Below is the text of my Easter Letter to you all. Also remember that we have a special time in-between the services this week to have brunch together. 9:30-10:30
Greetings in this joyous season of the Resurrection. When Jesus rises from death and then subsequently ascends to heaven and also sends back the person of the Holy Spirit, the main movements of the christian faith all come a wonderful completeness.
The story began with the creation of the world through god’s speaking, followed by the distortion of the fall and the struggle of humans to discover truth and meaning. Through the writings and the prophets, revelation began to lay down a rich background and understanding of the heart of the creator. When Jesus comes on the scene he does so in such a way that anyone can access him. It is his humility and his love that make him so attractive to us.
We have been reminded in this season of Lent however of the frailty and brokenness of the creation. This all comes to a dramatic moment in the death of Jesus upon the cross. It is not a long time, but it is a very dark time; the three days in the tomb, that are the very hinge point of human history. What emerges then, is a revelation that, whether you personally believe it or not, has changed the nature of all of creation. With the resurrection of Jesus the perspective and relationship that is available to us is completely changed. And there is more! The holy spirit is being poured out to anyone who desires it.
This is the age that we now live in. An age where relationship with the three persons of the trinity is not only possible, but normal. We gain a depth of understanding the heart and activity of God Himself and are forever linked to divine nature. All the riches of His creation are available to us now.
Jesus came so that we could be saved, healed and delivered, filled, equipped and sent out.
Rector of Renforth – The Day of Resurrection 2018
Mark Twain is understood to have said:
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
This may be the worst kept secret, but today Val and I would like to announce that we will retire from Parish of Renforth at the end of August this year.
Our last Sunday will be July 29th followed by our Vacation time.
August will be spent packing up and putting things in storage.
Val and I have thought and talked about doing a sailing adventure for awhile so early September we will set out on an extended Cruise on our boat “TEVAH” sailing down the eastern seaboard to Florida and then across the gulf stream to the Bahamas, where we will spend the winter.
Looking back over the past 20 years, our time here at St. James the less, has been rich with relationship, faith, the word of God and mission. We will always cherish the growth that we have seen in so many of you and ourselves over the years. We have celebrated together , we have grieved together, we have explored the Kingdom of God together and now it is time for something new.
St. James the Less Church in the
Parish of Renforth
Annual Report 2017
Moving more into Missions
The Corporation – 2017
Rector – Eric B. Phinney BBA, MDiv
Wardens- David Henderson, Chris Smith
Treasurer – Don Hazen
Envelope Secretary -Norman McLeod
Vestry – Donald Hazen, Sharon and David Kierstead,Déja and Josh Peterson,Linda Pike
Vestry Clerk – Vacant
Synod Delegates – David Henderson, Christopher Smith
Alternates to Synod – Norman McLeod, Val Phinney
Welcome and Prayer
Minutes of the last AGM
Financial Report 2017 and Budget for 2018
Missional Footprint Report
Election of Wardens and Vestry
Election of Synod Delegates and Alternates
Appointment of Safe Church person
Any other Business
Votes of thanks
Minutes of the Last AGM
St. James the Less Church in the Parish of Renforth
AGM Feb 26, 2017 for the Year Ended Dec 31, 2016
Welcome and Prayer – Eric
Chair: David Henderson, Recording Secretary:Eric
Minutes of the last AGM Moved by Linda H, Seconded by Norm M No Error or Omissions Carried
Rector’s Report Moved by David H, Seconded by Deja P. Carried including the revised stats report.
Wardens Report Moved by David H, Seconded by Don H David H, with Thanks Chris for his insights and gifts. Carried
Financial Report 2016 and Budget for 2017
Operations 2016 Moved by Don H Seconded by Norman M Carried
2017 Budget Moved by Deja P. Seconded by Susan H Carried
Question re books that should be replaced by Rodney: Referred to vestry
Kneelers: Referred to vestry
Designated Giving Report Moved by Rodney Seconded by Ada O Carried
Missional Footprint Report Moved by Val P, Seconded by Susan H. Carried
Other Reports Moved by Ada O, Seconded by Linda S. Carried
Election of Wardens and Vestry
Moved to accept Nominations by acclamation by David K, Seconded Don Carried
Moved to accept nominations by acclamation by Norman M , Seconded by Susan H Carried
Election of Synod Delegates and Alternates
Moved to accept nominations by acclamation by Don H, seconded by Linda S, Carried
Synod Alternate Delegates
Moved to accept nominations by acclamation by Susan, Seconded by Deja Carried
Appointment of Safe Church person
Nominations: referred to prayer to vestry (Norman McLeod was appointed)
Any other Business
Votes of thanks
David H, moved a vote of thanks for the work that Dennis does.
