Monday, June 30, 2008

June 30th - July 6th 2008

Monday, June 30th
Office Closed & Tim’s Day Off

Nicky Away on Holiday from June 30th - July 24th

Tuesday, July 1st - Canada Day
Office Closed for Canada Day.

Friday, July 4th
9 - 12pm Brenda Schimke in the Office filling in for Nicky.
4.00 pm Wedding Rehearsal.

Saturday, July 5th
2.00 pm Wedding of Graham Haggerty & Anita Eagles.

Sunday, July 6th - Pentecost 8
9.00 am Eucharist
10.30 am Eucharist

Growing Prayer @ St. Margaret’s

Church Families:
• Susan & Alistair McLeod
• Avery & Carmen McNary

Weekly Prayer Cycle: Graham Haggerty & Anita Eagles for their wedding next weekend.

Sunday School - Please note there will not be any Sunday School or Nursery during July and August. It will resume again in September.

St. Margaret’s News

WIN HOUSE TOTAL AS OF 22nd June - $3618.00
MOBILE CLINIC TOTAL AS OF 22nd June - $7108.00


Thursday Morning Bible Studies - Have now finished meeting for the Summer. But will be back in September.


Wanted: One nursery supervisor. Responsible for organizing the nursery environment and nursery workers. If you like small children and are a good organizer, this may be the job for you. Anyone who is interested should call Michelle Lobreau.

Checking in with the Community Evangelist Working Group

The group met Thursday, June 19th and divided up tasks for the summer. Some of those tasks included getting a summary of the goals of the community evangelist job, finding out what other major expenses are up and coming for our parish, and finding out what kind of financial assistance might be out there for us.

We will be doing some research into methods taken by other churches to spread the gospel. Evangelism goes hand in hand with seizing opportunities to serve our neighbourhood and meet some of the needs that surround us in creative ways, and we are excited to see what kind of changes this may involve for our parish and what challenges it will present.

Over the summer, we will be bringing you stories of evangelistic opportunities taken within the Anglican Church and in other traditions too, so stay tuned! "
Tim.

WIN House needs our help! They have women, mothers, and children starting their new lives in their new homes, and most importantly, without an abusive spouse/partner. WIN House, at this time, needs:
Pots and Pans
• Linens for Bed,
• Bath and Kitchen
• Small Appliances ie toasters, coffee makers, kettles etc.
PLEASE let's show WIN House how much we care. Bring any items that you may have to donate to the church and they will go to help women and children start their new lives in a loving and safe home. For more information please speak to Kathy Hughes.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sermon for the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul: John 21:15-19

'Do You Love Me?'

I once heard Keith Miller talk about the failure of his marriage and the devastating effect it had upon his ministry as a Christian speaker, writer, and conference leader. In the early 1970’s Keith wrote a superb book called The Taste of New Wine, in which he told the story of his encounter with Christ and his experience of the grace of God. This was followed by other books, and he began to travel and speak at Christian conferences and retreats. He was involved in the ‘Faith Alive’ movement which was a mission movement amongst lay people in the Episcopal Church in the USA. As an intelligent and committed Christian layman, Keith was a huge gift to the church and God used him to bring many people closer to Christ – including me.

But there was a price to pay, and ironically, the man who had often encouraged people to slow down and take time to love their families found that he was unable to do that himself. Eventually after a time of struggle and counselling Keith and his wife were divorced, and he faced the future with only a sense of failure and uncertainty. He said, “I knew that if I was ever going to have any sort of a Christian ministry in the future, it would only be through the grace of God and not through any expertise or strength of my own, because I had none. I felt I had nothing left to offer to God”.

I wonder if you’ve ever felt like that? I wonder if you’ve experienced some spectacular failure in your Christian life which has left you thinking, “Well, that’s the last God’s ever going to want to see of me!” Or perhaps it hasn’t been anything really spectacular – just a sense that God couldn’t really use you because you don’t measure up to your idea of what a really good Christian ought to be.

If you’ve ever felt like that, then you can understand how Peter felt after the death and resurrection of Jesus. Of all the disciples, Peter was the one who had promised most vehemently to follow Jesus no matter what the cost. Mark tells us that Jesus had warned his disciples, “You will all become deserters”, but Peter had protested, Even though all become deserters, I will not” (14:27, 29). John tells us that Peter said, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you” (13:37). We instinctively warm to Peter here, because there are times we’ve all felt like that. Perhaps we’ve had a time in our lives when the love of God seems so real to us, when the Holy Spirit seems so close, when the joy of Jesus floods in and we think, “This is it! From now on, it’s one long cruise to glory!”

But later on that night, harsh reality burst Peter’s bubble. Oh, he was brave at first! When Jesus was arrested, Peter followed him as the guards led him to the high priest’s house. He even went into the courtyard and stood there for a while with the servants and the others, warming themselves around a charcoal fire. But there Peter’s courage ran out. When he was confronted and accused of being a follower of Jesus, he denied it three times to save his own skin. And then he ran away.

I find it hard to imagine the conflicting emotions in Peter as the reports of resurrection start to come in. Indeed, the gospels hint that on the Sunday afternoon of Easter Day Jesus appeared privately to Peter, although no one has ever recorded the details of that meeting. But I would guess that Peter probably felt the same way that Keith Miller did, after his marriage fell apart because of his own compulsive busyness: “If I’m ever going to have any sort of ministry after this, it can only be because of grace, not through any expertise or strength of my own”. In fact, I would be surprised if the idea of grace even entered Peter’s head at all. I expect he thought he was finished, plain and simple.

And so comes this story recorded for us in today’s gospel. Some of the disciples have gone fishing on the lake, but they’ve caught nothing all night. In the morning as they come in to shore someone is standing on the beach, and he calls and tells them to cast the net on the other side of the boat. They do, and they catch a huge amount of fish – a hundred and fifty-three, says John, but the net wasn’t torn. Peter swims to shore, convinced that it’s Jesus, and so it turns out. Jesus is standing on the beach beside a charcoal fire – the only other time in the New Testament that the specific word for a charcoal fire is used, and don’t you think that the smell of it immediately takes Peter back to the night in the high priest’s courtyard, the night he had denied Jesus three times? And then Jesus asks him three times, “Simon, do you love me?” ‘Simon’, not ‘Peter’. ‘Simon’ is his original name; ‘Peter’ means ‘rock’, but the rock has turned out to be not quite so rocky after all.

