Author Archive

Experiencing God’s Glory: A Journey of Surrender and Faith

Posted on: July 14th, 2024 by St. Stephens Downsview

by Peter Owadayo

Sometimes God physically touches His people, and in those moments, you can feel His presence in an indescribable way—what I like to call “Holy Ghost goosebumps.” There might be heat, tingling, or other sensations that reveal His glorious presence among us. This morning, I want to take you on a journey of surrendering yourself under God’s control, drawing inspiration from Moses’ plea in Exodus chapter 33, “Lord, please show me your glory.”

**Surrendering to God’s Control**

Today, we are going to explore how we can witness God’s glory by releasing our spirit under the Holy Spirit’s control. Just as Moses did, we will see His glory if we let go and surrender to Him fully. It’s through surrender that we can truly experience the enduring mercy and might of the Lord, our omnipotent Father


**Welcoming the Holy Spirit**

I invite you to welcome the Holy Spirit into your life and your space. Sing with me if you know the words:
“Holy Spirit, thou art welcome in this place.
Holy Spirit, thou art welcome in this place.
Omnipotent Father of mercy and grace, thou art welcome in this place.”

**Prayer for Healing and Restoration**

Lord Jesus Christ, you are the great physician. This morning, we ask for your presence to move among us. Heal every infirmity, restore lives, mend broken relationships, and bring joy into our homes. Provide strength to our seniors and open doors of opportunity for your people.

**Living a Joyful Life in God**

God has called us to live a joyful and victorious life in Him. There is no specific formula for a faith-filled life, but He has given us ways to strengthen our faith daily. Through prayer, reading, and meditating on His word, and serving others, we can grow closer to Him.

**God at the Center**

When we make God the center of our lives, every situation and circumstance will follow His divine will. Just like in the house of Obed-Edom, where everything fell into place because they recognized and honored the presence of God, we too can experience His blessings when we keep Him at the heart of our lives.

**Recognizing God’s Presence**

The Ark of the Covenant, a symbol of God’s supreme power and presence, contained the laws that guided His people. When the Ark was taken away, the Israelites strayed from God’s commandments. However, King David’s act of bringing the neglected Ark back to his new capital demonstrated the importance of returning to God and recognizing His presence in our lives.

Sometimes we may act out of our own foolishness, like Lot’s wife, who turned back and became a pillar of salt. But when we recognize God’s presence and move forward in faith, we embrace His joy and blessings.

**Obedience and Blessings**

When we obey God’s word, we open ourselves to His blessings. David and the Israelites rejoiced at the triumphant return of the Ark, which symbolized the presence of God among them. Similarly, Jesus Christ is our Ark, the manifestation of God’s favor, and through Him, our prayers and praises are accepted.

**A Call to Put God First**

Beloved, when we put God first in our lives, our homes, and our work, we will see His glory revealed. Just as Obed-Edom was blessed for valuing God’s presence, we too can attract blessings by making God the center. Our lives should be an open book that mirrors God’s love and grace to our community.


In our journey, let’s allow God to be paramount. Trust in Him for solutions, and let’s ensure His commandments guide our decisions. As we pray:

“Eternal God, move in our individual lives. As we journey in this race, Holy Spirit, we need your intervention, especially in these end times. Help us live our lives carefully, with you at the center.”


The Power of Faith: Lessons from Mark’s Gospel

Posted on: July 7th, 2024 by St. Stephens Downsview

Some words from Mark’s Gospel, chapter 6, reading from verse 7 to 9, have been resonating with me deeply. In these verses, we hear that Jesus called the twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff: no bread, no bag, no money in their belts, but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics.

As we’ve journeyed with Jesus over these past few Sundays through the lens of Mark’s gospel, I’ve come to see that Mark offers us glimpses of faith—faith as it is oriented toward Jesus as both its source and object. This faith revolves around his power at work in the lives of those he encountered.

Faith in Action

In Jesus’s earthly ministry, he traveled around teaching and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom of God, healing many who were brought to him in various conditions needing healing. By doing so, he kindled the faith of those around him and invited them to ponder who he was—one who could teach with such power and authority.

When Jesus stilled the storm in the company of his disciples, their faith was once again stoked, prompting them to ask, “Who then is this that even the wind and the sea obey him?” This question echoes through the narratives we’ve explored, from the faith of Jairus and his healed daughter to the unnamed woman whose faith led her to touch Jesus’s clothing for healing.

