Weekly News April 19, 2018

I don’t believe we can properly understand the significance of the resurrection of Jesus without finding it at least a little bit disturbing.

Every single account in the New Testament of someone seeing and recognizing the risen Jesus describes the shock, and in some cases sheer terror of the witnesses. The writers of these accounts wanted their readers to know that Jesus’ rising from the dead was completely unexpected to those who first bore witness to it, and that it was something that they had truly witnessed. It wasn’t just a spiritual feeling they had that somehow Jesus’ essence went on after his death. And it wasn’t just some kind of myth that they told themselves to symbolize the legacy of his life and teaching. Jesus truly rose from the dead, which completely shocked his earliest followers and completely changed their lives.

One of the ways in which his rising from the dead changed their lives was that they went from being a cluster of terrified and deeply traumatized former disciples (remember most of them had decided to abandon Jesus) to becoming a fearless band of witnesses, dedicated to sharing with the entire known world the news of Jesus’ resurrection, and everything that it means – and it means a lot.

Exactly what it all means was something Jesus had to take some time to teach his first disciples after he rose from the dead. According to the New Testament the risen Jesus appeared several times to his followers over the next 40 days, walking them through the Hebrew scriptures and showing them how everything in the story of God and his people ultimately points to Jesus and his death and resurrection. He wanted them to see that his death and resurrection was the turning point in God’s plan to redeem the whole world. In showing them all of this, Jesus truly made his followers into witnesses, not just of an unsettling one-time freak event, but of the outworking of God’s plan to save the world and the beginning of God’s renewal of the whole of creation.

And we can be witnesses too. We may not see the risen Jesus until he comes again when God’s kingdom is fulfilled, but we can know the power of his death and resurrection and bear witness to God’s redeeming purposes for our lives and for the life of the whole world.

I hope you can join us this Sunday as we continue to celebrate the power of Jesus’ rising from the dead and explore even further how we can also be witnesses of the risen Jesus.
Rev. David Turner +

 

Town Wide Yard Sale
Saturday June 2nd, 2018 8am-1pm
We are asking for your help looking for items to sell! We would like books, food and plants and all the other treasures you’re ready to part with.
Please no clothing, tv’s, computer monitors or Baby furniture.
Thank you for your Support!
Check with Alice Kennedy (832-2627) for pick up and storage.

Weekly Newsletter here.

Weekly News April 12, 2018

 

One of the many uncanny things about Jesus is that you can be actively running away from him and/or your life as one of his followers ­– you can be completely disillusioned and have abandoned any hope you may have once had in Jesus – and yet suddenly discover that he has been with you and teaching you the whole way.

This is exactly what happened to two of Jesus’ followers on the third day after his death, following the initial reports that his body had been found missing. You can read what happened for yourself in the Gospel of Luke 25:13-35.

One of the most mysterious details of this event is the question of what exactly kept the two disillusioned disciples from recognizing him. Was it their grief that kept them from seeing? Was it their unbelief or profound discouragement? Was it Jesus himself who somehow kept them from recognizing him until just the right moment? Luke doesn’t say.

Whatever the answer to this question may be, my hope is that as we reflect on this story this week, and as we gather to worship God and break bread together in Jesus’ name, that anything keeping us from recognizing Jesus’ presence will fall away, and that we will all recognize that Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

 

Weekly Newsletter here

Weekly News 2018 03 22

During the season of Lent we’ve been exploring the idea that followers of Jesus are called to live what Michael Frost calls “Questionable Lives.” He explains, in his book Surprise the World, that Christians are called to live in such a way that those around them, who do not yet believe in or follow Jesus, are surprised by the things that their Christian neighbours do, and as a result are compelled to ask them questions about why they do what they do. These questions, in turn, create opportunities for Christians to share their faith in Jesus with their neighbours in a way that is natural and personal.

So far, we’ve explored 4 of the ‘questionable’ habits that Frost focuses on in his book: 1. Blessing others, 2. Eating with others, 3. Listening for the prompting of the Spirit, and 4. Learning Jesus. This Sunday we’ll be looking at the 5th habit, which is to practice seeing ourselves as Sent.

But that’s not all we’ll be doing this Sunday. We’ll also be starting our journey through Holy Week to Easter by remembering Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem just days before his crucifixion and death.

