Monday, June 9, 2014

Pentecost Sunday 2014

On The Evening of Pentecost Sunday I travelled to The Parish of Gander Bay to join the people of Holy Trinity for Worship.
It was a joy to share the Eucharist with them, and to deliver the sermon on Pentecost Sunday.

The Podcast Link is here

Sermon Notes for the Day of Pentecost.
Whenever I have taught about the Holy Spirit, or laid hands on a person who has asked for some sort of Spiritual Blessing,
 I have always wanted to get it right.
As I have gotten a bit older and have gone through a lot of ups and downs, I have become more and more of a realist in regard to life.
Life can through some hard things at us.
Never mind "can". It will, and it does.
Might I ask you to think about your own challenges?
Another thing that has happened to me as I have gotten older and have gone through a lot of ups and downs, is that I have
1. Less patience for religious platitudes and doctrines that allow us to say "there there"...Your problem is that you are not doing this the right way...or saying the right things.
I don't hear that a lot from people who suffer.
2. And...because I have experienced God's Grace  (in my own circumstances) in a very deep way, I long to share that in a way that is authentic and that is effective in the community around us.
The Community around us ....
There was a time when people came to the Church and said
Here I am.
I belong because generations of my family belonged.
Give me the rules
Give me the Book
Tell me what to do, and I will be a good Christian.
Today, that is not the case.  There has been a huge shift in the way people see the Church and Christianity.
Outwardly, sometimes I feel like people see the Church as a seller of Products such as Marriage, Baptism, funerals...etc. In some cases I think people think of me as an insurance salesman.
We all know that the cultural connections that once brought people to Church are no longer there.
It brings us all face to face with the question that Church people must ask themselves:
Am I a Cultural Christian OR am I a follower of Jesus, with a desire to  be like Him and do what He is leading us all into at  this point of History?
Don't think for one moment that the Church is going to die.
But do believe that God is working ,and changing, and challenging.
The institution is being challenged...Rather better to say the institution is being ignored by the world.
The world we live in contains a broad diversity in beliefs and practices, and has less understanding and desire  to engage sacred rituals, good works, and political and social activism. Many  people have been directed to think only of themselves.
How then do Christians hope to make a difference?
What is to become of Christian Identity in the world today?
My prayer is that the Church will be made up of people who have , a clear understanding of what they believe, and why it is important to them, and intentionally share it in an authentic way with others. To go from here, strengthened by worship, to actually sincerely live the faith in a world that can recognize insincerity a mile away.
I believe we are on the verge of a great adventure in the Church.
Churches that begin to take the mission seriously in this age of Science, Technology and  of people who have little time for unrational explanations and lack of sincerity are going to fulfill God's plan, and will be blessed.
Churches that are inward and self serving cannot survive any longer.
They wont survive.
If I might make a strong statement: (I believe I am quoting Richard Rhor here)
 God has grown accustomed to our small and cowardly ways of waiting behind closed doors of fear and self-doubt. God knows that we settle for easy certitudes instead of Gospel freedom, for a small god instead of a Big Mystery. Yet God seems surely determined to break through.
That bears repeating: Yet God seems surely determined to break through.
The largest challenge now, is that the Church has had all coverings removed, all doors opened ,and all pretences held naked before the world.
Jesus says once again: "Who do people say that I am?" 
What This excerpt from the Eucharistic Prayer #6 provides a beautiful reflection and teaching as to :
 1.What our motivation should be
2.Why we need the Spirit
3.And what the Spirit can do through the Church.
And that we might live no longer for ourselves,
but for him who died and rose for us,
he sent the Holy Spirit,
his own first gift for those who believe,
to complete his work in the world,
and to bring to fulfillment
the sanctification of all.
The  Holy Spirit has come to help us overcomes the obstacles  of
and of society . 
We need the Spirit to help us .
What shall be our answer?
Glory to God,
All whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more
than we can ask or imagine.
Glory to God from generation to generation,
in the Church and in Christ Jesus,
for ever and ever. Amen.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Looking Back From Easter Day
This post was written on Easter Monday, Holy Week  behind us Easter Celebrated both in Gander and Benton, as literally hundreds attended the various forms of Worship provided in our Parish.

The podcast for Maundy Thursday had a recording glitch, so it is not available.
Confession is good for the soul ... (actually I plugged the output jack of our sound board into the headphone jack of the Computer we use for bad.)

Good Friday Services were well attended again this year.

Hour One  

A  liturgy Led primarily by our young people, including the Message.
A fair number of our Confirmation Class  2014,have expressed great interest in Worship and mission, and have become willing participants in both the Liturgy and ongoing life of the Church.

The Second Hour
of the Good Friday Service Was our "Stations of the Cross" led by Our Associate Priest Revd. Brian Candow, and a host of people from the Church.

Hour Three
was the Good Friday Liturgy from the Book of Alternative Services. At the Same time, Bishop David Torraville was leading a Good Friday Worship in Benton.