David H, for John C and his long service on Vestry
Deja for the Parsons
David – for Norman for envelope secretary
Eric for David
Eric for the whole ministry team
Anne for Don H the treasurer
Linda and Anne for Eric
Ruth for Val
Adjournment Moved at 14:27 Norman M, Carried
Looking back over 20 years, as the Rector of Renforth, I have seen many changes. When I say changes I am speaking of positive moves toward god’s heart. As you have often heard me say: I believe that people need to be saved, healed and delivered, so that they can be filled, equipped and sent out. We can celebrate each one of those steps many times over.
It has been a great joy each time someone welcomes Jesus into their hearts. What a privilege it is when a human being takes this initial step of faith.
Early on in our ministry here we brought a number of speakers, teachers and seminars to help us understand healing and deliverance in a deeper and more practical way. There are so many times, that I can recall us laying hands on people for healing or taking special times of prayer to help someone attain spiritual freedom, I cannot count.
What celebration and affirmation there is when the presence of holy spirit is so discernable that no one could miss it. Many times we have witnessed individuals being filled with the spirit of god and watched as their life in the spirit deepened and the gifts of the spirit have been put to use.
Over the years we have brought many teachers and conference to do the equipping work that is necessary for us to be effective in our work in the kingdom. It is indeed a privilege to live in a time when there is more teaching and training available at our fingertips.
We have also had the wonderful privilege of laying hands on people and sending them out to the work they have prepared for.
There have been so many people over the years that have come and been healed and equipped and then sent out.
This is the work of the Church. But there is more. Jesus has given us a mandate to care for those who we encounter. Matthew 25 gives us clarity about what we should be doing; and we can celebrate that as well. We have been focusing on this aspect for the last several years and now celebrate our Missional Footprint. Let us continue to hold all these things together as we keep in step with the Spirit of God and serve in his Kingdom
2017 Wardens’ Report
Throughout the year 2017, the vestry and wardens have continued to feel God’s leading of St. James the Less and have witnessed His provision. Despite diminished attendance, St. James the Less remains an active congregation with a commitment to mission. Although at times, there have been financial concerns, the faithful giving of this congregation has meant that we have largely met our commitments and finished the year on an even keel.
St. James the Less has continued to give 10%, over $16,000 this year, to missions and community outreach.
The Diocese of Fredericton had requested an amount of $24,105.47 as our portion of the Diocesan Shared Ministry Budget. We were concerned that we would not be able to meet this amount, but we were able to send $22,400 while still meeting other obligations.
We continue to make efficient use of our space by making it available to the Korean church when not in use by our own congregation. This seems to have little impact on us while providing a facility for other believers and contributes to our funds.
The Diocese has launched a program called Safe Church to ensure a working, learning, and spiritual environment that is safe for all members. Coordinated in our church community by Norm McLeod, we are in the process of completing documentation and training for those in positions of responsibility at St. James the Less.
Church maintenance this year consisted of repairs to heaters in the church hall and to the fire alarm system. We are also appreciative our custodian Denise Gallagher for his kind service.
David Henderson and Chris Smith, Wardens
PARISH ANNUAL STATISTICAL RETURN
PARISH OF RENFORTH YEAR: 2017
Section 1 – Population Summary Section 3 – Worship Services Summary
Congregation: Celebrations of Holy Eucharist/Holy Comm.
