Sermon, Proper 12

This is the sermon from this morning at St. Philip’s, preached by Rev. Donald. You can scroll halfway down the page to find the French version.

Sermon: Proper 12

6:14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.”

6:15 When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

This week begins a five week journey through the sixth chapter of John, and attempts to answer the question what does it mean to say: That Jesus is the bread of life. We will be getting into that later in this sermon, but first I want to take some time to consider our Old Testament reading for today, and what the people are thinking when they say they want Jesus to be their king.

This is a story we need to look at. It’s quite easy for us to let this story go by. Particularly when most of our preachers are men. It’s inclusion at this point in our lectionary means it’s quite easy to skip over it because we have this really meaty portion of the Gospel of John coming up. But we need to deal with this, because it tells us something about kingship and what the people were thinking.

It starts with the line “It was Spring the time when Kings go out to war.” Not David, though, he’s back in the comfort of the palace. We shouldn’t miss the significance of this, for it was only a few weeks ago when we read about David being made king, that one of the reasons the people gave for making him king, was that while Saul was king in title, it was David who was going out and leading them in battle. He was doing the job of the king, even when Saul was the king. Now, we have David and he is staying back in the palace while everyone else goes out to fight. He has forgotten what it means to be the king.

Next he sees Bathsheba, and decides he wants her. So being the king, he takes her. It doesn’t matter that she is married, David is the king and he takes what he wants. Of course things go even more wrong when Bathsheba informs him a few weeks later, that she is pregnant.

David’s first response is to cover it up. He calls Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband back from the battlefield. He serves him a great meal and tells him to go home to his wife. He hopes that this will provide him an alibi when the baby is born. Unfortunately for David, Uriah has the integrity that David lacks.

One of the things were told about Uriah, we’re actually not told a lot about him, but we are told he’s a Hittite. Now if you go back to the Israelites entering the promised land, those are people they are supposed to have driven out, as they had no respect for God or people. Yet, here’s Uriah displaying this integrity.

You know, my general and my fellow soldiers are out in the battlefield, The Ark, Uriah has more respect for the Ark of the Covenant and what it stands for, than David does at this moment. So David says, OK that didn’t work. I’ll get him drunk. Surely when I get him drunk, then he’ll go home. The only problem for David is, that even drunk, Uriah has more integrity than David. Even drunk, Uriah realizes he should not be taking his liberty while his fellow soldiers are out there in the darkness and the battlefield.

So, neither of those things working, David sends word to Joab to leave Uriah isolated so that he is killed. David wants to cover-up things so much, or to make his own way(with Bathsheba) clear, that he is willing to sacrifice not only Uriah, but as you read the rest of the story, there are others who are killed in the process of this battle as well. It’s the term collateral damage being used. So, Uriah is killed and David thinks he’s gotten away with it.

But the thing is: This is what it means to be king. This is what kings do. They see something they want and they take it. Doesn’t matter what Bathsheba’s wishes are, David sent for her, she better come. It doesn’t matter that she is Uriah’s wife. David is willing to deal in deceit and death to keep his little secret.

And here’s the real kicker, David is one of the good kings. David’s not just one of the good kings, I mean if you read on after Davids death and the rest of the kings of Israel before captivity, you’re going to find some really, really bad kings in there. David is the king that the people have in mind when they want to make Jesus king. David is the model. It’s no wonder Jesus wants to get away. He knows what earthly kingship means.

He knows what it means to rule with power and control. To take what you want, when you want. It’s interesting that last week we read the story of Nathan coming to David, before we actually read the story of David and Bathsheba. I think there’s a tendency in our lives, particularly as we approach this story, to forgive David a little too easily.

We read other places that David was a man after God’s heart, and we say, well he made a mistake. But our story tells us more than that. It tells us about David, but it also tells us about being king, and what being king does to people. Saul forgot what it meant to be king, and the people said, ah, well now we’ve got David. But David forgot what it meant to be king. If you go back, and I recommend that you do this, read Deuteronomy chapter 17. It says in there that there are rules for being a king in Israel, and you will see how that is effected and played out in King David’s life.

As king David used his power to exploit. Used his power to take what he wanted, and we shouldn’t gloss over that. We need to realize that what David did as king (in regards to Bathsheba, and afterward Uriah) was wrong, full stop.

So, what does that mean for us, and with Jesus and the feeding of the five thousand, and with Jesus not wanting to be taken and made king by the people. So, let’s go back to the feeding of the five thousand and think about it a little more. Much like the story as it’s recounted in the other gospels our story today begins with great crowds of people following Jesus, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the poor.

So, one of the interesting things here, John uses the term signs. He doesn’t use the term miracles, he doesn’t use the term healing. He use the word signs, and that’s important, because for John signs are meant to point towards Jesus. To point to the new kingdom that has come into the world in Jesus. The crowds have been following him around because of that. He sits down and he teaches, and as he sees the crowd coming he says to his disciples: “Where are we going to get food for all these people.”