Faith in Jesus’s Hometown

Today, Mark contrasts two examples of faith: the faith, or lack thereof, in Jesus’s hometown of Nazareth and the faith of the twelve disciples whom Jesus sent out. Upon returning to Nazareth with his disciples, Jesus taught among those who had known him since childhood. While they recognized the wisdom in his teachings and witnessed great deeds of power, their familiarity bred contempt. They could not reconcile the man they knew with the authority he displayed, and thus their unbelief hindered Jesus’s work among them.

The Warning of Prejudices

This passage serves as a caution about how our prejudices and preconceived notions can limit our understanding and experience of God’s work. When we pigeonhole God, viewing Jesus merely as an interesting historical figure, an excellent teacher, or a great prophet, we miss out on recognizing him as our Lord and God.

The Disciples’ Example

In stark contrast to the unbelief in Nazareth is the faith of the disciples. Jesus gave them authority over unclean spirits and sent them out with nothing but the clothes on their backs to proclaim the message of repentance, cast out demons, and heal the sick. This sends a profound message about trust and dependence on God. Like the disciples, we are called to lean not on our own strength but on God’s provision and guidance.

Our Role as Modern Disciples

As modern-day followers of Jesus, we stand on the shoulders of these early disciples, called to continue their mission. We are sent out not with our own authority, but with God’s. It’s not our efforts that sustain us; it’s God who equips and supports us. As a church, reflecting on the seventy years past and the years ahead, we may doubt our strength, but it is God who supplies what we need for the journey.

Dependence on God

True faith often becomes evident in times of lack. When we have nothing else to lean on, we recognize our deep dependence on God. Too much abundance can lead to self-reliance, but in moments of bare necessity, God’s sustaining power becomes clear. Blessed are those who know their need of God, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Concluding Thoughts

The two contrasting examples of faith in Mark’s Gospel—unbelief in Nazareth and the disciples’ faith—remind us that Jesus’s presence demands a response. We will either embrace faith or turn away in disbelief. Let us choose to be like the disciples, welcoming Jesus into our lives and relying on his power.

In doing so, our very lives become conduits for God’s work, living prophetically to invite others to encounter the same Jesus we have. Beyond what we think we know about Jesus, I pray that we all have a fresh encounter with him today, recognizing him not just as a historical figure or great teacher, but as the Lord and God of our lives and of all creation.

My prayer is that we would respond obediently to his call and serve him faithfully throughout our lives.

Navigating the Space Between Fear and Faith

Posted on: June 30th, 2024 by St. Stephens Downsview

Everyone good? Today, I’d like to share some reflections from Mark’s Gospel, Chapter Five, verses 22 to 24. This passage introduces us to Jairus, one of the leaders of the synagogue. Jairus came to Jesus, fell at His feet, and begged repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her so that she may be made well and live.” Moved by his plea, Jesus went with him.

The Journey from Fear to Faith

We often encounter fear of the unknown, fear of others’ opinions, and fear of change. These fears can overwhelm us, particularly when we are praying for something we desperately need. Just last Sunday, we heard in the Gospel reading about the disciples’ fear during a powerful storm at sea, with Jesus asleep in the boat. Mark’s account, I believe, is not random but carefully placed to highlight a transformation from fear to faith.

In the midst of that storm, the disciples were terrified. When Jesus woke and calmed the storm, the disciples asked, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the waves obey him?” This question captured their ignorance, confusion, and the beginning of their understanding. It opened a pathway to deeper faith.

Embracing Christian Discipleship

Our Christian journey is fraught with uncertainties. We are bound to face situations where we feel unsure and afraid. How do we navigate the space between fear and faith? Jairus faced this predicament as his daughter lay dying. He risked his reputation and sought out Jesus amid a crowd clamoring for His attention. Despite his fears, Jairus begged Jesus repeatedly, demonstrating his readiness to shed any pretense.

Jesus responded without hesitation, following Jairus to his home. Upon arrival, Jesus took Jairus’s daughter by the hand and said, “Talitha koum,” meaning “Little girl, get up.” Immediately, she got up and started walking as if nothing was ever wrong. Jesus told Jairus, “Do not fear, only believe.”

