Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Week 14 is upon us and we have spent the entire spring season in various levels of lockdown!
14 weeks… and with each one, the physical and spiritual and emotional weariness from isolation has deepened! And now, there is something awesome to celebrate! After 14 weeks, a new season is upon us in more ways than we previously imagined! And with the coming of summer we also hear the good news of the Carlisle-Kilbride Faith Community’s first Congregational Parking Lot Meeting! God is doing something new in your midst! How wonderful!

Many thanks to Your Search Team of Mary Gilbert (Chair), Jean Shaw (Kilbride), Sheila Garrett (Carlisle) and Bob Moulder (Carlisle) for their prayerful discernment! With gratitude for their faithful actions – listening, praying, interviewing, pondering, praying, listening… you are now invited to receive their recommendation at noon on June 28th! And although the meeting will look different from similar meetings in the past (due to COVID guidelines that will be strictly followed to keep everyone safe and healthy), the Spirit has moved! How exciting it is to look forward with renewed hope and to imagine new possibilities for your ministry! Hallelujah!

And not only does this Sunday mark the beginning of summer, it is also National Indigenous Peoples Day! Our worship will focus on Indigenous music, the gift of apology, how we can build right relations and walk together towards reconciliation and strengthened relationships. I hope you will take time on Sunday to learn more about Aboriginal people and the contributions they have made towards Canada’s development and progress. And I pray you will experience the vast showcase of First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples’ culture, achievements, language, music, dance at local summer solstice festivals, barbeques, sacred fire ceremonies, etc.

I also pray with the coming of summer you will take some time to contemplate your childhood memories of summer. For most of us, it was a time of freedom… of unstructured time! Many remember playing till the streetlights came on… building forts out of scraps and twig. Some remember the smell of earth as they worked in the fields and getting soaked by summer rain. Some remember summers on the ball diamond… at a cottage… camping… swimming… playing mini-golf, eating ice-cream. While others remember the joy of reading, building jigsaw puzzles, fishing… the sounds of crickets and loons… glorious sunrises, sunsets and more!

What happens to our childhood experiences? So much of who we are as children is the spark of the Divine within us. We may not be able to do things as we did years ago, yet something of how we lived is truly part of God who dwells in us now?!

Perhaps then, the coming of summer is God’s invitation to claim or reclaim something of our youth and let it become a ‘summer practice’ this year? Perhaps read a book during the day without feeling guilty? Sit in the backyard under a star-filled sky and bask in its awesomeness? Lie on the ground and watch the clouds… noting the various things you see in them? Maybe set aside time to pick wild flowers… listen to the wind in the trees… watch in silence as the sun rises or sets? Perhaps get your hands dirty… go frogging… get out your bicycle… walk in your bare feet and feel the grass tickle your toes?

Think of yourself as a younger person. What was the gift of your summers in those years? How can you live this in 2020? Offer prayers of gratitude for lessons learned and lessons to be learned! Offer praise for the beauty in your midst and the intricacies of the Creator’s handiwork! Commit to delighting in God’s world… as you reflect on what was… what is… and what is to come!

Father’s Day, National Indigenous Day and the calling of a New Minister! The season of summer is arriving with a burst of sacred energy; opportunities to gather and learn, to worship and praise, to grow and go, to reconcile and make new (all the while still keeping social distances) and to partner in God’s work and witness in your community and the wider world!

Blessings abound!
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 and Opportunities

This Sunday’s bulletin, full worship liturgy, and a Children’s Activity (Cruncher – Pattern and Instructions) are attached for your engagement and sharing. You are invited to bring a small bowl/dish with water for a cleansing ritual at the beginning of the service.

Next Sunday (June 28th ) we will honour Pride Sunday and the following week we will have a Hymn Sing Sunday with agape meal (informal communion)! Weekly themes/scriptures for July are also included in your full worship service liturgy!

In July we will move to 1 bulletin as summer services have traditionally been joint with Carlisle hosting in July and Kilbride in August!

The weekly link to on-line worship experiences from across Canada (413 and rising)!

This week’s prayer for the journey – Summer Prayer

Have a great week! Welcome Summer!
We are ready and open to revel in your goodness!

Peace,
Sue

Sue Cowan
Supply Minister,
Carlisle-Kilbride United Churches