Today we celebrate one of my favourites, here's what For All the Saints says, "Alfred the Great is a hero of English history because of his military and political victories — and a hero of the Church because of his efforts to build a truly Christian nation. In 871, at the age of twenty-two, he became the king of the West Saxons and was immediately caught in a desperate seven-year struggle against the Danes who had overrun all the rest of England. The West Saxons emerged victorious, and Alfred spent the next twenty years of his life and reign struggling to win the peace. He sought to reconstruct the political life and institutions of his kingdom — and more, to bring about a renaissance of Anglo-Saxon Christianity. He organized a system of national education and personally supervised the translation of many Latin writings into Anglo-Saxon, in order to meet his people’s growing literacy. Alfred the Great was, in short, the pattern of a Christian king, one whose prowess in war was matched and finally overshadowed by his wisdom in the works of peace."
Today in our book study we will be looking at the topic "power" as a "broken signpost" that points in the direction of God's Kingdom but often is used, sadly, by politicians and soldiers for self-serving ends. May God grant us leaders like Alfred who use the power they have for the good of all in society and may the light of Christ burn that much brighter as a result.
Oct 26 (today) -- 7 pm -- The last installment of our Book Study is based on N. T. Wright's book Broken Signposts: How Christianity Makes Sense of the World. Today's topic is Chapter 7 Power. Here is the Zoom link to join the study https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87902193406?pwd=MHhzaUlXTUpMd2FpUnZWeEtRdXVTUT09
Oct 28 - Healing Eucharist at 10 am
November 5th, 10:30 am (Massey Theatre, New Westminster) -- Rector's Warden, Wayne Adams will be inducted into The Order of New Westminster (ODNW), an order that honours faithful and steadfast service amongst lay people in the Anglican Church. This is an honour that Wayne richly deserves. During the pandemic and beyond I've been privileged to observe the kind, yet determined way, in which he interacts with people while juggling the various tasks of being a Warden, especially all the varied tasks of being in charge of building maintenance. If you can come please do so; it's an interesting service and there is a reception to follow! Let me know if you're interested in going and we'll try to organize rides.
Godly Play - Here's an update. The upper room has been cleared, thanks to Rev. Lorie, Jan and Wayne, Rev. Denise, and others. Monday afternoon Denise and I brought over the shelving and "story sets" from Peace Lutheran, Abbotsford. They've graciously given them to us so that we can start this ministry. Full Communion partnership with the Lutherans at work!
This ministry is called Godly Play and uses elements of the Montessori approach to childhood development to help children experience the liturgical worship of the Great Tradition. The Rev. Denise Doerksen (my wonderful partner!) is willing to work with/mentor people at St. Thomas to get this ministry started. Several people have expressed a willingness to help but we need a couple of more folks to help out. Don't worry, we're not looking for an "every Sunday" commitment but a once, or at most, twice-a-month commitment. Please chat with me or Rev. Denise (on one of the Sundays she's with us) if you want to know more. Starting children's ministry at St. Thomas is going to be important if we are to continue our redevelopment as a congregation.
Please continue to prayerfully discern how you might serve God's mission as we redevelop our parish. We will, if we all join hands and rely on God's strength, emerge as a vital and fruitful parish that welcomes all who want to grow spiritually.
Serving with you,
Fr. Allen Doerksen