Sunday, August 31, 2014

Overcoming Evil with Good (a sermon for August 31st on Romans 12:14, 17-21)

Back in the mid-1970s there was a time of severe gasoline shortages. In many places people lined up for miles at service stations to gas up their cars. There’s a story told about a man who was in a line like that, and as he waited for his turn at the pumps he was getting more and more concerned because his tank was already on empty. Finally, just before his turn came, his engine quit, and he had to actually get out and push his car to the pump. As he was doing this, the young woman who was in line behind him pulled out and slipped in ahead of him, laughing at him on the way.

Well, he found a novel way to get his own back. It turned out that she was driving the same kind of car as he was, with one exception: he had a locking gas cap, and she didn’t. So, while she was in the office paying for her gas, he quietly changed gas caps with her, giving her the locking cap. However, he kept the key firmly in his own pocket!

We can probably all laugh at a story like that, because we can easily sympathise with the young man’s annoyance, and his desire for retribution. It’s something we’ve all felt and will probably continue to feel as the years go by. But while we’re laughing, let’s pause for a moment and reflect on the suffering that this human drive for vengeance causes around the world. Let’s think about Israel and Palestine, where for half a century bombing has been followed by retribution which has been followed by more retribution over and over again, with no side willing to break the cycle for fear of being thought weak by the other. Or let’s remember Northern Ireland, where over thirty years of violence had its roots in actions that happened centuries ago. What’s particularly tragic about that situation is that the perpetrators claimed the name of ‘Catholic’ and ‘Protestant’ and invoked the name of Jesus to bless their violence – as has often happened, sadly, in Christian history.

Today’s reading from Romans deals directly with this subject. It’s a wide-ranging passage dealing with a lot of issues in the Christian community, and rather than trying to touch on everything it mentions, I want to focus on the second half of the passage; it deals with the question of how we as Christians should relate to the world around us. Paul suggests two things. On the one hand, we’re to do all we can by our words and behaviour to give the Christian message a good name in the world. However, when this fails to win us friends, and when we are attacked and even persecuted for our faith, our response is to be a Christlike one – not taking vengeance on our enemies, but rather loving them, forgiving them, and going out of our way to be a blessing to them. In this way, says Paul, we are to overcome evil with good.

In many places in the world today, of course, this is a life and death issue. In recent weeks we’ve seen the spectacle of ISIS terrorists telling Christians in Iraq that they have three choices: convert to Islam, leave, or be executed. And this is only one example of the sort of violence against Christians, and other people of faith, that exists in many parts of the world. For instance, in many countries in the Middle East it is a crime for a Christian to obey Jesus’ Great Commission and invite a non-Christian to put their faith in Jesus. In some countries in North Africa Christians have been subjected to vicious persecution, torture and rape and brutal murder. If you want to keep in touch with the harsh realities that many of our brothers and sisters in Christ face around the world today, one of the best ways to do that is to follow the blog of Canon Andrew White; Andrew is vicar of St. George’s Anglican Church in Baghdad, and over the last few weeks he has been posting some horrific stories about the evils being inflicted on Christians and other people of faith in the territories now controlled by ISIS terrorists.

Here in North America, we tend to face indifference and apathy rather than persecution, although if you try to live consistently by the teaching of Jesus, you’re going to get some dirty looks at times, and even some angry words. This is particularly true when it comes to the subject of loving your enemies; I’ve discovered that many people seem to be particularly offended by the idea that we should respond to evil with good. And of course, that brings us directly to what Paul has to say to us in Romans in today’s passage.

How is a Christian congregation to behave in relationship to the world around it? How are we as individual Christians to conduct ourselves? Paul has two things to tell us.

First, do your best to enhance the name of Jesus Christ by the way you live and the things you say. Paul says in verses 17-18: ‘Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all’. The New Living Translation, as usual, has a helpful paraphrase: ‘Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see that you are honourable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone’. So what’s this all about?

