Monday, September 27, 2010

Sermon for September 26th: 'Why is My Life Important?'

Nine Big Questions #1 ‘In the Big Scheme of Things, Why is My Life Important?’

A minister friend of mine was once leading a group for people who were inquiring into the Christian faith, and at some point early in the first meeting of the group he asked them about the role that God played in their lives. One of the members made this reply: “The way I figure it, God’s got a lot of things to worry about – earthquakes, and famines, and wars, and AIDS, and global warming and all that stuff. My little concerns probably aren’t very significant to him. In fact, the best thing I can do for God is probably to stay out of his way”.

The man was not being facetious; he genuinely had difficulty believing that, in the great big scheme of things, the mundane concerns of his life were all that important. And if that is the case for a person who believes in the existence of God, how much more for a person who has no such faith? Why is their life important? Why is my life important?

Until fairly recently in human history, we human beings have believed that we were the point of the story of our planet; the whole story of life on earth was leading up to us, and we had the manifest destiny of subduing the earth and using it to better our own lives. But the advances in scientific knowledge over the past two centuries have given us a very different view. Most scientists now believe that the universe came into existence as the result of a big bang over fourteen billion years ago, and that our earth did not come into existence until about nine billion years later. Our earth appears to be about 4.5 billion years old, and we human beings have been around for a tiny fraction of that time.

Sometimes this is illustrated in terms of a twenty-four hour clock. Suppose the entire 4.5 billion year history of our planet had been compressed into one twenty-four hour day? What would the proportions be like? Well, if the earth was formed at 12.01 a.m., then the earliest forms of life would appear at about 3.30 a.m. After a long day of slow progression to multicellular organisms, the enormous diversification of life that scientists call the Cambrian explosion would finally occur at about 9 p.m. – twenty-one hours into the twenty-four hour day. A bit later on, dinosaurs would appear and would roam the earth until they became extinct at 11.40 p.m., with twenty minutes left in the day, at which time mammals would start to become dominant.

The divergence of the evolutionary branches leading to chimpanzees and humans would occur at one minute and seventeen seconds before midnight. Anatomically modern humans would arrive with just three seconds left, and the life of a middle-aged human today would occupy only the last one thousandth of a second.

In this scheme of things, how can my little life possibly be of any significance? From the point of view of an atheist or agnostic, my life is the result of a long series of accidents. If an asteroid hadn’t struck the earth 65 million years ago, the chances are pretty strong that the first intelligent life to emerge would have been reptilian rather than human – in other words, that reptiles rather than mammals would have continued to dominate the earth. By a long series of accidents, mutations appeared in the DNA of our ancestors; those mutations were found by natural selection to be more conducive to the survival of our gene pool. And so the whole process of evolution progressed without any grand scheme or divine plan. Any sense of my own personal significance is purely subjective; my life might be important to me and to those who love me, but it’s not important in any objective view of the story of life in the universe. Sooner or later our sun will cool, the lights will go out, life on earth will end, and we’ll all be forgotten.

This is the view of the so-called ‘new atheists’ – Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and others like them. However, they - and people who believe as they do - don’t seem to be able to live consistently with the logical consequences of this point of view. For one thing, they all seem to have a pretty well-developed sense of ethics and morality, but if the emergence of life on earth is accidental and my life as an individual is insignificant, then surely it doesn’t really matter in any objective way whether or not I live my life according to a set of moral laws? The idea of human rights, which seems to be important to all of them, doesn’t make a great deal of sense if this is all just an accident, without a Creator to give significance to the individual human beings who are the subject of those rights. And if we’re all just a random accident, what’s the significance of beauty and justice and truth and love?

Interestingly enough, in recent years science itself has been giving us clues that there might be a purpose behind the universe after all. Let me tell you about ‘the anthropic principle’. Briefly stated, the anthropic principle is based on the observation that there are a number of fascinating coincidences about the development of the universe, and of life in the universe – coincidences that seem to lead purposefully to the emergence of human life. These coincidences include things like the fact that, in the earliest milliseconds after the big bang, the symmetry between matter and antimatter was not quite precise; for about every billion pairs of quarks and antiquarks, there was an extra quark. If that asymmetry had not been there, the universe would never have been formed. And why was it there? It would seem more natural for there to be a perfect symmetry – as there almost was.