This is another thing that happens all the time (in relation to the feeding stories). How are we going to feed all the people. Jesus’s first concern is for the crowd. He’s concerned for their well-being. We get the same responses, “Well you know, I don’t know what we can do. Look at all these people, it’s too much money, there’s nothing we can do about it.” Andrew brings along the kid with the fish and bread, “Got someone here five loaves, two fishes, 5,000 people. I’m not really good at division, but I don’t think that’s going to feed everybody.”

But notice the question, notice the part at the beginning. Jesus asks the question, but he already knows what he is going to do. It says there is a large field of grass there, and Jesus tells the people to sit down. The actual word is recline, which is the word for how you come to the table for dinner. It’s a word that suggests a meal together.

A meal, in this case, isn’t whatever came out of the microwave. That we can eat fast so that we can get it done. A meal is an evening spent together. Jesus is concerned about the people. Not only does he feed them, but he gives them this chance to dine together, to relax, to recline.

Then we hear about the bread. Jesus says the blessing, the bread is distributed, and the fish is distributed. Again, everybody has enough. Again it’s this idea of everybody is satisfied. And when we think about power and think about control dissatisfaction is one of the things that people use to maintain power and control.

You know the scene in C. S. Lewis’s The Last Battle in the Narnia series, where the dwarves have had this great banquet spread out for them. It’s all the finest foods, but little but little they are starting to suspect that somebody is getting it better than they are, and eventually all this great food goes to waste and they convince themselves that they are being fed dirt and other such disgusting food.

Dissatisfaction is what we use to help control people. The king is good at pitting one faction against the other. I think our reading of the kings of Israel will remind us that Game of Thrones was in progress long before George Martin ever came along.

But here in this feeding of the five thousand, everyone is satisfied. There is no need to look over there and say, “Oh, that person has more than me,” or “why did they get that, how come they got blueberry pie, and I got stuck with Lima Beans. Everyone is satisfied. That’s a mark of the new kingdom. That’s a mark of how things are meant to be different with Jesus. Everyone is satisfied.

Of course, one of the things that comes in all the feeding stories is that there is an abundance. Scarcity, that which our modern economics system is built upon, says to us, we’ve got to make sure we have enough for ourselves, even if if means denying others. But here in the feeding of the five thousand, when everyone is fed, then everybody is satisfied, not just fed, everybody is satisfied. They go around and pick up the crumbs and there are still 12 baskets left over.

The kingdom being inaugurated by Jesus as opposed to the earthly kingdoms, is one where we believe in abundance, where we know there is abundance. Where it says in Ephesians: Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, that’s the mark of God’s kingdom. That’s the mark of the kingdom Jesus come to inaugurate.

This is not a kingdom where the king takes for himself what he wants, when he wants, with no concern for whom it harms. This is a kingdom where satisfaction is meant for all. Where abundance and sharing are meant for all.

So, as we continue to go on in this chapter, and continue to ask ourselves the question: What does it mean that Jesus is the bread of life? What kind of life is Jesus offering us? It’s meant to be a life of satisfaction. It’s meant to be a life of abundance.

But that only works if were actually able to put that into practice in our own lives. It only works if we are willing to reject the idea that the kingdom of God is something that gives us power. That because we have God on our side, we have control. That we can steamroll over those who disagree with us. We can put up barriers to those who look at the world differently. Jesus comes, and as he demonstrates at the feeding of the five thousand, he comes to share with all. He comes for all to be satisfied. He comes to pour out form his abundance, and it’s for us to live that out in our lives. To learn better what it means to be part of God’s kingdom. What it means to say that earthly kingdom, while they may do much, will never help us come closer to God. We will never know what it means to truly love one another, to truly serve one another unless our citizenship unless our citizenship and loyalty are to Christ before all others.

David was a good king, yet even as a good king he did terrible things. Jesus comes to show us we don’t need good kings, we need servant hearts. We need the one whose idea of kingship was to go to the cross. To be part of God’s kingdom is to be willing to serve and to sacrifice, and to pour out our whole being in love. Amen.

En Francais

Sermon : 12 bon

06:14 quand les gens ont vu le signe qu’il l’avait fait, ilscommencèrent à dire, « C’est en effet le prophète qui doitvenir dans le monde. »

06:15 Lorsque Jésus s’est rendu compte qu’ils sontapprêtaient à venir et l’emmener de force pour le faire roi, ilse retire à nouveau dans la montagne par lui-même.

Cette semaine commence un voyage de cinq semaines dansle sixième chapitre de Jean et tente de répondre à laquestion ce que ça veut dire : que Jésus est le pain de vie.Nous obtiendront dans cela plus loin dans ce sermon, maistout d’abord je tiens à prendre un certain temps à examinernotre ancien Testament lecture d’aujourd’hui, et ce que lesgens pensent quand ils disent qu’ils veulent Jésus pour êtreleur roi.

Il s’agit d’une histoire que nous devons examiner. Il est assezfacile pour nous de laisser cette histoire passer. Surtoutquand la plupart de nos prédicateurs est des hommes. Soninclusion à ce stade dans notre Lectionnaire signifie qu’il estassez facile de sauter dessus, parce que nous avons cetteportion vraiment charnue de l’Évangile de Jean à venir. Maisnous devons faire face à cela, car il nous apprend quelquechose sur la royauté et de ce que les gens pensaient.

