Last Sunday night we turned on our televisions or checked the internet and read about the horrifying events at a Baptist church in Texas. Questions of how one could do such an evil act to our brothers and sisters in Christ while they worshipped the Lord have undoubtedly flooded our minds this week.
These questions felt especially poignant to me as I read the appointed Psalms. We prayed several psalms that call out to God, wondering why he lets the wicked and the unjust not only live on but often thrive. In the end, the Psalms, and several of our lessons remind us that at the judgment the unjust will get their due. Our call is not to fill our hearts with hate, but as the early Christian martyrs taught us, and scripture affirms, we are to pray for those who do wicked, pray that they would know repentance and flee from evil ways.
As this week went on, I had a second thought. I had lunch with a friend and fellow pastor yesterday, and we ended up talking about prayer, and something he said was almost echoed by a parishioner last night, and so I think it is important to share this thought with all of you.
One of the greatest gifts we have from God is prayer; it allows us to talk to him. Our tradition has a fantastic and vibrant liturgical history, but too often we forget that we are also invited to pour out our hearts to the Lord. In times of darkness, fear, sickness, or conversely joy, love, and peace we can tell God of these feelings and thoughts. Not only does He hear our prayers, but he answers them. Sometimes, as with Saint Paul's thorn in his side, He doesn't take the pain from us but uses it to help us learn to better trust in Him, but at other times He relieves our anxieties and remind us, that He alone is the soveriegn over the universe.
In these uncertain times of tumult and fear, before we behave rashly or flee into fear, let us remember that we have a great high priest, a sovereign king who delights in our prayers, as a father delights in the words of his child.
Men's and Women's Bible Study
This Saturday morning is our men's and women's bible study. Those who are involved have found this time to be edifying and that they are learning to walk deeper in their understanding of our Christian faith. If you are able, please join us at 9 am here at the church.
We are doing a learning liturgy on Sunday. The Holy Communion Service itself will be regular, but you will receive a booklet with notes to help you better understand the liturgy. Instead of having a typical sermon, I will be discussing the symbolism of the priestly vestments and other items in the church. I hope that these resources and teaching will give you a deeper understanding and appreciation of the depth, breadth, and beauty of our liturgy, and tradition.
The Ladies' Guild cook exchange will be on Friday, December 1st but Holly Lizak needs to know by November 17th if you would like to participate.
Institution of the Rector
Please mark your calendar. My institution as rector will be Saturday, December 9th at 10 am. If you have friends who would be interested, please feel free to invite them. It should be a joy-filled day. Bishop Robert Giffin, episcopal visitor for the Diocese of the West, will be the institutor, and Canon Robert Hawkins, Vicar General, Diocese of the West, will be visiting as well.
Start your Thanksgiving off right; we will have a Holy Communion Service at 10 am on Thanksgiving Day.
There are several more exciting events planned for December, so make sure you take home a bulletin and mark your calendar.
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.
Fr. Ian Emile Dunn
All Saints Anglican Church