There are other examples of this kind of thing. There’s the fact that the universe expanded at precisely the rate necessary for stars and planets to form. There’s the fact that the nuclear force that holds neutrons and protons together was exactly right for the formation of stars and for the formation of carbon, which is essential to life on earth as we know it. Altogether there are fifteen physical constants which seem to be tuned just right for the development of the universe and of human life. Was all this an accident? Many modern scientists believe that the probability that this all happened by chance is infinitesimally small.

So the idea that a good and loving God has purposely designed this universe to be our home seems to make a lot more sense these days. And the fact that we human beings have only been around for the tiniest part of the history of this planet doesn’t mean that the moment of our emergence wasn’t important in God’s plan. After all, in most of Jane Austen’s romance novels the hero doesn’t tell the heroine that he loves her until the last ten pages, but there’s absolutely no doubt that the whole point of the four hundred previous pages has been to bring the story to that moment!

And so we come back to the authors of Genesis. We know far more about the creation of the universe now than they did, but that doesn’t mean that they didn’t know a thing or two as well. Their statement, ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’ (Genesis 1:1), still seems to make a lot of sense, even with all the scientific knowledge we have today. Their poetic account of the formation of the universe reads more like a hymn of praise than a science textbook, and when we understand it as a hymn of praise it doesn’t conflict with what we know from science about the emergence of life on this planet. And then, toward the end of the chapter, we read these words:

‘So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them’ (Genesis 1:27).

Biblical scholars have discussed the meaning of this phrase ‘made in God’s image’ for centuries. Obviously it isn’t a physical image; we know that God doesn’t have a body as we do, and that biblical language about God’s strong arm and the finger of God and so on is purely metaphorical. So what does it mean to be made in God’s image? Many suggestions have been made. God is a creator, and as creatures made in his image we also have the ability to imagine and create things using the materials he has made. God has a sense of right and wrong and he has communicated it to us in our conscience so that we will know instinctively the sort of life he designed us for. God has free will – he isn’t a prisoner of instinct, as many of the animals seem to be – and he has also given us that free will so that we can make significant choices about the lives we’re going to live. God is love, and he has granted us the ability to give and receive love as well.

These are all suggestions that have been made, and I’m sure that they are all true. But I think another illuminating suggestion comes from reading a few chapters further on in Genesis, where exactly the same language is used about a human being. Genesis 5:3 says, ‘When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth’. In other words, the language about being ‘made in the image of God’ is parental language. And we can easily grasp this; after all, most of us do share the image and likeness of our parents, both in terms of our physical appearance and in terms of our personality traits. To say that we are made in the image of God is to say that we are the children of God and that God is not only our creator but also our parent – our ‘Father’, as we say in the Lord’s Prayer.

And this leads us even further. Yes, the Bible seems to be teaching us that the human race is important to God, and science seems to agree, given the clues scientists have discovered in the ‘anthropic principle’. But am I important to God? After all, there are currently six billion of us on this planet; does God know each of us individually, or are we just some sort of collective to him?

The idea of God as a parent helps answer that question for me. I have four children, and they like to joke about how, when they were growing up in a house that also included two cats and a dog, I would often get the names wrong when I was calling one of them. I’d go down the list: ‘Sarah – Cali - Matthew – Ben – Leah – Nick – Jacqui – that’s the right one!’ I’m sure I’m not the only parent who’s ever done this! But if you were to draw the conclusion that we can’t tell our kids apart (or tell them from the pets!), you’d be seriously mistaken. We know each of our kids and their different personality traits, and we love each of them as individuals, not just as members of a collective.

This is the incredible good news that Jesus brings us. Yes, God is an awesome God, far beyond anything we can imagine. Any metaphor we can use for God is only a metaphor, and we need to constantly remind ourselves of that. Our minds are too small and limited to be able to conceive of God in any way that is remotely adequate. And yet – Jesus assures us that this awesome God calls each of us his children, and knows us so well that he even knows how many hairs we have on our heads. One of the favourite metaphors for God in the Bible is the shepherd, and in John 10 Jesus says of the good shepherd, ‘He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out’ (John 10:3). Incredible but true – God knows your name.

