Feeling Sheepish?

From Father Iain, All Saints Chiang Mai

We all like sheep have gone astray!

Dear Friends,

Sheep are famous for being stupid!  They are very cute – but not the brightest of beasts.  I remember many years ago I was at a celebration of Assumption Day with some Turkish Syriac Christians way up in the mountains neat Antakya (Antioch).  Two sheep had been brought to be barbecued – one was strung up and its throat was cut, but the other stood alongside munching grass as if nothing had occurred and it wasn’t in the least bit worried!

Sheep eat, and grow, and sleep, but don’t seem to worried about the future.  I suppose as prey animals if they did worry then there would be no end to their worry!  Last night, despite my increased garden defences, two street dogs again got into my garden.  But when I found the rabbits in the hiding place they didn’t seem overly perturbed.  They too seem very relaxed about the future – although they run faster than sheep!

The bible often compares God’s people to sheep – it is not a very complimentary description.  Sheep get lost, go astray, and make some of the worst decisions.  We often do all of those things.  But the Bible also describes God as the shepherd and Jesus as the Good Shepherd who cares and searches for his sheep – who is even prepared to die for his sheep!

When I went out to do battle with the wild street dogs last night – armed only with an old broom – I wasn’t ready to lay down my life for my rabbits, and I was glad when the dogs scrambled back over the wall!  But God is prepared to give all for us – and that is the good news of the Gospel!

Our scripture readings for this Sunday will be from Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28, 1 Timothy 1:12-17, and Luke 15:1-10, and we will be singing the hymns The King of Love My Shepherd Is, O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go, Amazing Grace, and The Lord’s My Shepherd.

The readings can be found via this link and past services and sermons can be viewed via the All Saints audio-visual page!

All Saints Chiang Mai Mission

All Saints Chiang Mai Mission is a UK charity set up to support the work of All Saints, Chiang Mai.  After much hard work ASCMM now has a bank account which means that UK taxpayers can give through the charity and we can reclaim any income tax they have paid.  If you would like to know more please speak to me or send an email to info@AllSaintsChiangMai.com

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,

God bless,

Iain

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Choose Life!

From Father Iain, All Saints Chiang Mai

All Saints last Sunday!

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Dear Friends,

Being free is all about the ability to make choices – that’s the joy of being alive!  In our Old Testament reading, Moses urges the Israelites to choose to follow God.  He says:  Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him.

Jesus, too, asks us to make a choice and make sure that we count the cost of being his disciple.  It may not always be an easy choice, but this is the decision that is put before us.  Let us way up the cost as we worship together this Sunday.

Our scripture readings for this Sunday will be from Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Philemon 1-7, and Luke 14:25-33, and we will be singing the hymns When Morning Gilds the Skies, I have decided to follow Jesus, I the Lord of Sea and Sky, and Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah!

The readings can be found via this link and past services and sermons can be viewed via the All Saints audio-visual page!

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Be Still – in the presence of the Lord

Be still and know that I am God…

November and December will be busy months at All Saints.  September and October will be quieter with no big special events or services!  Let us take time to spend time with one another, and with God, for God is not always found in the earthquake, wind, or fire, but in that still small voice!

We are not called to strive but to worship and gather together – rejoicing in God and loving one another!

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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,

God bless,

Iain

Welcome to All Saints!

From Father Iain, All Saints Chiang Mai

A white and shiny All Saints last Sunday!

Dear Friends,

Last week, All Saints was repainted inside and out!  It is almost like having a new building!  I like church buildings because, unlike great country houses, they don’t “belong” to anybody – they belong to us all!  All Saints is no great cathedral or even beautiful parish church, but it is a place of welcome to all!

In this week’s Gospel reading, Jesus talks about humility – not grabbing the best seats at a banquet – and about hospitality – of the need to welcome all people equally regardless of status.  Making All Saints “welcoming” is part of our ministry of hospitality, of making welcome the stranger amongst us, for in God’s kingdom all are welcome!  This is our calling to declare God’s welcome to the world!

