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Christmas & Vestry letter

My Dear Friends

‘And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you  good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born  this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the LORD. And this will  be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying  in a manger’ (Luke 2. 1-12).

May the grace and joy of Christ our Saviour be with you this Christmas and New Year season.

In the infant Jesus God Almighty delicately and tenderly reveals His very face to us.  At Christmas time we  commemorate that holy night when heaven held its breath and the eternal Word of God made flesh resounded throughout our world. A mother yelled, an infant cried and God woke up among us as one of us. That cry from the infant’s throat pierces the silence of centuries, God’s voice now heard from human vocal chords. ‘Midwifed by a carpenter, bathed and nurtured by a peasant girl. The maker of the heavens and the earth with a belly button. The author of the law being taught the law. Heaven’s human come down to rescue us’ (Max Lucado).

For us as a Parish family of Saint Matthew’s it has been a dramatic and historic year!  After a long legal battle with the Diocese of New Westminster in the Anglican Church of Canada, we finally left our property behind on July 10th 2011. Our desire to be loyal to the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as the only LORD and Author of salvation, our desire to be faithful to an orthodox interpretation of the scriptures, our high regard for the authority and great tradition of the Christian Church and our desire to be in Communion with the majority of Anglicans across the globe, meant that we had to leave our former location on Guilford Drive once the courts in the land deemed that it belonged to the Diocese of New Westminster and the Anglican Church of Canada. Put simply we chose faith over property. Since that time we have been adjusting and coming to terms with this major change in our life together. We continue to meet at Grace Church. 2087 McMillan Road, Abbotsford, V2S 4Y3. (Telephone – 604.853.6746). Our Sunday Service time is currently 8.30am. Holy Eucharist. With children’s and youth ministry followed by brunch. Our Church office is located on the second floor and all our groups and activities continue to meet throughout the week. On Tuesdays Morning Prayer takes place at 9am. On Wednesdays our services times are 10am Holy Eucharist and 7pm Evening Prayer. For a list of the current news and happenings in our Church please check our website:  www.saintmatthewsanglicanchurch.com  or contact our Church office (604-853-6746):   Same Church different location.

Despite the sadness and grief that we have experienced this year, there is a growing sense of relief, freedom and new opportunity into which we are growing. We are doing well and we continue to see in so many ways the truth of  the words in Psalm 40; ‘Great things are they that you have done, O LORD my God! How great your wonders and your plans for us! There is none who can be compared with you’ (Psalm 40. 5). We are seeing time and time again signs of God’s presence among us, as with Him we build His Church for the future. He is truly with us!

There are two things I would particularly like to draw to your attention:

Firstly, now that we are a new incorporated Parish in our Diocese of the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) in the province of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), everyone who wishes to be a voting member of our  Parish needs to re-apply for membership by filling in one of our new forms. If you do not wish to become a full member but wish to be part of our contact list or an affiliate we also need you to fill out the top part of our form. For more details about this and for membership forms please contact Carolyn in the Church Office.

Secondly, our Vestry meeting is set for Sunday February 19th, 2012 following our morning service. Please mark the date as there will be many exciting reports shared at this meeting, as well as elections and the presentation of  the budget.   If you wish child care so that you can attend the meeting, please contact Carolyn in the church office.

I warmly invite you to be a part of all that God is doing among us here at Saint Matthew’s. 2012 is going to be an exciting year of growth and challenge for us as we continue to grow and journey together into our future. I hope to see you over the Christmas and New Year season. It is a great honour to serve as Rector of such a vibrant and loving Church community.

 ‘And from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace’
(John 1. 16).

 With my ongoing affection and prayers for a Blessed Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

Mike Stewart+
Rector. Saint Matthew’s Anglican Church. (ANiC).

 

 

 

 

 

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