From Father Iain, All Saints Chiang Mai
Lent is a time for reflecting on our failings! That probably sounds rather depressing – certainly with all the pollution in Chiang Mai these days we all feel a little under the weather!
But the good news is that, whatever our failings, with God we always have a second chance! Did you do wrong yesterday? Never mind, tomorrow is a new chance, don’t do wrong again! In this week’s Gospel reading we have Jesus telling the parable of the fig-tree. The owner says cut it down, the gardener argues for one more year! With God there is always the offer of one more chance!
Those of us from the UK, will perhaps find out this week whether the EU will grant an extension to Article 50! Will we be given more time to sort everything out? But with God, the answer is already clear – we have an extension, for God waits for us to turn to God!
Our readings this week will be Isaiah 55:1-5, 1 Corinthians 10:1-13, and Luke 13:1-9, and we will be singing the hymns Praise to the Lord the Almighty, The Barren Fig-tree, For the Bread Which You Have Broken, and Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken! The readings can be found via this link and past services and sermons can be viewed via the All Saints audio-visual page!
Gender Discrimination Committee
Last week I flew down to Bangkok to speak before the Thai government committee on the Determination of Unfair Gender Discrimination. This is a follow-on from my award for Strengthening and Empowering the LGBTI Community last December.
I was asked to address the committee on my pastoral experience and views regarding same-sex marriage. All went well, and it was good to be able to give a positive message that God values and honours the love between all people. I was also able to share my experience of those who have suffered for lack of legal recognition of their relationships.
Lent Study Groups – The Power of Love!
This year, our weekly Lent Study Groups are looking at the book The Power of Love by the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, Michael Curry. It is a collection of his sermons, beginning with the one which he preached at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and which was watched by an estimated audience of over a billion people! (That sermon can be viewed here!)
The groups continue to meet on Tuesday and Wednesday in the Aldis’ house in Hang Dong and the Chase’s house in Sansai. If you would like to join a group please sign up at the back of the church.
Preaching in Lent
We are mightily blessed at All Saints to have a whole host of preachers. Throughout the Season of Lent, I will be handing over the pulpit to five of them. Over the next three weeks we will hear from Taylor Pfaff, Nate Tipton, and David McPhee!
It will be great for me to hear them preach, and for the church to have a rest from my voice! We are all part of the body of Christ and we can all share with one another! Thanks to Christa Crawford and Helga Spring for their words for the last two weeks.
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 worshipping with us,