Posts filed under ‘church’
Pastor Peter Kuhnert and worship assistant at seminary, Black History Month celebration, February 2013
On Sunday, June 9th, Maranatha Lutheran congregation, with Pastor Peter Kuhnert, will join St. Philip congregation for a joint service. In recognition of the two congregations sharing the space on 236 Woodhaven Road in Kitchener, we will celebrate this first Sunday together.
We expect to share in various celebrations throughout the year, their congregation in some of our activities and we in celebrations that they organize, such as the Black History celebration that Pastor Rick Pryce, minister of St. Philip, and members of St. Philip council and others joined in February (as shown in link below).
From that point on, the St. Philip building will house both ministries. St. Philip worship service and Sunday school beginning at 9:30 am and Maranatha beginning their worship at 11:00 am. Each congregation will maintain its own identity, and we are excited for this new partnership.
photo, C. Wilker
photos of Black History month by Sylma Fletcher, used by permission.
Last evening at our sister church, Reformation Lutheran, in Kitchener, we heard again the reading from the book of Matthew in Scriptures when Peter first objects to Jesus’ news about his upcoming trials, only to be followed by Peter’s denials. Well, not only Peter’s denials, but that of the other disciples too.
It’s just that faithful Peter, at Jesus’ side, wanted to spare his friend the trouble he was about to go through. Peter wanted to be there, or at least he thought he did, until he and the other disciples came face-to-face with the trouble—the Roman army and the chief priests, not to mention all the people who spoke against Jesus at the mock trial.
Faithful Peter was like us, because he was human. In his fear at the arrest of Jesus and the trial afterwards, his courage failed him. He denied three times: being a Galilean, being with Jesus and in the company of men who followed Jesus. And when the rooster crowed after that third denial, Peter realized what he had done and went out and cried bitterly.
We shouldn’t be too hard on Peter. He represented a whole lot of us who forget Jesus when it’s easier to do so. People like you and me.
The pastor who gave the sermon, in our joint worship of three congregations, spoke of times when it’s just easier to tuck our Christianity into our pockets, sight unseen, to avoid the sneers of those who would mock us. To stand alone in a group and say, “That’s not right!” It’s just hard to do in the company of friends and coworkers, unless we only keep company with those who think and believe like we do. It’s probably not going to happen.
Sometimes actions catch us by surprise, like swearing in God’s name and we’re speechless. I remember a particular time that I determined that the next time someone did that, I would say, “Please don’t do that,” which I followed up on, and it wasn’t long after that I had occasion to put my resolve to the test.
I was chatting with a woman of Asian descent when the surprising words came out. I wondered if she said it because others used those words and she didn’t understand that the words she was using might have significance to others, but still it didn’t feel right. I pulled out my courage and said, “Please don’t swear in that name.” I told her that I worship Jesus and it’s not appropriate to swear in his name. She was surprised and stopped. There was no harassment, but also no comment, and while I’d missed other opportunities, I also felt better for standing up to the situation and doing so in a respectful way.
Peter is just like us after all, sad but true, yet we have the consolation that no matter how many times we deny or forget or neglect, we are forgiven when we ask for it. Jesus bore our sins in that horrid death on the Roman cross and we can be forever grateful for his sacrifice on our behalf. This Good Friday we reflect on that sacrifice and try again to do better.
Imagine worship with a steel marimba band, organ and guitar. Imagine families gathering at a chapel at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary on the campus of Wilfrid Laurier University for worship and celebration. That, my friends, was the celebration of Black History Month on February 24 2013 with our sister congregation, Maranatha Lutheran Church of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC).
Many other members of the Carribbean community had also come that day to celebrate the annual event with Maranatha. I was there, along with other council members and spouses from St. Philip Lutheran Church, having been invited by the Maranatha council. The Keffer Chapel was full.
