.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

6th Sunday of Easter: Worshipping "In Place"




This week, we share worship with the Parish of St. John's, Olds, Alberta.






Readings for the 6th Sunday of Easter

The Book of Acts 17: 22 - 31
Psalm 66
1 Peter 3: 13 - 22
The Gospel of John 14: 15 - 21







Thanks to Rev. Robert Sears
and
parishioners from
the Anglican Parish of St. John's,
Olds, Alberta

May your day be blessed.

A Prayer and a Blessing for Canada




The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make his face to shine upon you
and be gracious to you.
The Lord look upon you with favour
and grant you peace.

AMEN

May this bless you today and every day.

Friday, May 15, 2020

For Your Information: Resources for This Time of Transition During a Pandemic

There are two resources recently produced that deserve to be shared FYI on this page.

The first is Archbishop Greg's encouragement and prayers for us at this time re: COVID-19 and the transition to re-opening.  There is both text and a video in this article, which you can access HERE.

The second is recommended by Rev. Robert; in sharing it with me by e-mail, he wrote:
Here is an article from the Anglican Journal that advances the need for caution with easing restrictions in the church, primarily for the protection of the weaker brother...
The article mentions Paul’s advice of not causing “divisions” in 1 Corinthians. His parenthetical example is of access, public vs private transport, but it is the health and welfare of those on the public transit that is salient. The problem with the example is that public/private transport can tend to merge with the state/church animus in some folks’ minds, and he wisely wants to move away from that spurious division.
To access this article, click the link below:

https://www.anglicanjournal.com/the-eucharist-and-coming-out-of-lockdown-a-tract-for-these-covid-19-times/


Blessings to all; stay informed -- and stay safe!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

COVID-19 Update: Alberta Enters Phase I

This is just a link.  For those of you who are interested in the details of Phase I as it applies to places of worship, click HERE.  The ultimate decision about whether or not the parish can open for services rests with the Anglican Diocese of Calgary...but...it's not looking great at the moment.  Several of our traditional worship practices are risky with respect to preventing spread of this highly contagious virus.  These include: congregational prayer, singing, sharing "the Peace" and participating in BOTH forms of the Eucharist (without modifications).  Let us be thankful we remain safe and well, and caring of each other.  Let us be thankful for online services and online gathering, regular phone and written communications...and prayer.  We can do this hard thing, by the grace of God.