Week of April 24 of Easter

Hey Folks

What a great Easter day we had last week. The good news is, we have up to 50 days to celebrate and reflect on God’s New Creation birthed through the victory of Israel’s Messiah.
We mark that celebration this Sunday with our Pot Luck Lunch immediately after worship. Please plan to stay and to bring something to share with the ‘Family of God’.
Please note that any who wish to ‘Explore Membership’ within CtR will meet briefly with me on Sunday in my office immediately after worship and before the Pot Luck (this will be an organizational time only).
Please note as well that should you wish to prepare for Baptism, either for yourself or for your child, please speak with me (or reply to this email) before May 4. Preparation will take place during the month of May for a Celebration of Baptism on the Day of Pentecost on June 8.
Looking forward to worshiping with you all on Sunday.
Brian Campbell

Rector of Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church

The Great Three Days!

‘Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.’

1 Corinthians 11:28


We come at last to the Great Three Days of Holy Week!

We begin with Maundy Thursday and the Celebration of the New Meal (the transformed Passover) which allows us to participate in and benefit from the New Covenant which Jesus established through his New and Greatest of all Sacrifices (Good Friday); a New Covenant which issues in the birth of New Creation (Easter Day), the glorious victory of the Creator over all the forces that threatened his plans for his good Creation- ourselves included!

But how are we to come to these three Great Days?

Paul tells us to come having ‘examined ourselves’ – but what does that mean exactly, and how might we do that well? Are we to hide ourselves in a corner and scrupulously judge our lives, and then if – and only IF- we somehow pass the exam feel good enough to come to the Feast?

Obviously NOT!

I would take the Psalmist who wrote Psalm 102 as our guide (the psalm set for the morning office on Maundy Thursday).

Note the superscription: This is ‘a prayer of one afflicted, when he is faint and pours out his complaint before the LORD.’

The psalmist does not ‘examine’ himself by himself, rather he brings his life as he knows it and articulates it into the very presence of God (v. 1-11). And does so with an honesty and boldness that takes our breath away.

He cries out to be heard (sensing that he has not been) and describes his experience of the devastation of his people and of himself (he writes as one who survived the destruction of Jerusalem and the utter desolation of the Temple). He ends with his judgment that all of this is ‘because of your indignation and anger; for you have taken me up and thrown me down!’ (v.10)


But the psalmist does not end there!

He goes on to confession – not of his sins but of God’s greatness and faithfulness to his Covenant!

‘But YOU are enthroned forever…. YOU will arise and have pity of Zion…  the LORD builds up Zion!’ – even now, even through these devastating events!

He even stops his present day confession to ask that it be ‘recorded’- written down ‘for a generation to come’ (v18)- so confident is he of the ultimate triumph of his God.

He then returns to his own time and his own sorrow and his own request (v. 23-24) but these now are incorporated into his confession (v. 25-28). He ends in hope!

So what has the psalmist done?

He has ‘examined’ his life – he has brought his life in all of its rawness into the presence of God through prayer – and has cried out to understand it –to see it – woven into the larger and greater Story that God is writing about and enacting in and for his world!

That, it seems to me, is the way we should ‘come’ to these Great Days.

May God give us the grace and the courage to do so!

April 16 of Holy Week

Our Holy Week Journey continues tonight with the ‘Stations of the Cross’ service. We gather at 7:00 pm for this simple, reflective, and prayerful movement following the ‘Way of the Cross’. Please join us.


Then tomorrow evening, April 17 we gather at 6:00 pm sharp for our Maundy Thursday celebration. We begin with Dinner in our ‘Upper Room’ and the rite of the Foot Washing. Then we will process into the sanctuary for the Celebration of the Eucharist (the FIRST Eucharist) and end in the ‘Garden’ with the Stripping of the Altar.


On Friday we gather at 6:00 pm for our Good Friday service once again focusing on the ‘Seven Last Words from the Cross’. This is a wonderful way of marking and reflecting on the glory of the Cross. Read Seven Sayings of Christ by Hank Thompson. This is a reflection he wrote from last year.


On Saturday we need some folks to help us set up for Easter Day! We will gather at 10 am to decorate the sanctuary (put up the banners and set up the chancel etc).


On Easter Day, can I remind us all to bring in some fresh cut flowers from our gardens for the children to use to ‘Flower the Cross’.


Looking forward to an incredible Holy Week with all of you.

May God’s peace and grace be with us all.

Brian Campbell

Rector of Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church

Week of April 10, 2014

Hey Folks


What a gorgeous day! One of the advantages of a later-than-normal-Easter is that we can enjoy it within the full panorama of Spring – Glorious! (By the way: that is a good way of reminding us to bring some cut flowers from home for the Flowering of the Cross on Easter Sunday).A few other things to note this week:
First, let me bring us up to speed on the two prayer requests I made this week:
  • The good news is that Elise Atwood returned home today. She is one week into a 6 week recovery period, so your prayers need to be continued. But do pause to give thanks for the healing to date.
  • The somewhat disappointing news is that Charles Jenkins will need more surgery tomorrow morning. The doctors are needing to explore to discover the source of the infection. Pray for God’s guiding hand in all of this.
  • Can I add a third request?  Clark Garvin is scheduled for a procedure on Monday. Pray that all goes well with him as well.

