Worship Start Time: 10:30am
Theme: Summer Church
It's summertime in Calgary! Come to Scarboro as we worship together every Sunday at 10:30am. We will have the coffee on at 10, so come early and catch up with your community. There will be more time for coffee, tea and conversation after the service in the Memorial Hall.
The children's theme this summer is "Exploring Spirituality through Science & Play" - so come and explore at Scarboro!
This week we will be celebrating communion - all are welcome to participate.
July 29, 2018: Ephesians 3.14-21
Rev. Erin Klassen
I spent this past week in St. Louis. I was at the annual conference for Young Clergy Women International. That is a network for those who are ordained as Christian clergy, and identify as women who are also under the age of 40. We have 1600 plus members worldwide, and 1100 plus in our facebook group. For the past few years, I have been a member of Board and the Conference Planning Team. It has been a blessing and a joy. Every time I attend a conference, I like to preach on what I experienced or learned, because I think it is important to share that, and also I come back so inspired. These conferences give me ideas, like preaching without notes, or telling the scripture from memory, or writing articles, worship resources, and hopefully one day, a book.
Theme: WE: Embodied Ministry, Justice and Reconciliation
Speaker: the Rev. Karoline Lewis
- Incarnation - any religion that has incarnation at its center has to be interested in our bodies
- Jesus as fully human and fully divine
- Empathy - to feel with, root Patheos - passion
- paraclete - called alongside
These are the people that have lived out the meaning of our Scripture today. They are the church incarnate for me. From the very beginning.This was my sixth time attending, and just as in years past, there was someone who said: I remember praying for you.
They have shown me the power of prayer, the care and intimacy to which the Epistle writer alludes. Consider what it means to have someone pray for you? How does that feel? Or to pray for someone?
- 7 months pregnant
- Not feeling well
- Called doc - do you have good travel health insurance?
- Totally freaked out
- Any questions about conference?
- Someone else probably has the same questions
- Raised my hand
- Offered to pray for me
- 66 women I had never met before, gathered around and laid on hands
- while I ugly cried
- One of the most moving and formational experiences of my life
- I would even go so far as to say that it is where I learned the power of prayer, which is not what I thought it was. I make sure to pray for folks when I am so moved and I also try to let them know that as well.
This past conference was my last, my term as a board member is over and I will graduate from the organization this fall. I had the strangest experience of one of my fellow board members thank me for that experience. Nashville was her first conference too, and she said that experience of praying for me was what showed her that this organization was different. That this was a group of people that she could trust. That we are committed to being in community, we are in this together.
Which, is what our Epistle tells us as well. We all take our names, our family, our connectedness is rooted in God who brings us together with all of Creation. This God, of glory and abundance, gives us inner strength through the power of the working of the Spirit. It feels important to note here, that it is not the power of the Spirit. It is the power of the working of the Spirit. The power is in what the Spirit does, not who we think She is.
With Spirit at work in us, what follows is a prayer for us:
May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith, so that you, being rooted and grounded in love, will be able to grasp fully the breadth, length, height and depth of Christ’s love and all God’s holy ones, experience this love that surpasses all understanding, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (From The Inclusive Bible)
I don’t think that it was until this week that I realized just how much I love this verse. I love everything about it -
- The imagery - christ dwelling in our hearts, being rooted and grounded in faith
- The abundance - the words that we hear again and again - love, all, fullness
- The size of it - depth, breadth, length, height
- The imagination that it asks s to have - to try to comprehend the incomprehensible, to understand that which is beyond knowing
That is the act of faith, is it not? To worship a God that we cannot see, that no one has been able to look upon the face of and live. To follow a Saviour that we have not met in real life, about whom we have only heard the stories, written down well after the fact by people who were not there either. How do we ground such a faith?
The answer is here in these verses. And for me, at the conference.
In community. This passage begins and ends with relationship. For it is in the community of faith that we experience the love and grace and abundance of God. Faith takes shape in lived experiences.
Experience of Abundance:
- Lost luggage
- Including worship bulletins
- Offers of clothing
- Someone nearby brought me an entire week of clothing from her own closet
- Isaiah 58 ministries - second hand store finds
- Target run
- Arrived wet
- Conference team took over responsibilities
- Phyl and Lesley created an itemized list
So it is that these women literally tended to my body, on more than one occasion. At the beginning and until the end. It is through them that Christ dwells within me, I feel it in their love for me and mine for them. Because of their gifts of compassion and companionship, the Spirit works within us all. Their abundance expands my vision and gives me greater ability to love.
Young Clergy Women International has shown me what it means to be in Christian community. How to be church, called alongside and caring for one another. I am so blessed and eager to share that blessing with the wider church.
So it is that I pray the same prayer as our Epistle writer:
14-19 My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
20-21 God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes! (From The Message)
Opening Prayer (Ephesians 3)
From “The Abingdon Worship Annual” edited by Mary J. Scifres and B.J. Beu, Copyright © Abingdon Press.
Holy One, we bow our hearts before you this day.
Strengthen us in our innermost being
and dwell in our hearts through faith.
May we be rooted and grounded in Christ,
whose love is beyond all knowledge.
Help us comprehend even the smallest part
of the beautiful mystery of your grace.
Grant that we may experience the fullness
of your presence with us. Amen.
Benediction (Ephesians 3)
May you know the richness and fullness of God’s grace.
May you experience every dimension of the love of Christ.
May the Spirit dwell within you through faith.
To the Holy One, whose power works within us
to accomplish more than we could ask or imagine or comprehend,
be glory forever and ever! Amen.
From Starters for Sunday at The Church of Scotland, Tenth Sunday after Pentecost – 29 July 2018 by the Rev. Grant Barclay
You relate to us as person to person,
God who is our Parent, Protector and Friend.
Not for You an ten digit number which starts ‘403’,
nor a string of characters with an ‘at’ sign somewhere in the middle.
In our world of insurance codes, tax references, payroll IDs and benefit numbers,
You come to us and You call us by our name.
But there again, You are the God to whom names have always mattered:
You invited our forebear Adam to name the creatures of the earth.
And today You call us to recognise that those whom we meet are each named.
You encourage us to establish genuine relationships,
to discover individual richness beneath too-quickly clutched stereotypes,
and unearth something of the spiritual depths
of those with whom we share homes and cafeterias and classrooms.
Let us open our hearts to one another, even as we open them to you,
God our Companion; through Christ our Lord. Amen.