February 23th, 2020 – Quinquagesima Sunday

O LORD, who hast taught us that all our doings without charity are nothing worth: Send thy Holy Spirit, and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of charity, the very bond of peace and of all virtues, without which whosoever lives is counted dead before thee: Grant this for thine only Son Jesus Christ’s sake.  Amen.

Isaiah 35:3-7; Psalm 2; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; Luke 18:31-43

The Lenten season is meant to kindle a “bright sadness” within our hearts. Its aim is precisely the remembrance of Christ, a longing for a relationship with God that has been lost. Lent offers the time and place for recovery of this relationship. The darkness of Lent allows the flame of the Holy Spirit to burn within our hearts until we are led to the brilliance of the Resurrection. (Alexander Schmemann)

BRETHREN, in the primitive Church it was the custom to observe with great devotion the days of our Lord’s Passion and Resurrection, and to prepare for the same by a season of penitence and fasting. This season of Lent provided also a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for holy Baptism. It was also a time when such persons as had, by reason of notorious sins, been separated from the body of the faithful, were reconciled and restored to the fellowship of the Church by penitence and forgiveness. Thereby the whole Congregation was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution contained in the Gospel of our Saviour, and of the need which all Christians continually have, of a renewal of their repentance and faith. I therefore invite you, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance, by prayer, fasting, and self-denial, and by reading and meditation upon God’s holy Word. (Book of Common Prayer p. 611)

This week’s sermon

February 2, 2020 – The Presentation of Christ in the Temple/The Purification of St. Mary the Virgin

ALMIGHTY and everliving God, we humbly  beseech thy Majesty, that, as thy only-be- gotten Son was this day presented in the temple  in substance of our flesh, so we may be presented  unto thee with pure and clean hearts, by the same  thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Malachi 3:1-5; Psalm 24:7-10; Hebrews 2:14-18; Luke 2:22-40

January 26th, 2020 – Third Sunday after Epiphany

Almighty and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth thy right hand to help and defend us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Isaiah 9:1-4; Psalm 27:1, 5-13; 1 Corinthians 1:10-18; Matthew 4:12-23

In our reading from Isaiah today we find a promise and prophecy concerning God’s intention to restore His people to freedom and joy, and locates this activity in an unlikely place: Galilee. In today’s Gospel lesson, Matthew references this prophecy as finding its fulfillment in the public ministry of Jesus, which comprised of making disciples, preaching, teaching, and healing. Our Psalm puts language to our souls’
longing for God, and the experience of His salvation. In our Epistle reading today, Paul appeals for unity within the Church that is divided by various factions, and in reflecting on his ministry of word and sacrament among the Corinthians, stresses, after the example of Jesus, the saving power of the Gospel and the priority he gave its proclamation in his own ministry.

January 19th, 2020 – The Second Sunday after Epiphany

Almighty and everlasting God, who dost govern all things in heaven and earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of thy people, and grant us thy peace all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Isaiah 49:1-7; Psalm 40:1-12; 1 Corinthians 1:1-9; John 1:29-42

The Old Testament lesson for today is provided by the second Servant Song from Isaiah. Its emphasis on the calling of the servant and his special vocation as a “light to the nations” makes it
especially appropriate in the season of Epiphany. The psalm is a prayer of thanksgiving which finally prompts the psalmist to tell abroad the good news of deliverance. The Epistle consists of the
opening greeting from Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians in which he gives thanks for the congregation and expresses confidence in the presence and saving, sanctifying power of God at work in the
ongoing life of the Church, which itself is an “ epiphany” or manifestation of God. The Gospel lesson today from John recalls the Baptism of Jesus which we celebrated last Sunday, and provides us with further theological content and reflection of the epiphany that took place there, and shows how it
was that others came “to see and believe.”

