GREETINGS                                                 May 10, 2018
                                                    
                                   PART OF THE WHOLE SHEBANG
 
The gospel of John differs from Matthew, Mark, and Luke in that it seeks to say more about the impact Jesus as "the Christ" than it does about the historical Jesus.   Theology more than eye-witness accounting governs the way the author of John writes. That is evident right from the start:
 
            "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and
              the Word was God ...  all things were made through the Word
              and without that Word was not anything made that was
              made." (John 1:1-3)"... and the Word became flesh
              (in Jesus)" (vs.14).                                                                   
 
There is a resonance here that is picked up by Saint Paul when he lifts up phrases like: 
            "He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all
              creation, and in him ( Christ) all things hold together".  
             (Colossians 1:15)
 
Paul's big invitation is for believers to live into and grow into their new creation "in Christ".   Both Paul and John present a cosmic Christ for whom the earthly Jesus serves as an icon. Jesus shows us human being lived fully in the image of God.   All God's children are invited to become and destined to become anointed sons or daughters since "Christ" means "God's anointed". And as "all things" hold together in Christ, then we are meant to find our belonging and reason for being as part of the whole web of life we know as creation.
 
Other faith traditions offer believers a similar path and purpose.  The first peoples to populate North America already knew this in their blood and being.   They imbibed and lived a spirituality of "All My Relations".  When human beings become self-centred and ego-driven, they lose track of this and fail to be what they are called to be. When they acknowledge it and seek to truly live into it they are enacting their divine destiny.   Christ is our map for that journey. The psychologist Carl Jung made that affirmation.
 
While our culture acknowledges "Mothers' Day" this weekend, churches in North America
and around the world celebrate "Christian Family Sunday". We are gradually awakening to the realization that our embrace needs to become more expansive. Our family "in Christ" is much larger than only those who use the faith-tag "Christian". Our family "in Christ" encompasses all God's children for there is only one global family of God and that family is part and parcel of the whole web of life called creation.  God be with us as we seek to expand our friendship and companionship circles to more fully include "all our relations".
 
Other aboriginal people have developed practices similar to one commonly used by the Chochtaw nation. They begin every day, every encounter with a greeting we will use this Sunday, but which I encourage to use or somehow adapt as many times as we might choose. They say: "Good morning. Good morning. Good morning.  You are loved. You are cared for. You are needed. You are valued. If no one has told you that you are, let me tell you my relative that you are. This world is a better place because you are in it. Thank you for who you are. Keep up the good work and remember, you are loved."
 
How's that for one way of acknowledging how "in Christ", all things hold together!
 
THOUGHTS & PRAYERS
In our thoughts and prayers are Barbara New, Judy VanDuzer, Larry Webber and Patricia Bradshaw's grandson, Daniel. 

The flowers today are placed by the Kobayashi and Koike families i n loving memory of Fumi Kobayashi husband, father, grandfather and brother.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Time Out with Jesus
Tuesday at noon in Brockhouse Park (Fiddler's Green and Wilson Sts.) Bring a lunch and share in a half hour or more of time for meditation and prayer. Should the weather be unpleasant, we will meet in The Gathering Place.
 
Groceries

This Sunday please support the Living Rock Ministries by donating food to the youth in the Hamilton area.  They are always in need of pasta sauce, canned fruit and canned vegetables.

   

Wesley Urban Ministries
Volunteers are needed to serve food on Sunday, May 20th.  Please sign up on the sheets on the UCW Bulletin board down the hall.  Also needed are cupcake bakers.  If you could bake two dozen cupcakes and bring them iced to church the morning of May 20th it would be appreciated.

Name Tags
An order for magnetic name tags will be submitted this week.  If you have not yet done so and would like a name tag for a cost of $6 please complete an envelope at the welcome centre today and place in the office.  With a new minister starting shortly names tags will definitely help him.

EVENTS

Clean, Paint, Repair (CPR)
Please plan to come out this Saturday, May 12th at 8am to noon to help garden and maintain the outdoors at the church.  Refreshments will be provided.

Walking in God's Way
Explorations and Reflections on Putting our Faith into Practice
                                 Tuesday Afternoons: 1:30-3:00;
                          Wednesday evenings 7:30-9:00                                            
                                       in The Gathering Place
  
Come share how you are already letting faith inform the way you live out your life and how you might broaden or deepen that effort.
  
MAY 15 & 16     "SAYING 'YES' AND SAYING 'NO' " - "HONOURING THE BODY"
                                                      
How does faith help us make decisions or commitments?
How does faith invite us to take care of our own bodies and respect others?
  

MAY 22 & 23     "HOUSEHOLD ECONOMICS" -- "HOSPITALITY"
  
What does faith have to say about how we manage our money and resources? 
How do we currently practice hospitality as persons of faith?                                 
How is God calling us to grow that ministry?
  

MAY 29 & 30     "TESTIMONY"   --   "KEEPING SABBATH"
  
In what ways do we already share own faith story?
What might it mean to share it more openly and widely?                                             
How do we already honour our need for Sabbath time? How might we increase that?
  

JUNE 5 & 6         "FORGIVENESS"   --   "HEALING"
  
How forgiving are we? How in need of forgiveness are we? What's next?                     What has been our experience of healing?                                                                         
What might healing ministry be like as both givers and receivers?


Recycling
Start your spring cleaning and donate your old electronics to the 3 rd annual electronics recycling event being held on May 25 (4-8), May 26 th (9-5) and May 27 th (a.m. only) in the front parking lot. Electronics include any type of television, video or DVD players, radios, cell phones (MUST BE WIPED CLEAN), cordless phones.  Items do not need to be functioning. This event helps to support Outreach. 
New this year -  we will also be collecting used clothing in support of the Ontario Foundation for Cerebral Palsy.  Volunteers are needed to assist with the event.  Please contact Kim Cheeseman -   cheesers@cogeco.ca

Marshall Men's Golf Outing
Time to get your clubs out.  Arrangements have been made for a Golf outing on Wednesday, May 30.  This will take place at the Knollwood Golf Club (Old Course) with tee times at 4 pm.  The price per golfer will be $25, which includes a cart.  We will play 9-holes of golf and then have a bite to eat together.  If you would like to play, please contact Dave Putnam ( dputnam@cogeco.ca).

Case for Kids Walk, Run, Ride
This will be held on Sunday, June 3rd at 12pm at Bayfront Park.  Information, flyers etc. will be available in the foyer or go online to register:
Their phone number is 905-528-5629 x 240.

Vacation Bible School
Registration forms are now available on our website or on the bulletin board down the hall.  It is in the mornings from July 3rd to 6th for children SK to grade 6.  The cost is $25 with cheques payable to St. Andrews Presbyterian Church.