Monthly Archives: June 2016

Following Jesus?

From Rev Iain Baxter, All Saints Chiang Mai

Dear Friends,

Our bible readings this week will again challenge us to follow Jesus.  What are we prepared to give up to follow him?  It is a challenging question!  It is not about giving up chocolate for Lent, or alcohol for January, it is about changing our lives, giving up our self-centredness!  This is the challenge of the Christian life.

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I have been doing more investigations into smoke alarms.  They are definitely considerably cheaper in the UK where almost all houses now have them and it is almost putting the fire service out of business!  The ones I have found here in Thailand are imported from the States and are not cheap.  We need the type with a ten year battery life.

I will therefore bring 20 smoke detectors back from the UK when I come back at the end of July.  These cost around THB400 each but it is important that we don’t buy and install ones where the batteries fail after a few months.

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Meanwhile, the U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai and Mplus Foundation are pleased to present “Love for All,” an event to celebrate the LGBTI Community. This event is co-hosted by Chiang Mai University’s Faculty of Law, CMU Art Center, American Corner Chiang Mai and Documentary Club. The event will take place on Tuesday, June 28 at the CMU Art Center. The event will feature the film titled, Gayby Baby, as well as a panel discussion with members from the LGBTI community and organizations.

13.30-14.00: Registration
14.00-14.15: Opening Ceremony with Remarks by Dean Chatree Rueangdetnarong, Chiang Mai University Faculty of Law and U.S. Consul General Henry Jardine
14.15-14.30: Short film titled “Love for All”
14.30-17:00: Panel Discussion: Same Sex Marriage Bill: Lessons Learned by Thailand from the U.S.
17.00-18.00: Reception
18.00-20.00: Film Screening of Gayby Baby

All are welcome to attend – it will be in a mixture of Thai and English.

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This Sunday’s readings are 2 Kings 2, Galatians 5:1, 13-25, and Luke 9:51-62, and we will be singing the hymns All for Jesus, Will you come and Follow Me?, Stand up stand up for Jesus, and Tell Out My Soul!  The readings can be found via this link!

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If you don’t know the way to All Saints, directions can be found on the Where and When page.  Most people get to hear about us via the internet or by word of mouth, so please feel free to pass on this email to others.  All are welcome to join us as we share the presence of the risen Jesus in our lives!  We hope to see you soon and that you will enjoy worshiping with us,

God bless,

Iain

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Standing Together with Orlando!

From Rev Iain Baxter, All Saints Chiang Mai

Dear Friends,

Around 150 people, including some of us from All Saints, gathered outside the American Consulate here in Chiang Mai on Tuesday evening.  We stood in solidarity with the people killed in the
terrible shooting at The Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.  I was asked to end the event and offer a prayer – you can read my comments on the Latest News page of the All Saints website.

We need to continue to hold in our prayers, all those affected by this terrible tragedy.  Our sermon this week will look at how we overcome fear and can put our trust in the Jesus who is the Prince of Peace.

Chris has taken over the job of compiling the church directory.  This will give names, addresses, and phone numbers of people in the church.  (we will not publish emails because of the danger of general spamming!)  If you arrived in the last year, or your details have changed, please fill in a form at the back of the church on Sunday.

This Sunday’s readings are 1 Kings 19, Galatians 3:23-29, and Luke 8:26-39, and we will be singing the hymns Praise my Soul the King of Heaven, In Christ alone my hope is Found, Abide with Me, and What a Friend We Have in Jesus.  The readings can be found via this link!

Most people get to hear about us via the internet or by word of mouth, so please feel free to pass on this email to others.  All are welcome to join us as we share the presence of the risen Jesus in our lives!  We hope to see you soon and that you will enjoy worshiping with us,

God bless,

Iain

Chiang Mai Vigil

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(Photo from Steve Yarnold at Chiang Mai City Life.)

FROM REV IAIN BAXTER, ALL SAINTS CHIANG MAI

Around a hundred and fifty people attend the moving vigil held last night to remember those killed and injured in the shooting in Orlando.

Some people have asked if I would post my remarks online, so they are pasted below.

We stand as both victims and perpetrators in this world of pain.

Those of us of the monotheistic faiths, whether Christian, Muslim, or Jewish, must stand in repentance and remorse for the times we have condemned those who are different, for the times we, or our leaders, have perpetuated homophobia, and have not equally valued all God’s children, gay lesbian, bi,  transgender, or straight.

For words lead to actions, and the actions of one man on an ordinary Saturday night/Sunday morning, led to the death of 49 and the devastation of the lives of so many more.

When I sent out the announcement of this vigil on Facebook, one man responded that “First and foremost, they were innocent Americans that were gunned down, I do not care their sexual preference and personally feel you could have left that off.”

My response was that “Unfortunately, the man who killed them did care about their sexual preference. That is why he killed them! That is why we should not have left that off.”

They were target for their sexuality, just as Jews, or Christians, or Muslims, have at other times been targeted for their religion or race, and we must not forget that.

But we stand here united together to say that there is a better way.  That united against evil, and prejudice, and anger, we together can say “no”!  Whoever we are, we can say “not in my name!”

We do believe that love can and does overcome, that hatred will not have the final word, that we together stand stronger than those who would do us harm.

I concluded my words with a prayer written by Rachel Mann, a priest of the Church of England:

A Prayer for Orlando

Passionate God, Fierce Indwelling Love,

whose hunger for peace and justice

extends through the heights and depths of Creation.