This is the weirdest job interview I’ve ever read! Jesus is about to give Simon Peter a commission to be a shepherd of his people; he’s about to tell him to feed his lambs, to tend his sheep and feed them. And what question does he ask him? It’s not, ‘Show me your resumé, Simon’; it’s not, ‘What’s your track record been so far?’ He doesn’t ask Simon about his strengths or his skills or his successes; he asks him about his heart’s devotion. “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

Peter doesn’t even feel like he can give an unqualified answer. When Jesus asks the question, the word John uses in the Greek language is ‘agapé’, the sacrificial love Jesus showed by giving himself on the cross. But when Peter responds, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you”, the Greek word John uses for love is ‘phileo’ – a lesser word, more about friendship than committed and sacrificial love. Of course, Jesus and Peter would have been speaking in Aramaic, not Greek, so we don’t know what the exact nuances were, but we can guess that Peter is feeling a lot less self-confident now. “Lord, you know everything”, he says to Jesus – and we can guess what he means. Lord, you know what I did; you know how weak I am.

But Jesus is not finished with Peter. Peter was always an enthusiastic follower, the sort of guy who volunteered for all the jobs without looking in his calendar, the sort of guy who would always speak up, even if his brain wasn’t quite in gear yet. And Jesus warmed to that, I’m sure. Jesus loved the enthusiasm and wholeheartedness of Peter’s discipleship.

But now Peter had another priceless qualification – an awareness of both the true cost of discipleship, and of his own weakness. He now knows that following Jesus can cost you your life, and he now knows that he should be careful about promising what he can’t deliver. And Jesus is quite up front with him about where this path is going to lead; he tells him quite plainly that the day is going to come when he, Peter, will also be called on to make the ultimate sacrifice. And then Jesus says to him again, “Follow me”.

Failure is not the end for us. The Gospel tells us that Jesus takes his failures and makes them his fellow-workers. So don’t count yourself out. Don’t say, “Because I’ve done this or that, I’ve disqualified myself and Jesus could never want to have anything to do with me or use me to serve others”. Don’t say, “I don’t have any qualifications he could use”. Jesus knows all about your failures and he isn’t asking you about your qualifications. He has one simple question he wants to ask you: “Do you love me?” If the answer to that is “yes”, then we’re in business.

And if the answer is “yes”, then Jesus gives an invitation: “Follow me”. Follow him, with no illusion about it being an easy path; it might not lead to death as it did for Peter, but there will be a cross in it somewhere, you can be sure of that. It will be a path that involves serving others: we may not all be pastors and evangelists and shepherds of the sheep, as Peter was, but we’re all called to love our neighbours and share the good news of Jesus.

Do you love him? Will you follow him? Those are the most important questions we can face. And if we understand them properly, the most eloquent prayer in the world is the simple word, “Yes”.

Friday, June 27, 2008

July Calendar 2008

Calendar – July 2008

Regular Office Hours: Tuesday - Friday 9:00 am - Noon
Summer Office Hours: Thursday - Friday 9:00 am - Noon

Tuesday, July 8th - Eucharist at St. Joseph's Hospital

Nicky Away on Holiday June 30th - July 18th

Friday, July 11th
9 - 12pm - Brenda Schimke in the Office filling in for Nicky

Sunday, July 13th - Pentecost 9
9am - Eucharist
10.30 am - Eucharist

Monday, July 14th
Office Closed

Friday, July 18th
9 - 12pm - Brenda Schimke in the Office
7pm - Wedding Rehearsal

Saturday, July 19th
11am - Wedding Rental

Sunday, July 20th - Pentecost 10
9.00 am - Eucharist
10.30 am -Eucharist

Monday, July 21st
Office Closed

Tim away on Holiday 21st July - 12th August

Tuesday, July 22nd
Office Closed

Wednesday, July 23rd
Office Closed

Thursday, July 24th
9 - 12pm - Nicky in the office

Friday, July 25th
9 - 12pm - Nicky in the office

Sunday, July 27th
9am - Eucharist Led by Rev. Frank Wilson
9.45am - JOINT COFFEE
10.30am - Eucharist Led by Rev. Frank Wilson

Monday, July 28th
Office Closed

Tuesday, July 29th
Office closed

Wednesday, July 30th
Office closed

Thursday, July 31st
9 - 12pm - Nicky in the office

Thursday, June 26, 2008

More confirmation photos

Here are some more photographs from our confirmation service June 22nd.
























Monday, June 23, 2008

23rd - 29th June 2008

Monday, June 23rd
Office Closed & Tim’s Day Off
1.30 pm -- Afternoon Bible Study

Nicky’s Summer Hours Begin, Thursday & Fridays she will be in the office 9-12pm, for the next 8 weeks.

Wednesday, June 25th
7.15 pm -- Vestry Meeting

Friday, June 27th
5.30 pm -- Wedding Rental Rehearsal.

Saturday, June 28th
1.00 pm -- Wedding Rental

Sunday, June 29th - Pentecost 7
9.00 am -- Eucharist
9.45 am -- JOINT COFFEE
10.30 am -- Informal Service & Sunday School

Growing Prayer @ St. Margaret’s

Church Families:
• Martin & Catherine & James Mason
• Walter & Louise Mason

Weekly Prayer Cycle: Nicky Eames - Church Secretary


St. Margaret’s News

WIN HOUSE TOTAL AS OF 15th June - $3568.00
MOBILE CLINIC TOTAL AS OF 15th June - $6573.00

Thursday Morning Bible Studies - Have now finished meeting for the Summer. But will be back in September.


Wanted: One nursery supervisor. Responsible for organizing the nursery environment and nursery workers. If you like small children and are a good organizer, this may be the job for you. Anyone who is interested should call Michelle Lobreau.

Vestry would like to begin a discussion about how we can make both the interior and exterior of our church building and grounds more inviting and welcoming for newcomers. As a first step toward this we would like to gather a small group of interested people to share ideas. If you would like to be part of this group, please contact Tim or any other vestry member.

Monday, June 16, 2008

June 16th - 22nd

Monday, June 16th
Office Closed & Tim’s Day Off
1.30 pm - Afternoon Bible Study
New Basement Flooring being laid by Vantage Floorcoverings

TIM AWAY AT CLERGY CONFERENCE 16TH - 19TH JUNE

Tuesday, June 17th
Office Closed due to flooring being done.

