Dear Friends,

Week 20… and with study leave looming, I wonder what can I say at this point in our COVID journey? Praise God for colleagues like Rev Cameron Trimble who shared this in her weekly blog (cameron@convergenceus.org).

“Heinrich Boll tells a story of a fisherman who was lying on a beautiful beach, with his fishing pole propped up in the sand and his solitary line cast out into the sparkling blue surf. He was enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun and the prospect of catching a fish.
About that time, a businessman came walking down the beach trying to relieve some of the stress of his workday. He noticed the fisherman sitting on the beach and decided to find out why this fisherman was fishing instead of working harder to make a living for himself and his family. “You aren’t going to catch many fish that way,” said the businessman. “You should be working rather than lying on the beach!”

The fisherman looked up at the businessman, smiled and replied, “And what will my reward be?”

“Well, you can get bigger nets and catch more fish!” was the businessman’s answer.

“And then what will my reward be?” asked the fisherman, still smiling.

The businessman replied, “You will make money and you’ll be able to buy a boat, which will then result in larger catches of fish!”

“And then what will my reward be?” asked the fisherman again.

The businessman was beginning to get a little irritated with the fisherman’s questions. “You can buy a bigger boat, and hire some people to work for you!” he said.

“And then what will my reward be?” repeated the fisherman.

The businessman was getting angry. “Don’t you understand? You can build up a fleet of fishing boats, sail all over the world, and let all your employees catch fish for you!”

Once again the fisherman asked, “And then what will my reward be?”

The businessman was red with rage and shouted at the fisherman, “Don’t you understand that you can become so rich that you will never have to work for your living again! You can spend all the rest of your days sitting on this beach, looking at the sunset. You won’t have a care in the world!”

The fisherman, still smiling, looked up and said, “And what do you think I’m doing right now?””

Dear friends, as we continue to ponder the parables of Jesus… his teachings, healings and miracles in these COVID days, we do so through the lens of wondering if we, like this fisherman, should go about our work at the expense of our living. Perhaps we are all learning a valuable lesson about re-prioritizing what is important… rebalancing what has been out of sync in our lives… recommitted to living more simply… more fully?

Perhaps we are experiencing God’s kin(g)dom in new ways… which will be truly life-giving? And in doing so, may the Spirit ignite or re-ignite our passion to share this Good News with others; through our loving actions, generous welcome, gracious hospitality, willingness to share, and our desire to invite all into the fullness Jesus offers… where all are fed, nourished, valued and loved.

May it be so!
Peace,
Sue

In light of August 1st being “Emancipation Day”, the recent death of Civil Rights activist and US Senator John Lewis and Christ’s ongoing call to justice here is a musical offering to stir you into action for whatever marathon you are running:

Sing Out, March On – Joshua Campbell & Friends

I also commend the eulogy/call to action Barack Obama offered at John Lewis’ funeral… and the uplifting sung response offered by Bebe and Marvin Winans “Good Trouble”! What an amazing tribute to the faith, life, living and legacy of John Lewis who was beaten for, bled, and worked tirelessly to bring forth the inclusive love of Jesus! WOW!

Obama’s eulogy:

“Good Trouble”:

Links

NEW!!! Celebrate Emancipation Day! – Aug 1st

The Secret Life of Canada – CBC podcasts telling the history we never learned in school!

ATTENTION YOUTH!!!
18th Annual Arts of August Youth Art Showcase. In the context of COVID-19 and social isolation, this is an opportunity for youth, 13-25 years of age, from all over Hamilton to find hope and meaning through artistic expressions around the themes of Peace, Love, Equality and Culture. The art showcase will be held virtually on Thursday, August 27th, 2020 at 7:00 – 8:00 PM. The show will be broadcasted through Instagram Live, Hometown Hub and Cable 14. For more information visit https://www.livingrock.ca/arts-of-august.

Links from The United Church of Canada:

United Church of Canada Essentials – note the Youth Project!!!

Anti-Racism Page – The United Church of Canada

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

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

LATEST NEWSLETTER from HFRC

Worship Offerings and Opportunities

As this Sunday is the 1st of the month, an agape meal will be included in our worship! Please bring a candle, and a bread and wine element of your choosing to worship! Also please consider sharing a copy of this week’s service and communion elements with a friend, neighbour or isolated community of faith member… as to embody Jesus’ call to share the Good News of love, welcome, hospitality and inclusion he offers! Please find attached the joint bulletin, full liturgy (with links, prayers, sermon, etc.), meditation, and of course, puzzles! 😊

NEWS: Rev Dora Sadler will be providing worship leadership for the next 3 Sundays as Sue takes her Continuing Education/Study allotment to explore webinars, books, on-line conferences, etc. in the area of social justice (dismantling racism, Indigenous justice, eco justice…) We give thanks for Dora’s presence with us and her faithful leadership! We look forward to her messages in the coming weeks! And thank you to Janet and others for supporting Dora in the coming weeks!

AND… MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!!
Your Joint Worship Committee hopes to offer a joint outdoor/parking lot worship service on Sunday September 13th! In response to the Logistics Committee Survey and in keeping with the Carlisle-Kilbride pastoral charge’s commitment to living out Jesus’ command to “love our neighbour” by keeping EVERYONE safe, we feel not only is this form of worship do-able… it will be both exciting and uplifting! Heather and Sue are on board… and the Tech folks… so please plan to attend! More details to come!!!

The weekly link to on-line worship experiences from across Canada (holding at 427)!

This week’s prayer for the journey –

God,

As we continue to face into what has never been done,
We remember: You are with us.

As we dream what has never been dreamed,
We remember: You are with us.

As we wrestle with our deepest demons,
We remember: You are with us.

As we let go of what was,
We remember: You are with us.

Come, all that will be in this new world,
Come, all that we will become,
We will not fear.
We remember: You are with us.

In the Sweet Name of Jesus we pray.
AMEN

Rev Will Wheeler (Freelton-Strabane) will be available for any pastoral emergencies in the coming weeks. Rev Ryk Brown (Waterdown) and Rev Robin Wilkie (Millgrove) are also available to pastor to you during my Con Ed time apart! If you are in need, contact Janet Heeley (Office Administrator) to help you make the connection!

Looking forward to having my soul refreshed, my mind stretched, and my passion for Christ’s call for justice enflamed! See you in 3 weeks!

Peace,
Sue

Sue Cowan
Supply Minister,
Carlisle-Kilbride United Churches