One of the other shepherd stories in the Bible is the parable of the lost sheep, which Jesus told when the religious establishment criticized him for keeping company with disreputable types. Imagine a shepherd, he said, who has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. What does he do? The common sense answer, of course, is ‘He chalks it all up to experience, fixes the broken gate, and takes better care of the ninety-nine!’ But apparently God’s math is different from ours, because in Jesus’ story the shepherd leaves the ninety-nine to their own devices and goes to search for the one until he finds it. When he does find it, he carries it home on his shoulders, calls all his friends, and throws a party to celebrate the fact that he’s found the sheep that was lost.

Obviously this is not a common-sense shepherd; if he was, he’d know that it made no sense to leave the ninety-nine unprotected to go and find one. And of course that’s the whole point of the story. When it comes to God’s care for you as an individual, when you get lost, common sense doesn’t even come into it; it’s all about the passion and depth of his commitment to you, and to finding you and bringing you home.

Some years ago a man walked into a church in northern Alberta on a Sunday morning. He hadn’t been at church for a long time, although he had friends that went, and lately things had not been going very well in his life: he had lost a well-paying job, and his marriage had broken down. In church that day, the gospel reading happened to be the story of the lost sheep, and the preacher preached a sermon on that text. The man said later, ‘That text was for me; I was the little lost sheep coming home’. The man realised that morning that no matter what other people thought about him, his life mattered to the most important person of all – God.

And this, ultimately, is the reason why my life matters – it’s important, because it’s important to God. The God we Christians believe in is a God who loves each of us more than we can possibly imagine, who created us for the sheer pleasure of knowing us, and who will move heaven and earth to find us when we get lost. So my life matters – and so does every other life on this planet, because God loves every one of us in the same passionate and committed way. Exploring that love, and sharing it with others, is what being a follower of Jesus is all about. If you haven’t done so already, I invite you to join us in that journey.


Next week: 'Aren't Right and Wrong Just a Matter of Opinion?'

Sunday, September 26, 2010

September 27 - October 3

C A L E N D A R

Monday, September 27th

Tim Off

Thursday, September 30th

7:00 am Men’s and Women’s Bible Studies at Bogani

Tim at Clergy Day at St. Matthias

Sunday, October 3rd –Pentecost 19

9:00 am – Holy Communion

9:45 am – combined coffee

10:30 am – Holy Communion and Sunday School

St. Margaret’s Outreach

Salvation Army total to date $2610.00

Edmonton’s Food Bank – Once again we will collect non-perishable food donations at the Thanksgiving service Sunday October 10. For a list of most needed items or more information please check out their website at: http://www.edmontonsfoodbank.com/

Growing Prayer at St.Margaret’s

Each week we offer special prayers for two families in our congregation.

Church Families:

Barbara and Eric LeFort

Dirk LePoole, Esther Stocker, and Hunter

Weekly Prayer Cycle: Readers

Friday October 15th – Saturday October 16th: 62nd Synod of the Diocese of Edmonton. For more information go to http://edmonton.anglican.org/Synod/index.htm Erin McDougall, Doug Schindel, and Virginia Haase are representing St. Margaret’s. Please keep them in your prayers.

Items To Note

NOTICE Is hereby given that the Fall Congregational meeting of Parishioners will be held on the 17th day of October, A.D. 2010, at 12:00 p.m., in St. Margaret’s Anglican Church at which time all baptized persons regularly attending Services of worship in this Parish or otherwise regularly receiving the administrations of the clergy of this Parish are entitled to attend.

New Daylight: If you would like to subscribe to the New Daylight, please see the sign up sheet on the table in the foyer. If you wish to renew your subscription, see the sign up sheet in the foyer. If you do not notify us, we will assume you plan to renew your subscription.

Administrative Assistant Needed: Erin McDougall has resigned from her position as Administrative assistant, and her last day of employment will be September 30th. If you are interested in the position or would like more information regarding the position you are encouraged to contact the church office as soon as possible. We may be looking for a temporary employee until a permanent one can be found so if you feel you might be able to help out please let us know.

Seniors Lunch, October 14th, 11:30 a.m. at St. Margaret’s Church. The Seniors Lunch will be resuming on Oct. 14th. We will be having a presentation by the Alzheimer’s Society. Everyone is welcome. There is a sign-up sheet in the front foyer or please call Lesley Schindel or Julie Holmes if you will be attending.

