Rev. Dr. Justyn Terry - Luke 19:1-10 - October 31st

By , October 31, 2010

Jesus and Zacchaeus


 To what extremes have you gone to get tickets to a concert, show, game, or other event?  What was it that you “had to see”?

 Have you ever been friends with someone other friends of yours didn’t get along with?  What did you do?

 What are your dinner parties like?


 What town are they in?  What happened there (Joshua chs. 2, 5, 6)?

 What is Zacchaeus’ profession?  How was that profession viewed?

 What kind of restitution does Zacchaeus want to make?


 What do you think it meant for Zacchaeus that Jesus knew his name?  That He came to his house?  What point does it seem that Jesus is making about His mission?

 Why would Jesus call Zacchaeus a “son of Abraham”? 

 What do you think this passage is saying about forgiveness?  Restitution?  Generosity?


 What does it mean for you that Jesus knows you by name?  What would it mean for Him to “come to your house”?

 Is there anyone with whom you are being called to seek reconciliation?

 Where is Jesus taking you to places or to people that others wouldn’t go?

On the Mark – October 31st 2010

The outpouring of condolences and expressions of love upon the occasion of the death of my mother is expressive of who St. Paul’s really is – the Body of Christ.

Thank you for the beautiful flowers on the altar last Sunday, for the words of comfort in cards, phone calls, e-mails, and personal words. We have been strengthened. The prayers of this parish are powerful!

St. John writes in Revelation 14:13: Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.

My mother, Susie, died in the Lord and is now at rest in His presence. My mother loved the Lord Jesus and her deeds showed her love. Janet and I have been tremendously blessed by God through her as have our children and grandchildren. I thank God for all the saints.



The Rev. Christopher P. Leighton


Rev. Gail Paige Bowman - Luke 18:9-14 - October 24th 2010

By , October 24, 2010

The Pharisee and the Tax Collector


Have you ever had a time when you were convinced you were right about something and then found out later you weren’t?  What was it like?

Are you someone who compares himself/herself to others?  How?

What do your prayers most often consist of (adoration, confession, thanksgiving, asking for something for yourself or others)?


To whom does Jesus tell this parable (v. 9)?

Who are the two individuals in this parable?  How would society have treated them?

What are the elements of the Pharisee’s prayer?  What are the elements of the tax collector’s prayer?


What do you think were the reactions to this parable?  From the Pharisees?  From the tax collectors and “sinners”?

Why is the tax collector “justified”?  Explore the legal ramifications of this term.

If the tax collector is justified, what is the state of the Pharisee?


Who would Jesus tell this parable to today?  What characters would he use?

What has the state of your heart been as you pray?  What difference is this parable going to make in your prayer life?  In how you treat others?

How is God working on your humility?

On the Mark – October 24th

By , October 24, 2010

On October 19, 2010, the Most Rev. Robert Duncan, Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church in North America addressed the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelism, held in Capetown, South Africa.  The full text of his speech is available at the Welcome Center. Echoing Luke 1:51-52, Archbishop Duncan discussed the decline of the Episcopal Church in terms of the Lord “scattering the proud and lifting up the lowly.”  He then turned to lessons applicable to the whole church:

Four lessons are foremost.  This session is not primarily about Anglicanism, but about the whole Christian Church…

Standing in God’s Truth raises God’s Allies.  First, when any of us stand for God’s Truth in first order issues, where the salvation of souls rather than condemnation of opponents is our goal, it brings unity in the Church, true unity. The whole Church throughout the world is also challenged to stand with you….Allies emerge from countless unexpected places.  Both ethnic division and denominationalism fade away.

Humility Builds God’s Partnerships. Humility and charity – as well as forgiveness and reconciliation – among those partnering are essential for God to work in situations where social, economic colonial and ecclesiastical inequalities have heretofore operated.  New learning abounds.  We in the US and Canada have learned a great deal about ways churches can be planted, about the necessity of ending our silence concerning resurgent Islam, about evangelism and discipleship, and even about how ancient structures might serve mission once again. 