Il commence par la ligne « C’était le temps quand les roissortez à la guerre du printemps. » Pas David, cependant, ilest de retour dans le confort du palais. On ne devrait pasmiss la signification de ceci, qu’il était il y a seulementquelques semaines, quand nous lisons que David se fait roi,que l’une des raisons pour lesquelles les gens ont donnépour faisant de lui le roi, tandis que Saül était roi en titre, ilétait David qui était sortir et les conduisent dans la bataille .Il faisait le travail du roi, même quand Saül était le roi.Maintenant, nous avons David et il est rester dans le Palaisalors que tout le monde va se pour battre. Il a oublié ce quecela signifie d’être le roi.

Ensuite, il voit de Bath-Chéba et décide qu’il veut qu’elle. Afind’être le roi, il lui faut. Peu importe qu’elle est mariée, Davidest roi et il prend ce qu’il veut. Bien sûr les choses vontencore plus mal lorsque Bathsheba lui apprend quelquessemaines plus tard, qu’elle est enceinte.

Première réponse de David est de le couvrir. Il appelle Urie,le mari de Bethsabée retour du champ de bataille. Il lui sertun excellent repas et lui dit de rentrer à la maison à safemme. Il espère que cela va lui servir d’alibi lorsque le bébéest né. Malheureusement pour David, Uriah a l’intégrité quimanque de David.

Une des choses a parlé d’Urie, nous sommes en réalité pasdit beaucoup autour de lui, mais on nous dit qu’il est unHittite. Maintenant, si vous retournez aux Israélites entrantdans la terre promise, ce sont des gens qu’ils sont censésavoir chassé, comme ils n’avaient aucun respect pour Dieuou les personnes. Voici encore, Uriah affichant cetteintégrité.

Vous savez, mon général et mes compagnons d’armes sontdans le champ de bataille, l’arche, Uriah a plus de respectpour l’arche de l’Alliance et ce qu’il représente, que David nele fait en ce moment. Alors David dit, OK, ce qui n’a pasfonctionné. Je vais lui se saouler. Certainement quand je luirentre ivre, alors qu’il va rentrer à la maison. Le seulproblème pour David est, que même ivre, Uriah a plusd’intégrité que David. Même ivre, Uriah se rend compte qu’ilne devrait pas prendre sa liberté alors que ses camaradessont  dans l’obscurité et le champ de bataille.

Ainsi, aucune de ces choses en travaillant, David envoie motà Joab de quitter Uriah isolé alors qu’il est tué. David veut àdes choses tellement de cover-up, ou à faire son proprechemin (avec Bath-Chéba) claires, qu’il est prêt à sacrifiernon seulement Uriah, mais lorsque vous lisez le reste del’histoire, il y a d’autres qui sont tués dans le processus decette bataille aussi bien. C’est le dommage collatéral determe utilisé. Alors, est tué Urie et David pense qu’il est prisla fuite avec elle.

Mais la chose est : c’est ce que cela signifie d’être roi. C’est ceque rois. Ils voient quelque chose qu’ils veulent et ils leprennent. Question sont a souhaits de ce que Bath-Chéba,David n’est pas envoyé pour elle, elle a mieux venir. Iln’importe pas qu’elle est femme de Uriah. David est prêt àfaire face à la tromperie et la mort pour garder son petitsecret.

Et voici le meilleur real, David est l’un des bons rois. DeDavid non seulement un des bons rois, je veux dire si vousavez lu sur après la mort de Davids et le reste des roisd’Israël avant la captivité, vous allez trouver certainsvraiment, vraiment mauvais rois là-dedans. David est le roiqui les gens ont à l’esprit quand ils veulent faire de Jésus unroi. David est le modèle. Il n’est pas étonnant que Jésus veutsortir. Il sait ce que royauté terrestre.

Il sait ce que veut dire régner avec puissance et contrôle. Deprendre ce que vous voulez, quand vous voulez. Il estintéressant que la semaine dernière nous lisons l’histoire deNathan à David, d’arriver avant que nous lisons en faitl’histoire de David et Bethsabée. Je pense qu’il y a unetendance dans nos vies, en particulier alors que nousapprochons cette histoire, à pardonner à David un peu tropfacilement.

Nous lisons ailleurs que David était un homme selon le cœurde Dieu, et nous dire, Eh bien, il fait une erreur. Mais notrehistoire nous en dit plus que cela. Il nous parle de David,mais il nous dit aussi d’être roi et ce que signifie être roi faitaux gens. Saul a oublié ce que cela signifiait d’être roi, et lepeuple dit, ah, Eh bien maintenant, nous avons David. MaisDavid a oublié ce que cela signifiait d’être roi. Si vousrevenez, et je recommande que vous faites cela, LisezDeutéronome chapitre 17. Il est dit  qu’il existe des règlespour être un roi en Israël, et vous verrez comment c’est faitet joue dans la vie du roi David.