Prayer is doxology, praise, thanksgiving, confession, supplication and intercession to God. “When I prayed I was new,” wrote a great theologian of Christian antiquity, “but when I stopped praying I became old.” Prayer is the way to renewal and spiritual life. Prayer is aliveness to God. Prayer is strength, refreshment, and joy. Through the grace of God and our disciplined efforts prayer lifts us up from our isolation to a conscious, loving communion with God in which everything is experienced in a new light. Prayer becomes a personal dialogue with God, a spiritual breathing of the soul, a foretaste of the bliss of God’s kingdom.

As we pray deeply within our hearts we grow in prayer. By the grace of God we suddenly catch a glimpse of the miracle of the presence of the Holy Spirit working within us. At first it is only a spark but later it becomes a flame freeing and energizing our whole being. To experience the fire of God’s holy love, to give it space within us to do its cleansing and healing work as a breath of the Holy Spirit, and to use it as light and power for daily living — such are the goals as well as the fruits of true prayer.

The Fruits of True Prayer – Prayer & Spiritual Life – Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

January 12, 2020 – The Baptism of the Lord

O HEAVENLY Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ did take our nature upon him, and was baptized for our sakes in the river Jordan: Mercifully grant that we being regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace, may also be partakers of thy Holy Spirit; through him whom thou didst send to be our Saviour and Redeemer, even the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Isaiah 42:1-9; Psalm 29; Acts 10:34-43; Matthew 3:13-17

December 8th, 2019 – Second Sunday in Advent

Blessed Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant that we may in such wise hear, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience, and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace, and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Romans 15:4-13; Matthew 3:1-12

The Church’s preparation for the coming of Christ continues with readings that kindle hope for the fulfillment of the kingdom which God has established in Jesus Christ. The Old Testament reading is one of the classic prophecies of a future king in the line of David, one whom God will anoint with His Spirit, and whose reign and rule will bring both judgement and salvation, and will establish peace and harmony over the created order. Psalm 72, a petition to God that the king rule with righteousness and justice, continues the same themes. A major motif in the Epistle lection, which cites Isaiah 11.10, is hope, based on the confirmation of the Old Testament promises by the coming of Jesus. The “eschatological” ( ie., revealing the end or final destiny) character of the coming of Jesus Christ inot the world are dramatized in the Gospel, and the appearance of John the Baptist with his preaching of the kingdom and call to repentance.

December 1st, 2019 – First Sunday in Advent

Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty, to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever.  Amen.

Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:36-44


THE SEASON of Advent which begins today marks both the beginning of a new year in the Church calendar, but also a season of preparation for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Advent collect describes how Jesus came to us in great humility. He was born of a woman and laid in a manger. God in the flesh! This is what we will celebrate at Christmas. Over the course of this coming year we will seek to grow in our response to the Incarnation by learning to love more deeply the world Jesus came to redeem.

But the coming of Christ is not simply to be understood as something in that occurred once in the past. He comes to us here and now in and through His Holy Spirit, who draws us into union with God and with each other, and so in Advent we renew our intention to live as members of the Body of Christ with peace and joy and all the gifts and fruits of the Spirit!

The coming of Christ also has a future aspect, as we declare in our Creed, “He will come again in glory to judge both the living and the dead.” Advent teaches us to look forward with hope and expectation to that day when “we shall rise to the life immortal” in the new heaven and the new earth where God will be all in all. As we look forward to the Advent of Gods kingdom, we seek to live now as worthy citizens of that kingdom. 

The colour of Advent is purple, representing penitence, hope, and expectation, with which we prepare for Jesus ‘coming. As John the Baptist prepared the way of the Lord by calling people to repentance, so Advent is a natural time to renew our spiritual lives through the practice of prayer, stillness, meditation, and confession.

May God bless you all in this Holy season, and throughout the coming church year.

Yours faithfully,

Claude + 

November 3rd, 2019 – The Feast of All Saints

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord: Grant us grace so to follow thy blessed Saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those unspeakable joys, which thou hast prepared for them that unfeignedly love thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daniel 7:1-3,15-18; Psalm 149; Ephesians 1:11-23; Luke 6:20-31

Prayers by the Lake XCV  Children and Saints   by St. Nikolai Velimirovich