Monday, October 2, 2017

McKenna String Quintet

What a busy Sunday we just had.  World Wide Communion, a visiting string quintet and the installation of Rev. Noel Kinnon as our minister emeritus, and the beginning of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.  Talk about a high Sunday.

Let's start with the McKenna's a quintet of siblings, visiting our church, who graced the service with their music during the prelude, offertory and postlude.  Such a wealth of talent in one family.  We thank them for their participation.  If you missed them on Sunday, you can hear them in concert on October 15, at the church.  More details to follow.

A minister emeritus in the Presbyterian Church in Canada has no special duties, no special powers and no remuneration.  The title is simply an acknowledgement of affection and esteem from the congregation to the retired minister.  There was no shortage of affection or esteem in Sunday morning's service.  Noel is a great friend to Saanich Peninsula
Presbyterian Church, often filling the pulpit when Rev. Irwin is called away.  Judging by the number of guests in the pews, Rev. Kinnon is also a friend to a great many people, not of our congregation.  Praise God!
Although it was specifically stated that he had no new responsibilities as our minister emeritus, Noel was very much part of the ministry team, taking the children's story and officiating at Holy Communion.

And that brings me to World Wide Communion Sunday.  The McKenna's are not only gifted string players, they sing -- beautifully.  The piece they chose this morning was in Spanish.  Fitting for a day when Christians around the world celebrate communion.  Sometimes we feel small and alone in the hurly-burly of our culture, but Sunday we were part of "a great cloud of witnesses."

Finally, Sunday marked 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.  On Oct. 31, 1517 Martin Luther famously nailed his 95 theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg Castle church, beginning a movement that would reshape the western world.  Rev. Irwin's sermon "Sola Gratia -- By Grace Alone," was based in one of the tenets of Luther's reformation.  We are saved by grace alone, by God's gift, not by our deservedness.

Ironically, the Bible Study groups have just begun the study of the Letter of James, a book Luther described as "straw."  James emphasises "works" to illuminate and act out our faith.  Some see this book as a contradiction to Luther's Sola Gratia.  Come along on Wednesdays at 9:30 am or 7:00 pm to see where the study takes us.

As I said at the beginning of this post, quite a Sunday.  Hallelujah!

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