Weekly News 15 Oct 2017

Jesus uses many different images to describe the kind of life that he wants for his followers. Some of the most frequently repeated images are of growing things: crops ready for harvest, vines and fruit trees filled with good fruit. But Jesus isn’t saying that he wants all his followers to get into farming. His point is that he wants and expects his followers to grow, to grow spiritually and to grow in their capacity to love God and to love their neighbor.

There is also a lot of talk of building found in the teachings of Jesus and his first followers, the Apostles. But again, the point isn’t that Jesus’ followers are all meant to get into construction. Jesus is focused on a different kind of building. His focus is on building up his followers and friends into a community that makes God’s presence and his goodness known in the world.

The point is that being a Christian and being part of the Church was never meant to be stationary or static. It’s meant to be full of growth and signs of God’s creativity and purpose as he builds up the community of his people. It’s God who gives the growth and it’s Jesus who builds his Church, but if we’re not engaged in what God is doing we’ll miss out on the personal growth and the growth of our community that God wants for us.

We are going to dedicate the next seven Sundays to looking at 7 Steps we can take to ensure that we are actively engaged in the growing and building that God wants for each of us and for our community. We begin this week by looking at Jesus’ words to his followers in Matthew 18:1-7 and by considering the growing and building that God makes possible in our lives when we welcome even just one child in Jesus’ name.

See you Sunday!
Rev. David Turner

 

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Weekly News 8 October 2017

“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
    I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.” 
-Psalm 9:1-2

The connection between giving thanks to God and praising God is inescapable in the Bible. God’s people may be motivated by all sorts of things to praise him, from the experience of awe and wonder at the enormity and power of God’s creation, to the simple discipline of regularly giving God the praise that he is due. But the motivation to praise God which is perhaps most frequently referred to in the Bible is gratitude. This is especially true for those who come to know the goodness and power of God in and through Jesus Christ. There may be no better way for a follower of Jesus to celebrate the holiday we call ‘Thanksgiving’ than by praising God.

Praise, however, is more than just an appropriate way to give God our thanks. As I hope to demonstrate this Sunday in the final instalment of our ‘This Old Church’ sermon series, praise is foundational to our lives as individual followers of Jesus and to the life of the Church.

Part of the reason praise is foundational to the life of the Church is that, when done properly, it helps to sustain our spiritual lives here and now. But it’s also foundational because it prepares us for the future we still await. When, as the Bible promises, Jesus returns to fulfill God’s kingdom, there are all kinds of things the Church won’t do any more. We won’t do evangelism any more because the future hope to which evangelism points will have been fulfilled.  We won’t do funerals anymore because death will have been undone.  Jesus even says we won’t do weddings anymore. But, we are told, our worship – our praise – will continue throughout eternity. We’ll talk more about this on Sunday to conclude our series “This Old Church”.

Next Sunday, Oct. 15th, we’re going to start a new series. After having looked at the spiritual foundations of St. Paul’s, we’re going to move up by exploring what I’m calling the “7 Steps”.  The 7 Steps are part of a process which, when properly nurtured and integrated into our life as a church, helps each of us and all of us grow spiritually and build meaningful lifegiving community together.  I’ll say more about what these steps are in next weeks’ newsletter.

In the meantime I hope you’re able to join us on this journey of spiritual growth and community building, and that you and yours have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Sincerely,

The Rev. David Turner


 

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Weekly News 1 Oct 2017

You won’t see many photographs of foundations featured in home-design or renovation magazines because, of course, they just aren’t very interesting to look at.

But it doesn’t matter how boring or visually unappealing the foundation of a building is. Without it the building won’t stand, at least, not for long. No matter how grand or beautiful or “on trend” the style of a building may be, in the end it’s only as good as it’s foundation.

In this ongoing sermon series, we’ve been looking at what ought to be the spiritual foundation of St. Paul’s, the foundation that’s been laid for us in the life and words and saving acts of Jesus.

As with other types of foundations this may not be a very exciting topic for people to look at, but it’s absolutely essential if we want to be sure that the life we are building, both as individuals and as a community of faith, has any hope of standing.