The rich have to become poor in the things they previously judged to be their riches, and the poor have to see themselves as God sees them:  perhaps from the “weakest of the tribes” but “mighty men of valor” nonetheless.  [Judges 6:11-16]

God does lift up the lowly.  Global South Anglicanism is now majority Anglicanism.  The average Anglican is now a woman, an African, a mother, and under the age of 20.  We are not the Church of England anymore.  God speaks to us of previously unimaginable possibility.  In ACNA we believe God has set us to planting 1000 new churches in our first five years of life. I met with 20 eager Wheaton College students in August.  None of them were raised Anglican.  All believe themselves called to some kind of missionary life as committed disciples of Jesus.  They want not only to tell about Jesus, but to do what Jesus did.  From the ruins of the heretical and wayward denominations that marginalized, exiled and expelled the faithful of an earlier generation, a new generation is clearly being drawn to believing and serving in the humbled and renewed Anglican Church that is emerging.

Personal Conversion deepens with Gospel suffering and sacrifice.  We have learned that the cross of Jesus is the way of life.  We have firsthand evidence that those who are prepared to give up buildings and endowments and pensions and relationships and respectability, for the sake of the gospel, are far more committed disciples than they were before their trials and their struggles.  Deciding for Jesus changes people, not only at the first but every time the cross is embraced.  Among those already facing challenges of poverty, war, disease and famine – but who nevertheless act to help other suffering brothers and sisters, perhaps even on a faraway continent – for these God also deepens the conversion, often also bringing new friends and new hope, renewing godly self-image, and opening lines of provision for their original needs.

Scattering the Proud and Lifting Up the Lowly  I speak to you with all humility.  Ours is no North American triumph.  Ours is a rescue story in a global Church.  It is not necessarily an Anglican story.  It is a story of the whole Christian Church at its best.

On the Mark October 24thOctober 24.pdf

Fr. Christopher Leighton - Luke 18:1-8 - October 17th 2010

The Persistent Widow


 What are you like when you don’t get what you want?

 What does it take for you to “give in” to a request?

 When have you sought justice from God?  What was the outcome?


 Why does Jesus tell the parable (v. 1)?

 Who are the characters in the parable?

 With whom is God the Father contrasted?


 Why do you think the fact that the woman is a widow is significant?

 Does this parable accomplish what is said about it in v. 1?

 What is God’s justice?

 What do you think Jesus is saying about the relationship between faith and prayer?


 Who have been “unjust judges” in your life?  How have you been an “unjust judge”?

 What does the fact that God the Father is unlike any human judge mean to you?

 About what is God calling you to be more persistent in prayer?

On the Mark – October 17th 2010

One Body



“The body is a unit.  Though it is made up of many parts, and though all its parts are many, they form one body.  So it is with Christ.”                                                                                       I Corinthians 12:12

One of the beautiful things of life is the unity of Christians, described often by St. Paul as the one body of Christ.  I have often thought of St. Paul before his Damascus Road experience when he breathed out murderous threats against the church.  Luke says in Acts 8:3, he “began to destroy the church, going from house to house he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.”

In his fanatical anti-Christian behavior, he set out for Damascus and, while en route, Paul was thrown down to the ground with light from heaven flashing around him.  The glorified Lord Jesus appeared to him and said, “Why do you persecute me?”   Those words stick in Paul’s mind to help formulate his view of the church.  In his attacks upon Christians, Paul had really been attacking Jesus Christ.  The believers and Christ are united.  Jesus Christ is the Head of His Body, the Church.

When we look at fellow members of St. Paul’s we see the Lord Jesus and when we look at believers who belong to other churches we see further evidence of the Body of Christ – we are all parts forming One Body.

God is showing us beauty in His Body!

Your brother in Christ,


The Rev. Christopher P. Leighton, Rector

Fr. Christopher Leighton - Luke 17:11-19 - October 10th

Ten Healed of Leprosy


 What was it like when you got sick as a child?

 When have you felt like an “outsider”?

 What are you thankful for right now?


 What are the 10 men suffering from?  Why did they have to stand at a distance?

 What happened to them “as they went”?

 What is the ethnicity of the one who came back to thank Jesus?  Why is that significant?


 How did people in that time view leprosy? 

 Why would Jesus send them to the priests?

 Why do you think healing is a component of Jesus’ ministry?

 How does Jesus tie faith and thankfulness together?


 Are there any forgotten areas in your life that God is calling you to return in thanksgiving for? 