Comme le roi David a utilisé son pouvoir d’exploiter. A utiliséson pouvoir de prendre ce qu’il voulait, et nous ne devonspas occulter que. Nous devons réaliser que ce que fit Davidcomme roi (en ce qui concerne Bath-Chéba et par la suiteUriah) était erroné, full stop.

Donc, ce que cela signifie pour nous et avec Jésus etl’alimentation des cinq-mille et avec Jésus, ne voulant pasêtre pris et fait roi par le peuple. Donc, revenons àl’alimentation des cinq-mille et réfléchir un peu plus. Toutcomme l’histoire tel qu’il a racontée dans les autresévangiles aujourd’hui notre histoire commence avec lesgrandes foules des personnes à la suite de Jésus, parce qu’ilsont vu les signes qu’il faisait pour les pauvres.

Donc, l’une des choses intéressantes ici, John utilise lessignes d’expression. Il n’utilise pas les miracles de terme, iln’utilise pas le terme de guérison. Il utilise les signesverbaux, et c’est important, car pour John signes sontcensées pointer vers Jésus. Pour pointer vers le nouvelempire qui est venu dans le monde en Jésus. Les foules ontsuivi lui à cause de cela. Il s’assied et il enseigne, et qu’il voitla foule à venir, il dit à ses disciples : « Où allons-nousobtenir de la nourriture pour tous ces gens. »

Il s’agit d’une autre chose qui arrive tout le temps (en ce quiconcerne les histoires de l’alimentation). Comment allons-nous nourrir toute la population. Première préoccupation deJésus est pour la foule. Il est soucieux de leur bien-être. Onobtient les mêmes réponses, « Eh bien vous savez, je ne saispas ce que nous pouvons faire. Regardez tous ces gens, c’esttrop d’argent, il n’y a rien que nous pouvons faire à cesujet. » Andrew amène le gamin avec le poisson et le pain,« quelqu’un ici a obtenu cinq pains, deux poissons, 5 000personnes. Je ne suis pas très bon à la division, mais je nepense pas que cela va nourrir tout le monde. »

Mais remarquez la question, vous remarquerez la partie audébut. Jésus pose la question, mais il sait déjà ce qu’il vafaire. Il est dit il y a un grand champ d’herbe là, et Jésus ditles gens à s’asseoir. Le mot est inclinée, qui est le mot pourcomment venir à la table pour le dîner. C’est un mot quisuggère un repas ensemble.

Dans ce cas, un repas, n’est pas tout ce qui est sorti dumicro-ondes. Que nous pouvons manger rapidement afinque nous puissions obtenir fait. Un repas est qu’une soiréepassée ensemble. Jésus est préoccupé par le peuple. Nonseulement il les nourrir, mais il leur donne l’occasion dedîner ensemble, pour se détendre, s’incliner.

Ensuite, nous entendons parler du pain. Jésus dit labénédiction, le pain est distribué et le poisson est distribué.Encore une fois, tout le monde a assez. Encore une fois c’ estque cette idée de tout le monde est satisfaite. Et lorsquenous penser pouvoir et penser à l’insatisfaction de contrôleest une des choses que les gens utilisent pour maintenir lapuissance et contrôle.

Vous connaissez la scène la dernière bataille de Lewis de lasérie de Narnia,  les nains ont eu ce grand banquet étalépour eux. C’est tous les meilleurs aliments, mais peu maispeu il commence à soupçonner que quelqu’un il devientmieux qu’ils le sont et finalement toute cette nourrituregrande va perdre et ils se convaincre qu’ils sont nourrissaleté et tel autre aliment dégoûtant.

L’insatisfaction est ce que nous utilisons pour aider les gensde contrôle. Le roi est bon en opposant une faction contrel’autre. Je pense que notre lecture des rois d’Israël nousrappellera que Game of Thrones était en cours long avantque George Martin jamais venu.

Mais ici dans cette alimentation des cinq-mille, tout lemonde est satisfait. Il n’y a pas besoin de regarder par-dessus il et dire : « Oh, cette personne a plus que moi, » ou« pourquoi ont-ils obtenu cela, comment se fait ils obtenutarte aux myrtilles, et je me suis coincé avec les haricots deLima. Tout le monde est satisfait. C’est une marque dunouvel empire. C’est une marque de comment les chosessont destinés à être différent avec Jésus. Tout le monde estsatisfait.

Une des choses qui vient dans toutes les histoiresd’alimentation est bien sûr, qu’il y a une abondance. Rareté,ce que notre système de l’économie moderne repose sur,nous dit, nous avons pour s’assurer que nous en avons assezpour nous, même si si signifie refuser d’autres. Mais ici dansl’alimentation des cinq-mille, quand tout le monde estalimenté, puis tout le monde est convaincu, non seulementnourris, tout le monde est satisfait. Ils vont autour etramasser les miettes et il sont a encore 12 paniers surplus.

