Mark's Midweek Musings & Updates

Wednesday February 27, 2019
"The Oscars in heaven."

Dear Friends,

Wow that gusting wind these past couple of days has been quite something, especially the rattling windows. And of course along with that comes the fear of toppling trees and branches and power outages. And in some areas there was the threat of tornadoes. Our weather seems to be so precarious, evidence of the reality of global warming and its effects on the environment. All the more reason for all of us to do what we can to be good stewards of creation and preserve as much of the gift God has blessed us with.

My prayers continue for those who keep our streets free of ice and snow ... and emergency workers too who respond to situations that arise. But as well for those who are shut in and feel more isolated in these snowy, blowy, wintry days. If you know of someone who can't get out, maybe give them a call just to say hi and to let them know you're thinking of them. I'm sure they'll appreciate it.
This past Sunday was our annual vestry meeting
where we received reports especially regarding our finances,
we voted on our budget for the coming year
and we elected those in leadership for 2019 at St. Paul's.

We also expressed our gratitude
to Joan & Len who have concluded their term as warden.

We welcomed Art Matthews and Dorothy Haines
as our new wardens.

There was frank and honest conversation about
the financial future for St. Paul's
which was realistic and yet hopeful too.
  • our work with other churches in Uxbridge in various outreach initiatives and projects
  • our presence, engagement and involvement in the wider community
  • spirit of kindness among parishioners
  • obvious sense of the Holy Spirit
  • our new sign that is reaching people
  • new members 
  • new groups that meet various needs
  • abundance of great music and musicians
  • music ministry that is vibrant
  • expressions of faith through music
  • strong sense of God's presence
  • we are a family
  • lots of caring people
  • friendships
  • harmonious spirit
  • open minded to new ideas
  • fellowship
  • significant offerings and donations
  • number of different ministries
  • Sunday worship services and opportunities throughout the week
  • our open door and open table
  • our clergy and renewed vigor who leads us
For these and all our many blessings we give
praise, honor and thanksgiving to God
from whom all of our blessings flow!

At vestry, we passed the following motion unanimously ...

 "In order to formalize what we are already practicing in our relationship with the LGBTQ community and allies here in Uxbridge, we the parish of St. Paul’s Anglican designate ourselves as an affirming parish that is safe space especially in terms of judgement, where all are welcome and included in our life together."

Wed Feb 27 ... 7 pm ... "Anxious for Nothing" series
Thurs Feb 28 ... 10 am ... Communion followed by "Anxious for Nothing" series at Mae's
World Day of Prayer Service will be held
on Friday, March 1, 2019
at St. Andrew's-Chalmers
Presbyterian Church at 7:00 p.m. 
Refreshments will be served
following the service. 
All are welcome.
at St. Paul's

Fri Mar 1 ... 7:00 pm ... World Day of Prayer Service ... St. Andrew's Chalmers Presbyterian
Sun Mar 3 ... 8:30 & 10:30 Communion services
Mon Mar 4 ... 1 pm ... Coffee & Chat at the Tin Cup
Tues Mar 5 ... 5 to 7:30 pm ... Pancake Supper
Wed Mar 6 ... 10:30 am & 7:30 pm ... Communion with imposition of ashes as we begin our Lenten journey
Thurs Mar 7 ... 10 am ... Communion followed by bible study at Mae's
Thurs Mar 7 ... 12 noon ... Lunch & Learn
Sat Mar 9 Don't forget to turn your clocks ahead an hour!!
Sun Mar 10 ... 8:30 & 10:30 am ... Communion services ... with Bishop Andrew Asbil presiding and preaching at 10:30
Wed Mar 13 ... 7:00 pm ... Lenten Candlelight Communion
Wed Mar 13 ... 7:45 pm ... Lenten Series ... "Becoming the sotyr we Tell ... Renewing our Engagement with Christ Crucified & Risen"
Thurs Mar 14 ... 10 am ... Communion followed by bible study at Mae's
Sat Mar 16 to Sat Mar 23 ... Mark will be taking his winter week off
Sat Mar 16 ... 2 to 4 pm ... Uxbridge Gay Straight Alliance
Sun Mar 27 ... 8:30 & 10:30 am ... Morning Prayer with Len preaching
Mon Mar 18 ... 1 pm ... Coffee & Chat at the Tin Cup
Tues Mar 19 ... 9:30 to 11 am ... Church will be open for quiet prayer, meditation & reflection
Wed Mar 20 ... 7:00 pm ... Lenten Candlelight Communion
Wed Mar 20 no Lenten series following the Candlelight Communion
Thurs Mar 21 no Mid week communion or bible study

Sun Mar 24 ... 8:30 & 10:30 ... Faithworks Sunday ... Guest preacher the Reverend Christian Harvey from "The Warming Room"
Sun Mar 24 ... noon ... Light lunch sponsored by the Outreach Committee in support of Faithworks
Sun Mar 24 ... 2 pm ... Communion at Douglas Crossing
Sun Mar 24 ... 7 pm ... Ecumenical Prayer Service ... Trinity United Church
Wed Mar 28 ...  ... 7:00 pm ... Lenten Candlelight Communion
Wed Mar 28 ... 7:45 pm ... Lenten Series ... "Becoming the sotyr we Tell ... Renewing our Engagement with Christ Crucified & Risen"
Thurs Mar 29 ... 10 am ... Communion followed by bible study at Mae's
Fri Mar 29 ... 7 to 9 pm ... Gaymes Night
Sun Mar 31 ... 8:30 & 10:30 am ... Communion services
Bakers wanted!  

