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Where does Religion Come from?

Posted on Aug 02 , 2013 in Did You Know

 There are two approaches to understanding the source of religion. The first approach would be what is often referred to as the historical approach. This approach begins with the understanding that historically humanity has searched for meaning in life. This search has more often than not included a spiritual component. This searching for meaning in life has resulted in various ways of relating to and understanding the world in which we live. Over time our knowledge and understanding has changed, consequently religious beliefs and understanding evolve and grow as well. In this line of thinking older is often seen as primitive and not as enlightened as current. This approach makes belief a relative thing rather than an absolute and is always open to change because the understanding and wisdom come from within.

 The second approach says that wisdom and understanding come from without. In other words we do not so much discover spiritual reality as it is revealed to us. Truth then rather than being discovered and relative, is revealed and applicable to all people in all settings. Rather than understanding or truth, then changing depending on our perspective it is we who are called to change our perspective based on the revealed truth. Many have attempted to explain the Bible based on a historic evolution of thought approach. Much of the Bible can be discussed using this approach however in the Old Testament the person and story of Moses does not fit this understanding. The Moses event makes the astounding statement that God intervened in human history. We did not make any discoveries, nothing evolutionary happened God intervened. The Jesus event of the New Testament is the fulfilment of that intervention and the affirmation of that reality.

 Consequently Christianity is not a religion evolving to fit new insights it is a religion challenging our insights in light of the very character and person of God revealed to us in history!

The Reverend Al Carson

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How can change occur if the call is to maintain the status quo?

Posted on Jul 26 , 2013 in Did You Know

 Last week I stated that as a result of ordination vows by “accepting the role of Bishop an individual is giving up the rite to be a challenger of the faith and accepting the responsibility to be a defender of the faith”. By default that statement would also apply to a Priest or Deacon since they are licensed by the Bishop to be an extension of the Bishop’s ministry in the Diocese and in effect make similar vows of accepting and defending the faith.

If then, those who are put into the role of leadership of the Church cannot by definition of the vows they make be a challenger of the faith how could change ever come to the Church? That might seem like a logical question however it is not taking into account the very nature of the gospel that is being proclaimed. At the heart of the gospel is the statement that we all must change. We have all fallen short of the glory of God and are in need of redemption. The gospel invites us into a never ending relationship of change.

  A relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It is the proclamation of that relationship and the proclamation of who Jesus is that is to be defended by those who accept ordination. The creeds present to us a summary of the faith that is to be defended. The foundation of that faith is the doctrine of the Trinity. To change this foundation of Christian thinking and understanding of our relationship with God is in effect to proclaim a different religion. That is why it is the role of those in leadership to defend this foundational understanding. It is not this truth that must change it is we who must change.

 Next week: Two different ways religion came to exist.

Rev. Al Carson

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A Bishop is elected, what now?

Posted on Jul 19 , 2013 in Did You Know

If the person elected Bishop is already not already a Bishop in another Diocese then that person will first need to be ordained as a Bishop prior to being installed as the Bishop for the Diocese. The service or ordination of a Bishop is presided over by the Archbishop and starts with a greeting and then a proclamation of why we are gathered for this worship.

The focus then turns to scripture with an Old Testament reading, a psalm, a New Testament reading and a Gospel reading. There is a sermon and then after we have saturated ourselves in the word of God the Bishop elect is presented for ordination.

During the process of examination prior to the laying on of hands and consecration as a Bishop, the Bishop elect publically proclaims their commitment and agreement to the call. That call is proclaimed as follows “a Bishop is God’s holy Church is called to be one of the apostles in proclaiming Christ’s Resurrection and interpreting the Gospel, and to testify to Christ’s sovereignty as Lord of lords and King of Kings. You are called to guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the Church. Your joy will be to follow Him who came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for man.” The question is then asked – “are you persuaded that God has called you to the office of Bishop?”

You have heard the term defender of the faith. That is what the Bishop is committing to. Throughout history there have been many thinking people who have challenged the traditional Christian faith which is proclaimed here – that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, that there were eye witnesses to that Resurrection, that there is no one else in history like Jesus, He is sovereign over everything and everyone, and that His death is a ransom for our sins.

By accepting the role of Bishop an individual is giving up the rite to be a challenger of the faith and accepting the responsibility to be a defender of the faith.

Rev. Al Carson

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Who gets to Vote for a new Bishop

Posted on Jul 12 , 2013 in Did You Know

 The election for our new Bishop will occur on November 30, 2013 at Christ Church Cathedral. By that day all the nominations should be in however it is still possible for a candidate to be nominated from the floor.

 In 1994 the last time an election occurred there were17 people who had been nominated and one who was nominated from the floor to make a total of 18 on the ballot. Each Lay delegate to synod will get a vote for Bishop, as well as each clergy currently licenced and residing in the Diocese, that includes retired clergy as well as non-retired clergy. The vote will be counted separately and in order to be elected Bishop the person must win a majority of votes among lay delegates and among clergy delegates, the term used to describe this is a majority in each house. If a person receives a majority in one house but not the other then another round of voting continues in each house. It is very unlikely that a person will be elected on the first ballot. After the first round of voting the results are posted and candidates have the option of withdrawing their nomination thus reducing the number of names on the ballot. This process continues until a candidate is declared the winner in each house. At that point the person elected does not become the Bishop elect.