The approach of Holy Week and Easter has gotten me thinking a lot about the reasons behind our Holy Week and Easter traditions, and which of these traditions are really ‘questionable’ in the way Michael Frost proposes.
We may wonder, for example, why exactly people decorate and hunt for Easter eggs, but these are such popular and obviously fun traditions that they don’t tend to raise many questions for people.

Far more unusual to people (at least these days), and therefore questionable, are traditions like waving palm crosses on Palm Sunday, foot washing on Maundy Thursday, time spent in solemn reflection on Good Friday, praying and singing in the dark on Holy Saturday, and shouts of “Alleluia! The Lord is risen!” on Resurrection Sunday. If our neighbours could see us doing these things they’d probably have all kinds of questions for us.

Part of the answer to why we do these things is because they are traditions that have been passed down to us and which many of us have observed every year since we were very young. But there are deeper reasons for these traditions.

When observed with an openness to the presence and working of the Holy Spirit, these traditions offer us the opportunity to enter into the mystery of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

We were not there when these things happened, but when we believe that it was for us that Jesus lived and died and rose again, these traditions offer us the chance to participate in these ancient and mysterious events.
And by participating, not just in these traditions, but mystically in the events to which they point, our sense and understanding of what God has accomplished in Jesus is enriched and deepened, and we are given a new appreciation for the hope and promise of salvation.

I hope you will be able to join us this Holy Week and Easter, if not in body then in the Spirit, as we observe these traditions, seek to enter the mysteries to which they point, and, by God’s grace, deepen our rootedness in His power to save.

The Red Triangle Award recognizes long and meritorious service, outstanding contributions and achievement in the community. This year’s recipients are Stephen MacMackin and Bill MacMackin.

These brothers and business partners are each involved with numerous organizations and initiatives in this community and beyond. Together, they represent decades of volunteer commitment and leadership that has helped advance the Greater Saint John community. Both have served on a variety of boards and have been involved with a number of projects that quietly moved our community forward.

The Red Triangle Award Gala will be held on Thursday, April 12 at 6:30pm at the Saint John Regional Y. Tickets can be purchased online at www.saintjohny.ymca.com , at the front desk of the Y or by phoning 634-4922.

For More News …

2018 03 16 Weekly News

According to Michael Frost, in his book Surprise the World, there are at least 5 things that every follower of Jesus can do to help a growing number of people experience a growing relationship with God. Over the last few weeks we’ve looked closely at the first 3 of these habits (regularly Blessing others, Eating with others, and Listening for the voice of the Spirit). This Sunday we’re going to explore habit number 4, Learning Jesus.

In Surprise the World, Michael Frost expresses his concern that far too many Christians have  only a “passing knowledge” of the life and teachings of Jesus. They know what Frost calls “Jesus’ greatest hits – his birth, his death, his resurrection, a few miracles, and a couple of parables.” But for us to be able to answer people’s questions about Jesus, Christians need to know so much more. We need to know the Gospels forward and backward. We need to know what the earliest writings about Jesus, the Epistles, say about who he is and what he said and did. And we need to be continually learning Jesus, not just to be able to answer people’s questions about Jesus, but so that we can know, in every aspect of our lives, what Jesus would have us do.

Following last Sunday’s sermon on the habit of Listening to the Spirit, a lot of us were wondering how we can know whether the voices we hear, coming from all around us and even from with in us, are from the Spirit or not. In John 14:26 Jesus tells his earliest followers that “the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” In other words, Jesus sends the Spirit and the Spirit points back to Jesus. Learning to listen to the Spirit, therefore, begins by learning Jesus.

I really hope you’ll join us on Sunday as we continue to explore the power and the promise of learning Jesus.

Are you called to be an Alpha Host, Helper, and/or Inviter?
The purpose of Alpha is to help people experience a relationship with Jesus by sharing the good news of the gospel in a relaxed, easy-going and friendly atmosphere. As Nicky Gumbel, one of the leading figures of Alpha, likes to say,  “Alpha is friends bringing friends.”

If you have experienced Alpha and found it meaningful and helpful for yourself, then you may be called to help others experience Alpha too. You may be called to invite someone you know to come to Alpha with you. Or maybe you’re called to help the team make all the guests to Alpha feel welcome, or perhaps even to host an Alpha discussion group.

