Algoma Deanery Week of March 20, 2023

Good day,

Some upcoming events to nourish your life in God through this Lenten season:

Bible Study each Monday evening through Lent, 7pm on Zoom, led by The Ven. Dr. Jay Koyle.

Lenten Lunches Wednesdays, 12pm-1pm at Emmaus.  There will be soup and sandwiches, conversation time, and a reflection led by the host parish. 

Other Lenten Offerings: Archbishop Anne’s book study has one remaining Zoom gathering in Easter. Additional information about dates and how to join was sent out via email. If you want this info, just ask. 

Open Course on Paul: every Wednesday at 7pm; in person at the cathedral or via Zoom. I can send the link to you if you would like to join in. It’s been great so far. Lenten Quiet Afternoon: Saturday, March 25, noon – 4pm via Zoom, offered by the Thunder Bay North Shore Deanery, led by Sister Doreen of the Sisters of St. John the Divine. Register by emailing Carol Knox. carolknox3@gmailcom

A Few Fundraisers to Note:Christ Church will be selling butter-crunch toffee…decorated for Easter, 6 varieties per box for just $10. Please call Judy Knight for more info and to order. 705-942-4370.

Spring Bake Sale at St. George, Echo Bay: Saturday, April 1st. 10am – 1pm. Just $5 per dozen assorted cookies and treats. Other treats to be sold separately at various prices. Sit and enjoy a coffee or tea with your newly purchased goodies if you’d like.

Rummage Sale at Emmaus: Saturday, April 15. Times to be announced soon. 

A Liturgical Note For You: Not this coming Sunday but the Sunday after (April 2) is the Sunday of the Passion with the Liturgy of the Palms. I wanted to provide these notes well ahead of the day for those making liturgical decisions…

The Sunday of the Passion, with the Liturgy of the Palms:  Perhaps you are wondering why we read the Passion Narrative on the Sunday before Good Friday and then we read it again on Good Friday.  People who do not know the liturgical history of this practice speculate that perhaps we read the Passion on the Sunday for all of those people who don’t show up to the worship service on the Friday. Nope. This Sunday is named “The Sunday of the Passion, with the Liturgy of the Palms” in order to reflect the fact that the Passion actually dominates the liturgy for this day. The palms may seem to be the main part of the worship since we sing, and process, and wave palm branches around. It is highly recommended that, whenever possible, this part of the service (The Liturgy of the Palms) take place somewhere other than the church itself...perhaps outdoors if weather permits, perhaps in the church hall, or even at the back of the church (if there is room) and then everyone would process to their seats in the church behind the altar party when the Liturgy of the Passion begins.  In fact, if you are going to shorten the title of the Sunday for convenience sake then please try to get into the habit of calling this Sunday the “Sunday of the Passion” or “Passion Sunday” rather than “Palm Sunday”.

The Liturgy of the Palms was first introduced by the Jerusalem Church in the late 300’s but the western church did not begin celebrating this liturgy until some time in the 600’s – and they changed it from an evening procession around the city into a morning procession into the church.  

Alright, so why the emphasis on the Passion of Christ when this is not the day he died?  There is a very long history – many centuries old – to this practice as well. Reading the Passion Narrative on the Sunday beginning Holy Week turns our hearts and minds more fully to the events of the week leading up to Jesus’ death on the cross. The Passion Narrative, as a matter of fact, used to be read in churches every single day during Holy Week.  Reading the Passion Narrative so quickly on the heels of the triumphant entry into Jerusalem “will not allow any theology that dwells on triumphalism. It will not let us deceive ourselves about the sort of Messiah that Jesus is. To leave Palm Sunday without the Passion narrative can leave one with the impression that Jesus is the conquering Messiah, the Messiah of worldly power. The Passion narrative reminds us that we follow the crucified Messiah, the one who gained victory precisely in defeat” (The Rev. David L. Hansen at It is also a reminder that we – the church – are simultaneously the ones who shower Jesus with accolades and then demand his death. We have been made holy by Christ but we still turn from God. Creation is good but broken by sin. The kingdom is here but is not yet fully revealed. 

One final point, The Sunday of the Passion rotates through the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke – never John. The first three Gospels provide the narrative of the Last Supper in which Jesus instructs us to eat his body and to drink his blood, the new covenant, in remembrance of him.  Then we hear the rest of the story of Jesus’ betrayal and arrest, his death and his placement in the tomb.  John’s account of the crucifixion is always the one read on Good Friday. John shows us how to see Jesus’ death as his glorification.  More on this later…

For Your Devotions:

Monday, March 20th is the commemoration of Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Missionary, died 687. We don’t know much about his youth but, we know that Cuthbert greatly preferred the solitary monastic life to public life. Cuthbert reluctantly (in tears, apparently) accepted election as bishop in 684 then led his diocese (for just two years) in caring for the sick and in almsgiving. He is credited with many miracles which earned him the title “Wonder-worker of Britain”. Here is a site which details some legends: and here is another…

Tuesday, March 21st the commemoration of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, died 1556.  Thomas was an advisor to both Henry VIII and Edward VI. He was, in large part, responsible for placing English bibles in all of the churches, wrote prayers and parts of the liturgy in English, and was a main architect of our Book of Common Prayer. Thomas believed that the word of God and our celebration of the mystery of Christ should be in the vernacular so that it was accessible to all. The staunch Roman Catholic, Queen Mary I, ended Thomas’ life by having him burned at the stake. To read more of Thomas’ life and contributions to Anglicanism…

Wednesday, March 22nd is the commemoration of Thomas Ken, Bishop of Bath and Wells, died 1711.  In 1688, King James II issued his Declaration of Indulgence which was aimed at promoting Roman Catholicism. Thomas was among several bishops who refused to publish it in their dioceses and, in fact, published statements against it. This got him imprisoned in the Tower of London but he was later acquitted. Despite this, Thomas remained loyal to James when William and Mary (James’ daughter) arrived in the country to assist Protestants and Anglicans. James fled the country but Thomas and other bishops who would not swear an oath to William and Mary (because their king was still alive) were stripped of their offices and “retired”.  To read more:

Thursday, March 23rd is the commemoration of Gregory the Illuminator, Bishop of Armenia, died about 322. A fifth century Armenian writing says that Gregory was a Parthian prince who fled during a Persian invasion. When in Caesarea, Gregory became a Christian and, upon his return to Armenia during a Christian persecution spearheaded by King Tiridates III, Gregory was imprisoned in a burial pit. Apparently, after escaping, Gregory actually converted the king to Christianity! Tiridates then became the first monarch to impose Christianity on his people.  To read more:

Saturday, March 25th is the Holy Day of the Annunciation of the Lord to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is the day that the angel, Gabriel, announced to Mary that God had chosen her to bear the Saviour of the world. Her humble and willing acceptance of this role is also celebrated and is set before us as an example. This date – nine months before Christmas – was in place by the seventh century.  It is interesting to note the differing attitudes toward this day among the various denominations…The Roman Catholic Church views it as a solemn feast in honour of Mary; the Lutheran Church names it a festival.  The Anglican Church calls it a “principal feast” and follows the Orthodox Church in viewing the day not primarily as a feast in honour of Mary but rather of Jesus Christ on the day of his incarnation. For more information, check out For All the Saints, pp.124-5…

In Christ,


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