Our Two Congregations Gather

For Our Annual Parish Worship Service and Picnic
June 24th at 11:00 am
at the Church of St Paul

Providing the weather cooperates, the congregations of Trinity Shared Ministry and the Church of St Paul will hold the annual Parish Worship Service on the lawn beside the Church of St Paul.  Rev. Keith Peterson will be presiding.  Following worship, the traditional picnic of hotdogs, salads, and desserts will be held with folks choosing to sit inside or out.

This year, the Trinity Shared Ministry congregation is hosting which means they are responsible for the hotdogs and all the trimmings; Church of St Paul, the salads.  Desserts and picnic snack foods are welcome from either congregation.  Bring a lawn chair!

Volcanic Eruption in Guatemala

United Church Mission and Service Fund Accepting Donations

A resident cries after she was safely evacuated from her home near the Volcan de Fuego, or “Volcano of Fire,” in Escuintla, Guatemala.
Credit: AP Photo/Luis Soto

The Fuego Volcano, located 27 miles southwest of Guatemala City, erupted on June 3, 2018.  Initial reports indicate 75 people have died, around 50 people were injured, and almost 200 people are missing.  These numbers are expected to rise.  The health of 1.7 million people may be affected by ash inhalation and acid rain.

Mission & Service partner ACT Alliance, in part supported by contributions from The United Church of Canada, is responding on the ground. ACT Alliance is focused on food security, water, sanitation, health, nutrition, shelter, and psychosocial support.

Please pray for those affected by this emergency.  The Mission & Service Fund is also accepting donations.

~ Information is from the United Church of Canada website.  Explanations on how one might donate are also found there.

 

Melissa M. Skelton

Elected the 12th Metropolitan and Archbishop
of the Ecclesiastical Province of BC and Yukon

Melissa M. Skelton, Bishop of the Diocese of New Westminster was elected Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of BC and Yukon on the first ballot at 9:40am, Saturday, May 12, 2018. That office comes with the honorific, “Archbishop”.

Archbishop Skelton is the first woman to be elected an Archbishop in the Anglican Church of Canada and the second woman in the Anglican Communion with the title Archbishop.

The Ecclesiastical Province of BC and Yukon is one of four Provinces that comprise the Anglican Church of Canada and is made up of six dioceses:

  • Yukon
  • Caledonia (northern British Columbia)
  • Territory of the People (central British Columbia, formerly The Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior {APCI} and prior to that, Cariboo)
  • Kootenay (the eastern part of British Columbia including the Okanagan)
  • British Columbia (Vancouver Island and the coastal islands)
  • New Westminster (the urban and suburban communities of Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley including the Sunshine Coast, from Powell River to Hope).

Twenty-one of the twenty-four members (which includes the six bishops of the Provincial House of Bishops) of the Provincial Electoral College were present via telephone conference electronic voting to cast their ballots. This vote was historic not only because the first woman was elected Archbishop it was also the first election held entirely by electronic means. Three members of the Provincial House of Bishops: the Right Reverends: Logan McMenamie (BC). Larry Robertson (Yukon) and Melissa Skelton (New Westminster) had previously agreed to stand for election.

Archbishop Melissa Skelton will replace the Right Reverend John Privett, currently Bishop of the Diocese of Kootenay who had resigned as Metropolitan effective April 30, 2018, and will subsequently complete his ministry as diocesan bishop May 31, 2018.

~ excerpts from a post by Randy Murray
to the Diocese of New Westminster website on May 17, 2018
Read the entire article here.

Power In the Spirit

Daily On-line Devotionals from Lutherans Connect

for the First Two Weeks of Pentecost

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit” by Ninian Comper,
Image by Lawrence OP

Many of us desire to spend more time in spiritual practice than we do, but often find it challenging to make space for it in our lives. In the summer months, many faith communities transition into a time of less programming and it can become easy to fall out of spiritual practice.

In the spirit of our online seasonal devotional projects, Lutherans Connect invites you to make space for reflection during the first two weeks of the Pentecost season of the church. To assist you, we will offer a meditation every other day, bringing together scripture readings, poetry, songs and reflections, from a range of ecumenical traditions.

This Pentecost we explore the biblical theme of ‘power’ when associated with the Holy Spirit. In our contemporary world, we often think of power as that which exerts authority over something or someone, or that which dominates or oppresses. By contrast, the biblical ‘power’ invoked with the Spirit in Scripture is often a translation of ‘at the hand of’. It is used as well to translate words for ‘great strength’, a strength that is deeper or greater than human beings can commonly understand. This Pentecost we will explore how the Holy Spirit works in us to transform us when we are able to listen and dwell in its mystery and presence, when we are able to rest in God’s hands.

