Advisory Board Meeting – March 2015

Purpose: To hold an Advisory Board meeting to conduct the business of The Parish of St. Margaret, New Toronto.
Desired Meeting Results: (DMR’s)
By the end of this meeting we will have…
1. Had a devotional time
2. Reviewed, discussed and made decisions, as required, on the various agenda items
3. Confirmed next meeting date including identifying a member to do devotions and bring the snack

Present: Rev. Mark, Rev Mary, Anne, Susan, Charlene, Lynne, Sharon, Doug

Regrets: Cara, Linda, Melinda, Marion, Mary Anne, Terry
Meeting Notes
Time Item Meeting Notes
7:15 pm Check-in A brief check-in was conducted.
7:20 pm Devotions Susan shared a devotional with an inspirational thought from the Dali Lama.
7:25 pm Finance/Stewardship Reports Updates A financial report was distributed and reviewed. The report provided a comparison of the actual year to date totals for January & February 2015 to January & February 2014. It was noted that these statements indicated that we are presently in a very good financial situation with revenue increase and expense decrease for the 2015 year. The hope is to have this trend continue for the remainder of this year.
It was also noted that an increase has also occurred in Sunday worship attendance for this same period for an average of 84 in 2015 in comparison to 74 in 2014.
No stewardship report was presented. It was noted that we continue to follow the Diocese stewardship calendar. The next task on the calendar will be a letter to all envelope holders encouraging them to become Pre Authorized Givers (PAGs).
7:30 pm Warden’s Report Updates
• Property – Roof

Continue reading

A Sermon for the 5th Sunday in Lent

What Jesus wants us to know about his death on the cross is nothing else than what has to happen when you are human. The cross is about us because it is what it means to be us. Lest we think that the cross is some sort of ultimate moment of divine atonement, Jesus sets us straight. What becomes human must die. What becomes incarnate, must realize its end. If in the two weeks ahead we think that there is some sort of miracle in Jesus being crucified, well, that’s not what Jesus says here. Do we want some sort of miraculous exchange to occur because Jesus died? Do we need reconciliation so bad that we think it can be that easy? Do we hope that Jesus on the cross will fix everything for us, between us and God, between us and Jesus, between us and every relationship that needs fixing? Think again.
Jesus reminds us here, before Holy Week, before even his parting words to the disciples, that his death is not the end at all. It is no accident that Jesus helps us make sense of the resurrection before he helps us make sense of the cross. The whole order of things is mixed up, turned on its head. Life is death and death is life. The cross is not the answer. It’s the question. It’s not the singularly grand moment that some want to make it into but a moment in the entire Jesus event, his life, death, resurrection, and ascension, that is God so desperately wanting to be in relationship with us. Whatever fixation we have had on the cross, well, here Jesus blows it out of the proverbial water.
Because the cross is not the end. Not a very popular statement two weeks before Good Friday, is it? We need to milk the suffering and death of Jesus for all it’s worth, right? Because somehow that would justify our own suffering and pain and explain every relationship that ended in despair and disappointment. But Jesus won’t let us go there. And this is no fast track to the resurrection either. Not at all. Just the opposite. The cross is not the end; it’s the beginning and was from the beginning. It is about recognizing, accepting, seeing, that God knows a relationship with God is complicated. And that Jesus is no easy answer.

Continue reading

Vestry Meeting Minutes

Vestry Minutes – 2014 Vestry Meeting held on Sunday February 22, 2015

1) Opening Prayers
The Rev. Mark Gladding opened the meeting in prayer at 12:00PM

2) Appointment of Vestry Clerk
Stephanie Goddard was appointed as the vestry clerk. Lynne White made the motion. Carried

3) Acceptance of Minutes of Vestry meeting on Feb. 23, 2014
It was moved by Rebecca Wang and seconded by Mary Pataki that that the reading of the minutes from the Vestry meeting on Sunday February 23, 2014 be dispensed with, and that they be accepted as printed in the annual report. Carried.

4) Acceptance of Reports
It was moved by Bea Evans and seconded by Grace King that the reading of the reports to vestry be dispensed with, and they be accepted as printed in the Annual Report. All were in favour. Carried.

5) Presentation and Acceptance of Churchwarden’s 2014 Financial Report and Financial Statements
Rev. Mark highlighted the increases in a power point presentation and discussed the positive things that happened in 2014. He discussed the faithworks increase and mentioned that another speaker would visit us this year. MAF grant allowed us to do many things. Bequests of $52,800. We finished the year with a surplus. There were no questions about the 2014 financials.

Continue reading

Advisory Board Minutes – January 20, 2015

Advisory Board Meeting

January 20, 2015

Present: Rev. Mark, Doug, Elizabeth, Cara, Lynne, Marion, Rev. Mary, Terry, Charlene, Mary Ann, Susan

Agenda:

Finance/Stewardship Reports and Updates

• We have a surplus this year, at this time last year, we were short money
• The surplus has come from the MAF grant and some bequests in the will
• Discussion of difference between “other givings-memorials/specials” and bequests – no one quite sure how this is divided when it comes to these categories
• Question of the diocesan loan which is listed this year at $50,000 and we have paid $23,000 of it – this needs to be changed in the report

Continue reading

Archbishop’s Christmas message: ‘life does trump death’

Posted on December 22, 2014

Archbishop Colin Johnson

By Archbishop Colin Johnson

The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us. We saw his glory, the glory which he received as the Father’s only Son…  Out of the fullness of his grace he has blessed us all, giving us one blessing after another.” (John 1:14, 16 – Good News Bible)

I am conscious of how very fortunate we are and have been when I consider our place in our world both here and abroad. A quick scan of the daily news bears that out. In the world today, we hear echoes of apocalyptic proportions reminiscent of ancient biblical prophecies: wars and rumours of war; earthquake, fire and flood; domestic violence and societal discord; murders of innocents. These are current. They are real. They always have been: current and real.

