Lections:Acts 8:26-40; Psalm 22; John 15:1-8
Holy Eucharist/BAS (11:00am): Officiant: Rev’d. Lynn Courage, Homilist: Archdeacon David Burrows, Reader: Elizabeth Barnes
Hymns:486 vs. 1 & 3; 77 vs. 1, 2 & 5; 378 vs. 1 & 4; 482; 425 vs. 1, 2, 3
Table of Contents
Ministry & Mission at the Ascension
- Sunday Worship at the Ascension (Reminders): 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.
- Bishop’s Visit: I am pleased to share that Bishop Samuel Rose will be worshipping with us on May 15 and 16 in the octave of Ascension.
- Ascension Sunday: On Sunday, May 16, we will observe Ascension Sunday and the Bishop will be with us to preside and preach. We ask God’s blessing upon Bishop Samuel and his family and upon the entire diocese at this time as we continue to navigate a way forward through the pandemic and other challenges.
- Confirmation: On May 15, the Bishop will preside at Confirmation at both 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. for the eighteen candidates that have been patiently waiting since last year. These liturgies will be attended by the candidates and their families, as we are bound by the limitations of public health as we continue through these COVID times.
- Pandemic Appeal: Since January 1, 2021, we have raised only $740 for our Pandemic Appeal. We encourage parishioners to continue to support our Parish in this effort by donating to this cause. Thank you to all who have donated thus far.
- Gathering Place ‘Welcome Home’ Gift Card Project: The Anglican Archdeaconry of Avalon is collecting gift cards from any supermarket or Walmart to aid The Gathering Place in supporting clients who are moving into a new residence. Gift cards will be used to purchase fresh food, cleaning supplies, and hygiene products. Any financial donation of either gift cards or money is gratefully accepted; however, gift suggestions are $30 1 person, $50 2-3 people, $75 4- up! We will decorate a “donation tree” with different coloured symbols representing each monetary amount donated. We will set it up in the church so you can see how much has been received weekly. Donations to this worthwhile project will be accepted up to the end of June. You may drop your donations in the church mailbox (located on the front steps of the church). Thank you very much.
- Spring Clean Up: It’s the time of year for the yard cleanup. On Saturday, May the 8 at 9:00 a.m. we will be cleaning up the grounds. If you are interested in joining us, please feel free to come along. If you have any of the following equipment, please bring it along: wheel barrel, deck broom and shovel. Oh and yourself! Thank you
- Pre-Authorized Givings: If you would like to set up pre-authorized givings, please contact the church office at 368-5693 for direction. Thank you.
- Birthday/Anniversary Sundays: The worship for Family Service 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 each month to ensure they are included.
- Services During the Week:
- Sunday, May 9 (Easter V): 11:00am, Holy Eucharist/BCP ascensionnl.ca
I am indebted to Bishop William Cliff of the Diocese of Brandon as I reflect upon the Scripture and upon the journey of faith this week.
In 2008 I learned from him in his role as Chaplain to Huron University College. I was attending youth leadership training meetings, and I was blessed to hear words that many of us who have encountered Bill may well remember.
- Grace is when you get what you don’t deserve.
- Mercy is when you don’t get what you do deserve.
- In reading the Scriptures (in particular the Gospels), find out what is astounding and see where God is at work.
I find myself focusing in this way this week. I must say to you, in my life and witness, in my journey this week, I am tired, I am failing, and I am adrift. Perhaps it is the weight of pandemic, perhaps it is the weight of the challenges of daily life and being that seems to be all around. Cumulative response to weather patterns perhaps or the angst of living in perpetual uncertainty.
Into all of this, I step as a human individual, faltering and failing in the midst of community and society all around me, longing for redemption, longing for change, longing for peace it seems. In short, I can be very much consumed with my thoughts, my reality, my struggles.