Nicky Gumbel tells a story about a Christian man nicknamed ‘Gibbo’, who was working at Selfridge’s, a big department store in London. One day the phone rang, and when Gibbo answered the phone the caller asked for Gordon Selfridge, the owner of the store. It so happened that Gordon Selfridge was standing right there, but when Gibbo told him about the call, he said, “Tell him I’m out”. Gibbo held out the receiver to him and said, “You tell him you’re out”. Selfridge took the call, but he was furious until Gibbo explained to him, “If I can lie for you, I can lie to you”. From that moment onward Selfridge had the highest regard for Gibbo and trusted him implicitly. He recognised the value of honesty, and even though it was inconvenient to him, he respected Gibbo for it. Unconsciously, you see, Gibbo was ‘taking thought for what is noble in the sight of all’, or ‘doing things in such a way that everyone could see he was honourable’.

To give another example: in some countries in South America, no food is provided for people who are in prison; it’s the responsibility of their families to provide food for them and to bring it to them each day. This is very difficult for those prisoners who have no families. In one of those countries, I’m told that the Christian organisation ‘Prison Fellowship’ has taken on the responsibility of preparing food for prisoners who have no families and taking it to them each day. In those countries, when you say the word ‘Christian’, the picture that comes to mind is, ‘the people who feed the ones who have no one else to feed them’.

So we’re to ‘take thought for what is noble in the sight of all’. But Paul is realistic about this; he adds, ‘If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all’ (v.18). In other words, he recognises that sometimes circumstances will be outside our control. I may work hard for reconciliation but the other person may have no interest in it whatsoever. Never mind; I’m to do all in my power to be at peace with that other person anyway.

If we try to give the Gospel a good name by the way we live and the things we say, over time this can often go a long way toward easing tensions. However, this will not always be the case. Paul recognises that sometimes society will still choose to attack the Christian church. What are believers to do in that situation?

First, we’re not to take revenge on those who hurt us. Look at verses 14 and 17: ‘Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them… Do not repay anyone evil for evil’. One of my vivid childhood memories is the phrase ‘Two wrongs don’t make a right’. If I heard it once, I probably heard it a thousand times, because my brother and I were always fighting each other! My Mum would say, “Don’t hit him”, and I would reply, “He hit me first!” Up would come her finger and she would say, “Two wrongs don’t make a right!”

Paul gives a simple and direct reason for this command: in taking revenge we are usurping the role of God. ‘Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord”’ (v.19). God alone knows all the details and all the motives of the human heart; God alone is the one who can be trusted to act with perfect justice and mercy. To take it on ourselves to take revenge is to claim to be God, and it’s a fundamental principle of the Christian life that God is God and I am not!

But our response is not just a negative one, the absence of revenge. Rather, we’re to be proactive, taking the initiative to love and do good to those who hate us. Paul says in verse 20 ‘If your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink’. In other words, take a look at this person who hates you. What needs do they have? Is there some way you can be a minister of God to them in their need? As Abraham Lincoln once said, ‘The best way to destroy an enemy is to make them a friend’. This is the way the Christian Church is meant to take the offensive against its enemies; not with the sword or the gun, but with hands that serve and hearts that love. Paul sums it all up by saying ‘Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good’ (v.20).

A moving story about this comes from the era of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in post-apartheid South Africa. At one meeting early in their work, the Commission gathered to reach a verdict on a particularly brutal case involving an elderly woman. A group of white police officers, led by a Mr. van de Broek, admitted their personal responsibility in the death of her eighteen-year old son. They acknowledged shooting him, setting his body on fire, and partying around the fire until the body had been reduced to ashes. Eight years later, the same officers took the woman’s husband into captivity. The woman was forced to watch while the officers doused her husband with gasoline and then ignited a fire. The last words her husband spoke to her, in the midst of the blazing pyre, were ‘Forgive them’.

Now the time had come for justice to be served. Those involved had confessed their guilt, and the Commission turned to the woman for a final statement regarding her desire for an appropriate punishment.

