A Word from our Pastor
We have all watched in shock and incredulity the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces this week. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine violates international law, and indeed turns back the clock to a time when any state could resort to war at their discretion and acquire territorial and other gains by military conquest.
The events in Ukraine touch a deep chord in my own life. Twenty-two years ago, I visited my parents' homeland of Lithuania and met my cousins for the first time. As we shared meals and conversation we rejoiced at the gains the country had made in 10 short years since shaking off the oppressive yoke of the Soviet empire. Now, my cousins and their fellow citizens fear the worst -- that after Ukraine, they may be next. They fear their hard won liberty and democracy is once again threatened, not by communism, but by Kremlin's kleptocratic ruler.
As a Christian, I know that the freedom Christ came to bring is not enshrined in any political system. At the same time, Christian faith recognizes that the abundant life Christ came to bring is threatened under an unjust social order. That is why I welcome the opportunities that have been offered by the BC Synod this week to come together as the Body of Christ and pray for Ukraine. I also commend to you the invitation from the Lutheran World Federation to register for the Ash Wednesday Morning Service of Prayer and Solidarity with the people of Ukraine. Please scroll down the newsletter for the invitation and details on how to register.
Even as we condemn the unlawful violation of international law by Russia, we have an obligation to come to terms with another story of conquest--that of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas-- and the historical role the Church played in that conquest. Through the Doctrine of Discovery issued in 1452, the Church specifically sanctioned and promoted the conquest, colonization, and exploitation of non-Christian territories and peoples. Hundreds of years of decisions and laws continuing right up to our own time can ultimately be traced back to the Doctrine of Discovery—laws that invalidate or ignore the rights, sovereignty, and humanity of Indigenous peoples in Canada and around the world.
I am grateful that our Synod's Journey to Reconciliation Group is making a study of this Doctrine available to us during Lent. Because we will not be hosting our own midweek Holden Evening Prayer services, this year is the perfect time for all of us to join in this Zoom study. Each Thursday in Lent will begin at 7PM with a short service of Evening Prayer (Vespers). This will be followed by a short break before launching into an hour long study and small group discussion. If you have friends or acquaintances who are interested in learning about Reconciliaton they can join the study at 7:30 without having to participate in the worship service. And if you can't block out all six weeks, you can participate as your schedule allows. There is no requirement to participate in all six weeks. Scroll down the Newsletter for all the details in a separate post.
In closing I look forward to seeing many of you this Sunday at our Service of Word and Prayer, and I thank my God upon every remembrance of you (Phil. 1:3).
Sonja's Baby Shower
I would like to say thank you to everyone who came and participated in Sonja's baby shower! She was so pleased and overwhelmed by the wonderful gifts and good wishes she received. What a great way to kick off in person services again. I would like to extend my appreciation to Lin Parkinson for her gift of making functions very special. We had such a good time planning and setting it all up!
You can view more pictures on our "members only" page. Password - gloriadei22# https://www.gloriadei.ca/pages/for-our-members
A sign of global solidarity with the people and churches of Ukraine - Wednesday, March 2, 2022
An invitation from the Lutheran World Federation:
The Russian military assault on Ukraine threatens peace in Europe and indeed the whole world. This urgent and evolving crisis requires the attention and solidarity of the global Christian community.
As a sign of global solidarity with the people and churches of Ukraine, the Conference of European Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Communion of Reformed Churches, and the World Methodist Council, issue an invitation to an online prayer service for Ukraine on Ash Wednesday – March 2 at 17:00 CET. The prayer will include listening to voices from Ukraine.
For more infomation visit:
Lenten Evening Prayer and a Study on the Doctrine of Discovery - Thursday, March 3, 2022
Lenten Evening Prayer and a Study on the Doctrine of Discovery
When: 7:00PM - 8:30PM Thursday in Lent starting on March 3rd.
What: Lenten Evening Prayer followed by a study on the Doctrine of Discovery
Who: All interested in starting or continuing their journey of reconciliaiton with their Indigenous sibilings both as an individual and as a church
Organizer: the Journey Towards Reconciliation Group of the BC Synod
Registration: register here to receive the Zoom link - https://bit.ly/3IQ3peDh
We are joining other churches for Lenten Vespers and a study on the Doctrine of Discovery. As part of your Lenten Spiritual Practice join us on Zoom starting March 3rd at 7:00 pm as we worship together and take an in depth look at the Doctrine of Discovery, a document that has shaped western attitudes towards Indigenous people for the past five centuries. Organized by the Journey Towards Reconciliation Group each evening will start with a 20 minute Lenten Vespers (Evening Worship) led by different congregations in the BC Synod. This will be followed by a short break before we dive into a one hour discussion with video on the Doctrine of Discovery. Come to one or all of them. This is a great chance to start or continue your journey of reconciliation with your Indigenous siblings both as an individual and as a church.
Check out this introductory video clip to learn more - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhezcVydARE
Doctrine of Discovery video content used with the permission of the Anglican Church in Canada.
For more infomation visit:
We have 2 new groups renting from us beginning the first week of March. The first is the North Shore Wrestling Club who will be using the hall on Thursday afternoons from 3:30 - 8:00pm and Saturday mornings from 8:00am -12:15pm.
The second group joining us on a weekly basis is the North Vancouver Rotary Club. They will meet on Monday evenings from 7:00 - 9:00pm.
On March 16th we are once again hosting Canadian Blood Services.
You can always check the calendar on the website to see what is booked at any time.
VITA RETREAT - March 4 and 5
A Retreat to Kickstart your Lent
Vita Retreat - March 4 and 5
St. Catherine's is hosting a hybrid retreat in person (with BC Vaccine Card) and on Zoom (those who are not yet able to gather in person). The retreat will begin on Friday March 4th, 5:30 - 9:30 pm at Saint Catherine's Church (1058 Ridgewood Drive, Edgemont, North Vancouver) and continues on Saturday March 5th, 9 am - 5:30 pm. The overarching concept of the retreat is an expanded understanding of reading scripture in a meditative, devotional way or lectio divina. Cost is $25.00. More details are available on the St. Catherine's website. Jim Berger is the contact person Gloria Dei.
A Final Note
A thank-you for Christmas
Two Christmas cards came in the mail today. We were puzzled, "From whom could they be?" As we opened them up and began to read, we were touched to discover that they came from the two of the seniors who received our Christmas hampers. We post an image of one of the notes here. If you would like to read the other one, both thank-you notes are on the bulletin board across from the office.
~ Shelley and Pr. Vida