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Dear Friends,
This Sunday we hear the account of Jesus spending time with his friends, Mary, Martha and Lazarus in Bethany (John 12:1-8).  He has had to leave Jerusalem because he is somewhat of a wanted man by the authorities.  At his friend's house they host him and care for him and feed him. After supper Mary does this very unexpected and very beautiful thing for Jesus....she opens a very precious bottle of ointment and pours it over his feet anointing him. It was completely unexpected and cause for an outburst by the others around the table.  
There are so many unexpected actions in this short passage.  It was unexpected that someone would use such a precious ointment to wash someone's feet; it was unexpected that Jesus would dampen the mood of the dinner with talk of his death.  In our Lenten book study this past week we talked about the unexpected people who are identified in the lineage accounts in both Matthew and Luke's Gospels.  All of which reminds me that God is often up to unexpected things with, for, and through unexpected people. People expected the messiah to look like King David; what they got instead was a former carpenter and itinerant preacher. The crowds who welcome Jesus a few verses after these, expecting Jesus to throw out the Romans; instead he is crucified by them. Even his followers expect his crucifixion to be the end of the story; it turns out to be just the beginning.

The thing I love about God is that God regularly loves to do the unexpected with, for, and through unexpected people. And the culmination of Lent and celebration of Easter are the highlight of the work and activity of this unexpected God, as death is assumed to have the last word, until Jesus is raised from the dead.

A couple of questions arise





hat do we expect of God – to come in power, to answer our prayers as we would like, to favo



a certain

sports team – and are we prepared to be surprised as God again does the unexpected?


here God might be at work in unexpected ways in our community?
Whom might God be at work in next? 
God is regularly about the business of surprising us with where God shows up, whom God uses, and what God accomplishes.
This is good news for us.  God shows up in the ordinary and unexpected places of bread and wine, offering the forgiveness of sins and a renewal of our mission - to care for people and the world God loves so much.
1. Tomorrow, March 12, is church clean up day from 9:30am to 1pm.  There are many jobs that need doing and many hands help.  Lunch will be provided as will coffee and tea.   
2. Don't forget to turn your clocks ahead one hour on Saturday night - you won't want to miss the potluck lunch following worship on Sunday!
Next Sunday 
March 20th,
 we will join with our sisters and brothers at St. Catherine's to begin our holy week journey. Worship will be at St. Catherine's Anglican at 10am.  There will be no service at Gloria Dei next Sunday.
  • March 24 - Maundy Thursday 7:30pm with foot/hand
    washing and holy communion.  St. Catherine's Anglican will be worshipping with us.
  • March 25 - Good Friday - 11:00am
  • March 27 - Easter Sunday - 10:00am 
4.  If you would like to donate a lily for Easter in memorial of someone please place your donation in the offering plate with the name of person(s) included.  A memorial list will be included in the bulletin on Easter Sunday.
5. Holy Saturday Retreat - Living Between Death and Resurrection: A time to nurture your spiritual life between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  This mini-retreat (9:30am to 12:30pm) will give you an opportunity for quiet to reflect on God's presence in the current transitions of your life, between endings and new beginnings. Cost is $8, to register email[email protected] or call 604-988-4418. St. Clements Church 3400 Institute Road, North Vancouver.
I am so thankful for you and the ministry we share at Gloria Dei.  You are a great gift to the church, God, and the world.  Have a great day
In Christ,
Pr. Jennifer