January 20, 2002

Karen Heidebrecht Thiessen - “The Prodigal Son”

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Karen Heidebrecht Thiessen (Pastor, West Abbotsford Mennonite Church and former intern at PGIMF) spoke on Homecoming, using the story of the ‘prodigal son’ from Luke 15:11-. “Every finding has its losing, every return has a leaving.” Karen began by explaining the utterly unthinkable request for the son’s inheritance, for in making that request, he was essentially saying he wished his Dad were dead (thereby bringing disgrace to the extended family). How do we leave home? What do we reject? How does our leaving affect others in our family of faith? Another interesting aspect of the story is the older brother (leading to all kinds of discussion by people as being the eldest, middle or youngest of their siblings). The oldest children often try to be models to their parents, yet envy younger siblings’ freedom from similar constraints. The life of obedience becomes a burden, the father’s joy over the younger son’s return brings out something black in the older son. Anger and envy betray subtle self-righteousness. As for the father, his love did not force, limit, push—rather it allowed leave-taking and homecoming. We, too, are heirs, successors, and are to be like the Father, not just the ones who come home, but also the ones who welcome home, not just the ones who seek love, but those who give love. We are called to be like the father, we are called to the banquet—ours and that for our younger brothers. [JEK]


Passage: Luke 15:11
Communion: No
Ecumenical or Event:
Potluck Lunch: No
Congregational Meeting: No


Speaker: Karen Heidebrecht Thiessen
Worship Leader: Henry Hildebrand
Song Leader: Evan Kreider
Pianist: Sue Dudoward
Usher: Andre Pekovich
Zoom Coordinator:
Children's Feature Leader: Hilda Hildebrand


Bring Flowers: Ken & Cynthia Friesen
Coffee Helper: Annie Funk; Betty Funk, Janet Boldt, Herb Reesor
Sound Helper:


Child Care Volunteer: Barton Thiessen

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