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St Paul writing to the church in Ephesus:

I pray that, …. you may be strengthened in your inner being with power …. and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. 

I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.                                            Ephesians 3

 

When we wrote this time last year, we said that 2021 ‘remains uncertain’ and so it has proved to be.  I am not sure what I expected twelve months later…. but I hoped it would be better than it has proved to be.

It seems to me that in these days of continued uncertainty, we need to tend to our roots to make sure they are deep and healthy. This is not a ‘one off’ tick box but rather an ongoing process or journey – unlearning and healing from wounds and habits that limit us and others and by learning new practices which bring us all life.  I believe this is what St Paul is encouraging the church in Ephesus to become - strengthened in their ‘inner being’ so that Christ may dwell in their hearts, as they are being ‘rooted and grounded’ in love. It is about human flourishing and the abundant life Jesus promised. 

So, in a year when the Province of BC has declared no less than four states of emergency, with each crisis raising profound questions and challenges, we can choose to have an abundant mentality.  As a parish this is our context in which we seek to fulfill the commandments of loving God, loving our neighbours and loving (or learning to love) ourselves.  We cannot do this journey without God or each other as we seek to be a place and people of hope and healing – reaching the fullness in God, which surpasses mere knowledge.

So to all those who have and are playing your part by giving of your time, your talents and, yes, your treasure, thank you! 

We have achieved much – even within the COVID restrictions we have gathered online and in person whether that be for worship or learning opportunities.  We welcomed the Revd José Luis as our curate, live music returned, we launched new projects for those whose first language is not English and continued to help a wide range of people at their most challenging and joyful times.   Not only are we acting locally, but globally also - at the time of writing we have raised over $3,500 under the PWRDF’s Buy a Farm scheme. Together we can make a bigger difference. 

Not everything is where we want it to be, of course, but we can celebrate that which has been possible and look to a more hopeful future.

Turning to your financial treasure, we are so grateful for your partnership.  In terms of pledges, if you are already contributing electronically to St Paul’s then we will assume that you wish that to continue unless Jack Wood hears otherwise.  Equally, if you want to change the amount and means of payment, or start payments, then Jack is the person to email or call.  Jack’s email is jackwood@shaw.ca and he can be contacted on 604 689 0241 (thanks again, Jack!). [Please do NOT put credit card or bank details on any email – that information can only given in person or on the phone.]

Finally, please reach out to us if we can help or support you in these times and, of course, this comes with our love and prayers,

~ Philip