“I want three things”, the woman said calmly. “I want Mr. van de Broek to take me to the place where they burned my husband’s body. I would like to gather up the dust and give him a decent burial.

“Second, Mr. van de Broek took all my family away from me and I still have a lot of love to give. Twice a month, I would like for him to come to the ghetto and spend a day with me so that I can be a mother to him.

“Third, I would like Mr. van de Broek to know that he is forgiven by God, and that I forgive him, too. And, I would like someone to come and lead me by the hand to where Mr. van de Broek is so that I can embrace him and he can know my forgiveness is real”.

As the elderly woman made her way across the silent courtroom, van de Broek reportedly fainted, overcome by emotion. And then the silence was broken when someone began singing, ‘Amazing Grace’. Others soon picked up the words of the familiar hymn, so that finally the entire courtroom was joining in song.

The person who started the singing, of course, had identified the reason why Christians are to act in this way. God is a God of amazing grace, who has chosen to forgive us, not to take vengeance on us. We call ourselves Christians, which means ‘Those who follow Christ’. The reason we are to bless those who persecute us rather than cursing them is that this is the way Christ acted, and we are under orders to imitate him.

For us as Christians, this is the big issue. It’s not about ‘Does this way of living work?’ The gospel offers us no guarantees about that, and perhaps we should remember that both Paul and Jesus, who both lived this way, were eventually executed by the state! No - the reason they both command us to act in this way is not because it works, but because it’s the right thing to do, the thing that God does. This is what faithful Christian discipleship looks like. This is our calling as a Christian community. So let us pray that God will give us the help of his Holy Spirit so that we can be faithful to our calling and show the world the face of Jesus Christ.

I want to close with the words of a blessing based on this passage, a blessing I remember my dad using at services when I was very young. Maybe we’ll use it at the end of the service today too. This is how it goes:

Go forth into the world in peace; be of good courage; hold fast that which is good; render to no one evil for evil; strengthen the fainthearted; support the weak; help the afflicted; honour all people; love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.

And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you forever. Amen.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Sept 1st - 7th, 2014

Events This Week

September 1st-2nd, 2014
  Office is closed
September 3rd, 2014
   7:00 pm  Planning & Building Meeting
September 4th, 2014
   7:00 am  Men’s and Women’s Bible Study @ the Bogani CafĂ©
September 6th, 2014
   9:30 am Reach CEC Training @ St. Paul’s, Leduc
September 7th, 2014   13th Sunday after Pentecost
   9:00 am  Holy Communion
   9:45 am  Coffee between services
   10:30 am  Holy Communion and Sunday School (Sunday
                    School Registration)

Monthly Announcements: You should have received an electronic version of our monthly announcement sheet last week. If you did not please let Jen or Tim know via e-mail. There are paper copies located in the foyer of the Church.

September 4th@ 7:00 am - Men and Women’s Bible Study resumes at the Bogani Cafe
September 7th@ 10:30 am - Sunday school registration and commencement.
September 17th@ 7:15 pm – Vestry resumes.
September 25th @ 7:30 pm – “The Red Letters” #1
September 27th @ 4:00 pm – Spaghetti Church resumes.
September 28, 2014 @ 10:30 am - Back to Church /Bring a Friend Sunday marks the fifth time members of the Edmonton diocese will share our faith with others by taking part in Back to Church Sunday. If you have made an invitation in the past then you know what a gift it can be. If you haven’t, then maybe this is your year to step out in faith and invite a friend, neighbor, co-worker, family member or whoever the Spirit might put in your path. It’s an opportunity to be creative and outgoing in welcoming, inviting people to come see who we are, a community who meets God in worship and lives with God in our lives.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

'Is God on Our Side?' (a sermon for August 24th on Psalm 124)

