28 Jan

Newsletter, January 27

Reverend Sheelagh’s Thought for the Week: January 27, 2016

And the snow came…and thankfully we are all alright! Sometimes Mother Nature throws us a challenge, and this weekend was certainly a challenge. We did have a small service, attended by 6 sturdy souls, who put up prayers for everyone who couldn’t make it. Most of us spent part of our week shovelling snow, and finding ways to deal with frayed tempers and excessive impatience about the inconvenience. I think it bears some thought. Have we become so used to the primacy of our own right to happiness, that we can’t exercise simple values of patience and courtesy? Of course there were examples where people went out of their way to help the elderly, the shut-ins and even my own neighbor stopped by to see if I needed help shovelling (do I look that old already?); but there were also examples (yes, we all know this) of people cutting in front of others who were driving slowly, complaining about their road, yard, path, that was not yet plowed, and walking, running, snowboarding and other things, in the way of the emergency services and maintenance crews. Paul speaks to us of not being a clanging gong, and that for me, has meant taking a deep breath to avoid saying the things I have felt in the face of others’ sense of entitlement. “Love is gentle, love is kind…love is not arrogant or rude” Let’s not forget it! Continue reading

24 Jan

Weather Update, January 24 Morning Services Cancelled

UPDATE on Sunday Services!

Dear St Stephen’s family,

The snowfall has been significant and we are still under a blizzard warning until 7 am. In order to ensure safe conditions and ease the stress of shoveling out by 10:00 am, we are cancelling both morning services. We will have a simple Eucharist service at 3:00pm for any who would like to come.

Please be safe and stay warm.

21 Jan

Newsletter, January 20

Reverend Sheelagh’s Thought for the Week: January 20, 2016

This Sunday offers the seminal passage from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. The church is the “body of Christ” and we are to live in the tension of that body. We may not all have the same functions or gifts; we are quite likely not to agree all the time; but in all things we are to remember that we are working together for one purpose; the mission of Jesus Christ in the world. That is the good news. Through his life, and resurrection, Jesus is the story of good things coming for those who have faith. Throughout history bad stuff happens to good people; but God in God’s faithfulness points us to the larger picture. Love wins out, and overcomes all things, and that is the good news! Thing is that big picture is really big. Not just what happens in our lifetime, but beyond. Think of how the two or three men who started this church began. Did they dare to imagine things we do now as the church they named? I doubt it – because things are really very different now than when they lived in Millville as this town was then called in 1851. So we adapt – just as the Creation adapts, to our challenges and opportunities. Sometimes we resist the adaptive change, mostly because we fear loss; but change will happen anyway, and often it leads to wonderful, unexpected things that we could not even have imagined. That has ever been the story, and will continue to be for the Body of Christ that is called St. Stephen’s. + Continue reading

14 Jan

Newsletter, January 13

Reverend Sheelagh’s Thought for the Week: January 13, 2016

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord…To each is given a manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” 1Cor. 12:6

This passage from Paul’s letter to the church he founded in Corinth is one of my favorites. First it is a church experiencing problems, and when has that never been the case! And, second, it is about the mysterious way that faith in action happens. Each of us is given gifts and skills which are for the common good. For each of us there is a time for discernment of what gifts we have and what the Spirit is calling forth from us in time and talent for the work of God in the community. For us, that work emanates from the parish we call St Stephen’s. Theologically we call this the “body” of Christ, and we know we are all a part of it, bringing what we have to God’s use. In our parish “body” we have lawyers, teachers, designers, cooks, “people” people and gardeners. Right now, we badly need a person who has some accounting skills and financial experience to be our treasurer. This is a Vestry appointed parishioner position. We have a paid bookkeeper, and a very engaged finance committee, so this is not managing the day-to-day accounting, but rather to overview what takes place, and take on the strategic planning aspects of our financial health. Maybe this is in your backpack of experience and skill, just as dealing with problems was part of my skill set when I was in educational administration? God gives us the capabilities and passion we have for what we are good at; the discerning part, is knowing when to step forward and offer them for the good of God’s kingdom and work. If you feel a flutter within your heart, consider and pray on whether you have gifts that your parish needs at this time? I am available and happy to outline what is needed at any time. Call me…maybe God is calling you? + Continue reading

06 Jan

Newsletter, January 6

Reverend Sheelagh’s Thought for the Week: January 6, 2016

The Epiphany season signals for me a chance to reset the direction we are following. Many begin the year with new resolutions about adjustments to a healthier lifestyle. The baptism of Jesus reminds us of our Baptismal Covenant and offers us a lens through which to assess our spiritual health. Are we rooted in the Word? Do we share in communion and fellowship? Are we seeking Christ in all people, and striving for justice and peace? Like our bodies, we sometimes get out of balance, neglecting some things and over indulging in others. This is a moment to review, and perhaps, like the Kings, take a different road.

Continue reading