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News, Links, and Prayers for March 18 to April 8

April 1, 2012

And Remember Their Sin No More
by Jan Richardson

No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more. (Jeremiah 31:34)

This God who writes a new word on our hearts. This God who knows us and whose hope is built on a time when we will know God in turn. This God who holds onto us with such persistence and love and calls us to live into this love, yet does not keep tally of the times we have turned away. This God who knows the tally we keep in our own hearts of the occasions when we failed to live into the love that fashioned us, the times that are seared into our own memories with embarrassment or despair.

When we remember our shortcomings and sins so keenly, how do we trust in the God who graces us with forgetfulness? How would it be to take this up as a Lenten practice: to repair what we have damaged in our sin—as far as it lies within our power—and then to rest in the God who does not eternally hold against us the harm we have caused? We may not be able to forget certain memories entirely, but how might it be to cease to be bound by them—to allow God to release us from the memories that hold us hostage? What would you like to trust that God forgets?

(This is from the Reverend Richardson’s blog “The Painted Prayerbook“.)

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There are 17 news items, 10 links, and 6 prayer requests for March 17 to 31.

NEWS:

We have a Nursery Ministry!

Enormous thanks to Bianca Bolton, Rachael Brisbin, and Anna Seidel for coming forward to serve those children at our 10 a.m. Sunday Services who are old enough to be away from their parents but not old enough yet for Sunday School. Of course, everyone is most welcome to keep their toddlers with them in the Service. But we are delighted to be able to make this ministry available for everyone who thinks that they and their child would enjoy it. Please spread the word!

We are now looking for Two People to Fill the Ministry Positions of Sunday School Coordinator and Youth Ministry Leader:

We are looking for two people with a passion for God and for sharing God’s love with young people, one to coordinate our Children’s Ministry, and the other to lead our Youth Ministry. These ministry positions would be part-time (7 to 10 hours per week), with compensation being provided, based on qualifications and experience. If you sense that the Lord may be leading you to become part of the ministry team of our Parish in one of these capacities, please talk with Fergus or John McIntyre (the chair of our Christian Education Committee). For more information, please click here. (Please note that this information still has the Children’s and Youth Ministry positions combined into one. An updated version of the separated job description of these ministries will be available via this link soon.)

Lenten Adult Education Opportunities are Continuing at St. Paul’s:

For those who like group study, the Adult Christian Education sessions, “Our Loving Lord,” are taking place this Lent at two times, Sundays at noon or Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. So far, 23 people are participating, and all have expressed how powerful they have found them to be. Sessions will be continuing until Holy Week. Please click here for details. The above image is of an olive press from Capernaum which dates to the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry. The Garden of Gethsemane means literally, the Garden of the Olive Press. The second video of the Session on Palm Sunday, “The Weight of the World,” looks at the insight this gives us into Our Lord’s death on the Cross for us.

Because of the popularity of the Study, we shall be adding a seventh Session on Easter (“Roll Away the Stone”) and Pentecost (“Power to the People”) on Wednesday, April 18 and Sunday, April 21.

For those who would like individual study, there is Lenten material on our website (to access it, please click here); more electronic Lenten material can also be accessed at Link #8 below. There will also be Holy Week and Easter handouts on a table in the Hall. You are invited to visit this table to enrich your journey with Our Lord. Electronic versions of some of this material will be added to the blog throughout Holy Week and Easter Week. 

A “Thank You” to Our Youth for March 11:

A Huge “Thank you” to our Youth Group for baking our delicious coffee time fare on March 11, and for serving and cleaning up with such excellence!  

March 18 – Mothering Sunday and St. Patrick’s Day Themes:

March 18 is the mid-point of Lent, traditionally called Laetare Sunday or Mothering Sunday. It is also, of course, the day after St. Patrick’s Day. So we’ll have a Celtic theme for our Services. Then we’ll end the Services with the ancient practice of “church clipping” (we’ll make a concession to our Alberta weather and do this inside). And we’ll follow our Services with Simnel Cakes and cupcakes with green icing, courtesy of Allison Pierce (Thank you, Allison!) at our fellowship time over coffee. Please spread the word!

If you’d like information about Mothering Sunday, including church clipping (being done by the congregation of St. Peter’s, East Blatchington, in the Diocese of Chichester, East Sussex on Mothering Sunday last year in the photo below ) and Simnel Cakes, you can click on https://docs.google.com/#all and then type in as your email address stpaulscalgary, and type in as your password God’s Grace, to access the following three documents: “0045. Mothering Sunday Information,” “0046. Clipping the Church,” and “0047. Church Clipping.”

March 25 – Triple C Service:

March 25 is the date of our next Triple C (Christ-centred, Creative, and Compact) Service at St. Paul’s. For details about this Service, please click here.

This month, our focus through Jeremiah 31 and John 12 is on how Jesus draws the whole world to himself, in an intimacy that comes from  transformed hearts.

Holy Week and Easter Services:

April 1 – The Sunday of the Passion, Palm Sunday:

You are invited to come and share Holy Eucharist in a Service especially designed to help us remember Our Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and that, as King of love, his crown would be of thorns, and his throne would be the Cross. For many people, this Service, which will include a procession with palm crosses and the dramatic reading of the Passion, is a deeply moving way to begin Holy Week, and one of the spiritual high points of the year.

