November 12, 2010
From the Rector's Desk
Although I don’t often mention it, sometimes it is important to observe the dates on the liturgical calendar by which we note the passing of notable figures in the Christian church. On Friday November 12th we remember, on the date of his death in 1836, and English pastor that influenced generations in the Anglican tradition and beyond. Charles Simeon was a professor at Cambridge University and pastor at Holy Trinity Church for 54 years. He was named ‘curate-in-charge’ of the parish while still a young man and a deacon, and his emphasis on theological education, biblical preaching and placing young pastors in key pulpits across the country shaped generations in the Church of the England and throughout the globe.
Simeon was converted to Christ while an undergrad at Cambridge as he read the liturgy for Holy Communion, a service that students were required to attend several times each year. Although not accustomed to evangelical faith, Simeon was transformed by the Gospel and became an enthusiastic disciple of Christ, even pursuing Holy Orders in the Church of England. Appointed to the pulpit of Holy Trinity Church, Simeon was actively opposed by the members of his new parish, who locked their pews and refused to attend services. His preaching, over time, drew a new congregation to standing room only services and scores of young people (men at that time) who were called to pastoral ministry in the church. They were mentored by Simeon and placed, through his patronage, in key pulpits, eventually changing the landscape in the Church of England.
His influence was not without its personal cost. He remained unmarried in order to retain his post at Cambridge (at that time held only by single men) so that he could help call outstanding candidates into the ministry. And he faced opposition from those who did not understand nor have much patience for his evangelical and biblical fervor. Speaking of such detractors he once said to a friend, "My dear brother, we must not mind a little suffering for Christ's sake. When I am getting through a hedge, if my head and shoulders are safely through, I can bear the pricking of my legs. Let us rejoice in the remembrance that our holy Head has surmounted all His suffering and triumphed over death. Let us follow Him patiently; we shall soon be partakers of His victory".
Charles Simeon influenced the evangelical movement in the Church of England, including leaders such as missionary Henry Martyn and statesman William Wilberforce. Simeon founded the Church Missionary Society and the University and College Christian Fellowship, which, in turn, led to the founding of the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship in the United States and Canada, and the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, with branches in many countries. Though he was a faithful pastor and preacher who spent his whole ministry in one parish in Cambridge, England, his influence extended throughout the Anglican and Evangelical Christian world.
I’ve often thought of Simeon and his faithful mentoring of young pastors as I have prayed about our own connections with Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and those in our fellowship who are preparing for further ministry. We may not have the kind of scope of influence that Simeon knew, but each of us has an opportunity to do more than we probably think we can, in this regard. May we be encouraged and challenged to follow in his footsteps as we remember his example on November 12th.
Read more about Charles Simeon
Peace of Christ,
The Rev. Jay L. Greener, Rector
Church of the Redeemer
Two weeks remain in our COR@9 series on Spiritual Gifts. Professor Dana Harris will offer her final teaching on this subject this Sunday morning, followed next Sunday at 9 a.m. by a discussion of how to discern our gifts (hint: not by yourself!).
In two weeks, we will begin a new series on Spiritual Practices, led by Sallie Vroom and Amanda Rosengren. In this series, which will run through Advent, we will learn about and experience practices such as lectio divina (holy reading), praying using the prayer book, and gratitude. Please join us as we explore these concrete ways to grow in our love and devotion to God.
Our next gathering in the four-week introductory series on life at Redeemer continues this Sunday, as we talk about our worship and also our understanding of sacraments. This is a great chance to explore with others who are new to Redeemer, and some who have been around here for a while. We’ll serve a light lunch and share some fellowship in this conversational hour. Did you miss a week? No problem—jump back in this Sunday, following coffee hour.
We’re just around the corner from the turning of the year in our church calendar. Advent marks a new beginning as we await Christ’s coming (advent) that we will celebrate in the Christmas season. One of the marks of this season for us at Redeemer is our Service of Advent Lessons and Carols. Started several years ago this is becoming an annual favourite with Redeemer people and those beyond our congregation.
Our service reflects an annual tradition that began at Cambridge University in 1918, sharing the story of the coming Messiah from scripture and music that responds to the readings.
Join us for our Service of Advent Lessons and Carols Sunday evening, December 5th at 6pm.
Our children continue to gather each week during our worship time and learn from the same scriptures that we read. They are working on a reading that they will offer to us on the 3rd Sunday of Advent.
To learn more look for the newest edition of the Children’s Ministry newsletter, due out early next week, or pick one up at the welcome table next Sunday. Please pray for Emily Cool Greener and those who serve our children each week in ministry.
Rwanda and Sonrise School
Did you miss the opportunity to participate in our annual Sonrise benefit several weeks ago? Or perhaps you would like to connect in an additional way—well, you can sponsor a student at Sonrise directly through the Mustard Seed Project website. Additional sponsors are needed now to help cover the cost of teaching and raising the neediest children in Rwanda through Sonrise School. Just visit the Mustard Seed Project website to learn more, and click on ‘sponsor’ to partner with a child.
Our giving and stewardship is actually a spiritual, not just financial, matter. As we look to our end of year need at Redeemer we seek to cover our expenses not just as a fiduciary matter, but in order to express our identity as children of God.
The first principle of biblical stewardship is that God is a Giver. It’s the Lord that has made all that we see (and what we don’t) and that his nature is goodness. It’s a reflection of the Lord’s character that we experience his bounty and magnanimous gifts. James asserts that God is the giver of every good and perfect gift. This giving nature is revealed first in creation, then more specifically in salvation offered through the atoning work of Jesus Christ. We give as a way to say “We belong to God, and this is what our family does—it’s a trait.”
Thank you for continuing to pray for God’s provision as we seek his will in our end of year response, and our obedience in mission and ministry in 2011.
Offering last week: $3,849
Amount needed by year’s end: $95,739
Winter Clothing Drive
Just one week remains in our clothing drive to assist families in Lake County through Love, INC. Please leave gently used items of winter clothing in the boxes located in the church foyer, through November 14th. We need a variety of things such as coats, gloves, scarves, hats, etc.
Please Pray For
— Our Alpha Weekend this Saturday
— St. Michael’s, our sister parish in Rwanda
— our Vestry meeting next Tuesday
— our small group ministries at Redeemer
— those grieving, including Jules Cole and Nunu Nigru and familes
— those awaiting new life: Jennifer, Megan, Nunu, Jenni, Debby