Into this, I see sparks of the concerns and cares, the realities and the struggles of others. I hear words and read information and listen to the voices of those who choose to share with me their journey, their reality, their struggles, their joys. I feel wholly inadequate to face my day at times, let alone to face the realities in which others are living. I journey as a priest for others and yet I stumble and fall, and try to bring Jesus as best I can.
And so these words of Bill’s ring out.
I don’t deserve what I get from the Holy One.
I am not getting what I deserve because the Holy One is offering redemption.
I read the words from Acts this week, and I am astounded by the reality that Philip offers reflection, hope, redemption in Jesus for the Ethiopian Eunuch through inclusion in the community of faith. He is baptized, even though parts of Scripture would refute a eunuch’s presence in the life of the Holy Community. This gives me hope as in many parts of society persons are persecuted, ostracized, and demonized because of who they are.
The journey that Jesus demands of we who follow him is to meet people where they are and love them. Journey with them. Listen. Be. When they wish to explore and learn about who we are and how we try to live our lives, then we share.
I read the words from the Gospel of John this week and I am astounded in the words ‘Abide in me as I abide in you.’ In the darkest and hardest parts of my day, in the struggles and challenges, I need to remind myself that I am not alone. The Holy One dwells within me and I dwell in the Holy One. The Holy One lives within those whom I encounter, in the myriad diverse expressions and realities of who they are.
So. I hold on to this vine, this connection with Jesus, with the community of faith, even in uncertain and difficult times. I try to move and be, accepting that my journey has to be a journey of GRACE and MERCY.
I share this quite personal reflection this week, knowing I hold much grief, trauma, and pain within me. Next week much of the province will be observing Mental Health Awareness Week. It is a poignant reminder of my frailty, as this week I have expressed, and recounted from others, the memory of The Rt. Rev.’d Dr. Geoff Peddle, former Bishop of our diocese who died last October. It shook so many of us to the core. Many of us still mourn, have complicated and unresolved grief. Challenges in Mental Health, trauma, pain, and anxiety can be a part of our journey as human beings. They do not have to be the full extent of our journey. I pray that the struggles that I see in Scripture, of the undesired of society being accepted into the family of Jesus, and in the reality of the Holy One abiding within us as we in the Holy One might be marker posts for us as we observe Mental Health Awareness Week.
No one is beyond the love and acceptance of God.
No one is fully alone.
Be gentle, be blessed this week,
Prayers of the People
Creator of all that lives, maker of all that breathes, source of all that grows, nothing can long exist apart from you. Let us pray: Lord, hear our prayer.
Lord Jesus, you are the vine and we are branches, created to be joined to you. Help us to live in you. Let us pray: Lord, hear our prayer.
Secure us in the faith of all the saints, apostles, and martyrs. Make us love what you command and desire what you promise, that amid all the changes of this world, our hearts may be fixed where true joy is found. Let us pray: Lord, hear our prayer.
Lord Jesus, you are the vine and we are branches, created to bear fruit. Help us to abide in you. We pray for Samuel our Bishop, for the parishes of Gander Bay and The Good Shepherd and for those worshipping in The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East. Let us pray: Lord, hear our prayer.
Lord, hear our prayer for the world you have made and for those who dwell upon it. We ask your blessing upon the land and those who work it this day. Lord, hear our prayer.
We ask your blessing upon those who labour to nourish your people and those who work to feed the nations. Let us pray: Lord, hear our prayer.
Bless, O Lord, those who care for the air, the land, and the sea, and for all that is in them or upon them. Bless too those who bring your love to their neighbours, your compassion to the aliens and strangers in their midst. Let us pray: Lord, hear our prayer.
Bless, O God, those who seek to heal the wounds of the spirit and the afflictions of the body. Bless them and those to whom they minister, especially remembering those on the Ascension Prayer Cycle. Let us pray: Lord, hear our prayer.
For ourselves in this assembly, all who are impacted by the Pandemic, those undergoing testing, those who received positive results, those in isolation, all funeral directors and cemetery staff, all believing in our every deed the good news, that after a year of turmoil and strife, the world may be free of this virus. For this, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, hear our prayer.
