by Rev Jamie York
THANKSGIVING & ANNIVERSARY GREETINGS 2015
“Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
Giving thanks… it seems such a simple concept, yet it also seems to be something that we, as normal humans, aren’t always too good at doing. Even our prayers tend to focus more on what we need and want, rather than giving thanks. I wonder if perhaps this focus keeps us always wanting more; without giving thanks, we are missing the peace of God, which is promised to us in Paul’s letter to the Philippians.
Perhaps that is a good invitation for us all as we celebrate our Thanksgiving time and Church Anniversaries. Oh there is much to accomplish before the winter winds hit us. And we can work hard at doing our “to-do” list. Our invitation for this time of year can also be to spend some time in prayerful reflection of all the things that we can be thankful for. If we make our prayerful requests to God, will God do them for us. No… but God’s spirit will most certainly be invited into your heart, to quiet the heart and soul, to give you strength, direction and perseverance to overcome any reluctance to being truly thankful.
For myself, some of the things I am most grateful for include a roof over head and food in the pantry, a walk in the sunshine with my dogs, a conversation with a friend full of laughter; all for obvious reasons. Less obviously: I am thankful for the frustrations that offer me a chance to develop patience, for the challenges that encourage personal growth, and most of all, for the moments where my heart is open and my mind is quiet enough that I can see the glimpses of grace that God is sending into my life.
It is in these moments that I am intentionally stopping to give thanks to God, to acknowledge that I have all that I need, most of what I want, and an abundant share in the promised peace of God – all of which exceeds well beyond anything I can ask or imagine.
May your Thanksgiving be a time of giving thanks, of delighting in love, of walking in peace.
Wishing one and all, God filled blessings for your autumn season,
“[But] he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.
He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him.” (Mark 16:6)
It could be said that we as Canadians have the opportunity to view Easter from an enviable position. By making that statement, I am implying that by the very nature of our Canadian winter and its movement into Spring, we move through a cold, snowy, ground covered place of non-growth, to a time of springing forth, with warmth, new life, and “newness”. These are all words that speak the Easter language of “resurrection”.
Mark’s Gospel, presents us with a simplified version of the story of Jesus’, death and resurrection. Three women go to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body, wondering on the way how they will gain entrance to the tomb. When they arrive the stone is rolled away, and a young man in white shocks and surprises them from inside the tomb. Then he says the statement printed above. The women are instructed to go tell the disciples, but they flee in amazement and fear and tell no one. Then we have the possibility of two endings to the gospel. The shorter ending, has Jesus coming to his followers through the Holy Spirit to point the way to salvation. The longer ending, has Jesus making appearances to Mary Magdalene, two other disciples, then the eleven apostles, before his ascension to God, his Father. Beyond that the gospel writer encourages the followers to go to proclaim the Good News of Christ.
Most of us have at some time in our life, lost a loved one to death. Part of what we do as Christian people is to live into hope, the resurrection story. Stories of the “strength of aliveness” are resurrection stories. They are the desire to never, ever let someone’s life, live into complete deadness. We remember, we share, we love, and we care for the many people who are and were part of someone’s life. Such is the story of Easter. Yes, the body was gone, but the Spirit of Jesus lived on in “aliveness” amongst his followers and continues to do so to this very day amongst the many followers of the Christian faith.
I wholeheartedly invite you to come to church to engage in the stories of ministry from this man of God, named Jesus at this holy time of the year. The invitation is open to all, to engage in worship, through prayer, music, fellowship and word to attend to the wholeness of a spiritual life.
I also invite you to make an Easter offering to the church to assist in the ongoing ministry of the United Churches in Hastings and Roseneath.
