The E-Postle

E-postle for July 2, 2017

    “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” – mission statement Frequently Asked Questions During this process of transition for the parish, some questions come up on a regular basis.  The interim working group of wardens and synod delegates/alternate delegates has collected together some of them into a FAQ sheet for everyone in the parish.  This important reference guide is being sent out at the same time as this E-postle.  Please take the time to read it and bring your questions to one of the following:  Sheila De Vaal, Geri Grigg, Teri Hazelton, Mary-Lou Kyle, Natasha McDonald, Ruby Ng, Tony Pellett, Maureen Simons, Terry Walton. Yours in Christ, Stephanie+ Upcoming Dates July 8- work party at the church July 9- guest preacher and presider the Most Rev. Douglas Hambidge, retired Archbishop July 12- 9:30 onwards, Coffee & Crafts in the hall July 16- guest preacher and presider the Rev. Peter Smythe, Mission to Seafarers July 17- 7:30-9 pm, Beer & Bible at the Parkside Brewery, 2731 Murray Street, Port Moody July 23- “Hymns from a Hat” Sunday July 26- 9:30 onwards, Coffee & Crafts in the hall Stewardship Reflection Do we put God first in our lives?  Stewardship, in its simplest terms, asks us to put God’s priorities before our own. To give the first portion of our gifts of time, talent and money to God’s work and only then to satisfy our own needs. This leads directly to the cornerstone of stewardship: sacrificial giving. What is first on my summer agenda? Parish Work Party This coming Saturday, July 8, parishioners of all abilities are encouraged to...

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The E-postle – June 25, 2017

  “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” – draft mission statement The Work Does Not Stop As we come to the end of June, many of us are looking forward to some down time during the summer months.  For the community of St. Johns, however, the work continues to identify the vision and goals. It is vitally important that you keep in touch with what is going on through email, contacts, and participation in the ongoing interim process. Your reflections on the Sources of Transformation gatherings during Lent, the parish forum on Goals and Marks of Mission, and the Liturgy Workshop are being collated for themes.  Based on what you have provided, an interim working group composed of the wardens and synod delegates/alternates is busy with four tasks: To develop an electronic/written survey for individuals that will help each person’s voice be part of the parish identity and priorities To write a narrative statement of “who we are” as a parish To describe the challenges for this community To research the components of a parish profile document in preparation for the fall The next step coming out of these tasks is to reflect what we have gathered back to the parish community, through group gatherings and perhaps some one-on-one visiting for those who find it difficult to attend events.  We can then discern the pieces that are still missing and how to fill in the gaps.  When we get to the stage of writing the parish profile that will call a new...

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E-postle June 18, 2017

The E-postle June 18, 2017   “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” – draft mission statement   National Aboriginal Day June 21 is celebrated across Canada as National Aboriginal Day, and the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada designates an Aboriginal Day of Prayer to be observed this day or on the Sunday closest.  This Sunday, therefore, we gather together to worship and to walk the path that Jesus sets before us towards truth, justice, and healing.  Whether we are settlers, First Nations, Inuit, or Metis on this land, we acknowledge that our Creator has given us responsibility to steward and share it with all creation.  Our gathering prayer sets the tone, as we invite the Spirit’s reconciling love to be with us.  We have still much to learn.    The following First Peoples Principles of Learning invite us to be open to other peoples’ teachings that are also grounded in the Good News. Learning ultimately supports the well-being of the self, the family, the community, the land, the spirits, and the ancestors. Learning is holistic, reflexive, reflective, experiential, and relational (focused on connectedness, on reciprocal relationships, and a sense of place). Learning involves recognizing the consequences of one’s actions. Learning involves generational roles and responsibilities. Learning recognizes the role of indigenous knowledge. Learning is embedded in memory, history, and story. Learning involves patience and time. Learning requires exploration of one’s identity. Learning involves recognizing that some knowledge is sacred and only shared with permission and/or in certain situations. (for more information, visit www.fnesc.ca ) Yours in Christ, Stephanie+   Upcoming Dates June 20- 7 pm, Interim Working...

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E-postle – June 4th, 2017

The E-postle June 4, 2017 “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” – draft mission statement A Spirited Community It takes energy to change.   The natural human tendency is to resist something new because the familiar is, well, familiar.  At least we can gauge how much we have to put in to stay in the same spot.  But being stationary is not good for any living organism:  witness how sore your back gets when you sit for too long.  The Holy Spirit stirs us to restlessness, to dissatisfaction with the way things are.  But to overcome inertia, we need both a vision of where we want to get to and courage to take a first step. Within the transition process, talking is important but talking is not enough.  God is stirring us to change.  It is about letting go of the old so that we have our hands free to grasp the new.  The work is daunting for a few parish leaders.  Each and every member must be part of the change process:  willing to make room inside to be filled by the Holy Spirit.  The gifts given at Pentecost are here among you:  wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, and interpretation.  Bring them forward and share them so that your leaders may be strengthened and renewed.  Every voice is needed to engage in our identity and priorities.  Every ear is needed to listen for God in what others say.  And every hand is needed for first steps.  The depth of your engagement will determine how quickly the Spirit can drive us forward. Or for those of...