Confronting Our Own Fears

We are often held back from reaching out to God due to our fears and misconceptions. We might feel our concerns are less pressing than others or consider ourselves unworthy. These fears mirror those of the woman suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. By Jewish law, her touch would make others ceremonially unclean. Yet, in her desperation and faith, she touched Jesus’s clothes, believing she would be healed.

The Miraculous Power of Faith

This woman’s touch became her channel for healing. She acted on her faith, despite her fears. Like Jairus and this woman, we are called to have faith in Jesus’s presence among us. This faith draws us out from the dark places in our lives, from following the crowd, and from merely being admirers of Jesus. It pulls us into a deeper, more committed discipleship.

Jesus calls us away from our fears and into faith, much like He did the disciples who were hiding in fear before Pentecost. In the upper room, they were transformed by God’s presence, transitioning from fear to bold, public proclamation of their faith.

The Light of Christ in Our Lives

Every day, in morning prayer, we recite the Benedictus, declaring, “In the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high shall break upon us to shine upon those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

The shadow of death doesn’t just mean physical death; it symbolizes all the areas we try to shield from God’s light. It’s like a solar eclipse that temporarily blocks the sun’s light. Christ’s light, however, penetrates even these dark corners, leading us into peace.

Keeping Our Eyes on Jesus

As Jesus guided Jairus through his fears, He guides us too. By focusing our faith on Him, we learn to navigate the space between fear and faith. Jesus’s words resonate deeply: “Do not fear. Just believe.”

In this journey, let’s keep our eyes trained on Jesus. It is only through Him that we can transform our fears into unwavering faith.


The Faithfulness of God: A Journey of Trust and Dependence

Posted on: June 16th, 2024 by St. Stephens Downsview

As I reflect on my own Christian journey, and on the nature of the Christian journey more broadly, I am continually reminded of how closely our response to Jesus’s call mirrors Abraham’s response to God’s call in Genesis 12. God said to Abraham, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.”

Just as God called Abraham into an unimaginable future, our Christian journey begins with a call from God. Though the destination is unknown, the journey is marked by God’s assurance and promises. Abraham’s journey was one of faith, walking by faith and not by sight, trusting that God would fulfill His promises.

A Call and A Promise

Abraham’s call was not solely about him, but about God’s purposes for His kingdom. God promised to bless Abraham and make him a great nation, not for Abraham’s sake alone, but so that he could be a blessing to others. Similarly, our journey of faith is not only for ourselves but for God’s greater purposes. Abraham’s unknown destination underscores the necessity of trust in God’s promises.

In our faith journey, the greatness to which God calls us often begins with small acts of obedience and faith. Jesus teaches this through two parables about the kingdom of God. The first likens the kingdom to a man who scatters seed, which grows independently. This parable emphasizes that the growth of God’s kingdom does not depend on our power but on God’s inherent rhythm within creation.

The Seed and Its Growth

The growth of the kingdom is a divine process. We sow, but it is God who brings the harvest. This dependable rhythm in creation assures us that our efforts are part of something much greater, ultimately under God’s control.

In the second parable, Jesus compares the kingdom to a mustard seed – the smallest of all seeds – that grows into the largest of garden plants. This demonstrates that while the kingdom of God may start small, it grows beyond our imagination, providing rest for many. Our faithfulness in small things is crucial, as it is through such seemingly insignificant beginnings that God unfolds His kingdom.

God’s Unseen Hand

This pattern of small beginnings leading to grand outcomes is evident throughout the Bible. David, the youngest and most insignificant of Jesse’s sons, is chosen by God to establish His kingdom. Despite human opposition, God’s purpose prevails, manifesting His faithfulness in unexpected ways.

Similarly, Jesus, born in humble circumstances, was dismissed by many as the Messiah because of His modest origins. Yet, in Him, God’s promise of salvation becomes reality. This same pattern repeats in the lives of His disciples, many of whom were ordinary, uneducated fishermen. Their faithfulness and obedience, like the mustard seed, led to the growth of the kingdom, impacting generations.

Our Role in God’s Kingdom

Today, as we gather here at St. Stephen, we must ask ourselves if we recognize God’s work in our midst. Are we discerning His faithfulness over time, bringing His kingdom into being from humble beginnings?

St. Paul reminds us not to view others from a merely human perspective. We are all unfinished works of a loving and gracious God. The seed of God’s word planted in our hearts will bear fruit in its time.

Faith calls us to trust in God’s dependability to bring us exactly where we need to be. We may not understand when or how our prayers and efforts will bear fruit, but we can trust that God is faithful. He will complete the good work He has begun in us.

