1st Sunday in Lent
Week Commencing 22 February 2015
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What is Lent really all about?
Jesus goes into the desert, therefore he fasts; therefore he leaves behind everything else that anyone needs even for bare existence, so that for this once not just in the depths of his heart, but in the whole range of his being, Jesus can do and say what is the first and last duty of humankind - to find God, to see God, to belong to God to the exclusion of everything else that makes up human life. And therefore we fast. Therefore through this cruelly hard act, this denial of all comfort, this refusal of food and drink, through the solitude and abandonment of the desert, through everything else that involves a rejection, a self-denial of the world and all earthly company, through all these we proclaim this fact: one thing only is necessary, that I be with God, that I find God, and everything else, no matter how great or beautiful, is secondary and subordinate and must be sacrificed, if needs be, to this ultimate movement of heart and spirit.
Karl Rahner 1904-1984 - The Great Church Year
In his sermon last Sunday Fr Forshaw mentioned the sacrament of confession, often referred to now as the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Several people questioned me on this as to whether this was solely a Roman Catholic practise. The Book of Common Prayer, in several place,s commends to Anglicans the practice of confession. If we go right back to St Augustine, we are reminded that he said, "confession is good for the soul”. Again rather like kneeling for prayer it is firstly the recognition of our humility and then and most importantly an understanding that words, deeds, thoughts and actions can separate us from God's love. God loves and longs to be in communion with each one of God’s people, No matter how evil we might think they are. Unlike Fr Forshaw I have heard several confessions since I have been here and this, for the priest, is a totally humbling experience. I commend this practice to you and would be happy to explain or elaborate further. May I further commend to you the following Anglican website:
Taizé last Sunday with Br Emile
We would like to thank everyone who helped out and joined us for an extraordinarily successful Taizé on Sunday. Attendance tripled! The music was fantastic and we were blessed with many new visitors from all over the lower mainland. It was a joy to welcome Br Emile to St John’s and hear his positive feedback about the service.
Bible Study: the Book of Revelation
Tuesday, February 24th 7:30pm in my West End apartment
Tuesday, March 3rd 7pm here in the church
We will alternate the location every week, repeating the same study at both locations, and will offer light refreshments and an interactive study.
Fr Michael Fuller
Who is writing what to whom, under what circumstances, and how can it be appropriated today, if at all? (continued from last week)
An example I will use is St Paul's admonition that women should have their heads covered at worship:
Who is writing to whom? St. Paul is writing to a 1st Century Gentile Christian Community
Circumstances: In Paul's day women had very elaborate hair styles often with jewelry in them and they were very distracting to their fellow male worshipers-more than likely at the Eucharist.
Can it be appropriated in 2015? The short answer is NO! Up until the 1950's, women still wore hats in church. I even remember a sermon telling women to wear hats. Hard to believe - but true. Then someone must have realized following the Historical/Critical method of looking at scripture that women did not need to wear hats any more as hair styles had changed in fact some men have longer hair than women. Thus there is no need any more for hats as there was no longer any distraction.
Fr Michael Forshaw
Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund
Have you collected your “Lent 2015” daily guide booklet and accompanying coin collection box yet? If not, they are available at both the front and back of the church. PWRDF works with people from a variety of faiths. We work with anyone with whom we share a common vision of justice for specific communities, regions or countries, and who are already working ecumenically with others. The Lent 2015 booklet gives us a look at some things that are being done and, maybe more importantly, what can be done to help those in need.
Annual Vestry Meeting, Thursday February 26th 6:30 for 7pm.
This is to advise all those listed on the church roll (Members) that the annual vestry meeting will be held in the church on Thursday, the 26th of February, commencing with light refreshments at 6:30 and the meeting proper beginning at 7pm with a short act of worship. All church members are reminded that it is their duty to attend this meeting.
Music this Week
The Anglican Church, newly-founded after the Reformation of the 1540s and '50s, was fortunate in having a composer of Tallis's calibre to serve it. He, more than any of his contemporaries, was able to grasp what the Protestant clergy wanted in their church music and give that formula life. Essentially this was intelligibility and clarity in the word-setting, which involved singing in English and keeping the musical style simple. Purge me, O Lord isn't exactly expansive in composition, there is a certain amount of counterpoint and imitation between the parts, especially in the repeated 'B' section.
Thank you to all who have donated goods to the Food Bank box to date. We are continuing to collect food; poverty does not end with the good weather! Next time you are grocery shopping could you pop an extra tin of something or some pasta into your basket and then place it in our collecting box in the narthex? Or a pair of socks or some toiletries? THANK YOU!
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