The Outreach Committee will be selling
“Muffins for Pikangikum” during Lent,
and we hope some of the ladies (or men) of the congregation
will help by baking a dozen of your favourite recipe. 
We will need 3 dozen muffins each week,
March 10, 17, 24, and April 7, 14.
If you can help, please call Gail Browne at 905-852-6853. 
Are you overwhelmed by stress, anxiety
or the pressures of life
and in need of some quiet time

St Paul's will be open
Thursday March 19 from 9:30 am to 11 am
for quiet sanctuary, prayer and meditation.

Pass the word along to your friends & neighbors.

Quiet meditation helps us listen with open hearts!
The Anglican Diocese of Toronto
invites parishes to enter into a Faithworks campaign
to raise awareness of the Diocese's support
of outreach and mission
and to raise funds to support our partners in ministry.

Sunday March 24 will be 
Faithworks Sunday at St. Paul's
as part of our observance of Lent.

We will welcome The Rev. Christian Harvey
from "The Warming Room" to both the 8:30 & 10:30 services

Remember that 15% of donations to Faithworks
remains at St. Paul's to support our local outreach ministries.

There will be a light lunch following the 10:30 service
on March 24 to hear further from Christian
about his experience of community engagement and advocy.

We can learn from him about 
our own engagement and advocacy ministry.

Volunteers are needed to help water
and weed the gardens at St. Paul’s. 
If you could give a couple of hours twice a month,
please leave your name with Evelyn Pogue.
"The Oscars in heaven"

I was watching parts of the Oscars on Sunday night and wondered what might the Oscars be like in heaven. May seem like a bit of an off the wall question; but none the less it's been interesting to ponder and have conversations with others about too at "holy spirits" the other evening.

First, what came to mind for me is the criteria for being selected would be very different than Hollywood. The Oscars are given based on popularity; perhaps how well a movie did in the theaters; who gave the most stellar performance; in other words who is considered to be the best.

God's criteria though would be much different; it would be about faithfulness to the gospel of Jesus Christ. God would consider things like the beatitudes, or the golden rule of "loving others as we would want to be loved ourselves"; or loving our enemies; or the two greatest commandments of "loving God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind and all our strength and loving our neighbors as we love ourselves". As well, it's about being the least and the servant of others rather than the greatest and the one who is served.

That's quite the measuring stick and the antithesis of how the world determines greatness and those who deserve to be honored and set apart. And yet through our baptisms we all make the commitment to live out our lives as best we can, with God's help along the way, striving to be faithful in each of the areas Jesus presented and hoped we would embrace in our lives and discipleship.

Sure, sometimes we mess up and miss the mark and aren't as faithful as we can be. But by God's grace, we get the award anyway because God grants us the gift and promise of forgiveness and the opportunity to keep trying over and over again. 

As such, we're all awarded because to God there is no distinction and as a result no one person deserves to be recognized in the kingdom more than another. In our human condition, we may think that that's not fair because some appear in our eyes to be more or less deserving. But God's judgement is based on love and an invitation for everyone to accept the reward and honor that awaits them in His glorious kingdom.

One person said on Monday night ... there actually are no awards because we're stuck in the before party celebrating the faithfulness of all of us as God's children. I like that image too because it's not about who gets called to the front, we're going to celebrate and honor the faithfulness of each disciple of Jesus Christ for who they are, all they have done and the faithfulness which which they have embraced living the hope and promise of the gospel.

And, what a party it must be ... and oh the company we will keep. It may astonish us and our reward will be far more valuable than a gold statue. It is none other than the gift of eternal life by God's grace and God's grace alone.

May we learn more and more to be less judgmental of each other, assuming who is in God's good favor and who might not be, who is deserving of a reward and honor and who isn't. Because in truth, when awards are given out, we're all going to get one, the same one from God who has blessed us and called us to faithfully serve Him. May we hear him say to us in our lives and eventually in our deaths too, "Well done good and faithful servant, well done!!" That's all the reward and honor we need as followers of Jesus Christ!!
I offer us this prayer for faithfulness in the living out of our lives ...
Lord Jesus, teach us
to be the servants you have called us to be.
Help us to walk in humility,
and to stand firm in our faith
no matter how difficult the road becomes.
Thank you that because of you
we will only ever know the shadow of death
and that death will never have victory over our lives!
Thank you for your steadfast love and faithfulness to us
and those you call us to serve.
In Your Name we pray, Amen.
Remember, if you have a question, I encourage you to send it to me in an email and I will do my best to answer it either in a weekly update or in a sermon.

As always, my inbox is open, and so is my office door if you'd like to chat. I'm usually in my office most mornings Monday through Thursday unless otherwise announced due to a meeting. Stop by or make an appointment!

Take care and have a blessed day and week!

Mark +

The Rev. Canon Mark Kinghan
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59 Toronto Street South, Uxbridge Ontario L9P1H1 Canada

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St. Paul's Anglican Church, Uxbridge · 59 Toronto Street · Uxbridge, On L9P1H1 · Canada

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