Rev. Alex Wilson

 

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15)  

Friends,            

As my ministry begins, I am constantly reminded of the importance of relationships, between us as individuals, and our deeper desire for a relationship with Jesus. Relationships lay at the foundations of how we interact with the world. From our earliest moments of life to the moment we take our last breath, we travel with people and our memories of what it means to love with, and be formed by, individuals we meet along the way. The paramount relationship we search for as Christians is with Jesus, which is counter cultural in a society that tells us we can do everything we want if we work for it alone.            

Jesus’ words in John 15:15, which open our letter, occur at the end of a wider dialogue placed at the completion of the Last Supper. Jesus is so aware of the depth of relationship that he shares with his disciples in this moment, and how that relationship points beyond him to God the Father. In the midst of the impending chaos, tension, and pain, Jesus tells us we are his friends and not his servants. What does Jesus mean when he tells us we are no longer his servants? Are we not supposed to serve Jesus in this world? We are, and as Jesus reminds us, we are called to serve this world through the intimacy of relationship in Him. How do we live into this transformative relationship?            

St. Anselm’s is a community that is built on transformative service. This parish is a place that actively engages with what it means to serve the wider population from the abundance of what God has gifted us. We are a community which is building its understanding of what it means to offer our time, talent, and treasure, to continue our vocation in Christ to be agents of the Kingdom in West Point Grey, a vocation grounded in prayer. Through prayer we become aware of where Jesus is asking us to be friends with him in our wider community, a community which includes you.            

Over the past year your financial contributions have directly lead to the transformation of hundreds of lives. You have helped new Canadians learn about Christ through bible study. You have helped kids deepen their relationship with God through Messy Church. You have transformed our kids by hiring a new program leader. You have strengthened the physical plant of this parish by enabling capital improvement projects., among many others. Thanksgiving is another opportunity to continue that work by giving thanks for the abundance God has given you financially. Please give generously as we continue to grow in ministry because of you. You are changing lives and this fall contains a number of ways you can continue to deepen your transformative relationship with Jesus in this place;  

Thanksgiving Sunday                                                                                                 October 9

Our annual Festive Eucharist at 10:30 am will help us focus our attention on our relationship with Jesus through the abundance of God’s creation that surround us. We will be collecting canned fish, new socks, protein bars, and new toiletries, for the Neighborhood Ministry. These offerings of our friendship and thanksgiving  will decorate the Altar on Thanksgiving and be given out through the coldest months of the year. Please give generously. The need is great as the weather cools.  

Earth and Spirit                                                                                     October 5, 12,19, 26

Our biannual conversation with the wider community, facilitated by eminent voices in our city, takes place again on the four Wednesdays in October. This is a premier event for the community and is a way we continue to build our relationships with our neighbors. Please see our events section for more information.  

St. Francis in two ways, on two days                                                       October 15 & 16     

We will celebrate the patron saint of animals and creation over two days in October. Our love of the environment and our pets are a direct reflection of what St. Francis believed in, and so we deepen our relationship through a parish clean up day on the 15th (lunch provided) followed by our annual blessing of pets at 10:30am on Sunday 16th. Please see our events section for more information.  

All Saints and Remembrance Day                                                                    November 6

Relationships remain at the heart of our faith through Christ, and into Christ’s care we have given many of our loves ones. In our yearly observance of All Saints and Remembrance Day we are given a chance to pray for them and remember their gift. Please bring a photo or memento of your loved one (pets too) which we will use to construct our Altar cloth upon which the Eucharist will be celebrated. Please see our events section for more information.              

My first few months as priest among you continues to be one which is grounded in relationships and strengthened through prayer and sacrament. From the coffee’s we share, to the text messages, emails, or greetings on Sunday morning, I am reminded just how much abundance we have in this parish of ours. Jesus reminds us every single Sunday in the prayers and in the Eucharist of his deep, deep, desire for an intimate and transformative relationship with us. There are so many ways in which we continue to answer that call in our lives. Jesus’ calls to us in Thanksgiving, how will you respond?

With abundant blessings,          

Alex+