Lent 1, 2021 – Sermon

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A period of forty days is significant in scripture, and is repeated over and over:

We heard in the Penitential Rite on Ash Wednesday that the forty days of Lent are the Church’s preparation for the great feast at Easter, and that that preparation takes the form of “self-examination and repentance, prayer, fasting and self-denial, and reading and meditation on God’s holy Word” (BCP pp. 611-612). 

  • Genesis 7 – in the great flood, rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.
  • Exodus 24 – Moses was on the mountain with God forty days and forty nights.
  • Numbers 13 – the Hebrew spies were in in the land of Canaan forty days.
  • 1 Samuel 17 – the giant Goliath tormented the Israelite army for forty days before David killed him.
  • 1 Kings 19 – when Elijah was on the run from Jezebel, an angel fed him a meal of bread and water, and on the strength of it he walked forty days from Beer-Sheba to Mount Horeb.
  • Jonah 3 – Jonah’s prophecy to Nineveh was that they had forty days to repent.

And Mark tells us in his Gospel that after Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan River, he went into the wilderness for forty days and was tempted by Satan.

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Ash Wednesday, 2021 – Sermon

St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Ash Wednesday, Feb 17. 2021 Canon Claude Schroeder

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“The word “Lent “ comes from on old  English word ‘lencten” meaning ‘spring-time ’ which isn’t particularly helpful in  mid February on the Canadian Prairies  where we are just starting to come out of a particularly brutal polar vortex.

Besides what does Lent have to do with spring-time?


Lent, as we heard in the exhortation was, in the early Church, a penitential season of preparation for baptism, and the annual journey of remembrance towards the celebration of Easter.

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Last Sunday after Epiphany, 2021 – Sermon

St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Epiphany 6, Feb. 14, 2021. Canon Claude Schroeder

Rector’s Report to the Annual General Meeting

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At a recent video conference, the clergy of the Diocese were asked to share in small groups their response to some questions, including “How have you been affected by the pandemic?” “How has your parish coped during this time?”

I shared that it has been a bit like the magician who attempted the trick of pulling the table cloth out from under the dishes and glasses on the table, without disturbing them. According to the laws of physics, it’s not much of a trick at all, because when you pull the cloth, the dishes stay put on account of what physicists call  “inertia”, which is the property of matter that describes its resistance to any change in its motion.  Only in this case, when the magician yanked the table-cloth, while some of the dishes and glassware, thanks to inertia, remained in place, others landed in broken pieces on the floor, which has required a certain amount of clean up and re-setting of the table.

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Epiphany 5, 2021 – Sermon

Sermon for St. Mary’s Anglican – by Henry Friesen           February 7, 2021

Scriptures for the 5th Sunday of Epiphany:  Isaiah 40:21-31, Psalm 147: 1-11, I Corinthians 9:16-23 and  Mark1:29-39

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Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts together, be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, our strength and our redeemer.

Questions That Push Us Toward God

            Asking the right question is one of the most incisive ways to get to the heart of any issue or problem. Your family Doctor listens to your explanation but then begins to ask pointed questions – the better the questions, the more certain her or she is about what the treatment options are. Parents can only understand their child if they ask the questions that will reveal what is really going on with their child, what is behind their discomfort, anxiousness or sadness. I suggest to you this morning that good questions will also reveal your spiritual malaise or areas where you and I have forgotten the reality of God’s presence.

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Epiphany 4, 2021 – Sermon

St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church, January 31, 2021 The Fourth Sunday after Epiphany
Revd. Canon Claude Schroeder. Sermon on Mark 1. 21-28

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In this season of Epiphany, we have been celebrating and considering the means by which Jesus Christ becomes visible and known in the world. In our Gospel lesson today from St. Mark, we have another wonderful and powerful “epiphany.” Who is Jesus Christ? He is the Holy One of God comes to release His people from the grip of the unclean spirits of the Evil One which has holds them captive! 

This manifestation of both the power and identity of Jesus Christ comes to us perhaps as a bit of challenge. In our modern world, we generally believe that evil is simply a personal and/ or systemic problem, that can we address by means of education and legislation, government programs and improved technologies, all of which require a lot of effort and a lot of money!  But the conception of reality that emerges from the pages of the New Testament suggests that this is inadequate. There are radically evil, demonic spiritual forces at work in the world which actively assault, enslave, corrupt and destroy the creatures of God, and from which we need to be protected and delivered. Jesus Christ has come to do precisely that.