Number of Congregations 1 Inside Church: 92
Outside Church: 0
Households: On Sundays: 92
Families: 29 On Weekdays: 0
Individuals: 23 Administration of Reserved Sacrament:
Membership: Reserved Sacrament Services: 40
Adults: 81 Other Services:
Other: Evensong: 0
Confirmed Persons: Lessons & Carols: 0
Communicants: 88 Funerals: 3
Identifiable Givers: 63 Baptism: 2
Section 2 – Parish Groups and Roles Summary Reaffirmation: 0
Layreaders: Reception: 0
Parochial: 3 Holy Unction: 0
Diocesan: 2 Other: 0
Church School Information: On Sundays: 104
Schools: 1 On Weekdays: 3
Students: 6 Section 4 – Number of Individuals
Attendance: 4 Making:
Easter Communion: 51
Parish Groups: Communion by Reserved Sacrament: 2
Men’s Groups – # Groups: 0
Total Membership: Other Yearly Totals:
Women’s Groups – # Groups: 0 Normal attendance on Sundays (est.) 50
Total Membership: 12 Number Buried: 3
Youth Groups – # Groups: 0 Number Baptized: 2
Total Membership: 0 Number of Marriages: 0
Music teams – # Groups: 3 Number of First Communions: 0
Total Membership: 6 Number of Confirmations: 0
Study Groups – # Groups: 2 Number of Reaffirmations: 0
Total Membership: 15 Number Received from other Communions:
Other Groups – # Groups:
Revised Feb 21st 2017
BUDGET ANALYSIS 2017-2018
CHUR SUPP WORSHIP
STIPEND & BENEFITS
WATER & SEWER
YOUTH MIN EX
2017 Designated Giving
Bal Dec 31 16
Bal Dec 31 17
Kenn Food Basket
Our Missional Footprint
I define our missional footprint as all those activities of the Church that impact our community and our world. It includes the actions and programs of the Church and individuals. While this report is not complete it begins to give us a picture of the impact that we are making for Christ in the world. It does not include the things that we do for ourselves for our own maintenance. Maintenance is important, we cannot survive without it, and our impact on the world depends on a healthy and functioning community. Our internal “Other Ministries” will follow this section of the report. This look at our Mission Activity is, in my mind, the most important measure of our success as a parish and the centerpiece of this Report. Today this is what we celebrate.
Mission Committee Report
The missions committee meets on the first tuesday evening of every month. Members are Eric, Val, Susan Henderson, Alice McLeod, David and Sharon Kierstead. Together we take some time to report, pray and discern how we should distribute 10% of the tithes and offerings that have come in over the last month. This is above and beyond what the vestry sends off to the diocese for the shared ministry budget. A number of items have now become fixed donation that we make every month. A certain portion is reserved and is available to be sent where we discern it is most needed.
2017 Missions Committee disbursements
2017 Missions Committee Disbursements
$ 1,200 Medical Mission International (Madeleine Allard)
$ 1,400 Wycliffe Bible Translators Canada (Shiloh Peterson)
$ 2,822 Gerald Jamer (Outflow)
$ 900 Kennebecasis Baptist Church Inc. (Syrian Refugees)
$ 966 Central SJ Community Ministry (Terrence & Jasmine Chandra)
$ 972 Plan Canada (Foster Children)
$ 1,400 Family in Need (Confidential)
$ 100 L’Arche Saint John (New Dawn Players)
$ 200 Threshold Ministries
$ 100 Safe Harbour
$ 275 Renforth Seniors Wellness
$ 568 Street Hope
$ 739 Seafarers’ Christmas Gift Bags
$ 100 Romero House
$ 200 Our Daily Bread
$ 200 Saint John Seafarers’ Mission
$ 600 Camp Medley
$ 244 Renforth Wharf Days
$ 100 Jean Porter Mowat (Foot care bursaries)
$ 1,000 PWRDF (Caribbean hurricane relief)
$ 133 2nd Family in need of assistance (Confidential)
$ 100 3rd Family in need of assistance (Confidential)
$ 100 4th Family in need of assistance (Confidential)
$ 100 5th Family in need of assistance (Confidential)
$ 100 Harbour Lights
$14,619 Total (based on tithes from December, 2016 to November, 2017)
Ministries Supporter on a monthly basis through the missions committee
Foster Children http://www.plancanada.ca/
Outflow Ministry – Meals one per month http://www.outflowsj.com/
Medical Mission International (MMI) http://www.medicalmission.ca/
Wycliffe bible Translators (Shiloh Peterson) https://www.wycliffe.ca/wycliffe/
Kennebecasis Baptist Church (Syrian Family Support) January to September
Terrance and Jasmin Chandra (Central SJ Community Ministry) October to December
Renforth Wharf Days
Renforth Wharf Days took place for the third consecutive year with a great turn out and fantastic support from the town and community. We raised around $10,000 in cash and in kind donations to make sure that events were free for kids and families. I have now turned this over to the town to administrate as it was quite time consuming last year and the committee is getting tired. The church had a great booth this year and helped in a number of ways. Thanks to all who helped and let us pray that the town of Rothesay will take this up and make it even bigger and better. The word on the street is that this will be the last year for the Dragon Boats, so there is a real need for a local waterfront event.
