Beloved of God,

Week 13 – and the Province has begun to move from Phase 1 to Phase 2 in their re-opening plan!

While some think this is wonderful and are wanting to rush back to “the way we were”, many more are mindful that nothing has changed and everything has changed… and going back to what was, is sadly not an option.

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 13:34

The command of Jesus to love one another… is what will undergird all discussions and decisions regarding re-opening in the coming days, weeks and months. Love will be shown through careful and prayerful discernment as to what measures need to be taken to keep everyone safe and healthy when re-opening happens.

The governing bodies of Carlisle & Kilbride UCs have tasked the Logistics Committee with exploring what re-opening might look like for our communities of faith and to prepare recommendations for the Church Boards to adopt. The committee members are Janet Heeley (Chair), Andy Tarrant (Trustee), Bob Moulder (Property & M&P), Linda Dodman (Worship), Marilyn Gray (UCW), Maureen Trenkler (Kilbride), Jenni Love (Custodian). They have met twice, attended United Church of Canada webinars about re-opening and are beginning the process towards re-opening.

What does this look like and when will it happen? We do not know!

There is a LOT for them to review, consider, re-imagine… in light of ever-changing guidelines from the federal and provincial governments, regional health departments, and The United Church of Canada. Input will be sought out from renters/tenants, finance folks, congregants, staff… to insure procedures are manageable, expectations are reasonable, the required deep cleaning is do-able. All of this will be undertaken with your safety and well-being as their top priority… because you are loved.

So be patient. Trust. Know that we will NOT be rushing back without faithfully looking at the seen and the unseen aspects of being communities of faith! Know that EVERYONE misses everyone else and would love to HUG and handshake, sing and speak, enjoy food and fellowship like we did in March, but this is not possible because the coronavirus is still amongst us, no vaccine or cure has been forthcoming, and we CANNOT and WILL NOT be a petrie dish or host for its spreading, because we love one another, want the best for one another and wish to model this self-giving and sacrificial love to the communities we serve!

And while we wait…

Here are a few thoughts from Rev Cameron Trimble (https://convergenceus.org/) that she shared this week in one of her daily blogs this week:

I’ve been playing a game for the past few months to keep myself curious and open to what these days might teach us. I call it “What becomes possible?” It goes like this:

  • The economy is shut down…what if this gives us the chance to create a more just, sustainable economy going forward? What becomes possible?
  • We are in lockdown…what if we rediscover the value of our families and communities? What becomes possible?
  • People can’t go to the places of worship for the foreseeable future…what if this frees us from our obsessions with our buildings and sets us loose in the world? What becomes possible?
  • George Floyd’s murder seems to be waking white folk up…what if we will finally take meaningful steps to protect and honor black and brown lives? What becomes possible?

Every day, I try to make as many observations as I can about the changes happening among us and to us. Then I ask “What if” and then “What becomes possible?” It’s been a great teacher for me, keeping me curious about this strange time.

Yesterday, a friend sent a poem by Leslie Dwight that drove this home for me. She writes:

What if 2020 isn’t canceled?
What if 2020 is the year we have been waiting for?
A year so uncomfortable, so painful, so scary, so raw –
that it finally forces us to grow.
A year that screams so loud, finally awakening us
from our ignorant slumber.
A year we finally accept the need for change.
Declare change. Work for change. Become the change.
A year we finally band together, instead of
pushing each other further apart.

2020 isn’t canceled, but rather
it’s the most important year of them all.

Leslie Dwight

What if? What becomes possible?

Hmmmm… lots to ponder

And on a lighter note… a video from the folks at Bethel Baptist in Scotland… regarding re-opening! ENJOY!

In Love, Sue


Links

Anti-Racism Page – The United Church of Canada

COVID-19 links from The United Church of Canada:

From the National Church
https://www.united-church.ca/covid-19 or

From our Horseshoe Falls Regional Council
https://hfrcucc.ca/
https://hfrcucc.ca/rcevents/news/

Worship Offerings/Opportunities

THIS SUNDAY: JUNE 14, 2020 – 7:00PM ET TO 8:00PM ET
YOU ARE INVITED TO A SPECIAL WORSHIP SERVICE
PRESENTED BY: The Black Clergy Network of The United Church of Canada

A time of worship, prayer, and reflection to face the issues of anti-Black racism across our country and in our church. In worship we will lament, we will hope, and we will be reminded of the need to act against racism.

Sunday bulletins, full worship liturgies, puzzles are attached for your engagement and sharing. In July we will move to 1 bulletin as summer services have traditionally been joint with Carlisle hosting in July and Kilbride in August!

Next Sunday (June 21) we will celebrate Aboriginal Sunday and on June 28th we will honour Pride Sunday! A Hymn Sing Sunday is being planned for July 5th! Please let Sue know your favourite hymns (and perhaps why they are your favourites) by June 20th so they can be crafted into a meaningful worship with agape meal (informal communion)!

Here is the weekly link to on-line worship experiences from across Canada (408 and counting)!

This week’s prayer for the journey – by Cameron Bellm

May we who are merely inconvenienced
remember all whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
remember the most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home
remember all who must choose between
preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our
children when their schools close
remember many who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips
remember the ones that have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money
in the tumult of the economic market
remember many who have no margin at all.

As fear continue to grip our country, let us choose love.

And during this time when we cannot physically
wrap our arms around each other,
let us yet find ways to be the loving
embrace of God to our neighbours.

Amen

Cameron Bellm

May we continue to shine, share, and serve in Love’s Way and Name in all we do… all we say… all we are… so our families, neighbours, communities and God’s world know how beloved and valued they are!

Heather offers us this song link to help us all SHINE in the coming days!
West Plains United Church, Burlington – Virtual Choir – “This Little Light of Mine”

Blessings,
Sue

Sue Cowan
Supply Minister,
Carlisle-Kilbride United Churches