Halfway through Lent!

Dear St. Stephen’s church family,

Greetings in Christ!

“Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.'” -Luke 15:31-32

 This excerpt is from our gospel reading for tomorrow, the 4th Sunday in Lent—Luke 15:1-32. You can find the soundcloud sermon on our website!

The other readings are: Joshua 5:9-12, Psalm 32, 2 Corinthians 5:16-21

Next Sunday, April 3rd at 3:30, all are invited to an Outdoor Lenten Prayer Walk (for children of all ages—really, this is a meaningful activity for all), planned by Julie.

Gather outside at St. Stephen’s with your paper Lenten Journey bag (available at the church if you didn’t get one in your Lent-to-go box). Go on a prayer walk around the outside of the church, stopping at different stations where you will collect an object that helps to tell the story of Jesus’ love for us (for example a blue stone to represent the water used to wash feet on the evening of the last supper), and put it in your bag. Enjoy a “praying hands” pretzel as bread for the journey. Bring a friend, bring a neighbour.

The prayer walk will  take about 45 minutes from beginning to end, and ends in the church. Let us observe a Holy Lent.

Last night the Okema Society showed Jojo Rabbit at the Broadway Theatre in memory of Quinlyn.

It was a movie he loved. (Youth group watched another movie together at the children’s hospital by the same director, a great movie and a great memory).  Proceeds from the show go to support the Quinlyn Smith Memorial Fund which is purposed to replace Sleepy Hollow. Please keep the camp in your prayers as they meet and brainstorm, seeking to create a space that is welcoming and beautiful, functional for many years to come, a place where young people can meet God and grow closer in relationship with him.

 If you ordered a First Nations Version of the New Testament, your book is available for pick up!

(Or delivery, if that’s easier, just let us know). We will begin a study on the gospel of Luke using this translation on Thursday, March 31st at 1:30 in the Mitchell Hall. If you don’t have a book, we’ll provide copies of the chapters for you to read.

 Join me on Palm Sunday afternoon, April 10th at 2 pm, for a 5 km walk!

I am entering a St. Stephen’s team in the Walk/Run/Roll for L’Arche event, in support of L’Arche Saskatoon. This year, half of the proceeds will be given to L’Arche in the Ukraine, where there are 2 communities trying to navigate these terrible times. Palm Sunday is a great date to walk, in keeping with the procession that walked with Jesus, proclaiming him their Lord and king. I’d love to have some company on the journey! Let me know if you want to join me. All welcome—all ages!

 A prayer for this week in Lent (I encourage you to pray aloud and slowly):

Dear God, 

Help me stop, for I am likely to keep doing all the things I usually do. And in that stopping, meet me here, in the beauty of all your incredible mercy and goodness. And in doing so, remind me again that of course You’re here, You’re listening, because that is who You are. You are the kindness that runs to me wherever I have wandered off to. You are the faithfulness I don’t have enough of. You are my safe harbour in the midst of the storm. -from Kate Bowler’s, Good Enough (a new collection of daily devotionals. She also wrote No Cure for Being Human and Everything Happens for a Reason and other Lies I have Loved. A really great Christian writer with a growing mainstream audience. I recommend her books! I have No Cure for Being Human in my office if you want to borrow). 

Parish Cycle of Prayer:

Monday: for all family and friends who have Covid. For their recovery, for full and complete healing, for time to rest and recover.

Tuesday: for all in long term care and hospital. For their healing and strength, for those who care for them.

Wednesday: for Ifeanyi and family

Thursday: for Yomi and Ladun and family

Friday: Eldon and Nora and family

In Christ’s lavish and powerful love,

Rev. Amy <><