Lutherans Connect On-Line Devotionals from Advent through Epiphany

Longing For Renewal

November 29th to January 6th

Image: “Homage to A.Y. Red Maple”, by Patrick Doheny. Found here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/14132971@N05/2093714119

How do we have hope in a time of frustration and fear?  How can we renew our sense of mystery and wonder, when mostly we feel exhausted and disappointed?  Inspired by Isaiah 43 and God’s promise of “doing a new thing”, we will explore the ways that God has manifest hope in the midst of immense challenge in Scripture, through acts of creativity and imagination that flow from God’s love for us.  From the Creation story to the birth of Jesus to the wonder of a natal star, for the first time ever, the Advent project will move through Christmas to Epiphany, offering daily reflections, music, images and art as a way of helping us all hope for a time of new creation.

As we go, we will consider the primary phrase of the annunciation to Mary, “be not afraid”, and will also reflect on the ways that figures in the biblical story have quoted Scripture to keep themselves going.  How can these words spoken centuries ago speak to us in our own time, challenging our uncertainties by deepening our discipleship?

Join us for thirty-nine days of prayer together.  And may the deep peace of Christ bless and be with you in the coming season!

~ from the Lutherans Connect blog

This on-line devotional can be accessed from the Lutherans Connect Facebook page or their blog.  It begins on Sunday, November 29th and concludes on Wednesday, January 6th.

The Lutherans Connect online devotional projects are supported by the Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, through its Mission Committee partnerships.

 

Moderator’s 2020 Advent Message

For Everything There Is A Season

In his Advent message, Moderator Richard Bott reminds us that for everything there is a season.  The Advent season is not just a time of waiting ― it’s a time of preparation as we prepare for the baby Jesus.  We have to move one step at a time without fear, without worry.  Because God is here, with us.  God is with all of this wounded world.  Advent — especially this Advent — is a time to remember that.

~ from The United Church of Canada’s website

View the message here.  A transcript can also be downloaded.

Gift Ideas from Our Denominations

On-Line Gift Catalogues Are Now Available

Unique Ideas to Support Communities Around the World

Gifts from the Heart

The Catalogue from Canadian Lutheran World Relief

 

Gifts With Vision

The Catalogue from The United Church of Canada

 

World of Gifts

The Catalogue from the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund

This Year’s Advent Projects

Our Work in the World Continues
Even when not Gathering for Sunday Worship

Saving a Sole

Trinity Shared Ministry decided to change the focus of its Advent project this year.  Recognizing that there is nothing much worse than cold wet feet, the decision was made to collect new socks to donate to shelters in Kamloops.  Mitts and toques are additional possibilities.

We will determine a way to collect from our members since you presently will not be able to help fill the sock Sunday morning.

 

Briefs and Drawers

Church of St Paul is continuing with its Briefs and Drawers Advent Project.  New underwear and socks are being gathered for needy folks served by Kamloops shelters.

United Church of Canada General Council Meets

Saturday, October 24th at 9 am PDT
for an online Annual Meeting

GC43 in Oshawa, 2018. Credit: The United Church of Canada

~ posted on The United Church of Canada’s Facebook page on October 23rd:

On Saturday, October 24, at 12:00 p.m. EDT, the General Council will meet for the GC43 Annual Meeting.  The meeting will be livestreamed via the church’s YouTube channel; you are welcome to tune in and watch the proceedings.  This meeting will include a farewell to outgoing General Secretary Nora Sanders and the covenanting of incoming General Secretary the Rev. Michael Blair.  The General Council will also receive a proposal and report about becoming an anti-racist denomination.

The workbook and other documents for the meeting can be found here.

United Church Supports Mi’kmaq Treaty Rights

The Moderator and the Executive Minister for Indigenous Ministries and Justice Writes to the Church

A Mi’kmaq drummer pauses during a prayer, Saulnierville, NS.
Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Regional Council 15 of the United Church of Canada, which has a long history of solidarity with Indigenous peoples asserting their treaty rights, is asking the rest of the church to join them in honouring the Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1752 as Mi’kmaq lobster fishers exercising their treaty right to a fishery are confronted with racism and violence.

Moderator Richard Bott and Indigenous Ministries Executive Minister Murray Pruden have responded with a letter to the church that says, in part, that “As a church that has repudiated colonial doctrines and committed itself to Indigenous rights, to the ongoing work of building right relations, and to opposing racism in all of its forms, we cannot remain silent.”

Regional Council 15 is also asking for prayers from across the church.

On Friday, October 23, a small interfaith delegation will visit Mi’kmaq community members in Saulnierville, NS.  In the face of the violence, vandalism, and tension that the Mi’kmaq people have experienced, the purpose of this visit is to listen, show support, and share prayers for peace and healing.

Individuals and communities of faith are invited to share in this action by taking a moment for prayer at 2 p.m. AST on Friday, October 23.  Regional Council 15 has prepared the following Prayer for Peace and Healing for your use.

Prayer for Peace and Healing: Mi’kmaq Fishing Dispute

Prepared by Regional Council 15 of The United Church of Canada

For use on Friday, October 23, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. AT, 2:30 p.m. NL, 1:00 p.m. ET, 12:00 p.m. CT, 11:00 a.m. MT, 10:00 a.m. PT.

As you pray, you might pause and light a candle, or simply step outside for a moment and find a symbol of connection that speaks to you.

Using words, song, silence, or whatever form your prayers take, join hearts from afar in Peace and Friendship.

Creator God, Holy Mystery, Source of Life and Love

Thank you for the gift of life, all life.

Thank you for the endless ways we are reminded that we are connected―all peoples, all the creatures, all plants, all lands, all waters, and the air around us. When one part suffers, the pain ripples out.