Wednesday, June 18th
9 - 12pm - Nicky back in the office

Sunday, June 22nd - Pentecost 6
10.00 am - CONFIRMATION SERVICE

Growing Prayer @ St. Margaret’s

Church Families:
• Adelaide, Lola & Wilma Marbell
• Ernie & Gladys Marshall

Weekly Prayer Cycle: Confirmation Candidates:- Morgan & Taylor Cromarty, Arielle Betty, Brittany & Drew Aasen & Lynda Sanderson.

Summer Roster - Please let Nicky in the office know if you will be away this summer and are usually on the 10.30am roster. Thanks.


St. Margaret’s News

WIN HOUSE TOTAL AS OF 9th June - $3538.00
MOBILE CLINIC TOTAL AS OF 9th June - $6563.00

Thursday Morning Bible Studies - Have now finished meeting for the Summer. But will be back in September.


Support Our Youth Group - "St. Margaret's Youth Group joined 16,000 young Christians from across Western Canada last weekend at Rexall for YC Alberta. The theme of this year's conference was Passion and there was lots of great music, teaching, and worship over the entire weekend. We didn't know until very late that we would be able to get tickets to this sold out event, so we are doing our fundraising to cover the $835 cost of the weekend AFTER rather than before. Living by faith, I believe is the term.
TODAY Sunday 15th June and, weather permitting, we will be doing a car "wash while you worship" Thank you for your support!"

Wanted: One nursery supervisor. Responsible for organizing the nursery environment and nursery workers. If you like small children and are a good organizer, this may be the job for you. Anyone who is interested should call Michelle Lobreau.

Vestry would like to begin a discussion about how we can make both the interior and exterior of our church building and grounds more inviting and welcoming for newcomers. As a first step toward this we would like to gather a small group of interested people to share ideas. If you would like to be part of this group, please contact Tim or any other vestry member.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

BBQ at the Gerbers', June 14th

Here are a few pics from our BBQ at the Gerbers'. They were all taken by Stan during campfire singalong after supper.

Marg and Adrian appear to be on fire in this one.






Doug appears to be volunteering for something here...






The guitarist seems to be worried about something!



Geoff seems to have given up on the proceedings...

Sermon for Pentecost 5: Genesis 18:1-15, 21:1-7

How Long?

‘How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I bear pain in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all day long?’ (Psalm 13:1-2). These words from Psalm 13 are perhaps the most poignant prayer in the Bible.

This is the prayer of the person who is suffering from a chronic illness. They lie awake at night, trying to ignore the pain that is so intrusive that the drugs they are taking can’t seem to touch it. They try to keep still, for fear of further disturbing the person they share the bed with – they already feel guilty enough about how much work that person has to put into caring for them day after day. ‘How long, O Lord? I’ve prayed about this over and over again? Don’t you care about me?’

This is the prayer of the person whose marriage has turned into a desolate wilderness. It might be the wilderness of marital unfaithfulness, or it might just be the wilderness of a relationship that started out full of excitement and joy but has ended up dying the death of a thousand other commitments. And one of the partners lies awake at night and for the thousandth time pleads with God to revive this relationship. ‘How long, O Lord, am I going to have to put up with this desolation, this desperate loneliness? Don’t you care?’

This is the prayer of the person who lives in a country torn apart for decades by civil war, a person who has seen relatives slaughtered before their very eyes, a person who has hoped and prayed for years and years that things would change, but no change has come. Perhaps they’ve raised their children in a refugee camp – children whose innocence has been snatched away from them by the bloodthirsty violence all around. Where is God? Why doesn’t he answer my prayers? Perhaps there isn’t a God after all - or perhaps he’s really busy with important things and doesn’t really care too much about what happens to people like me.

This is the prayer of the childless couple. They went into their marriage expecting to raise a family, longing for the day when they could bring a child into the world and begin to experience the joys and challenges of parenthood. But it hasn’t worked out that way. At first they didn’t think anything of it, but as weeks turned to months and months turned to years, they realised something was wrong. Then came tests and more tests, and fertility clinics, and every solution medical science could offer – but all to no avail. They cry out to God, ‘How long? Must we have this sorrow in our hearts forever? Don’t you care?’

You will probably have noticed a long time ago that the psalms aren’t particularly conducive toward the ‘prosperity gospel’ – the sort of simplistic thinking that says, ‘God wants you to be successful and wealthy and if you just have enough faith that’s the way it will work out’. ‘All you have to do is pray with enough faith and God will give you anything you want – and if you don’t get it, there’s something wrong with your faith’. The psalms are a lot messier than that. The psalmists struggle with unanswered prayer all the time – and yet God has caused these psalms to be written down and included in our scriptures as a model for our prayers. Perhaps there’s a reason for that. Perhaps God knew that this ‘How long?’ experience would be a part of the normal Christian life for many people.

Our world is in such a hurry, and it’s hard for us to relate to a God who is not in a hurry. God has always lived and always will live, and so he has plenty of time to do what he wants to do. That’s hard for us to relate to! And it’s especially hard for us to understand when he makes promises to us and then seems to take a very long time to fulfil them. It’s all too easy for us to assume that if we don’t get an answer immediately, that means no answer is coming.

In today’s Old Testament lesson we read about a God who has a plan to rescue the world from evil, and who is raising up a family to have a central place in that plan. God wants to show this family that the word ‘impossible’ is meaningless to him, and so he takes his time fulfilling the promise and eventually brings about life where no life is possible. This is all part of the plan.

We need to remind ourselves of the long story of this family up to this point. In his letter to the Galatians Paul calls Isaac ‘the child born through the promise’ (4:23). The story of that promise, and its fulfillment, is the central theme of this part of the book of Genesis.

The original promise was given to Abram in last week’s Old Testament reading in chapter twelve. Abram was seventy-five years old, and he and his wife Sarai had no children. At that time God said to him “I will make of you a great nation”. Abram knew, even then, that the fulfilment of this promise would take a miraculous event, given his age and Sarai’s age.

In the following chapter we read about how Abram and his nephew Lot decided to live in different areas of the promised land of Canaan because their flocks and herds were so large that their herdsmen were quarrelling. But after they divided the land in this way, God spoke to Abram again, promised the whole land to his descendants, and added ‘I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth; so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted’. Two chapters later, in chapter fifteen, God reaffirmed this promise, telling Abram that his heir would not be his slave but a son born of his own body.

