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Lenten Reflection IV

Happy are those whose transgressions is forgiven…Psalm 32:1a

Welcome to March! It is the day after the Annual Meeting. Easter is less than three weeks away. Signs of spring are becoming more prevalent as the winter darkness gives way to the light of spring. As another “sign” is the entirely human construct of Daylight Savings Time, which kicks in this weekend. It means that Saturday night you’ll need to set your clocks ahead by one hour, or you may arrive close to the end of the worship service if you’re planning to come! Beyond the clocks, the glimmers of new life that herald the coming of spring are all around us. Today happens to be a particularly nice day. Winter may not be done with us yet, but I am enjoying the clear skies, the warmer temperatures, and the wildlife that is emerging or returning. There is a good reason why Easter is so strongly associated with Spring. The hope of resurrection is new life in the midst of death. Spring is a seasonal reminder of life returning from the barrenness of the winter months. For my own spiritual life, seeing and experiencing God in the rhythms of nature is a way that makes my faith tangible. The colour of Lent, for example, is reflected for me in the Prairie Crocus, which in this area of the world, is a harbinger of spring. Seeing these flowers amidst the brown grass and melting snow is a sign of new life to come.

Following our Annual Congregational Meeting yesterday, we welcome some new and special changes at St. Matthew’s. Yesterday Ken Reeson stepped down as our Board Chair, and Shaundra Carvey has kindly accepted the role for the coming year. Ken will continue in the field of Stewardship, and I am looking forward to working with the Board as a whole as it continues to evolve to respond to our changing community.

One of these evolving changes we officially announced at the Annual Meeting, but I also announce in a formal way here. Through our church website, we now have the capacity to receive donations through the secure online service PayPal. We have added a “donations” menu option at the top right of the church’s website, where you may donate to the church. Here is the direct link:

http://www.st-matthews-uc.org/donations/

This provides an alternative to the regular means of placing an offering envelope on the plate on Sunday mornings. It is not a replacement, so if you’re comfortable with the offering plate, please keep using it. However, if you would like to have the option of electronic-based donations, please consider this as an option. One feature of this method is that you can set up automatic regular monthly donations. I am already using this method myself.

This Sunday, I also continue with addressing the topics of “what are you curious about?” This Sunday’s topic gets a bit darker. The submitted question is this: “Judas – did he really have a choice – was he chosen or pre-ordained [to betray Jesus]. I’ve always felt empathy for Judas.” Great question, and a timely one for Lent.

Yours in Christ,

John

Upcoming Events

  • Friday, March 11th: 6:30pm Family Fun Night – Easter Eggstravaganza!
  • Sunday, March 13th: 5th Sunday of Lent – Daylight Savings Time begins.
  • Sunday, March 20th: Palm/Passion Sunday
    • On Palm/Passion Sunday the choir will be offering a special presentation in music marking the beginning of Holy Week.
  • Good Friday: March 25th, 10:30am
  • Easter Sunday: March 27th, 10:30am
  • The Dead Sea Scrolls Seminar
    • In cooperation with the Calgary Association of Lifelong Learners (CALL), I will be offering a short course/seminar on the Dead Sea Scrolls. I have now confirmed a start date of Monday May 9th, and it will run for 5-6 sessions on Mondays from 7:15 to about 9pm.
  • Congregational Membership Classes
    • If you or someone you know would like to formalize membership with St. Matthew’s, I am hoping to run a membership class in the next few months. If you are interested, please email me, call me at the church, or speak with me directly on Sunday mornings.

 

Church Office Hours

Wendy’s regular office hours are Mondays, 11am-3pm, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Friday from 9am-3pm.

My regular office hours are Sunday through Thursdays from 9:00 to 12:30. While I am likely to be in the office in the afternoons Monday through Thursday, I may also be out on pastorals visits or meetings.

If you do not wish to receive these emails, please email me at revjohn26a@gmail.com

 

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