Monthly Archives: May 2011

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Collect of the Day
O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Ezekiel 36:22-27
Ephesians 2:1-7
John 21:1-19

Message: “Life from the Dead, Part 2” by Rev. Steve Breedlove
(Check back soon for sermon audio.)

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Filed under Bible, Discipleship, Easter, Evangelism, Prayer, Preaching, Services and Special Events, The Holy Spirit, Worship

Growing Into the Future: Hope and Change in the All Saints Staff Team

Sometimes it seems that God’s plan for our lives is a little like being given a ticket for a train that is headed for an incredible adventure.  The only challenge?  The train is already moving out of the station: Run, Forrest, RUN!

This spring, God’s good plan for All Saints has included two significant staff moves that have been brewing for some time; now, we find that they are suddenly upon us, and the domino effect is in full force.

Cindy Broderius is leaving staff after 2+ years as the administrative assistant for the church.  Cindy has been a Godsend for us.  Not only is she excellent in managing details, coordinating calendars and keeping the staff accountable for clarity for good decision-making and communication, she has been the first voice / smile that most people experience when they call or come to ASC.  She has brought passion and skill to the system of “greeting, meeting and connecting” people to our church.  More than all that, Cindy has been a true sister in Christ, someone who earnestly loves Jesus and sets an example of worship and prayer.

For years, Cindy has been aimed toward a new career in vocational counseling, building up steam to complete a master’s degree.  Having completed course work, now she is ready for internships and projects that will take almost all her time.  Thus, her tenure as All Saints’ administrative assistant ended May 27.

While it’s hard to see Cindy go, we are excited for her new career.  We are also excited that she is staying involved in our church and its ministry as the Connections Ministry Coordinator.  All of those special skills she brought to “meeting, greeting and connecting” will continue as she leads our ushers & greeters team, oversees the Welcome Center and manages all of the newcomer ministries.

Replacing CIndY will be CYndI . . . yes, you read it correctly.  Cyndi Whisnant comes to us with over 10 years experience as a church administrator, and with many excellent skills to build on what Cindy has done.  In addition to the role of a general administrator, Cyndi W will be managing our website and will eventually take over the production and distribution of the KNN (two jobs that David Hyman is passing off as a part of his own transition).  So please give CIndY a warm thank-you, and CYndI a warm welcome.

Speaking of David Hyman, you certainly know by now that Holy Trinity-Chatham County is on the verge of being launched, and David & Martha will soon be full-time with All Saints’ first daughter / sister church.  David’s faithful, Christ-honoring and effective service has been fundamental for the very life and presence of Christ at All Saints.  For almost 5 years, David has been a mainstay in spiritual leadership and ministry among us.  But during this time, God, in his providence, has seen fit to root the Hymans in Chatham and knit them together with others who live there, for the sake of now planting a church there.

As much as every one of us is going to miss David’s abundant gifts of pastoring and discipling others, we absolutely know this is where God is calling David and the rest of the HTC launch team.  As a church, we are honored that God would be so good as to give us the opportunity to participate in such a powerful expansion of the work of the Gospel in our area.  Folks, this is really the culmination of what we committed to doing from the beginning: becoming and making disciples, and in so doing, supporting and launching the work of the Gospel throughout our region.  Hallelujah – what a joyful, happy, healthy birth!  Keep David & Martha, and the rest of the ASC launch team (Owen & Donna Moss, David & Claire Hughes, Steve & Dorie Coil, Todd Granger & Jill Martin, Nick & Nancy Robinson) in your prayers.

David plans to bring a much fuller report of the wonderful work of God in Chatham County at our worship service on June 19.  As God gives continuing grace, we hope to culminate our efforts and prayers in a Commissioning Service for Holy Trinity – Chatham on September 11, anticipating the start of weekly Sunday morning worship in Pittsboro on September 18.

