Building Faith Together

Historic St. Clement’s, Balzac, Alberta

Announcements

Regular Services

Holy Eucharist – 10:00 a.m each Sunday

Morning Prayer- 10:00 a.m. first Sunday of each month

Corporation/Council Meetings

Corporation –  tbd

Council – June 3, 2019 @ 6:30 p.m.

 

Special Services/ Upcoming Events

Spring Work Bee
Saturday, May 25th 9:00 a.m.

 

FROM GORDON’S DESK

In the early days of the Christian Church, there was an Apostolic dispute between the Apostles Paul and Peter which occurred in the city of Antioch. As Gentiles began to convert from paganism to Christianity, a dispute arose among Christian leaders as to whether or not Gentiles needed to observe all the tenets of the Law of Moses. In particular, it was debated whether Gentile converts needed to be circumcised or observe the Jewish dietary laws, circumcision especially being considered repulsive in Hellenistic culture.

The dispute was centred in the argument held by Peter and James as well as by Jewish converts that Gentile converts should be circumcised and follow Jewish dietary laws. Paul, even though he had been a Pharisee, argued that the Church should not make it difficult for Gentiles who are turning to God nor that they should be circumcised and not required to follow rigid dietary laws. There is not clear evidence that this dispute was ever fully resolved. There is, however, the story how Peter was called to Caesarea to the house of a Roman centurion and because of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, not only baptized the whole family but Peter also stayed and ate with them for several days. We also know, according to Holy Scripture, that Peter and Paul worked together in Rome proclaiming the Good News and where they both were martyred for their faith in Christ Jesus. I expect they became close friends.

In the Anglican Communion, nationally and locally, several clergy have resigned because of stress and as a result of conflict among parishioners. All of this is very sad. At St. Clements, there have been conflicts between parishioners primarily involving long time members and new ones who have early found a place in the life of the congregation. Several long time members have left because they are tired of being asked to help, because they object to a ministry to gays and other marginalized persons, because they no longer feel the Gospel of Jesus Christ is being proclaimed by myself and others, because the Church building and worship services itself remind them of the grief that they have experienced in the past. Others, of course, just want to use the Church for weddings, baptisms and funerals with no desire to support the church or to belong to a Christian fellowship, foregoing the opportunity to learn how to be a worker for Jesus. St. Clements is in the midst of very difficult and hurtful times.

You will read in the Newsletter an article written by our treasurer about the seriousness of our present situation. Financial giving has dropped off considerably during the past two years. If this situation continues, then the Archbishop and Diocesan Council as well as the Congregation will have to decide whether the time has come for St. Clements to close and that would be very sad. Yet, increasingly, there seems to be little other choice.

As your Parish Priest, and at the time of writing, I have been in Holy Orders for 54 years. During this time, I became well experienced academically, while serving Indigenous people and rural congregations, enjoying most especially my 23 year ministry as a Hospital Chaplain, Teaching Supervisor, Bio-ethicist and as a member of the Provincial Mental Health Review Panel for 16 years. At the request of four diocesan bishops, in spite of working full time, I served as incumbent in nine parishes in the Diocese and on occasion, filling in in three others. I acknowledge that I am getting older and increasingly tired. I do not mind leading services, preparing sermons, caring for the sick, visiting new and old families, administering the Sacraments and all the other things that go with being a parish priest. But I am tired of the bickering, I am tired of meaningless Church rules that interfere with giving care and love to the unwanted, and I am weary with those who have just walked away which, from my point of view, seems to be another way of saying, “we don’t care!” Depending on what happens at General Synod this July and if there is not a rebirth within our Congregation, I may have to seriously reconsider my ongoing position as Incumbent of St. Clements.

With best wishes and every blessing,

Gordon

Our Values

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you.
Matthew 11:28

God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, to the end that all that believe in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
John 3:16

This is a true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
1 Timothy 1:15

If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 2:1-2

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Where are We?

Address:

St. Clement Anglican Church
10080 – TWP Rd 262
Balzac, AB
T4B 2T3

 

 

Phone:

403-239-1004