Ten years went by from the time of God’s original promise. There was no sign of a pregnancy, Abram was now eighty-five and Sarai wasn’t much younger. Imagine the desolation in their hearts. Perhaps they said to each other, ‘We’d accepted our situation, but then God made us these promises. Why did he have to stir up all these false hopes? It would have been better if he’d left us alone’.

Eventually they decided God needed a little help. The promise said that the child would be Abram’s, but it didn’t specifically mention Sarai. There was a common custom in those parts for childless women to offer their slave girls to their husbands to bear children for them; these children would then be counted as belonging to the mistress of the house. So Sarai offered her slave-girl Hagar to Abram, and she bore him a son, who he called Ishmael.

When Abram reached the age of ninety-nine God again spoke to him, reaffirmed his promise to him, and told him that nations and kings were going to be descended from him. He gave Abram and Sarai new names – Abraham and Sarah – and gave Abraham the sign of circumcision as the seal of God’s covenant with him and his descendants. And then, for the first time, he specifically mentioned that Sarah would be the mother of the covenant child. Abraham laughed in disbelief when he heard this, but God assured him that it would be done.

And so we come to today’s story. God visits Abraham and Sarah and assures them again that they will have a son named Isaac. It’s Sarah’s turn to laugh, but the last laugh is on her. Sure enough, wrinkled old Sarah finds she’s pregnant, and does indeed bear a son, Isaac. The quarter century promise has become a reality. The word ‘impossible’ has no meaning for God, and nothing is too wonderful for the Lord to do.

God’s timing is very different from ours. How do you tell God, who lives outside of time, that he’s late? Let me tell you a story about this from my own experience. This story is like Abram and Sarai’s story in that it isn’t about a prayer that I prayed and that God took a long time to answer. Rather, it’s about something that I understood as being God’s initiative, but that seemed to take a long time to be fulfilled.

Some of you know that I began my ministry as a member of an Anglican organisation called the Church Army, which is sort of like the Salvation Army only a lot smaller. I was commissioned as a Church Army officer in May of 1978. Now as a Church Army officer I could have been involved in lots of different kinds of work – missions to seamen, youth work, prison chaplaincies and so on – but in fact I spent almost all my time with the Church Army in ordinary parish churches, where I could do everything except the sacraments – baptism and Holy Communion.

Very early on in my ministry – some time in 1980, I think – I began to have the sense that God was calling me to ordination. The recognised route, of course, was to go back to seminary and take a degree, but I had a young family and didn’t feel too good about that idea. Still, I couldn’t shake the conviction that God was calling me to ordination. So eventually I talked with my bishop about it, and he arranged for me to leave my parish in the summer of 1983 and move to Saskatoon to go to the college of Emmanuel and St. Chad.

Early in 1983 Marci and I went to Emmanuel and St. Chad to have a look around, and then something extraordinary happened. It was one of the few times in my life when I’ve experienced absolute certainty about God’s guidance. I walked through the doors of that seminary and I knew that it was not right. No matter what I did, I couldn’t shake that conviction. So I went back to my bishop and asked for my letter of resignation back again! He was very gracious and understanding, and I continued in ministry, wondering what God had next for our family.

What God had next turned out to be an invitation from Bishop Jack Sperry to move to the Diocese of the Arctic, and so in 1984 we went to Aklavik. There, once again, I became aware of that quiet call to ordination, and eventually mentioned it to Bishop Sperry, along with my reservations about the seminary route and the story of my last attempt to enter it. When Bishop Sperry moved us to Holman in 1988 he started me on an extension course, but he also mentioned his view that my years of parish experience as a Church Army captain were worth a great deal in his eyes, and he wasn’t tied to the idea of me waiting for years to get a degree before ordination. And so it came about that in October of 1990 Bishop Sperry ordained me as a deacon.

Not too long after that our family moved south again, to Valleyview. I was still a deacon and my ordination to the priesthood was at the discretion of my new bishop. At first it seemed as if this was in question – not everyone was in agreement with Bishop Sperry’s assessment of my qualifications – but eventually the road blocks were removed and in May of 1992 I was ordained as a priest.

This ordination happened twelve years after my initial sense of God’s call. But God’s timing was perfect, and so was the route he chose for me. Instead of disrupting our family with the seminary experience I was able to go on in parish ministry, learning on the job as the early disciples did, while continuing my studies by correspondence to the level where my bishops were satisfied. There were many times during those twelve years when I wondered whether God’s call was ever going to become a reality, but in God’s time and in God’s way, it did happen.

Our reading today emphasises this issue of timing. In 21:2 we read ‘Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the time of which God had spoken to him’. Why was this twenty-five year wait between promise and fulfilment so important to God? We can only speculate on the answer. Perhaps God wanted to teach Abraham and Sarah to have faith for the long haul. Perhaps, by delaying the birth until they were both even older than when he first spoke to them, he wanted to emphasise that the beginnings of Israel were supernatural. Whatever God’s reasons, his timing was perfect.

But we need to be honest here. In my ordination story, and in the story of Abraham and Sarah and their longing for a child, there was a happy ending. The wait was long, but in the end things came out right. And sometimes that does happen, and we need to rejoice in those times and tell those stories, to encourage each other and build up each other’s faith.

But we also need to honour the stories that do not have a happy ending. As surely as Abraham and Sarah rejoiced in their little son Isaac, just as surely we know that all over the world hundreds of childless couples never have that joy. Thousands of refugee parents pray that God will give their kids a better world to live in, and they never see that world come about. Thousands of Christian parents pray that God will bring their kids back to Christ, and yet they don’t see an answer to that prayer. Sometimes those people feel that in the church they can’t tell their stories; they feel guilty about them, as if it’s somehow their fault, and they don’t want to hurt other people’s faith by recounting times when it seems that God has failed.

The Bible is a fundamentally honest book, and in the Bible those stories are honoured – not just in the psalms, but in other places too. As I said last week, some of God’s promises to Abraham were not fulfilled in his lifetime. God said that he would give the whole land of Canaan to Abraham and his descendants, but when he died the only thing Abraham owned was a burial plot for his wife. It wasn’t until four hundred years later that this part of the promise was fulfilled. Abraham never saw it. And in the New Testament the writer to the Hebrews has this to say about Abraham and Sarah:
‘All of these died in faith, without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland…But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them’ (Hebrews 11:13-14, 16).

That’s the reality of what John Stott calls “being caught between the ‘now’ and the ‘not yet’”. Now we see God’s purposes fulfilled in part, but not yet do we see them brought to completion. We receive a certain amount of deliverance from sin and sickness; we see justice and peace established in some places on earth, but never perfectly. There’s still a ‘not yet’ ahead for us, and some things have to wait for that ‘not yet’ to arrive.

