Sunday, November 12 was the twenty-second Sunday after Trinity. Bishop Hartley spoke on the theme of forgiveness, basing his sermon on the gospel for the day, St. Matthew 18:21: “Peter said unto Jesus, Lord how oft shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Till seven times?” According to the Pharisees, the religious authorities of the day, this was the proper number. Jesus replied however that it was seventy times seven. What he really meant was that the number of times is not important and that if we expect forgiveness from God we must forgive others. Our forgiveness and what we owe others are linked. Jesus then told a parable to illustrate, in which a king forgives a debtor who then refuses to forgive someone who owes him. So the king (or God) demands payment of the original debt. Forgiveness can be rescinded if we don’t do our part. The lesson of this passage is that only God can forgive completely, but He cannot forgive an unforgiving heart. This theme is carried through our psalm reading for the day, Psalm 32, “Blessed is he whose unrighteousness is forgiven, and whose sin is covered.” During prayer time Bishop Hartley said the birthday prayer for yours truly, my birthday is November 16. During announcements he announced that he and Laurie are new grandparents as their son and daughter-in-law, Geoff and Beverly Hartley, are the parents a baby boy born Saturday November 11 and named Joseph Grant Hartley. Congratulations to the new parents.
Today was the day for our next scheduled vestry meeting so after the service we had a potluck dinner followed by the vestry in which several items were discussed, including insurance for the church and repairs to our fence recently damaged in an auto accident, and some new woodwork to be installed in the sanctuary. We made plans to hold a service of Nine Lessons and Carols before Christmas, on Wednesday December 13 at 6:30 in place of our usual Evening Prayer service, and the public is invited to that service.
For information on St. Francis Anglican (Traditional Episcopal) Church visit our website at stfrancisavamo.org.