A New Creation in Christ

Paul proclaims, “If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new.” This transformation may not be immediately apparent to the natural eye, but it is real and instantaneous. Living in this new creation, we no longer live for ourselves but for Christ.

In Him, our lives, though they may begin like tiny mustard seeds, will grow to provide rest and refuge for many. Like Abraham, we are called to journey in faith, trusting in God to open up new futures before us.

May God grant us the eyes to see, the ears to hear, and the strength and courage to trust in His faithfulness, following Him wherever He leads.


Finding True Identity in Christ: A Reflection on Labels, Belonging, and Freedom

Posted on: June 9th, 2024 by St. Stephens Downsview

Some words from Mark’s Gospel chapter 3, reading from verses 33 to 35: Jesus asked, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking at those who sat around Him, He said, “Here are My mother and My brothers. Whoever does the will of God is My brother and sister and mother.” Last Monday afternoon, I was listening to a news report by a local broadcaster. The report seemed to lead up to the 80th celebration of D-Day, which had just been observed the previous Thursday, June 6th. D-Day marked the beginning of the end of World War II, as Allied troops landed in Normandy, France. The broadcast, sadly, chronicled the rise of the far right, especially among the younger generation. This new wave of far-right sentiment carried with it many of the old ideologies of the Nazi regime, instigating a rise in anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic sentiment across Germany and beyond.

The Rise of Divisive Ideologies

These young people have adopted an insidious nationalist refrain: “Germany for the Germans.” They frame this ideology as mere national pride, but we know too well where such divisive thinking leads. Similar tendencies towards increased conservatism and nationalism have emerged worldwide, especially in the post-pandemic era. There’s an observable shift in public ideology towards greater authoritarianism and a pervasive sentiment of “us vs. them.” In our increasingly polarized world, we see this not just in politics but also within our religious communities, on social media, and in cultural and ethnic relations. The pandemic’s enforced isolation seems to have exacerbated this divide, leading us to label others in dehumanizing ways. Once we label others as “the other,” we tacitly grant ourselves permission to treat them as less than human.

Embracing Labels Over God’s Sovereignty

This isn’t a new problem. The Israelites in 1 Samuel requested a king to govern over them, like other nations, despite God’s warnings. They rejected their divine privilege, yearning instead for earthly rulers who ultimately oppressed them. Similarly, today’s labels—conservative, liberal, immigrant, native—become our masters, overshadowing our true identity in God. **Christ’s Unifying Message** The Gospel of Mark tells us about Jesus’ ministry, filled with miraculous healings and proclamations of God’s kingdom. Despite these miracles, Jesus was often labeled negatively—out of His mind, demon-possessed. Such labels aimed to undermine His divine mission and discredit Him in the eyes of the people. When truth and goodness are labeled as madness or evil, it’s a strategy to maintain the status quo and resist transformative change. Jesus’ teachings demonstrate that labels are ultimately meaningless in God’s kingdom. His actions—freeing the oppressed and healing the suffering—reveal the truth: “If the Son has set you free, you are free indeed.” Our connection to Christ is based on faith, expressed through obedience to God’s will.

Living Free from Labels

As children of God, our identities transcend societal labels. I am more profoundly a child of God and a joint heir with Christ than any label—be it my ethnicity, nationality, or social status. This is the liberating message of the Gospel. Such labels are often the cause of division and conflict, as they justify treating others as less worthy. Anglican Bishop N.T. Wright emphasizes that the church must always prioritize loyalty to Jesus over any earthly identity. Our communal life, rooted in Christ, proclaims the Gospel to the world, showcasing unity amid diversity.


May we seek not other lords or labels to define us but remember that we are first and foremost children of the living God. This recognition calls us to new levels of unity, transcending the human categories that divide us.

Let Us Pray

Oh, Lord, unlike earthly kings, You are ever steadfast and faithful. You send us Your Son, Jesus the Christ, to rule over us not as a tyrant but as a gentle shepherd. Keep us united and strong in this faith, that we may always know Your presence in our lives. And when You call us home, may we enter Your heavenly kingdom where You live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

Hearing God’s Voice: A Journey through Faith

Posted on: June 2nd, 2024 by St. Stephens Downsview

As I reflect on this morning’s scripture, I am reminded of the profoundness and significance of hearing the voice of God. By God’s grace, today we shall delve into understanding how we can hear from God, both individually and as a church.

