There are some of you who will remember the little Facebook blurb from last fall that “revealed” that Pr. Stewart is a member of an order of Knights!?! The Military & Hospitaller Order of the Knights of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem does, in fact, trace their roots back to the crusades – to an order of knights who cared for people who had or contracted leprosy in that time. Down through history the order has continued to raise money for leprosy care but has also evolved. These days a great deal of the money we raise and support we give is directed to hospice and end of life care. (In Canada we even publish a book for families to help them know about the resources available, and how to care for each other in such trying life transitions. I have a supply of these and would be happy to give them out if you have need.) Additionally we continue to “defend the faith” as Christian Knights by providing support to ecumenical work and scholarships for those studying ecumenical relationships.
The membership of this order is made up of folks from a variety of walks of life – political and business leaders, educators, care-givers, etc. ..along with a significant proportion from officers from the military. Another part of the membership is made up of clergy (such as myself) - in that our gatherings always include significant liturgical worship events. And in fact, as I often tell people, it is quite inspiring for me to listen and watch as folks we don’t always think about as “religious” take on significant work and service moved by their faith.
I remind you of all of this, because as you receive this newsletter today I am travelling to Calgary to conduct one of our yearly services/investitures for the Alberta commanderies. (I WILL be back for Sunday morning.) In fact, this coming Sunday’s sermon is a variation on the one I will preach in Calgary. It will, of course, be modified.. but I thought I would let you all know in advance a bit of how my brain is working as I write this week.
At the end of the day.. every one of us does actually live with the same call ringing in our ears.. the call of our Baptism.. to be God’s people moved by love in the whole of our lives. In these days when we kind of despair that the world is becoming more & more secular (maybe even faithless) it is kind of important to know that there are others out there who - like you - know what it means to be a child of God… AND what it means to be moved by God’s love to live that grace. May we all hear and live that challenge!!
- Pastor Stewart, September 20, 2018