Epiphany lll / Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Lections: Psalm 103; John 15:1-17; Psalm 85; 1 Corinthians 1:10-13a; Psalm 96; Revelation 7:9-12;
Hymns (CP): 643 vs. 1 & 3; 487 vs. 1, 2, 5; In Christ There Is No East Or West; 378 vs 1,2,4; 525 vs. 1, 2, 5
Table of Contents
Ministry & Mission at the Ascension
- Sunday Worship at the Ascension (Reminders):
- Please remain in your vehicle until you see your pew number displayed by the Covid Team member.
- Please refrain from congregating on the steps of the church prior to and after services.
- Pre-Authorized Givings: If you would like to set up pre-authorized givings, please take a pamphlet from either entrance of the church or from the church office. Simply fill one out, drop it into the office, and we will set up your automated givings. Thank you!
- Church Calendars: If you would like to purchase a 2021 Church Calendar, we have a small number available for sale at the office. The cost is $5.00. Please contact the office at 368-5693 to purchase. Thanks.
- Cancellation of Service/Storm Notice: If Sunday services are canceled due to inclement weather, there will be an announcement on VOCM and VOWR. You may also check the message on the church answering machine
- Services During the Week: Sunday, January 31 Epiphany IV Birthday/Anniversary Sunday: 11:00am - Wee Worship Book
- CLB Lunch Special Returns: CLB will be offering dinner take-outs (curbside pickup), or free delivery on 5 or more orders. This week enjoy classic stuffed chicken breast for just $12. To order, call 722-1737 by Thursday at 11:00 a.m.
- Godly Play: If you are interested in some resources for Godly Play, please see the link below. We offer this as a way for you and your child(ren) to stay connected to God and to our church family until we are able to meet again face to face. sites.google.com/view/st-marys-sunday-school/home
- Birthday/Anniversary Sundays: We are once again designating one Sunday of each month as family Sunday. The worship for that Sunday will include the celebration of birthdays or anniversaries for that given month. Please send us a picture of yourself to include during the Birthday Sunday celebration portion of the liturgy. You can send your photos to [email protected]. We request that you submit your photos by the end of the first week of each month to ensure they are included.
- Pandemic Appeal: To date, we have raised $6,285. We encourage parishioners to continue to support our Parish in this effort by donating to the Pandemic Appeal. Thank you to all who have donated thus far.
- Clergy Contact During the COVID-19 Pandemic: If you would like to receive a physically distanced visit from Reverend David or Reverend Lynn, please call the office or contact the clergy via email.
- Live Streamed Services: If you are interested in viewing Sunday service, you can do so by logging in to the new church website ascensionnl.ca, and go to the Social Media tab. Once there, click on the Facebook tab (please note you do not have to have a Facebook account to view the service). This will link you directly with the service once it has begun on Sunday.
We are steadily moving into this new year, with the uncertainty and challenges of daily life during the pandemic, with societal and economic uncertainty within the community and the globe. The challenges of environment, of society, and within our world are legion: vulnerable persons face this winter, persons are not afforded dignity due to their age, gender, sex, culture, or ethnicity; The world seems to be spinning out of control with the Covid19 response, the climate crisis, political change and instability, with warmongers urging for destruction. There seems to be so much that divides and despairs humanity.
Into this the Christian community steps boldly into the third week of January. It is a time when we observe the healing and reconciling relationship between Peter and Paul – two early Christian leaders who didn’t always agree.
So many times Christian leaders and Christian communities have disagreed, divided, and caused destruction in their wake. The legacy of many Christian communities is one of colonization, oppression, and the subjugation of peoples, ideas, expressions and cultures.
This is not a monopoly for Christianity, yet in the western world it is one of the realities of the imprint of Christian leaders and communities on our shores.
This week – this third week of January, between January 18 and January 25, we are reminded that Christian persons are called not to divide and subjugate, oppress and destroy. Instead, we are called to reveal the Holy One in our midst, and celebrate the Holy One that is between each of us, and the other.
Christian communities are divided – we pray, we sing, we live, we observe a rule of life each in differing ways. We are called by the Holy One to mend our division, mend our brokenness, so that we can bring the Holy One, and bring holiness to the world.
And yet, Christian communities are each trying their best to be faithful to the Holy One, and to share with humanity the care, dignity and love that Jesus has offered us.
I give thanks these days for the friendship and companionship that I witness within my context. The differences that are present within Christian communities here are not destructive. The faith communities that I encounter, and their leaders, offer the love and the presence of the Holy One. Yes, we do not do everything together; yet we come together and work, and worship, and witness, because in each others eyes, hearts, and actions, we see the presence of the Holy One.
This week, each of the days, I will sing and give thanks for the entire Christian community, for its brokenness, for its solidarity. I will sing to move my heart and my actions closer to the Holy One, and closer to others for whom is the call for dignity, love and care.
The Broken Body
How can we live as Christians here, untouched by one another,
lip service paying to the name of sister or of brother?
Christ is the one who calls us one, who leads us to each other;
His voice we hear, His Word we read and yet his will we smother.
One is the water by which sign our lives for God are chosen;
One is the grace with which our Lord from sin ourselves can loosen.
But not in bread and wine as yet are hearts and hands united,
Though each can hear the banquet song to which all are invited.
If our still hands no body take, still bind us in intention:
Communion must come first through you and not by our invention.
O Christ of vision and of hope, without whose food we perish,
Show us the way by which, as one, we’ll share the One we cherish.
© 1989 The Iona Community.
Prayers of the People
Anglian Church of Canada One Licence #733242-A Book of Alternative Services The Taizé Community Book of Common Praise GIA Publications Wee Worship Book The Iona Community CCLI License # 1733318Resources for Chimes from the above sources