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The E-postle – May 28, 2017

 “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” – draft mission statement


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The E-postle – May 21, 2017

   “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” – draft mission statement The Eucharist Every time Christians gather at the table and share bread and wine, we re-live the reality of who we are as the people of God.  The celebration of the Eucharist, or “Great Thanksgiving”, is the work of the whole community.  The celebrant is the one who presides at the front, but the liturgy is a collective prayer-filled action.  All of us are participants and witnesses that it is Jesus Christ who is the host of this holy meal.  Sometimes the bread that is blessed is called “the host” to remind us of this truth, as it becomes for us the body of our Lord.   Every baptized person is a full member of the body of Christ and is welcome to receive both bread and wine.  Even small children may do so, and this discussion is part of the preparation for baptism. But no one has a complete theological explanation for the mystery and amazing love that is symbolized by this sacrament, and the Church doesn’t demand you to have one before you come to the table.  What we instinctively understand and are drawn toward is sometimes more than we can put into words.  We grow into a deeper maturity in faith as we learn through practice and reflection. For this reason, our communion services on Sunday May 28 at 8:30 am and 10 am will be Teaching Eucharists.  During the liturgy we will consider the meaning of some of the things we do.  There will be time after the service to ask questions...

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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...

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The E-postle – May 7, 2017

  Partners in Christ:  New Westminster and Northern Philippines The Episcopal Church in the U.S., ECUSA, has oversight of the Diocese of Northern Philippines, which centres on Mountain Province around the city of Bontoc, in the northern or Luzon area of the islands known collectively of as the Philippines. In May 2016, The Diocese of New Westminster accepted the invitation of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Philippines (EDNP) to enter into a companion relationship seeking opportunities for prayer, mutual learning, and witness to the gospel.  Within the Anglican Communion, this is known as a “Companion Relationship”.  New Westminster had previously had Companion Diocese relationships with Argentina (1989-1999) and Taiwan (2000-2015).  Exploratory conversations with Bishop Brent Alawas and his staff and the Provincial Office of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines (ECP) occurred, and visits had been made by senior clergy and our Bishop Melissa Skelton.  Bishop Brent then came to our Diocesan Mission Conference last spring. Now we are moving forward to build bridges of communication. The hope is to link parishes to pray with each other and to share opportunities to serve.  Each parish has been asked for a liaison to be in contact with a recently developed diocesan committee for the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Philippines (EDNP). That person would also encourage a parish group to develop an electronic document profiling the parish and congregation, worship, activities etc. that we can share with our brothers and sisters overseas. This will be a very useful drafting exercise for our parish profile.  Our liaison does not have to have previous knowledge of the Philippines (although if you do, God may be leading you to this) nor does he or she have the responsibility of doing the profile (that’s something we need to get working on anyway!).  But if you have...

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The E-postle – April 16, 2017

    This Joyful Eastertide Joy is a funny thing.  It’s not the same as happy.  It can be held at the same time as acknowledging pain and hurt.  Joy is an awareness of hope and love and beauty and God’s grace that can cause our hearts to leap within us.  It is the proclamation that death is not the end, and that sin does not have dominion, no matter how much we struggle with the world’s brokenness. This Easter, in spite of all that is happening around us, we are called out of our darkness into the light of the resurrection.  As individuals and as a community of faith, we proclaim that we believe in new beginnings.  Our task this season is to focus on the new beginning God has in store for St. John’s.  Vision has to be framed in mission- what God is calling us to do- before it can be translated into concrete action.  The risen Christ bore the marks of his mission on his hands and feet.  What are the marks that St. John’s is willing to bear joyfully forward? From the Anglican Church of Canada, the following marks of mission have been identified.  Is there one that speaks most strongly to you in terms of where St. John’s must concentrate its energy? Share the good news Teach new believers Help people in need Work to make things fairer Look after the planet Please pray for the new life that is already among us in this Eastertide, that we may joyfully follow where God is calling us next, Yours in Christ, Stephanie+ Readings for Easter Sunday April 23rd   Acts 2:1-14, 22-32 Psalm 16 1 Peter 1:3-9 John 20:19-31   Upcoming Dates April 17- Fellowship Supper with Lower Mainland Moslem Community April 22- Re-Sponse Refugee...

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