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.

N T Wright on Life After Death

N T Wright is the former Bishop of Durham and one of the leading theologians writing today. This interview sponsored by Calvin College was done a couple of years ago. In this video talks about what resurrection and what it meant for the earliest disciples of Jesus, and what it means for us as Christians today. If this video raises any questions for you, please feel free to post them on the St. Philip’s Facebook Page.

If people are thinking about going to see the “Left Behind” movie, this video is a good choice to watch before going or shortly thereafter. While there are no explosions, and N T Wright isn’t a CGI creation (as far as we can tell), it would be a good idea to listen to or watch this video and discover how far from both the Biblical text and from early church thought and practice, the “Left Behind series wanders.