From Father Iain, All Saints Chiang Mai
God is with us!
POTLUCK THIS WEEK
A couple of years ago I said to my brother “With Covid the future is so uncertain.” “The future is always uncertain!” He replied. And that is so true, but with God we can be certain that in the end all will be well!
Yesterday my exciting plans fell through. They weren’t very important plans, nothing life-changing, but one minute I had a plan for what I was going to do next week, and the next minute that plan was gone. Sometimes the roller-coaster of expectations can be exhausting, but as Christians we have the promise of Immanuel – that God is with us!
This does not mean that life is always easy – for some people it is very hard indeed – but the promise of God can be a comfort even in the darkest times. I think of a friend from Egypt who has just lost her husband to a sudden heart attack in his mid-forties, leaving her with two teenage children. God is with us – but sometimes life is tough!
So let us take comfort, and pray for one another. Let us show love, mercy, and thankfulness, and let us rest in the Lord’s arms.
The bible readings for this Sunday will be Genesis 2:4-9, 15-25, Revelation 4, and Luke 8:22-25, and we will be singing the hymns Before the Throne of God Above, Christ is the World’s Light, Give me Jesus, and Christ Be Our Light!
Potluck – This Sunday!
This will be our annual pancake potluck as we anticipate the beginning of Lent. Some people have been allocated things to bring, but everyone can bring pancake toppings to share!
Covid at the Youth Charity Foundation
The outbreak is now officially over. Only one girl actually tested positive and half the choir will join us for our service and potluck this week. All is well now – thanks be to God!
New Home Groups – Starting Soon!
All Saints Chiang Mai will soon be starting Home Groups based on the teachings, videos, and book by Brene Brown on vulnerability. Vulnerability has been proven to improve creativity and enjoyment of life. We will be embarking on an adventure together! These groups will be open to whoever wants to learn more about vulnerability in a safe and supportive community. An opportunity to invite friends who do not attend All Saints and even those who never imagine themselves setting foot in a church.
Our time together will include a meal, video or other learning activity, and time for discussion. The groups will meet for approximately 1 ½ hours per week. Please click on the survey below so we can find the best days and time to launch these new Home Groups. Thank you!
Annual General Meeting 2022 – Next Sunday, 27th February
Our AGM will be held on Sunday 27th February following the morning service, in accordance with the provisions of our 2021 Constitution.
What does the AGM do?
All Saints is a hybrid church – we are neither fully congregational nor fully episcopal.
In a congregational church, all authority under God rests with the congregation.
In the purest form of congregationalism, all decisions would be taken by vote of a congregational meeting. This would require almost weekly congregational meetings, and so decisions would be made by those who happened to be present that week. In a quickly changing congregation, like All Saints, this could be quite unstable.
In a completely episcopal church, like the Roman Catholic or Orthodox churches, all authority under God rests with the bishops, who delegate that authority to priests. The lay people do not have formal authority in the structure and authority is passed on in the Apostolic Succession. In an independent congregation, like All Saints, this would put all authority in the hands of one person and wouldn’t provide a system for accountability.
So All Saints’ constitution seeks to provide a system of checks and balances, taking the best features from each model.
Firstly, the congregation is the ultimate authority, under God, but delegates that authority by appointing a priest and electing members of the Church Council.
Each year, the congregation elects new members of the Church Council at its Annual General Meeting.
This year, one of our longest-serving members, Helga Spring, will be stepping down. Of the remaining three lay members, Chris Tananone has agreed to serve for one more year to aid transition to the newer council members, Hannah Alexander-Herrick has only served for a year, and Katie Wierenga was co-opted to complete the remainder of Bill Moeller’s term in September.
To ensure continuity, our Church Council consists of four lay seats elected by the congregation, and three clerical seats occupied by the clergy or, in the absence of three clerical staff, nominated by the vicar. Nominations are now closed and four people have been nominated for the four elected positions on the Church Council. They are:
Both Mark Crawford and I have been in leadership at All Saints for a number of years, and so, along with Chris, can provide that needed continuity and institutional memory – but we can be outvoted by the lay members. (Our deacon, Gene Bourquin, has temporarily set down as he explores possible ordination to the priesthood within The Episcopal Church.)
Article 2 of the All Saints constitution states:
“The ultimate authority of All Saints Chiang Mai is the word of God. The authority for the governance of the temporal affairs of the church (such as finance, property, and governance) rests with the congregation and is carried out by the Church Council. The authority for spiritual matters rests with the vicar. If there is a disagreement about whether an issue is spiritual or temporal, this will be determined by the Church Council.”
Our constitution seeks to balance leadership and accountability, and contains further checks and balances to this end. You can download and read the whole constitution here.
How can you be involved in the future of All Saints?
Firstly, attend the AGM on 27th February where you can elect members to the new Council.
Secondly, pray for your Church Council members, give them your support, and share your ideas and concerns with them.
And finally, pray for Mark and I as we lead All Saints forward, and carry spiritual responsibility for God’s people.
The AGM will not last very long. There will be a Vicar’s Report, and a Financial Report from Arthur Mann, our Treasurer. The congregation will then be asked to approve the budget for 2020 and elect the new Church Council.
Please be there and be involved if you can – it is your church!
A few of the group!
Chili Night at the vicarage continues on Tuesdays at 6 p.m.
Every week, mum and I are hosting this open-house, offering chili con carne and rice followed by ice cream. Anyone can come – you don’t have to let us know, just turn up. (Although advanced notice is useful so we can prepare enough chili!)
All are welcome – not just All Saints people. Tell your friends, spread the word!
The address is:
The New Vicarage,
9/65 Ban Ing Doi,
Kan Klong Chonprathan Road,
Tambon Chang Phueak,
We have a weekly online prayer meeting. Join us at 9 a.m. on Zoom every Tuesday.
Weekly Offering to All Saints
You can still donate in person or online. Thank you for your support and love for All Saints and all we are trying to do together. God has shown that he is mighty and we are in his hands!