Monday, December 14, 2015

Warden's 2015 Christmas Letter

Dear Friends, Christmas is coming and for many of us this is a hectic time, but the season of Advent reminds us what we are really waiting and preparing for. Throughout the Advent season we anticipate the arrival of Christ. During this period, our Scripture readings focus us on God's promise of salvation and the fulfillment of this promise in Jesus Christ.

We remember the promise of the season fulfilled on Christmas day. We reflect on the significance of Advent, full of hope while we humbly repent and prayerfully accept our limitations.

We are waiting for the rectory to be sold, waiting for the Memorial Hall to be re-purposed and waiting to complete the repairs inside the church.

Despite all the work that remains, we are grateful for the work that our parishioners do and the spiritual progress that we have made as a community.

We appear to have moved beyond the park fee impasse with the town of Montreal West and we are discussing various options for the hall with the NDG Food Depot. We continue to make improvements to our buildings, we have successfully completed a number of fund raisers and we are closer than we have been in a long time to bridging the gap in our operating budget.

However, our faith calls us to look beyond our accomplishments or what we hope to achieve so that we can be fully present as we wait for the birth of our Savior.

In the context of Advent, waiting is about being both vigilent and receptive. We wait like the shepherds and the wise-men, not like the inn keepers in Bethlehem who had no room for Mary, Joseph and the messiah that was about to be born. Waiting requires an openness of spirit and mind. "Be still and know that I am God," (Psalm 46:10).

As Saint Paul writes, "We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation but we ourselves… groan inwardly while we wait…. For in hope we are saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience."

We cannot know what the future holds until we are ready for "the eyes of our heart to be enlightened." (Ephesians 3:20-21). As explained in the Gospel according to Matthew, "You must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect." (Matthew 24:42-44).

In the meantime we wait confident of God's promise. May our waiting be an active acknowledgment of God at work in our lives.

Wishing you all a blessed Christmas!

Your Wardens, Richard and Shan

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