 The next step is that the name of the person who has won the election is submitted to the house of Bishops of the Ecclesiastical province of BC. The Ecclesiastical province does not have the same boundaries as the geographical province as the Yukon  is included in the Ecclesiastical province of BC. The house of Bishops must  approve the person who has received the majority of votes before that person is declared Bishop elect. It is possible but unlikely that the house of Bishops would request that the voting continue until a candidate was elected that they would affirm.  When a person is declared Bishop elect then a date will be set for their consecration as Bishop and installation unless they are already a Bishop in which case a date for their installation would be set. That date could be a number of months in the future and it would not be until that date that we officially once again had a Bishop.

 Next week a look at the vows a Bishop makes at consecration.

Rev. Al Carson

 

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We Will Be Electing A New Bishop

Posted on Jul 05 , 2013 in Did You Know

The office of Bishop has existed since the first century. It is referred to in the New Testament on a number of occasions. Some of the earliest commentaries on scripture are from Bishops in the first century.

 How a Bishop is selected varies from place to place and time to time. Historically some have been chosen by the drawing of lots. Some have been appointed by Kings or Queens. In fact the Archbishop of Canterbury to this day is appointed by the Queen not elected. Some Bishops have been sent out as missionary Bishops to new areas to establish the church in that area. In the Anglican Communion Bishops do not hold office for a fixed length of time but remain in office until they choose to retire or step down.

 Bishop Michael has chosen to retire on August 31, 2013. In the Anglican Church of Canada Bishops are now elected. Historically we were a missionary church so Bishops were sent to us from England. The process for the election will not start until September 1, 2013.The reason for this is the office is not vacant until that date and the process for election does not start until the office is vacant. The last time we had an election in this diocese was in 1994. At that time the process included having the candidates submit a CV using a pre-determined format as well as creating a video presentation where they answered a specific set of questions. In all probability a similar format will be used again this time.

 There is a committee that is currently working on the format for election and will be determining how best to communicate information regarding each candidate. The election for Bishop is to be unlike other elections in that it is not to be a process of political lobbying but a process of discernment directed by the Holy Spirit as the person who is raised up to the position is viewed to be called to the position not promoted to the position.

 Next week a closer look at the process of election.

 Rev. Al Carson

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April 07 – 14

Posted on Apr 05 , 2013 in Blog

Sunday – (07th)

8:00 a.m. HOLY COMMUNION – BCP

10:00 a.m. CONTEMPORARY SERVICE – BAS

 11:30 a.m. GROUP REUNION – Church balcony

 

Monday – (08th)

12:00 noon MONTHLY LUNCHEON – Pioneer Hall. All WELCOME!! Cost $4.00/person

7:00 p.m. YOUTH CHOIR PRACTICE – Sanctuary

8:00 p.m. PRAISE BAND PRACTICE – Santuary

 

Wednesday – (10th)

7:00 p.m. AMPED (YOUTH GROUP) – Both Halls

7:00 p.m. ADULT CHOIR PRACTICE – Sanctuary

 

 

Thursday – (11th)

10:00 a.m. EUCHARIST

 

Friday – (12th)

9:45 a.m. FRIDAY FELLOWSHIP – Family Room

 

Sunday – (14th)  

8:00 a.m. HOLY COMMUNION – BCP

10:00 a.m. CONTMEPORARY SERVICE – BAS

 

 

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Jesus knows your needs…Do you?

Posted on Feb 14 , 2012 in Blog

Mark 1:29-39

 ** As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them. That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.

  Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!” Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.**

 

 This passage seems to be primarily about healing. We are being asked this season to reflect on who Jesus is and why Jesus came. Certainly to restore the world to health and wholeness is part of that understanding. I think though this passage reveals to us a much bigger picture if we look at as a whole.

 Here we have a snapshot of life itself. We have a family caring for their extended family. We have people who are sick making everyday life and the pleasure thereof – eating together, sharing together, difficult. We have a larger community with many other sick people and people who we would say today were struggling with all kinds of emotional and mental struggles that made their relationships strained and in some cases impossible. Jesus comes into the middle of this everyday life full of needs wants and desires and begins to fulfill them. Healing people and restoring the relationships. There is no doubt that there was a need for change. But did deep change actually occur or did people just feel better. The message here is not to come to Jesus and feel better. It is listen to Jesus, follow Jesus and be changed.

 What is this change? It is more than being inspired. We do not need to be inspired. Most of the spiritual hunger and seeking in the world today is seeking inspiration – or seeking to feel better. There is a greater challenge presented here then simply our need to feel better.

 We live self pleasing lives. That is why they were flocking to Jesus and looking for him – to get their needs met. Why? To please themselves. This causes everything to breakdown.

 It has been said that the one principle of hell is I am my own. There are basically two ways to live. My life for yours or I am my own – my life for me.  Jesus brings them life through the healing and immediately pushes them to lay it down, to give it up, for people they do not even know and go with him to proclaim the message.  To please oneself is the driving force of the world. It is not the driving force of God. Loose your life and you will find it save your life and you will loose it says Jesus. This is the very heart of creation. The very heart of the Trinity. My life for yours. It is what Jesus did. He gave up his life and his glory for you. It is at the very heart and principle of life itself. We are all here through our mothers life. Someone who nurtured and cared for you no matter how imperfectly. They gave up their convenience, their money, in a very real sense their life for you.

 You may have experienced Jesus coming to you in your life. Perhaps bringing healing wholeness, well being, blessing. That is a gift, a wonderful thing. But have you heard him say come follow me, lay down your life. Cease focussing on yourself, let go of the hell that has a grip on you trying to convince you your life is your own and enter the kingdom of heaven where it is my life for you. Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

 Blessings Al