Saturday October 23rd 10.00 a.m. – 1.00 p.m.: ‘Christian Parenting’ workshop with Joe and Alisa Walker. This event will take place in partnership with St. Timothy’s Anglican Church and our facilitators will be the Rev. Joe Walker, rector of St. Timothy’s, and his wife Alisa. Joe and Alisa are the parents of four children in the age group in question, one of whom is child with Downs Syndrome.

Sunday October 24th 9.00 and 10.30 a.m: Thanksgiving for our Loved Ones Who Have Died

Many of us have lost loved ones in the past year and would like to have an opportunity to honour their memory and to give thanks for their life. In the weeks before this service

opportunities will be given to purchase a flower for the altar in memory of our loved one; special prayers will be offered at both services on this Sunday.

Anglican Marriage Encounter Weekend: Nov. 5-7, 2010, Providence Centre. Take your Marriage to a new level! Registration forms on the downstairs bulletin board. For more information, please contact Gary & Kathy Hughes or Gottfried & Virginia Haase.

Messy Church Saturday September 25th - has been cancelled, we will try again October 30, 2010.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sermon for September 19th 2010: Luke 16:1-13

Discipleship and Money

I’m a regular reader of a very good internet folk music site that goes by the rather strange name of the ‘Mudcat Café’. I like it because it’s a forum where folk music enthusiasts from all over the world can get together and talk about obscure traditional folk songs, research musicology together, talk about upcoming events or just share our passion for folk music with each other.

Recently on the Mudcat Café there was a conversation about justifying the ownership of multiple guitars. Now I have to say that at present I own two guitars; a rather modestly-priced Seagull that I take on camping trips, and a rather expensive Larrivée that is my pride and joy, the guitar I’ve dreamed of for most of my musical life. Nick has a few as well, so you might get the impression in visiting our house that the place is full of guitars.

However, I’m nothing compared to some of the folks at Mudcat Café. People started listing all the guitars they had, and the reasons they had so many – each one has a different tone, and they’re used in different situations, etc. etc. – and as I read the comments I found myself nodding my head and thinking, “Yes, I can see that. I like my Larrivée, but Martins have a slightly different tone, and Gibson J45s are nice as well” – and before I know it, I had mentally spent about $10,000 on nice guitars (not to mention the several hundred thousand dollars I’d need to spend on a new house to fit them all in!). And the scary thing is, of course, that there’s no end to it. No matter how good a guitar you get, there’s always a better one. No matter how many you have, you can always find a convincing reason why you need that particular one that’s sitting in the shop window, tickling your fancy.

I share this story at the outset this morning to demonstrate to you that when it comes to struggling with covetousness and greed, I am a fellow traveller. Jesus has some things to say in our gospel reading for today which are hard to hear, and as an honest preacher I need to tell the truth about what he says without trying to protect any of us from his teaching! But I also need to be up front and say that I struggle with this as much as anyone else. Paul tells us in one of his letters that ‘there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment’ (1 Timothy 6:6), and I’m doing my best to grow in the virtue of contentment, but I’m not there yet. So I need to hear what Jesus is saying to us in our gospel for today.

In our Gospel for today we meet a strange character - a dishonest manager. At least, he seems strange to us, but perhaps he would not have sounded so strange to Jesus’ original hearers. In those days there were many absentee landlords who left the day-to-day running of their property to middle men. These managers were notoriously corrupt, and many of them extorted huge sums of money from the sharecroppers who were at the bottom of the pecking order, while presenting fraudulent accounts to their masters.

The manager in Jesus’ story seems to have been unusually corrupt even by the standards of the day. He was not only making a profit for himself, but also ‘squandering his master’s money’ - in other words, he was using it for his own enjoyment instead of his master’s purposes. The master got wind of this and so he gave the servant his notice: ‘Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer’ (v.2). So the manager thought carefully about the unpleasant fate that he was facing, and came up with a scheme to win some friends who would help him out after he was fired. He called in all the people who were in debt to his master and wrote off a large portion of their bills. What he was probably doing, in fact, was canceling the exorbitant cut he had been planning to take for himself. By doing so, he was saving the sharecroppers a great deal of money. Of course, this meant that they were all very thankful to him and felt obligated to help him out when his own time of need came. The master heard about this, and shook his head in admiration for the shrewdness of the man.

