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Lydia Cruttwell's blog

Faithful Finances...

Just a reminder for all you FUMC folks out there to fill out a 'Surplus Feedback Form' (available in the foyer of the church, on green half-sheets of paper). We've got a surplus of over $20,000 from last year's budget, and are working to discern -- thoughtfully and prayerfully -- how we should spend it. Since we've already got a very healthy contingency fund (i.e., money put away for our upcoming roof replacement) and enough in our church budget for established programs of the church, we're looking for your ideas as to where to spend these funds. Should we give some away to non-profit organisations within the Vancouver area? Should we contribute more to our denominational groups? Should we support overseas missions? Should we donate to Christian educational institutions?

We are looking for your feedback, and the forms are due by Sunday May 12th. So please do give us your input -- every voice counts!

Simon Peter Sermons...

Thanks to the excellent work of Randy Loewen, the first and second sermons of our Simon Peter series are now available for download. So click on over to the 'Sermons' tab and hear some stories about this passionate (but not always persevering) follower of Christ!

A Prayer for Those Who are Victims of Terrorism, and for Those who Commit Acts of Terror

In response to the bombings today at the Boston Marathon (as well as news reports of Canadian-born terrorists committing acts of violence in Somalia and Algeria):

Lord have Mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

Sovereign Lord, because we live in a safe country -- a part of the world where most of us do not expect to die violently -- these incidents shock us all the more. Unlike our brothers and sisters in Columbia, and Iran, and North Korea, and Syria, and hundreds of other places around the world, we come to depend on our governments to protect us, to ensure our homes and streets and cities as safe havens.

But sometimes, they are not safe.

Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

Mighty God, may we find our hope, and our sense of security, in you, and you alone. In the face of bombings and acts of terror, give us the courage to live not out of fear, but out of love. May your grace , your peace, and your healing presence be with all those people (and their loved ones) who were injured, maimed, or killed today by these acts of violence.

Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

Lord of all the nations, give us the strength and the courage to love our neighbours rather than fear them, to pray for them rather than to judge them. Intercede for us, Holy Spirit, with groans too deep for words, and help us to pray fervently for those who committed these acts of terror. Help us to love our enemy, for it is only through love and forgiveness -- the same love and forgiveness shown to us on the cross and in the resurrection -- that the cycle of violence and hatred might end.

Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

Sermons!

After a brief delay, there's now three more sermons up on the website under the 'Sermons' tab -- from Lent 5 through to Easter Sunday. Click on them to hear some great scripturally-based messages!

New Sermon Series: The Simon Peter Story!

Christ is Risen! Having celebrated Easter and the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, we're now embarking on a 12-week sermon series on one of Jesus' closest disciples, Simon. Also called Peter (aka The Rock, which is one of my favourite Biblical nicknames ever!). This former-fisherman-turned-Jesus-follower-turned-early-church-leader has quite the story, from his dramatic calling in a sinking boat in the lake of Gennasaret (that's this week's sermon!) to his denial of Christ just before the Crucifixion to his receiving the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost and becoming a powerful preacher to both the Jewish and Gentile people.

Come join us as we learn about this simple man and his great leaps of faith (and his even greater slip-ups and failures), and see how even his weak and shaky faith was used by God in powerful ways.

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