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Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany (Year A)
In this Bulletin ...
My Dear Friends,
Last year I celebrated 31 years in ordained ministry, and a week ago marked 15 years since becoming Rector of this great parish church. For three decades I have enjoyed my work in the congregations in which I had the privilege to serve. The joy I have been blessed to receive is, of course, not without the difficult and painful times, and yet, thank God, I was never overwhelmed by these, since by His grace I was able to accept them as challenges and as a wonderful opportunity for growth.
At our 340th Service of Commemoration we all re-committed ourselves to sustaining the witness and mission of Christ through our worship and outreach. The question remains however, what do we understand the witness and mission of Christ to be? In other words, what does St. Andrew Parish Church exist for? What do we hope to bring about through our worship and mission in our personal and collective lives, and what conditions do we want to help establish so that justice and peace may return to our community and nation? Each one of us tries to answer these questions in ways we know best. The point then is not whether we, as a Christian community, are concerned about our mission, as I believe we all are. The challenge I must face as your pastor is to help each one of us find new ways to re-interpret the gospel tradition and the wealth of symbols we have inherited, so that we may gain a fresh understanding of our common witness and mission. In a congregation as diverse as ours, that challenge is not easily met. In the first place, there are persons who hold strong views as to what they believe the church should be doing in order to spread the Good News. Unless we are prepared to let go of some of our so called "strong views" and begin to listen to each other and to what the tradition we have all inherited has to say, our goal of a common understanding of Christian witness will elude us.
The central question during this Season of the Epiphany is, where and how is God to be found? The answer, as the Three Wise Men discovered, is found only as we proceed in faith in the active search to seek and find God. He can be found once we are prepared to look beyond the potential for evil and fear, which have become the characteristic mark of life today, and risk the possibility of love and justice. We must remember then that the Season of Epiphany is also days of miracles and wonders. And so although evidence of evil continues to manifest itself, so too, does God's presence among us. The Epiphanies of our lives begin by asking, "Where and how is God to be found?" All we need do is follow the question, no matter where it leads us, no matter how far it takes us. If individually and collectively we are prepared to make that journey, then the possibilities of creating a congregation transformed to meet whatever challenge God places before us becomes very real.
With this in mind, let us use the opportunity at our Annual Congregational
Meeting to affirm our commitment to the Mission of this Parish
Church and take our place in the life, worship and governance
of the Church.
We regret the passing of Mr. Henry Morgan, former member of the B.S.A. and active participant in the life of the Church.
We extend a warm welcome to all our visitors and pray for God's
sustaining grace as we bear witness to him.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
A Call Forward
"The emerging congregation I envision provides a powerful environment - physical and communal - to nurture a richer way of being so that people have a deeper sense of meaning and are drawn by a call into greater service. In such a congregation people will sense their own worth deep down and will enjoy the privilege of being alive in a reality they experience with awe. They will feel the worth of others. They will use opportunities to develop and to express their gifts and values. They will see their life and its challenges as the arena in which to live out those gifts and values - alone in personal ministry and with others in shared ministry - for the glory of self-expression, for the service of humanity, for the enrichment of the world, and for the greater glory of God."
Letting go: Transforming congregations for Ministry
The Friends of the St. Andrew Parish Church Sunday Schools invite all music lovers to come and enjoy a delightful Evening of Jazz and Classical Music at the Churh Hall on Saturday February 5, 2005 at 5:00 p.m.
Today is the Annual Congregational Meeting for 2005. The Agenda is as follows:
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Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany
(Corporate for the Women's Auxiliary)
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This Week at St. Andrew's
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Page last updated: January 30, 2005
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