Now why would Jesus tell a story glorifying such a dishonest man? Is he telling us that we should be dishonest? No; the first thing we need to understand here is that this story doesn’t begin by telling us what we should be - it begins by describing what we are. Look at Luke 16:1: “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property”. That’s us, you see; we are the managers who are squandering our master’s property.

The Bible’s view about private property begins with a breathtaking statement. You’ll find it in Psalm 24:1. It says ‘The earth is the LORD’s and all that is in it’. So in other words, in God’s sight there really is no such thing as private property. I may think that I own a bunch of stuff, but in fact it all belongs to God. God has trusted me with some of his wealth for a while. He has put it under my management, so that I can use it to advance the purposes of his kingdom in the world. Look at what Jesus says in Luke 16:10-12:

“Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own?”

The most important theme in the Christian teaching on stewardship is this word in verse 12: faithfulness with what belongs to another. Everything that exists was made by God and belongs to God, and God has entrusted it to us. I can tell you that on the occasions when my car has been under repair and I have had to borrow a car from someone else to go somewhere, I have been extra-careful with that car. Why? Because it doesn’t belong to me; I will have to return it to its rightful owner, and I want to be able to return it in good condition. And if I am that careful with a car lent to me by a human owner, how much more care should I take with God’s possessions, which he has entrusted to me!

But what have I in fact done with God’s possessions? Sadly, I’ve treated them as if they were mine. I haven’t asked God what he wants me to do with them, and even if I have, I certainly haven’t listened to his answers. So I don’t have to worry about whether this parable is telling me to be like the dishonest manager. It isn’t - not at first, anyway. It’s telling me that I am the dishonest manager!

But now Jesus is blowing the whistle on me. He’s saying “You’ve been found out! The Owner knows what you’ve been doing with his money. He’s set a date when you will have to give an account of the stewardship he entrusted to you. So stop using the material things God has entrusted to you selfishly, and start using them for God’s kingdom”. Being a selfish human being who is badly hooked on material possessions, I then protest “But Lord, why should I do that? Can you give me one good reason?” To which he replies, “Not one, but three!” Here are three reasons why I should use money and the things it can buy for God’s purposes and not for my own selfish enjoyment.

First, because even at the level of pure self-interest, it’s the best investment. Look at what Jesus says in verses eight and nine:

“And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of the light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of the dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes”.

I’m not into making investments myself, but people who are into it amaze me sometimes by the seriousness with which they take it. Day by day they watch the stock market on their computers. They pay money for analysts to help them decide which investments will give them the best return. Often they use good leisure time to take courses on how to make more money through their investments. And if we were to ask them “Why are you doing all this?” they would probably say, “I’m making the best possible use of my money, so that I’ll be comfortable in my retirement”.

But there’s one important thing many people are trying hard not to think about. A young man was once talking to a pastor about the death of his uncle. He said, “My uncle died a millionaire”. The pastor replied “No he didn’t”. The young man bristled; “What do you mean? You didn’t even know my uncle?” The pastor replied, “No, I didn’t, but I know he didn’t die a millionaire”. The young man said “What do you mean?” and the pastor simply asked, “Who has the million now?” No one dies a millionaire; they die poverty-stricken. We all will.

And this is the awkward truth that many people are trying hard to avoid. They’re working so hard for all this money and in the end it’ll only be good for a very short while. Afterwards, they’re going to be poverty-stricken. Nonetheless, Jesus says, there is something we can learn from them. If they’re so shrewd and careful and committed in amassing temporary wealth, how much more shrewd and careful and committed should Christians be in storing up riches in heaven?

Jesus says in verse 9 “Make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes”. In other words, the day is going to come when money will fail and we must stand before God without a cent, without a bank account, without property, without anything whatever to recommend us. Then the only thing that will be of any significance will be the testimony of those who will say, “Lord, when I was really in need she was there for me”.

So this is the first reason why we should use our money for the kingdom of God. Even if you look no further than self-interest, it’s still the smartest investment going. And the second reason is this: if you refuse to use your money for the kingdom of God, you are in fact setting it up as a rival god, a rival master, and trying to serve it as well as God. Look at what Jesus says in verse 13:

“No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth”.