We cry out for peace and respect in a violent world,

we commit ourselves to unconditional love.

We stand in furious solidarity with queer people

in Orlando and around the world,

and ask, ‘How Long, O Lord?’

O Fierce Indwelling Love,

may your passion for justice, mercy and love

make us unafraid of the other within,

and joyous in our celebration of your Rainbow People.

Through the One whose Love

Knows no limit, whose mercy is unbound, Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

Vigil Tomorrow!

From Rev Iain Baxter, All Saints Chiang Mai


Dear Friends,

The vigil will be at the US Consulate, outside the wall, 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 14.  The Consulate will be in charge of the proceedings and the Consul General is among those who will speak.

If you can, let me know if you intend to come as they are trying to estimate numbers, but all are welcome to turn up on the night.  I hope many of us can join those gathered, as we stand in solidarity with these LGBT victims of homophobia and terror, and indeed with all victims of terrorism around the world.

Please continue to hold all involved in your thoughts and prayers.

God bless,

Iain

Please Pray!

From Rev Iain Baxter, All Saints Chiang Mai

Those who have lost loved ones remember

Dear Friends,

We will all want to hold the many people killed and injured in yesterday’s mass shooting in our thoughts and prayers.  I am in touch with the US Consulate and other groups in Chiang Mai, as we attempt to arrange some sort of vigil here in the city. Many of us will be thinking, that could have been me, or my son or daughter, brother, sister, or friend.

Please also hold the people of Orlando, and of all America, in your prayers.  Let us pray that this terrible tragedy leads to love and reconciliation, rather than more hate and division.

I will let people know as soon as I have news of what will be happening in Chiang Mai.

God bless,

Iain

Broken People?

From Rev Iain Baxter, All Saints Chiang Mai

Dear Friends,

There is much talk of “brokenness” in some Christian circles.  Some people argue that we actually need to be broken as we come before God.  There is some truth in this as we sometimes have to overcome pride and even self-righteousness, but in my three years as pastor of All Saints, Chiang Mai, I have become more aware of how fragile we all are.

We may often try to appear strong, but underneath we are often easily hurt and damaged.  Far from needing to be broken, we need to come to the Jesus who said he was sent to preach the gospel to the poor and to heal the brokenhearted.  This will be the theme of our sermon this week, please come!

Last week’s church offering, plus some additional money from church funds, will be devoted to beginning a program to install smoke detectors in dormitories in Thailand.

I have already spoken to the administrator of the Karen Leadership Development Program dormitory.  It houses poor Karen students from remote villages who are studying at college in Chiang Mai.  She is very happy for us to supply and fit smoke alarms in their dorm.   Bill Moeller has also spoken to an orphanage in Doi Saket, and they would like smoke alarms and also fire extinguishers for their dorm.

If you were unable to give last week there will be an additional chance to give to this project this week, in addition to our regular church offering.  Lets hope that this small project helps to save many lives.

Meanwhile, Chris has taken over the job of compiling the church directory.  This will give names, addresses, and phone numbers of people in the church.  (we will not publish emails because of the danger of general spamming!)  If you arrived in the last year, or your details have changed, please fill in a form at the back of the church on Sunday.

This Sunday’s readings are 2 Samuel 11:26-12:10, 13-15, Galatians 2:15-21, and Luke 7:38-8:3, and we will be singing the hymns All My Hope on God Is Founded, O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go, And Now O Father Mindful of the Love, and Amazing Grace.  The readings can be found via this link!

God bless,

Iain

Raising the Dead?

From Rev Iain Baxter, All Saints Chiang Mai

Jesus raises a widow’s son

Dear Friends,

You will have all heard about the fire at Pitakkiat Wittaya School in Chiang Rai.  Seventeen schoolgirls were killed in a fire which could probably have been prevented by the installation of smoke alarms. These cost as little as THB100 each.  What can we do to help?  THB14 million has already been donated to the families of those who died and were injured in Chiang Rai, but many other dormitories are in a similar state.

This week’s offering, plus some additional money from church funds, will be devoted to beginning a program to install smoke detectors in dormitories in Thailand.  I have already spoken to the administrator of the Karen Leadership Development Program dormitory.  It houses poor Karen students from remote villages who are studying at college in Chiang Mai.  She is very happy for us to supply and fit smoke alarms in their dorm.  I hope this will be the first of many!

We may not be raising the dead as Jesus did, but by the grace of God we may prevent others dying before their time.

Also, another reminder that the legal appeal for the two Burmese workers convicted of murder in Koh Tao, which has just been launched.  They would appreciate greetings cards, notebooks, pens, pencils or easy to read English story books to ease their incarceration in prison.  Their names are Wai Phyo and Zaw Lin, and their current prison address is:

Wai Phyo 590018, Zaw Lin 590082
Building 5,
Bangkwang Central Prison,
117 Nonthaburi Road,
NONTHABURI 11000,
THAILAND

Finally, another reminder that the singing group “Lannacapella” is now meeting at All Saints every Thursday at 3 p.m.  Any one interested in joining the group is warmly invited to come along!  They especially need men!

This week’s readings are 1 Kings 17:17-24, Galatians 1:11-24, and Luke 7:11-17, and we will be singing the hymns Let All the World in Every Corner Sing, The Lord’s My Shepherd, What shall I do, my God to love,and Now Thank We All Our God.  The readings can be found via this link!

God bless,

Iain