The Liturgy - BCP
The Liturgy - BAS
of the Week
.... What a miracle, what a moment, what a Saviour - For love like
this, we celebrate.
brothers and sisters in the Risen Christ, Christ is risen! He is
we celebrate this glorious season of Easter, we all have so very
much to be thankful for: spring is coming; our Church is a wonderful
place to gather and celebrate our Faith Family's presence; and we
have been given, by the grace of God, the incredible gift of new
life in Christ. Please join me in taking time as you read this
letter to offer a prayer of sincere thanksgiving to God for the
generosity of life and love shared so freely with us.
of the most beautiful gifts of Easter and the season of Spring, is
the gift of new life: fresh starts, new beginnings, the setting
aside of the old and embracing the newness of the unknown,
unexpected and anticipated experiences God has waiting for each of
us. Through Jesus' death and resurrection, we have been given an
opportunity to start anew with the knowledge that our past mistakes
have been forgiven and set aside and we have been admitted to the
eternal life God created for us. All we have to do is accept this
gift as just that -a gift.
of the ways that Christians have been accepting this gift through
the centuries is through participation in that eternal life in this
life, in the here and now. When we gather to worship, to pray, to
play, to talk and learn, to share and teach, we are celebrating and
living in the Kingdom of God in the here and now. It is through
being an active part of the Faith Family that we come to experience
the grace of God's eternity while we are still experiencing our
would like to invite you to prayerfully consider your participation
within the Kingdom of God here at St. James. Do you join the family
for worship? If not, why not? What might you be given if you were to
join us on a more frequent or regular basis? Do you want to learn
and study scripture or pray beside others, knowing that there is
support and comfort found in community? Do you feel called to share
your talents, gifts and interests with others who would love to
stand beside you, rejoicing in the ways God has called us together
-individuals to family?
church of St. James is a building that hosts a family. It is a
sanctuary that invites you to join in the sacred. It is a gathering
place in which you are welcome just as you are, no matter
where you are along your faith journey. Whether you are just joining
us because you are keeping someone else company on a Sunday morning;
regular worship is a part of your rhythm and routine; you believe
that maybe there is something here for you; or if you know to the
depths of your soul Christ's presence in your life, you are
welcome and wanted!
Lent and in the beginning of our Easter Season, our Parish is
discerning our call to become an "affirming" parish, as
was requested at the 2011 Synod of our Diocese. On May 4th,
following the 10am service and coffee hour, we will have a
Congregational Meeting at which we will decide whether we will offer
the blessing of the union of same gendered, civilly contracted
marriages. We have been having the most incredible discussion groups
over the past month, which have helped me to recognize two things as
your Rector: (1) the people who make up the Faith Family of St.
James, Armdale are a people of discernment, wisdom, and compassion,
who also carry a sincere desire to seek and serve Christ in others,
while seeking to know God's will for this Church; and (2) regardless
of our formal decision as to blessings, we have work ahead of us to
become a truly affirming parish in the most Christian ways.
discussions have led us into areas of welcome and hospitality; how
we embrace those who may join us who are "different" than
we may currently be; how we encourage new people to
"tryout" our community and show to them the love of Christ
as only our Faith Family can uniquely share. Regardless of sexual
orientation, marriage or union standings, socio-economic status,
etc., how do we welcome and support all of God's children?
Easter we are reminded once again of the spectacular gift God has
given every person who is willing to receive it: the gift of
forgiveness of sins and eternal life. How do we respond to that
gift? How do we say "thank you" to the One who has offered
it to us?
enter into relationship with God, receiving the gift with open arms
and expressing our thanks through Community Worship and
participating in the life of the Church God has invited us to join.
And we learn how to offer that invitation to the world around us as
well. Together we can discover what it is to be a truly
affirming parish in the true sense of the word: to express agreement
with or commitment to; uphold; support. You and I can share with the
world that in Christ we are committed to upholding and supporting
them in prayer; in mutual comfort and teaching; in sharing with them
the kingdom of God.
is risen! He is risen indeed!
let us share that greatest of Good News with all who have ears to
bless you all. And may God bless all whom you love and care for; all
whom you meet and greet; and all whom you bless without even
knowing. God bless you all. God bless them all.
- St. James, Armdale