The E-postle-May 14, 2017

Baptism and Confirmation

I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

It is such a simple sentence.  But with these words, we acknowledge the love of God active in our lives from the moment of birth.  We choose the One who has already chosen us, and we do so in the sight of the community.  It is a crucial turning point: to forgiveness, healing, and strength in a new life of service.  We use the language of dying and rising again, of being washed clean, of becoming part of a new humanity. It is the first decision in faith that we make for ourselves or our child, and we have the rest of our lives to work out God’s purpose.  Ongoing participation in a Christian community is how we grow into this new life together.

Strengthen, O Lord, your servant with your Holy Spirit;empower him/her for your service; and sustain him/her all the days of his/her life.”

If you were baptized as a young child, or if you are coming to a point in your life when you feel it is important to make a public declaration of your faith, you might want to consider the rite of Confirmation. In previous generations, young people had to wait until they were confirmed to receive communion.  This was in part a historical consequence of a bishop’s inability to be in every parish to do baptisms, so the bishop had to come around to “confirm” what the local priest had done to teach and initiate new believers.  With the liturgical renewal of the 1960’s and 1970’s, a regained understanding that baptism is the “full meal deal” introduced young people to the life of the Eucharist at a much earlier age.  But there are still good reasons why an individual might want to be confirmed.  Maybe your godparents made promises on your behalf that you now want to say for yourself.  Perhaps your life journey has led you away from the Church, and your return to a faith community is a significant step.  Or you are now making the transition from someone who has always been in the pews to a more committed disciple.  If it is important for you to say “yes” again to God, then consider inviting the power of the Holy Spirit personally into your heart by having hands laid on you prayerfully by our Diocesan Bishop Melissa Skelton.

The Sacrament of Baptism and Confirmation comes after a time of preparation in the parish when you are instructed in your promises and covenant, and encouraged to explore and ask questions about your faith in Jesus Christ.  Baptisms often take place at the high holy festivals of the church year:  Easter season, Pentecost, All Saints Day, or the Baptism of our Lord (January).  Confirmation is usually in the Easter season, and next year we will have Bishop Melissa visit St. John’s on Sunday April 29, 2018.  To help you discern, instruction called Catechism- literally “the Teaching”- is offered by the clergy and lay leaders.  Those interested in joining a Catechism Class are invited to speak with one of the clergy.  Regular meetings will then be set according to the group’s needs.

Yours in Christ,

Stephanie+

Readings for Easter 5, May 21st, 2017

Acts 17:22-31; Psalm 66:7-18; 15-16; 1 Peter 3:13-22; John 14:15-21

Upcoming Dates

May 13- 10:30 am Diocesan Confirmations at Christ Church Cathedral

May 18- Anglican Church Women Meeting 7 pm in the Church Hall

May 26-27- Diocesan Synod at the Italian Cultural Centre

May 28- Parish Visiting Ministry meeting at the Waltons’ home

May 29- 7 pm Parish Council in the Parish Ministry Centre, all welcome to attend

June 4- Pentecost

June 11-17 Diocesan School for Parish Development

 

Stewardship Reflection

“I am with you”. “I will go with you”. ” I will be with you”. – The S Word: Douglas Hambidge
“As I was with Moses so I will be with you. I will never leave you nor forsake you…. the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:1-10

Believing this, how does it make a difference to your stewardship?

This week, we give thanks for the work of the Anglican Church Women in putting on the Spring Tea, which raised over $1200.  We also give thanks for those who shared food and helped with our potluck lunch last Sunday, at which parishioners had an opportunity to share where the parish may go with God’s help.

Opportunity to Spring Clean Your Closet and Help

Donations are needed for the 3030 Gordon Shelter. Your donation of men’s socks, underwear, sweatpants and hooded jackets are greatly appreciated. If you would like more information please contact Mary Lou Kyle at 604-461-7162 or via email at maryloukyle1234@gmail.com or Ruby Ng at 778-994-9963 or via email at rubyngchen@gmail.com

Sources of Transformation Feedback at Parish Forum

During Lent, we explored sources of transformation already at work in the parish.  From your feedback, we learned the following:

–        People come to St. John’s for many reasons, but stay because they feel welcomed, accepted and fed.  Our responsibility is to be more intentional about how we invite, orient, and incorporate recent arrivals and seekers and offer ways to grow deeper in the faith

–        We gather in worship that restores and challenges our understandings.  We have a diverse community that thrives with creative liturgy while recognizing our Anglican heritage.

–         Teaching is an important expression of our apostolic calling to proclaim the good news.  A good number of parishioners spend time in learning groups such as Education for Ministry (EfM), Godly Play, and Bible study.  Commitment to opportunities for theological reflection in our life together will help us deepen our spiritual practices.

–        Fellowship and opportunities to eat, talk, and be with each other help us find comfort and support.  However, those who have done so well to organize in the past need help, and the parish must find ways to both pass on experience and allow others to grow into leadership roles.

–        St. John’s identifies as a faith community that reaches out in action to the wider neighbourhood through ministries such as the Birds’ Nest, the Food Bank, Anglican Church Women outreach projects and the 3030 Gordon shelter.  Donations and volunteers assist, but most take place off-site and under different agencies.  How could St. John’s be more visible in the community, and how could the buildings better support loving service in action?

–        Good communication is a top priority for sharing ideas and planning forward

Parishioners were invited to reflect on whether anything is missing from draft Mission Statement, which will come to Parish Council for recommendation and then to Vestry for final adoption:

The Parish of St. John the Apostle is called to be

*          A Spirited Community at the heart of Port Moody

*          transformed through the experience of the presence of Christ

*          and sent out to share God’s Love

Those present then considered how to enflesh the Mission Statement. Three of the Five Anglican Marks of Mission are identified as priorities for this community.  In order of support, they are

–        respond to human need by loving service

–        teach, baptize, and nurture new believers

–        seek to transform unjust structures of society, challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation

Through these, we proclaim the good news of the kingdom, and by them we seek to sustain and nurture creation.   The way we go about setting goals for meeting these marks will shape the way our buildings need to be reconfigured or utilized.  Individuals and table groups entered discussion about strengths, challenges, and next steps for our buildings.  In the next issue of the E-postle, some of the feedback from the plenary and the worksheets on parish goals will be shared.

 

Important Contact Information

Interim Priest- The Rev. Stephanie Shepard rev.seshepard@gmail.com or 778-773-6816

Parish Office- Karen Evans stjohn7@shaw.ca or 604-936-7762

Wardens- Geri Grigg gerigrigg@gmail.com Terry Walton terry&joanne_walton@telus.net  Maureen Simons mesimons@telus.net or through the parish office

Treasurer- Chelsea Belyk chelsea.belyk@gmail.com

Parish Council- Adelaine Miller, Secretary adelainemiller@shaw.ca

St. John Prayer Circle-  While Sue Elliott is away until May 14, please direct requests to Joan Scott at scott.joan@hotmail.com or via phone at 604-941-5795.

Pastoral Visiting Ministry- Joanne Walton terry&joanne_walton@telus.net

or Alma Oldenburg almaolden@hotmail.com