by Julien Hammond on November 19th, 2013

Your Worship and members of Edmonton City Council:

My being invited here today gives me the opportunity, in the name of the many member churches that form the Edmonton & District Council of Churches, to congratulate you on your recent election victories.
Our Council has enjoyed a long history of collaboration with the City of Edmonton, most notably through the Office of the City Chaplain and the many activities promoting religious identity and diversity in our city.
We thank you for continuing this tradition and pledge you the support of our members, and of course the cross-section of the Christian population of Edmonton that we represent.
Please join me now in a moment of prayer…
Lord our God,
Look with love on the people of this community and keep them safe.
(In a particular way we join our hearts and minds to the Filipino population of Edmonton, touched in many and various ways by the tragedy affecting so many people and places in the homeland.)
Guide the members of this council, and help them to work together for the good of all.
Bless their plans and deliberations, and bring them to success.
For blessed are you, Lord our God, forever and ever.

by Unknown on June 14th, 2013

There are so many things I’d like to tell you face to face;
I neither lace the words nor fail to find the time and place.
But in this special letter, Dad, You’ll find, at least in part,
The feelings that the passing years have left within my heart.
The memories of childhood days and all that you have done,
To make our home a happy place and growing up such fun!
I still recall the walks we took, the games we often played;
Those confidential chats we had while resting in the shade.
This letter comes to thank you, and, for needed words of praise;
The counsel and the guidance, too, that shaped my grown-up days.
No words of mine can tell you, Dad, the things I really feel;
But you must know my love for you is lasting, warm and real.
You made my world a better place, and through the coming years;
I’ll keep these memories of you as cherished souvenirs…”
Author unknown

Posted on April 2nd, 2013

We think: “It’s impossible” but God says: All things are possible (Luke 18:27)
We think: “I’m too tired” but God says: I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30)
We think: “Nobody really loves me” but God says: I love you (John 3:16 and John 13:34)
We think: “I can not go on” but God says: My grace is sufficient for you (2 Corinthians, 12:9 and Psalm 91:15)
We think: “I can’t do it” but God says: You can do all things through me (Philippians 4:13)
We think: “I can’t figure things out” but God says: I will direct your steps (Proverbs 3:5, 6)
We think: “I’m not able” but God says: I am able (2 Corinthians 9:8)
We think: “I can’t forgive myself” but God says: I forgive you (1 John 1:9 and Romans 8:1)
We think: “It’s not worth it” but God says: It will be worth it (Romans 8:28)
We think: “I can’t manage” but God says: I will supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19)
We think: “I’m afraid” but God says: I have not given you the spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7)
We think: “I’m always worried and frustrated” but God says: Cast all your cares on me (1 Peter 5:7)
We think: “I don’t have enough faith” but God says: I’ve given everyone a measure of faith (Romans 12:3)
We think: “I’m not smart enough” but God says I give you wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30)
We think: “I feel alone” but God says I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 123:4, 5)

Author Unknown

I pray that you will experience the joy of the Resurrection this Easter!
Loving, serving and engaging others for Christ,
Geri Redekop, Lead Pastor
Braemar Baptist Church, Edmonton

So says Sir John Polkinghorne, Church of England priest and Quantum Physicist, in his book Searching for Truth: Lenten Meditations on Science and Faith, a book which I read each Lent in a practice of adding a Lenten discipline. What Polkinghorne means by that statement is that Lent, either old calendar or new calendar, with its sombre colours, challenging Scripture readings and painfully reflective music is a time for remembering that death is very real. Many of our traditions begin Lent with the mark of ashes, remembering that we are dust and to dust we shall return. Since we are the people of the God of History, however, we also move through Lent knowing that the Resurrection has happened once and for all and that that is our reality too. Death does not have the last word. Life has first, last and eternal word.

And because Life has the first, last and eternal words, Lent is a time when many Christians try to face a little more reality by holding special study sessions on the issues that challenge us and our world - climate change, human trafficking and the poor fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals whose completion would bring so much life to so many of the vulnerable ones of our world.

Lent is a time for facing the reality that there is much extreme poverty in our world, that malaria has not yet been eradicated even though we have the technology to do so, that Aids/HIV is still rampant and women in so many parts of the world do not have the maternal care they need.

Source: Together! March 2013 - enews from the Canadian Council of Churches

by Pastor Geri on February 21st, 2013

I received an email from this person and she shared with me a Lenten Prayer which I had used in one of my sermons during Lent last year.  I don’t know whether you practice giving up something for Lent.  It is my prayer that as you consider the Lenten Season this prayer might help you in your preparation. 

Adaptation on Henri Nouwen’s Lenten Prayer:
            “I will fast from despair; I will feed on hope,
            I will fast from depressing news, I will feed on prayer.
            I will fast from discontent; I will feast on gratitude.
            I will fast from anger and worry; I will feed on patience.
            I will fast from negative thinking; I will feast on positive thinking.
            I will fast from bitterness; I will feed on love and forgiveness.
            I will fast from words that wound; I will feast on words that heal.
            I will fast from sadness; I will feast on joy and humour.”
I hope you will be challenged by this incredible Prayer.
Loving, serving and engaging others for Christ,
Pastor Geri Redekop, Braemar Baptist Church

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