Starting in April, St. Paul’s will be offering Alpha once again and we are looking for Hosts, Helpers and Inviters to help make this our most successful Alpha yet.
Our first planning meeting, which will include training for new Hosts and Helpers, is scheduled for March 21st, 7pm at St. Paul’s.

If you feel you’ve benefited from Alpha and want to see others benefit from it too, then we want you to be part of the team.

Tuesday, March 20 at 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM
A team of 21 youth and leaders from all across the diocese are going to Toronto to learn about God by serving His people. The trip will be from April 28th to May 4th, and it’s estimated to cost about 9000$ total.
Last year’s trip was a huge success in which each of the participants took significant steps forward in their spiritual and leadership formation. The Parishes of the Upper Kennebecasis will be well represented by Rev. Dan McMullen, mission interns Nate Fetter and T.J.Trenzek-Jeall, Jessie Gowan, Carter Scott, and Amy, Cameron, and Chelsea Hoyt.

Please support these young missional leaders and enjoy some awesome chili while you’re at it.

Cost $10 per person or $25 for a family.
All proceeds will go to financing the mission trip to Toronto.

Contact Shonaugh Moore at 832-5802 for tickets and more information

For More News …

 

2018 03 08 Weekly News

For Lent this year we are exploring 5 habits that followers of Jesus can adopt to help a growing number of people find out more about the God we hope they will come to know and love.  In his book Surprise the World Michael Frost calls these habits “questionable behaviours.” They are behaviors that get people asking questions, the sort of questions that followers of Jesus can then answer by sharing what they have experienced and come to know about who God is and what God is like.

The first of these habits is to regularly and intentionally seek out people to Bless. We can bless others through words of encouragement, acts of service and/or gifts.

The second habit, which Rev. Deacon Brenda Fowler spoke about this past Sunday, is the habit of Eating with People. Jesus made a habit of regularly eating with people and of using those times together around a meal to teach and to demonstrate some of the most powerful realities about God and God’s kingdom. Meals have a way of bringing people together and of opening them to share so much more with each other than just food.

This Sunday we’ll be exploring the third habit, the habit of Listing.

We live in a world of almost constant noise and continuous sound, and we are surrounded by so many voices. But this Sunday the Rev. Rob Marsh is going to talk to us about how we can break through all the noise and make a habit of listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

We’re taught by none other than Jesus himself that the Holy Spirit is the companion of Jesus’ followers and a source of strength and special gifts in ministry. But Jesus also tells his followers that the Holy Spirit will lead them into all truth.

The Spirit is an indispensable source of guidance and wisdom for followers of Jesus as we make our way through the world, seeking to bless and share life with others. But to really benefit from the Spirit’s guidance we need to make a habit of listening to his voice.

I hope you will join us this week as we seek the Spirit’s wisdom and learn how to make a habit of listening to the Spirit’s voice.

Are you called to be an Alpha Host, Helper, and/or Inviter?

The purpose of Alpha is to help people experience a relationship with Jesus by sharing the good news of the gospel in a relaxed, easy-going and friendly atmosphere. As Nicky Gumbel, one of the leading figures of Alpha, likes to say,  “Alpha is friends bringing friends.”

If you have experienced Alpha and found it meaningful and helpful for yourself, then you may be called to help others experience Alpha too. You may be called to invite someone you know to come to Alpha with you. Or maybe you’re called to help the team make all the guests to Alpha feel welcome, or perhaps even to host an Alpha discussion group.Starting in April, St. Paul’s will be offering Alpha once again and we are looking for Hosts, Helpers and Inviters to help make this our most successful Alpha yet.
Our first planning meeting, which will include training for new Hosts and Helpers, is scheduled for March 14th at 7pm at St. Paul’s.If you feel you’ve benefited from Alpha and want to see others benefit from it too, then we want you to be part of the team.

The Rector and Wardens are sad to announce that, effective March 15, our very cherished Jessie Gowan will be stepping down as the Children and Youth Ministry Coordinator. Jessie is looking forward to focusing her spare time and many gifts towards ministry among young adults in our area and from across the Diocese. The Rector and Wardens offer their sincerest gratitude to Jessie for the work that she has done while serving in this position, and we are so grateful that she and her family continue to be active and valuable members of our parish.

 

Contact Shonaugh Moore at 832-5802 for tickets and more information.

 For More News …