Some years ago (in another province) I preached an Easter sermon in which the main point was that we are all called to a ministry of one kind or another, by virtue of our sharing in the life of the risen Christ. After that a parishioner came to see me and (tearfully) shared her concern that she was worried that she didn’t have a ministry. I couldn’t help laughing out loud - odd, I know! Perplexed, she asked me what was funny and I reminded her that she volunteered once a week at the Salvation Army thrift store, she was assistant manager of her son’s community soccer league, and the previous year she had chaired the local chapter of the Canadian Cancer Society’s Daffodil Campaign. “Yes” she said, “but those are not church ministries.”
As we celebrate the season of Easter for the next five weeks (up to Pentecost Sunday) one of the emphases is to think about how the risen Christ’s ministries are activated through us. It is so important for us to recognize that everything - everything - we do out of compassion, or for the good of someone else, is his ministry of love and care in the world. In other words, ministry doesn’t always have to be in or through the church.
Case in point, the needs of Ukrainians - refugees as well as those remaining in their war torn homes. We at St. Mary’s have been thinking about how we might work together to raise funds for those needs but it is difficult with our limited abilities and as we emerge very carefully from the pandemic. We are hoping that later in the year we might be able to do something. In the meantime, however, there are other groups in Oceanside and beyond, who are already active in fundraising and supporting the cause. As an example, ask Teresa and John Sandiford about the community efforts they are involved in, supporting Ukrainian refugee families coming to the Island. That is just as significant a ministry as anything we do together as church.
If I might rephrase a bit from the gospel accounts of the resurrection, Jesus said “as I was sent to make a difference in the world, so I am sending you to make a difference - whatever you do in my name will glorify God.” Our wide variety of ministries, great and small, within the church are of course critical to our shared life of worship and outreach - they are also a source of fellowship and fun. But the Lord’s work is happening elsewhere too, all around us. Let’s look around during these Easter and Pentecost seasons and see where we can quietly come alongside the good work of others in our community, and support them as a direct application of our faith in action.
With every blessing,
May 1st Lorraine V
May 2nd Cheryle T
May 5th Richard A
May 8th Jeremiah C
May 11th Randy K
May 12th Diana N
May 15th Brenda J
May 21st Teresa Sa
May 25th Bev O
May 26th Brittaney C
May 27th Mary H
May 1st Jennifer & John C
May 2nd Bill & Rita G
May 24th Harry & Jean C
May 1 Third Sunday of Easter
May 8 Fourth Sunday of Easter
May 15 Fifth Sunday of Easter
May 22 Sixth Sunday of Easter
Revelation 21:10; 22—22:5
May 29 Seventh Sunday of Easter
Revelation 22:12–14, 16–17, 20–21
Maundy Thursday with Bishop Anna was very well attended by parishioners from both St. Mary and St. Philip by-the-Sea, Lantzville. Approximately 60 people attended. A special thanks to all who volunteered for the preparation and setting up. And placing flowers on the wooden cross on Easter Sunday was so lovely!
DIOCESAN UPCOMING EVENTS
WORKSHOP: DIOCESAN CONFIRMATIONS
You are invited to celebrate with us as Bishop Anna confirms seven candidates from across the diocese in this special milestone event to be held at Christ Church Cathedral in Victoria and online. Clergy are invited to vest and process. Everyone is welcome. If you are considering confirmation, please consider attending. Click on this link for more information.
DIOCESAN 'INTERSECTIONS' A Dialogue Series
is an opportunity to engage with Challenging Racist British Columbia: 150 Years and Counting (CRBC). Produced as part of the commemorations of 150 years since BC joined Canada, this open-access, multimedia resources documents how the recent cycle of anti-racist activism in this province is part of a broader history of indigenous, black and other racialized communities challenging white supremacy for over 150 years.
This woke seven-week series brings people together in intentional conversations to:
- encounter our collective past
- locate ourselves as participants in the ongoing story of this place
- explore how to respond faithfully to the truths we find together
...so we can participate with God in restoring creation and affirming the dignity of all people. A team of trained moderators will offer each of the seven sessions which are based on the information covered in the CRBC project, using video, song, prayer, self-reflection exercises, readings and group discussions.
Session 1: Introduction. Introduces pedagogy and content for the series.
Session 2: Land, language, treaty. Highlights the interconnection of land, language and the treaties that were signed, or not, in the process of colonization.
Session 3: Residential School System. Explores the legacy of residential schools and the implications for us today.
Session 4: Restrictive immigration. Unpacks the ways in which the provincial government restricted immigration from racial groups other than white European and engages some contemporary statistics for reflection.
Session 5: Japanese internment. Revisits the response from Canadian authorities to Japanese Canadians during WWII and anti-Asian racism as it is experienced today.
Session 6: Black experiences. In the shadow of the Black Lives Matter movement, this session seeks to expose the experience of black people in the province, both historically and in contemporary BC.
Session 7: Where to from here? This session will complete the series, but it is also the beginning of our next steps on this journey.