The Biblical Call to Hear

We begin by looking at Samuel’s story in 1 Samuel 3:1-10. The boy Samuel ministered to the Lord under Eli and had not yet known the Lord personally. However, he was dedicated to God and open to hearing His voice. This is a powerful reminder that God speaks to us, and often we need to be in a state of readiness to hear Him. At that time, Eli’s eyesight had grown dim, and visions were not widespread – emphasizing that hearing from God is not a trivial matter but a rare and precious gift.

The Importance of Spiritual Hearing

In Matthew 11:15 and Revelation 2:29, the Bible states, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” This call to listen is not about physical hearing but developing a spiritual listening ear. It’s about being receptive and tuning into what the Spirit is conveying to us. Many times, we hear but do not retain or act upon what we are told. This indicates the need for a deep, spiritual connection to discern God’s direction for our lives.

Listening as a Devotion

Samuel’s story highlights his dedication from a young age. Unlike Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas, who misbehaved in the temple, Samuel served with a pure heart. This distinction demonstrates the importance of dedicating oneself wholly to God, no matter one’s age. Listening to God requires a heart that seeks to please Him above all else, as Samuel did.

Practical Steps to Hear God

Hearing from God is crucial for our spiritual growth and gives us direction in life:

  1. Spiritual Awareness: Just as Samuel was alert in the spirit, we too must be spiritually aware and attuned to God’s voice.
  2. Obedience: Obedience to God’s voice brings progress and blessings. Samuel’s life exemplifies this truth, as he grew to be a great leader and prophet by heeding God’s call.
  3. Youthful Devotion: Ecclesiastes 12:1 encourages us to remember our Creator in the days of our youth. Samuel’s youth was dedicated to serving God, a call that is relevant for all of us, regardless of age.

Transforming Faith through Hearing

When we begin to hear from God, our faith rises, and our perspectives shift from a worldly to a godly viewpoint. We no longer see challenges as the end, but as opportunities to witness God’s hand. This transformation allows us to serve God effectively and align ourselves with His plans.

Overcoming Spiritual Deafness

A major challenge among Christians today is the inability to discern God’s voice. Many run to prophets for guidance, only to be misled by false teachings. We must strive to develop a personal relationship with God, where we can hear Him directly. This personal encounter ensures we can discern between the voice of God and the voice of the enemy.

Conclusion: Embracing God’s Voice

As we conclude, I urge each of us to pray for the ability to hear God’s voice clearly. Whether through the small still voice, or through scriptures, let’s be attentive and responsive. Let this week be a time where God speaks to us and provides us with direction.

Let us pray:

Thank you, God, for the word You have sent to us this morning. We want to hear from You as a church and as individuals. Father, speak to us and give us direction. In the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Through hearing God’s voice, we find purpose, direction, and spiritual growth. Let us tune our hearts and minds to listen to Him, continually striving to walk in His ways.

Journey into a Deeper Commitment with God

Posted on: May 26th, 2024 by St. Stephens Downsview

Hello, dear readers. Today, I am excited to share a reflection that is both personal and inspirational, grounded in our celebration of Guyana’s Independence Day and enriched with scriptural wisdom from John’s gospel. Join me as I recount my journey of faith, the continuous calling of God in my life, and how each of us can respond to God’s divine invitations.

Greetings and Celebration

If you did not know that today was Guyana’s Independence Day, take a moment to look around. It is wonderful to see so many friends, particularly those who are celebrating this special day. To commemorate, I want to share some words from John’s gospel. In John chapter 3, verses 3 and 5, Jesus said:

“Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above. No one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and spirit.”

These powerful words lay the foundation for a deeper exploration of our personal journey with God.

My Calling to Ministry

My calling and vocation to ministry—and to a more committed Christian service—came about gradually, through a variety of ways. It began with an invitation from a former choir director to join her in visiting and praying for the elderly and shut-in from our parish. Further influence came from Christian friends at college, and a chance invitation to attend a worship service at another Christian friend’s church one Sunday.

I had personal devotion times during my university years, seeking God’s will for my life. Ultimately, there was a moment where I said yes to what I perceived as a very clear call from God for ministry. This calling and the invitation to deeper Christian service continue for me, and I suspect it is the same for each of us because we serve a God who always seeks us out—a God whose love will never let us go.

