November 10, 2019
Dear Fellow members of the Body of Christ,
Throughout this last year our church been working with the simple phrase “Growing the Body of Christ” This is a phrase that was much loved by St Paul. This simple phrase captures so much of who we are and who are to be to the world. All Saints has been very active in putting life into the Body of Christ. For me, I have witnessed the body of Christ being reflected in several wonderful ways. Here are four perfect examples of what we have done to put these into action.
Firstly, we had several events that helped foster Christian community. Our small group programs like photography, hiking, prayer and book studies have brought people together not only for fun but to share in the delight of God's creation. Also, activities such as bowling, the BBQ by the river, church potlucks, pie making, and our parish dinner gave us new ways to share laughter and enjoy time together.
Secondly, The Body of Christ reminds us of the ancient teaching that at the crucifixion, blood and water, flowed from the body of Jesus Christ. This was meant to suggest the sacraments which come from Jesus. “See” one of the Fathers said, “Christ is full of sacraments”. We live in a time when, increasingly nothing, either in life or in death, is sacred. This is most evident in how society has swept away with any practices regarding death. So many times, at the death of a loved one a notice comes out that states "no services will be held”. How can we find a place for grief, respect and a way for people to deal with death? So many today are like “sheep without a shepherd”. By contrast we have the courage to speak the names of deceased loved one’s before God on All Saints’ Day and every Sunday. Our quarterly healing services and our current Bishop Ford Memorial Park project are also ways we can honour our own dead. Through these practices we can minister to not only our All Saints community but also to the wider community. Through them we say to all, life is sacred, we honour those who have departed and most importantly Your life and death are of infinite value to God.
The Body of Christ, then, reminds us of the house and the land where the people of God meet. And of our duty to care for them. We have set apart the Ben Greenfield Memorial Fund to for the purposes of ongoing care of this place (which Ben was instrumental is having us purchase). We have painted and shingled our roof in the last year with your generous assistance to this fund. We have also as part of the Columbarium project created plans to further develop our property as a sacred and accessible space for our parish and the wider community.
Lastly, we realize that the Body of Christ is not yet complete. All of those called by Christ into union with him are not yet part of his church. We are so blessed to have Rev Matthew Perrault join our leadership. Fr. Matthew has already begun some great work in expanding the excellent Invite Welcome Connect ministry. Just like it says, to Invite, Welcome and Connect newcomers to the Body of Christ. Remember to invite someone to church. Not only for Invitation services but anytime. Sometimes people only need to be asked and this is how we can be Christ's hand, open and welcoming to all.
These are some, not all of the ways, that during the last year we have put our theme “Building the Body of Christ” into action. By the grace and guidance of God, the Body will continue flourish and grow. There is a lot to thank God for, a lot to celebrate!
Yours in Christ
Ruth-Anne Marley, People's Warden