January 30, 2017
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As a province that spans Canada, the United States, and Mexico we face unique challenges on issues affecting refugees and immigration. I am thankful for our congregations that are a part of the Anglican Immigrant Initiative. They have taken the lead in caring for those in our communities who are refugees and immigrants, showing the love of Christ to the most vulnerable.
This week, I encourage you to follow their example, and make a special effort to reach out to refugees and immigrants in your local community. In these divisive times, we have the opportunity to demonstrate a compassion that builds bridges, and overcomes fear.
In our province we also have lawmakers who face a different, but related set of challenging moral issues. As public servants, they are called to carefully discern how best to respond to the global humanitarian need while also maintaining the appropriate role of government in protecting its citizens. There are no easy answers to how our nations should balance these priorities, and our leaders need your prayers.
In light of the Syrian refugee crisis, changes in US immigration policy, and the way these changes will affect us all, I ask you to join me in prayer. Please pray for the poor, the refugee, and all immigrant families whose lives are made more complex, and sometimes more desperate by these events. Please also join me in praying for all those in positions of public trust who seek wisdom in the formation of the laws and policies of our respective governments.
A Collect for Refugees and Immigrants:
from whom every family on earth derives its name,
have mercy on all those who sojourn in this world.
As you sheltered your Son Jesus
who fled from the tyranny of Herod,
so now provide new homes for all those who flee the violence of this age
that they may know the peace of Christ.
Grace your people with hearts of welcome and lives of courage
through Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.
A Collect for Government Leaders:
O Lord our Governor, whose glory fills all the world: We commend our nations to your merciful care, that we may be guided by your Providence, and dwell secure in your peace. Grant to Justin, Prime Minister of Canada, Donald, President of the United States, and Enrique, President of Mexico, and to all in authority, wisdom and strength to know and to do your will. Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness, and make them continually mindful of their calling to serve the people in reverent obedience to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church in North America
January 18, 2017
Dear Resurrection Parents,
Bishop Stewart: As you heard on Sunday, we are beginning a sermon series titled Fully Alive: A Pastoral Call to Identity in Jesus, that will run for six weeks from January 22–February 26.
This series will address topics of manhood, womanhood, sexuality, marriage, and celibacy. As we teach, sensitive subjects such as the human body, same-sex attraction, masturbation, pornography, married sexuality, and more will be mentioned in our sermons.
You may be wondering what this series means for your family on Sunday mornings during the next six weeks. If your child is 12 and older and has an introductory understanding of sexuality, we think that most of the sermons would be appropriate for them. There are two sermons which could prove unsuitable for middle schoolers: a sermon on same-sex attraction on February 12, and the final sermon on February 26 that will deal with married sexuality. As you will see below, we are providing an alternate Sunday option for our middle schoolers on those two Sundays (11am service only).
Below, Children’s Pastor Carole Seid and Youth Pastor Will Chester provide age-specific guidance for your children.
What this means for RezKids
Carole Seid: For the entirety of the next six weeks, I strongly recommend that your children (0-5th grade) attend Sunday morning RezKids ministries, which run until the Offertory. The Fully Alive sermons are geared toward adults, and our preachers will be speaking candidly about human anatomy and sexuality, which will be sensitive for children.
Beyond utilizing RezKids ministries on Sunday morning, we are offering an amazing opportunity for our parents as we engage these topics as a church:
Christian parents are the most important sex educators of their children. I urge you to attend an upcoming free seminar with Dr. Stan Jones, a nationally recognized expert on psychology and human sexuality. I cannot emphasize enough what a rare and rich opportunity this will be for you as parents, and one that may not become available again for some time. We will be providing childcare for ages 0-5th grade,in order to make this seminar available to everyone. (Please RSVP to this event here.)
The seminar is titled: “Sex Education in the Christian Family: A Lifelong Approach To Shaping Your Child’s Sexual Character.” Dr. Jones and his wife Brenna have published a five-volume set of age-appropriate books on Christian sex education with combined total sales of over one million copies.
The purpose of this seminar is to begin to equip parents to shape their children to make wise, godly decisions in the area of sexuality. Our goal is to help our children become the kinds of spiritually mature adults of integrity who manifest godly moral character and, whether married or single, can have loving, deep, and mature family and friend relationships.
Beginning at 4:15pm, Dr. Jones will also be soliciting parent feedback that will help guide further revisions of these materials to address recent cultural shifts regarding sexuality over the past decade. Read this letter from Dr. Jones to learn more about this opportunity.
If you have any questions or concerns about what this series means for our children, please contact me at email@example.com. I am always available to talk with you.
What this means for RezYouth
Will Chester: We understand that students will interact with the Fully Alive series in different ways depending on their level of exposure to issues of sexuality and sensitivity to cultural pressures. RezYouth will be assisting parents and youth in a few different ways:
I am always available to meet with our students if they have questions or need to talk. (If your daughter prefers to meet with a woman, we have leaders available.) Our adult volunteers are also a valuable resource
If you have specific concerns or questions, are looking for resources, or are interested in developing a pastoral care plan for your child, please do not hesitate to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to connect with you.
Bishop Stewart: Thank you for your courage in pressing forward into these important topics as Christian parents. We are honored to partner with you in the mentoring and discipleship of your children and youth on topics of sexuality and gender. We are praying for your family during this important series, and invite your prayers for us as well as we teach and pastor. We love you all so much.
Bishop Stewart Ruch III, Rector
Carole Seid, Children’s Pastor
Will Chester, Youth Pastor