Saint James Anglican Church

Joseph Howe Drive at the Armdale Rotary, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada             


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Rector's Message

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Learning The Liturgy - BCP

Learning The Liturgy - BAS

Question of the Week

 

A Call to Prayer

April 21, 2013

 

My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

 

I write to you out of a need to address the grief and the hope that have been in our community's reality over the past week and a half.  Through this time we have heard of the despair of a teenage girl who could no longer recognize hope in her life and so chose to end it. We have also been reminded of the proximity of evil as it was made manifest on Monday during the Boston Marathon.

 

It seems that at times we are bombarded by issues and images, which would invite us to wonder why and to simply declare that the darkness will win.  However, alongside the pictures of a desperate young Rehteah and the chaos of the bombed marathon, we see WebPages filled with prayers for Rehteah's family, pictures of people running into the danger zone in Boston to help others who were injured and in shock.  We see not despair and quitting but hope, love and perseverance.

 

As a Christian community we are to be as beacons of light, hope and love to the world around us. We are expected by God to lead by example in prayer, in encouragement and through actions.

 

While it would be easy to simply curse the young men who allegedly assaulted Rehteah, the people who bullied and harassed her, and the individuals who chose to terrorize a peaceful gathering and, indeed, a nation, we cannot succumb to these baser instincts. We are called upon to love and pray for our enemies.

 

An easier step for each of us is, of course, to reach out to the Parsons' Family and to the people of Boston and from around the world who have been impacted by the bombing through prayer. We must pray for them: for peace, hope and healing. I include here two prayers which you may use if you wish.

 

Loving God, comfort and strength to those who suffer, hear our prayers for Boston: for those who are injured; for those who providing care; for witnesses of this tragedy. Grant all those in distress your perfect peace. (The Anglican Church of Canada)

 

Heavenly Father, please grant your peace and your comfort to all those affected by this tragedy in Boston. Work through your children that they may bring gentleness and peace to one another.  May your clarity and wisdom be present in all who are working in the midst of chaos. Bless and keep all of your children and welcome those who have entered your heavenly kingdom. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen. (St. James' Anglican Church, Armdale)

 

While there does not seem to be anything that we can currently do, beyond prayer, for those involved in this tragedy in Boston, there is something we can do for Rehteah Parsons, her family and all young people.

 

Last Sunday I asked each of you to familiarize yourselves with the Kids' Help Phone Number -1-800-668-6868. Here is their web address: www.KidsHelpPhone.ca.   I also asked that each of you write down the names of young people within your sphere of influence that you might pray for them and be alert for opportunities you may have to listen to them and offer your support. I exhort you to take on praying for these young people as part of your daily spiritual discipline. We should never underestimate the power of God's love working through our prayers. Nor should we ever assume that any other person is "just fine" without prayer and God's active influence in their life. Allow yourself to become a conduit through which God can work.

 

As a congregation, and as a Church, we cannot afford to sit back and assume that someone else is doing something about "the problem." I invite you to take time in individual prayer and group conversation to discern how we -the people of St. James may step forward and become a part of the solution. We are called to love one another, and with love comes responsibility for those whom we love.

 

When you hear and discern God's voice sharing with you ways in which we can work together in exercising our responsibility for young people and our greater community, please speak to me, and with others, that we might faithfully answer God's call upon us to be caregivers of the next generation.

 

May God bless us all, and may God help us to become a blessing to all young people everywhere.

 

Rachael Parker+

Rector - St. James Anglican Church, Armdale