Renforth Seniors Health, Wellness and Safety
We had our Second full Health Fair last April and are looking forward to another this April that will be built around the theme of “Serving two generations” See our promotion poster below. We were able to conduct several teas and talks through the year to help serve those who are becoming more “Senior” The Town of Rothesay has made it official that they are now a Senior friendly community.
Outflow Supper Program
Once a month on Thursday afternoons we see a regular group led by Jerry Jamer prepare and deliver a meal and other supplies on a monthly basis to Outflow. We thank you all for your dedication. We know that this is making a difference among the poor in Saint John.
Kennebecasis Food Basket
The Food Basket is located in the parking area of the quispamsis Arena. We are open on Mondays to receive donations and on Tuesdays to serve our clients. We bag many items in bulk eg. oats, rice, flour, sugar, coffee. The volunteers on Mondays bag up smaller portions for individuals or families. At christmas special hampers ar provided with seasonal goods. |Mothers day also finds volunteers busy putting together something for Moms.
St. James the Less maintains a basket in the Narthex for donations, and it is delivered weekly to the Food Basket. Our Church also makes financial donations. Please be assured that anything you put in our basket is going to feed hungry people who have fallen on unfortunate circumstances. Thank You for your generosity.
We will soon be looking for someone else to take over the ministry of delivering our contributions to the Food Basket on Monday mornings. Maybe you would be willing to take it on!
Lakewood Head Start
For many years we have had a brown box near the doors to the fellowship hall. You may bring household items and clothing and put them in this box. These are distributed to families in need in the eastern part of greater Saint John by Lakewood Headstart.
Art Community Gathering
The Art group continues to meet every second Friday Morning from 9-12. This is a great place for those who want to work in a safe environment and explore the creative world. There is always prayer, food, worshipful music and encouragement.
Mission to Loch Lomond Villa
In any month with five Sundays, a group of our parishioners lead the evening service in the chapel at Loch Lomond Villa.
The mission was formed several years ago, out of a home group led by Judith and Rodney Senior. We felt called to serve in the community in some way. At the same time, Eric Phinney asked us to accompany him to an evening service at the Villa. We enjoyed that evening, and so began a journey of service that has brought many evenings of joy, and laughter as we served The Lord by being of service to the residents of Loch Lomond Villa.
Basically we sing several hymns, read the lessons of the day, preach a short sermon on the gospel reading, and end with prayer with an emphasis on one on one prayer. We try to be informal, and invite the residents to read the lessons (some of them love to do this!) Judith plays the organ, and sometimes Susan brings her guitar.
At Christmas time we held a service of nine Lessons and Carols, which was very well received, and five residents read a lesson each. One devout Catholic lady, new to the Villa, and unsure whether or not she would find a “non Catholic” service appropriate, came up to us at the end, grasped hands, and exclaimed “That was wonderful. We sing all those Carols at the Cathedral”! That just made our day!
Currently the group consists of David and Susan Henderson, David and Sharon Kierstead, Linda Pike, Jacquie Thompson, and Judith and Rodney Senior. However, with Judith and Rodney leaving the parish, David and Susan unable to continue, the future looks uncertain. We will be sorry to see this ministry close. It has been a vital and valuable ministry, and will be missed by the residents of the Villa. Perhaps someone else might like to continue it in some form or another, and if so we urge them to contact Eric as soon as possible.
Respectfully submitted: Rodney Senior.
BETTY JANE MARKHAM
Judith and I have had a continuing ministry to our friend Betty Jane Markham, which simply put, involves visiting her to chat and give her communion. Currently it is not easy to hold a conversation with her, and she repeats the same questions. Most often she enquires “How are things at Saint James the Less?” It is obvious that her heart and her thoughts are directed towards the church that she loved so much, and still holds dear to her heart. When you consider how much of her life was tied up in this church, you begin to realise why.
Betty Jane has been a Warden and Vestry member. She started the Parish Prayer Chain, was a member of the Altar Guild, and long time Choir member. She was a Diocesan Lay Reader, and started a Men’s Bible Study Group. She was on Missions near and far including to The Philippines, and Newfoundland with Rev Dr. Bob Smith. Probably her greatest gift was to the people of the parish when she visited and took communion to the sick and the shut in.
As the daughter of a long time Parish Priest she inherited a sense of duty, and mission that is difficult to surpass, and she deserves our full attention.