Our scripture readings for this Sunday will be from Proverbs 25:6-7, Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16, and Luke 14:1, 7-14 and we will be singing the hymns Praise to the Lord the Almighty, Lord You Teach Us To Be Humble, From Heaven You Came, and God is Love!  The readings can be found via this link and past services and sermons can be viewed via the All Saints audio-visual page!

All Saints Tithing

Last week’s Trustees Meeting reaffirmed our intention to tithe 10% of our budget surplus each year.  We already give to individuals in need, and support all the costs of the annual Festival of Carols which raises money for the Youth Charity Foundation.  If you have any suggestions of where we could also give, please speak to me or to one of the Trustees.

Harvest Festival – Advanced Notice

This year’s Harvest Festival at Thung Dong Farm will be on 3rd November.  This was the only day when the farm and the children from the Youth Charity Foundation were both available!  It should be a great day to enjoy worship, lunch, and the beauty of the countryside together.

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,

God bless,

Iain

Making New!

From Father Iain, All Saints Chiang Mai

All Saints last Monday!

Dear Friends,

Jesus said “Behold, I make all things new!”

This week we have had painters at All Saints, and this coming Sunday we should have a renewed white sanctuary, and a shiny new kitchen and office!  Even the outside of our building is being renewed!

In our Gospel reading this week, Jesus heals a crippled woman and is attacked by the religious leaders for healing in the Sabbath. In other passages he describes them as “whitewashed tombs”.   I am sure our newly painted church is not a whitewashed tomb, but we will be looking at true renewal this week at All Saints.  Jesus healed the woman and met her need.  Can we allow Jesus to renew us too?

Our scripture readings for this Sunday will be from Jeremiah 1:4-10, Hebrews 12:18-29, and Luke 13:10-17, and we will be singing the hymns O Worship the King, O Christ the Healer, Christ Be Our Light, and Tell Out My Soul!  The readings can be found via this link and past services and sermons can be viewed via the All Saints audio-visual page!

New Teachers’ Potluck

Thanks to all who made last week’s potluck such a success!  We had wonderful food and a great time of fellowship!

All Saints Trustees Meeting

Our next Trustees Meeting will be next Tuesday, 27th August, at 6 p.m.  The trustees are: Mark Crawford, Helga Spring, Bill Moeller, Chris Tananone, and Caitlin Littleton.  Please speak to me, or one of the trustees, if there is anything you would like them to discuss.

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,

God bless,

Iain

Peace on Earth?

From Father Iain, All Saints Chiang Mai

Clashes in Hong Kong on Tuesday

POTLUCK THIS WEEK!

Dear Friends,

Last week our deacon, Gene Bourquin, arrived from New York.  He was a day late, delayed for 24 hours by the protests at Hong Kong airport.  My mum is supposed to be flying back to the UK this Thursday, via Hong Kong, we don’t yet know if she will be leaving, after the airport was again closed for two days this week!

The protestors have a valid desire for freedom and democracy, but it is not clear how this can end well.  It is ironic that the Chinese communist government is condemning the protestors as lawless violent terrorists, aren’t communists suppose to believe in revolution and direct action?

Peace seems to be in short supply in our world today!  Jesus is called the Prince of Peace, yet in this week’s Gospel reading his words are challenging:

Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! 

Jesus knew that wherever there is the struggle for justice and righteousness then opposition will arise.  Those of us coming from relatively free stable western democracies easily forget that our rights did not fall out of the sky, but were the result of the struggle and even deaths of many men and women.  Our challenge as Christians is to know how to live in this world of compromise and contradictions, while still holding fast to our faith and the message of Christ!

Our scripture readings for this Sunday will be from Jeremiah 23:23-29, Hebrews 11:29-12:2, and Luke 12:49-56, and we will be singing the hymns Praise my Soul the King of Heaven, Christ Be Our Light, Be Still for the Presence of the Lord, and Christ is made the Sure Foundation!  The readings can be found via this link and past services and sermons can be viewed via the All Saints audio-visual page!

