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Letter from Liz: May 4, 2021

Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Cor 16:13-14

This Sunday we are finishing out our series on 1 Corinthians (and it’s also a rogation Sunday - another day filled with opportunities to wonder at creation!). It’s been quite a journey from chapter 1 way back in January, through those dark winter zoom days, now into the delights of Spring under the canopies. I wonder what you’ve learned? Loved or hated? Or been challenged by as we’ve navigated Paul’s arguments - working with him as he chipped away at the ways that division was creeping into the church in Corinth. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the chance to re-read Paul - delighting in digging into the ways that he both describes and challenges culture: always circling back to the reminders that we must make our life choices from a position of love. (And - if you are still a little dubious about Paul because of the ways you may have heard him interpreted in the past, you may want to try Richard Hays’ commentary, or Cynthia Westfall’s book; I am so grateful for thoughtful scholars who are determined to help us understand more clearly.)

As we wrap up 1 Cor 16, we will also be wrapping up the (unusually long - in a good way!) small group season we’ve been in - it’s been deep and rich, and so fun to reflect together chewing over the Scriptures in community. Thank you for the ways you have engaged and pondered - asking and answering hard questions with thoughtful care. Thank you to all the small group leaders who have prepared and led and prayed with diligence.

“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”1 Cor 11:1

There are three special Sundays coming up: the Sunday after Ascension, Pentecost and Trinity Sunday, followed by ordinary time; and on June 6 we are going to start a new sermon series called “Imitate me”. Over the course of 9 weeks we will have the opportunity to think about those people who have influenced the ways we have grown to look more like Jesus. Each homilist (preacher) has been encouraged to think of someone who has helped them mature to be a little more like Christ - these role models can be living or dead, a Biblical character or a ‘saint’, their grandma or their 1st grade teacher: anyone who has helped them grow in their journey to holiness…. And then each Wednesday from June 9 we will gather in person @7.30pm for an open discussion "Canopy Chat" - thinking about the attributes from Sunday and how each of us can learn to imitate Christ. (You may also want to find a copy of The imitation of Christ and read that too - such an excellent book!). Block out your Wednesday evenings in June & July and plan to join us!

Anything else?

  • Come hiking and birding this Saturday in Sky Meadows

  • Think about whether you’d like to help Kaitlin with hospitality

  • There are many ways to get involved at Incarnation - as we are increasingly moving back to in-person life feel free to reach out to me if you’d like to discuss where or how you might thrive and flourish!

  • And, if by any chance you are curious about whether God is calling you to a more formalised ministry role? Let me know! Let’s talk about discerning….

  • AND do you have a testimony of where you have seen the Holy Spirit at work in your own life or situation? Please lmk!

And a little word-y postscript

This morning someone asked me what a postulant is. It reminded me that as Anglicans there are a whole bunch of words we use casually that perhaps don't crop up that often for people not in the church! So here’s another rookie Anglican link for all your fav. ordination-linked words.

And this is how it looks at Incarnation:

Aspirants are those who are discerning whether God is calling them into an ordained role in the church (are you one of these? Do you want us to help you consider if God is calling you to a specific ministry role? We’d love to help!)

Postulants are people whom the Bishop has agreed should prepare for ordination either as a deacon or a priest (at Incarnation we currently have three postulants: Amy, Quauhtli and David)

Deacons can be vocational (this is the role Quauhtli is preparing for) or transitional (Katie is currently a transitional deacon; Amy and David will both be transitional deacons when they are ordained).

Priests can celebrate communion and do baptisms and the absolution (ABC) (Katie, Amy, David will one day all be priests).

Catechists are the people who lead the prayers of the people (all of you can fill this role…)

Homilist = preacher (some of you enjoy this!)

If you hear other words you’re not used to - give me a shout! BUT meanwhile - always remember that at Incarnation three of our favorite words are worship, wonder and welcome!

~ Liz


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