It takes faith for us to believe that God can intervene and change a situation that is too big for us. It takes faith to keep hoping and praying and trusting that he will do so, despite the fact that years have passed and the prayer doesn’t seem to have been answered. It takes faith to continue to walk with God, whether the answer comes or not, trusting that huge parts of life are a mystery to us and some things will be beyond our understanding until the day we see God faced to face. In one of his old songs Bruce Coskburn says
Some of us live and some of us die;
Some day God’s going to tell us why.
Some day – but not yet. While we wait for that day to come, we continue to cry to God in the words of the psalms, and we continue to hang onto the hope that he has put in us, the hope that one day God’s kingdom will come and God’s will be done on earth as in heaven, and on that day all tears will be wiped away and all dreams fulfilled. While we wait for that day, let’s pray that God will give us the courage and faith to continue to be faithful to him through the ups and downs of life in this messy world, ‘looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God’ (Hebrews 12:2).

Monday, June 9, 2008

June 9th - 15th 2008

Monday, June 9th
Office Closed & Tim’s Day Off
1.30 pm Afternoon Bible Study

Tuesday, June 10th
11.15 am St. Joseph’s Eucharist

Thursday, June 12th
7-8 am Women’s Bible Study @ Bogani Café. See Catherine Ripley for more information.
7-8 am Men’s Bible Study @ Bogani Café. See Tim Chesterton for information.
Tim’s Sermon preparation day.

Saturday, June 14th
6.30 BBQ at Stan & Elaine Gerber’s (see insert for details and directions)

Sunday, June 15th - Pentecost 4
‘HAVE YOUR CAR WASHED BY THE YOUTH WHILE YOU WORSHIP.'
9.00 am Eucharist
10.30 am Eucharist & Sunday School

Growing Prayer @ St. Margaret’s

Church Families:
• Doug MacNeill
• Les & Peggy Major

Weekly Prayer Cycle: Confirmation Candidates:- Morgan & Taylor Cromarty, Arielle Betty, Brittany & Drew Aasen & Linda Sanderson.

Summer Roster - Please let Nicky in the office know if you will be away this summer and are usually on the 10.30am roster. Thanks.


St. Margaret’s News

WIN HOUSE TOTAL AS OF 1st June - $3448.00
MOBILE CLINIC TOTAL AS OF 1st June - $6453.00

Support Our Youth Group - "St. Margaret's Youth Group joined 16,000 young Christians from across Western Canada last weekend at Rexall for YC Alberta. The theme of this year's conference was Passion and there was lots of great music, teaching, and worship over the entire weekend. We didn't know until very late that we would be able to get tickets to this sold out event, so we are doing our fundraising to cover the $835 cost of the weekend AFTER rather than before. Living by faith, I believe is the term.

In the month of June, you will have an opportunity to support your St. Margaret's youth by buying a hot dog lunch after church on Sunday 8th June and, weather permitting, we hope to offer a car "wash while you worship" on Sunday 15th June. Thank you in advance for your support!"

Wanted: One nursery supervisor. Responsible for organizing the nursery environment and nursery workers. If you like small children and are a good organizer, this may be the job for you. Anyone who is interested should call Michelle Lobreau at 469-1702.

Vestry would like to begin a discussion about how we can make both the interior and exterior of our church building and grounds more inviting and welcoming for newcomers. As a first step toward this we would like to gather a small group of interested people to share ideas. If you would like to be part of this group, please contact Tim or any other vestry member.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sermon for Pentecost 4: Genesis 12:1-9

What Does Faith Look Like?

“Having faith means believing something that you know isn’t true!” That famous definition was reportedly given many years ago by a schoolboy in a religion class. I expect that most of you here would disagree with it, but that disagreement then begs the question: What do we mean by ‘faith’?

It’s still a common word, isn’t it? We hear phrases like ‘faith-based initiatives’ and ‘faith groups’ and ‘people of faith’ and so on. Sometimes people talk about ‘The Christian Faith’ or ‘The Jewish Faith’ or ‘The Muslim Faith’. Used in that way, the word ‘faith’ is just another way of saying ‘religion’; we could just as easily say, ‘The Christian Religion’, except that ‘religion’ has become a bad word for a lot of people, so we like to avoid it if we can.

Some organisations have ‘statements of faith’ – that is to say, lists of things that they believe. In order to be a part of the organisation you have to agree with their statement of faith. On this understanding, ‘having faith’ means believing certain things to be true: perhaps the Apostles’ Creed, or one of the statements of faith that was drawn up by different church groups in the sixteenth century.

But in the Bible, the word ‘faith’ doesn’t usually describe a particular religious tradition, or a list of beliefs. Rather, it’s a relational word. A person who has faith is a person who is in a relationship with God, a relationship of trust and obedience. They trust that God is faithful and good and generous; they trust God to help them and guide them, and because of their trust, they do their best to live in obedience to God’s wise directions. And the Old Testament character who is sometimes held up as an example of this sort of faith is Abraham, or Abram as he was called at first. As we look at the beginning of his story today, in Genesis 12, let’s see what we can discover about faith.

The first thing we can learn about faith from Abram is that Faith has to do with possibilities. In the chapter immediately before today’s reading we find this discouraging piece of information about Abram’s wife Sarai: ‘Now Sarai was barren: she had no child’ (Genesis 11:30). In other words - from the point of view of the ancient people who attached such great importance to having descendants - the history of this little family was going nowhere. It had reached a dead end.

In fact, that might well have been God’s verdict on the whole of human history to that point, as recorded in the first eleven chapters of Genesis: it was barren, it was going nowhere. God had created a good earth, but human sin had spoiled it. These chapters spell out for us the spread of evil on earth, from the first disobedience in the Garden of Eden, to the murder of Abel by his brother Cain, to the evil that led to the Flood, to the pride and wilfulness that led people to build the Tower of Babel. This was all turning out very differently from the way that God had planned it. How could it possibly be changed? It seemed impossible – as impossible as the idea of wrinkled old Sarai having a child! But faith has to do with possibilities, not impossibilities, because, as the angel said to Mary before she gave birth to Jesus, ‘Nothing will be impossible with God’ (Luke 1:37).