Wishing you prayers and God’s blessing at this Easter time,
Rev Jamie York, Hastings Roseneath Pastoral Charge, The United Church of Canada
Office: 905-352-2000 Email: email@example.com Web: www.harpcharge.com
ADVENT CHRISTMAS GREETINGS 2014
“Unto us a boy is born! King of all creation, came he to a world forlorn, the Lord of every nation, the Lord of every nation”
(1st verse from 15th Century German Christmas carol)
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” the beginning lyrics of a song recorded by many artists over the years, from Andy Williams to the Muppets. And if you are feeling a little blue at this time of year, it is a song to help pick you back up.
For many it is a wonderful and a wonder filled time of the year. Many people will enjoy bringing and receiving the joy of the season. And it all started because of the birth of special baby. An ordinary birth of a child… An extraordinary birth of one who would be “God-Incarnate”; God in the flesh amongst us. Put a baby into the scenes of our lives and the whole world changes. Announce that a baby is to be born and all the people around you are excited. Have the chance to hold a baby in your arms and your whole mind, body and soul experiences a deep and abiding love. Put the fragility of a new life into your hands and care of a human is uppermost in your thoughts.
New life in a baby, creates so much hope, peace, joy and love in one another for this world.
New life came to the lives of Mary & Joseph many years ago. That new life came in less than ideal circumstances… a foretaste of the challenges that would be part of Jesus’ life. And yet I can imagine the excitement and joy within them, holding this bundle of joy in their arms. It was foretold that this child would be very special… and so he was, as the stories of his life and its history have related to us. New life was born that day, and new life can be born in us, as we join in the recognition of Jesus birth, at Christmas time.
Please accept the greetings of the United Churches of Hastings and Roseneath, for this Advent and Christmas season. My prayer is that new life in Jesus, might be born anew in you this season. Please accept the church’s invitation to worship the “Prince of Peace” this festive time of year.
My prayer is also, that it be for you and yours, “A most wonderful time of the year”
May the peace of God be with you, the love of the Christ Child enfold you, and the nudging of the Holy Spirit inspire you, now and always.
Reverend Jamie York
Hastings Roseneath Pastoral Charge, The United Church of Canada
Office: 905-352-2000 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.harpcharge.com
WORSHIP & SPECIAL SERVICES SCHEDULE
Regular Sunday Worship Services: Trinity Hastings 9:15, Roseneath 11:00
December 21 Sacrament of Holy Communion at both churches
December 24 Christmas Eve services Hastings 6:30 pm Roseneath 8:00 pm
As we move on into the fall season, there is an itch of new creativity scratching at my soul.
That could be related to the season of the Christian year wanting me to do something different.
That season is “Creation Time”. The Sundays from September 14th to October 12… Thanksgiving.
A special time in the church year to focus on God’s created order.
We have experienced a summer this year that seemed to be off from the summers we have been experiencing over the last few years. A lot less high humidity warmth, and more rain than usual. Just look around and one can see how everything is still very ‘green’ when usually at this time of year everything is quite ‘brown’. I for one rather enjoyed this different summer weather. Cooler evenings made sleeping more restful and less humidity made the summer days easier to frolic in. And now we are making our way into the fall season when Creation groans herself into shorter days, cooler nights, the shredding of her green trees to colours and then bareness and eventually cold to frost to ice.
Creation time gives us the opportunity to savour some of creation’s beauty that falls upon us at unexpected times… in unexpected ways. The other day I was travelling on highway 2 near Cobourg and an amazing rainbow appeared out in Lake Ontario. The wide colour spectrum out in the water made it difficult to wonder if the rainbow was going into, or coming out of the water. Nonetheless the spectacle was wondrous and made me appreciate a little “creation time” with God. And of course, wondering where the ‘pot o’gold’ was.
Our lives always seem to be filled with hurried busyness and we need to slow down sometimes and “smell the roses” as the old saying goes. Or maybe we need ‘to view the rainbow during creation time’ Even Noah took time to do that!
And the title of this blog, “Time to get started” is the creativity part… scratching at my soul. Time to get started at using this web site as one of God’s wonderful tools of creation.
Many blessings, Rev. Jamie