New Teachers’ Potluck

This Sunday we will have a potluck lunch to welcome new teachers, and other people new to Chiang Mai, to All Saints.  I have emailed ten international schools asking them to pass on the information to their new teachers so hopefully we will see some new people this week.  Please bring food to share and invite your friends – just tell them that we are having a special service and lunch and ask them if they would like to come!

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,

God bless,

Iain

Step of Faith?

From Father Iain, All Saints Chiang Mai

Dear Friends,

In this week’s Gospel reading Jesus says:

Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Challenging?  You bet!  Not just giving away our money, but selling our possessions and giving the proceeds away – and Jesus spoke in a society with no social security safety net, no Medicare or national Health Service!  As I said last week, it’s all about where your treasure is – for there your heart will be.  The things that are important to us are shown by how we spend our money!  The real Christian life is a challenge – but it is an exciting one!

Our scripture readings for this Sunday will be from Genesis 15:1-6, Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16, and Luke 12:32-40, and we will be singing the hymns The God of Abraham Praise, I will offer up my life, Take My Life and Let it Be, and Now Thank We All Our God!  The readings can be found via this link and past services and sermons can be viewed via the All Saints audio-visual page!

Sharing Soap!

Last Saturday, Chris Tananone took the soap-filled milk cartons up to the children at the Youth Charity Foundation.  They each decorated their carton and it should last them all year for doing their laundry!  Thanks to Chris, the Chase family, and all who made this great project possible!

Comings and Goings!

Elena is safely back with her daughter in California,  Jantra has arrived at boarding school in India, and Gene our Deacon arrived on  Tuesday – after a 24 hour delay in Hong Kong!  The Chases are also settled back in Egypt, and the Tiptons have arrived in Malta!

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,

God bless,

Iain

Love of Money!

From Father Iain, All Saints Chiang Mai

Dear Friends,

Jesus told the story of a rich farmer:

‘The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, “What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?” Then he said, “I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”  But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich towards God.’

Jesus calls on us to be wise in our use of the money and resources we have, but the important question is Where is our treasure?  Is our treasure in earthly things, in money, position, or power, or is it in the things of God – in love of God and neighbour, in doing good for the world?  We will be looking at these issues this Sunday!

Our scripture readings for this Sunday will be from Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14, 2:18-23, Colossians 3:1-11, and Luke 12:13-21, and we will be singing the hymns Let All the World in Every Corner Sing, Dear Lord and Father of Mankind, Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart, and Go forth and tell!  The readings can be found via this link and past services and sermons can be viewed via the All Saints audio-visual page!

Comings and Goings!


Elena – leaving this Friday!

Elena will be flying back to California on Friday, and Jantra will be off to boarding school in India next weekend.  Meanwhile, Gene our Deacon will be arriving on Tuesday 6th August!  Please hold them all in your prayers!

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,

God bless,

Iain

Ask, Ask, Ask!

From Father Iain, All Saints Chiang Mai

Saying Farewell – last Sunday!

Dear Friends,

Last week we had our potluck to say goodbye to Pamela, Ken, Emily, Elena, and Jantra!  This Sunday, the Chase family will be on their way down to Bangkok, although Elena and Jantra will be with us for another week!  As you may know, the Chases are moving into the unknown with no jobs or home to go to – I know they have been praying a lot!  Let’s hold them in our prayers too!

In this week’s Gospel reading, Jesus teaches his disciples the Lord’s Prayer, and then says to them “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.”  We ask, we pray, on behalf of each other.  But what about when our prayers seem not to be answered?  Some thoughts this week!

Our scripture readings for this Sunday will be from Genesis 18:20-32, Colossians 2:6-15, and Luke 11:1-13, and we will be singing the hymns Holy, Holy, Holy;  Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God; King of Kings Majesty; and At the Name of Jesus!  The readings can be found via this link and past services and sermons can be viewed via the All Saints audio-visual page!

New Organist

After a year of backing-tracks, we now have a new organist!  Her name is Gaew and she is a piano teacher here in Chiang Mai.  She played for the first time last Sunday and it was excellent!  We are very blessed to have her with us!

Soap Box!