 Is healing a part of your experience of ministry?  Have you experienced God’s healing?  Have you seen Him heal others?

 Who in your life that needs to know Jesus’ healing power this way 

On the Mark – October 10th 2010

We recently received this note from Eric Chen who visited not long ago.   - Fr. Christopher

St. Paul’s attendance was smaller.  During worship, I had a sense that the Lord was not impressed with numbers.  St. Paul’s has been “small” in nature for many years;  but the depth and quality of prayer is phenomenal.  Jesus treasures the fervent prayers of the saints at St. Paul’s,  as St. Paul’s trains up and sends out prayer warriors to world-wide locations.

The prayers St. Paul’s sends up to the Lord are pivotal.  I sensed that St. Paul’s prayer formed a hot spot in the massive landscape.  The enemy’s army swarmed over the landscape, too massive to be numbered, in a broad flow over the entire landscape.

I was impressed that St. Paul’s prayers did not turn back the enemy;  instead they became an intensely red hot spot in the landscape that the enemy had to go around.  Then I saw that the many red hot spots that St. Paul’s sent out began to pop up all over the landscape.  As the enemy’s advancing army swarm approached each of these red hot spots, it had to go around, and the swarm was divided.  Gradually the going around of these intense red hot spots caused the massive swarm of enemy army to be reduced to a single file – readily lined up to be taken out easily by the Lord’s Army – even by the smallest of God’s children!  The enemy swarm got squeezed by these strategic centers of prayer into helpless ducks lined up to be taken out.

The central message of these impressions for me is:  focus on Jesus and continue to pray.  Forget the “numbers” game.  The Lord is looking for a few good men and women who are willing to pray and seek Him with intensity and faithfulness.  St. Paul’s role in the Lord’s Kingdom is strategic and critical.   - Eric Chen

Fr. Christopher Leighton - Luke 17:1-10 - October 3rd

Sin, Faith, and Duty


Have you ever gotten anyone (siblings, friends, etc.) into trouble?

Do you have a green thumb?  Do you like to garden?  Why or why not?

Have you ever worked in a service profession?  What were your duties?  What was it like?


What kind of stone is mentioned in v. 2?

How big is a mustard seed?  How big is a mulberry tree?

What metaphor does Jesus use for our relationship with God in vv. 7-10?


What is being taught today that can be categorized as false teaching?  How can you be on your guard?

Does the fact that a sin keeps being repeated impact whether or not it should be forgiven?

What does this text say about how much faith God can work with?


How quick are you to restore relationships—both those in which you need to be forgiven and those in which you do some forgiving?

How would you describe the size of your faith right now?  What are you hearing from this text about that?  How are you being called to pray with faith for things that seem “impossible”?

What are the “duties” or obligations in your spiritual life?  Are you being obedient?  How does being described as God’s servant sit with you?  How would you describe where you on are on the journey of discipleship?

On the Mark – October 3rd 2010

Time Flies When You Are

Having Fun


I am writing these words on Wednesday, September 29, 2010.  It is the thirty-first anniversary of my ordination to the Diaconate.

The first thing I am struck by is how fast life goes by! It is hard to grasp that I accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour and was baptized in the Holy Spirit nearly forty years ago!  Janet and I have been together for nearly the exact same amount of time.  To note today that I have been in ordained ministry for so long yet it has gone by so quickly, makes me want the remaining days of my life to really count in making a difference for Christ.

Secondly, my thoughts lead me to ask, “What were they thinking when they put a twenty-five year old in charge of a congregation – especially this twenty-five year old?”  In those early days I would stand in the beautiful stone pulpit of All Saints Church, Aliquippa Pennsylvania and often a force would be upon me and I would feel that my feet were about to be picked up and I would be thrown head over heels out of the pulpit.  But we prayed and persevered and were granted victory!  The Helper, the Holy Spirit, comes when you ask!

Finally, on this day, I have to ask us all if my philosophy of ministry is actually working.  I believe that God’s math is multiplication and that the clergy exist by the will of God to activate and equip the saints for ministry.  Are the saints of God doing the work of God through St. Paul’s Darien?

It is a joy for me to serve the Lord in this Church.

Your brother in Christ,


The Rev. Christopher P. Leighton


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