Le Royaume étant inauguré par Jésus plutôt que lesroyaumes terrestres, on est  nous croyons en abondance, nous savons il y a abondance.  il est dit dansEphésiens : maintenant, lui qui, par la puissance à le œuvreen nous, est en mesure d’accomplir tout à fait bien plus quetout ce que nous pouvons demander ou imaginer, c’est lamarque du Royaume de Dieu. C’est la marque du Royaume,Jésus venu inaugurer.

Ce n’est pas un royaume  le roi prend pour lui-même cequ’il veut, quand il veut, sans se préoccuper pour qui ellenuit. Il s’agit d’un royaume  la satisfaction est destinée àtous.  l’abondance et le partage sont destinés pour tous.

Ainsi, comme nous continuons à aller ce chapitre etcontinuer à nous poser la question : que signifie que Jésusest le pain de vie ? Quel genre de vie nous offre Jésus ? C’estcensé être une vie de satisfaction. C’est censé être une vied’abondance.

Mais qui ne fonctionne que si ont été réellement en mesurede mettre cela en pratique dans nos propres vies. Il nefonctionne que si nous sommes disposés à rejeter l’idée quele Royaume de Dieu est quelque chose qui nous donne lepouvoir. Que parce que nous avons Dieu de notre côté, nousavons contrôle. Que nous pouvons adopter sur ceux quisont en désaccord avec nous. Nous pouvons mettre desbarrières pour ceux qui regardent le monde différemment.Jésus vient, et comme il le démontre à l’alimentation descinq-mille, il s’agit de partager avec tous. Il s’agit pour tousêtre satisfaits. Il s’agit de déverser forme son abondance, etc’est pour nous de vivre que dans nos vies. Pour mieuxapprendre ce que cela signifie de faire partie du Royaume deDieu. Ce que veut dire ce royaume terrestre, alors qu’ilspeuvent beaucoup, ne nous aidera jamais se rapprocher deDieu. Nous ne saurons jamais ce que veut vraiment aimerles uns, de vraiment servir un autre à moins que notrecitoyenneté à moins que notre Citoyenneté et la loyauté sontà Christ avant tous les autres.

David était un bon roi, mais encore comme un bon roi, il afait des choses terribles. Jésus vient de nous montrer quenous n’avez pas besoin de bons rois, nous avons besoin descoeurs de serviteur. Nous avons besoin de celui dont l’idéede la royauté était d’aller à la Croix. Pour faire partie duRoyaume de Dieu est d’être prêt à servir et à sacrifier et àdéverser tout notre être dans l’amour. Amen.

Being Anglican and Metis

Being Anglican and Metis

Rev. Donald MacKenzie asked me to reflect on what it means to me to be Anglican and Metis. Please know that my response is my own personal view. Other Metis Anglicans will also have a story that will reflect their own journey.

Firstly let me say that when we gather as a Church, we often begin by acknowledging the Land. When we gather as a people of faith and start in this way, it reminds me to be conscious of our setting and our linkages to one another. Indigenous, Settler or New-comer, we come together here in this place and time. We give thanks for the relationship to each other and God the Creator.

The Metis flag.

We come together here on Treaty 1 + 2 territory on the traditional land of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, and Oji-Cree peoples and the homeland of the Metis Nation. We are grateful for their stewardship of this land and their hospitality which allows us to live, work, worship and serve God the Creator here.

In my adult years, I became involved with my Metis Nation here in Manitoba, embracing Metis culture, working towards positive changes supporting my community and learning from Elders. I am a busy Anglican Deacon, working full-time in my vocational work at the University of Winnipeg and also serving in community, Continue reading

April 22nd Sermon – Deacon Tanis Kolisnyk

Sermon: April 22nd 2018 Rev. Deacon Tanis Kolisnyk St Philip’s Anglican Church

John 10:11-18
10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
10:12 The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away–and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.
10:13 The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep.
10:14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,
10:15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.
10:16 I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
10:17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.
10:18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”

May the words of my mouth and meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in your sight O Lord, our strength, our rock, our redeemer. AMEN.

Today’s Gospel message and Psalm 23rd are all focused on the Lord being our Shepherd. I know that many of you here today will have heard of the tragedy that happened two weeks ago with the Hockey Team from Humbolt Saskatchewan, where they collided with a Semi Truck. 16 members of that Bus died, with some of them in hospital as we speak today.

There was a message that I heard about the Chaplain of the team, who was driving in another vehicle behind the bus. He was one of the first ones on the scene….. the horrific scene. That scene has been dubbed “the valley of the shadow of death”

Team Pastor Sean Brandow, shared with a watching nation the sovereignty of Jesus Christ. As a Chaplain, he knew these young people, coaches and other professionals who supported the team well. Now, he was there, in the midst of chaos, pain, loss, shock and grief. The head coach was a Christian and he used his position to mentor the boys on his team to be men with character . . . and to know Jesus.

The reason I am bringing this up is because he talked about not being able to find words of comfort – Chaplain Sean Brandow refers to Psalm 23 at that given time. It was the beginning of this Psalm that kept coming to him in this time of need.

He also said – The Bible tells us that God knew each of them before they were born. He gave them breath. (Psalm 139:13–16).

