Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Week 15… and there is a renewed sense of hope… a new feeling of energy… and new level of positivity as we acclimatize ourselves to Phase 2 of the provincial re-opening protocols and we venture out for much needed haircuts, enjoy much-missed ((HUGS)), enjoy much appreciated visits, and cautiously emerge from our COVID cocoons!
Do you feel it? If you gathered as a family for Father’s Day were you thankful for restrictions lifted that allow hugs? Were you blessed by the presence of folks you have missed seeing… voices you have missed hearing… meals you have missed sharing?
Do you feel hopeful at the news that is coming on Sunday? For the logistical puzzle that has been tackled by your church leaders with thoughtfulness and care to insure Sunday’s Congregational Meeting is safe, well attended, meets all church requirements and all provincial health guidelines (quite a feat in itself!)… so that the recommendation is well communicated, space is created for questions and discussion, voting happens, and the movement of the Spirit is not hindered or halted by COVID19?
Do you feel blessed by the summer season upon you? By the call of cottages and the ability to sit outside on decks and patios? By the beauty of gardens and the yumminess of fresh produce? By the wind and sun… the crackle of a fire pit… the beckoning hiking trails or bike rides… the continued call to sew, sew, sew for the well-being and safety of another?
Do you feel gratitude for all the ways people in your midst have stepped up… have truly been Church… have reached out and served selflessly… have embodied the love of Jesus? Do you continue to be thankful for all the VERY exhausted workers who insure your food supply continues, compassionate medical care is available to all, elderly and shut-in community members are not forgotten… ? Are you still banging pots with the same enthusiasm as you had in March? Are you able to give thanks for all the ways you’ve been inconvenienced, because even inconvenience gives way to resurrection moments if we are open to see… hear… experience… feel them?
This week I was supposed to have 5 Zoom meetings including 2 hosted by Rev Cameron Trimble. Cameron was the keynote speaker at Spring 2019’s first gathering of the Horseshoe Falls Regional Council in Port Elgin. She was captivating, challenging, had a pulse on the Church and wonderful insights about the “new thing” God is doing in us and through us!
Cameron writes weekly blogs and sends inspirational quotes. She encourages and supports clergy across denominations. Her team of ministers train and equip leaders for 21st century ministry… for engaging technology in helpful and life-giving ways… for reaching out beyond church walls to the social-media savvy people who will never dream of entering a church building! She leads by example… by being authentic… by embracing the Way of Jesus. She leads by loving others…
As I said, I was to have 2 meetings hosted by Cameron this week and I was REALLY looking forward to them, however, Cameron advised us on Monday that she has tested positive for coronavirus. Suddenly her posts are personal. The encouragement she has offered others is now being offered to her. The call for clergy to be mindful of self-care and our own personal well-being is a message she is also taking to heart.
In Cameron’s blog this week she offers us these words I found particularly insightful:
“These are days of reckoning, of Sacred Pain, where we look at one another through all of the “isms” that divided us and finally see, “The pain in me sees the pain in you.” The heartbreak in me sees the heartbreak in you. The fear in me sees the fear in you. The loneliness in me sees the loneliness in you. The dreamer in me sees the dreamer in you.
I do not know where this path leads, but I trust it leads us back to one another. I trust the breaking, and I trust the mending. That is the one gift of faith: we know the ways of life, death and resurrection.”
May it be so on Sunday… and each day as we count our blessings, live with gratitude, live in hope, and love in the Name and Way of Jesus!
Music Video: Rise Up – Jordan Rabjohn & his mother! WOW
Helpful blogs for Pride Week learning and deeper understanding:
- Radical Welcome – what might it look like?
- On Being Two-Spirited Rev Evan Noodin-Smith
- Privilege in the LGBTIQ2S+ Community – Rev Jordan Sullivan
- Queer? Absolutely. Black? Not So Sure. – Rev Basil Coward
COVID-19 links from The United Church of Canada:
From the National Church
Worship Offerings and Opportunities
This Sunday we celebrate PRIDE! Bulletins, full services, my meditation and weekly puzzles are attached! July 5th will be a Hymn Sing Sunday with minimal words shared and LOTS of singing and music for your enjoyment and the uplifting of your spirit! This service will also include an informal agape (communion meal)! It is called agape (love) meal as the formal words of institution that we use in “communion” will be replaced with simpler words of receiving and being fed. Please bring some juice/wine and a bread element of your choosing for your meal!
In July we will move to 1 bulletin as summer services have traditionally been joint with Carlisle hosting in July and Kilbride in August! Weekly themes/scriptures for all July services are noted in the full liturgy document and in the bulletin!
The weekly link to on-line worship experiences from across Canada (418 and rising)!
This week’s prayer for the journey – Martin Luther King Jr.
Grant that we will love you with all our hearts, souls, and minds, and love our neighbors as we love ourselves, even our enemy neighbors. And we ask you, God, in these days of emotional tension, when the problems of the world are gigantic in extent and chaotic in detail, to be with us in our going out and our coming in, in our rising up and in our lying down, in our moments of joy and in our moments of sorrow, until the day when there shall be no sunset and no dawn.
Will be with you in spirit on Sunday as you gather!
May you be open to the words and wisdom shared…
the recommendation offered…
the way forward the Spirit is leading you…
And in all things be thankful for the work done…
the prayers and discernment…
the hopes and well-being of all held…
and the shared ministry that awaits!
God IS good indeed!
Carlisle-Kilbride United Churches