Adult Education: Teaching on 2 Corinthians
The Corinthian correspondence was written to a people in crisis. Paul had originally preached the gospel to the Corinthians, but they had succumbed to factionalism, with ‘heart divisions’ (one very appropriate way to translate the Greek word that has historically been translated ‘schism’) ripping apart the body of Christ. These heart divisions tore the body itself apart and led them to doubt Paul’s efficacy as an apostle. 2 Corinthians is Paul’s spirited defense of his ministry to the Corinthians, which he strikingly casts as an illustration of the ‘power of the cross’, which he had already proclaimed to them ‘as of first importance’ (1 Cor. 15:3).
Anyone concerned about our present ‘heart divisions’ in the church should want to hear about how the apostle Paul’s ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:11-21) and how it formed hearts and minds in ancient Corinth and can do so again in our midst. Join Associate Rector, Jonathan Warren, on Saturday May 12 from 10:3am – 12:30pm for an introduction to this important Pauline letter. All welcome! Light snacks and childcare provided.
Interested in learning more about Ascension? Want an overview of Anglican history? Please join us for an informative and fun morning designed both for those who are brand new and just want to know a bit more about the church, as well as for those who want to become members. At the end of our morning together, participants will have a great overview of Anglicanism and Ascension (which includes a quick tour of the Nave), will have a clearer notion of where they can connect and serve, and will have met several members of the staff team.
A light continental breakfast will be served at 9am. Childcare will be provided throughout the morning. We’ll end our time together as adults and kids gather for a pizza lunch. To register, please email email@example.com. Mark your calendars and plan on coming!
On Sunday, May 20th we are happy to welcome Bishop Grant and Dr. Wendy LeMarquand as our “11 and Lunch” guest speakers. Childcare for 5 and under will be provided. Lunch is by donation. Here is a word from Bishop Grant:
As most of you know my wife Wendy and I have recently returned from Ethiopia where we served as missionaries of SAMS (the Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders). Amidst the hardship and the joy, the love of God was evident.
Gambella, where most of the Anglican churches are, is poor, neglected, hot, and politically unstable. Crises are the norm. In rainy season floods destroy homes and crops. In dry season fires do the same. Food insecurity, lack of employment, shortages of water, electricity and internet access, thousands of new refugees from the war next door in South Sudan, and frequent ethnic tensions – to say nothing of the snakes, scorpions, hyenas and crocodiles – make life vulnerable. On the worst days Wendy and I would sometimes look at each other and say, “Wouldn’t it be nice to worship at Ascension this Sunday?” Now that we are back in North America, I am sure that there will soon be days when we will look at each other and say, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to worship in Gambella this week?”
During our years in Ethiopia, Ascension (both the church and individuals from this congregation) has partnered with us in prayer and in financial support. Some of you even came and worked with us for a while in Gambella. Thank you so much.
Please join us for “11 and Lunch” on May 20 and learn a bit more about what God has – and is – doing in a special part of the world. Lunch is by donation. Childcare will be provided for ages K and younger.
+Grant LeMarquand (Priest-in-charge)
We celebrate Trinity Sunday on May 27. Who is this God who loves us – Father, Son and Holy Spirit? Trinity Sunday sometimes gets short shrift. After the excitement of Holy Week and Easter, Ascension Sunday and Pentecost, perhaps we just get a bit tired. In most churches in the Western world, Christmas and Easter are the big feast days. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has a different perspective. Their big day is “Timkat” – the feast of the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. Why is this? Because Jesus’ baptism was the first public appearance of the Trinity! As the Son is baptized, we see the Spirit descend and hear the voice of the Father. The self-giving love of God we celebrate at Christmas and Easter is the love of the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
A weekly devotional resource is available here.
1. In John 14:9 Jesus says that if we have seen him we have seen the Father – in other words, Jesus reveals what God is like. What words or actions of Jesus most help you to see the character of God?
2. In John 17 (vv.5 & 24) Jesus gives us a glimpse of the inner life of the Trinity. What difference does it make that God is a three-person God rather than a single person God?
3. In so many situations around the world people are divided by what are, in the end, superficial differences (language, race, etc). How can the doctrine of the Trinity – that God is one God in three persons – help us to overcome these differences?
May 20 is the Feast of Pentecost, when we remember the birthday of the church. Pentecost is not just the church’s birthday – it is an important mission day. On Pentecost we remember that the mission of the church could only begin after the first believers were filled with the Holy Spirit – the immediate results being a multi-lingual proclamation of the mighty acts of God (Acts 2:4-11) and the conversion and baptism of 3,000 new believers on that first day of the church’s existence. Since Pentecost is the beginning of the church’s world-wide mission, it is appropriate that on May 20 the whole congregation is invited to a lunch after the 11am service so that Bishop Grant LeMarquand and his wife, Dr. Wendy, can share about the work of the church in the Horn of Africa.
A weekly devotional resource is available here.
1) In John 14:18, Jesus says ‘I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you’. Have you ever felt orphaned, alone, and isolated in your life? How does it make you feel to hear that Jesus will not leave us orphaned?
2) Christ says that the way in which we will not be left as orphans is that Christ ‘will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth….You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you’ (vv. 16-17). The word parakletos can be accurately translated helper, comforter, advocate, or counselor. Explore together the ways in which the Holy Spirit fulfills each of these roles in the Christian life, both in the Gospel passage, but also in your own experience.
3) The word parakletos is also used of Christ himself in 1 John 2:1. So the Spirit is a ‘second’ or ‘another’ helper. The Spirit does not do different work in the world than Christ did, but extends the work of Christ across history and across geography. What implications does this ministry of the Holy Spirit have for you in your daily life? In your relationships with others? In the way you think about the world?
Weekly devotional resource is available here.
May 13 is Ascension Sunday, the event after which our church is named, and at which we look at the ascension and honor the ascended Christ. As is our usual practice our diocesan bishop, Jim Hobby, will be here to celebrate with us and to confirm those who will be asking for a special in-filling of the Spirit on that day. Some, especially some of our young people, have been preparing for this confirmation service for two years! Please keep these confirmands in your prayers as this day approaches.
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