Unfortunately, our plans to relocate to Ontario, will leave her with only visits from her friend Liz Reid from St Paul’s, Rothesay, and this greatly concerns us.
We are appealing to our parish to ensure that Betty Jane continues to receive regular visits from this parish. Perhaps a number of people could arrange a roster to visit weekly or bi weekly. All it takes is one person to take charge, and others to volunteer to go. All that is required is to sit with her for a short time, and chat as you are able. This is a mission, just like the missions to faraway places. It is small in scale but big in heart. It is small in time, but time very well spent. This, to show that we do care for a long time, very loyal servant of this parish.
Please consider our appeal carefully, and contact Eric if you feel called to do this. Thank You
Respectfully submitted: Rodney and Judith Senior.
Regular Building Use by the Community
Our building is used for the greater good of the community on a regular basis by the following groups. It is also used occasionally by individuals or organizations that request a one time use of the building. We consider it good stewardship when the building is being used.
The Presbyterian Korean Church Congregation – weekly Sunday, Friday, Saturday approx 8 hours/week
50 plus Women who Care – tri monthly 2 hours
Art Group – Bi weekly 3 hours
Michael Butler Art Class- Weekly 6 hours
Zumba – twice weekly 4 hours
Fundy Gardeners – monthly 3 hours
Prostate Cancer group – monthly 2 hours
Several families for Birthday parties, showers and anniversaries
The Nigerian Church’s Worship/mission event
A free will offering is received from each group except the Art Group since that is lead by our own people
Rectors other Missional Activity
I have continued to serve as the Chairman of the Board of directors of Alpha Ministries Canada. I will be stepping down from this post after 12 years on the board and 8 as Chair. Alpha Canada is responsible for providing the Alpha Course to this nation as well as innovating and developing products for worldwide use. Alpha Canada has also become much more deeply involved in the international operation.
Val and I both serve on the Board of Medical Mission International. MMI serves in Medical and Dental outreach missions in South America and Western Africa. They have recently purchased a building in Togo to act as a mission centre.
I serve as Chair on the Board of Directors of Wycliffe Bible translators. Wycliffe Canada works with other Wycliffe organizations around the world to translate the bible into the heart language of minority language groups. I have traveled to Peru twice and given leadership to a number of key policy changes that have provided more support and safety to our missionaries.
I serve as the Chaplain to the Port of Saint John through the Saint John Seafarers mission. I visit ships and watch for the welfare needs of sailors as well as bringing them prayer and christian materials. I have opportunities to represent Christ at social gatherings among the various industries that make up the operation of the port from time to time. Alpha for Seafarers has now been launched and is being distributed around the world onboard ships. I serve also on the Board of Mission to Seafarers Canada.
After a number of prayer outreaches and consultations with some of the staff of the Cherry Brook Zoo I was elected as Vice Chair with a view to help bring their board into good governance practices. We have had a visioning day where I shared that it was God’s intention for us as humans to look after and conserve his creation.
Tell us more…
Are there things that you know others are doing on Christ’s behalf that we should celebrate. It would be appropriate to share these with the Rector so that they can be publicly held up as part of our corporate Missional Footprint. We do not do this to brag but rather to encourage everyone to do their bit to have an impact on the world around the
These are the maintenance ministries that I have noted above. They are extremely important to our health and internal growth but do not directly impact the community around us.
Sunday and other worship Services
Our regular services take place at 8:30 and 10:30 each Sunday. The “Early Service” as it is called is a “by the book service of Holy Communion from the Prayer Book. We usually sing three hymns accompanied and led skilfully by Linda Hazen. We are a small congregation of between 12 and 20. This is an important service for me personally as it helps me hear and respond to the word of God and engage prayerfully through Holy Communion. Because it is so traditional I find it a comfort and food for my soul. I bring the same message at this service as I do the 10:30.
Our regular family Service takes place at 10:30 each Sunday. It is a much freer form of service that consists of worship through music for about 20 minutes, the collect of the day, the reading of the day, Preaching, announcements, prayers and communion. There is flexibility built into the service to utilize different modes of teaching , prayer and ministry as the Spirit leads.
During the Church year we engage in several special services. Christmas Eve is always a delight as many people come from away to join family and friends. We usually hold this service at 5:30pm so that all ages can easily be part of it and be home for supper and other activities. Our next event is our Ash Wednesday Service. We usually finish the Lent season with a Seder Meal as we prepare for the celebrations of Easter. We used to have a Good Friday Service of our own but this year (2018) as we did last two years will be joining other Anglican Churches in the area at St. Paul’s in Rothesay. Any interested choristers have been invited to join in a community choir.