Into this shadow of death, Pastor Brandow offered the light of Christ’s resurrection. In the gospel today, Jesus did not stay dead. . . . He says to his disciples who are listening to him in John 10:11, ‘I am the good shepherd,’ and the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. Today is Shepherding Sunday.

So how do we know that God is with us in our suffering? Because Jesus was here, Jesus went through every bit of suffering before we ever did. We have someone that has gone ahead of us and before us into the heavenly realms and who now sits and intercedes on our behalf — we talk to Jesus, we commune with Jesus, we cry out to Jesus. And it’s in this time that we need a shepherd who has walked through this valley before, who can guide us.

Through tears Chaplain Sean went on to comfort a broken team, a broken town, a broken country, with the sovereignty of God. His words were disarmingly honest. He did not try to explain what he did not know, but he pointed to God for hope going forward. We can take this to heart too….. Where-ever we are with struggles that are small and struggles that are large. God is our hope.

He told the attenders of the vigil in Humbolt that he did not want to be there, but it was good to be together. What he is referring to here is a sense of community. When something in life derails us, it is important to know that we have each other and Jesus. At St. Philip’s we have community, we have each other, we have Jesus. For this I give thanks.

He told more of the story of that night: His cell phone was out of juice so he was not receiving texts: At the hospital he walked around hearing and seeing nothing but darkness. For 15 hours the only part of Psalm 23 that was in his head was: Even though I walk through the valley of darkness. That’s all he heard. That’s all that went through his head. This is the valley of death, this is the valley of darkness. He said he had nothing. Nothing. “ I’m a pastor, I’m supposed to have something”.

It was at that time that the community was sending his those texts:

  • we’re praying of you,’
  • we’re thinking of you,’
  • be strong.’
  • People sent passages of scripture That support of people – saying I love you, that people care, that people are praying, that you’re supported,
  • Those are important things in the midst of a very dark time.
  • Someone reminded him that there’s more to that Psalm than ‘we walk through the valley of the shadow of death.’ You need to finish the statement, someone said to him – FOUR IMPORTANT WORDS
  • I will fear no evil because you are with me.’ ‘The Lord is my shepherd.’ The pastor said, “ It took 15 hours of darkness to really understand that I had a shepherd that was walking with me. I don’t know if that made it any softer, but it made it better.”

Psalm 23 says: The Lord is my shepherd – he’s mine. ‘I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul. He guides me along the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake and even though I do walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil because you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.’ The rest of the Psalm continues on and it says we can dwell with the Lord forever.

You can read his sermon on macleans.ca http://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/humboldt-pastors-anguished-speech-where-was-god/ I encourage you to do so. He addresses important questions which he had no answers for. Honest, heartfelt questions. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. It is true that Jesus is our Shepherd and today the gospel and Psalm is a great time to be reminded that Jesus went before us, now sits and intercedes on our behalf. We can talk to him, cry out to him. He is our Shepherd and he has walked through this valley before. He can guide us always. He’s alive my friends, For this we give thanks today. Amen.

Reflection on two Creeds of the Anglican Church

Last week Rev. Tanis wrote a piece on the congregational singing. This week we’re sharing some work she did, reflecting on two of the creeds that are a regular part of most Anglican services. The Apostle’s and Nicene Creeds. In a few days Rev. Donald will post on a third, though much less used, creed, The Athanasian (so-called)

Reflection on two Creeds of the Anglican Church

Rev. Deacon Tanis Kolisnyk

In our Sunday worship services in the Anglican Church here in Canada, we have the opportunity to say either the Apostle’s Creed or the Nicene Creed. Have you ever wondered why we have this as part of our service? I had the opportunity to do some reflection on this and to do some liturgical analysis to start to explore this a bit more. My question was – Why are Creeds important to us as Anglicans and why do we still have them in our services today?

Synaxis of the Twelve Apostles by Constantinople master

In Christian church history, the Creeds were useful in several ways and for some of those same reasons, they are important today. It is a public statement of faith, a standardized way in which people confess their faith in Jesus Christ. A creed is a concrete way to anchor the Christian faith and it ensures consistent beliefs from generation to generation. It was an anchor for the early church and for us today. Continue reading

Easter Welcome

This Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, leading up to the celebration of Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday. As is generally the case, we expect to receive a whole lot of visitors to Saint Philip’s. Some of them will be people who have never spent any time with us in the past, but many will be people who have shared in our lives over many years. Whoever you are, and whatever may bring you to Saint Philip’s we wish to say welcome. Glad to meet you or glad to see you again. You can find a list of all the services at the bottom of this post.

A couple of weekends ago I, Rev. Donald, attended a preaching workshop at St. John’s Cathedral, featuring Rev. Mark Whittall. Rev Whittall is the pastor at Saint Alban’s in Ottawa. It’s was a really, good workshop, and along the way I picked up several copies of his book Reinvention: Stories from an Urban Church, which the Saint Philip’s vestry will be reading and thinking through over the coming months.

