Dear Family and Friends of St. Andrew’s,
Most if not all congregations know what it feels like to be in an “interim” period, between one pastoral leader and another. Asking for God’s guidance is a key part of that experience, and the Book of Acts provides an illustration of just such an interim period for the earliest followers of Jesus. We are between the Ascension and Pentecost, in that “interim” period of leadership clarification and preparation while the disciples wait for the Spirit who has been promised to them by Jesus.
They will be granted power, too, but in the meantime, they set out to fix a problem caused by the defection of Judas, one of their own, one of the Twelve Apostles, as they are historically named. According to Paul Walaskay, all disciples are not apostles, for the latter were a special lot chosen by Jesus as “representatives appointed to carry out the teacher’s mission”; they were a special number as well, Walaskay writes: “Twelve is symbolic of all Israel….Eleven simply will not do” (Acts, Westminster Bible Companion).
Who can be an Apostle?
Paul, of course, also claims the name Apostle, and the question of “apostolic authority” has been at the center of much contention within the Christian tradition. If witnessing the Resurrection is a necessary condition to apostleship, one might ask why Mary Magdalene did not “qualify,” along with Paul, for example. One might ask that question, as feminist theologians have, for women were always the witnesses at the empty tomb. Notice, too, that in verse 14, “certain women” are also with the named disciples now gathered to discern their next steps.
Nevertheless, it’s the eleven men who were left after the Ascension who turned to God for guidance in filling the place vacated by Judas’ death. They were surely filled with feelings of betrayal and loss, and yet they clearly were setting out toward a new future, rather than dispersing after Jesus was taken up from them. This is a sign of trust in the midst of the unknown, a willingness to follow and to be open to what would unfold next.
While for us Ascension actually happened on Thursday 10/5 we celebrated it this past Sunday and then follow it up with Pentecost this Sunday. This will mark the end of the Easter Season and soon we will proceed into the long green season of Ordinary Time which used to be known as Trinity Season. So it puts us half way through the Church’s year which began at the end of November.
Coming up there is much to prepare for in our life together as a Community of the Body of Christ. We will have a baptism this Sunday on Pentecost.
Also we will have our annual Bazaar and Garden Party on the 26th of May
starting at 11 in the morning. A sign up sheet is in the back of the Church which thankfully is filling up with jobs taken so if you are in Church please look it over and see what needs to be done. For now if you have any questions Ann Taylor is coordinating things so any questions you have address them to firstname.lastname@example.org
and they will be forwarded to her. This is an important event in the life of the Parish so please get the word out there to your friends and any web sites you may have access to.
One feature of this years event is that there will be music presented intermittently during that day in the Church. The African Choir will be singing at one , Organ Music will be played at a time to be announced and Croatian Classical Guitarist Vanja Prosavec will be presenting a program of Croation Guitar music . In the Evening Maestro Prosavec will present a formal concert in the Church at 19:00 the cost of tickets for this is 100 SEK cash or Swish (12 36 18 97 16 guitar) He is an international award winning classical guitarist and gifted pedagogue so we are pleased to have him come all this way to be with us. He will be presenting another concert at Vasa Kyrkan on the 31st of May at noon as part of their regular weekly concert series. His being here is sponsored by the University Chaplains. So please be supportive of us in this en devour.
Let’s pull together and support these events and move forward together as a community of faith.
Best David Bruce , Chaplain