I don’t know how many of you have ever read Tom Clancy’s novel ‘Patriot Games’ or seen the 1992 HarrisonFord movie based on the book. Clancy took the title from a song by an Irish singer-songwriter and political activist called Dominic Behan; the song was called ‘The Patriot Game’, and it tells the story of the death of a man called Fergal O’Hanlon in an IRA raid on a police barracks on January 1st 1957. A few years later a young man by the name of Bob Dylan ripped off the tune, stole the theme, and wrote his own song around it; it was called ‘With God on our Side’, and it highlights how in wartime we always assume that our cause is just and that God, if there is a God, is our ally. It goes through the Indian wars, the American civil war, the Spanish-American war, and the two great world wars of the twentieth century, and it ends up in 1963:
I’ve learned to hate Russians all through my whole life  
If another war starts it’s them we must fight 
To hate them and fear them to run and to hide 
And accept it all bravely with God on my side 
But now we got weapons of the chemical dust 
If fire them we’re forced to, then fire them we must 
One push of the button and a shot the world wide 
And you never ask questions when God’s on your side

I couldn’t help thinking of this song as I read the first three verses of our psalm for today, Psalm 124. In the NRSV they read as follows:
If it had not been the LORD who was on our side
– let Israel now say –
if it had not been the LORD who was on our side,
when our enemies attacked us,
then would they have swallowed us up alive,
when their anger was kindled against us.

These words probably sound all kinds of alarm bells in our minds these days. After all, we live in a generation that has seen religious fanatics fly aircraft into tall buildings, killing thousands of innocent men, women, and children, in the assurance that they were doing God’s will and carrying out his judgement on the Great Satan. In response, we’ve seen soldiers sent off to fight wars in foreign lands with the speeches of politicians ringing in their ears, assuring them that right was on their side and that God’s blessing was on them. Going back a little further, I have visited many churches in the country of my birth and seen war memorials up on the walls, with the names of those killed in the Great War and the Second World War, under the heading ‘For God and for Country’.

But that phrase wears a little thin after a while. I know that my country sent off its young men in the hundreds of thousands, and at home their moms and dads and wives and children were all praying desperately that God would save their loved ones from death and bring them safely back to them. But of course, on the other side moms and dads and wives and children were praying exactly the same prayer for their own precious loved ones. How would God sort out those prayers?

With these questions in our minds it can be a bit of a shock to us to come to the words of our psalm for today, claiming that ‘the Lord was on our side’. It reminds us of the many, many times when armies have gone on wars of conquest in the name of God. Can we still use this psalm today? After all, we call ourselves Christians, and we claim to follow a master who taught us to love our enemies and pray for those who hate us. So is this psalm still relevant for us, and can it somehow help us in our prayers?

Let’s step back for a minute and remind ourselves of what exactly the book of Psalms is all about. My Old Testament professor in college used to say, ‘The rest of the Bible speaks to us, but the Psalms speak for us’. The rest of the Bible gives us various stories and sermons, laws and prophecies, gospels and visions, all of them addressed to us in the name of God. But the Psalter is different; it’s a hymn book, a book of prayers. We can use those prayers in one of two ways; we can either pray them ‘as is’, as we do in church every week, or we can use them as a model for our own prayers.

If you read the psalms you’ll see that they really do cover every situation of life. If you’re rejoicing over the birth of a child, or you’re celebrating a royal wedding – if you’re full of bitterness because a friend has let you down, or you’re blind with rage because your city has just been destroyed by a foreign army – if you’re full of wonder at the night sky or the variety of God’s natural creation – if you’re desperate with fear at impending danger, or delirious with joy at a miraculous deliverance – if you’re old and close to death – if you feel guilty for your sins – in all of these and many more situations, you can find a prayer in the Book of Psalms that speaks for you.

But it’s important to remember that the psalms aren’t meant to teach us accurate theology, or Christian moral principles. That’s not what they are. They’re poetry, and they obey the conventions of poetic speech, not theological textbooks or lists of commandments. If we approach them looking for ethical guidance about the way we live our lives, we can sometimes get into real trouble.