Now let’s be perfectly frank, as Jesus is. What he is really saying to us is this: if the entire reason I am living, the entire reason I am working, is to make money so that I can buy more things and feel more secure in them, then money is in fact my god, and I am not serving the true and living God. The proof that I love God first, and that money is only an instrument of my love for him, will be that I use that money for the help of others without seeking recognition for myself. That will indicate that I love God, and that I am rightfully serving him with the money he gives me; that it has a right relationship to me.

So the first reason for us to invest in God’s kingdom is because it’s the smartest investment to make; the second reason is because if we don’t, we’re really setting up money as a rival god. The third reason is found in verse 15:

So (Jesus) said to (the Pharisees), “You are those who justify themselves in the sight of others; but God knows your hearts; for what is prized by human beings is an abomination in the sight of God”.

The truth is that God’s sense of what’s really important is very different from the prevailing view in our culture. This is especially true when it comes to the question of money. I look at a fat bank account and I see security in my old age, comfort, potential holidays and enjoyments and possessions and so on. What does God see when he looks at that account? More often than not, he sees the selfishness in my heart. Which leads me to spell out plainly this third reason for investing in the kingdom; in the midst of a world that is starving, both physically and spiritually, there can’t be many things more saddening to the heart of God than a pile of cash doing nothing but feeding the selfishness of its owner.

So here are three reasons Jesus gives in this passage for us to use our worldly wealth for God’s kingdom: First, because it’s the smartest and safest investment we can make; secondly, because if we don’t, we’re really setting our money up as a rival god and worshipping it instead of the one true God. Thirdly, because what we think is really valuable - the selfish accumulation of wealth - is in fact hateful in God’s sight.

Our money matters. The way we use it is a spiritual issue. It can be a rival god that wraps its chains around our hearts and binds us to the earth, or it can be a wonderful tool by which we care for our families and support the work of God’s kingdom in the world. What are we to do?

First, Jesus tells us to “strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33). His rule in the world, his will being done in our homes and families, in the lives of the poor and needy, in the spread of the good news so that more people come to know and love Jesus - that’s what we’re told to long for more than anything else.

Second, once we’ve made that commitment, we find out what God’s priorities are in the world, and we use his money to help bring them about.

Does that mean that we never spend money on ourselves, or our families? Of course not. God cares for us, and he is a generous God who wants us to enjoy all the good things of his creation. But he has no interest in confirming us in selfishness. Every time I take out my wallet I’m showing what’s really important to me. Is it the false god of worldly wealth, or the true God who gave his Son for the life of the world? God help all of us to use our money and possessions to help spread his kingdom in our homes and families, in our community, and in the world.

September 20 - 26

ITEMS TO NOTE

Back to Church Sunday September 26th: On this day you are encouraged to invite a non-churchgoing friend to join you for worship at St. Margaret’s. Invitation cards are available to help you. Who is God asking you to invite?

Messy Church Saturday September 25th at 3:30 pm: Food, crafts, Bible learning and supper, for parents and Kids.

NOTICE Is hereby given that the Fall Congregational meeting of Parishioners will be held on the 17th day of October, A.D. 2010, at 12:00 p.m., in St. Margaret’s Anglican Church at which time all baptized persons regularly attending Services of worship in this Parish or otherwise regularly receiving the administrations of the clergy of this Parish are entitled to attend.

New Daylight: If you would like to subscribe to the New Daylight, please see the sign up sheet on the table in the foyer. If you wish to renew your subscription, see the sign up sheet in the foyer. If you do not notify us, we will assume you plan to renew your subscription.

Administrative Assistant Needed: Erin McDougall has resigned from her position as Administrative assistant, and her last day of employment will be September 30th. If you are interested in the position or would like more information regarding the position you are encouraged to contact the church office as soon as possible. We may be looking for a temporary employee until a permanent one can be found so if you feel you might be able to help out please let us know.

Anglican Marriage Encounter Weekend: Nov. 5-7, 2010, Providence Centre. Take your Marriage to a new level! Registration forms on the downstairs bulletin board. For more information, please contact Gary & Kathy Hughes (780-435-3862) or Gottfried & Virginia Haase (780-438-3892).