Greeters welcomed us into the sanctuary, where the Starlite Band was already playing and people greeting each other. M. Guerra-Francis led in some welcome songs: It’s Me, O Lord; Go Down Moses; and He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands. Our voices were truly warmed up by the time we had sung all three hymns.
Rev. Peter Kuhnert, pastor of Maranatha, opened the service with words of welcome and dialogue on the theme of Faith, Education and Community.
Communion being prepared by Rev Peter Kuhnert and worship assistant
Communion: “All are welcome”
After the service, we went upstairs in the seminary building to a classroom where tables were set up for a meal. Mrs. Bell and Ms. Elaine had catered a full course Caribbean meal that members of Maranatha church served in a buffet line in another classroom. The food was delicious and the conversation around our table was enjoyable.
The afternoon program included music and entertainment, speakers, and greetings from our Member of Provincial Parliament, Peter Braid.
Entertainment by the Cameron Heights Chamber Choir under the leadership of Alan Xaykongsa. Delightful and lively African music that had us clapping or singing along
More Caribbean music, by a member of the Starlite band on guitar, accompanied by Chloe Callender.
Leaders in the Caribbean community of Kitchener-Waterloo spoke on the theme of Faith, Education and Community. Speakers were Marcia Smellie, Edwin Laryea, and Sylma Fletcher.
Pastor Peter Kuhnert gave closing greetings.
I cannot speak for anyone else, but I went home filled with the sights and sounds of that event, remembering new faces and the names connected to them, as well as conversations with others I already knew, … and oh, that African music too.
For more photos of the Black History Month celebration go to LINK Newsmagazine and select the first album.
Photos on this post by the gracious permission of Sylma Fletcher.
A Baby is Born in Bethlehem.
On Christmas Day, Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Saviour.
While you’re there, you might look around and read posts by other fellow writers such as Glynis Belec, Kathleen Gibson, Marcia Laycock and others.
Continuing on from last post, after our stop in Port Perry for lunch and looking around, we headed on our way home, but then decided to take a slight detour so that my husband could see the Temple of Sharon, in East Gwillimbury.
My friend, Lorraine, and I had a tour of the place in July, and though I didn’t post pictues then, I was curious to see the building surrounded by the trees in autumn.
Sign by the gate, telling us about the origins of the building
The Sharon Temple, associated with the Children of Peace, and founded by David Willson, a US citizen. The temple was built in 1825 after acquiring enough land. The group was a breakaway from the Society of Friends or Quakers, as they are also known.
Was Willson a bit of a rebel with ideas of his own?
The group flourished until after his death and then went into rapid decline.
See the golden ball suspended between the four directional spires at the very top?
Jacob’s Ladder, just inside door to temple and going up to higher storey
My friend, Lorraine, by the ark (from our summer visit) that has a very large Bible inside
Posing for the camera and perhaps wishing to really play this very old organ
There shall be no falling asleep during sermon or concert in these chairs
A familiar name engraved on the chair
Other outbuildings where the members of this organization lived and worked. The temple was, surprisingly, not used for their worship though it is used for concerts and rented out for weddings now.
Read more about the organization here.
The temple surrounded by the colours of autumn.
It’s that gardening time of year when the markets are filled with fresh fruits and vegetables from people’s gardens and orchards. I love to go to market at this time of year and also pick produce from my own garden.
Today I posted over at Canadian Writers Who Are Christian about this very topic. Go and read my post there and also the posts of other Canadian writers. My title today is All Things Bright and Beautful.
Fruits of my garden
With this mild weather I wonder if spring is here to stay. Will there be more snow?
Birds chirp, including the returning robins. Trees break into bloom and the daffodil stems rise from the earth. Today I counted at least 8 narcissus blooms open in my flowerbed. What else will spring from the garden unannounced in the next few days?
At the end of a winter that was not so harsh, and even if it were, I am ready for spring. For things to grow. A yard coming back to life, perennials coming up and showing their early stages of growth.