Preferring the Shadows

I have always preferred to remain in the shadows. By nature, I am happy to go unnoticed, allowing others to take the spotlight. Public demonstrations of faith were never my kind of thing, and maybe that’s the same for you. Thankfully, we serve a God who understands all of this.

Through responding positively to these invitations during my journey, God gave me an opportunity to emerge from the shadows—much like He did with Nicodemus in our reading today. This journey of faith has been an adventure with the living God, truly the journey of a lifetime.

The Journey of Commitment

Growing up in the church, I learned a lot through Sunday school, youth movements, and sermons, yet each moment of invitation felt different. Each called me to a more personal response and commitment to God. I believe God looks for this personal commitment from all His children and continually calls us to return to Him.

Our gospel reading tells us how Nicodemus came to Jesus by night—when it felt safer, away from the scrutinizing gaze of his fellow Pharisees. This journey was transformational for him, as it can be for us. They knew Jesus came from God, but the struggle was in taking that next step of faith.

Being Born from Above

Jesus made it clear to Nicodemus that seeing the kingdom of God requires being born from above—of water and spirit. This new birth is God’s doing—just like the wind, we do not control it, but we can receive and observe it. When the Holy Spirit comes into our lives, we begin to see its effects, just as we hear the wind blowing through leaves.

Answering God’s Call

Responding positively to God’s calls and invitations allows us to walk a path filled with divine grace. Saying yes to God’s call brought me to places I never imagined and into relationships with other believers that have enriched my spiritual journey. God’s plan for us is beyond our understanding, filled with grace and guidance.

Embrace the Divine Invitation

As I conclude, may we all have the grace to emerge from the shadows and say yes to each invitation that God issues to us. As God’s love calls us back even when we stray, let’s embrace this divine life and love. Remember, God sent His Son not to condemn the world, but to save it. This foundational truth calls us into a literal reality where we live, move, and have our being.

Final Thoughts

Friends, let’s celebrate the Trinity—not just as a doctrine to be explained but as a reality to experience. Jesus revealed this mystery to Nicodemus, an invitation that extends to us all. Let us respond to this gracious invitation to share in God’s life and love.

Thank you for journeying with me through these reflections. May God grant us the grace to continue saying yes each day.


Dare to Get Burned: A Journey Through the Fire of Pentecost

Posted on: May 21st, 2024 by St. Stephens Downsview

As I sit here reflecting on my upbringing in the Bahamas, memories of St. Barnabas Anglican Church and our annual Discovery Weekends flood my mind. It was during these weekends that I experienced a profound spiritual transformation, particularly through the youth retreats centered around spiritual formation.

A Prayer for Renewal

One memory that stands out vividly is the prayer we recited regularly throughout the weekend:

“Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful. Kindle in us the fire of your love. Send forth your spirit and we shall be created. So you will renew the face of the earth.”

This prayer to the Holy Spirit encapsulates the essence of Pentecost, a celebration that marks the outpouring of God’s Spirit upon His church. It’s a reminder of the continuous renewal and presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

The Significance of Pentecost

The day of Pentecost, celebrated 50 days after Easter, holds immense significance in the Christian faith. It symbolizes the birth of the church and the empowerment of believers through the Holy Spirit. Reflecting on the events of that first Pentecost, where the disciples were filled with the Spirit and spoke in different languages, we are reminded of the power and transformative impact of God’s Spirit.

A New Creation in Christ

Paul’s words to the Romans echo through time, reminding us that the whole creation groans in anticipation of redemption. As individuals who have received the Spirit, we too long for the fullness of redemption in our bodies. Despite the challenges and struggles we face, there is a deep sense of hopefulness that God is indeed making all things new.

Embracing the Work of the Spirit

Just as the early disciples were filled with the Spirit and boldly proclaimed the gospel, we are called to embody the same spirit of boldness and proclamation. The gifts and abilities we receive from God are meant to build up the body of Christ and point others to Jesus. Our lives should reflect a testament to God’s deeds of power, drawing others to worship at His feet.

Shining the Light of Christ

In a world marred by darkness and despair, we are called to let our light shine brightly. Just as the disciples appeared to be drunk with new wine, our lives should portray a radical transformation brought about by the Spirit of God. Despite misunderstandings and criticisms, we are commissioned to share the message of the gospel with boldness and love.