Starting on Pentecost Sunday, May 20th and going for fourteen days until Saturday, June 2nd, we will explore specific biblical moments when the ‘power of the Holy Spirit’ has served a role in transformation. At the same time, we will also investigate stories of our own world where having authority and controlling influence has caused damage and destruction, as well as observing the efforts being made by individuals and communities to transform their reality and restore right relationships. Together we will prayerfully reflect on how the Spirit works in our own lives, to effect transformations small or large.

The first link to the devotional will appear this Sunday and on the Lutherans Connect Facebook page every day following until June 2nd. Join us! And may the power of the Holy Spirit rest in you this Pentecost and always.

~ from the Lutherans Connect facebook page

You may also access the blog here.

Celebrate Pentecost at the Church of St. Paul!

Bring Red Geraniums to Church this Sunday

The Church of St Paul is carrying on its tradition of asking members of the congregation to bring red geraniums to church on Pentecost Sunday – May 20th.  They will be used in planters and the garden.

For those wondering “why red?”.  That’s because red is the liturgical colour for Pentecost.

Responses to Situation in Syria by International Church Organizations

Statement by the LWF President and General Secretary
on the escalation of military conflict in Syria

In a statement issued in Geneva on April 14th, LWF President Archbishop Dr Panti Filibus Musa and General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge, on behalf of the global communion of churches, call for “an immediate halt of the spiral of military retaliatory action that is leading the world closer to global military conflict.”

The Lutheran World Federation expresses its grave concern over the dangerous escalation of the conflict in Syria and new levels of direct foreign military intervention. This development is pushing humankind closer to a global armed conflict, the like of which has not been seen since World War II.

The Lutheran World Federation unequivocally deplores any breach of international law pertinent to the prohibition of the use of chemical weapons in either international or non- international armed conflict.

Alleged breaches need to be independently investigated, and addressed thoroughly and swiftly. Perpetrators need to be held accountable, as per the Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Out of the traumatic experiences of World War I and II, the community of states developed treaties banning the use chemical weapons, such as the Geneva Gas Protocol and the Chemical Weapons Convention. The UN Security Council was established to safeguard compliance with these treaties. In doing so, the community of states, was driven by the resolve not to allow conflict and violence again to escalate and get out of control.

It is with dismay that the LWF has observed that the existing instruments to address allegations of the use of chemical weapons in Syria have been either ignored or have failed to deliver on their purpose.

Instead, retaliatory military strikes have been carried out. These strikes constitute a breach of International Law, because they have not been authorized by the UN Security Council.

The Lutheran World Federation urges for an immediate halt of the spiral of military retaliatory action that is leading the world closer to global military conflict.

The Lutheran World Federation calls upon the leaders of governments and the United Nations to:
• Make use of the available instruments, conventions and procedures to address any dispute and conflict among and within States, as well as any breach of international obligations;
• Not to dismiss or ignore these instruments, conventions and procedures, where they may have failed to deliver on their purpose. Instead, urgently reform and improve them so that they work for the sake of humankind;
• Remain accountable to customary International Law while addressing conflict and alleged breaches of internationally binding conventions.

The Lutheran World Federation calls upon its member churches to:
• Pray for justice and peace in the world, and particularly at this time in Syria and the Middle East.
• Publicly support and advocate for the de-escalation of this spiral of conflict and
• Publicly hold their governments accountable to International Law as the only way
to safeguard lasting peace and justice in the world

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” John 14: 27

LWF President Archbishop Dr Panti Filibus Musa
LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge

~ accessed from the Lutheran World Federation website

World Council of Churches reiterates calls for immediate ceasefire in Syria

In a statement from Geneva on April 16th, the World Council of Churches (WCC) urged the international community to find a way to break the cycle of violence in Syria. The statement comes two days after the USA, France and the UK carried out missile strikes following a suspected Syrian government chemical weapons attack.

The World Council of Churches (WCC) and its fellowship of member churches and ecumenical partners, journeying together on a pilgrimage of justice and peace, are deeply saddened and dismayed that after almost seven years of bloody conflict, Syria and its people continue to be the victims of unremitting violence and brutality. The international community must find a way to break the vicious cycle of violence that has already led to the greatest humanitarian tragedy since the Second World War, resulting in the deaths of more than 400.000 people, rendering more than 13.5 million people in need of aid and assistance inside Syria, and causing more than 5 million people to flee the country as refugees and 6.1 million people to be displaced internally.

Throughout the course of this human-made catastrophe, the WCC has always spoken out against the war and raised its voice for a just peace. We reiterate our strongly-held views that there can be no military solution to the conflict in Syria A just and sustainable peace for all Syrians can only be brought about through a political solution.