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Epiphany 3 2021 Sermon

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If you follow the schedule for the Psalter as it is laid out in the Book of Common Prayer, you would have read Psalm 106 last Thursday evening.  It’s a long psalm – 48 verses.  The purpose of the song was to remind Israel of their history, of who they were as a people.  Beginning at the Red Sea, it moves through the history of the nation, reminding the listener of events they had been learning about all their lives, as they were set down in the Pentateuch.

Here are some of the highlights of Jewish history as recounted by Psalm 106:

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Epiphany 2 2021 Sermon

St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church, Epiphany 2, Jan. 17, 2020
Revd. Canon Claude Schroeder.

Lectionary: 1 Samuel 3. 1-10, Psalm 139. 1-5, 12-17, 1 Cor. 6. 12-20, John 1.43.51

Today is the Second Sunday after Epiphany in our church calendar. Epiphany, the season devoted towards celebrating “the manifestation” or the “showing forth” of God in the person of Jesus Christ.  

For a lot of people mid-January in Regina is physically and emotionally a pretty dark time and place at the best of times, made worse this year by you know what…Is there light at the end of the tunnel? I’m not so sure. But then again, I’m not sure “at the end of the tunnel” is the right place to be looking for light.

 “The light shines in the darkness “writes St. John at the beginning of his Gospel, “and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1.5). The place where the light shines is in the darkness.  And as St. Paul writes, “The God who said, let light shine out of darkness, has shone in ourhearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Cor.4.6). Our task as Christians is to turn to the light that is right here and right now shining in our hearts, and to bathe ourselves in that light. This is the gift and the blessing of the season of Epiphany, the season of light. “With thee is the fountain of life,” wrote the Psalmist, “in thy light we shall see light.” (Psalm 36.9)

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Baptism of the Lord, 2021 – Sermon

St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church, Baptism of the Lord, January 10. 2020
Revd. Canon Claude Schroeder.
Lectionary: Genesis  1.1-5  , Psalm 29, Acts,19.1-7, Mark 1.4-11

I was sitting in my study here at the church  one day, this was quite a few years now, when the phone rang. “Good Morning, St. Mary’s Anglican Church.” 

It was the location manager for a local film company looking for a church in which to film a baptism scene, and she was wondering if St. Mary’s might be available. 

The story concerned a young woman who had started attending A.A. meetings in a church basement, such as happens here at St. Mary’s on Wednesday evenings. It was in the A.A. meeting where this young woman, according to the 12 steps, 

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Christmas 2 Sermon

Sermon for St. Mary’s Anglican
Date:  January 3, 2021
Scriptures:  Jeremiah 31:7-14, Psalm 147: 12-20, Ephesians 1:3-14 & John 1:1-18
Prepared by Henry Friesen

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Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts together, be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, our strength and our redeemer.

My sermon this morning is based on the words of the Lord given to the prophet Jeremiah and recorded in chapter 31. I have given it the title:  There is a Future

            Several weeks ago now I saw a political cartoon that I thought so clearly captured the feeling of what the past year has felt like to me. The cartoon was of two boxers inside a boxing ring.  One of the boxers was a huge fellow with broad shoulders, great big muscles and a large set of boxing gloves. The gloves looked strangely like the microscopic images of the coronavirus particles that we see time and again on TV or on websites and in news articles.  You know, the round ball-shaped image with what looks like mushrooms or small suction cups sticking out of the round surface – that is what the boxing gloves looked like on the big boxer; he was clearly the winner. His opponent in the ring was very small in comparison; he had small gloves, a terribly bruised face and a battered body.  The boxing match has been very one-sided. What made the cartoon so vivid for me was that on the back of big boxer was the number 2020 while on the back of the small boxer was simply “the world”.

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Sunday After Christmas 2020 Sermon

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Thirty or so years ago, my aunt and uncle were pastors of a little church in Calgary, and for a while they did this show on one of the local public access tv stations.  I don’t remember very much about it.  I think they played music and sang and preached.  They probably had guests on.  It was 100 Huntley Street without the production value.  But I do have one clear memory about their show.  When their oldest grandchild was born, my aunt did a segment where she held him in her arms while she read scriptures and talked about the hope and promise that he represented to her.  That baby, firstborn of her firstborn, held for her in his tiny being at that moment all the promises of God for the future of her family.

As a nine-year-old I found all this vaguely embarrassing.  My aunt on tv talking like she’d invented being a grandparent.  And sure, baby Jordan was cute and all, but he was just a baby.  There were already a bunch of us kids running around.  No one else talked about how the future of the world rested on our shoulders.  Still, this particular memory has stayed vivid for me.  I carry that image of her holding Jordan and looking into the camera, her belief in God’s promises for her future shining out of her.  She is what I always imagine when I read this story of Simeon and Anna.

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