I am grateful for the week off I had and the time for rest, renewal and refreshment. Looking forward to where the spring season takes us and all we have to do in our ministry together.
I especially realized how quickly Holy Week & Easter are coming upon us. What a holy time of our church year. I always look forward to the various worship services and observances of this sacred journey we make with Jesus. I hope you will look at the various services offered and mark your calendars now. It will be a blessing to us as we engage in the story at the center of our faith.
Throughout Lent, the sermons will focus on the understanding and reflecting on the promises of our baptismal covenant. In particular, we will be asked how we hope to live them out faithfully.
On Sunday March 17, we were asked ... "How will you proclaim by word and example the good news of God in Christ?"
by volunteering in the community
attend church regularly and tell others the good news
try to embody Christ's teachings in what I do this week
by showing kindness to others
by working with groups like the GSA to show God's love
by being the best I can be and reading the bible regularly
speak for the ones who do not have a voice
trust God to give me the right words to say
tell others of my experience of God in my life
And on Sunday March 24, we were asked, "how will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?"
try to see Christ in everyone, with God's help
struggle with loving some of my unloving family and still keep on loving them
accept others without judgement
with my thoughts and deeds
praying for all people in their need
include all at McDonald's coffee time
giving to faithworks
helping children in the children's Aid society
trying to be more understanding and patient with others
pray for guidance
give to the poor more
try to help people without feeling "self satisfied"
giving a helping hand to neighbors in need
improve relations with those I find difficult to always get along with
forgive my neighbors instead of holding a grudge and pray for them
spend time with people who are lonely and grieving
respect all people regardless of their circumstances
look on all people as deserving of love
This Sunday's question in advance ... "How will you strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being?"
A note of thanks to Zena
a friend of Sharon Houston's
from her working days
who provides us with
such amazing and awesome posters.
Zena is always ready to create
and make changes whenever we ask.
Thank you Zena for sharing
your creative gift with us at St. Paul's
Please note the time change ...
The candlelight communion is at 7:30
& the series at 8:00
Last Sunday we welcomed The Rev. Christian Harvey
who spoke on the ministry of "The Warming Room".
Our Faithworks campaign continues this Sunday
as Mark continues to reflect on our baptismal calling
to work for justice and peace among all people
and respect the dignity of every human being.
Any support you can offer to faithworks
would be greatly appreciated.
You can make a one time donation;
add to your monthly PAR designated to Faithworks;
or use your offering envelopes to make a monthly donation.
Remember that 15% of what we raise for Faithworks
remains in the parish for our local outreach ministry.
“Muffins for Pikangikum”
A reminder that each Sunday during Lent
the Outreach Committee is selling muffins
in support of clean water for Pikangikum.
As well, we have a jar for any donations
you'd like to make to this initiative.
Thank you for your support!
Check out the video created
as an invitation to experience a holy Lent
at St. Paul's.
Please note the time on the video
for the Lenten candlelight Communion Services
is incorrect ... they are at 7:30 pm
at St. Paul's
Wed Mar 28 ... ... 7:30 pm ... Lenten Candlelight Communion
Wed Mar 28 ... 8:15 pm ... Lenten Series ... "Becoming the story 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
Mon Apr 1 ... 1 pm ... Coffee & Chat at "Tin Cup"
Wed Apr 3 ... 7:30 pm ... Lenten Candlelight Communion followed by "Becoming the Story we Tell" series
Thurs Apr 4 ... 10 am ... Communion followed by "Becoming the Story we Tell" series at Mae's
Thurs Apr 4 ... 12 noon ... Lunch and Learn ... Fraud Alert
Sat Apr 6 ... 8:30 am ... Men's Breakfast
Sun Apr 7 ... 8:30 & 10:30 am Communion Services
Mon Apr 9 ... 9 am ... Warden's Meeting
Wed Apr 10 ... ... 7:30 pm ... Lenten Candlelight Communion followed by "Becoming the Story we Tell" series
Thurs Apr 11 ... 10 am ... Communion followed by "Becoming the Story we Tell" series at Mae's
Thurs Apr 11 ... 1:30 pm ... TAB & ACW
Sun Apr 14 ... Palm Sunday ... 8:30 and 10:30 am Communion services with the blessing and distribution of palms
Mon Apr 15 ... 1 pm ... Coffee & Chat at "Tin Cup"
Mon Apr 15 ... 7:30 pm ... Candlelight Communion
Tues Apr 16 ... 7:30 pm ... Candlelight Communion with anointing for healing
Wed Apr 17 ... 7:30 pm ... Candlelight Communion with Stations of the Cross
Maundy Thursday ... note that there is no morning communion or bible study
... 7:30 pm ... Communion with symbolic hand washing and solemn stripping of the sanctuary
Fri Apr 19 ... Good Friday
9:15 am ... Family liturgy for Good Friday
11:00 am ... Solemn Service of the Passion of Jesus
1:30 pm ... Community Good Friday Walk ... stopping at strategic places to pray for the marginalized in our community and around the world who live in the midst of the stations of the cross thorughout their lives
4:00 pm ... Good Friday Concert ... Cantorei sine Nomine ... Buxtehude: Membra Jesu Nostri'
Sat Apr 20 ... 2 to 4 pm ... Uxbridge Gay Straight Alliance
Sun Apr 21 ... Easter
8:30 am ... Communion celebrating the resurrection
10:30 am ... Festive Communion celebrating the resurrection with special music
Thurs Apr 25 ... 10 am ... Communion followed by "Becoming the Story we Tell" series at Mae's
Fri Apr 26 ... 7 to 9 pm ... Gaymes Night
Sun Apr 28 ... Foodbanks Sunday ... with the launching of "The Table" please note the change in service times
... 8:15 am ... quiet traditional communion
... 9:30 am ... "The Table" ... casual, comfortable communion ... with baptism
... 10:45 am ... Sung Communion service with choir
... 2 pm ... Douglas Crossing communion service
Mon Apr 29 ... 7 pm ... "holy spirits ... faith conversations over a pint" at Wixan's
We have identified and made a commitment at vestry
to reach out and help those in need
in our community of Uxbridge!!
