Sixth Sunday of Easter
May 05, 2013
We welcome everyone here today. We hope that you feel comforted in our fellowship and inspired by our worship, and that you will leave here refreshed and inspired in your personal life. We are pleased to have Emma Duncan leading us in worship again this morning. Thanks for coming, Emma. If you are visiting us for the first time today, please sign our guest book in the front entrance vestibule. If you are looking for a church home, we invite you to return and consider worshipping with us on a regular basis.
Evangel Hall – TODAY!!
Just a reminder to those who signed up to help with the meal at Evangel Hall that today is the day we go there. We plan to meet here at the church at 3:00 pm this afternoon and then head down to Evangel Hall. For those who are cooking parts of the meal ahead of time but are NOT going with us to Evangel Hall, please make sure you deliver your pans of food here in time for us to take them with us. We don’t want to miss anything. If you have any bags of used clothing for Evangel Hall, please make sure they are here too so we can take everything in one trip. We don’t want to have to make an extra trip there to deliver any missed items. Thank you all for your support in this very worthwhile project.
Sunday, May 5
Pray for Joan Smith as she retires as president of the Women’s Missionary Society and for Betty Siverns as she begins her new term.
Monday, May 6
Pray for The Rev. Richard Bonetto and the francophone ministry at Eglise St. Luc, Montreal, QC, as they develop a culture of generosity and inclusion within the congregation.
Tuesday, May 7
Pray for participants and leaders of the Youth in Mission team as they visit young people and church partners in Blantyre Synod, Malawi.
Wednesday, May 8
Pray for the Executive Committee of the World Communion of Reformed Churches as it meets in Ghana to affirm and celebrate our worldwide Reformed family.
Thursday, May 9 - Ascension Day
Pray for prospective graduates at Zomba Theological College in Malawi as they anticipate service in the church.
Friday, May 10
Pray for those who are working with the support of Presbyterian World Service & Development in the midst of conflicts and disasters to bring emergency supplies and psychosocial assistance to those most in need.
Saturday, May 11
Pray for staff at our national office as they work to support congregations in many different ways.
Too many people spend money they earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people that they don't like. Will Rogers (1879-1935), actor
Empowering women and investing in positive change
Millions of people around the world only eat the bare minimum of food necessary to keep them alive. In Afghanistan, an estimated one third of the population is considered food insecure. In addition to working with farmers to increase harvests, Presbyterian World Service & Development, in partnership with Canadian Foodgrains bank and local partners, is enabling women to earn an income, help overcome malnutrition and contribute to household decision-making. Last year 180 women received chickens, goats, animal feed and training. By acquiring livestock, women can improve nutrition by adding protein and milk to their diets, while the extra meat, milk and eggs can be sold at the market. Adlida, a trainer with the project, shared that women have already begun forming savings groups – providing even more opportunities for the future.
Thursday, May 9th is Ascension Day 2013 (Ascension) and it marks the day when the resurrected body of Jesus is believed to have ascended to heaven following his crucifixion and resurrection, according to Christian belief. It is the 40th day of Easter and is ten days before Pentecost Sunday. It is a public holiday observed in several European Countries and it always falls on a Thursday. Ascension Day, also known as the Feast of Ascension and Father’s Day in Germany, is one of the major feasts for Catholics around the world.
The Easter (Paschal) candle is put out. There may be processions with torches and banners and fruits and vegetables may be blessed in church. Ten days after Ascension Day is Pentecost (Whitsuntide) which commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples. Pentecost ends the cycle of Easter related events in the Christian Calendar. In some countries where Christians are the majority, people take a long weekend from Thursday until Sunday because many shops and offices are also closed on Friday. Even in Indonesia, the minor Christians country, Ascension Day is considered as a public holiday, and Christians have church services all over the country. A different tradition caused by a superstition about hearing a cuckoo’s sound is held in Sweden during the Ascension Day. People in Sweden go to the woods very early in the morning to listen to birds’ sounds because they believe that they will be lucky if they can hear the cuckoo’s sound. Moreover, people in England associates the Ascension Day with certain kinds of water festivals and ‘beating the bound’ custom – a tradition of people to walk around the farms or churches and stop whenever they find trees or walls.
Pope Francis Responds to PCC’s Letter of Greeting
In March, Moderator John Vissers sent a letter of greeting to the new Roman Catholic Pope, Pope Francis, on behalf of The Presbyterian Church in Canada. Below is the response received from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, on behalf of Pope Francis.
April 11, 2013
Dear Reverend Dr. Vissers,
In these days following the inauguration of the ministry of His Holiness Pope Francis as Bishop of Rome and successor of Peter, I am pleased to convey on behalf of the Holy Father his heartfelt gratitude for the gracious greetings and good wishes of yourself and The Presbyterian Church in Canada. Pope Francis asks for the support of your prayer so that the Lord may guide and accompany his ministry. I gladly take this opportunity to express to you my own prayerful best wishes,
Cardinal Kurt Koch
Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
Moderator John Vissers Addresses the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
On the final day of the national Truth and Reconciliation Event in Montreal, heartfelt confessions and requests for forgiveness for the wrongs of the past continued. Moderator John Vissers addressed the commission with an expression of reconciliation.
