Prayer and thought of the day by Dundeen Ferguson
In this season of Epiphany we have asked members of our congregation share stories of their own journeys of faith and Epiphany moments that have inspired them and drawn them deeper into a relationship with God.
“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35
Jesus said if we believe in him and follow him we will never be hungry or thirsty. That sounds good. None of us like the idea of being hungry or thirsty at any time in our lives. As Christians we know the forces of evil continues across our lives. Jesus’s words to us are promises of a better life if we believe. The more we feed on him the less we will be hungry or thirsty.
I thank my mother who lived a Christian life for giving me the start on my journey as a Christian. Going to church does not make a person a Christian, it is how you live your life. My mother taught me that.
She was a loving kind person who worked hard to provide for her children and to share with other children in the community when we lived back in Jamaica. It was not an easy journey.
“My mother is the most beautiful woman in the world.” are words from a scene on Sesame Street. A young boy was searching for his mother, describing her as the most beautiful woman in the world. When the mother was revealed she was a poor humble woman hardly to be described as “beautiful”. How many of us have looked at the appearance of individuals to pass judgment?
Beauty comes from within and as Christians it is to be shone out to the world. The words of a Sunday School chorus “Let the Beauty of Jesus be seen in me….” is how I try to live my life. This beauty is to be seen from the things we do and the words we express to others. I try every day to let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.
One day at the hairdresser a young man asked me if I am a Christian. I was surprised at the question and with a smile I said yes. I asked why and his response was surprising. He said he could see that I was a calm and nice person. It was a shocking response. I believe he saw the Beauty of Jesus in me. Not everyone who is a Christian always shows it – but we can help bring it out in others by our love.
I am reminded of an incident involving a neighbor who was locked in her house shouting and screaming like a crazy person. My mother walked up to the window and began speaking with her calmly. Mummy bravely reached for her hand and began praying with her. She calmed down and then my mother told me to accompany her to Bellevue Hospital where she was admitted.
Jesus’s words to his disciples to “Love God with all your heart mind body and soul” and “Love your neighbor as yourself” filled my heart. I saw the act of my mother loving her neighbor and it imprinted itself on me.
My mother is 91 years and now living with Alzheimer’s Disease in a nursing home. I miss spending time with her. She is now in a palliative condition. With the pandemic, it is a joy for us to have Face time meetings each week to see her to express our love and to read a prayer. I miss her very much.
I am also now on a personal journey living with MS since 2016 and know if mummy was not in her condition she would be helping me along on this journey. I find strength in the words of Jesus as I feed on him when I am hungry and thirsty. I want my brothers and sisters in Christ to know that despite what we are going through we have to remain faithful in our Lord Jesus Christ who is the Light of the World.
Heavenly Father, we give you praise and thanks always for every day of life. When there are lonely days we can call upon you for strength and guidance through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen. ... See MoreSee Less
put some PB on your shopping list and make it a donation to the foodbank on Jan 15, 1-3pm. Drive through pickup. Even one item helps. We also need canned vegetables, canned soups, cookies, kidney beans, cereal, crackers …. See the full list at allsaintswhitby.org/all-saints-dea…
#foodbank ... See MoreSee Less
Thought and Prayer for Today
by Doug Smith
In this season of Epiphany we have asked members of our congregation share stories of their own journey's of faith and Epiphany moments that have inspired them and drawn them deeper into a relationship with God.
I want to introduce myself to everyone at All Saints, Whitby. Who is this guy, Doug Smith, who has come among us and why? I began my journey at All Saints in late October 2021. I’m a Postulant with the Diocese of Toronto. I’m in a period of formation to become a Priest. As part of the formation process a Postulant is required to have placements in Parishes in the Diocese. So, here I am with you, learning from you and growing in faith with you. So, who am I?
I grew up in what I would call a nominal Christian home. I’m the third child in a family of six. I believe my upbringing taught me some valuable life lessons that have shaped who I am today. They helped me understand the importance of family while giving me a wider worldview of helping the outcast and disenfranchised.
I was married for 33 years and then in 2012 my marriage ended. From our marriage we have three daughters. I have four grandchildren. All my daughters and their families live in Winnipeg, MB.
As already stated, my upbringing shaped me both socially and culturally. My religious upbringing also shaped who I am today. I grew up in the Salvation Army. I received my early spiritual learnings from my Sunday School teachers, my scoutmaster, my bandmaster, and the ministers who were assigned to the church I attended. All these mentors helped me grow in the faith and learn to listen to that “still small voice” of the Lord.
As a young teenager I had an Epiphany moment when I felt and knew I had been called by God for service as a minister in the Salvation Army.
My journey begins in earnest to that calling by God to serve, by being accepted into training and eventually ordination as a Salvation Army Officer (minister). And for 30-years I served the Lord through the Salvation Army.
In 2012 my ministry as a Salvation Army Officer came to conclusion. It was a moment when I had to step back and re-evaluate my life and ministry and this was when I became an Anglican.