The Chase family have collected 50 milk cartons for the orphans at the Youth Charity Foundation!  They are filling them with soap powder so that each child will have their own container for doing their laundry.  Last Sunday we collected a further THB 800 to buy more soap powder!

Bill Moeller and Chris Tananone will take the cartons to the orphanage!

Advertising All Saints

I believe that All Saints is a good place to worship.  For those who love an inclusive or a liturgical church it is a place to encounter God in Chiang Mai!  The problem is, so many people don’t know we are here.  We don’t need to “convert” people to grow as a body, but we do need to get the word out that All Saints exists and is here for them!

We have now paid for a Google ad.

If someone searches for “church Chiang Mai” or even just “church” and they are within a 25 km radius then our small listing ad appears.

This does not cost us anything unless someone clicks on the ad to go to our webpage or on the phone number to call the church!  We will be watching how this works over the next month.  Why not have a go?  (But don’t click on the link as this will cost money!)

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,

God bless,

Iain

Mary or Martha?

From Father Iain, All Saints Chiang Mai

Which are you?

POTLUCK THIS SUNDAY

Dear Friends,

Jesus was very close to the family of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.  Lazarus is famous for being raised from the dead, but Mary and Martha are noted for a different reason.   When Jesus came to visit their home, Martha was the perfect host, preparing all that was needed and working hard in the kitchen.  Mary, on the other hand, sat listening at Jesus’ feet – something which some of the men present may have disapproved of – it certainly annoyed Martha!

Which are we?  Doers or thinkers?  Servants of God or worshippers of God?  Of course, we should be both, but how do we get the balance right?  How do we know what God wants us to do?

Our scripture readings for this Sunday will be from Amos 8:1-6, Colossians 1:15-20, and Luke 10:38-42, and we will be singing the hymns All People that on Earth do Dwell, Be Still for the Presence of the Lord, Be Thou My Vision, and Born in Song!  The readings can be found via this link and past services and sermons can be viewed via the All Saints audio-visual page!

Potluck this Sunday 21st July!

We will have a potluck following this week’s service to say goodbye to the Chase family and also bon voyage to Jantra, who is off to boarding school in India!  We will also be saying goodbye to Elena as she returns to the States to live with her daughter!   All are welcome – don’t forget to bring something!!!

Ken, Emily, and Pamela, are some of our longest-standing members, and Jantra and Elena have been coming for almost as long!  They will all be greatly missed!

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,

God bless,

Iain

Neighbours!

From Father Iain, All Saints Chiang Mai

Love your neighbour as yourself?

Dear Friends,

It is easy to love people that we like – that’s the natural way of the world.  But we are called to love our neighbours and, as Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan tells us, our “neighbour” is often the one we might have thought to be our enemy!  In any case, Jesus went further and explicitly told us to love our enemies too!

God will not judge us on how tidy are homes are or how big our car, or even how much money we earn or give away.  We will be judged on how we love, on how we really care for others.

It’s not always easy, but the good news of the Gospel is that we won’t be condemned for our failings, that in Jesus we have forgiveness.  So we are called to love, not for any reward, but because it is the right thing to do because God first loved us.

Our scripture readings for this Sunday will be from Deuteronomy 30:9-14, Colossians 1:1-14, and Luke 10:25-37, and we will be singing the great hymns Immortal, Invisible, God only Wise; When I needed a Neighbour; Jesu, Jesu, Fill us with Your Love; and In Christ alone my hope is Found!  The readings can be found via this link and past services and sermons can be viewed via the All Saints audio-visual page!

Church Renovations

We haven’t redecorated since July 2014 but repair work has begun on our building.

As you will have seen, our landlord has begun renovations on our church building.  Some of the rotten woodwork has being replaced or removed and the gate has being made safe.  They are waiting for heavy rain so they can find the exact points where the roof is leaking.  When that is complete we will begin repainting.  If you have a painter you could recommend, please see Father Iain.

Potluck – Advanced Notice – Sunday 21st July

We will have a potluck on Sunday 21st July to say goodbye to the Chase family and also bon voyage to Jantra who is off to boarding school in India!

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,

God bless,

Iain