The WCC deplores the fact that atrocities are still being perpetrated against civilians. The UN Security Council has repeatedly failed to adopt sufficiently strong and consistent measures to put an end to these atrocities, to implement a durable ceasefire, to ensure respect for international law and accountability for all those who have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the use of chemical weapons.

Today, with regard to the tragic escalation of the situation in Syria, the WCC reiterates what it has called for many times: an immediate ceasefire, unconditional humanitarian access to all regions in Syria, the commitment of all parties to respecting international law and to seeking peace through dialogue and a political process rather than by armed force, the resumption of the UN-led Geneva peace process, and the prompt return in safety and dignity for all civilians who have been forcibly displaced from their homes and lands.

WCC member churches in Syria and the region will have an important role to play in healing wounded memories and in bringing all Syrians together in a common narrative, for the preservation of Syria’s rich diversity and the restoration of social cohesion. In this, the WCC assures the churches in Syria that the ecumenical family will accompany them together with the whole people of Syria on this path, in working for a just peace and for human dignity.

We hope and pray that an end to the suffering of the Syrian people will be delayed no longer.

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
General  Secretary
World Council of Churches

~ accessed from the World Council of Church’s website

Moderator’s Easter 2018 Message

Hallelujah, Christ is risen!

The Right Rev. Jordan Cantwell, United Church Moderator

This Easter, may our hallelujahs affirm that, despite whatever hopelessness threatens to overwhelm us, we trust in the power of God’s love to bring about resurrection within our lives.

View Moderator Jordan Cantwell’s Easter message here.

 

Transcript of video message:

Hallelujah, Christ is risen! He is risen indeed, hallelujah!

That is our Easter refrain — full of joy and conviction. But that sure wasn’t the response of Jesus’ disciples on that first Easter morning. The various gospel accounts show the disciples responding with awe, fear, incomprehension, doubt, terror, and amazement.

Our response is born of hindsight. Knowing what we now know about how it all turned out, we think of Easter morning and we declare, “Hallelujah!”

But when one is in the midst of resurrection, when it is happening to you or around you right now, it’s a very different experience: full of uncertainty, anxiety, dread, and disbelief.

Resurrection is, by its very nature, unexpected and unimaginable. We cannot see it coming; we are never prepared for it. It is the revelation of new life where just moments ago there was nothing but the possibility of despair and loss.

The hallelujahs we announce at Easter are our affirmation that despite whatever hopelessness threatens to overwhelm us, we trust in the power of God’s love to bring about resurrection within our lives. We don’t know when, we don’t know how, we don’t know what it will look like, and we will certainly be confused and confounded by it if it should happen. But today, our hallelujahs declare that we believe resurrection is possible.

And so we do not lose hope, no matter how hopeless a situation appears.

This Easter season, as you sing, shout, whisper, and proclaim “Hallelujah!” may it strengthen your faith in the power and possibility of new life for you, your church, and our world.

May we truly be a resurrection people.

~ from the United Church of Canada website

Bishop Barbara’s Easter Message

We Are An Easter People, Alleluia!

As we move through the final days of Holy Week and move to the celebration of the day of Resurrection, we are once again reminded – we are an Easter People.

In the early days of Christianity, St. Augustine proclaimed: “We are Easter people and alleluia is our song!” Yes, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the centerpiece of our Christian faith. The only response that makes sense is the one we will sing for fifty days, from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday, “Alleluia! Praise to our God!”

Easter celebrates such wonderful good news that Christian people should never find one day long enough to celebrate its importance in their lives. The fifty days of the Easter season offer much food for our journey of faith. God’s holy word is rich, and if we listen closely to the Easter story, we too will be transformed, restored and renewed.

The good news of Easter is that Jesus Christ continues to be alive among us today. The events of Holy Week were real, but they were not the end. Throughout the Easter season in our readings from the Acts of the Apostles, we encounter the friends of Jesus who met the risen Lord and were obviously changed in a dramatic fashion. They were relentless in their pursuit of continuing the mission of Jesus Christ.

As Easter People we know that Mary Magdalene and the other women did find the tomb of Jesus open and empty that first Easter morning. Jesus did die, was buried and rose again so we might have life – a new life in Christ. It is the heart of our faith. The passage from death to life which was experienced by Jesus Christ must also be experienced by every Christian. It is what sends us into the world as Easter people to carry out Christ’s mission in the world.

Each Easter gives us the opportunity to once again be in touch with the new life in Christ we celebrate. We are reminded at the great Easter Vigil as we renew our baptismal vows together that it is through the water of baptism we move from death to new life. The chains of the old life have been broken and we rise into the new life in Christ as Easter people, – people of the resurrection.

The joy of the Easter message for those who follow Christ is that each Easter we once again celebrate the fact we are Easter people and alleluia is our song!

Happy Easter!

+Barbara

 

~ from the March 27, 2018 Territory Bulletin