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Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Year A)
In this Bulletin ...
My Dear Friends,
It is wonderful to be back from my vacation. There seems to be no escape from the tragedy of death and disaster. Early Wednesday morning before many of us had gotten out of bed I received the sad news of Bradley Foote's death. Bradley is Simone Spence's late husband and the son-in-law of Mrs. June Spence. The evening before I was at the home of a dear friend who had recently discovered she had an aggressive form of cancer. All this comes after burying two family friends during my vacation and amidst the terrible disaster wreaked by hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and other communities along the Gulf Coast. So on Wednesday morning as I pondered on the extent to which we have become inured by this atmosphere of death, some words from Psalm 38, the lectionary reading for the day, came to me. "For in you Lord have I fixed my hope; you will answer me, O Lord my God".
Christian hope is not the belief in some vague promise that, with the help of God, everything will come to a good end. There are many things that will not end that way. Neither is Christian hope the idea that once we believe in God we will be saved from pain and defeat. What Christian hope means is that nothing in the world, not even death, can prevent us from fulfilling the ultimate meaning of our existence, which is in Christ Jesus. Even if there is hardly any prospect of success and even if many loose heart and give up. The person who clings to this kind of hope in Jesus Christ, resists to the end. This is the wonderful testimony being given by the survivors of Katrina's full wrath, and it can be our story if we are willing to live by faith in the God of Jesus Christ. As one recent author puts it: "as long as I hope, I breathe in and breathe out the powers and energies for living". That in the end is what keeps us going. Let God be praised.
During the month of September we resume our regular parish schedules and events. On Wednesday and Thursday of this week confirmation classes led by Rev. Fr. Robert McLean will begin for seniors and juniors respectively. Both classes start at 6.00pm. Any members of the congregation who are already confirmed are welcome to sit in on these classes. In any event, since we do not come to faith on our own, your presence as fellow travellers in the faith would be appreciated by those who are starting out for the first time again.
It is a joy to welcome back Dr. and Mrs. David Kuck after Dr. Kuck's
six-month sabbatical in the US. We also welcome all visitors worshipping
with us this morning.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Why does God let bad things happen in the world?
This question is probably as old as religion itself. It is a stumbling block for some of us, and for many more at given moments of tragedy. There are as many answers to this question as there are people who care to engage in theological dialogue. One understanding is that yes, God allows "bad things" to happen; God does not cause them to happen.
Most "bad" things which happen do so because God gives a radical freedom to God's people; we are free people, not puppets on a string. But God does not cause "bad things" to happen. God loves us and grieves with us in our pain when "bad things" happen.
Therefore, we might best respond by saying that God does not Will "bad things" to happen in life. Rather, "bad things" happen in the freedom that comes with the gift of life. When "bad things" happen to any of God's children, God is grieved and suffers with us, experienced most vividly in the hurt and suffering of Jesus the Christ for all humanity. Any "bad thing" which happens is never the last word. Rather, God is the deepest and last word, and that word is love and eternal life with God.
The Rev. Dr. Douglass M. Bailey/explorefaith.org
Today at 4:00 p.m. we will host a Diocesan function to honour organists, choirmasters and some choristers who have faithfully served the church's music ministry for ten years and more. There will be a programme of music provided by the UWI Singers. This promises to be an evening of music and memories and you are invited to attend.
Please remember the Gala Banquet rescheduled to Thursday, October 6, 2005 at the Jamaica Pegasus at 7:30 p.m. and at which the Guest Speaker will be the Bishop of Jerusalem, the Rt. Rev. Riah Abu El Assal. Tickets are available at $5,000 each.
The Young Adults will be conducting a series of surveys starting today. All young adults are invited to complete a form available at the back of the Church.
The Youth Choir wishes to extend its range to form a SAPC instrumental band to play during worship services. Interested persons who can or wish to learn to play pan, drums, guitar, etc. are invited to an orientation meeting next Saturday, September 10 at 8 Hamilton Drive. Contact - Miss Elan Lumsden.
If you are not already a member of a Parish group you may wish to join the Friends of Majesty Magic - a group which works with the Youth in Majesty Gardens - Please attend a Meeting next week Sunday after the 7:30 a.m. Service in the Old Court House. For more information please call the Church Office.
St. Luke's Church, Cross Roads, invites us to a public lecture and discussion on the topic "The role of the Church in education" - Wednesday, September 21, 2005 at 5:30 p.m. in their Church Hall. Panelists include the Diocesan Bishop, the Minister of Education and two students.
Today, there will be no Evening Service.
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
There will be no Evening Service.
This Week at St. Andrew's
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Page last updated: September 2, 2005
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