Let me give you an example. Psalm 137 was written by Israelites who had been dragged away from their homeland into captivity. Fresh in their mind was the awful experience of seeing their city destroyed by the enemy army. First had come the siege and all the privations, the hunger, the thirst, the growing fear and desperation. Then the enemy army had broken through the wall, and there followed the sack of the city – houses looted and burned, soldiers killed, women raped, children slaughtered, and a remnant taken away as prisoners to a foreign land. There they sat down by the river and wept, remembering their loved ones who had been slaughtered and their beautiful city that had been destroyed. And so they said,
‘By the rivers of Babylon –
there we sat down and there we wept
when we remembered Zion.
On the willows there
we hung up our harps.
For there our captors
asked us for songs,
and our tormentors asked for mirth, saying,
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”’ (Psalm 137:1-3)

Did they pray that God would help them to forgive their enemies? They did not. They were not afraid to pray exactly what was on their hearts, and so the end of the psalm goes like this:
O daughter Babylon, you devastator!
Happy shall they be who pay you back
what you have done to us!
Happy shall they be who take your little ones
and dash them against the rock! (vv.8-9).

As Christians, we might find ourselves asking the question, “Why is this in the Bible?” And the answer is, it’s in the Bible to teach us to tell the truth when we pray. There’s no point in us praying prayers full of sweetness and light when what’s really inside us is hatred and rage. There’s no point in us praying prayers telling God that we love to do his will when really we’re angry with God and the last thing we want to do is the thing he’s calling us to. Why would we lie to God? It’s a pretty hopeless strategy, given the fact that he knows everything about us!

Psalms like this teach us that we can share every part of our life with God. Every experience, every emotion, can become part of our prayer life. And once it’s acknowledged, then we can look at it in the cool light of day - and in the light of the teachings of Jesus - and ask ourselves, “Is this something I need to grow out of? Is this something I need to repent of?” But as long as we don’t pray about it – as long as we pretend it’s not there – that growth can never happen.

So, let’s go back to our psalm for today – a prayer of thanksgiving for God’s deliverance of Israel from their enemies. We would love to know what the situation was that first prompted this psalm to be written. Our lectionary today puts it together it with the story from the Book of Exodus of how the Egyptian midwives disobeyed Pharaoh and didn’t kill the little Israelite boys at birth; this is seen as God’s deliverance of those little boys, and so the psalm thanks God for that. In another year of the lectionary it’s paired with the book of Esther, the story of how God rescued the Jews from a man called Haman who tried to have them all killed in the days of the Persian empire. These may be appropriate uses of the psalm, but it’s unlikely that it originally came out of either of these situations.

The truth is that we don’t know what the background was. What is clear is that it was a time of great trouble for Israel. Israel was the underdog, in a position of weakness, and in real danger of being destroyed. The writer of the psalm is a true poet and uses no less than four poetic images to describe this. First he sees the enemy as some sort of monster who would have eaten them up: ‘then would they have swallowed us up alive, when their anger was kindled against us’ (v.3). Secondly he uses flood imagery: ‘then the flood would have swept us away, the torrent would have gone over us’ (v.4). Third, he sees the enemy as a wild animal with sharp teeth: ‘Blessed be the LORD, who has not given us as a prey to their teeth’ (v.6). Fourthly, he uses the image of a hunter setting a trap to catch birds: ‘We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken and we have escaped’ (v.7).

This is not an army going out in a war of conquest against its enemies. This is not a prayer prayed by terrorists who are about to murder innocent people. This is, perhaps, the prayer of the people of a small city that has somehow been miraculously delivered from an enemy of overwhelming strength. It seemed as if their fate was sealed - burning, looting, rape, killing, captivity – but against all odds, they were delivered. And their instinctive response was to cry out to God in thanksgiving. We understand that, because we do the same thing. How many times have you heard someone say, “Someone must have been looking out for me today”? This isn’t a sophisticated theological statement; it’s the natural response of a heart filled with relief and gratitude.

