the last week of August
Dear St. Stephen’s church family,
Blessings on this last weekend in August. I know for many this weekend represents the end of summer, and a return to a more normal rhythm of life. I pray that you will find a balance that honours God in your body, mind and spirit, that you may find rest and relaxation, and build friendships and community that brings you joy and gladness, all of this honouring God. In Hebrews we are told that we must not neglect to show hospitality to strangers (13:2), adding that in doing so, some have entertained angels without knowing it. This is a wonderful invitation to see our lives as the place where earth and heaven interact, and never to underestimate even the smallest act of kindness and hospitality as taking part in the divine movement of God with us. May that hospitality characterize our fall as a church family and as the people of God.
The readings are: Jeremiah 2:4-13, Psalm 81, Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16, and Luke 14:1, 7-14
Tomorrow is our final 9:30 am Sunday worship service. We will be resuming our usual order of services in September, at 8:30, 10:30 and 5 pm (Malayalam). Thank you for your flexibility and understanding as we tried a new time when I was away, and then throughout August.
Next Sunday, September 4th, children are welcome to bring their backpacks for a back to school blessing during the children’s talk.
Church School resumes with Julie at the 10:30 am service in September, with Christmas Pageant filming starting after the 10:30 service outside on the lawn on the 11th. It will take us a few weeks to film, and all are welcome to take part–spread your angel wings, wear a crown, or be a sheep!
Tuesday, August 30th—Youth meeting in my backyard at 7 pm. All youth of ‘cabin leading’ age—16 and up, are invited to come and help plan youth group for the coming year. Starting in September, we will be inviting younger youth—grade 7 and up, to join the older youth every 4th Friday of the month for fun and fellowship. More information to come.
Keep an eye out for shampoo, toiletries and self care items for our Gift Baskets to be given to women living in shelters and others who are in need, as a sign of God’s love and care. Gift baskets will be assembled on October 5th, and delivered on October 12th. They will decorate the church on Harvest Thanksgiving, a decoration that surely honours God and our neighbours, as it reminds us of the good news, which is meant for all, rich and poor.
Please send any news or updates to Linda in anticipation of our next edition of the Scroll: Thank you for doing this for us, Linda!
Parish Cycle of Prayer:
Monday: for all who are returning to school, for children and youth and their families, for parents and teachers.
Tuesday: for our youth planning meeting on Tuesday, and plans for youth group in the fall, that God may guide us and bless us.
Wednesday: for Margaret, in thanksgiving for her love and service at St. Stephen’s and for God’s continued blessing as she moves into a different chapter of her life.
Thursday: for Betty W and family
Friday: for Linda W and family
Jesus was very critical of those who were an obstacle for those coming to believe in him. He warned us not to be hypocrites. We must take great care not to become obstacles to others’ faith, and to rather show the way and help others. Again, in Hebrews, “let mutual love continue” (Hebrews 13:1)
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, evermore.