Other Services are held as required including Baptisms, Funerals and Marriages. It should be noted that none of these are private functions but open to the public as part of our corporate witness to the work of Christ in our midst.
Home visitation and communion
Some of our members are not able to get out to the church building and are ministered to by the church family in the place that they reside. Regular home communions are carried out for those requiring this ministry. I am very pleased to have the able help of Rodney Senior to assist with this. Rodney’s ministry in this area will be missed as they relocate to be close to their family.
Kids/Youth and Intergenerational Ministry
For the last several years now we have had no formal Children’s ministry. In place of this there is an area of the worship space that is dedicated to the little ones to work on crafts, engage in worship and generally be in our midst. We do thank Susan Henderson for shepherding the little ones during the service. It is always a delight to see them in our midst.
Sincere Thanks to the following members for their continued dedicated service and cooperation: Jill Atkins, Jennifer Blackwood, Dorothy Buckley, Anne Cummings, Charlotte Hope, Bonnie Jones, Sharon Kierstead, Alice McLeod. It is a pleasure to serve with these ladies.
We regret that Mary Splane has had to withdraw after many years of service. She will be greatly missed. We need new members and I invite other members of our congregation to prayerfully consider this as a ministry.For we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which god prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
Anne Ross, Convener
Many thanks to Gregor Hope who gives leadership to our band of Counters, who count, balance and deposit the gifts of money given to the parish so we can carry on ministry. This is almost an invisible ministry, that requires a certain amount of skill and dependability. We thank our counting teams!
The St. James the Less prayer chain consists of six people, Ada Onuora, Anne Ross, Joan Goucher, Sharon Kierstead, Judith Senior and we recently welcomed Susan Henderson. We welcome more members of our congregation to join us who feel called to this ministry, a ministry each of us has enjoyed.
From the number of prayer requests we receive we know how important this ministry is to the people. We meet once a month on the third Monday afternoon, to update our prayer list and to fellowship. We each take a turn at being the leader, keeping the notebook up to date, and hosting the weekly meeting in our homes, or in the ACW room.
There are a few areas that we always include on our list: All levels of Government, our Troops and their families, the Anglican Church and the Anglican Network in Canada and all the troubled areas of the world.
Since January 16th of 2017 to February 15th 2018 we have received 151 prayer requests not including any updates on any individuals.
Ephesians 6:18 Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).
Small Groups/bible Studies
The Thursday night Bible Study group started in 2013 has continued meeting each week at Joan and Colin Blackwood’s home . Our continuing goal is to dig deeper into the word and apply what we have learned to our daily life and how we can understand or relate to what we have read. After finishing our study on the book of Revelations, we decided to look at the gospel of John and learn more about the man who became John the Revelator. Every week we are amazed at how much we have missed in our own personal reading of the Word as we enter into the ancient world of the Bible still so relevant to our present day. Discussion is welcomed and we are finding we look forward to meeting each week as we share in the richness of His Word. Many thanks to our faithful 8 for their attendance and contribution to this group. We are an open group and welcome anyone who would like to join us for a couple of hours of fun, friendship and discovery.
“Samuel served the Lord by helping Eli the priest..” (1 Samuel 1)
Basically that is the calling of the Lay Reader – To serve God by serving the Priest. In our case this is mostly by reading the lessons, leading in prayer, assisting with communion, and at Eric’s discretion, and in his absence, leading the service.
Currently we have only five Lay Readers, David and Susan Henderson, Sharon Kierstead, and Judith and Rodney Senior, who take part in the 10:30am service on a rotating basis. In Eric’s absence Rodney leads the 8:30am service, administering communion from the reserved sacrament, and preaching.
In a few months, Judith and Rodney will be leaving Saint James the Less as they begin a new life in Almonte, Ontario. This leaves the parish needing additional Lay Readers, and Eric will be approaching members of the congregation to ask them to consider this important ministry. The requirements are simple. A desire to serve, an ability to read well and clearly, pray appropriately, either formally or informally, and a love for The Lord through his word.
Judith and I have thoroughly enjoyed our time as Lay Readers in this parish. It has been a joy and a pleasure to serve you. We will miss you all, but as we move on, we will always have a place for you in our hearts.