The epiphany moment of my teens has never left me, the calling by God to serve as a minister was still strong and so the process began in late 2018 to apply to become a priest in the Anglican Church. My first application was not successful, and I felt the door was closed but God continues to prompt and call and nudge and so I applied again in early 2021 and was accepted in June 2021.
I’m looking forward to the continued journey of learning and growing with you in these next few months.
I pray that each of us will be open to and have an epiphany moment where God speaks, and we listen and obey.
O Lord, we thank you for this season, Epiphany and we pray that you will make us truly thankful.
God, we pray that you will allow us to deeply reflect on your revelation in Jesus Christ.
Lord, may you continue to reveal your hidden mysteries to us that we have complete understanding of your plans for our lives.
As your revelation comes, we also pray for understanding, knowledge, and wisdom to walk in our destiny, Amen. ... See MoreSee Less
Food Bank Drop Off
Canned pasta (e.g., Alpha-ghetti)
Canned vegetables (e.g., green beans, corn, peas)
Canned soup (cream of mushroom, tomato or chicken noodle)
Canned beans (kidney beans)
Snack crackers (e.g., Ritz, Triscuit etc.)
Peanut butter (small or large jars)
Instant or ground coffee
Personal hygiene products for men, women and children are also needed (e.g., hand soap, shampoo, razors, deodorant, toilet paper, diapers etc.).
Note at this time we have an ample supply of pasta and pasta sauce, so I kindly ask you to direct your donations to any of the other items listed above.
Ministry team members from our Deacon’s Cupboard Food Bank will help unload donated items from your vehicle on Saturday, January 15, 2022 between 1-3 PM. ... See MoreSee Less
Thought and Prayer for today
New Beginnings: Resolution or Revolution?
As New Year’s Eve approaches, it can evoke feelings of anxiety in many of us. Looking back over the events of 2021 we see that the world has continued to reel from crisis to crisis, both in the natural and man-made world. It is easy to feel nervous about what next year will bring. Most of us can remember the hype which accompanied the arrival of the year 2000, when there were many predictions of disaster as the clocks moved towards midnight. (I still have the emergency wind-up radio which I bought in preparation for the power system to crash, a non-event if ever there was one!) Of course, we know that the season of Advent marks the beginning of the church year, but it is hard to ignore the secular calendar.
I must confess, I have never been a great fan of big bash New Year’s parties, preferring to see the year in quietly with loved ones, with a cosy fire, a glass of wine and a favourite movie. The few parties I have attended over the years often left me feeling hollow, and the merriment always seemed forced… but perhaps that’s just me.
Many people feel the need to make New Year’s Resolutions on January the first. In “normal” times Gym memberships sky-rocket with well-intentioned folk who vow to get in shape, and lose unwanted pounds, but by February attendance has dropped off to previous levels. Do we really need a calendar to change our behaviour? After all my years as a student, and then a teacher, it was always the new school year in September which had the sense of a new beginning for me. Just the thought of cracking open a pristine new exercise book would fill me with delight, but inevitably this would only last until the first scratching out or ink blob spoiled the page. Part of the problem with resolutions is that they depend upon the resolve of the person making them and so are almost always doomed to fail.
What if, instead, we thought of them as revolutions? One definition of revolution is any fundamental change or reversal of conditions. That suggests that it is not a solitary situation. What if we allowed God to be part of the process of change? There are countless examples of people in scripture who underwent profound changes when God called them to action and to a new beginning: Abram became Abraham when he obeyed God’s call to leave his home and travel to Canaan; Joseph’s new beginning began when he was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers; Moses reluctantly took on the task of leading the Israelites out of Egypt. As we know, his new beginning was long and painful, but God gave him the wherewithal to get through it; in the New Testament Mary was given a new beginning as the mother of Jesus; Simon received the name of Peter in his new beginning as a disciple; and Saul the persecutor became Paul the apostle when God changed his heart. Perhaps the most spectacular of all was when the apostles were forever changed and re-newed at Pentecost.
Of course, most of us will not be chosen by God to play such leading roles, but we are all able to discern God’s will as we deepen our relationship with him. There may not be a burning bush, or an angel’s visit, but with prayer and scripture, God will guide us. Instead of waiting for December to turn to January, what if we considered each new day as a new beginning regardless of the calendar month? In verse two of John Keble’s hymn “New Every Morning Is the Love”, we sing, “New mercies each returning day, hover around us while we pray; new perils past, new sins forgiven, new thoughts of God, new hopes of heaven.” In other words, a brand-new start. That sounds pretty much like a revolution to me, and preferable to a flimsy personal resolution.
Happy New Day!
Prayer from the Church of England Book of Common Worship:
The night is past, and the day lies open before us.
Let us pray with one heart and mind as we rejoice in the gift of this new day.
So may your presence, O God, set our hearts on fire with love for you, now and forever. Amen ... See MoreSee Less