The 10am Contemporary Eucharist celebrated Sunday, August 29th, 2010 was the culmination of a series of 50th Anniversary celebrations for the North Delta Faith Community. And even though it was the Sunday morning following what sounded like a rousing Saturday night dinner and dance there was an enthusiastic gathering for worship and an impressive compliment of singers and musicians leading the music in worship at this spirit-filled service.
During the Children’s Talk, St. Cuthbert’s Incumbent Rev. Alan Carson informed the children that 50 years and one day ago on August 28th, 1960 the first worship service was held on the site in the original building. He told the kids that an anniversary is like a birthday and asked what kind of things happen at a birthday. He cajoled his audience somewhat until he go the answer he was looking for which was... “CAKE!”
The guest preacher for this celebration was the Venerable Stephen Rowe, Archdeacon of Fraser.
Stephen began his address by reflecting on the fact that he is now older than: the British Prime-Minister, the President of the United States, the Prime-Minister of Canada and the Parish of St. Cuthbert, North Delta.
He went on to share some of the history of the parishes patronal Saint, Cuthbert. Cuthbert was only bishop for two years but during and up to that time he was regarded as a man of great charm and leadership.
Stephen went on to reference the scripture readings for that Sunday beginning with the Old Testament reading, Jeremiah 2:4-13
. The passage tells us that leaders may point to false prophecy, losing sight of God’s true purpose. Stephen reminded the congregation that when the church is divided it is at its least effective as God ceases to be the focus and the issues of division take precedence.
In discussing the Gospel reading, Luke 14:1, 7-14
Stephen pointed out that Jesus is the host and invites outsiders to participate. The church exists for everyone, not just those that give money or provide volunteer service. St. Cuthbert’s is a community that understands that message. The Parish of St. Cuthbert leads in ecumenical action, youth ministry and outreach in the North Delta community. Now is the time to look forward to the next 50 years. St. Cuthbert’s will continue its vision of worship, service, prayer and thanksgiving. Stephen concluded his message by quoting from the Gospel reading,
‘When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbours, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’
This excerpt is a reminder that the church does not exist for the members, it exists for those who need God, who are in distress and in need of comfort. (A downloadable copy
of Archdeacon Stephen Rowe’s sermon is available by clicking the link).
At the completion of worship, cake and coffee were served in the narthex . Now St. Cuthbert’s moves forward to continue to live out the words of their Parish Statement – “To seek and encourage growth as a Christ Centered Parish Community, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to know God and to make Him known."