Can we use this psalm today? I believe we can, and not just in the sort of situation I’ve just described. After all, who is our real enemy? Part of the genius of Jesus was that he redefined who the enemy really was. Jesus taught us that our most dangerous enemies were not foreign armies, but the evil and sin that infect all of us. The line between good and evil is not black and white; there’s good and evil in all of us, and from time to time we’ve all felt the sense of failure to overcome our own inner demons. How many times have you met addicts who just can’t seem to get free from the overwhelming desire to drink or do drugs? How many people do you know who struggle to control a bad temper, or who realize that their greed is destroying their marriage? Every day, in a hundred different ways, my sins trip me up and hold me back from achieving God’s dream for me. Every day I see the power of evil in the world – not just in the bad guys, but in the good guys too.

Jesus knew that this could only be changed by the love and power of God coming into us, bringing us forgiveness, and a power greater than our own. That’s why he chose to offer his life on the cross for the sins of the whole world, and that’s why, after his resurrection, he sent the gift of the Holy Spirit to all who followed him. If the Lord had not been on our side there would have been no escape from the power of evil and sin, but now we know, because of the resurrection of Jesus, that evil will not have the last word. And now we know, because we have received the Holy Spirit, that even now we have access to a power greater than our own to help us become the people we need to be.

I can’t give you three infallible steps to experiencing this help. God isn’t some sort of cosmic slot machine – put in the right coin, and out pops the desired answer! Jesus taught us that God is the Father who loves us, and good parents don’t usually require their kids to use some specific magical formula of words before they’ll help them. Rather, good parents teach their kids to trust them and not to be afraid to ask for help. So if you are facing a situation that seems too big for you to handle, this psalm encourages you to acknowledge that, but also to remember that it’s not too big for God to handle. So bring it to him. Cry out to him for help. Ask for his guidance and direction, and commit yourself to following the answers you get.

We will not always experience dramatic deliverance; let’s be clear about that. We see that in the area of physical healing; some people are healed and some are not, and sometimes there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. But what we will experience is the presence of God and the love of God supporting us in our time of need. Another psalm, 46, uses dramatic poetic imagery to describe a time of trouble and to point to the help that comes from God:
‘God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult…

The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge’ (Psalm 46:1-3, 7).

Note that the writer of the psalm does not claim that the help of the Lord caused the earth to stop shaking or the mountains not to fall. What he said was that even though those things happened, he would not be afraid, because the Lord was with him as a place of refuge.

Our psalm for today, 124, ends with these words: ‘Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth’. ‘Someone is looking out for us’; someone is helping us to deal with stuff we would never have been able to deal with on our own. If the Lord had not been on our side, evil and sin would have overwhelmed us, but God is rescuing us from their power day by day. So when we are in the thick of it, let us remember these words and draw strength from them: ‘Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth’. ‘The LORD of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge’.

Friday, August 22, 2014

September Roster 2014

September 7th, 2014  13th Sunday after Pentecost
Coffee between services
Greeter/Sidespeople:T. Cromarty/T. Wittkopf           
Counter: B. Popp/T. Wittkopf                       
Reader: S. Watson                                   
(Exodus 12: 1-14, Psalm 149, Romans 13: 8-14)
Lay Administrants:  G. Hughes/D. MacNeill           
Intercessor: C. Aasen                       
Lay Reader:E. Gerber            (Matthew 18: 15-20)           
Altar Guild (green)P. Major/K. Hughes
Prayer Team: K. Hughes/S. Jayakaran                                   
Sunday School (School Age): M. Aasen
Sunday School (Preschool): T. Laffin
Kitchen: - 9:45 am J. Johnston                       
Music: TBA
Altar Servers: A. Jayakaran

September 14th, 2014  Holy Cross Day
Greeter/Sidespeople: The Hughes           
Counter: R. Mogg/G. Hughes                       
Reader: D. Schindel                                   
(Numbers 21: 4b-9, Psalm 98: 1-6, 1 Corinthians 1: 18-25)
Lay Administrants:  D. Schindel/C. Aasen                                               
Intercessor: B. Popp                                   
Lay Reader: L. Thompson               (John 3: 13-17)
Altar Guild:(red) M. Lobreau/A. Shutt
Prayer Team: E. Gerber/TBA                       
Sunday School (School Age): K. Durance           
Sunday School (Preschool): M. Rys
Kitchen: M. Chesterton
Music: E. Thompson           
Altar Servers: E. Jayakaran

