15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 4 Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

John 15: 1, 4-5, 10-12 (New Revised Standard Version)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The world continues to turn. The sun continues to rise. The One in whose image we have been created continues to shine in and through the actions of beautiful people like you who are muddling your way through this new normal imposed on us by the COVID-19 virus. THANK YOU to everyone who has taken the precautions seriously and is limiting social contact, checking in regularly with neighbours and relatives, church members and village acquaintances!

And many thanks to your Carlisle-Kilbride Emergency Response Team (Andrea McRae, Maureen Trenkler, Janet Heeley) who have met, discussed, discerned, formulated response and readjusted these responses as each new bit of information comes to light. In all of their actions they have greeted these challenges with love, prayer, calm, level heads and always the desire to maintain safety and good health for all!

Since the Premier announced a “state of emergency” this morning until March 31st, we will be extending our original suspension of ALL church activities at least until that date. Your Emergency Response Team will reassess our churches response on an on-going basis and continue to communicate our decisions as they are discerned.

Until we meet face-to-face again, please know you are being held in prayer. Weekly bulletins and full services will continue to be created and distributed for your engagement. Weekly lists of services to attend online will be distributed and you are encouraged to try some out and share what you experienced! Pastoral care will be provided in safe ways. If you hear of a need arising continue to communicate it to the Prayer Circle, the Church Office, Your Board Chairs, the Minister, the friendly voice who is calling to check in with you to insure in this time of limited social contact we continue to be connected to one another and to the True Vine; our source of Hope, Peace, Strength, Love, Life!

As this is St. Patrick’s Day I commend the Irish Blessing to you “May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back; the sunshine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon your fields, and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand”. May you be a channel of Holy Peace and Presence to one another and God’s world. May you be the calm amid chaos… the light amid longing… the hope amid the hoarding… May God’s peace be your peace. AMEN and AMEN!

Your sister in Christ,

Sue Cowan
Supply Minister
Carlisle-Kilbride United Churches

P.S. Please remember your church continues to need your support during this uncertain time! Please pray for one another! You can make offerings online through Canada Helps, mail in cheques to the church office, or make another arrangement with one of the members of the Emergency Response Team! THANK YOU!