April 2 – Monday in Holy Week:

You are invited to a Book of Common Prayer Service of Compline at 7:30 p.m. at our beautiful 127 year old Chapel, just West of Bannister Road on 146 Avenue (see the map below, which will enlargen if you click on it).

April 3 – Tuesday in Holy Week:

You are invited to a Taize Service of prayer in word and song at 7:30 p.m.

April 4 – Spy Wednesday:

You are invited to a Tenebrae Service (the gradual extinguishing of the light) at 7:30 p.m.

April 5 – Maundy Thursday:

You are invited to come and share Holy Eucharist at 7:30 p.m., as we remember our Lord’s commandment (this is why  it’s called “Maundy” Thursday – think of “mandate”) to love one another as he has loved us. This Service will include the washing of feet for those who would like to receive it, and the stripping of the symbols of our Faith from the Sanctuary.

April 6 – Good Friday:

You are invited to a Service of the Stations of the Cross at 9 a.m. that is especially designed to help children understand and receive Jesus’ love for them. Following the Service, there will be a Good Friday craft and snack.

You are also invited to a Service of Holy Eucharist from Reserved Sacrament at 11 a.m. that especially focusses on our Lord’s sacrificial love for us.

April 7 – Easter Eve:

You are invited to the beginning of our Easter celebration at  8 p.m., as we share this ancient Service of Holy Eucharist, complete with the lighting of the New Fire, with one another and our brothers and sisters at All Saints’ Lutheran and Shepherd King parishes. Our guerst preacher will be Pastor Bart Eriksson from All Saints.’

April 8 – Easter Day:

You are invited to begin this glorious Day by sharing a 6:55 a.m. Sunrise Service of Morning Prayer at the Chapel.

Then, you are invited to come and share at 8:30 or 10 a.m. the most joyous celebration of the year, the pinnacle of praise, in the Presence of our Risen Saviour, as we sing glorious songs, renew our Baptismal vows, listen to the Easter words of Holy Scripture, and receive the gift of Holy Eucharist together!

These Holy Week and Easter Services are listed in the March issue of Living Waters, and will be posted along with an Easter Letter from me in a special part of the News and Events page of St. Paul’s website around March 22.

April 13 – Movie Night:

On Friday in Easter Week, you are invited to come at 7:30 p.m. to our next Movie Night, “Dolphin Tale,” the true amazing true story of Winter the dolphin. This celebration of life, supremely fitting for Easter Week, will touch the hearts of all members of the family. Please click here for more details, including 2 trailers of the movie. The video embedded above is a brief piece from “Discovery News” entitled “How Real is Winter’s Story?”

April 15 – Holy Baptisms:

On April 15, it will be our great joy to Baptize Dakota D’Arcy, Erica Moore, and Rebecca Wall at our 10 a.m. Service.  

April 28 – International Dinner:

On Saturday, April 28, our Youth will be putting on an International Dinner (this year with an Indian theme) to raise funds for the tuition and medication for Joyce Akello, the student they are sponsoring at the Kalagala District School in Uganda. Tickets are being sold after the Sunday Services. Please click here for more information.

LINKS:

1. www.stpaulscalgary.ca – to our website [The most recent additions on our “News and Events” page, in the “Announcements and Newsletters” section, are the March 25 News Bulletin; March issue of Living Waters; and March Calendars (Please look for print copies of the April issue of Living Waters, complete with the April calendar, to be handed out on Easter Sunday.).] (Thank you for our website, Paul Bourgeois!);

2. http://www.calgary.anglican.ca/News/dcns2012/12-006.html – to the March 21 Diocesan News Service Newsletter;

3. http://www.anglicanjournal.com/ – to national stories of interest, such as “Christianity ‘No Longer an Alien’ Religion in China;”

4. http://news.anglican.ca/news/stories – to further national stories of interest, such as “Archbishop of Canterbury Announces He is Stepping Down at the End of the Year;

5. http://www.globalwe.ca/pdf/Many%20Hands%20%28Summer%202011%29.pdf and http://manyhands-socialjustice.blogspot.com/ – to pdf and blog formats, respectively, of the social justice newsletter, “Many Hands,” by Deacon Sean Krausert from Canmore;

6. http://www.thatpovertyproject.com/ – to Sean’s “That Poverty Project” website and blog, respectively (Sean invites everyone to sign “A Declaration to World Leaders.” You can access it by clicking here. For a summary of this project, see the July 30 “News, Links, and Prayers” posting);

7. http://convio.cancer.ca/goto/eltonhellyer to Bill Hellyer’s Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life Personal Page [Bill has also written about his participation in this Relay specifically to us as members of his Parish family; his letter can be accessed from Google Documents by following the instructions under link #8 below – it’s entitled “0039. Bill Hellyer’s June 23 Relay for Life.”] (Thank you for the privilege of being involved with this, Bill!);