Our hearts ache today with the pain felt by our Mi’kmaq relatives, who have suffered violence, vandalism, threats, racial discrimination, and broken trusts as they try  peacefully to exercise their right to fish. May they be surrounded with healing and strength. May they feel solidarity and support. May they be kept safe from further harm.

We pray for our non-Mi’kmaq relatives. May there be healing for the pain, fear, or anger that has driven some to harmful words and actions, and others to silence. We pray for openness to the righting of relationships.

We pray for our leaders at every level. May they be guided by wisdom and humility. May they use their voices and their power to build systems that uphold safety, dignity, and respect for all.

Finally, we pray for ourselves, that our hearts and our minds remain open to understanding our responsibilities toward living into Peace and Friendship, knowing that we are all still Treaty people.

“Knowing that you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God.”*

Amen

*Closing words from daily prayer from the Centre for Action and Contemplation. Copyright © 2018 by CAC. Used by permission of CAC. All rights reserved worldwide.

~ adapted from United Church of Canada webpage

Download the letter to the church here.

Evangelical Lutheran and Anglican Leaders Express Concern about Mi’kmaw Lobster Fishing Crisis

Our Leaders Have Written to the Canadian and Nova Scotian Governments Requesting Intervention

Leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the Anglican Church of Canada have written to express urgent and deep concern for the violent situation unfolding in regard to Mi’kmaw fishing in Nova Scotia.

In their letter, the leaders call for immediate intervention, to provide safety for all, and to counteract the violence and terror being experienced by the Mi’kmaw people as they live out their sovereign rights on their lands and waters.

~ adapted from an October 21, 2020 post on the ELCIC website

Download the letter here.  View it on the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada website or The Anglican Church of Canada website.

The following is the full text of the letter:

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada

The Honourable Marc Miller, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services, Government of Canada

The Honourable Stephen McNeil, M.L.A.
Premier of Nova Scotia

The Honourable Keith Colwell, M.L.A.
Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Province of Nova Scotia

Ms. Loretta Robichaud
Deputy Minister, Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture

Dear Prime Minister, Premier, Ministers, and Deputy Minister:

We write out of urgent and deep concern for the violent situation unfolding in regard to Mi’kmaw fishing in Nova Scotia. As the safety and well-being of Mi’kmaw people is are threatened, their fundamental human rights—embodied in the Friendship Treaty of 1752, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the 1999 affirmation of their Treaty Rights in the Marshall Decision—are minimized, ignored, or denied. The denial of the full humanity of the Mi’kmaw people by those who refuse to recognize these treaty obligations is at the base of this hatred and violence. Anything that is less than an urgent response by those who share in the protection of these rights risks a complicity in a great evil.

The honour and character of Nova Scotia and Canada are at stake. If Indigenous justice is not possible in this instance, a basic commitment to an ideal of truth and fairness is demonstrably absent. The moral integrity of Nova Scotia fisheries is at stake. If the well-being of the industry is premised on injustice, there is no way that it can receive or sustain the respect and commerce of people concerned about truth.

We understand that all parties have expressed both the need and willingness to consult about a livable and sustainable future for all involved in these matters. In pursuit of this, we make the obvious point that Mi’kmaw people must be protected. We also wish to underline that without a foundational concern for Indigenous human rights and justice, no real solution is possible. You have the ability and responsibility to act towards a just and equitable solution to this crisis. We ask that you intervene immediately in this situation to provide safety for all and to counteract the violence and terror being experienced by the Mi’kmaw people yet again as they live out their sovereign rights on their lands and waters.

We pray for your well-being as you pursue these matters. We pray for the well-being of justice and the full recognition of human rights in our Land. May the God who is the sovereign of Creation and history aid you all to articulate and fulfill the truth and goodness that is surely the calling of this Land.

Sincerely,

The Most Rev. Linda Nichols
Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada

The Rev. Susan C. Johnson
National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

The Most Rev. Mark MacDonald
National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop, the Anglican Church of Canada

The Rev. Michael Pryse
Bishop of the Eastern Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

The Rev. Sandra Fyfe
Bishop-elect, Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island

The Rev. Canon Gordon Redden
Administrator, Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island

The Rev. Lori Ramsey
Administrator, Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island

The Very Rev. Paul W. Smith
Administrator, Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island

Reformation Sunday On-Line Service

Hosted by the Southern Interior Region
of the BC Synod of ELCIC

Reformation Sunday ~ October 25

The eight parishes of the Southern Interior Region of the BC Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada worked together to plan and pre-record a joint service.  Join in worship with the Evagelical Lutheran Churches in Barriere and Clearwater (North Thompson Ecumenical Shared Ministry), Kamloops (Hills of Peace Lutheran), Salmon Arm (Deo Lutheran), Vernon (Peace Lutheran), Kelowna (Faith Lutheran and Christ Lutheran), Penticton (Our Redeemer Lutheran), and Nelson (Ascension Lutheran).

Link to the service:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wve3I9HqQSY&feature=youtu.be

You can also download the following (the words to the hymns and the text to the sermon are included in the bulletins):

The postscript video is a stop motion animation that uses Playmobil to tell the story of Martin Luther and the Reformation.  Note that there are a couple of bits that appear before the video itself with this link.

Churches in the Southern Interior Region

Ascension Lutheran Church, Nelson

Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Penticton

Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, Kelowna

Faith Lutheran Church, Rutland, Kelowna

Peace Lutheran Church, Vernon

Deo Lutheran Church, Salmon Arm

Hills of Peace, Kamloops

Church of St Paul, North Thompson Ecumenical Shared Ministry, Barriere

Trinity Shared Ministry, North Thompson Ecumenical Shared Ministry, Clearwater