Good Friday, Holy Week
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

During the last couple of weeks, I’ve read through the book. Today, as I finished the book off, and one of the last things that Whittall talks about is the Easter services of 2015, four years after the church plant at Saint Alban’s got started. While describing how that week went, he talks about the effect of having people from homeless shelters as part of their community. He says:

They teach us what it means to be a welcoming community and to practice hospitality. We know that for some people life is hard and lacks stability, and to walk through our doors is an act of courage. They may be with us for a few hours or for a few years. They may disappear and then show up again months later. When they do, we celebrate. One of the reasons we celebrate is that often people who come from a hard place in life have a great deal to teach us about faith. (150-51)

Whittall is talking about the homeless, and the transient, but so many people in our midst are coming from hard places. At Saint Philip’s we hope you will join us. We hope that you will give us the opportunity to celebrate your presence among us, even, as Whittall states, it’s only for an hour or two.

Perhaps you feel that in the past, we have not celebrated your presence with us. For that we need to repent. Not simply to apologize but to make sure as God’s people we change our orientation. It doesn’t matter where you have been, we hope to be joyfully welcoming you and celebrating that you are with us now. For now is the only time we have.

Easter Week Services & Times

Saint Philip’s invites you to join us as we celebrate Holy Week. We begin on March 25th, at 11 am as we celebrate Palm/Passion Sunday. We will be including the palm procession, with readings and music. There will be a coffee time after the service

Holy Week starts
Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week

At 4 pm on the 25th, our Kid’s Church will also be having a service of evening prayer. A light supper follows that service.

Thursday, March 29th, 7:00 pm we will Celebrate Maundy Thursday. A remembrance of when Jesus gave a new commandment, John 13:34. We will remember the institution of the Eucharist, offer foot-washing and finish the service with the stripping of Altar as we prepare for…

Eucharist - The Cup remembering
On Maundy Thursday, we celebrate the institution of the Lord’s Supper, and the New Commandment: Love one another as I have loved you.

….Good Friday, March 30th, we will engage in music, readings, and reflections on the cross. This service begins at 11:00 am.

Saturday is a time of further reflection and anticipation before we come together again at 11:00 am on April 1st, to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus the Christ. There will also be a time for coffee and conversation after this service

Holy Week, Empty tomb
The Angel with the women at the empty tomb.

Holy Week, Bishop’s Visit, Baptism

We have reached the half-way mark of our Lenten journey, and soon Holy Week will be drawing near.

This year, St. Philip’s Holy Week will begin with a Palm Sunday, April 9th, 11:00 am, visit from Bishop Don Phillips, Bishop of the Diocese of Rupert’s Land. Bishop Phillips will be preaching during the service, while we as a parish participate in the litany and procession of palms. After the service we will spend some time together over coffee and dessert.

Monday of Holy Week, April 10, 2017, will be the second last of Reverend Donald’s lectures on Eucharistic Eating. This week we will be looking at the concepts of death and sacrifice in our eating, and how they relate to the Eucharist.

On Thursday, April 13th, 7:00 pm, we will celebrate the institution of the Lord’s Supper during our Maundy Thursday Eucharist. Maundy Thursday is also the day when we hear again Jesus’s new Commandment.

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35) NRSV

Following the service we will be stripping the altar as we prepare for Good Friday.

Friday, April 14th, 11:00 pm we are holding our Good Friday Service. This is a solemn service where we will take time to contemplate and reflect on the death of Jesus Christ.

Holy Week, Empty tune.
The Angel with the women at the empty tomb.

Sunday, April 16th, 11:00 am, is our Easter Sunday Celebration. We will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. We will welcome new people into the family of God through the waters of Baptism. Following the Eucharist we will gather in the Memorial Hall to continue the Easter Feast.

We hope you will be able to join us. If you have any questions, feel free to call St. Philip’s at 204-237-3650, or email us at stphilipsnorwood@shaw.ca

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

Christmas Eve

St. Philip’s invites you to join us in celebrating the birth of Christ. We will be holding service on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning. On Christmas Eve we will enjoy half an hour of carol singing beginning at 7:00 pm, followed by our celebration of Eucharist, beginning at 7:30 pm. If you are looking for a place to celebrate, to hear once again, or perhaps for the first time, the story of Christmas, please come and join us as we recall the birth of Jesus.

Christmas Eve
The Chancel prepared for Christmas  services

Christmas Day:

We will also be celebrating Christmas on Christmas Day itself. This also is a service of Holy Eucharist. The Service begins at 11:00 am.

St. Philip’s is located at 240 Tache, on the corner of Tache Avenue and Eugenie Street.

You can also follow what’s happening at St. Philip’s by following our Facebook Page.

Kyle Mason Don Amero Visit

Lasting and healthy change is difficult to achieve because there are so many forces that work to keep change from happening. The societal, cultural, and/or personal forces must be resisted by the person or organization that decides the change they desire is necessary. However, most of the time it is not enough to simply make this decision and put forward this effort by oneself.  Support is often needed in these times of change so that the forces trying to stop it do not become overwhelming. St. Philips will be hosting two people who try to, Kyle Mason and Don Amero, at our 11am service on July 17th. These individuals have devoted themselves to be supporters of lasting and healthy change within their communities.