Bless those who are dying and those who have died, especially our brothers and sisters in India, remembering their loved ones who grieve and mourn their loss. Let us pray: Lord, hear our prayer.
Bless, O God, all those whom we hold before you at this time. Fill them and us with your life giving love in and through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Ascension Prayer Cycle: Aden, Amelia, Ann, Annie, Aubrey, Audrey, Barbara, Baxter, Bob, Brenda, Brian, Brittany, Brandon, Callum, Carl, Cathy, Christina, Cindy, Claire, Clarence, Connie, David, Debra, Delilah, Dennis, Derrick, Don, Donna, Doreen, Dot, Doug, Dulcie, Ed, Edgar, Elaine, Emily, Erin, Evelyn, Finnley, Frederick, Fred, Frank, Flo, Garrett, George, Gerald, Gerry, Glenda, Gordon, Harry, Hilda, Ike, Ina, Ingrid, Ira, Jack, Jason, Jennifer, Jenny, John, Josephine, Joan, Judy, Junior, Kent, Kevin, Kim, Laura, Leo, Leonie, Lindsay, Lori, Louise, Madeline, Marie, Marsha, Mark, Marion, Marylou, Maxine, Maxwell, Melissa, Melvin, Michelle, Mike, Mona, Nancy, Pam, Phyllis, Rachel, Randell, Randy, Rodney, Roland, Ruby, Ruth, Rita, Sean, Shirley, Stephen, Susan, Tina, Todd, Tom, Valerie, Vera, Victoria and Wayne
Prayer During the Pandemic
Lord Jesus Christ,
you taught us to love our neighbour,
and to care for those in need
as if we were caring for you.
In this time of anxiety, give us strength
to comfort the fearful, to tend the sick,
and to assure the isolated
of our love, and your love,
for your name’s sake. Amen.
your Son Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life.
Give us grace to love one another
and walk in the way of his commandments,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. AMEN
A Reading from the Book of Acts
Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Get up and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." (This is a wilderness road.) So he got up and went. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. Then the Spirit said to Philip, "Go over to this chariot and join it." So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?" He replied, "How can I, unless someone guides me?" And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him. Now the passage of the scripture that he was reading was this: "Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter, and like a lamb silent before its shearer, so he does not open his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth." The eunuch asked Philip, "About whom, may I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?" Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus. As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, "Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?" He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he was passing through the region, he proclaimed the good news to all the towns until he came to Caesarea. ACTS 8:26-40
Reader: The Word of the Lord
People: Thanks be to God
My praise is of him in the great assembly;
I will perform my vows in the presence of those who worship him.
The poor shall eat and be satisfied, and those who seek the Lord shall praise him:
"May your heart live for ever!"
All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations shall bow before him.
For kingship belongs to the Lord;|
he rules over the nations.
To him alone all who sleep in the earth bow down in worship;
all who go down to the dust fall before him.
My soul shall live for him; my descendants shall serve him;
they shall be known as the Lord's for ever.
They shall come and make known to a people yet unborn
the saving deeds that he has done.
Father, your tortured Son felt abandoned, and cried out in anguish from the cross, yet you delivered him. He overcame the bonds of death and rose in triumph from the grave. Do not hide your face from those who cry out to you: feed the hungry, strengthen the weak, and break the chains of the oppressed, that your people may rejoice in your saving deeds. This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen PSALM 22:24-30
Reader: The Lord be with you
People: And also with you
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ According to John
People: Glory to, you Lord Jesus Christ
Jesus said, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. JOHN 15:1-8
Reader: The Gospel of Christ
People: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ
Prayer over the Gifts
you show us your way
and give us your divine life.
May everything we do
be directed by the knowledge of your truth.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the risen Lord. AMEN
Prayer after Communion
God of love,
in this eucharist we have heard your truth
and shared in your life.
May we always walk in your way,
in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord. AMEN
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