In the coming days, Christians rehearse the amazing stories of Holy Week. Over and over again we tell, and listen to, the arc of this story: the festival atmosphere of a welcoming parade quickly moves to the camaraderie of a final meal with close friends then changes again with an unrelenting litany of human betrayal, of miscarriage of justice, of physical brutality, of despair, and finally of death; and when the reality of death has settled in and all is dark and hopeless . . . then we encounter the exciting, and sometimes terrifying, prospect of new life.
In this story of palms, towels, bread and wine, roosters, whips, crosses and graves we are called to wrestle with the concept of God dying as a way of healing life. Jurgen Moltmann, in the book, The Crucified God, states “In the passion of the Son, the Father himself suffers the pains of abandonment. In the death of the Son, death comes upon God himself, and the Father suffers the death of his Son in his love for forsaken man.”
The dying – in all its aspects – is as important a part of this story as the new life. If we reduce the story to some level of discomfort or a sort of giving up a bit of control so that everything turns out all right in the end, then we have shortchanged ourselves.
The power of Holy Week is that out of DEATH comes LIFE. So let us not try to skip the death part so that we can quickly get to the part about spring flowers and bunnies and brightly coloured eggs. The life that is the resurrection is all the more glorious because it is not easily explained and comes from a darkness so deep it could swallow all hope … and yet even there is the creating God, bringing new life.
Let us celebrate the whole experience of Holy Week, not just palms and flowers.
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Holy Week …
Sunday, March 24th –
Passion (Palm) Sunday
8:15 a.m. Holy Eucharist & Group reading of the Gospel
10:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist & Choral Setting for Choir of the Gospel
by E. Badcock
Monday to Thursday – Morning Prayer
9:30 a.m. in chancel at St. James.
Wednesday, March 27th – “Stations of the Cross” at St. Leonard’s
7:00 p.m. Join our youth and members of St Leonard’s as we participate in a series of reflections on Jesus’s journey to death on the Cross.
Thursday, March 28th – Maundy Thursday 7:00 p.m. Maundy Thursday Service.
Commemoration of the Institution of the Lord’s Supper.
Friday, March 22nd – Good Friday
10:00 a.m. Walk of the Cross from St. James parking lot to
Manotick United Church
10:30 a.m. Ecumenical Service at Manotick United Church
with Manotick United & St. James’ choirs
Saturday, March 23rd – Holy Saturday
7:30 p.m. Easter Vigil Service
Sunday, March 31st – Easter Sunday
8:15 a.m. Holy Eucharist
10:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
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Associate Priest Appointed-
Bishop John Chapman has appointed the Reverend Andrea Thomas as Associate Priest, to work with Fr. Ross for the life and ministry of St. James’. As a parish we are delighted to learn of this news, and look forward to welcoming Andrea to our parish.
Honorary Assistants Named
Recently retired priests, the Reverend Bill Byers and the Reverend Canon Michael Fleming have been named as Honorary Assistants at St James, following a consultation with the Bishop’s Office this past week.
Both Bill and Michael have been helping out in a variety of ways over the past few months and we wish to officially acknowledge their positive involvement. We are grateful for their ministry among us.
They join the Reverend Canon Nigel Shaw who has been an Honorary Assistant at St James since 2010.
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Up and Coming…
Saturday, March 23rd – 8:00 a.m. Men’s Breakfast – All men of the parish are welcome to join us. Please contact Geoff Macmillan if you have any questions.
Sunday, March 24th –
11:30 a.m. The St. James’ Craft Group will be selling their decorated Easter eggs and other novelties following the 10 am service downstairs in Tomkin’s Hall. Please come down and see! (Please note – the Luncheon previously advertised for this date has been cancelled.)
(See above for Holy Week services and activities.)
Sunday, April 7th –
ACW Penny Auction – Bring two items to “re-gift” if you can. After a small lunch, our auctioneer & “Vanna” will be on hand to take your bids. All are welcome. Proceeds to go to charity.
Sunday, April 13th –
8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Kids & Drugs Workshop for parents or those working with children in grades 5 – 8.