Gospel: John 4:5-42. Sermon by Rev Lori Walton.
Soon, we enter into the holiest of times in preparation for the glorious resurrection of our Savior. It is a time of great importance, bringing us close to the path Jesus walked, The Way, from his entry into Jerusalem, to his meal with the disciples, to his interrogation in front of the Jewish court, the Sanhedrin, to his walk up Golgotha, to the empty tomb, and finally, to his resurrection. The point of Holy Week is to allow Christians to fully experience these pivotal moments of Jesus’ life. In order to do so, each event is important. Make a commitment to engage in each one.
In order to place more emphasis on Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, we are modifying this service some. Unlike past years, we will not be showing a slideshow during the Passion, and we will be moving the reading of the Passion, a shorter version, to the end of the service. This allows us to spend more time celebrating Jesus’ arrival. It also allows us to more fully experience the Passion on Good Friday.
A pivotal moment in Jesus’ life was when he gathered his disciples together to break bread and demonstrate to them the self-sacrificing love of his life. On Maundy Thursday, we gather for a similar meal and ritual. Here, we are reminded of each person’s call to serve others. With Holy Communion and stripping the altar bare, the centrality of Jesus Christ in our own lives is brought to mind, preparing us to fully experience the new life manifested in the Resurrection.
The evening one will incorporate Taize and the Veneration of the Cross. This day is called the Trehora, the Latin word for three hours, referring to the time in which Jesus was hanged upon the cross leading to his death. It is on this day that we reflect upon the events of the Passion of our Savior, the love of God they express, and the aspects of our lives in discord with Jesus’ Law of Love.
To accommodate schedules, we have arranged for two Good Friday services, one in the afternoon at 12:00, and a second in the evening at 7:00. The afternoon service will follow the traditional service found in the Book of Common Prayer and will be followed by the opportunity to walk the Stations of the Cross and engage in the Veneration of the Cross.
The Vigil is the primary service of the Christian faith, with the glorious transformation of darkness to light, of death into life. The stories of salvation are told, reminding us that God brings us out of bondage into freedom. Two baptisms will take place, and as One Body, we will recommit our lives to Christ through our baptismal vows, and Easter, the Risen Christ, will be proclaimed.
We will gather together to welcome friends into our sanctuary, to celebrate the Resurrected Christ, and to proclaim the ultimate message of the Resurrection, that all that is cast down is raised up, that all that is broken is redeemed, that all that has died will live again.
See you on The Way!
After sharing a lovely dinner prepared by Josephine, we shared God Moments and then opened the meeting at 7:00 p.m. We approved the minutes from the February vestry meeting, the annual meeting and the vestry retreat. Lynn presented the financial reports and these were approved.
Meg Amouroux came to the meeting to give us a report on the meeting with the pastor from Centerville Presbyterian. Their 150th anniversary was last year and they gave us a lot of ideas to discuss. Vestry were asked to attend the meeting on Sunday 19th for the next planning meeting. We talked about some of the ideas and also about who might lea certain aspects of the celebration.
We then created norms for the vestry meetings, approved the parochial report and discussed how to distribute the endowment money. We will vote on tis next month, vestry were asked to think about this distribution.
Finally, we reviewed the possible purchase of an AED and the codes which go along with this responsibility. We decided to have a small team look more into this and bring back information for April’s vestry meeting which will be on April 6th due to the timing of Holy Week.
We reviewed the vestry jobs for the year. Before accepting the ministry and rector’s report, Lori gave us an update about Ron’s health. She will not be going on sabbatical this year.
After adjourning the meeting, Josephine led us in Compline.
~Vivienne Paratore, Sr. Warden
The face of Jesus is visible every day at Saint James’. We hear the words of Jesus in the liturgy, in the music, and in the sermons. Every time I hear the communion prayer where we pray for our brothers and sisters who follow other faiths, I am reminded that Jesus told us and showed us how to love everyone. The banner declaring that everyone is welcome and accepted without exception represents us as a faith community.
Jesus is obviously present at St. James’. I see Him in the face of our clergy and in the faces of fellow parishioners who lovingly minister to each other and the community at large. St. James has given me the opportunity to serve dinner with a team at Abode which changed my life in many ways. We are able to show love to others and see the fruits of our labors. The opportunities to serve in many different ways have changed my life. Jesus is definitely present at St. James’ and has changed my life in may ways.
~ Vivienne Paratore
SAVE THE DATE!
Women’s Retreat, Saturday, May 13, 9am – 3pm, at St. James’. The theme is Nevertheless She Persisted: Hidden Figures in the Church. Watch for details coming soon!
Gospel: John 3:1-17. Sermon by The Ven. Margaret Dyer-Chamberlain.
Gospel: Matthew 4:1-11. Sermon by Rev Anna Horen.
Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9. Sermon by Rev Ken Parris.
Why do we and many Episcopal churches offer prayer for healing at a special time and place in our services? Many of you may have wondered this. Isn’t the whole service one of prayer and interaction with God and God’s word to us? Yes, that is true. But having a healing station emphasizes the sacrament of prayers for the sick much the way the fonts filled with water remind us of our baptism.
Offering a special place for prayers heightens our awareness. It calls us to search our hearts and express the needs we have to God. When someone approaches the healing station during Communion, I say, “What are you asking for today?” Often the person expresses a need for themselves or a loved one. Sometimes it is simple thanks or a more general request. This articulation engages the person in their own healing.
What do we mean by healing? Healing can involved our body, mind, or spirit. It may even by social. The verb ‘heal’ is related to the words ‘whole’ and ‘hale.’ So it means making whole what was once fractured or broken, and it means being made healthy. When I pray for healing, I ask for God’s holistic grace and love to meet the person or people in need. I don’t know what God will do, but I know God will do something and that it will be good. Laying on of hands and anointing with oil, if desired, provide tangible support and transfer of energy through the person praying. We do not cause the healing. God does. But God allows us to participate in the grace if we “show up, and get out of the way,” as my mentor would say.
So this Lent, consider approaching the healing stations during our services. As Eugene O’Neill wrote, “We are born broken. We live by mending. And the grace of God is glue.”
~ Brian Cochran