If you are interested in becoming an advocate
and in entering into a process with other stakeholders
to discern where the need is most,
please speak to me or send me an email.
We plan to arrange a time to meet
with North House and the local Salvation Army
to begin strategizing how we can move forward together
and then invite other churches and people from the community
to join us in this work for justice in our own neighborhood.
Help is needed to distribute our posters around town.
These posters attract people to our services, Lunch & Learns, dinners, concerts and other events.
Each person would have no more
than 12 posters to distribute.
The town has been divided into 4 areas,
and should take no more than 30-40 minutes to complete. P
lease speak to Evelyn Pogue if you are able to help.
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.
"Flexing our Spiritual Muscles ..."
Over the past few months I have been getting physiotherapy on my shoulder and not surprisingly, it's helped. I have more mobility; can raise my arm higher; and further up my back. All of this was the result of an injury over 10 years ago when I broke my shoulder and required surgery to set it properly. It's amazing the damage that can be done, and the compromised mobility if it isn't attended to.
In addition, the physiotherapist has been talking to me about my posture and standing and sitting up straight. She has encouraged me to do regular stretches and exercises to strengthen muscles that have been compromised. She has also suggested how I should be using ergonomically correct space to work, especially on my computer. The most important thing if all of this is to work is that I have to be intentional about doing what has been suggested to me. And really, that involves breaking bad and unhealthy habits that have developed over time. I
I know for sure that I feel better and more comfortable, with less pain. Now it's up to me to keep going with the rhythm of exercise, stretching and standing and sitting tall so I don't slip back to where I once was.
I thought when I was having my most recent treatment that equally we need to pay attention to our spiritual muscles. What would it mean for us to do spiritual stretches and exercise so that our prayer lives remain healthy and productive as we live day to day? How can we be intentional about caring for our spiritual lives to the extent that we are when it comes to our physical lives? These are good Lenten questions to ask ourselves as we refocus and seek to be transformed in our journey to the passion, death and resurrection of Christ.
In the world we live, our spirituality is taxed and challenged by the things that go on day by day and that we hear about through the media. It's little wonder that our spiritual muscles seize up and we wonder what to even pray for. Wars, droughts, terrorist attacks, floods, disease ... these all impact us spiritually as we try to remain hopeful and faithful as children of God and followers of Jesus Christ.
I'd like to suggest a few things we can do to pay attention to our spiritual muscles ... our spiritual push ups or stretches that will help us flex our spiritual muscles in these days when we need them most.
pray ... go to God regularly ... have a meaningful conversation that includes listening for God to speak truth and offer hope
meditate ... spend even 5 minutes in silence with a mantra you repeat as a focus ... allowing you to internalize the words you speak
attend and participate in public worship ... the rhythm of our weekly liturgies encourage us and challenge us to grow into who God created us to be
read the scriptures ... God speaks His promise through His word ... encourages us especially when we need support during a time of stress or need
meet with a spiritual friend ... companions on the journey can also encourage us and even challenge us too
join a bible study or group for faith formation ... build relationships with others who are doing the same spiritual training you desire to do ... community enhances our spiritual awareness and builds up our spiritual muscles for when we need them
be intentional about becoming more honest and thereby more intimate with God ... keep that meaningful relationship with God as a priority whatever else is making demands on you
create a space where you know you can connect with God ... a comfortable chair ... walking through a particular forest ... looking up at the stars
create an ambiance that is conducive spiritually ... light a candle ... listen to music
develop ways to share your faith with others ... there's nothing like telling someone what you're passionate about ... what brings you joy ... maybe that can be God and your faith that God has blessed you with
Paul, in his letter to the Hebrews, calls us to run with perseverance the race before us. Often, it's not an easy race; in fact there can be daunting hills to climb; and creeks to jump over; with boulders in the way; and detours that we can't predict. Our faith and our spiritual muscles can assist us along the way, building our hope and strengthening our endurance to keep going.
Ask yourself ... what spiritual exercises do you need to do to build your spiritual muscles? And then ask God to help make that happen!!
I offer us this prayer for the desire to grow spiritually into the faithfulness God calls us and invites us into ...
Thank you God, for Your Holy Spirit
Who is making us to be more like your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
We want to reflect Your grace and Your beauty
in thought, word and deed.
We ask that we may devote our time and hearts
to reflect on all You are and all You have done for us
so that You are magnified more and more in our lives;
so that the beauty of our Lord Jesus
may be seen and reflect in us. 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!