Services

Wedding, St. Albans, Church, Richmond

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Wednesday Morning 8am Prayer

Music By Kyumin Jacqueline Lee

10am Service: Click here to View

8:30 Live Service: Click here to View

July 26th Sermon

26 July 2020                Proper 17A                              Sunday after Pentecost

This parable is a teaser:

Dick finds a treasure.

Dick buries the treasure in a (random?) field.

Dick joyfully sells everything and

Dick buys the field and possesses the treasure, and the field.

Did I miss something?  Don’t most people who find a treasure take it home?  Why bury it, then sell everything you have so you can buy the field with the treasure you found and buried in it?  What gives?

  • Does buying the field make having the treasure legitimate?  
  • Would it have been considered theft if the treasure was just taken from wherever it was found?

Is this parable about the legitimacy of the Kingdom, and the cost of the Kingdom, as well as the joy in having the kingdom?

How ‘bout this one:

Sally is a well-known pearl merchant.  If you can’t find the pearl you are looking for, then go see Sally and she will find it for you!

In one of her trips to the oyster beds of the Persian Gulf, Sally finds a pearl of extraordinary size and colour, beautiful beyond description.  

There and then, Sally sells every pearl she had acquired on her journey and

Sally buys the pearl.

Did I miss something?

  • If Sally is a merchant, the purpose of her acquisitions is in order to sell what she finds, preferably at a good profit.  
  • Was Sally looking for such a pearl for a client?  
  • Did she simply decide to cash everything in and buy it for herself, because of its great beauty?

The parable doesn’t tell us, so those things aren’t what is important.  What is important is that Sally recognized this extraordinary treasure and is willing to beggar herself in order to have it.

Again, the parable is saying more than that the Kingdom is an extraordinary thing worth all we have – the parable is warning that the Kingdom of Heaven – the Kingdom of Peace and Contentment, Healing and Life in the presence of the Holy One, costs us everything.

There are two different parables, both about small things, things so common they aren’t thought of as valuable.

Mustard is an invasive plant.  Most gardeners don’t want it in their fields because it crowds out the plants they desire.  Its seed is like a poppy seed – so small, but the bush that grows from it is large enough to shelter birds and give them nesting space.  Reminds me of the overgrown butterfly bushes that are really trees at my house.  

Yeast is everywhere: on plants, on skin, on fruits and berries, even in seawater and on fish and seaweed.  A small, single-cell fungus, yeast quickly is absorbed into bread dough and causes it to expand well beyond its original mass.  Yeasted breads are lighter than breads made with other leavens.  

What we hear in these parables is about the invisibility, the tiny-ness, of Gd’ Kingdom.  But, they say, don’t make the mistake of thinking the size of the seeds is the truth of their power:  they are strong and grow well beyond their humble origins.  In the cased of yeast, the dough is transformed.  In the case of the mustard bush, diverse multitudes are sheltered. 

The kingdom of Heaven, the Kingdom of Peace and Contentment, Healing and Life in the presence of the Holy One, is easily overlooked and it is sometimes seen as an unwelcome and invasive force.  Perhaps most importantly, the Kingdom of Heaven is seen by its results.

And Jesus tells a parable very much like that of the wheat and the weeds growing side by side until the harvest, only now it is a picture take from fishing activity:  The Kingdom of Heaven is like a net cast out of the boat and bringing in all kinds of fish which will be separated and sorted once they fishers get back to shore.  Like the other parable, this one goes on to an application about the Day of the Lord, when Gd shall come to Israel and cast out all the unfaithful, unwelcome, wicked people who oppress the people of Gd’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Gotta look at it though:  Is the Kingdom of Heaven like the net? Or is the Kingdom of Heaven like the end-results of the story?

Does Gd’s Reign “net” in everyone – inclusive, refusing to differentiate between people?

Or is Gd’s Reign begun with judgment and rejection of some, welcome of others?

We know the way the church has understood this parable over the generations – the latter message encouraging people to hold firm in troubles and danger because in the end Gd will reward the faithful and punish the rest.  

