Epiphany This Week
It is difficult to read this week’s Gospel lesson in the light of yet another famine in the horn of Africa. Current estimates have placed the number of dead already at 10 000 people. No doubt this number will rise significantly before the aid reaches those who need it.
And in the light of the scope of that disaster—a scope broadened by the evil combination of a natural disaster with political incompetence and corruption—we are right to find ourselves in a position similar to the disciples in the story. “Send them away, Lord. Tell them to go to the villages to get food.” This was what the disciples said to Jesus. “How can we be of any help? Whatever donations we make will be reduced by bribes and kickbacks before they buy food and the means to distribute it,” is what I think at times.
Whether in their original context or transposed to ours, Jesus’ words to the disciples, “You give them something to eat,” are very difficult to hear. Like the disciples, we are all too aware of the meagre nature of our resources when set against a disaster of this magnitude. And yet, Jesus will not allow us to use the size of the need as an excuse to withdraw, to keep what we have to ourselves. There remains a job to be done and even the most modern disciples still have a role to play.
The purpose of the Lord’s command is not to discourage us from acting, but to compel us to rely on him to bring about the solution that is needed. Our role, as real as it is, is subordinate to his. He will take, bless, break and give the bread before the disciples distribute it. Just so today, the Spirit of Christ can and does multiply our generosity to meet needs well beyond what we think it can. And this is true whether we are talking about Somalia or Sudbury.
An Urgent Appeal from PWRDF: The U.N. has officially named the situation in the Horn of Africa, a famine. The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund is responding to the famine. As a member of the ACT Alliance—a global coalition of 111 churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance, and advocacy—PWRDF will be working to address the needs identified by ACT members in the affected countries – Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia.
There are 4 ways to donate.
(1) Mary Donato is happy to receive cheques directly or put in the offering plate.
(2) Mail: The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund, The Anglican Church of Canada, 80 Hayden Street, Toronto, ON M4Y 3G2.
Please make cheques payable to “PWRDF” and mark them “Horn of Africa Drought.”
(3) Secure Online: CanadaHelps (http://www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?CharityID=s50860). Be sure to designate your donation “Horn of Africa Drought.”
(4) Phone: Jennifer Brown (PWRDF) 416-924-9192 ext. 355 or 1-866-308-7973.
Please do not fax or e-mail your credit card number.
Vacation Bible School for kids aged 3-12 will take place at Church of the Ascension from August 8-12, 9:30-12:30. Please see Fr. Tim for registration and volunteer application forms or phone Brittany Caines at (705) 524 5394 for more information.
Thank you to all who donated sandwiches this week. We ended up with more than what we had committed to give.
Youth Synod has begun at Camp Manitou. Please pray for our delegates and for the youth of the Diocese that they would grow in their faith, closer to the Lord Jesus, and closer to each other.
Marks of Mission is a movement of the Anglican Communion worldwide, one to which the Anglican Church of Canada is committed. It is the basis for all the ministry we do internationally, nationally and locally. Please see the poster in the Algoma Room or go to www.anglican.ca/marks for more information on the marks of mission and how you can be involved.
Women’s Bible Study starts up again in September and all women are welcome to join us at noon on Mondays. We will be studying Barbara Brown Taylor’s book - An Altar in the World – A Geography of Faith. If we order at least 3 they may be purchased for $12.26 + tax. Please contact Rachel Prichard before July 31 if you would like a copy. If you are new and/or would like to join us for the first time please call Rachel for more information at 705 522-3297.
Wednesday Eucharist & Bible Study will resume on Wednesday, September 7 at 10:30 am. Please contact Fr Tim (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
It’s coming! Back to Church Sunday, that is. Mark Sunday September 25 in your calendars and keep checking Epiphany This Week for more information.
Next week’s schedule:
Saturday—Wedding at 3:00 om; Eucharist at 5:00 pm
Sunday—Eucharist at 9:30 am
Announcements for ETW should be sent to email@example.com.