Years ago when our family lived in Aklavik I did the baptism of the youngest child of Arnold and Barbara. Arnold never came to church, and neither of them seemed too interested in the Christian faith. In fact, I thought that the only reason they were having their baby baptised was because of pressure from the grandparents! I wasn’t expecting much fruit from that situation; they weren’t interested, and it seemed pretty impossible to me that that was going to change any time soon. But to my surprise, after I left Aklavik I heard that both Barbara and Arnold had made a fresh commitment of their lives to Christ, and a little later I heard that Arnold was training to be a lay reader. Talk about a rebuke for my lack of faith! God had taken what seemed to be a barren situation and brought fruit from it.

Faith means trusting that God’s purposes will be accomplished and that the power of evil will not be able to stand in God’s way. It means believing the message of the angel to Mary: ‘Nothing will be impossible with God’. Faith has to do with possibilities.

The second thing we learn is that faith has to do with the promises of God. Look at Genesis 12:1-3:
Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed’.
Can’t you hear Abram’s heart beating faster as he listens to these words? No more barrenness! He’s going to be the father of a great nation, and his name is going to be famous all around the world. God is going to bless him, and that blessing is going to spread from him to all the families of the earth. Abram heard these promises of God and believed them.

At least, he believed them at first. However, hanging on to that faith turned out to be harder than Abram expected. He was seventy-five at the time, and Sarai wasn’t much younger. No doubt even then he knew how slim the chances were of Sarai having a child, but as the years went by it got less and less likely. Abram must have felt like God had him ‘on hold’ permanently, because it wasn’t until twenty-four years had passed that Sarai finally gave birth to their son Isaac. Imagine all the ups and downs of Abram and Sarai’s faith during those twenty four years.

I wonder if you know about those long-haul faith situations? On Tuesday and Wednesday this past week I was at a stewardship conference with some Mennonite pastors. Of course, there was a lot more going on than stewardship education; pastors tend to be an isolated bunch, and these conferences are always precious times of getting together and encouraging each other. One of the pastors, who is about to retire, was sharing over lunch how he and his wife have prayed for years for their children, who have lurched from one crisis to another and most of whom have not been very interested in following Christ. But in the last year or two, things have taken a dramatic turnaround; several of their children have begun to explore faith again and have begun to participate in Christian community. The pastor shared particularly about one of his sons who for many years had no interest in Christ, but who now calls his parents almost every day to ask them to pray for him about specific things. This son lives in Toronto; lately his Mom has sent him a daily devotional book, and parents and son are reading the same devotional book each day and then talking to each other on the phone about it.

There have been times in the past forty years that faith has seemed a long haul for my pastor friend and his wife, but they’ve hung in there, have kept praying for their kids and loving them, and now it seems that the time has come and prayers are being answered. I’m sure that’s how Abram and Sarai must have felt too when God finally gave them the miracle child, Isaac, after twenty-four years of clinging to the promise.

Of course, some of the things that were promised to Abram’s family in these verses were still in the future when Abram died – he never saw them with his own eyes. He was promised that his family would inherit this whole land, but at his death the only piece of land he owned was a burial ground he’d purchased so he could bury his wife. The New Testament letter to the Hebrews, referring to Abram and some of the other Old Testament saints, has this to say:
‘All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one’ (Hebrews 11:23-26).
We Christians are in a similar situation to these Old Testament saints. We know that there are some things – like perfect physical health, or perfect holiness - we will never receive until we see the Lord face to face. And so we’ve set our faith for the long haul. This is not just a short-term operation. We have to pass through years of walking in the way of Jesus, and all the time we have to keep our eyes on the promises of God, and not give up our hope.

So we’ve seen that faith has to do with possibilities, and that faith has to do with the promises of God. The third thing we discover from these verses is that faith shows itself in obedience. Abram heard God’s promises, and also God’s call, and he obeyed; he left his father’s family and all that was dear and familiar to him, and he set out on a journey to – well, where to? God didn’t even tell him where he was going, but Abram knew God well enough to know that when God says ‘go’, you go – and you can trust him to handle the fallout.

Genuine faith shows itself in obedience. This is often a costly obedience. Abram had to leave behind all that he knew so well and loved so much. Excavation has shown us that Haran was a prosperous city at that time with a highly developed culture and a comfortable lifestyle. No doubt Abram shared in that lifestyle, but God was calling him to leave all this behind and take up the life of a nomad. It was to be a life of wandering that continued until he died. Never again would he be able to call a plot of land ‘my own’ – with the sole exception of that burial ground.

When Peter wrote his first letter, he addressed it ‘…to those of God’s scattered people who lodge for a while in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia’ (1 Peter 1:1 NEB). ‘Who lodge for a while’ – what a telling phrase that is! Is that how you see your life – as a temporary lodging on the way to a more permanent home in God’s kingdom? Colin Bazley was an Anglican bishop in Chile. He was born and ordained in England, and before moving to Chile he worked for three years in a dockyard parish in Liverpool. His bishop said to him and his wife Barbara “I’ll know you’re serious about going to South America when I see the kind of furniture you buy to use until you go. If it’s grand, long- lasting, expensive stuff – I know you won’t want to leave it”. Are we ready to take up the challenge of this costly obedience in our own lives? Jesus calls us to a simple life, uncluttered with lots of expensive possessions, in which we focus on God and his kingdom. Abram was willing to make that commitment in faith, trusting in the promise he heard from God.

This was not only costly, it was also a continuing, long-term obedience. Even after he arrived in Canaan, Abram was not done journeying. He continued to move about from place to place as God directed him, and everywhere he went he built an altar and called on the name of the Lord.

Eugene Peterson has a book entitled A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. It’s easy for us to be obedient for a while, when we’re excited about God or when he’s done something really dramatic in our lives. But what about when the glow has gone, when God seems far away and we wonder whether he ever did seem real to us, or whether it was only our imagination? Are we going to obey then? This of course is the real test of our faith. C.S. Lewis has a book called The Screwtape Letters in which he imagines a senior devil giving advice to a junior devil on the art of temptation. In one passage Screwtape, the senior devil, says this to his nephew Wormwood:
‘Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do (God’s) will, looks around on a universe from which every trace of (God) seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys’.
‘Faith without works is dead’, says James. True faith always expresses itself in obedience.

Paul had the same spirit as Abram when he wrote these words:
‘So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord – for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him’ (2 Corinthians 5:6-9).