A Call to Renewal

As we celebrate Pentecost, my prayer is that God will refresh us with His Spirit, igniting a fire of love within our hearts. May we be instruments of His renewal, proclaiming His goodness and power in both word and deed. Let us embrace the transformative work of the Spirit and allow God to use us as vessels of His light in a darkened world.

In conclusion, as we journey through life filled with the Spirit, may we be reminded of the enduring presence of God’s Spirit within us. Let us embrace the fire of Pentecost and allow it to renew, transform, and empower us to be bearers of God’s light and love in a world that yearns for His redemption.


This blog post is a reflection inspired by the profound experiences and teachings shared in the message on Pentecost. May it serve as a reminder of the transformative power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Reflections on Mother’s Day, Ascension Day, and 70 Years of Faithful Service

Posted on: May 12th, 2024 by St. Stephens Downsview

As I stand before you all today, marking significant milestones and occasions, I am filled with a sense of gratitude and reverence. Today is not just a typical Sunday; it is a convergence of meaningful events that resonate deeply within our hearts and spirits.

First and foremost, we celebrate Mother’s Day, a day to honor and cherish the mothers who embody love, sacrifice, and strength. Mothers, with their nurturing presence and unwavering support, are symbols of God’s love in our lives. Whether this is your first time celebrating as a mother or your first Mother’s Day without your own mother, our prayers and thoughts are with you on this hallowed day.

On this special day, we also mark the significance of Ascension Day. This day, tinged with both anticipation and sorrow, reminds us of the departure of Jesus and the beginning of a new chapter for the church. Just as the disciples witnessed Jesus ascending to heaven, we are reminded of the importance of letting go and allowing growth and transformation to take place.

Furthermore, we acknowledge the 70th anniversary of this sacred space, a place that has been a beacon of worship, prayer, and community for seven decades. The walls of this church hold the echoes of countless prayers, celebrations, and gatherings, embodying the rich tapestry of experiences that make up our faith journey.

As I reflect on the past leaders of this congregation, from 1954 to the present day, I am reminded of the essential role each individual has played in shaping the life of this community. From baptisms to marriages, from joyful celebrations to moments of grief, each leader has contributed their unique gifts and talents to the tapestry of our shared faith.

But beyond the clergy, I am grateful for each and every one of you who has said yes to your baptismal covenant, who has offered your time, talent, and treasure to the church. It is through your dedication and commitment that the church of God truly comes to life, in all its diversity and beauty.

As we look towards the future, I am filled with hope and anticipation for the next 70 years of this parish church. May we continue to be beacons of kindness, compassion, and justice in a world that so desperately needs it. May we embrace the spirit of Easter, of renewal, and transformation, as we strive to make a difference in the world.

To all the precious souls gathered here at St. Stephen’s Downs, I bless you on this anniversary and pray that God’s grace continues to guide you in the years to come. Amen.

In closing, I urge us all to remember the words of the angels who spoke to the disciples on Ascension Day: “Why are you looking up? Because this Jesus will return.” Let us not be so focused on the heavens that we forget our duty to bring God’s love and compassion down to earth, where it is needed most.

May we all be embodiments of love, hope, and grace in a world hungry for light.

Blessings to you all on this sacred day.

The Journey of Self-Reflection

Posted on: May 5th, 2024 by St. Stephens Downsview

As I sit here, pen in hand and thoughts racing through my mind, I can’t help but feel a sense of peace wash over me. In this moment, as I reflect on the path that has led me to where I am today, I am reminded of the importance of self-discovery.

Discovering oneself is a journey that is both daunting and exhilarating. It requires courage to delve deep into the depths of your being and confront the truths that lie hidden within. But it is through this process of introspection that we can truly understand who we are and what we stand for.

I have always believed that self-reflection is the key to personal growth. It is through introspection that we can identify our strengths and weaknesses, our desires and fears. By taking the time to look within ourselves, we can uncover our true passions and aspirations, and pave a path towards fulfillment.

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it is easy to lose sight of ourselves amidst the chaos. But it is during these moments of stillness, when we allow ourselves to pause and reflect, that we can find clarity and purpose. It is in these moments that we can rediscover our true selves and realign our goals with our values.

So, as I continue on this journey of self-reflection, I am grateful for the opportunity to explore the depths of my soul and uncover the mysteries that lie within. It is a journey of self-discovery that never truly ends, but one that brings growth, wisdom, and a profound sense of fulfillment.