But we have to challenge that understanding.  In the end, Jesus’ very mission moved from the intolerance of Jewish distinctiveness, to a diversity that welcomed all people, Jew and Gentile, Samaritan and Roman, male and female, slave and free, rich and poor.  The “net” was cast widely and brought in all sorts.  Perhaps the point is that it isn’t ours to judge – that will be Gd’s responsibility.  We are to welcome, to teach and encourage, and together do our best to live according to Kingdom principles.

Then comes the final sentence – 

“Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”

Commentators think Matthew’s community understood this as referring to the treasures of the teachings of Moses – the old – and the treasurers of the new interpretation and teaching of Jesus.  “Scribes of the Kingdom” refer to the disciples, and those they trained to lead after them.  It is a summary statement for all Jesus’ teachings – something you might hear when you’re given a certificate of completion at the end of your studies.

“Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”

I love this saying of Jesus:   it values the wisdom of the past and recognizes that there is wisdom in the present for the Church and Christian faith.  

The presence of Gd can be an extraordinary thing like the pearl of great price, or it can be as common as yeast.  It is a joy to those who receive it – and costs them – us- everything.   The Kingdom of Heaven, the Household of Gd, the saving grace of Gd in us, is seen by its results.  “By their fruit you shall know them,” says Jesus.

Our faith is ever-renewing, our understanding ever-growing.  No single generation of the faithful has a corner on the ‘truth’ of what Jesus meant.  No single understanding of Scripture, of Jesus, indeed, of Gd can ever be sufficient.  We have a living faith, and a living Lord – a living Gd – and a living wisdom to guide us, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

So what is the Holy Spirit saying to us this morning?  Does it encourage us as we move through this present time?  Does it give us hope as we journey into the “undiscovered country” of the future as church and also as citizens of a world where a simple virus shows us in such terrifying ways that no race, no religion, no colour, no gender, no age, no allegiance makes us different – we are all equally vulnerable?

May the words. . . 

Paula Porter Leggett/15 July 2020

July 26th Morning Prayers

Prayers for Sunday morning Service of the Word (Lg)

(from “Worship” of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, p.699)

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Let us pray:

(silence)

Almighty God of mercy, we thank you for the resurrection dawn, bringing the glory of our risen Lord who makes every day new.  Especially we thank you 

  • For the sustaining goodness of your creation …
  • For the new creation in Christ and all gifts of healing and forgiveness …
    • For continuing acts of reconciliation among those who have been divided
  • For the gives of relationship with others …
    • For those who are new to our country and those who work on their behalf, especially refugees from violence and war
  • For the communion of faith in your church…

Please offer your own thanksgivings aloud or in your hearts. (silence)

Merciful God of might, renew this weary world, heal the hurts of your children, and bring about your peace for all in Christ Jesus, the living Lord.  Especially we pray 

  • For those who govern the nations of the world …
    • For Elizabeth our Queen
    • For Justin our Premier, John our Premier, and Malcolm our mayor
    • For Bonnie Henry our provincial health officer and all working on our behalf during time of disease and pandemic
  • For the people in countries ravaged by strive, warfare or disease …
  • For all who work for peace and international harmony …
  • For all who strive to save the earth from carelessness and destruction …
  • For the Church of Jesus Christ in every land
    • For Justin, Archbishop of Canterbury and first Bishop of the Anglican Communion;
    • For Linda Nichols, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada; Melissa Skelton, our Bishop and Provincial Metropolitan;
      • For the diocesan churches named in the weekly prayer lists
    • For the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada, Susan Johnson, Presiding Bishop, Greg Mohr, Bishop of the Western Synod
    • For the Episcopal Diocese of the Northern Philippines, its people and mission, and their bishop, Brent Alawas

Please offer your own prayers for the church and the world aloud or in your hearts. (silence)

Compassionate God, source of all love, you know our needs before us and your Spirit continually works out your good in us, hear our prayers for ourselves and others especially …

  • For our parish and people near and far;  for our leaders and those whose hands care continually for our corner of creation;  for those who attend to the needs of this congregation;  and for those whose service to the poor and needy richly lifts up the pattern of Christ among us;
  • For our staff in this time of disruption and the shifting sands of constant change, especially Jennifer, Kyumin, Mary and Paula
  • For those we offer in trust to you . . .
  • For our own concerns and needs . . .

