Dear Friends,

Week 16… and there is much rejoicing in Kilbride & Carlisle! I have heard from many people of the spiritual gathering that was attended by nearly 60 people in the parking lot on Sunday! I’ve heard how there was a palpable sense of God’s presence and how the feelings of worry, anticipation, anxiety for some, wondering, hope, peace were all set to rest as a calm came over the crowd when the recommendation was received, the details discerned, and the vote affirmed!

Prayers have been answered! The Spirit has moved! The Search Team’s prayerful work has been a blessed offering! And Rev Allison Playfair has been confirmed as your next Minister! Blessings abound!!! God IS good!

I have been in touch SEVERAL times this week with Allison and we are now in the transition phase into the new beginning that God has ordained! We have worked together for several years on the Region’s Human Resources Commission so we are both excited and committed to the smooth handing over of leadership and duties in the coming months! We are hoping everything will be transparent, seamless and re-assuring for all!

To the Search Team, the 2 Board Chairs, Janet (as recording secretary), and Rev Baker… THANK YOU for executing an organized meeting while meeting/exceeding the ever–changing pandemic guidelines! Kudos to you!!!

To everyone who attended Sunday’s meeting (be it physically or spiritually)… THANK YOU!

To everyone who prayerfully discerned and voted… who by their vote have re-committed to the way forward… the shared vision… and their responsibility to its fulfillment… THANK YOU!

This means you are spiritually, emotionally, and financially ready to welcome a new Minister… ready to share in ministry together… ready to be led and challenged… ready to learn, perhaps un-learn and re-learn… ready to try some new things… ready for the new thing God is doing in and through each one in both communities of faith! You can now breathe and begin to see the way forward… to dream anew… imagine… ponder… wonder… and know God has been with you throughout this past year of uncertainty!

My friends the work is not over… Yes, the work of the Search Team is mostly complete! The only official duty left is to arrange a covenanting service with Allison (perhaps on-line or by Zoom) and then they will be officially released and disbanded with thanks! Yet the work of the Logistic Team (tasked with Re-opening) is ongoing, the work of your Office Administrator, the Finance folks, Custodian, M&P, your Official Boards, Trustees continues. So PLEASE continue to pray with and for your church leaders! Pray for Allison and her family as they make this transition! Pray for your community of faith! And financially support the ongoing, important, and sustaining ministry they (and you) are providing to your communities and beyond!

I leave you with Psalm 28, reading from “The Message” translation – because there is something in it for us all!

32 Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be—
you get a fresh start,
your slate’s wiped clean.

2 Count yourself lucky—
God holds nothing against you
and you’re holding nothing back from him.

3 When I kept it all inside,
my bones turned to powder,
my words became daylong groans.

4 The pressure never let up;
all the juices of my life dried up.

5 Then I let it all out;
I said, “I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to God.”

Suddenly the pressure was gone—
my guilt dissolved,
my sin disappeared.

6 These things add up. Every one of us needs to pray;
when all hell breaks loose and the dam bursts
we’ll be on high ground, untouched.

7 God’s my island hideaway,
keeps danger far from the shore,
throws garlands of hosannas around my neck.

8 Let me give you some good advice;
I’m looking you in the eye
and giving it to you straight:

9 “Don’t be ornery like a horse or mule
that needs bit and bridle
to stay on track.”

10 God-defiers are always in trouble;
God-affirmers find themselves loved
every time they turn around.

11 Celebrate God.
Sing together—everyone!
All you honest hearts, raise the roof!

Psalm 28

May your spirits continue to “sing” during this time of transition! May your prayers provide support and care for all who are leading, grieving, struggling, feeling isolated and alone in your midst. May your worship be heart-felt and honest… open to the Holy’s presence and leading! May your love of neighbor deepen… wearing/sewing masks, bags, caps… whatever we can to keep one another healthy! May Divine Love guide, sustain and carry us all throughout this day and the days to come!

Peace,
Sue


Links

Anti-Black Racism in the Canadian context webinar:

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 our worship offering was created around several hymn/anthem suggestions received in June! The joint worship bulletin (Carlisle would historically host July worship) and full service with YouTube links to all musical offerings is attached! Your weekly puzzles too!

Our service includes 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 a candle, some juice/wine and a bread element so you can enjoy the agape meal!

The weekly link to on-line worship experiences from across Canada (420 and rising)!

This week’s prayer for the journey –

O God,
We continue to gather separated by life-saving distancing, yet united more than ever in spirit;
We miss one another.
We miss church.
We miss coffee and conversations.
We miss hugs and handshakes.
We miss catching up… and coordinating our weeks with one another.
Yet we know it is the loving thing to do…
to refrain from gathering, singing, sharing our lives intimately…
to keep the majority safe, healthy and united in spirit when we emerge from our COVID cocoons.

We know challenges are ever-changing… often enormous,
yet so are the opportunities;
that whether we are in isolation with loved ones, or alone,
we will have abundance of time;
We commit to using this time to help folks in greater need in whatever way we can;
We know we all have the opportunity, and time, to be life savers and life enhancers,
care-givers and care-takers of one another… of creation;
We give thanks for front line workers and care-givers tending to the needs of others;
We give thanks for researchers who are working at breakneck speed to find cure and vaccine;
We give thanks for our leaders, federal, provincial and local, for their dedication;
We give thanks for the providers of our daily needs who go to work in spite of risk;
We give thanks for manufacturers and sewers… all who have ramped up their ability to produce life-saving supplies.

We pray for the well-being of our congregations and communities;
our church leaders during this time of transition and continued pandemic;
all who are enduring difficulty, all who are grieving,
all who are selflessly serving others – sharing your presence, light and love.

May ALL know your inclusive and abiding love.
May ALL feel your embrace and assuring touch.
May ALL know your saving grace.
May ALL creation know your peace… this day and in the coming days.

Blessings,
Sue

Sue Cowan
Supply Minister,
Carlisle-Kilbride United Churches