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Second Sunday After Christmas (Year A)
My Dear Friends,
I wish to begin by thanking the 245 persons who contributed to the Rector's Gift Day. This end of year ingiving provides us with an opportunity to give additional support to the Church's ministry and this year I had asked that we do a little more as we were carrying a large budgetary deficit which needed urgent attention. In light of this appeal I am overjoyed with the generous response on the $2·7 million which I have received.
You have not only made me deeply proud by this wonderful act of love but by doing so you have taught us what it means to claim God's abundant grace. I learned so much about the wonder and goodness of God from so many of you who took the time to visit and those who sent in their cheques - the old pensioner who traveled for over three hours on the bus to bring in her gift - the member who gave his entire months income - and those who went deep into their investments to give to the Church. I can only pledge that prudent management of our stewardship will match these acts of generosity.
As we enter the New Year let me encourage each one of us to claim God's abundant grace in all that we do. Regrettably, this is not what most of us claim today. What we often choose to claim in this our consumer society is what Walter Brueggemann calls "the myth of scarcity". A deep, fearful, anxious conviction that there is not enough to go around and if so we must try and keep as much as we can for ourselves even if it means keeping it out of the reach of others. As a result, we end up competing with one another rather than caring for one another. Against this myth of scarcity Brueggemann says the Bible proposes the lyric of abundance:
"The lyric of abundance asserts that because the world is held in the hand of the generative, generous God, scarcity is not true. I mean this not as a pious, religious sentiment, but as a claim about the wonder and goodness of God in creation."
Think for a moment on the difference our life would be together - as a nation, as a congregation and as individuals - were we to claim God's abundant grace during 2005. For one thing, we would be far more gracious toward each other, since our starting point would be - 'there is enough for everyone ..'
At the Eucharist on the Feast of Holy Innocents when the Church celebrates the slaughter of the Holy Innocents by Herod we paused to remember the victims of the tsunami disaster which claimed the lives of tens of thousands in Asia - many of whom were children. We cannot begin to comprehend this great tragedy - perhaps the greatest natural disaster of modern history.
We express condolences to Douglas and Enid McDonald on the death of their son Christopher John in Fort Lauderdale. We extend congratulations to Miss Bernice Stevens who will celebrate her 97th birthday on January 8.
We extend a warm welcome all those who are visiting with us today.
It is a pleasure to have the Rt. Rev. Dr. Alfred Reid, Bishop
of Jamaica, and Mrs. Reid at our 8:00 a.m. Eucharist at which
Bishop Reid is Celebrant and Preacher. On behalf of my family
and members of the church staff let me use this opportunity to
wish you all God's grace and blessings during the New Year.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
We welcome members of the Queens School Alumni who are worshipping with us at the 7:30 Eucharist, as they always do on the first Sunday of the year.
Thursday, January 6 is observed as the Feast of the Epiphany and the Holy Eucharist will be celebrated at 5:30 p.m.
Confirmation Classes resume on Wednesday, January `12, 2005 for Adults and on Friday, January 14, 2005 for Juniors.
Our annual Congregational Meeting will be held on Sunday, January 30 at 9:30 a.m. IN PREPARATION FOR THIS MEETING WE NEED TO HAVE ANNUAL REPORTS FROM CHURCH GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS WELL IN ADVANCE OF THE MEETING. WE ALSO NEED TO HAVE YOUR SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES FOR 2005.
Videotapes of the 340th Anniversary Service are available from Mr. Tony Patel (telephone 946-9430) at $1,000 each.
WILL YOU CONSENT TO BE A BLOOD DONOR FOR THE CHURCH? PLEASE CALL THE CHURCH OFFICE AND HAVE YOUR NAME ADDED TO THE LIST OF PERSONS ON CALL.
Holy Baptism will be administered next Sunday, The Feast
of the Baptism of our Lord, during the 7:30 Eucharist.
Father, let me dedicate
Second Sunday After Christmas
(Corporate for the Church Committee)
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Page last updated: January 1, 2005
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