Those who live by faith see life in terms of possibilities – because nothing is impossible with God. Those who live by faith rest on the promises of God, even though at times the fulfilment of those promises seems to be a long time coming. Those who live by faith live a costly, long-term obedience to God’s commands. This is the way Abram lived. This is what a life of faith looks like. Let’s pray that the Holy Spirit will help us to trust the God Abraham trusted, and, because of our trust, to live in obedience to him.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Sermon for Pentecost 3: Genesis 6-9

Sorry this one is late being posted; I was at a conference for the first part of the week and then had lots of catching up to do!

T.


How God Deals with Evil


A few years ago I read a novel entitled The Way to Heaven, which is based on true stories of the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia in the 1990’s. Several of the religious characters in the novel – both Christian and Muslim – speak of losing their faith in God as a result of the things that were happening around them. It isn’t hard to understand why they would feel this way. After all, they saw houses burned down with the people trapped inside; they saw young girls being raped, people being tortured and mutilated for no other crime than their ethnic origin, prison camp atrocities and many other awful things. It’s natural in this kind of situation for people of faith to cry out to God and plead, “Do something! Stop this evil! Help us!” And when the evil is not stopped and no help seems to come, we can understand how easy it would be to abandon all faith in a loving God at all.

We human beings have an instinctive longing for an instantly moral universe. We want a world in which evil actions are obviously and visibly punished and good actions obviously and visibly rewarded, a world in which Adolf Hitler would be supernaturally restrained before he started his atrocities and Mother Teresa would supernaturally receive millions of dollars to fund her work – all without any violation of human free will being involved. If the world were like that, we reason, it would be so much easier to believe in God. But I suspect that, if God were a human being like us and we were to demand that he modify the universe, so that evil was instantly punished and good instantly rewarded, he might reply: “I tried that once and it didn’t work. Look at the story of Noah”.

The tale of Noah and the Ark is probably one of the best-known stories in the Bible. God looks out on the world he has created and is grieved at the wickedness of his human creation. So God decides to wipe them out and start over again. He finds the one righteous man in the whole world, Noah, and decides to make his family the nucleus of his fresh start. So he tells Noah to build a boat, gives him specific instructions about its architecture, and sends him off around the countryside to persuade two of every kind of animal on earth to join him in the boat. When the time comes, Noah and his family and all the animals are shut in the boat, and rain falls on the earth for forty days. Every living thing on earth is wiped out, except for Noah and the people and animals with him in the ark.

After a while the floodwaters start to go down, and then comes the famous story of how Noah sends out birds to figure out if there’s any dry land around. Eventually a dove brings him a freshly plucked olive branch in its beak, and that tips him off that the waters are almost gone. Finally, after one hundred and fifty days, the Ark comes to rest on Mount Ararat, and its inhabitants emerge into a new world, apparently successfully cleansed of sin and evil, ready to start all over again.

Notice I said ‘apparently cleansed of sin and evil’. On the face of it, God’s plan seems to have been a success - the wicked have been wiped out, and God can now start all over again with the righteous family of Noah. But if you look a little more closely at the text, it isn’t that simple. Back at the beginning of the story, before the flood, we read that ‘The Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually’ (6:5). But now look at Genesis 8:21, which comes after the flood when the only human beings left alive are Noah and his family. Here we read that ‘the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth”’. Which human hearts is God describing here? Well, the only ones left are Noah and his family! So evil has not been successfully wiped out after all; even in the righteous family it is still present! To completely wipe out evil, God would have to wipe out the entire human race!

And so God gives a dramatic promise. In the original language in which the Old Testament was written the word ‘bow’ is as ambiguous as it is in English. It can mean a rainbow, and it can also mean a bow used in war or hunting. So what does God mean when he says in today’s reading “I have set my bow in the clouds” (9:13)? It means he’s set aside his weapon of war - he’s hung it up! No longer is he going to make war on his creation as he did with the flood. As long as the world exists, he will never again attempt to eradicate evil by destroying all life on the planet. Rather, he says, “I will never again curse the ground because of humankind...As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease” (8:21-22).

So what is this story saying to us about God, and the way God deals with evil? Let me suggest three things to you this morning.

First, God has decided not to run the world on the basis of instant morality - that is to say, sin is not instantly punished and righteousness is not instantly rewarded. Rather, God has decided to hold off on judgement, because he wants every human being to have an opportunity to repent and return to him.

You may remember that Jesus told a story about this once. He said that there was once a farmer who planted a field of wheat. However, he had an enemy, and that enemy came in the night and planted a bunch of weeds among the wheat. When the plants began to grow, it became obvious what had happened, and the farmer’s foreman came to him and asked, “Do you want us to go and pull up all the weeds?” The farmer replied “No - the plants are too close to each other for that. If you pull up all the weeds you’ll pull up the wheat as well. Let them grow together until the harvest time, and then we’ll pull them all”. So that’s what happened; the plants grew together, and when harvest came the workers pulled them all up, tossed out the weeds and put the wheat into the granaries.

That’s what the world is like, Jesus is saying. It’s not divided into good people and evil people; what we see is good and evil together in every human heart. And God doesn’t want to destroy the good with the evil. He’s like a teacher supervising an exam; he feels for his students and doesn’t want to declare “Time’s up!” until he’s absolutely sure they’ve had all the time they need to do what’s required of them.

Jesus’ teaching in this parable makes a real difference in the way we view the continuing presence of evil in the world. Right now people tend to see it in one of two ways; either it means that God is not strong enough to eradicate evil, or it means that he doesn’t love his creation enough to do anything about it. But the story of God’s covenant with Noah encourages us to take another view, seeing the continuing presence of evil in the world as testimony to God’s patience and love for his wayward human children. Yes, God hates evil intensely, because it destroys his good plan for his world. However, he loves his human creations even more intensely and does not want any of them to perish, but would rather that all should come to repentance. And so God permits the continuing existence of evil; that is to say, he does not immediately punish us when we commit acts of evil, because he loves us and wants to give us time to turn from our sin and come back to him.

Now if God is going to do this, it is going to involve a lot of pain for God. Patience and forgiveness always involve pain. When I forgive someone who has hurt me, what I’m saying is “I will not take this pain out on you in acts of vengeance; rather, I will accept the pain of your actions, and I will reply to you with love and acceptance”.

