April 1, 2011
From the Rector’s Desk
It’s good to be back home, although I thought spring might have arrived while I was away in Rwanda. Obviously, not yet. But I am back, although still adjusting to the time zone changes.
Our visit to Rwanda was an important one, I believe, and I’m grateful that we were able to be a part of the Sonrise School graduation, and that I had opportunity to meet with some of the new leaders in the Rwandan church and share conversation and prayer with them. Our relationship with Rwanda is one of the unique facets of our life as a congregation, and we’re learning it takes time and energy to nurture and sustain it. The Anglican Church of Rwanda has a new Archbishop and several new bishops, and they bring their own gifts and perspectives to the relationships with AMiA and Redeemer. It’s a season of re-acquainting in a way, so its good that we are able to have time together face to face.
This Sunday morning I plan to share some experiences from the Rwanda trip, and also some things that I think we are learning about life together in the coming year or so. I hope you are able to be a part of that, but if not, you’ll hear more about it in coming weeks. If you haven’t read any reports from our travels then I encourage you to visit the Rwanda blog we have been using, at www.redeemernorthshore.org/rwanda. There are reflections and some photos there, at least to get us started talking.
During Lent, and especially on my travels, I have been using a Lenten devotional written by Henri Nouwen, entitledShow Me the Way. It has a reading and prayer for each day of the season. Last Saturday was a reflection on the Prodigal Son, and how it is a story about return—returning to the Father. Nouwen observed that return is a lifelong struggle. Return is so important to our relationships, as well. True friendship requires honest return—rehearsing the things that are important, affirming the value in each other, and returning to the common factors that cause us to be in relationship.
Returning to Rwanda for me was a deepening of relationship, and it spoke to those I met of the commitment that Church of the Redeemer has made to them. This happens when anyone from Redeemer travels there, and when those from Rwanda visit us, as several have. This kind of travel and return is so important. Perhaps your turn will be next.
I look forward to worshiping with you this week.
With peace in Lent,
The Rev. Jay L. Greener, Rector
Church of the Redeemer
Monthly Healing Prayer
We gather next Wednesday evening at 7pm for our monthly service of Healing Prayer, this month with a special emphasis. We’ll be praying for God’s financial provision in our lives, in our church and in our communities. A number among us need employment, or blessing in our work, and we all can enter into prayer asking God for his financial priorities for us. Giving and receiving are spiritual disciplines, and we can’t hope to enter into them appropriately without the grace of healing prayer.
So come and receive prayer on Wednesday, and bring others with you as we pray for God’s provision and direction.
Lenten Morning Prayer
The service of Morning Prayer is a beautiful and rich liturgy of scripture, prayers, the Apostles Creed and silence. It has a long history in the Anglican Church, having been drawn from the monastic tradition of gathering for corporate prayer seven times a day. We’re meeting just once each week, every Thursday during Lent, at 6:30am. Come and experience the power and serenity of this type of prayer.
Planting in the NorthWest
Redeemer is standing with two church plants right now as they enter new chapters. Both of these have leadership that were nurtured and
strengthened as part of our Church of the Redeemer community. The Rev. Robert Lancaster has begun serving as Priest at the Arnada Abbey in Vancouver, Washington. Also in leadership there from Redeemer are Thom and Emily Blair. Robert sent the following update right after Ash Wednesday, his first service.
We met for Ash Wednesday (using Redeemer's liturgy) and had a wonderful time. A group from Portland joined us, so all told we had a little over 30 people. It was nice for the Abbey to feel full. The service went great. Most of the people present had never experienced an Ash Wednesday service before and I believe that being able to receive ashes and then almost immediately receive Eucharist was very moving for the people there. We have had a number of people tell us that it meant a lot to them. So even after only being here for a couple days I'm already seeing God work.
We are excited about journeying through Lent together. If you remember us on Wednesdays in your prayers I am making myself available at the Abbey for two hours on Wednesdays during Lent (11-1 PST) for those who desire to come pray. For a small group we have already had a couple people commit to coming. Personally, I would ask you to continue to pray for boldness as I preach and share the Gospel with people.
Pray for Robert, Thom, Emily, David and Karen in Vancouver. Also remember to pray for the Marchand and Lynn families in Peoria as they have begun to worship together and gather others. May God bless and protect these new works.
This Sunday is our next lunchtime gathering of Discover Redeemer, our journey into community. We’ll be talking about our understanding of sacraments, particularly as it relates to the practice of Baptism and Holy Communion. If you have wanted to attend but have not yet been able, please join us following the worship service.
Please be praying and inviting as we begin a new season of Alpha, an effective introduction to Jesus and refresher in the faith. Alpha will start this Thursday, April 7th and will meet each Thursday from 11:30 -2:00 in Wilmette (at Tom and Ricki Rosengren’s). There are invitations available at the Welcome Table on Sunday morning. For more information and to RSVP, please contact Ricki Rosengren for more details at email@example.com.
Thanks be to God for the generosity shown by His people here at Redeemer. While we are running somewhat behind as we finish the first quarter of the year, the last two Sundays have been very strong in giving. Thank you for continuing to pray for the needs of our church and our families, and that we would release all of the resources needed to carry out our congregational mission.
Giving last Sunday: $12,059
Average amount needed each week: $7,100
Please pray for:
–our journey together in Lent
–the launch of the next Alpha course
–those in need of provision (healing, jobs, wholeness, etc)
–St. Michael’s, Sonrise School and the Shyira Diocese in Rwanda