Respectfully submitted: Rodney Senior.
I have coordinated the musical worship for the last several years. I am very thankful for the gifts of music that we have present in our congregation and how people have used them for the greater glory of God and for reaching out into our community in various ways. Linda Hazen serves as our regular organist at the 8:30 services and often makes an appearance at Christmas and Easter and other special times. Linda’s accompaniment is always a pleasure to sing to. She carefully chooses the right songs for the season.
In our main service we enjoy the leadership of John, Cynthia, Josh, Deja and Val on a regular basis. Jonathan Hallewell has now joined in to make a third team. From time to time we also might have the occasional guest appearance from friends of St. James the Less. On the rare occasion that no one is available we have had to fall back to “Youtube” videos, which are always a good alternative when no live musicians are available.
Chris and Mike have dutifully manned the sound desk and Linda Pike has provide the expertise on the projection system.
Feasts and Festivals
A few times a year we gather for special times of community. Over the years we have done a number of things including; Sunday School picnics, Corn boils, Bagel Sunday’s, Thanksgiving suppers, Special Christmas services, Shrove Tuesday Suppers, Seder Suppers and Act’s 2:42 Suppers. All of these have contributed to the overall life of the community as we would get to know each other over a meal. They are important and we must give some serious thought to reestablishing the ones that we need to be doing on a regular basis.
Synod Alternate Delegates
St. James the Less Church in the Parish of Renforth
March 18, 2018 Fifth Sunday in Lent
Collects Almighty and everlasting God, you despise nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent. Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our brokenness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Most merciful God,by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ, you created humanity anew. May the power of his victorious cross transform those who turn in faith to him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
FIRST READING: Jeremiah 31:31-34
31The LORD said: The time will surely come when I will make a new agreement with the people of Israel and Judah. 32It will be different from the agreement I made with their ancestors when I led them out of Egypt. Although I was their God, they broke that agreement. 33Here is the new agreement that I, the LORD, will make with the people of Israel:”I will write my laws on their hearts and minds. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34“No longer will they have to teach one another to obey me. I, the LORD, promise that all of them will obey me, ordinary people and rulers alike. I will forgive their sins and forget the evil things they have done.”
PSALMODY: Psalm 51:1-12
1You are kind, God! Please have pity on me.
You are always merciful! Please wipe away my sins.
2Wash me clean from all of my sin and guilt.
3I know about my sins, and I cannot forget my terrible guilt.
4You are really the one I have sinned against; I have disobeyed you and have done wrong.
So it is right and fair for you to correct and punish me.
5I have sinned and done wrong since the day I was born.
6But you want complete honesty, so teach me true wisdom.
7Wash me with hyssop until I am clean and whiter than snow.
8Let me be happy and joyful! You crushed my bones, now let them celebrate.
9Turn your eyes from my sin and cover my guilt.
10Create pure thoughts in me and make me faithful again.
11Don’t chase me away from you or take your Holy Spirit away from me.
12Make me as happy as you did when you saved me; make me want to obey!
Prayer: Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden. Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Christ our Lord.
SECOND READING: Hebrews 5:5-10
5That is how it was with Christ. He became a high priest, but not just because he wanted the honor of being one. It was God who told him, “You are my Son, because today I have become your Father!”6In another place, God says, “You are a priest forever just like Melchizedek.”
7God had the power to save Jesus from death. And while Jesus was on earth, he begged God with loud crying and tears to save him. He truly worshiped God, and God listened to his prayers. 8Jesus is God’s own Son, but still he had to suffer before he could learn what it really means to obey God. 9Suffering made Jesus perfect, and now he can save forever all who obey him. 10This is because God chose him to be a high priest like Melchizedek.
GOSPEL: Luke 8:4-15 English Standard Version (ESV)
4 And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable, 5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. 6 And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture.7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. 8 And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” 9 And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, 10 he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away.14 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. 15 As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.
Sentence: Anyone who serves me must follow me, says the Lord, and where I am, there shall my servant be also. John 12.26
Jonathan will be speaking about the third movement in “BELLS” today: Listen
Tonight (Tuesday) 6:00PM is our traditional Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper. We are planning for 60, we have 30 that have officially signed up so we have lots of room to bring friends.
After Supper and cleanup, those who wish will take some time for worship and have a look at the “Bells” material, particularly around “Blessing”
Wednesday morning will be a 10:30 service with the imposition of Ashes.