Alan’s Letter

Dear Friends,

November is a special month for remembering who we are as a people and who we are as a church. On November 1st we gather to celebrate All Saints – a day which honours the more obscure saints as well as the saints each of us have known. On November 2nd, we observe All Souls’ Day, and on November 11th we have our national act of remembrance at the 11th hour.

The Church has always encouraged prayer for the dead. We believe that it is an act of Christian charity to pray for a loved one as a way of erasing any distance between us, even the chasm which death imposes. For when we pray we place ourselves in God’s presence in the company of those we love even if those persons have gone before us in death.

When I was younger I can remember learning about the Church as the Church Militant and the Church Triumphant. Christ’s church is a communion of saints and although some of us may be separated from each other because of death we remain united to each other in one church supported in prayer. Those Christians here on this earth make up the Church Militant.

The Latin word militans can mean “to struggle; to make an effort,” and we certainly know our share of struggles and efforts every day against sin so that we when die we hope to attain heaven and be members of the Church Triumphant, those who are victorious over sin.

As we enter into this special month of November, we begin to plan and prepare to gather as families and friends for the upcoming holidays. This is a time of year to remember that each of us is a unique person fashioned by a loving Creator who are but part of a larger communion of persons stretching back (and forth) in time. We rejoice with the saints in glory, those who have witnessed to the faith as we seek to do each day.

Come, let us join our friends above that have obtained the prize, and on the eagle wings of love to joys celestial rise: let the saints terrestrial sing with those to glory gone; for all the servants of our King, in earth and heaven, are one.”
Charles Wesley (Singing the Faith 744)

       Grace and Peace,