ROGATION SUNDAY  June 3rd 2018

                 at  ST. LUKE`S, Pembina Hills, Manitoba.

Rogation Sunday is the day when the Anglican Church has traditionally offered prayer for God`s Blessings on the fruits of the earth and the labors of those who produce our Food. (The word rogation is from the Latin rogare `to ask``) It  also marked the launching of the Grow Hope Project.

It was a pleasant 2 hour drive from Winnipeg  to Pembina Valley, viewing the prairie landscape  refreshed by rains, invigorated the senses further  as I anticipated our Sunday worship. Approaching this historical church outside Morden; RR 423 west, takes a steep descent towards the Pembina River, there on the south side lies St. Luke`s  Church Pembina Hills. Founded in the 1880`s, it represents an integral facet of the Anglican Church history in Canada. Original parishioners came from Canada, England and the USA. This church buildingin the photo was erected in 1922 after the wooden structure burnt, even prior to that services were held in the school. Richard Lea the great grandfather of the current priest  was the  warden for 28 years. The church holds two assigned services annually Rogation Sunday and Harvest Sunday, weddings also take place. It is part of the Local Collaborative Ministry Team (and churches) in South West Manitoba, in our Diocese of Rupert`s Land. The lands around the church have been owned by the Lea family for generations, the street running parallel to the river  is named Chris and Leanne Lea Rd.

Communion service  was held in a large tent, behind the church and in the middle of breathtaking Manitoba farmland, freshly cut French lilacs graced the altar.    

The service opened with Thanksgiving for Baptism: thanks for the waters of life, waters in the area, salvation through water, the  life of all baptised; before each petition water was lifted  from the basin  to cascade back to the container.  About 225 people, many from parishes in the city including St. Thomas, St. Michaels and All Angels, St. Peters ( including their Rector), St. Paul`s Anglican, St. John`s College, St. Bartholomew, plus parishioners from  parishes of  Clearwater, Kaleida, Pilot Mound, Manitou, and  Altamount; in addition to representatives (Diane Lambert, Rev. Diane Guildford) from  St. Thomas Morden, all felt blessed with the Holy Spirit.

Presiding Clergy were  Rev. Christopher Lea and Rev. Canon Dr. Cathy Campbell with Rev Deacon Mona  Blackburn and  Rev Carol  Guildford. Canon Campbell  (leader of the Grow Hope initiative,- PWRDF Rep,) delivered the sermon, which focused on the Creator, Christ and the Community. Lastly Rev. Diane Guildford said Grace, and gifts of wheat seed were available to all.

Thanksgiving Intercessions consisted of  prayers for the Gift of life, Creation, Food, Earth, Seed, Farm animals, Farm machinery, the Farm(and families), Aid Agencies. The youth choir provided delightful hymns during the offertory where one of the helpers was 5 year old Maya.  This was a celebration and thanksgiving for the Grow Hope Diocesan project, under Primate World relief and Development Fund, members of the Food Grain Bank Board including Gordon Jensen were present.

Eucharistic Service was followed by a BBQ  with local farm raised beef, many salads, delectable desserts and endless conversation. On behalf of all I wish to applaud the St. Luke`s Pembina Crossing ladies for their gracious and delicious hospitality.                                                                                                                          

We could not have imagined such  a fantastic and  spiritually enriching  event.  Many attending expressed a desire to participate in this Rogation Sunday service again  at Pembina Hills.

The Editor

Dr. June M. James, O.M.

Rector’s Warden,St. Bartholomew.