8. https://docs.google.com/#all [then type in as your email address stpaulscalgary, and type in as your password God’s Grace] – to access to the following ten Lenten reflections:
– “0040. Keeping a Holy Lent”
– “0049. A Lenten Journey with Jesus – Lent 3”
– “0050. Lent 3 Reflection (Larry Gillick)”
– “0051. Lent 3 Reflection (Jan Richardson)”
– “0052. A Lenten Journey with Jesus – Lent 4”
– “0053. Lent 4 Reflection (Larry Gillick)”
– “0054. Lent 4 Reflection (Rick Morley)”

– “0055. A Lenten Journey with Jesus – Lent 5”
– “0056. Lent 5 Reflection (Larry Gillick)”
– “0057. Lent 5 Reflection (Rick Morley);”

9. http://www.homeopathyworldcommunity.com/profiles/blogs/cherokee-legend-rite-of – to a rite of passage that gives insight into our faith in God (Thanks again, Paul!); and

10. http://www.strangecosmos.com/content/item/180069.html – to a PowerPoint presentation called “Africa in Black and White,” containing the magnificent black and white photography of Nick Brandt (Thank you for these, Andrea Haynes!).

Please keep emailing me stories, videos, and other items to which I can include links in this section, for the uplifting of our Parish family.

PRAYERS:

The following part of this posting is for new prayers or prayer-emphases this week. The complete Prayer List is included on the back cover of the weekly Order of Service. If you are unable to attend on a Sunday, and would like to have these prayers emailed to you, please email Laura Anne at office@stpaulscalgary.ca).

Especially, this next 3 weeks:

We thank the Lord for the improving health of Dorothy Lewis, Jeanette Marczi, Dennis Moore, Lynda Mountford, Louise Mullaney, Nicola Peden’s father, Ken Penley (Linda Hubert’s father), Gwen Stogran, Eleanor Turnquist, and Marlene Wright.

We commit into our Lord’s eternal keeping Sherry Lewis and Wes Hollings, who passed into eternal life on March 17 and 25, respectively. Rest eternal grant to Sherry and Wes, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them. We pray for Brady, Madisyn, and Carter; Darlene, Jasper, and Sawyer; and all Sherry and Wes’ family and friends to know themselves to be enveloped in the embrace of the One whose arms were spread out wide on the Cross in a love from which nothing in the universe can separate us.

We pray for Our Lord’s healing touch upon Bill Cardwell (recovering from knee surgery), Maureen Good (Frances Pike’s niece), Kelly and her baby, Pearce Laing (Robbie Coller’s grandson), Mary Lee (Laura Anne’s mother), Dorothy Lewis, Jeanette Marczi, Dennis Moore, Lynda Mountford, Louise Mullaney, Patrick (Janice Scott’s brother), Nicola Peden’s father, Ken Penley (Linda Hubert’s father), Olive and Wayne Ponting, Art Trundle (Rhonda’s Dad), and Eleanor Turnquest.

In their recent bereavements, we pray for comfort for Joyce Brenton, Stephanie Evans, Bill Hellyer, Margaret Anne Knowles, Lisa Matthews, Lynda Mountford, and all the members of their families; and for the McIntyre, Haynes, and Wood families.

We lift up all who are suffering in our own city, our country, and the whole world. In particular, we pray for healing for all who are enduring famine in East Africa and violence in Afghanistan, Russia, and Syria. May all be sustained by the Lord of love.

We pray for wisdom and strength for those who are working for peace in the Middle East and economic stability in Europe.

We thank God for the gift of St. Paul’s as our “mother” church, and for continuing to open hearts and minds to God’s grace as the good news of God’s love is learned and lived in our Parish family.

And we thank God, above all, for God’s unfathomable love for each of us, which led to the momentous events of our salvation that we shall be remembering in Holy Week and on Easter.

God bless you all, always.

Your Brother in Jesus,

 

 

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The Serpent in the Text 
by Jan Richardson

Being a good Pharisee, Nicodemus would have known the snaky reference in John 3:14-15. It comes from Numbers 21:4-9. There we find the people of Israel in the wilderness, delivered from their captivity, and complaining. God sends poisonous serpents, which serpents bite the people, and many of the people die. They come to Moses, full of remorse, and beg him to pray to God to take the serpents away. Moses prays, but curiously God does not do this. Instead God tells Moses to make a poisonous serpent out of bronze, and whenever a serpent bit someone, that person could look at the bronze serpent and live. The people are saved by seeing. When the poisonous serpents come among them, those who succumb to snakebite know where to turn their attention, and thereby live.

In his conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus accrues this meaning to himself. Look on me and live, he says. Turn your gaze, your attention, your focus to me, and you will be saved by the hand of the God who sent me, not for the punishment of the world but for the utter love of it. Jesus’ words in this passage prompt me to ponder, where am I turning my attention these days? How do I seek to do what Jesus invited Nicodemus to do: to turn my attention, to turn my gaze toward him—not merely to escape punishment, but as my response to the love that impelled God to send us Christ?

(This is edited from the Reverend Richardson’s blog “The Painted Prayerbook”. For the unedited reflection, please click here.)

From → All Posts, Prayers

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