This life arising from the ground, springing from nature, reminds me of Easter that approaches. We’ve been in the binding days of Lent, the remorse of confession, and the walk toward Easter and the death of Jesus. God’s supreme act of grace— for us.
It’s almost as though spring is a step ahead of Easter this year. Even if we get more snow, it’s not likely to last long. The promise of growing plants and blossoms on trees often arrives with Easter, bringing two life-giving times at once.
Only a few weeks away. We can get through this Lent, remembering, acting, and maybe even sacrificing something. Thus far, I have managed to keep my fast of books and magazines, though I have been tempted. Nothing at all like Christ’s temptation to be free of the cross. Not even close. It’s so hard to take in sometimes. So hard that so many find it foolishness, but we know better, or strive to know.
We may cry, wishing to be free of certain hardships, some looking for jobs to feed their families; women in crisis, escaping abuse, and taking their children to a place of safety. Things we can help with. Is this a place we can come to recognize the sorrow, to offer some relief like a glass of water for someone who is thirsty, or a bag of groceries for someone down on their luck?
It could be me, Lord—hungry or thirsty. You’ve blessed me so that I can go and offer that food and drink, in as far as I am able.
Help us through Lent, Lord, and bring us to Easter and resurrection.
Only a couple of weeks ago, Lent began. The Wednesday of ashes being sprinkled on my head. On the heads of others who would have them.There was a time when I didn’t think I wanted the ashes, didn’t want another reminder that our days are counted by someone else. And no reminder of pain and suffering. Maybe it was that I had all I could bear at that time and couldn’t conceive of adding any more.
It’s not that we’re so far removed from our human frailty, the need to turn our troubles over to God, to pray without ceasing, or to be reminded that someone else has the world in his hands. That someone loves us so much that he’s willing to give up his son for us. That’s a hard thing to understand for anyone, let alone parents who love their children.
Do we ever really understand the meaning of Lent? Oh, we try. We go through the motions easily enough. Go to church on Sunday, Wednesdays in Lent. Watch the calendar and count down the days until Lent is over. And we know that without Lent, there can be no Easter. Sometimes it’s more in the head than the heart.
I hear others talk about fasting, or giving up something for Lent. Even in our own church body, the bigger church. An article in Canada Lutheran about fasting. What should I give up? What would cost me some pain to do without? A luxury? What is a luxury for me? We have to eat. We have to nourish our bodies somehow. My craving, sweet tooth, give up something for Lent? I struggled with “the what” for more than a week.
Maybe that is what the gnawing struggle of a Lent fast is all about — the growing pains of grace.
That’s what Ann Voskamp wrote in her blog today. She’s struggling too. I think she had already named her fast while I was still thinking about it.
I was in the grocery store when it came to me. While I wait, I sometimes pick up a magazine to read, though not as often as I’d like to. I love to read, whether it’s magazines or books; it’s like a hunger sometimes, about as intense as … shall I name it? Chocolate.
One young man at church yesterday said he was giving up beer for Lent. Perhaps for him, having a beer with his friends will be a sacrifice. It wouldn’t be a hardship for me since I don’t drink beer.
I decided to give up buying magazines and books for myself during Lent. Goodness knows I have enough of them at home waiting to be read. I could purchase one as a gift for another person, for a baby gift I plan to buy, just not for me, at least not until after Easter. That’s going to be tough when I’m at the bookstore, signing, on the weekend, not to bring home a new book for myself. It will be hard to resist the temptation. Maybe I’ll regret the choice. But here, it’s out in the open.
One other suggested expression was to help someone else who needs support, to purchase items for the food bank or things the Working Centre can use to help their patrons. That’s an offering of ourselves, going out and shopping for some items they can use.
I suppose a fast will be different from one individual to another. This sacrifice will be mine for this Lent. Will it be hard? You bet!
Just a small reminder though, that it cannot compare with what Christ gave up for us.