images

O sweet and loving God,
when I stay asleep too long,
oblivious to your many blessings,
then, please, wake me up,
and sing to me your joyful song.
It is a song without music or notes.
It is a song of love beyond words,
of faith beyond the power
of human telling.
I can hear it in my soul
when you awaken me
to your presence.

These are the words of a prayer of Mechthild of Magdeburg (1207-1282?). As an adolescent, Mechthild received what she called a divine ‘greeting’ in the small feudal village of her birth, and she saw ‘all things in God and God in all things’. In her twenties she left her family and moved into the nearest town ‘to dwell in the love of God’. In Magdeburg, Mechthild joined the Beguines, a new woman’s movement, devotional and spiritual but not a formal ‘order’ of the Church, and in which she remained for over 40 years. The intimacy with which she spoke about God, with which she spoke with God, remains both startling and beautiful to this day. What I find most wonderful is how Mechthild speaks about the mutuality of a flowing love, about not only us loving God but God loving us. In this prayer, she is asking her Lover to rouse her from sleep and sing again the eternal song of love that we know in Jesus Christ.

It will be the same song of divine love that we will hear as the font is filled with water and we celebrate the sacrament of baptism, God’s gracious love that will not let us go.

If you are in the area, join us in the sanctuary. If you are at a distance, follow along with the prayers and readings as found in the Order of Service below.

 “Reconciliation is not an Aboriginal problem, it is a Canadian problem.”
You may have seen this quote from Murray Sinclair in the newspaper or on television during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) events happening in Ottawa at the end of May. With the gracious support of Rev. Andrew Johnston and the St. Andrew’s congregation, I was able to attend the TRC events in Ottawa as a Presbyterian youth delegate and be a witness to these words of wisdom and calls to action for the peoples of Canada. Throughout the week, we heard stories from Aboriginal elders and youth sharing their painful experiences with the residential school system and the damage that it had done to their families and communities. But, among the tears and sadness, we also heard many messages of forgiveness, love, and most importantly, hope. This Sunday, I will be sharing my reflections from attending the TRC and the message of hope that it left within me. As we look in Mark 4 and the story of how Jesus calmed the storm, I know that if we work together with God, we are able to find a way to calm the storm that was unjustly brought upon the original people of this land.

I once again thank you for all of the support that was given to my friends and I throughout our time at Queen’s University last year, and I look forward to seeing my second church family once again and sharing this message with you.

Download (PDF, 221KB)

DSCF5208

Coliseum in Rome, Italy where thousands of Christians were tortured and killed as entertainment for Roman citizens.

We welcome back The Rev. Dr. Karen Bach this morning to our pulpit!!

According to theologian Sally A. Brown, Ephesians 2:11-22 represents the ‘heart of the theology of Ephesians’ and ‘is meant to shake empires.  What seems like a gentle prod to Gentile and Jewish Christians to ‘get along’ with each other, is actually a highly charged and potentially treasonous claim that negates the power and privilege of the Emperors and privileged of the Roman Empire.   Similarly, this word from Paul challenges Christians of today to radical acceptance of and engagement with all people regardless of their status, their origin, their faith, or any other ways in which they are different.

 

Download (PDF, 195KB)