Almighty and everlasting God, you have brought us in safety to this new day.  Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin nor be overcome in adversity.  In all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

A Word from Our Vicar

22 March 2020

Greetings to all Parishioners and Friends:

We are all aware of the COVID-19 pandemic and responses around the world, nationally and locally.  For many people it seems like some kind of alternate version of life, even ‘unreal’ to the extent that some are ignoring the warnings we are receiving from health and governmental authorities daily.

On March 18th Archbishop Melissa directed us to cease gathering for worship for the present time.   Instead, some parishes are making information available on their web-sites and Facebook pages.  Some have the resources at hand to enable live-stream broadcasts.  

At St. Alban’s we are learning together how to gather as the ‘virtual church.’  This is a new way for all of us and counterintuitive to an organization based on gathering people together across borders and boundaries.  We have to learn that using the technology of websites, livestreaming, Zoom, Skype and other web-based resources are doing this for us – crossing the borders of separation, isolation and disease.

Not all members of St. Alban’s use the internet.  We are creating telephone trees for communication updates and prayer.  Rev’d Paula, Jennifer (Office), Larry, Dale and Stephanie (our Wardens) will be available by telephone.  Through us you can also reach out to Thelma (envelope secretary).   Please be patient while we gather information and create our teams and guidelines. 

We are all concerned about how we manage finances at this time.  Like all households, we will continue to get our regular bills.  We are not laying off staff unless the situation 

becomes precarious. Your envelopes and other donations are important to us.  At this time, please consider the following:

  • Dropping your envelope (or donation) through the mail slot at St. Alban’s.  It is located at the bottom of the front door to the Hall, left-hand side;
  • Putting several offering envelopes together with post-dated cheques for the weeks ahead and either mail or drop them by;
  • Changing to PAD – pre-authorized debit.  (Just ask us for the form.)

The Office is closed for the present time and Jennifer will be working from home.  She can receive emails and phone calls there.  A number of parish leaders will be dropping by throughout the week to pick up mail and keep an eye on everything.

Priests have been told to do pastoral care via the telephone, email and ways like Skype or Zoom, no face-to-face meetings.  If we feel a face-to-face visit is necessary, we must discuss this in advance with the Archbishop.  

I will be opening up a blog to share my thoughts and prayers.  There will be more about that in the next Parish Newsletter which will become a regular part of our parish communication resources. 

In the meantime, please take care of yourselves and support the well-being of those around you.  Please continue to reach out to one another.  If you are not in isolation, perhaps you can pick up groceries for a member of the parish.  Let Jennifer and Paula know if you can.  Here is where what we profess about Christian love has an opportunity to shine.  “Won’t you let me be your servant, let me be as Christ to you?  Pray that I might have the grace to let you be my servant, too.” 

The peace of Christ, which passes all understanding, keep our hearts and minds free from anxiety and fear, and the blessing of Gd, the Creator who loves us and comes to us in Christ and the Holy Spirit, be with you now and always,

The Rev’d Paula Porter Leggett, Vicar                           604-329-8701/2rev2pl@gmail.com

Cat

Chinese New Years
Happy New Years 2020
St. Alban’s offers people a choice in worship styles within the Anglican liturgical tradition and both the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) and Book of Alternative Services (BAS) are used.

Our Sunday services are as follows:

  •  8:30 am   A BCP Morning Prayer Spoken

  • 10:00 am  A BAS Morning Prayer Spoken

Due to Covid-19 Our Services that are held once a month in two separate Seniors’ homes have been put on hold.

Please call our office for updates on availability for booking Baptisms that are scheduled frequently as required.

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