Second, for those who are creating a ‘station’ for our Stations of the Cross, please be sure to bring them in on Sunday to be hung on the walls of the sanctuary after worship.

Third, Holy Week begins on Sunday with the Palm Procession beginning PROMPTLY at 10:00 am in the Fellowship Hall. Set your clocks ahead at least a quarter of an hour to ensure that you will be present in plenty of time.
Fourth, after Coffee hour on Sunday we could use some help to get the Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall ready for the rest of the week. If you can stick around and lend a hand it would be greatly appreciated.
Fifth, remember that Holy Week is a great time to invite a friend to join you in worship. Most people who visit a church do so at this time of year, and most do so because of an invitation from a friend!
Looking forward to a great Week together.

Brian Campbell

Rector of Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church


Seven Sayings of Christ from the Cross

By Hank Thompson: Dear friends at Christ the Redeemer,

Last year I was asked to share a personal response to one of the Seven Sayings of Christ from the Cross at a pre-Easter service. I decided to write and read a short piece from the perspective of one of the robbers crucified with Jesus. Afterward I was encouraged to write reflections on all seven Sayings. In the course of working on the project, I was thrilled that the members of my MUSE writing class were open to hearing the Biblical content, with which they were totally unfamiliar, as they freely offered suggestions regarding writing craft. They were excited about the project and gave me a lot of encouragement to finish it.

So here it is. I have not arranged the seven pieces in the traditional order, but in the order that makes for the best reading. Four are from the perspective of those present at the day of crucifixion—Pilate and his wife, Mary mother of Jesus, the robber mentioned above, and a fictional centurion. Three involve personal experiences.


Hank Thompson

Read Seven Sayings of Christ by Hank Thompson

The Heart of the Matter

‘Then the magicians said to Pharaoh,

“This is the finger of God.”

But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and

he would not listen to them,

as the LORD had said.’

Exodus 8:19

 We come to the heart of the human dilemma- and that heart is a heart of darkness!

Moses performs the third of the ten signs that will be needed to break Pharaoh’s will and achieve God’s end – the freeing of his enslaved people. This is the first of the signs that the magicians of Egypt cannot match! Their conclusion: ‘THIS is the finger of God” – that is, a finger of a God who is more powerful than OUR Gods!

‘But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and he would not listen to them!’

It is a statement that should freeze us in our tracks.

Now I know that there are huge issues swirling around this ‘hardening’ involving the sovereignty of God and the free will of humankind.  In the story of God’s calling of Moses in chapter 3 the LORD states purposefully ‘but I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go!’ (3.21).

Seen from a divine perspective it is apparent that God uses our hardness of heart to achieve HIS good and loving ends; it is also apparent that his good and loving ends are for OUR good! (Note: read verses 22 and 23 of chapter 3 and see that God is determined to reach the tenth plague- the death of the firstborn- that horror which is the mysterious type of the gracious and glorious death of the Son of God).

But seen from a human perspective, Pharaoh’s willful hardness of heart (he ‘WOULD not listen’) should deeply concern us.

Confronted by overwhelming evidence for the presence and activity and desires of God (“Let my people go!’), he nevertheless chooses to resist!

 How can this be?

We are not told the answer to this question in this text, but the lectionary has given us another that offers a suggestion. The gospel set alongside our reading is that of the Rich Young Ruler (Mark 10:17-31).

Here we have the story of a man who is not only attracted TO Jesus (he RUNS to him and KNEELS before him), but who also knows in a deep and visceral way that there is something missing in his life.  However, he leaves Jesus in great sadness, because he could not give up the good that he had (‘sell all that you have and give to the poor’) in order to receive the greater that was promised (‘you will have treasure in heaven’).

He would not give up his ‘god’ – his idol, that which truly ruled his life – in order to embrace and follow his True God!

His heart that had been softened and awakened now was newly hardened.

As we approach Holy Week, by all means cry out to God to ‘soften our hearts’ towards his gospel.

But at the same time implore him to also ‘open your eyes, renew your mind, and strengthen your will’ so that you will see, and know and choose to follow him – come what may.

Holy Week Schedule 2014

(Edit Page)

Passion Sunday:

with the Palm Procession

Sunday April 13, 10:00 am


Stations of the Cross:

A Reflective Prayer Service

Wednesday, April 16 at 7:00 pm


Maundy Thursday: 

Dinner, Foot-washing, Eucharist and Stripping of the Altar

Thursday, April 17, starting with dinner at 6:00 pm


Good Friday: 

Reflections on the Cross

Friday, April 18 at 6:00 pm


Easter Day: 

The Day of Resurrection

Sunday, April 20 at 10:00 am


Please join us. Directions.