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“Those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen
that their deeds have been done in God.”—John 3. 21

I don’t know if it’s ever obvious, but whenever you hear a preacher speak, there’s a lot that never ‘makes the cut’. You can understand why, of course. There’s only so much one can say (or absorb) in a 10- to 15-minute homily, so you literally see/hear only the tip of the iceberg.

One of the thoughts that we never developed last Sunday (the Fourth Sunday in Lent), was that line at the end of the Gospel reading (see above), where we are encouraged to see how our life now is connected to the life of Jesus. As we journey through Lent, our gospel readings from both Mark and John have helped us to hear Jesus’ various warnings to his disciples that his path inevitably will lead from life, through death, and then through resurrection into life again. For John’s gospel, whenever Jesus talks about ‘the Cross’, he isn’t just talking about the wooden cross itself, or even just about the execution. The Cross includes everything from the very real and mortal pain of death all the way to the Ascension, when God brings the human experience full circle, incorporating it into the threefold community Who is God. That is what we mean when we say that the Good News is all about Reconciliation. To experience such a profound Love as we meet in Jesus is to allow that love to change us so that all our attitudes and our actions take on the character of that Love. They are done ‘in God’. Such lives are seen in the light, and they themselves become light that draws others into the Love of God. That’s us, my friends.

As we discussed at our Annual Meeting a few weeks ago, we at St Mary’s will be taking up more of the work we had begun before COVID caused us to take a pause. Over the coming months we will have more opportunities to come together as a community of faith to refine our discernment of God’s calling on us, as we live as those who live in God.

One aspect of that Life in God is the ongoing work of being reconciled to our neighbours, the Indigenous peoples of Canada. I’m so excited to invite you to join me in our special Easter Offering project this year:  support for First People’s Cultural Council’s Mentor-Apprentice Program for revitalizing Indigenous living languages. Language is one of the most vital ways of passing on culture to the next generations. Indigenous languages specifically have suffered because of our assimilationist history in Canada. So far, Mentor-Apprentice teams have been active in at least four of the language groups in the islands and inlets, and by pooling our efforts, more can be done. This is a way of directly addressing Call to Action 61 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. You can read more about this program and our diocese’s historical involvement at these links:

You can make your Festival Offering contribution using the envelope in the letter you'll be receiving in the mail (if you're on our physical mail list), or online via CanadaHelps using the form here.

Also mark your calendars for the many ways in which we will worship together in our community this Holy Week and Easter. Our experience of service to one another and the world flows into the celebration of worship, and our worship celebration sends us back into our life of Love in the world. I thank God every day for leading me into this parish full of such humble, dedicated, transformed people. May your experience of these coming holy days encourage and empower you.

Yours in Christ,
(The Venerable) Craig Hiebert