C A L E N D A R

Monday, September 20th

Tim Off

Thursday, September 23rd

7:00 am Men’s and Women’s Bible Studies at Bogani

Saturday, September 25th

3:30 pm Messy Church

Sunday, September 26th –Pentecost 18

Back to Church Sunday

9:00 am - Holy Communion

10:30 am – Holy Communion and Sunday School

St. Margaret’s Outreach

Currently we are supporting the Salvation Army; our goal is to raise $5000 by October 10, 2010. We are approximately half way there, let’s continue giving!

Growing Prayer at St.Margaret’s

Each week we offer special prayers for two families in our congregation.

Church Families:

Tricia, Rich and Chelsea Laffin

Geoff and Pat Leney

Weekly Prayer Cycle:

Counters

Friday, September 17, 2010

October Roster

Oct 3 - Pentecost 19 – Holy Communion

Coffee between services

Greeter/Sidespeople: B. & L. Popp

Counter: B. Popp /V. Haase

Reader: V. Haase

Lamentations 1:1-6, Lamentations 3:19-26, 2 Timothy 1:1-14

Lay Administrants: V. Haase/C. Aasen

Intercessor: M. Rys

Lay Reader: L. Thompson

Altar Guild (Green): 9:00 J. Mill/10:30 P. Major/A. Shutt

Prayer Team : E. Gerber/L. Sanderson

Nursery Supervisor: T. Laffin

Sunday School (School Age): P Rayment

Sunday School (Preschool): M. Horn

Kitchen: - 9:45 am S&A Martens

Oct 10 - Pentecost 20 – Holy Communion

Greeter/Sidespeople: G. & K. Hughes

Counter: G. Hughes/B. Popp

Reader: M. Rys

Deuteronomy 8:7-18, Psalm 65, 2 Corinthians 9:6-15

Lay Administrants: B. Popp/E. Gerber

Intercessor: L. Thompson

Lay Reader: B. Popp Luke 17:11-19

Altar Guild (Green): 9:00 M. Lobreau/10:30 T. Wittkopf

Prayer Team: M. Rys/M. Chesterton

Nursery Supervisor: M. Aasen

Sunday School (School Age): M. Cromarty

Sunday School (Preschool): M. Eriksen

Kitchen: L. Popp

Oct 17 - Pentecost 21 – Holy Communion

Greeter/Sidespeople: D. & E. Mitty

Counter: D. Mitty/D. Sanderson

Reader: S. Watson

Jeremiah 31:27-34, Psalm 119:97-104, 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5

Lay Administrants: E. Gerber/D. Schindel

Intercessor: C. Aasen

Lay Reader: E. Gerber

Altar Guild (Green): 9:00 M.Woytkiw/10:30 L. Pyra

Prayer Team: K. Hughes/S. Jayakaran

Nursery: T. Laffin

Sunday School (School Age): M. Aasen

Sunday School (Preschool): E. McDougall

Kitchen: B & M Mirtle

Oct 24 - Pentecost 22 – Holy Communion

Greeter/Sidespeople: C. & M. Aasen

Counter: C. Aasen/T. Cromarty

Reader: T. Cromarty

Joel 2:23-32, Psalm 65, 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18

Lay Administrants: D. MacNeill/L. Thompson

Intercessor: D. MacNeill

Lay Reader: D. MacNeil Luke 16:1-13

Altar Guild (Green): 9:00 J. Mill/10:30 K. Hughes

Prayer Team: L. Sanderson/E. Gerber

Nursery: G. Hughes

Sunday School (School Age): P. Rayment

Sunday School (Preschool): M. Horn

Kitchen: M. & A. Rys

Oct 31 - Pentecost 23 - Morning Worship

Greeter/Sidespeople: T. Cromarty/E. Jayakaran

Counter: T. Cromarty/D. Schindel

Reader: S. & A. Jayararan

Habakkuk 1:1-4,2:1-4, Psalm 119:136-144, 2 Thess.1:1-4, 11-12

Intercessor: T. Chesterton

Lay Reader: L. Thompson

Altar Guild (Green): 9:00 M. Lobreau/10:30 Morning Worship

Nursery Supervisor: K. Hughes

Sunday School (School Age): C. Ripley

Sunday School (Preschool): M. Eriksen

Kitchen: B. Cavey