Yet, even in the face of this, we are called not to lose heart or hope but to stand with confidence and to engage with compassion. It is because of something else, someone else, who is current and real.

In the midst of such chaos, the Word of God comes into human life in the birth of a child, creating space for a different world – a world built not on fear but love, not on violence but peace, not on inequity but justice tempered with mercy. In the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus, life does trump death. Although we all too often fall short in practise, we are bearers of this hope. In the faces of people we have met this past year, in every conceivable circumstance of life, we have glimpsed the face of Christ quietly and compellingly revealed. And we are thankful.

May you in some way, large or small, find grace to remain “steadfast in faith, joyful in hope and untiring in love” this year and all the days of your life.

+Colin

(The Most Rev’d) Colin R. Johnson,
Archbishop of Toronto and of Moosonee,
Metropolitan of Ontario

Dear Church, Here’s Why People Are Really Leaving You

A hard, honest look at why people are really walking away from church.

By John Pavlovitz

Being on the other side of the Exodus sucks, don’t it?
I see the panic on your face, Church.
I know the internal terror as you see the statistics and hear the stories and scan the exit polls.
I see you desperately scrambling to do damage control for the fence-sitters, and manufacture passion from the shrinking faithful, and I want to help you.
You may think you know why people are leaving you, but I’m not sure you do.
You think it’s because “the culture” is so lost, so perverse, so beyond help that they are all walking away.
You believe that they’ve turned a deaf ear to the voice of God; chasing money, and sex, and material things.
You think that the gays and the Muslims and the Atheists and the pop stars have so screwed up the morality of the world that everyone is abandoning faith in droves.

But those aren’t the reasons people are leaving you.
They aren’t the problem, Church.
You are the problem.
Let me elaborate in five ways …

Continue reading

A Sermon for the Third Sunday of Advent

According to the Gospels the fundamental point in the preaching of Jesus was identical with the message of John the Baptist. It was and is a simple point; turn and trust. Turn your life around to God whose compassionate reign has come near and trust the message of the Gospels. It is the same appeal of Paul in his letter to the Thessalonians; “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this” in other words trust the message and turn your life around. Trust and turn.

Martin Buber a philosopher and theologian of some note expressed the initial appeal of the Gospels in these words; “The hour that has been predetermined for aeons has arrived, the rule of God which existed from the beginning, but which was hidden until now, has drawn near to the world, in order to realize itself when apprehended: that you might be able to apprehend it, turn, you who hear, from your erring ways to the way of God, come into fellowship with God, with Whom all things are possible, and surrender to God’s power.” Buber wants us to notice what he terms three principals of this message; realization of the kingship of God, a relationship of faith towards God, and that the reality of the relationship has its exclusive abode in the personal life of individuals. Continue reading

A Sermon for the Second Sunday of Advent

By the choice of readings this morning, the church is pulling out it’s big guns in an attempt to get our attention. There is something important to be heard this morning.

The first big gun is Isaiah, well second Isaiah to be specific. Did you know that there are three different authors of the book we call Isaiah? We didn’t used to teach stuff like that, too complicated for Sunday School. We’re not in Sunday School anymore! Remember this line from St. Paul

“When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.”

I was flipping channels the other night at about 1 a.m. and I have to confess I stopped to listen to Joyce Meyer preach, she’s a hoot! Theologically frightening, but fun to listen to. As best I can this is what I heard her preach; “ People keep asking me has God given you a word to preach to the Church – Sure God’s given me a word to preach to the church, (now at this point you have to know she stepped back from the pulpit, sat down on her bar stool for a good 30 seconds, gave a big sigh, and then got back up and shouted into the microphone ) “Grow Up!” She went on from there….but needless to say she made her point …. She wasn’t very original – or maybe God’s still trying to get our attention! Continue reading

Why Inclusive Language Is Still Important by Jann Aldredge-Clanton

 

“We don’t need to do inclusive language any more,” some of the young women tell Isabel Docampo in her intern classes at Perkins School of Theology. “That was important when you were going through seminary because there were all men. Inclusive language isn’t important anymore because now women can be leaders in church and are in the workplace big time.” Isabel says that when they go out into churches, these students discover that gender discrimination, although often more subtle now than in the past, is still all too prevalent.
Continue reading

A Sermon for the Reign of Christ – Nov. 23, 2014

The Reign of Christ – what are the images that come to mind when we hear these words ? Have we a notion of what the kingdom of heaven is really like? Or are our imaginations the captive of Michelangelo’s art work, and the hymns of our childhood.
Holy, Holy, Holy, runs the second verse of the hymn I first learned, “all the saints adore thee/ Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea/Cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee/Who were, and art, and evermore shall be.”
None of that makes much sense anymore to us or anybody else for that matter. And as a vision of the kingdom it hasn’t proved to be all that appealing. So where can we turn? We could try the Bible. This is the point in the Natural Church Development process where we’re supposed to answer that the Bible is important to us!
The Prophet Zechariah, in the year 518 B.C., wrote about the Reign of Christ:
Thus says the Lord: I will return to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city…Old men and women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of their great age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets (Zech8:3-5).
Jesus, you will remember, rode into that city on a young donkey and they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, young and old, they came out to meet him shouting “Hosanna, Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord – the King of Israel!” Continue reading