Week of June 27 of Pentecost

Dear Friends

I am writing to you this week from the ACNA Assembly in Latrobe PA (home of Arnold Palmer for all the golf fans out there). It has been a great few days with wonderful teaching and worship and opportunities to connect with friends old and new (The Canadians are here as well. We’ve run into the man who married us and whom we have not seen in 28 years, among others!) It has been fun and helpful at the same time.

A few things to draw to your attention this week:

First, we will have a Pot Luck lunch after worship this week. Please plan now on staying and bring something to share. We will have a chance to report on the Assembly as well as the chance to get to know one another.

Second, our Yard Sale to help defray the cost for our Rwandan trip in late July takes place on July 5. While we do hope to make some money, one other purpose for doing this is to meet some of our neighbors around Knox. What we need now though are items to sell (remember, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure). Please take a moment and look around your house and see if there are things you wish to donate for the sale. Please contact Cheryl (757-226-8700) if you wish to drop off the items between 10 am and 2 pm on Tuesday through Thursdays, or Jordon O’Byrne (jordanobyrne7788@gmail.com) if you need to arrange a different day or time to do so.

Third, there has been a change of dates for Nile Gomez’ ordination to the diaconate and Bishop Steve Breedlove’s parish visit. The visit takes place on September 12-14 with the ordination taking place at our Sunday worship. It will be a great way to jumpstart our fall season.

Looking forward to worshiping with you all on Sunday.

Brian Campbell
Rector of Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church

Walking by the Spirit

If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
Galatians 5:25

It really is a no-brainer.

Given a choice between living two kinds of life, who in their right mind would choose the one defined by ‘sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealously, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies and things like these’ (5:19-21), when offered a life filled with ‘love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control’ (5:22-23).

And yet for the Galatians (and for ourselves?) even if the decision was a no-brainer, in their practice it was a non-reality! They simply were not living the life that was defined and characterized by the ‘fruit of the Spirit.’  That is why the Apostle Paul begins this section of his epistle with the exhortation for them to ‘walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh’ (5:16).

So why is that so? Why is the life we long to live seem so beyond our grasp? Why is the life we long to leave behind seem so ever present?

Those are huge questions. Let me answer them by summarizing the teaching of Dallas Willard (and using his ‘kingdom’ language for Paul’s ‘spirit-language’).

The key to ‘Living-in-the-Kingdom’ (living the life of the Spirit; the life characterized by the ‘fruit of the Spirit’) lies in deepening our ‘Kingdom-Identity’ (who we are) and in developing our ‘Kingdom-awareness’ (where we are, and what resources are available to us).

Kingdom-Identity: Paul describes this reality when he says ‘those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires’ (5:24). This picks up his personal statement from an earlier chapter – ‘I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me’ (2:20).  This is what Paul means when he says we ‘live by the Spirit’.  We who have responded to the gospel with faith and been baptized – sacramentally united with Christ- have become one ‘in-whom- Christ-himself-dwells’. THAT is who we are! THAT reality is what truly defines us!

Kingdom-Awareness: As those who are now united to the King, we find ourselves ‘living within his Kingdom’ (his glorious, powerful, and eternal realm) enlivened and empowered and directed by his own limitless, powerful, and glorious Spirit.

As we deepen our grasp on our ‘Kingdom-Identity’ – that we truly are among ‘those-in-whom-Christ-dwells’- and learn how to tap into and develop our ‘Kingdom-Awareness’, we will find ourselves slowly but surely living more fully the ‘Kingdom-life’.

Do we know ‘who we are’? Do we know ‘where we are’? Do we understand that the King has given us everything we need to ‘live in his Kingdom’?

If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

Week of June 11 of Pentecost

Dear Friends

There are a number of things to bring to your attention this week.

 First, I ask you to both rejoice and weep with some of our members:

• Gerry Massie mourns the death of his father – John A. Massie. John died on May 30 from prostate cancer. Gerry wrote me a wonderful email in tribute to his father and knows that he ‘does not mourn as those who are without hope’ – but he still mourns the loss. Please remember Gerry in your prayers.

• Sharon and Jonathan (and Gideon) Aumen welcomed Luka into the world and into their family on Sunday June 8. Let us rejoice with the Aumen’s over this wondrous gift of God. If you would like to help provide a meal for the new parents please contact Jennifer Brown.

Second, we celebrate Compassion Sunday this week, June 15. Come to worship prepared to celebrate the gift of Compassion and how it is helping us connect in a meaningful way with our brothers and sisters in Rwanda. If you have not yet had the opportunity to sponsor a child, be in prayer this week seeking the Lord’s direction.

Third, our mission trip to Rwanda is fast approaching (July 22- August 1). There are multiple ways that you can participate in the trip:

• Sponsor a child in Rwanda through Compassion this Sunday

• Write a greeting and submit a photo for our ‘Scapbook’ that will be taken to our sister parish

• Help with our ‘Rwandan Yard Sale’ scheduled for July 5! (Donate some items for sale; help set up and ‘man’ the tables on the day)

• Commit to pray for the 8 who are going on behalf of the church.

Fourth, the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) – holds its triennial Assembly in Latrobe, PA June 24-28. Janis and I are delegates from our Network this year. The most important event associated with the Assembly will take place prior to it however, as the bishops of the ACNA gather in convocation next week to prayerfully discern the next Archbishop for the Church. Please be in prayer for this convocation and for the Assembly.

Fifth, allow me to ask you to set your calendars for a very special weekend in August – the 15th – 17th. Bishop Steve Breedlove will be with us that weekend for his first ‘Parish Visit’ and will culminate the weekend with the Ordination to the Diaconate of Niles Gomez at our service on Sunday August 17. It promises to be a great celebration.

Looking forward to worshiping with you on Sunday.

Brian Campbell

Rector of Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church