Saint James Anglican Church

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


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Rector's Message

Previous messages

Learning The Liturgy - BCP

Learning The Liturgy - BAS

Question of the Week

 

Thanksgiving Letter

September 29, 2013

 

Let us give thanks to God at all times, in all places, and for all things!

 

My brothers and sisters in Christ: Greetings to you in this Season of harvest and culmination and taking stock.

 

The culture around us has changed significantly in the past few decades. Time seems to move so quickly; our schedules fill up; our intentions to come together in worship with our brothers and sisters in Christ, become just that - intentions. It seems that we are all pulled in more directions than we are able to handle. And yet ... And yet, our culture stills gives us a "day off'. On Monday, 14 October, we will all slow down and celebrate a Day of Thanksgiving. I do wonder, however, how many of those who are granted a day off will take time to give thanks!

 

As Christians we are called to lead by example and, increasingly, we are being called to live lives that are counter-cultural.  The gift we have been given of forgiveness of sin, salvation and eternal life through Jesus Christ are arguably exactly the gifts that the rest of our society needs, desires and strives for. They just don't seem to know it yet.

 

You and I have the greatest gift for which to give thanks on this upcoming Thanksgiving Day: the gift of hope that comes with a relationship with Christ.  We need look no further to have something to celebrate. We need look no further than our Church family to have people with whom to celebrate, and we need look no further than St. James to know where we can celebrate.

 

This season of Autumn and Thanksgiving provides us with a wonderful opportunity to take stock of all that we have been blessed with, to look back on how our lives have been enriched through the year, to "harvest" or gather in our thoughts of appreciation, and to plan how we might begin to exercise good stewardship (sharing) of those gifts freely given to us by our loving, generous heavenly Father.

 

I invite each and every one of you to join us for worship and a meal the weekend before Thanksgiving. On Sunday, 06 October at 9:30 am we will gather for a joint worship service followed by a Pot Luck lunch to celebrate our Church Family.

 

On Thanksgiving Weekend (October 13) we will worship at our regular times of 8:30 (BCP) and 10:00 (BAS with music) to celebrate Thanksgiving and the multitude of gifts God has showered upon us.  I invite you to attend that service and bring with you symbols of your harvest: something that symbolizes your career, your hobby, what you love, who you take care of ... Use your imagination!  We will decorate the front of the altar with these current gifts of your harvest in our appreciation of how richly God blesses each of us every day.

 

I look forward to seeing all of you this Thanksgiving, and on all the Sundays thereafter.  Our worship of God, our gathering as brothers and sisters in Christ can no more simply be an intention, than the gift given us in Christ's sacrifice was an intention.  Jesus Christ gave of himself in practice, not just intention, and we are called to do the same! We are called to worship in practice as well. Show your appreciation to God, your true Thanksgiving, by participating in the life God gave you - a Christian life, a counter-cultural life!

 

May God continue to bless you all, and may you all continue to offer God your true and pure Thanksgiving.

 

Rachael Parker+

Rector - St. James Anglican Church, Armdale (Halifax)