Kyle Mason North End Family Centre
The North End Family Centre, where Kyle Mason serves as director.

Kyle Mason

Before they arrive it would be good for us to get to know a bit about these men so they do not spend their whole time simply explaining who they are. Kyle Mason will be sharing a message with us when he visits on July 17th. Kyle Mason is Winnipeg born and was raised in the North End by a single parent family. As Kyle grew he noticed that it was not just his family that struggled with poverty but many throughout his community. During this tough time in his life Kyle Mason was able to find support and community from a local church youth group. Having a supportive community during a difficult time obviously stuck with Kyle as when he moved back to the community he knew exactly how he wanted to help it out.

Kyle Mason decided to help his community by starting the North End Family Centre. It is within this organization that Kyle, his staff, volunteers, and everyone who comes to the centre work on creating a loving and safe community. This community was formed by the North End Family Centre’s ability to hear the community they wished to serve. Kyle explains, “We listen to the people that we serve. We ask what they want and what they need and move to do that. And when the community feels like they have real input, which they do, they respond.” The response Kyle refers to is that despite only having a starting location 1000 square feet they were receiving up to 1400 visits a month. This response allowed the North End Family Centre to expand to their new location so they might serve more people and help support this ever growing community.

Don Amero

Don Amero, the Juno nominated man who will be providing the music to our service on July 17th, grew up in the North End community like Kyle Mason. Don Amero also is filled with the desire to give back to his community. With this desire in mind Don works in his local community; a good example of this is last year where Don took the responsibility on to help mentor some middle school kids at Niji Mahkwa. It is here the students collaborated with Don Amero to make a song about missing and murdered indigenous women titled, Never Alone.

Don also sees his community in a broader sense and has toured the country with country music star Brett Kissell last year. They toured through many indigenous communities to do their part to support the reconciliation conversation that was spreading throughout the country. Don Amero has this to say about reconciliation, “Reconciliation is relationship, and I think that what Brett and I want to do is be a living example of two guys from different hoods, different places, different backgrounds coming together to do something really great for people.”

The relationships these two men have formed with their communities is an inspiring story we will hear more of on July 17th. We hope many will come out to be inspired by their stories and song so that we can all figure out how we can help support change in our country, city, neighbours, and selves.

Swing into Summer Barbecue

Swing into Summer Barbecue

Next Sunday, June 12th, St. Philip’s will be holding our annual summer BBQ.

Doors are open at 10:00 am.  The service begins at 11 am. Immediately following the service there will be a BBQ on the front lawn. We should be ready to start eating at about 12:30 pm. Hot dogs, hamburger, and buns will be provided.  We hope you can join us at 11:00 am for our celebration of Holy Eucharist, but if you can’t please feel to swing by and join us for the BBQ. We would also like to encourage people to bring potluck salads, beverages or desserts for the BBQ. However, if you are unable to do so, we still invite you to stop for the chance to meet your neighbours at St. Philip’s.

Swing BBQ
Swing into summer at the St. Philips BBQ

The Barbecue will go on rain or shine. If it is raining, we will eat inside in the Memorial Hall.

Flowers Springtime

Let all creation help you to praise God. Give yourself the rest you need. When you are walking alone, listen to the sermon preached to you by the flowers, the trees, the shrubs, the sky, the sun and the whole world. Notice how they preach to you a sermon full of love, of praise of God, and how they invite you to proclaim the greatness of the one who has given them being.
Saint Paul of the Cross

sign with flowers
The flowers are another welcoming sight at St. Philip’s

Last Wednesday, with the weather finally warm, though wet, we planted flowers here at St. Philip’s. Despite the rain it was a delightful event. Margaret Brook, one of our parishioners organized the planting. Rev. Donald was there and we were joined by members of the 153rd Sparks, and Brownies along with a couple of their leaders. It is always great when members of the various communities get the opportunity to get to know each other a little bit better. We thank them for their willingness to partner with us. A special thanks to the Sparks and Brownies who outdid themeselves in their desire to help with the planting.

Green Door Flowers
This cluster is just next to the green door that leads to our offices.

As the quote at the top says, we believe that beauty is one of the ways in which God is made known to us. We hope that people who pass by the building or who are waiting for their bus may find their days brightened by the flowers, trees, and other plants around the building. We hope that they bring joy and gladness every day.

Flowers and Guy Letourneau’s Memory

This spring the planting of the flowers was a melancholy affair. For many years our caretaker Guy Letourneau had looked after the grounds and flowers. Sadly, just a couple of months ago, Guy discovered he had cancer. It was an aggressive cancer and on April he entered his eternal rest.

Guy took great pride and care with the grounds and the flowers.  Much of the reason that the grounds around St. Philip’s have always looked so beautiful was through Guy’s efforts. We miss him not only for his efforts but for his friendly, welcoming personality that had been an important part of St. Philip’s for the past decade.

Rest in Peace Guy, and rise in Glory.