Sunday, February 24, 2013

Second Sunday In Lent

Today is February 24,2013. It is the Second Sunday in Lent.

Worship at St. Martin's has been vibrant today; Revd. George Spencer led the celebration at the 10:30 Eucharist. We were all touched by his return as a Presider.

This morning one of the Cathedral entrance keys was broken due to a frozen lock. Revd. John used the broken key at the Children's time.

"A broken key needs to be fixed!" , We take it to someone who can fix it. 
A Frozen Heart can break a different kind of we need to take our keys to be fixed too. Lent is a great reminder that from time to time our worn and broken keys,need to be brought to Jesus.
The address for today was recorded,but the computer being used did not save the file properly,so the audio was not good enough to post today. Apologies!

This afternoon St. Martin's will gather in the Parish Center for our annual meeting and Potluck. All are welcome!

The Rector's message this morning was comprised of his report for the annual meeting. It was a biblical reflection on our Past,Present and Future.

Notes are below.
 Our next time of worship will be Wednesday morning at 7:30 a.m. and Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m

Hope you are having a Blessed Lent. We are praying for you!
Rectors Report for 2013
 Dear Friends,
This year our annual meeting falls on the Second Sunday of Lent. That means in addition to the regular busy nature of parish life and worship, preparation for the meeting has also become a Lenten discipline for us.
The Gospel reading for today is from Luke 13. At one point in the reading Jesus exclaims: 
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
The reading reflects two main themes:
  • Jesus longing for Jerusalem to be made whole and
  • His heartfelt love for all people.
 From that I draw some parallels for St. Martin’s Cathedral.
On a foundational level, our Church’s existence is only possible because of God’s love for us shown in Jesus.
God’s longing to hold us in His arms of providence and invitation of love and was extended to us by our Lord .
  St. Martin’s DOES exist, because many years ago, people who accepted God’s invitation came to Gander and built a community of faith. These people were young when they arrived here;
 they became Husbands and Wives, Parents, Grandparents and great Grandparents. Many have now entered the Greater presence of our Father’s kingdom.
  At least four generations represent the picture of faith at St. Martin’s; the presence of each one felt as we look at the ongoing life of this community and enjoy the land, buildings, and Cathedral that we have been entrusted with as tools and gifts for our ministry.
  I thank God every day for the people of our parish. We are surrounded by folks who focus their lives and many of their daily actions upon the values they have developed because of a relationship with Jesus.
St. Martin’s family identity has been formed, and continues to be formed by our unity and the influence we have on one another.
The energy, love and witness of our people is felt daily in this town, our Diocese and beyond, each and every day.
 The second parallel is found in the poignant emotion expressed when Jesus says the words: how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing..
As the rector of the parish, I am entrusted with the oversight and good care of St. Martin’s.
 That means that every purpose, function, action, word, deed, lesson or decision made in this parish expects and demands my knowledge, involvement, and influence.
I confess :I can never be adequate for the task.
 I am very thankful for all those who understand this and are willing to share that particular burden of Love ...not only with me, but will all who share a common understanding of the nature of what it means to be a Church, and how important our Mission is to this broken world.
 From Eucharistic Prayer #6 .. 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 fulfilment the sanctification of all.
 In the same way Jesus looked upon Jerusalem, we must look upon the world around us.
  •  The Love of God within us calls us to sincerely care for others.
  • The Love of God within us calls us to action.
  •  The Love of God within us calls us to commitment.
The Church Today:
  The challenges of each generation in the Church are quite different.
  • Today’s world is far more secular than ever before; the culture of our time rejects the idea that there is a supernatural presence in the universe and is very effective at suppressing encounters between wonder and mystery.
  • Advances in Science and Technology tell us that although our world is beautiful, intricate and interesting; everything in it can be explained. 
  • Spiritually speaking the world self proclaims that it is inert and empty. Today many people ....too many people live as if and if our lives are to have meaning; we have to create it by ourselves.
Thanks be to God for the Church!
 People of Jesus know and share a different reality and experience!  God has created each person with an inner drive and desire that sends all of us out looking for our True Self, whether we know it or not.
We need an awakening and we need light to find our way, because the Journey does get very dark.
 God uses His people as a Light to the World. It is our Call, Duty and Joy.
 People of Jesus are transformed, first by a decision to accept His invitation to a meaningful, eternal and abundant life, and then:
 by faithful, consistent and regular gathering together, sharing, learning and doing.
 We do not walk alone. Our Lord walks side by side with us. Because God created us with an inner restlessness and a call that urges us onward into risky places, we will go through life with Love and Peace in our hearts.
Thinking about 2012
  At recent Vestry and Wardens meetings we reflected upon how fast the year seems to have gone.
In many ways it was a quiet year, because we were not undertaking some “major event” or project.
One of us said, it is as if we were catching our breath for the “next Push” .
That is not to say the year wasn’t vibrant, as the reports in our Annual Circular will show.
Our fundraising efforts bore much fruit; we hosted a Diocesan Music Conference, adapted and developed a new Sunday School Program which is doing really well for us.
Our youth ministries which are ever changing have become well established in our DNA, and we are every looking for ways to connect with young people in today’s world.
Our hospitality ministry is second to none, and our outreach is a visible sign of how much we care.
Our collaborative ministry among the clergy and staff ensure that we have a very wide range of effective ministries in our community.
  In the parish last year there were 25 Baptisms,
Confirmed 14,
  Marriages 6 and
21 Funerals .
  Because of increased costs and maintenance concerns we were headed for a deficit by year end.
We can now report  a very positive situation. Our treasurer will be sharing the details with you in his annual report.
  hat 2013 Will Bring
As 2013 begins, we have to face the reality of future challenges. This includes some extensive work on the Parish Center. We must make the building accessible and we must re-shingle the roof as soon as the weather allows. The ongoing challenge of keeping our buildings in good shape will be heavy this year.
  Although 2013 is already presenting itself to us as a “Bricks and Mortar Year”, that is not all it will be!
We will engage the Vision for our Church because we believe Vision is gifted to us by the Holy Spirit.

A prayer from the General Thanksgiving sums it up well:
   We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments
which satisfy and delight us.
  We thank you also for those disappointments and failures
that lead us to acknowledge
our dependence on you alone.
 Plans are being made for a wonderful year at St. Martin’s. We will be gathering in counsel to work together to discover this new Vision and to make concrete plans for the future.
There will be more vibrant worship and events.
We will be inviting visitors such as the Watoto Children’s Choir. They are excited to bring Beautiful Africa: A New Generation to Gander on Friday, May 31, 2013.
  We propose to run an Alpha program this year, and will continue to develop programs and people, that make the journey from our entrance to the Communion rail inviting, desirable, and meaningful.
Thank You
As I offer thanks to the leadership team of our Cathedral, I join you in giving thanks for the Life and witness of our brother Carl Tessier.
Many, many thanks to The Wardens, Vestry, Committee leaders and members....
 Thank You to our sidespeople, musicians, and all who quietly and faithfully work behind the scenes for the good of our parish.
 To all those who give of their time, talent and treasure; may God bless you and increase you in Abundant Life.
 Many thanks to our Bishop David, Revd. Brian, Revd. Harvey, Revd Arnold and Revd. George.
Many thanks to you all.... each and every one who gives and shares our fellowship.
 We ask God’s blessing on what is to Come.
 GOD of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look with favour upon your whole
Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; and by the tranquil operation of your perpetual providence carry out the work of our salvation; that things which were cast down may be raised up, and that all things may return into unity through him by whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
 Your Friend and Rector, Revd. John+

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