Inviting Others for Dinner, the Jesus Way

Learning for Life9:30 am
The Gospel of Mark — How Jesus relates to our lives

Worship Service11:00 am

Bulletin: March 24
NewsletterMarch 2019

ScripturesPsalm 19.7-10Colossians 3.1-10; Luke 14.15-24


Joel Russell-MacLean

Pieter Bruegel, “The Peasant Wedding”

How often are we eating meals together around a dinner table? How often do we include guests?
Eating with others was important to Jesus.
Jesus’ used meals as a time of healing and teaching. What is more, Jesus intentionally created a new community around meals. He brought together people who would never otherwise associate with each other. Read through “Luke” and “Acts” in the New Testament and notice how often Luke focuses the story or teaching around meals.
At one of these meals, Jesus told the story of a host who instructed his servants:
“Go out and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled.”
They went out into the streets, inviting whoever they found. Would you try that in your neighbourhood? Inviting our peers and friends into our home is a much more comfortable plan.
Jesus’ vision of a new family made up of people of all kinds is too compelling to ever be forgotten. Some people keep this practice alive. When we make meals with others a priority, we are extending the church into our homes and into our lives beyond Sunday.


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The Abundance of the Earth; the Fullness of Christ

Listen to the sermon Joel Russell-MacLean

Learning for Life9:30 am
• Gospel of Mark

Worship Service11:00 am

Bulletin: March 17, 2019
NewsletterMarch 2019

Scriptures: Psalm 42:1-5; Colossians 2.6-10; Luke 12.13-34

Rev. Joel Russell-MacLean

Pitfalls of Temptation

Listen to the sermon John Nelson

Learning for Life9:30 am
• Hope — discussions relating to aging

Worship Service11:00 am

BulletinMarch 10, 2019
NewsletterMarch 2019

ScripturesPsalm 42; Colossians 1.15-23; Luke 4.1-13


John Nelson

Duccio di Buoninsegna, early 14th century

Sometimes we feel that if the Holy Spirit leads us, we will always walk “beside quiet waters” (Ps. 23: 2).
That is not necessarily going to be true.  Jesus’ life reveals moments of stormy seas.
Luke 4: 1-13 tells the story of Jesus being tempted by Satan in the Desert of Judea (Luke 4: 1-13). God and Satan were with Jesus, vying for his very soul. Jesus had to make choices.
Jesus was able to overcome the temptation of Satan.
We too will be confronted by temptation, for it is all around us. We cannot avoid temptation and evil.  What is revealed to us in this Gospel passage is how Jesus was able to overcome the temptation of Satan.
Where are you most susceptible to temptation right now? How can you prepare to withstand it?  In whom do you place your trust and faith in times of temptation? What are the stepping stones along your journey that will help you make good choices?
D0 you struggle answering these questions?
Begin your Lenten Journey with us this Sunday.
The Lenten journey is a time to help each of us reflect upon how to avoid the pitfalls of temptation.
Lent is also a season of repentance, a time to learn how to make good choices, to acknowledge a dependence upon the Word of God that will guide us through life’s journey.


Faith in the One Who Loves Me

Listen to the sermon Joel Russell-MacLean

Learning for Life9:30 am
• Hope — discussions relating to aging

Worship Service11:00 am

Bulletin: March 3, 2019
NewsletterMarch 2019

Scriptures: Psalm 44; Galatians 2.20; Luke 18.28-43


Rev. Joel Russell-MacLean

Looking down the road, how will our love respond to suffering?

Sometimes following Jesus means beauty, joy, and signs of God’s presence and goodness. We are healed and helped by God’s wisdom; we experience such a change in life and new freedom.

“Follow me”, Jesus says.


But then, as we walk along, we ask Jesus, “So where are we going?”

“We are going up to Jerusalem. I will be mocked and insulted and spat upon. After they flogged me, they will kill me…”


For love, Jesus went to the cross: love of you, of others, and of our world.

For love, his friends and disciples followed him.

What about us?

This Wednesday, we begin the journey of Lent to the cross.

Perhaps marketing and entertainment, prosperity and the success of medical science, shape us to unconsciously expect everything to work out in life. When things go poorly, when bad news keeps coming, it is hard work to keep going.

We remind ourselves that things don’t always work out. There is suffering and pain in life.

Will God’s love for us help us to keep going? Will our love for God draw us onward?

This much we can be sure of: God will never abandon us.

As we prepare for Lent, we remind ourselves that love is essential for the journey.

Ask, Search, Knock

Listen to the sermon Joel Russell-MacLean

Learning for Life9:30 am
• Hope — discussions relating to aging

Worship Service11:00 am

Bulletin: February 24, 2019
NewsletterFebruary 2019

ScripturesPsalm 91Romans 12:12-21Luke 11:1-13


Rev. Joel Russell-MacLean


The Angelus by Jean-François Millet


“‘Give me, give me’ never gets – don’t you know you manners yet?”

Did you ever hear this little song? It was a playground taunt we used when I was young whenever someone was demanding to be given something we had. Of course, we all knew what it was like to want something so much we just had to have it.

We choose either to grab, manipulate, fight, or harass, or to simply and honestly ask.

Which one of those strategies leads to good relationships?

The prayer Jesus taught people, called both the “Our Father…” or “The Lord’s Prayer”, can be read as four, straight-up requests:

Give us your kingdom and rule on earth
Give us bread from day to day
Give us forgiveness
Give us deliverance

There’s no negotiating, begging, manipulation, or threats here – but it is a list of needs.

Jesus taught us to come to the Creator and to simply and honestly ask.

Jesus’ promise? A close relationship with our Father, and the Holy Spirit drawing close to us.

Sometimes, however, I think I would prefer magic over prayer.

The student witches and wizards in the Harry Potter movies and books just have to say the right words and go through the right motions and then they get what they asked for, like in this clip from the first movie.

Should prayer be more like magic? The right amount of faith, the right idea, the right words, the right number of people and then we get what we ask for? Do we want that much control?

Instead of magic, can we trust God? Is knowing God worth the uncertainty and the waiting involved in simply asking and trusting?

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