We’ve looked at the way Welcome, and Proclamation mark out two sides of the foundation that Jesus has laid for us and we continue this week by looking at Prayer. Prayer the way Jesus practiced and taught it may be described as foundational in a few different senses. The real work of prayer, like the work of most foundations, goes mostly unseen. Also, prayer the way Jesus’ taught it, isn’t particularly glamourous or exciting. Yet without prayer the rest of what we do as followers of Jesus will remain at best superficial and at worst dangerously unstable.

As always, I hope you’re able to join us this Sunday as we take a closer look at what will truly keep us standing and together.

Rev. David Turner

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Weekly News Sept 24, 2017

Over a series of 4 Sundays we are taking a good hard look at what really keeps this old church standing and together, but we’re not looking at the physical foundation of St. Paul’s. We’re looking at the spiritual foundations of St. Paul’s, the foundations that God has laid for us in the life and words and saving acts of Jesus.

The foundation that’s been laid for us in Jesus has a very specific shape, a shape which is marked out by four distinct but inextricably connected sides.
They are:

  • Welcome,
  • Proclamation,
  • Prayer,
  • Praise

As we build on the foundation that Jesus provides these are what should give shape our lives; our lives as individual followers of Jesus and our life as a church. And at no time should these sides of Jesus’ foundation be clearer than when we gather together as a church for worship.

We started our series last week with ‘Welcome,’ by looking at the incredible way in which God has welcomed us in Jesus, and how we, in turn, are called to welcome one another.  We continue our series this week by looking more closely at ‘Proclamation’, that is the message of Jesus to us and his call to make that message known to others.


EVERYONE IS INVITED TO JOIN 
COMMUNITY PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY
Monday, September 25, 2017 @7pm
Holy Trinity, Hammond River
Canon David Barrett would like prayer shawls for hospital ministry.

Can’t knit or crochet? Please consider donations of yarn (1000 yards or more) or money.


 

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Weekly News Sept 17, 2017

In 1809 there were 30 Anglicans who regularly gathered for worship and Communion in Hampton. But in 1809 there were no Anglican church buildings in Hampton, so they must have gathered in one of their homes. On September 10th, however, in 1810, it was decided that a “decent building” should be constructed to serve the “public worship of Almighty God,” to accommodate not only the Anglican inhabitants of Hampton, but of Kingston and Norton as well (First Subscription for St. Paul’s Church in the Parish of Hampton.1810). 

By the spring of 1811, the frame of the first St. Paul’s church building was raised, closed in, and made acceptable for worship services. In the meantime, the number of worshipers increased from 30 to 41 people!

But the story of St. Paul’s church building doesn’t end there. In 1869 the people of St. Paul’s decided that it was time to make a significant change. They tore down the original church building and in 1871 finished construction on a new building in time to be consecrated by the Bishop of Fredericton on October 18th. But even that wasn’t really the church building that we know today.

In 1985, more than 100 years after it’s consecration, the second St. Paul’s church building underwent major renovations and additions, to create the building in which we gather for worship and Communion today.

Through all those architectural changes, however, and in the midst of all kinds of other changes that have taken place in and around St. Paul’s over the years, the purpose of our building has remained the same, and really, it’s that purpose that has kept St. Paul’s standing all these years.

It doesn’t matter how “historical” or architecturally appealing our building is. There are lots of people who admire our building and its history and feel a strong sentimental attachment to our building, but there are only a few people who work to keep it up. The people who really maintain St. Paul’s are the people who know and value its purpose, who truly value and are dedicated to the public worship of Almighty God.

Over the next four weeks we’re going to take a good hard look at what really keeps this church standing and together, but we’re not going to look at the physical foundation of our building. We’re going to look at the spiritual foundations of our worship. We are going to look at the things on which the purpose of St. Paul’s, the worship of Almighty God, either stands or falls.

We’re going to start this Sunday by looking at the way God has welcomed us unconditionally into his life and presence not just to worship him but to revel in all his goodness and love through the life of his Son Jesus.  We’re going to look at one of Jesus’ most famous stories, the story of the “Prodigal Son.” It’s an example of both the welcome that God extends to us and the welcome that he calls us to extend to others, especially when we gather to worship him.

I hope you’re able to gather with us this Sunday to worship and to experience God’s welcome.
Rev. David Turner

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