And this leads us to our second learning from this passage: rather than make us suffer for the evil we do, God has found a way to take that suffering on himself. This is how God acts throughout the pages of the Bible, but of course this theme finds its highest fulfilment in the New Testament, where we read about Jesus giving his life as a sacrifice for the sin of the whole world, in order to reconcile us to God. Here, supremely, God came and lived among us in Jesus, and God accepted on his own shoulders the consequences of all the evil ever committed by the human race. We took the human Jesus, who was the embodiment of God’s love for us, and nailed him to a cruel cross, and his response was not to judge us or destroy us, but rather to pray “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”.

There’s a wonderful picture in the Book of Revelation that relates to this. In the fifth chapter everyone in heaven is weeping because no one can open the seals of the scroll of history. Then one of the elders says, “Do not weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals”. ‘Lion of the tribe of Judah’ is a name for Jesus, and when you hear him described in those terms as a conqueror, you almost get the idea that God has taken his bow down from the sky and started to use it again! But what happens next? John says, “Then I saw between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders a Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered”. This is the conquering Lion! How did Jesus conquer evil? Not by punishing it, but by taking it upon himself and dying as the Lamb of God. In doing this he made a way back to God for all people for all time, and so the power of evil to separate us from God was broken forever. That is how God triumphs over evil in the Bible - not by the sword, but by the Cross.

What is God doing in this world full of evil? Scripture tells us, firstly, that he is withholding his judgement because he wants to give everyone an opportunity to turn back to him, and secondly, that he has come among us himself in Jesus and suffered on his own shoulders, on the cross, the consequences of human evil and wrongdoing. The third thing he is doing is this: God is waiting patiently for us to take advantage of his grace by returning to him.

I think it was when I saw Dead Poets’ Society that I first heard that phrase ‘Carpe Diem’ - ‘Seize the day!’ In other words, take full advantage of the opportunities that have been given to you; live your life to the full, without wasting a second.

Apparently the other people around in Noah’s day did not take this message to heart. In 2 Peter 2:5 Noah is referred to as ‘a preacher of righteousness’, but apparently his contemporaries did not take his preaching to heart. Instead they went merrily on their way, living as they had always lived, until the day came when, as Bill Cosby would say, they learned exactly how long they could tread water!

Well, the same opportunity has now been given to people today. In 2 Peter 3:9 we read: ‘The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance’. In other words, we aren’t to read God’s patience and forgiveness as if he was giving us permission to live any way we like! Far from it! Rather, they are signs of his deep longing that we should come back to him, in repentance and faith, putting our trust in Jesus and resolving to follow him faithfully with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Let’s go around this one last time. God’s promise to Noah at the end of the flood story tells us how God deals with evil today. He has decided not to wipe out evil people, because we’re all a mixture of good and bad, and if God were to wipe out all evil from the earth at present, none of us would survive. Instead, through Jesus, God has made a way for all people to be forgiven and to come to him for a fresh start. People will be given all the time they need to take advantage of this opportunity, but we shouldn’t waste time doing it either. After all, Psalm 95 says ‘O that today you would listen to his voice’ - not tomorrow, but today!

This is God’s plan for dealing with evil in the world today: he wants to eliminate it one heart at a time, as people come to faith in him, turn away from sin and learn the way of Jesus. And we Christians have a role in this plan.

In the Middle Ages, Christendom went on crusade against Islam. But one Christian had a different vision. St. Francis of Assisi went to the Muslim world, not with a sword but with the love of Christ. He made friends and built relationships with individual Muslims, including the Sultan; not surprisingly, they were far more ready to listen to Francis than they were to the crusaders!

One wonders how different the world situation would be today if Christendom in the Middle Ages had followed Francis’ strategy, rather than the militaristic plan of the crusades. Francis understood how God works today: reaching out in love to all people, spreading the Gospel story in word and action, and inviting people to return to him and learn the Way of Jesus. The best way we can overcome evil in the world today is to get on side with God and help him in this task.

Monday, June 2, 2008

June 2nd - 8th 2008

Monday, June 2nd
Office Closed & Tim’s Day Off
1.30 pm Afternoon Bible Study

Tim will be away Tuesday and Wednesday this week at a stewardship conference. He will be back in the office Thursday morning.

Thursday, June 5th
7-8 am Women’s Bible Study @ Bogani Café. See Catherine Ripley for more information.
7-8 am Men’s Bible Study @ Bogani Café. See Tim Chesterton for information.
Tim’s Sermon preparation day.

Saturday, June 7th
Youth Evening

Sunday, June 8th - Pentecost 4
9.00 am Eucharist
10.30 am Eucharist & Sunday School
12.00 pm Planning Meeting for 2008-9 Social Calendar
12.00 pm HOT DOG LUNCH

Growing Prayer @ St. Margaret’s

Church Families:
• Tom Levang
• Michelle, Drew & Katrina Lobreau

Weekly Prayer Cycle: Lawn Maintenance & Gardeners


Summer Roster - Please let Nicky in the office know if you will be away this summer and are usually on the 10.30am roster. Thanks.


St. Margaret’s News

WIN HOUSE TOTAL AS OF 25th MAY - $3058.00
MOBILE CLINIC TOTAL AS OF 25th MAY - $6443.00

Planning Meeting - for the 2008-9 Social Calendar. Sunday June 8th at Noon.

Youth evening: Saturday June 7th. Join us as we go to see the 'Prince Caspian' movie, and then go over to the Bettys' afterwards for a discussion about YC. Please let Tim Chesterton, Rob Betty or Chris Aasen know as soon as possible if you'll be attending.

Support Our Youth Group - "St. Margaret's Youth Group joined 16,000 young Christians from across Western Canada last weekend at Rexall for YC Alberta. The theme of this year's conference was Passion and there was lots of great music, teaching, and worship over the entire weekend. We didn't know until very late that we would be able to get tickets to this sold out event, so we are doing our fundraising to cover the $835 cost of the weekend AFTER rather than before. Living by faith, I believe is the term.

In the month of June, you will have an opportunity to support your St. Margaret's youth by buying a hot dog lunch after church on Sunday 8th June and, weather permitting, we hope to offer a car "wash while you worship" on Sunday 15th June. Thank you in advance for your support!"

Wanted: One nursery supervisor. Responsible for organizing the nursery environment and nursery workers. If you like small children and are a good organizer, this may be the job for you. Anyone who is interested should call Michelle Lobreau.

Vestry would like to begin a discussion about how we can make both the interior and exterior of our church building and grounds more inviting and welcoming for newcomers. As a first step toward this we would like to gather a small group of interested people to share ideas. If you would like to be part of this group, please contact Tim or any other vestry member.