FROM THE DESK OF THE RECTOR
“Although the world is full of suffering,
it is also full of the overcoming of it.”
- Helen Keller
And one of the ways through suffering, to the overcoming of suffering, is to pray. Pray, sure, but how?
Never weary in prayer.
When one day people see how marvellously their prayer
has been answered, then they will deeply,
so deeply, regret that they have prayed so little.
Prayer changes all. Prayer re-creates. Prayer is irresistible.
So pray, literally without ceasing.
Pray until you almost cease to pray,
because trust has become so rock-like, and then pray on,
because it has become so much a habit that you cannot resist it.
And always pray until Prayer merges into Praise.
That is the only note on which true prayer should end.
It is the Love and Laughter of your attitude towards all
which is reflected in your attitude towards God.
from “God Calling”
One of the most accessible authors on an authentic life as a Christian is the convert, and humorous, Anne Lamott. She simplifies prayer for people. She suggests keeping the following two prayers close at hand: “Help me, help me, help me!!” and “Thank you, thank you, thank you!!” I have found these two prayers cover almost everything I’ll encounter in a day.
When you use these two prayers often, you realize that you can surrender your need for control. And you begin to listen closely for the nudgings and whisperings of the Holy Spirit ready to guide you through any given situation. Because, with prayer, you are acknowledging the presence of another 'person' in the room and so you are less likely to resort to knee-jerk words and behaviours that are not helpful. The wisdom you need for dealing with any situation is just a prayer away.
Prayer is a muscle we develop. The results are beautifully described in this passage from God Calling. We become increasingly oriented to our true nature, which is our relatedness with the Divine and we are filled with gratitude as we see more clearly how the Spirit is at work in our lives; and in the world around us. So never weary in prayer. Hold it lightly. Be simple, honest, vulnerable. And either suddenly, or over time, you see the power of prayer in your life.
A MONTH OF PRAYER
Coming up for the month of November, on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 9am, you are invited to join in Morning Prayer from the BAS (the green Book of Alternative Services that we have in the pews on a Sunday morning) with Selinde over ZOOM. If you don’t own a BAS, you can pick up a xeroxed copy of the Morning Prayer format from the BAS from KAT in the office or when you come on Sunday morning. It’s helpful to have a bible at home to access the psalms and Gospel reading, but not essential. Morning Prayer takes about 15 minutes but it may be as long as 30 minutes, as we will sit in silence for 5 minutes, we will pray for the needs of the community, and if desired, we will reflect briefly on the Gospel reading assigned for that morning.
We will begin on Thursday morning, November 4th. Please let KAT know by Thursday October 28th if you’d like to be sent a ZOOM invitation to join in. The invitation will come to you the day before each Tuesday and Thursday so you can join in as you can. You just need to click on the link in the email.
If you do not know how to use ZOOM, please let KAT know and she will send you an instruction sheet.
THE BIRTHDAY BOX
On a Sunday in Church, before the pandemic hit (can you remember that far back?) just as the ANNOUNCEMENTS began, two of our youngest members would bring around the birthday box and parishioners would drop in any change they had handy. This collection of loonies, toonies and quarters adds up over time and we are able to give the money to the two international charities we support: PWRDF (Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund) and Tumaini. Now the BIRTHDAY BOX stands beside the envelope box at the front of the church as you exit on a Sunday.
Parish Council started a new tradition last year - instead of sending money to PWRDF, we wait until their Christmas gift list comes out and then apply the accumulated funds to a gift that is matched with government funding (so the value is greatly increased). Last year we chose to give some chickens and a goat to a family in need, if I remember correctly.
This year, because we haven’t gathered in person for half the year, the BIRTHDAY BOX giving is way down. And this year, Parish Council would like to give a whole farm to a deserving family. The cost is close to $500 and we’re only half way there. If you would like to help make this gift a reality, please consider bringing a big fistful of change to church one Sunday soon! And if you want more information about the PWRDF Christmas gift program, please speak to Marg Denney. Thank you!
NEW READINGS AND PRAYER ROSTER
Yes, it is THAT TIME again. Please, pretty please, fill out the dates for November and December. It really helps reduce KAT’s stress level immensely!