First Sunday of Lent
Week Commencing 9th March 2014
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A Special Welcome
It is a great joy to welcome everyone here this morning to St John's on this first Sunday of the Lenten season. It is a particular delight to welcome the Reverend Mother Ruth Monette as our guest preacher at the 10 o'clock service. During this season of Lent we are looking at the question of Lent and mission. Is there any relationship between the two? The Reverend Mother Ruth Monette is the Director of Mission and Ministry for the Diocese of New Westminster and she begins looking at this question for us. Our preacher next Sunday will be Father Michael Forshaw and we welcome him back after his recent illness.
How’s your prayer life? A Lenten reflection.
To be quite honest, making time for prayer is one of my biggest challenges. For me it’s like exercising: I love the idea but it seems there is a force that keeps me preoccupied. It’s so often the curse of being “too busy.” Yet when I do make time I discover more energy, more life, and more peace.
I suspect I ought not to admit this but I’ve discovered that I’m not where I want to be. There is a longing in my heart to know and encounter God, yet I continually find myself stuck. I’m so caught up in my work, the future of St John’s the anxieties of life that the thought of meditation sometimes overwhelms me. I get rendered impotent, spiritually.
At the heart of my prayer life this week has been contemplation surrounding spiritual freedom. In this search for God’s gift of freedom I have been reading David Fleming’s SJ translation of the Ignatian, ‘First Principle and Foundation’. This is part of what he wrote: As a result, we appreciate and use all these gifts of God insofar as they help us develop as loving persons. But if any of these gifts become the centre of our lives, they displace God and so hinder our growth toward our goal.
This has been an incredible reminder that everything is a gift, presented to us so that we can know God. Yet the second that we become too attached or off-balance, we misuse the gifts that God has blessed us with.
So, as I make my way through the Spiritual Exercises, and we really do need to see our Christian life as an athlete sees their regimes, I pray that I might become more and more aware of the things that are taking over my life and place God back into the centre of my heart. Most of all, I pray that I can fight through the curse of ‘being busy’; and in my endeavours to really make my prayer life a priority, I hope to rediscover the God who energises us with overwhelming love and peace.
Mind you, as with all training it takes time and perseverance.
During this season of Lent we shall suspend our Bible study group and instead look at the question of, ‘what is mission?’ This will be help each Tuesday during Lent (not Holy Week) beginning next Tuesday and the venue will be my apartment. If you would like to join us and you don't know the address please speak with me and I will happily share this. I hope that some who would not normally consider ‘churchy type group’ meetings may be encouraged to join us.
Father Michael Fuller
Annual Vestry Meeting
On February 26th, a good number of parishioners gathered in the Trendell Lounge for our Annual Vestry Meeting to receive the reports and the financial statements for the year 2013. The meeting opened with a reading from St Paul's letter to the Philippians, and we sang a hymn and said some prayers. After prayer we went through the usual formalities which preface these meetings. Then reports were submitted by the various persons concerned and copies of these reports may be found in various places around the church.
Of notable interest were the elections and it was pleasing to the meeting to receive a nomination for Louise Hadley to assume the mantle of People’s Warden from Robyn Woodward who was appointed Rector’s warden. Judith Downes, who completed her year as Rector’s Warden, was warmly thanked for her contribution to the life of St John’s Church.
Two trustees at large, Philip Owen and Peter Kidd were elected and Helen Kline was appointed a member of the Church Committee. A full list of the officers of the church will be made available shortly. The administrators, lectors and intercessors were all thanked for their assistance and duly elected and again a list of such will be posted shortly.
The financial state of the Church was outlined by the retiring treasurer Alan Woodland who set out the challenges that we had faced during the past year and warned that increasing expenditure was depleting our financial asset base. Alan was thanked for his contribution to St John’s.
In the Rector’s report, Fr Michael pointed out that the church was just like any other family with its ups and downs, tensions, troubles, successes and joys. But it was time for St John's to stop considering itself as a start-up church, or a returning church and become mature members of the Diocese. Each member ought to reflect upon how they might serve the church, particularly in the areas of saving on expenses. He encouraged people to consider what they might be able to do to contribute to the life of the church. He cited the possibility of a team of volunteers cutting the grass in the gardens or sweeping leaves. He further announced the launch of a stewardship campaign in May and encouraged all present to carefully consider the giving of their time, talent and money.
The rector thanked all who gave of the time freely and without complaint. He particularly thanked Paul Bunnell for his contribution and Janet Hamilton for all that she has done, particularly in the area of increasing rental income.
The meeting wasn't adjourned to enable those present to partake of a special vestry meeting to address two resolutions. The first concerned the issue of preparing a plan for the vitalisation of St John’s worship space and church buildings to meet current and expected needs of the parish.. The second resolution was introduced by the church committee and requested the vestry to approve the offer of the rite of blessing to same-sex couples, who have been duly prepared, after civil marriage in accordance with the policies and practices of the Diocese of New Westminster. Both resolutions were passed unanimously The meeting closed with the grace.
Lent at St John’s
Tuesdays in Lent
Starting March 11th and each Tuesday in Lent
7:30pm Lenten Study Group at the Rector’s home in the Westend to meet weekly; subject: What is Mission? (90 min)
Wednesdays in Lent
Starting March 12th and each Wednesday in Lent
8:00am Morning Prayer (20 min)
11:00am Said Eucharist with Lenten reflection (30 min)
5.30pm Evening Prayer with reflection (30 min)
Sunday March 16th
7:00pm Taizé for Lent (45 min)
Holy Week at St John’s
Sunday April 13th Palm Sunday
8:00am Holy Communion (BCP)
10:00am Palm procession, dramatic reading of the Passion and Sung Eucharist
6:00pm Music, Meditation and Address for the Passion Speaker: Fr Robert Thompson (45 minutes)
6:30pm Holy Eucharist with hymn and address (30 minutes) Fr Robert Thompson
Also on Wednesday at 11:00am said Holy Eucharist with address (30 minutes)
Thursday April17th Maundy Thursday
6.30pm Shared evening meal in the Trendell Lounge
8:00pm Last Supper Eucharist with foot washing Preacher: Reverend Karin Fulcher
The Eucharist is followed by the ceremonial stripping of the altar and a procession through the church to the side chapel where the Blessed Sacrament will be kept overnight reminding us of our Lord’s torment in the Garden of Gethsemane. A meditative watch will be kept until 10:30pm.
Friday April 18th Good Friday
8:00am Morning Prayer
10:00am Families Stations of the Cross (35 minutes)
12:00noon Solemn Liturgy of the Day with a dramatic reading of St John’s version of the Passion, Address and pre-consecrated Communion, Fr Robert Thompson (1 hour)
Saturday April 19th Holy Saturday
8:00am Morning Prayer
8:00pm Vigil of Easter with Easter Ceremonies and Resurrection Eucharist, Fr Robert Thompson (1 hour)
Sunday April 20th Resurrection of our Lord, Easter Day
8:00am Holy Communion (BCP)(Fr Robert Thompson)
10:00am Celebration Eucharist followed by Easter egg hunt! (Fr Robert Thompson)
6:00pm Choral Evensong, Fr Michael Fuller
Lilies on Easter Sunday
On Easter Day we hope to have a large number of dedications to celebrate the resurrection and remember our loved ones.
For every ten dollars we can display one six inch pot of Easter Lilies.
Please send in your special flower dedication for Easter (any increment of ten dollars) to the office by Wednesday, April 9th, to allow us plenty of time to pre-order them.