Survivors, family members of survivors, commissionaires and guests, my name is John Vissers. I server as the Moderator of the 138th General Assembly of The Presbyterian Church in Canada. I am Director of Academic Programs and Professor of Historical Theology at Knox College, University of Toronto. Until recently I served as Principal of the Presbyterian College here in Montreal at McGill University. I take this opportunity to acknowledge the traditional territory of the Mohawk Nation on whose territory we are meeting.
The Presbyterian Church in Canada ran two residential schools: Cecilia Jeffrey School in Kenora, Ontario, and Birtle School in Birtle, Manitoba.
An important historical moment for The Presbyterian Church in Canada in acknowledging its role in the residential schools system, and of the legacy of residential schools, was the adoption of the Confession of The Presbyterian Church in Canada by our General Assembly on June 9, 1994. The theme for this national event in Montreal is humility. Humility recognizes one’s limits or ability. Humility graciously acknowledges and eagerly honours the gifts possessed by another. Humility is a virtue that allows us to walk together in grace and peace. Christians believe that this virtue is exemplified in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. We also acknowledge our failure in following the example of our Lord.
The opening paragraph of The Presbyterian Church in Canada’s Confession reads: “It is with humility and in great sorrow that we come before God and our Aboriginal brothers and sisters with our confession.” The concluding paragraph of the Confession states: “We ask, also, for forgiveness from Aboriginal peoples. What we have heard, we acknowledge. It is our hope that those whom we have wronged with a hurt too deep for telling will accept what we have to say. With God’s guidance our Church will seek opportunities to walk with Aboriginal peoples to find healing and wholeness together as God’s people.”
In our commitment to live out the Confession and to walk with Aboriginal brothers and sisters, our Healing and Reconciliation program supports projects which bring together Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. Since our Healing and Reconciliation program was established in 2006, over 60 projects have been supported. At the end of my remarks, I will present a booklet which highlights some of these projects, to be placed in the Bentwood Box.
I have learned that survivors and their families who courageously share their experiences, too painful for some us even to imagine, are making history. In sharing what happened to them when they were children, experiences that for many are buried deep in their souls, we pray that survivors and their families will find healing and a return to wholeness.
We also pray that all Canadians will receive these stories will humility and may we honour those who so bravely share their experiences with their fellow citizens. And may Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in this land seize opportunities to chart a new course in our relationship. The Presbyterian Church in Canada is committed to this journey of walking with Aboriginal people and restoring right relations.
PWS&D and CFGB ask Canadians to Write a Letter about Changes to Canada’s Aid Program
On March 21, 2013, the Canadian government announced, as part of 2013 federal budget, that the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) are to be amalgamated. This ends 45 years of CIDA as a stand-alone agency. PWS&D and Canadian Foodgrains Bank support the plan to legislate the roles and responsibilities of the Minister for development and humanitarian assistance, and the commitment to place Canada’s aid program on the same footing as trade and diplomacy. We also acknowledge there will be times when these interests are not directly in support of each other, or are even in conflict. It is important in these contexts that the Minister defends the poverty reduction objective of the aid program, and ensures that it is not treated as secondary to Canada’s trade and security goals.
How You Can Help
It is expected that the new legislation related to the Minister’s roles and responsibilities and purpose of the aid program will be drafted very soon–in the next few weeks. We ask that you send a personal letter – or email – to the Prime Minister telling him why a continued focus on poverty reduction is essential to Canada’s aid program and outline why the Minister responsible for development and humanitarian assistance needs a clear mandate, enshrined in law, to pursue this objective. If you’d like to send a letter, find some suggested ideas below to give you some guidance. Begin with a note about why you care personally about this issue—what motivates you to give and support groups like the Foodgrains Bank? You can either e-mail your letter, or send a typed or handwritten note.
Address your written letter to:
The Right Honourable Prime Minister Stephen Harper
With a copy sent to:
The Honourable John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs
The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation
Your own MP
Use the following physical address for EACH of the above:
Minister or MP Name and Title
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON. K1A 0A6
Address your email to:
The Right Honourable Prime Minister Stephen Harper (firstname.lastname@example.org) The Honourable John Baird (email@example.com)
The Honourable Julian Fantino firstname.lastname@example.org)
Copy your own MP
Sample letter ideas:
To: Prime Minister’s Office, Foreign Affairs Minister, and Minister of International Cooperation
Regarding the new legislation enshrining Canada’s aid program into law:
Thanks for how the government made poverty reduction a priority in the legislation.
Affirmation for how the legislation specifies that the mandate for the new Minister for International Development is responsible for fostering sustainable international development and poverty reduction in developing countries, and providing humanitarian assistance during crises.
A note about how it is important for you, as a Foodgrains Bank supporter, that aid provided by the Canadian government is used to support the world’s most vulnerable people—even if they are in no position to return anything to Canada beyond their gratitude.
(include your return address)