In the meantime, David’s soon departure is having a big impact on the rest of the staff team.  Communication ministries (website / KNN) are being passed to Cyndi Whisnant.  The scheduling of Lay Eucharistic Ministers is already handed off to Ben Bowman.  Oversight and support of 242 Groups, Pastoral Care and Adult Discipleship are quickly becoming Thomas Kortus’ primary ministries (along with overseeing local outreach and the Oak Creek Village initiatives).   Steve Breedlove will be taking over the development and primary teaching of the Essentials Class and Adult Baptism / Confirmation ministry.

You’ll notice that this signals a change for Thomas Kortus: as of June 1, he will no longer be our Youth Pastor but will serve as ASC’s Associate Rector.  And so we happily welcome Brad Acton, last year’s youth intern, as the Youth Minister.  Brad & Emily’s long-term involvement with our youth means this will be a very smooth transition, but we don’t want it to go unnoticed. We’ll be commissioning Brad & Emily at our worship service on June 5!

Whew!  When parents welcome a new baby into the home, there’s a major ripple effect of change – all good, but nevertheless very real.   Somehow I feel like we’re having triplets!

Indeed, we have much for which to be grateful:

  • David’s and Cindy’s faithful, life-changing ministries in the past – and the future that includes even more exciting ways to serve Christ.
  • Cyndi W’s strong skill-set and experience, and her love for Christ
  • Thomas’s future, and the way s he is already moving earnestly into leadership of new challenges
  • Brad & Emily’s love for youth, now materialized into a part-time staff position
  • Cindy B’s new, focused role
  • All of the growth-changes this is calling forth from the rest of us, as we streamline and strengthen our own efforts, pray for and see God raise up new leaders and work together to mature our systems.

Thank you all for your love, prayers, support, and patience during these exciting times.

Love in Christ,
Rector Steve Breedlove

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Second star to the right and straight on till morning

I have always loved the story of Peter Pan. The Disney movie, sure—it’s one of my favorites. But ever since I spent a semester in London and learned the story behind the story, I’ve loved J.M. Barrie’s play-turned-novel even more.

In Kensington Gardens, there stands a statue of Peter Pan, supposedly erected by the childless Barrie himself overnight in order to surprise the children to whom he had long told stories of pirates and fairies and babies who could fly and never grow up. One of those children on whom Barrie doted, the baby of the family, was named Peter. As the history (legend?) goes, another child whom Barrie entertained referred to him  as her “friendy,” but, as children are wont to do, had trouble pronouncing the letter R; thus “fwendy”—and eventually the name “Wendy,” which Barrie may or may not have invented—was born. And yet another detail of the story behind the story says that the child who never grew up was based on Barrie’s own older brother, who died at age 14 and thus remained a child forever. Or so the legends go. But legend or history, the context for Barrie’s fanciful tale of the Lost Boys and their adventures, of the boy-who-would-always-be and his flying lessons for children who wouldn’t, only adds to the delight I have taken in revisiting this story again and again.

Even before I joined the staff here, I joked with All Saints’s own dear Cindy Broderius that she is the Wendy to our staff’s Lost Boys. Keeping them in order, tending to their needs, helping them stay grounded when all they want to do is fly, being the grownup they need, just like the original Wendy. When, about a year ago, Cindy asked me to fill in for her for a few days while she was out of town, I laughed and said that if her invitation was a Tinkerbell solicitation, there was no way I was donning the requisite tutu. Now that I’ve joined the staff on a permanent basis, of course, I’m Tink (tutu or no), at least to Cindy. (And no, in case you’re wondering, we haven’t ever identified a Captain Hook.)

And of course, over our time together here on the staff, surrounded by the Lost Boys as we are, Cindy has indeed become my dear “f’wendy”. As Peter himself suggested, to love is, in fact, “an awfully big adventure,” and what a delight it has been to be on this adventure with my own Wendy. But Barrie’s Wendy couldn’t stay in Neverland. She had to go home, to grow up and become a mother, leaving the Lost Boys and Tinkerbell behind to do their Neverland thing without someone to sew on their buttons and shadows and whatever else they might lose.