Revd John provided the Address.
The Podcast of the sermon is available here: Good Friday

Easter Services
The worship for Easter consisted of a Holy Saturday at the Church in Benton.
On Sunday:

8:30 Communion at St. Martin's
10:30 Communion at St. Martin's
Later that afternoon Revd. John and Revd. Jim Beaton, held a service of Holy Communion at Golden Legion Manor;  Revd. Brian spent the afternoon and evening in the neighbouring parish of Gander Bay, helping provide Easter Communion worship.
Our 10:30 Eucharist was the main service of our day.
It was, as our Easter worship should be, energetic, diverse and Joyful.
Our youth choir, Cathedral Choir, Emily Laite and Leslie Hewlett along with her Father provided special music and song. Children were everywhere, and they had a ball and made lots of noise! (even providing a huge surprise by changing the settings on the slower sound board when the mikes were off and know one was looking....when we turned them on for a song, it sounded like a banshee was in the Church!)

The Rector took on the challenge of preaching a full Easter Sermon designed to face the realities of Christianity today in the midst of the doubt and antagonism that challenges the Faithful today.
Here is the Outline of the Address : The podcast is available Here

Easter Sermon Outline:
• Beginning with an Opening Quote from J.B. Phillips:
The trouble with many people today is that they have not found a God big enough for modern needs. While their experience of life has grown in a score of directions, and their mental horizons have been expanded to the point of bewilderment by world events and by scientific discoveries, their ideas of God have remained largely static. It is obviously impossible for an adult to worship the conception of God that exists in the mind of a child of Sunday-school age, unless he is prepared to deny his own experience of life. If, by a great effort of will, he does do this he will always be secretly afraid lest some new truth may expose the juvenility of his faith.
Continuing with a discussion of these points:

• The Gradual Change in Society’s views of Christianity
• The development of an anti religious/Anti Christian Culture
• The Negative Influences that HAVE affected you and I
• Is Science the Nail in the Coffin of Christianity?
• How Science Upholds the presence and actions of a Living God.
• The Challenge, the Warning and the Blessing for Us on Easter Sunday


Monday, April 7, 2014

The Fifth Sunday In Lent

April 6 2014Passion SundayConfirmation
The service this morning was "The end of the seven month program, and the beginning of 22 new ministries in the Church"
as our Confirmation Students accepted the promised made for them at Baptism.
 The Confirmation service is a powerful  in it's own right, but because one of our Confirmation Students was baptized prior to the laying on of hands,  another beautiful and moving element to the worship was experienced.
The highlights of the service are here for you.
Questions for Those being Baptized and confirmed:
Do you renounce Satan and all the spiritual forces of wickedness that rebel against God?
Answer I renounce them.

Question Do you renounce the evil powers of this world
which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God?
Answer I renounce them.Question Do you renounce all sinful desires that draw youfrom the love of God?Answer I renounce them.

Question Do you turn to Jesus Christ and accept him as your Saviour?
Answer I do.

Question Do you put your whole trust in his grace and love?
Answer I do.
Question Do you promise to obey him as your Lord?Answer I do.


Friday, April 4, 2014

Wednesday, April 2nd at 7:00pm.
Evening Lenten Service Led by St. Martin's Anglican Church Women
  Alexis Ejeckam,one of our Confirmation Students  presented her thoughts on Christian Justice .
The Link is Here

Fourth Mark Of Mission:To seek to transform unjust structures of society,
to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue
peace and reconciliation
Luke 6:20 – 26


Monday, March 31, 2014

March 30 2014
The Fourth Sunday in Lent
8:30 a.m:            Our Traditional Early "said Eucharist"

10:30 a.m:          We held a congregational meeting during the worship in which the Gathered faithful ratified our decision to moving ahead to make the parish center fully accessible by installing two wheel chairlifts. A warm and encouraging Vote!

7:00 p.m. Our Cursillo members led the evening service of praise.

This week we have been engaging the fourth Mark of Mission:
To seek to transform unjust structures of society,
 to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation. (Luke 6:20-26)
Stella Walsh and Laura Chilson (one of the Cathedral's young people)  presented a talk on Bullying
The Link is here
Later this week:
·  Alexis Ejeckam will present her thoughts on Christian Justice at the ACW service on Wednesday, April 2nd at 7:00pm.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Third Wednesday In Lent 2014
March 26 2014
Evening Lenten Service.
A stormy evening was in the offing; we gathered about 30 strong for worship. These are the words our Bishop ,The Rt. Revd. David Torraville Shared with us.

Week Three   Third Mark Of Mission:  

To respond to human need by loving service . John 13:3-15

The Link is here

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Third Sunday in Lent 2014

The Third Sunday in Lent 2014
(You can listen to the full service live. Please get in touch with us for more information about telephone connections)

Recently at St. Martins we have begun to" integrate" the Morning Prayer service of the third Sunday in each month with the use of:
  • Alternating the morning prayer as found in our Book of Common Prayer and the Book of Alternative services.
  • Each week we invite young people to share in leading ,the responses, and in singing. This past Sunday one of our Confirmation students provided the message.
  • The Cathedral Choir does not sit for this service, but choir members join the congregation and help in the singing.
  • The service contains new music being taught and shared with the help of our Music director, Ms. Leslie Hewlett.

The Podcast for this mornings service was centered around the theme of "Loving and Gentle Service"
It is available here:

The evening service was a celebration of Holy Eucharist.
The Homily  (The Revd. Brian Candow) is  available Here