September 21st, 2014  15th Sunday after Pentecost
Greeter/Sidespeople: The Aasens           
Counter: W. Bowman/C. Aasen                       
Reader: S. Jayakaran                       
(Exodus 16: 2-15, Psalm 105: 1-6, 37-45, Philippians 1: 21-30))
Lay Administrants: D. Schindel/T. Wittkopf                       
Intercessor: L. Thompson                       
Lay Reader:  D. MacNeill            (Matthew 20: 1-16)           
Altar Guild (green) M. Woytkiw/L. Schindel
Prayer Team: M. Rys/M. Chesterton                                      
Sunday School (School Age): TBA           
Sunday School (Preschool): T. Laffin
Kitchen:  B. Cavey                       
Music: TBA
Altar Servers: A. Jayakaran

September 28th, 2014  Back to Church Sunday
Greeter/Sidespeople:mThe Schindels           
Counter: D. Schindel/D. Sanderson                       
Reader: D. MacNeill                                               
(Philippians 2: 1-13)
Intercessor: T. Chesterton                       
Lay Reader: B. Popp            (Matthew 21: 23-32)           
Altar Guild (green): P. Major/MW             
Sunday School (School Age): TBA
Sunday School (Preschool): M. Eriksen
Kitchen:  M&A Rys
Music: Gospel Music “Band”                       

August 25th - 31st, 2014

Events This Week
August 25th, 2014
  Office is closed
August 26th, 2014
   7:00 pm  Corporation Meeting
August 28th, 2014
   7:00 pm  Reach Campaign Meeting
August 30th, 2014
   2:00 pm  Wedding of David Metcalfe/Elizabeth Woytuik
   7:00 pm  Malankara Rental
August 31st, 2014   12th Sunday after Pentecost
   9:00 am  Holy Communion
   10:30 am  Morning Worship

September 4th@ 7:00 am - Men and Women’s Bible Study resumes at the Bogani Cafe
September 7th@ 10:30 am - Sunday school registration and commencement.
September 17th@ 7:15 pm – Vestry resumes.
September 25th @ 7:30 pm – “The Red Letters” #1
September 27th @ 4:00 pm – Spaghetti Church resumes.
September 28, 2014 @ 10:30 am - Back to Church /Bring a Friend Sunday.

Winnifred Stewart: Empties to Winn Project
Please feel free to bring some or all of your empty bottles (juice, milk, cans, and other beverage containers) and drop them in our bag. We have special bags to take home if you wish or you can bring your empties in plastic bags! Please support this project supporting Winnifred Stewart! Next pick up is Friday August 29th

Friday, August 15, 2014

August 18 - 24, 2014

Events This Week
August 18th, 2014
  Office is closed

As of August 19th, 2014 the office will be open Tuesday through Friday, 9:00 am – noon as usual.

August 23rd, 2014
7:00 pm  Malankara Rental

August 24th, 2014   11th Sunday after Pentecost
   9:00 am  Holy Communion
 10:30 am  Holy Communion


Our Diocese is currently engaged in the 'Reach' Campaign, a $5 million fundraising campaign, and each parish is required to participate. 50% of funds raised will go back to the parishes, and each parish is asked to prepare a 'Case Statement' outlining how the money will be spent.
A small working group in our parish has prepared a draft 'Case Statement' outlining two possible scenarios; however, this statement is just a starting point and we hope to flesh it out at a congregational meeting on Thursday August 28th 7 - 9 p.m. We realize summer is not ideal but we are constrained by the diocesan schedule (our campaign is set to run from September to December). If you have not received a copy of the draft case statement by email, please pick one up at the back of the church, and come prepared to contribute your thoughts to the meeting.