As you’ve no doubt heard by now, our All Saints Neverland is losing its dear Wendy, too. If you find one of our own Lost Boys looking like he needs mending or you hear that our Tinkerbell has stirred up more trouble than she ought to have, you’ll know why. After all, as Peter Pan told Wendy, “one girl is more use than twenty boys.” You will be missed more than you can know, our dear Wendy, and we are all so grateful that you will still be part of our All Saints family, even if you do have to leave Neverland. “Never say goodbye,” said Peter Pan, “because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.” No, my farewell to you from Neverland is something more akin to “second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning” as I delight with you in your next big adventure. And I am so eager to see what this next flight has in store for you. “All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust,” and I pray for an abundance of all three for you.

-Daniele Jackson

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Fifth Sunday of Easter

Collect of the Day
Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Judges 6:36-40
Colossians 1:15-23
John 20:24-29

Message: “The Journey of Faith” by Rev. Thomas Kortus
(Click here for sermon audio.)

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Fourth Sunday of Easter

Collect of the Day
O God, whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people: Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads; who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

2 Samuel 12:1-10, 13-15
Galatians 6:1-5
John 20:19-23

Message: “The Incalculable Gift We Are Given to Give” by Rev. Steve Breedlove 

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Evening of Prayer and Praise – Sunday, May 15, 7-9pm

Join us for an informal evening of praise and prayer this Sunday, May 15.  Celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus and step more profoundly into the power of his resurrection as we worship together and experience his healing touch.

This event is the first of 6 regularly scheduled prayer services that will be occurring bi-monthly over the next 12 months. As we have just come through the season of Lent, the powerful Holy Week services, and the joyful celebration on Easter Sunday (Alleluia!), this seems a fitting time to gather as a community to offer our worship and praise and to share in prayers for healing.

Why now? Why link this event with Lent, Holy Week and Easter? Jesus said he came to “do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work” (John 4:34). On the cross, as Jesus is uttering his last words, he says, “It is finished.” He has defeated the power of sin and death. In the crucifixion of Jesus, “those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” and have been set free to “live by the Spirit” and “walk by the Spirit”. (Galatians 5:24, 25) But we are all works in progress. Sickness of the body, mind, and soul (disease and dis-ease) still plague us. These things can be a hindrance to our walking with Jesus, living for Jesus, taking up our cross and following him day-by-day or even hour-by-hour.

To walk with Jesus through his last days in our Holy Week services and then celebrate the awesome power of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday is to also apply the work of the cross to our own lives. What do we need to lay at the foot of that cross? What is blocking us from accepting and living out our new life in Christ? What is keeping us bound up, preoccupied, unable or hesitant to live and walk by the Spirit?

The prayer team invites you and encourages you to “come and see”. Just as the woman who had suffered with bleeding for 12 long, miserable years had just enough faith and hope to reach out and touch the hem of Jesus’ garment, we have the privilege of drawing close to the Lord with whatever faith we have, knowing that Jesus will meet us right where we are. Prayer teams will be available for those who would like to receive personal prayer for any needs or who would simply like to soak in the presence of the Lord as a prayer team ministers through quiet intercession.

I will bless the LORD at all times;

his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

My soul makes its boast in the LORD;

let the humble hear and be glad.

Oh, magnify the LORD with me,

and let us exalt his name together!

I sought the LORD, and he answered me

and delivered me from all my fears.

Those who look to him are radiant,

and their faces shall never be ashamed.

This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him

and saved him out of all his troubles.

The angel of the LORD encamps

around those who fear him, and delivers them.

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!

Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

(Psalm 34:1-8 ESV)

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Third Sunday of Easter

Collect of the Day
O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. 

Acts 2:14a, 36-41
1 Peter 1:17-23
Luke 24:13-35

Message: “God’s Decisive Move” by Rev. David Hyman
(Click here for sermon audio.)

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Second Sunday of Easter

Collect of the Day
Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ’s Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. 

Genesis 21:8-21
1 Peter 1:3-7
John 20:1-18

Message: “The Restoration of Hope” by Rev. Steve Breedlove
(Click here for sermon audio.)

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Filed under Bible, Discipleship, Easter, Preaching, Services and Special Events, The Holy Spirit, Worship