Bishop Spence’s Pentecost Challenge

St. George’s will be ready to take up the challenge! The Choir is preparing special music for the 9:30 service and other groups in the church are beginning to think about how they too may prepare.

Below is the letter the Bishop has sent out to all parishes challenging us be evangelists. Here is a copy of that letter.

To the People of the Diocese of Niagara

My dear friends:

In the April edition of the Niagara Anglican, I offered a challenge to all parishes of our diocese. This was a gentle challenge for all of us to become an evangelizing community and to invite our friends, neighbours and family members to church to celebrate on Pentecost Sunday, May 15th. This is the day we commemorate the birth of our Church so what better time would there be to invite people to come and share in one of our grand celebrations.

We have faced, and will continue to face, many challenges in the coming months. This Pentecost we can remind ourselves of who we are and what we are called to be. We are a Resurrection people grounded in the hope and faith that in Christ Jesus all things are being made new. We, as individuals, as a diocese and as an Anglican Church are being made new in our Resurrected Lord and we should be proud to invite people to share in this hope.

I know the time is short before Pentecost, however, I urge you to consider embracing this challenge in whatever way you can. Be ready to ‘welcome the stranger’. Work hard at your worship celebration, pay attention to your hospitality ministry, offer ‘welcoming’ homilies, invite people to social time and, as I wrote, let’s show them the best of Anglicanism.

There have been a number of resources produced that will assist you in this endeavour; invitations that may be used in your neighbourhood, homily ideas, bulletin announcements, hospitality ideas, liturgical suggestions etc., so I encourage you to make use of them. If there is anything more that you may need, please contact the evangelism office (905/527-1316, xt. 257).

I hope we all take this evangelism opportunity to heart – it is at the centre of our Christian faith to spread the Good News of Christ Jesus to the ends of the earth. Again I say, what a glorious Spring, what a glorious Easter, what a glorious Pentecost it will be!

Bishop of Niagara
April 2005