The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) have developed joint material entitled Together in Christ — Lutherans and Catholics Commemorating the Reformation, to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. The process of developing these resources has been an occasion of dialogue and of a deepening of relations between our two communions in Canada. Over the course of two years, a joint CCCB-ELCIC working group has been diligently planning on how to encourage our faithful to prayerfully reflect on the past 500 years; to offer thanksgiving to God for the progress made in our efforts toward reconciliation; and to pray for pardon and peace wherever our words or actions have fallen short of what Christ demands of us as Christians. Together, we are seeking to be people of reconciliation striving toward Christian unity.
One part of this material is a five-part parish study which is to be used in individual segments or as a five-session series by local Lutheran, Catholic, joint or ecumenical study groups. The study covers the 500-year arc of history from the 16th Century Reformation until now. The resource is designed to bring Catholic and Lutheran parishes together to facilitate conversation, study and prayer. The resource touches on some of the events and theological questions surrounding the Reformation and the advancements in reconciliation which have occurred over the past 50 years.
We at Messiah Lutheran Church invite you to join us for this study in the month of May and June. The first session starts on May 17 and then every Wednesday until June 14 at 7pm to 8:30pm. This invitation is extended to all Christian communities and churches in our area, but especially Lutheran and Roman Catholic communities. We are confident that this study and the conversation it creates can strengthen and deepen the relationship between different Christian traditions. By the end of our studies, June 10 at 3pm, we will gather together for an Ecumenical Prayer service that takes place here in Prince Albert at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
Come join us. Hear the story from both sides, participate in the conversation and take a step toward a reconciliation. All are welcome.
Check out the study resources beforehand. Here’s a link to the material: http://www.cccb.ca/site/eng/commissions-committees-and-aboriginal-council/national-commissions/christian-unity-religious-relations-with-the-jews-and-interfaith-dialogue/documents/4634-together-in-christ-lutherans-and-catholics-commemorating-the-reformation
On Thursday May 4 at 7:30pm, Messiah Lutheran Church will host a Just In Case seminar. Presented by Harold Empey, retired Federated Co-op Executive, this seminar acts as a guide through finding and collecting the information that your executor and loved ones might need Just in Case. “Just in Case” takes planning to a new level of detail, offering suggestions on personal information such as computer passwords, dealing with treasured possessions and obituaries. The information presented in this seminar is meant as a guide only for preparing your estate or funeral plans. Death can occur any time and in some cases, is very un-expected. Going through this process might be difficult at times but it will bring peace of mind making it well worth the effort. This session has also proved very helpful in times of sudden illness or hospitalization when another party must deal unexpectedly with your everyday matters, such as paying bills. There are 12 different sections in this Seminar dealing with the variety of issues that must be handled. There is a binder available at the seminar for participants to use as a guide as they do their own planning. The seminar is free of charge to anyone interested in attending.
Our annual Garage Sale takes place on Thursday and Friday, April 20 and 21 from 10am to 8pm (7pm on Friday). All are welcome.
During the Garage Sale, our youth will run a canteen in the hall, fundraising for their CLAY youth gathering next year. People coming to the garage sale can sit down and have coffee and dainties after or before they browse through the sale.
During the Holy Week, you are invited to participate in Labyrinth prayer journey at Messiah. We have borrowed a Labyrinth path from Calvary United Church and we will set it up in the Peace Chapel for three days in the Holy Week, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The church will be open from 7pm to 8:30pm on Tuesday and Wednesday, and on Maundy Thursday the Labyrinth will be accessible before and after our Maundy Thursday service that starts at 7pm. You can also access the labyrinth Tuesday to Thursday during office hours, 9am to 4pm.
So what is a labyrinth? A labyrinth is simply a place to walk and pray. There is nothing mystical about it. It gives you the freedom to walk around while focusing your mind on God – and not worry about getting lost.
A labyrinth contains a single walking path to the center and then back out again. It has many turns but, unlike mazes, does not have dead ends. Labyrinths come in a variety of forms: you may walk through them inside on a canvas mat or outside on grass, tile, or a stone-laid path. There are also finger labyrinths and even an online labyrinth. Labyrinths have a long history, both inside and outside the church, and can be found all around the world.
In Christian usage, the purpose of the labyrinth is personal and spiritual transformation. One way to pray a labyrinth is to worship and praise God as you walk to the center, then intercede for people and concerns as you walk back to the outside. Today there are churches from many different denominations that encourage people to use labyrinths as part of their devotional practices.
We invite you to walk the labyrinth and pray. Information about using the labyrinth and a variety of written prayers will be available for your use. Everyone, from all denominations, is welcome.
Our 40 days of journeying through Lent will come to an end in the Holy Week, where we remember and celebrate the most holy and important events in Christianity; the passion and resurrection of Christ. Services and events during the Holy Week and at Easter are as follows:
Palm Sunday, April 9th: Worship Service 10:30am. The service starts with a procession, with children and youth carrying and waving palm branches to welcome Jesus into our heart and lives with songs and praises.
Labyrinth Prayer Journey: On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the Labrynth Prayer path will be open in the Peace Chapel (see further information in this newsletter). The Labyrinth is open during office hours, 9am to 4pm, also on Tuesday and Wednesday from 7pm to 8:30pm, and Thursday before and after our Maundy Thursday service.
Maundy Thursday, April 13th: Worship Service with Holy Communion at 7pm. We will recall the events that happened the last night Jesus spent with his disciples, dining with them and washing their feet. The service ends with the participants stripping the altar.
Good Friday, April 14th: Worship Service 10:30am. A huge cross will be situated by the altar, reminding us of Jesus’ suffering and death. At the end of the service the last words of Jesus on the cross will be read and participants will leave the church in silence.
Easter Sunday, April 16th: Sunrise Service at 8am. The events of the Holy Week are recalled that led to Jesus’ resurrection on Easter morning. After the service, the Men’s breakfast group will prepare and serve breakfast between 8:45am to 9:45am. Easter Celebration Service with Baptism and Holy Communion starts at 10:30am.