In our Gospel today, Jesus calls the disciples. He impresses them with his authority and power. After of night of unsuccessful fishing he instructs them where to let down their nets, and they make and abundant catch. He then invites them to leave their fishing nets and follow him by saying, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” They are regular people doing they things regular people do living and working, and yet when following the instructions of Christ, they are able to wonderful and amazing things. Following Christ they become the foundation of the early church who so powerfully proclaimed the Gospel.
Today, in my vestry sermon, I want to take the opportunity to celebrate the good work that we do together as a church community to grow in our faith and to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.
This is good work that we do both individually and as a community together. I am grateful to Rick Gorski for his calculation of the numbers of hours of Christian service that our church community contributes towards proclaiming the Good News in our church and wider community. Together we contributed over 8,000 hours doing the Good Works in Christ’s Name. We do great things working together as the body of Christ!
One of the primary activities of a church is to connect and point people to God through worship. Worshiping God brings us together as community to express our faith through prayer and praise.
It equips us to be followers of Jesus Christ in our hearts and in our actions. It strengthen us individually and as a community by nourishing our faith and inspiring us to follow Christ more and more closely. St. George’s provides us with many opportunities to worship and in a variety of ways. Sunday’s at St. George’s offer traditional services from the Book of Common Prayer, the Book of Alternative Services, and contemporary expressions of worship.
We offer regular midweek services, our monthly Messy Church, and our seniors home services provide alternative worship times and expressions to fit as many peoples schedules and needs as possible.
Being together as a christians build us up and makes us a stronger community. Being together face to face is a precious commodity in our fast paced digital world.
Being together we are able to know each other better, and support and encourage each other.
Yes, our bazaar is a great fundraiser for supporting our ministry, but it also is a great demonstration of how our friendly and capable our church community is.
St. George’s community build us up and strengthens us to do the work of proclaiming the Good News and love of Jesus Christ. We connect with each other with our faith to guide our relationship of Christian love. And together we show our wider community the strength of God at work.
I am pleased to have this opportunity to give thanks for the all the hours and talent that good folk here at St. George’s give to support the work and ministry of this church.
People give for generously of themselves to support the ministry of this church and to help us reach out into our wider community and make difference in the lives of others.
Community events, The Walk for ALS, the Georgetown Bread Basket, Community Unity, and Fresh Food Box are some of the ways that St. George’s people work together to make a difference and support our community.
2018 also was a year with some important transitions. Most important was the retirement of the Rev’d Nancy Rowe from half time ministry here at St. George’s.
In May we had a great party to celebrate Nancy’s ministry among us and after finishing leading another successful summer kid’s camp, Nancy transitioned into a place as honorary Assistant and as our Messy Church coordinator. We are very blessed that Nancy will continue to offer her leadership and call St. George’s her home.
September 2018 saw the end of our close relationship with the Open Door Youth Centre. A relationship that had stretched over 30 years, St. George’s help support youth in our community. The Youth centre moved down the street to the Gary Allen High School building so that the program could be enhanced by other community youth support programs. We should be proud of all the good work that Open Door was able to do over all those years supporting and providing a safe place for the youth of our community.
In September, I hosted a couple of special Sunday meeting at our 11:15 contemporary service which sought to renewed that service. A new pattern to worship was adopted and a renewed commitment for supporting the service was offered by those who attend. The 11:15 has been meeting on the 1st and 3rd Sunday’s of the month since October and the awesome folks of that service have been supporting the changes and providing the volunteer support we needed to keep being a family friendly, upbeat and accessible form of worship.
2018 also presented us with other new opportunities. It was at our last vestry that I presented an idea Rick Gorski and I had begun think about, to erect a life sized Nativity scene on our front lawn during the Christmas season.
With the encouraging response of the congregation from vestry and parish council, a plan was devised and with some generous donors and many helping hands, our Nativity scene became a reality. Robbin Wenzoski, a talented Ontario Wood sculptor, designed and carved our Holy Family and Rick and merry band of helpers ensured that they would be displayed prominently on our front lawn.
The response from the congregation and wider community has been so amazing that I am confident that we have been very successful in helping communicate the Good News of Jesus Christ by displaying for all to enjoy the true reason for celebrating Christmas!
I want to thank you, the parish family for your support of St. George’s. On behalf of myself and the whole parish I would like to thank the warden’s Ian, Paul, Mark, and Jan, for their leadership. I would also express all our gratitude for the hard work of Brenda our treasurer, and Janet our envelope secretary. And also offer our thanks to Nancy for her continued presence and her leadership at Messy Church and to Sue Graham for her skilled administrative and communication support. It continues to be a blessing for me to serve God as your parish priest in this community.