Last Wednesday, our Women’s Fellowship gathered for The Broken Way Bible study. The group began by discussing what it means to live unafraid of broken things….a perfect discussion as begin the season of Lent. As the study continues, they will discuss what it means to live “cruciform,” how to serve others, and ultimately “how do we live with our one broken heart?” They meet each Wednesday at 7p in the Parish Hall until April 12th.
We had a great turn out for our annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner! We enjoyed delicious pancakes and sides along with wonderful conversation. You see more photos from the event here.
On Ash Wednesday, we began Lent a season penitence, prayer, fasting, and giving. During the service, Fr. Rob made the sign of the cross with ashes upon each person’s head saying, “remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The ashes remind us of our mortality and the cross reminds us of Christ’s redemption for us all. Find out more about our Journey to Easter here.
Today everyone received a “Journey to Easter” packet filled with information on how we will be traveling together through the season of Lent. Here’s a look at what is inside the packet and how each part will guide us to Easter.
- Lenten Outreach Information – we will be collecting items for Spoon River Pregnancy Center each Sunday during Holy Eucharist.
- Lent & Holy Week Schedule – this includes dates and time for each event during Lent and Holy Week.
- 40 Days of Prayer – each day during Lent we will be praying for specific areas of our community.
- Lenten Evening Devotional – this is a prayer guide for evening prayer for individuals and families.
For more information about Lent or Easter at St. Peter’s please contact the church office.
Last week our Lego Builders Club created their newest Lego Short! They retold the story of Jesus healing the paralyzed man from Mark 2:1-11. Everyone worked together to build the various parts of the short. To find out more about Lego Builders Club click here.
We had a blast this past Saturday with Lego Builders Club! We had new activity where we try out an experiment with Legos. This week our experiment was to build creations that float and to see how many Legos it would take to sink an aluminum foil raft. Both floating experiments surprised us all with how different creations floated. The builders’ reactions were priceless! This week we will be creating a Lego Short based on the story of Jesus healing the paralyzed man. Check back next week to watch the video or join us to create it on Saturday at 10a!
On Sunday, January 29th we gathered for our Annual Meeting & Potluck. It was a joyous time of counting our blessings from the past year and planning for the future. God has blessed St. Peter’s with a wide variety of opportunities to share His love with Canton. We are excited to see what God has in store in the coming year! Click here to find out how you can join what God is doing at St. Peter’s.
O God, speak peace to your people and shine the light of your love on the hearts of those who truly turn to you. Amen
Almost from the very beginning of time mankind has existed in a world of strife and fighting. Fear and hatred have ruled. Adam and Eve fell. Cain…kills his brother out of jealousy in the first few pages of human history. Mankind’s relationship with his maker is not immune from this strife. Adam and Eve hid from God; fearing God is now at odds with them, they hid from him-pushing him away.
The relationship marred, they no longer walked with God in the cool of the garden, but at the very beginning God planted seeds of hope and redemption. Genesis chapter 3 says the offspring of Eve will crush the head of the serpent. God wants mankind to be at peace; both with him and with each other, so… God became Immanuel.
He became God with us. God down in the dirt and mire. God in the fear and strife. As Johnny Cash would say, “God in the mud and the blood and the beer.” God did this not only to restore mankind to each other and himself, but also be with us in our pain and strife.
I remember one night after my mother was killed and I had returned home from the hospital, I went out and sat on the porch and cried. My dad came out, sat down beside me, put his arm around me and we cried together. Neither of us said anything… there were no words to be said… they had all been said. After a while, dad and I got up and gave each other a hug and we went back into the house. That was the thing…more than anything else… that help me to be able to go on with life after mom’s death…Dad with me. Uncomplicated. Just a relationship of love sharing pain together. That’s want God has done for us.
Listen again to today’s Gospel reading…
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).” Matthew 1:18-25
God with us. This is no small thing. God come down to us. God himself, not a messenger, took on flesh to be with us. To live with us in our suffering and pain. To join with himself our strife. To so consume our suffering and pain that it killed him!
He did this to bring us peace. Peace with each other. Peace with him. God with us brings us back to the relationship mankind had with him in the beginning…walking with him in the cool of the Garden. God has made peace, real peace, lasting peace. This is what the birth of the Emmanuel means…PEACE.
This is what we wait for this Advent. This is what we wait to see fully actualized and this is the message Christ has called us to share with all those around us: That God so loved the world that he became Emmanuel, to join in our pain and to bring peace to all mankind.
On Sunday, we gathered together for a meal after the service and greening the church. We enjoyed a wonderful afternoon of good food, fellowship, and decorating. As we finished preparing the church for Christmas, the joy that comes with the season filled the air. We invite you to join us this week as we continue our Journey to Christmas.
The season of Advent is time of reflection, anticipation, and giving to others. This year we gave of our time and resources through helping The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program and Red Kettle Campaign.
We collected several items for a local child to receive gifts for Christmas through the Angel Tree Program.
Our Lego Builders Club, Men’s Group, and others from St. Peter’s rang bells at different locations to help raise money for the Salvation Army.
Find out more about how you can join our Journey to Christmas here.
We had a wonderful visit with St. Nicholas on December 6th. We sang carols, heard stories of Christmas traditions, and each child received a treat to take home. We also collected several hats and gloves to donate to local resource centers. Thank you to everyone who joined us!