Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Week 24… begins with a heart-felt THANK YOU for granting me my continuing education time of learning (which means un-learning and re-learning… listening with humility… reading books that have been patiently waiting my attention etc.) and time apart to welcome Allison, prepare the office for her arrival, prepare my remaining 5 services and to rest a bit too!

THANK YOU to Rev Dora Sadler for providing worship coverage and being such a beautiful presence with the Dodman family at the time of Neil’s death. THANK YOU to Janet & Heather who provided additional support to Dora, and to Cathy, Maureen & Andrea and others for their continued efforts to communicate and share our weekly worship on the church websites, and keep everyone in the loop (especially folks who continue to be isolated by COVID)!! How blessed we are to be part of such a loving and caring community!

Week 24… and I have been refreshed by the writings of Dr Ibram Kendi, Robin Diangelo, Valarie Kaur and others… and my attendance in several webinars and a conference that have taught me much about the system called racism; which is NOT a character flaw or a moral judgement… and certainly NOT the good/bad binary we’ve been taught to believe it is. Racism IS a system we all live in, that has been part of North America since colonist settlers arrived; where non-white people are consistently and blatantly at a disadvantage because of the colour of their skin! And whether it is more comfortable to see it existing south of us in the USA, Canada had (and continues to have) laws and practices that favour/privilege white folk. Look at the 1867 Indian Act and you will be quite surprised at how much of it still needs to be decolonized!

COVID is teaching us… or giving us ‘pause’ so we can more fully learn many things! It has invited us into a space where we can all reestablish our priorities, re-balance our lives, restructure our calendars, revisit our “to do” lists, revise our expectations, re-imagine the way forward through a new lens… perhaps one of simplicity, gratitude, grace…

On Tricia Hersey’s site called “The Nap Ministry” (https://thenapministry.wordpress.com/) she pens: “Rest is a form of resistance because it disrupts and pushes back against capitalism and white supremacy. Rest is Resistance.” Hersey reflects on how our lives are not defined by what we produce… how much stuff we buy… or how many hours of work we log. She notes due to the current COVID situation the “rat race” is a prison from which we might finally break free! She goes on: “I am sick of rushing and the obsession with opening back up and getting back to normal. I never want to see normal or the way it was again. It is time for a new way. Rest and slowing down will be the foundation for this liberated future that many are screaming about online via memes, in the streets during the uprisings for Black Lives and in our hearts. We are not well. We are exhausted and disgusted….”

24 weeks with COVID in our midst and though some of the fear has been quelled, and some of our freedoms have returned, the virus is still inviting us to reconsider our priorities, reimagine what God needs Christ’s Church to be now and in the future, see rest and quieting ourselves as a way to deepen our intimacy with God and one another, and in doing so, build a stronger foundation for resistance to the way it was… and to recommitting ourselves to being partners, allies, accomplices, and truly active in the redemption of God’s world!

May it be so!
Peace,
Sue

Links

Links from The United Church of Canada:

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

Sunday’s worship bulletin, message, full service, puzzles (Take Up Your Cross and Moses and the Burning Bush) are attached for your engagement, or link in directly through the Kilbride or Carlisle UC websites!

The weekly link to on-line worship experiences from across Canada (429)!

And Finally… Mark Your Calendars!!!

September 13th we will be enjoying a JOINT PARKING LOT WORSHIP at NOON!
You are invited to bring your backpacks, book bags, briefcases, knitting bags, choir bags, music and meeting bags, craft bags, etc. so we can bless them as a reminder of the ministry that is ours… that continues whether worship is paused or not! And we will participate in Sean McBryde’s confirmation; welcoming him as a full member of Carlisle UC through re-affirmation of his baptismal vows! More details/logistics to follow!
Mark your calendars so you won’t miss this gathering and celebration!

This week’s prayer for the journey –

Loving God,
Open our hearts to your beloved who are most in need:
The students, teachers, custodial and administrative staff returning to school.
Their parents and caregivers, family and friends who worry about safety protocols
and the health of their loved ones.
The unemployed parent worried about feeding his or her children.
The person who is underpaid, harassed or abused.
The Black man or woman who fears for their lives.
The Indigenous person who needs answers about their missing daughter.
The immigrant seeking asylum, longing for safety.
The homeless person looking for a meal, shelter, a safe space, hope.
The LGBTQ2+ teen who is bullied.
The unborn child in the womb and the anxious parents who worry about the world they will enter.
The environment that still groans for resurrection.
The people we know who are mourning losses;
the death of loved ones, the ending of careers, the loss of jobs,
the loss of companionship and care due to COVID.

Help us… use us… strengthen us to be Christ’s hands and feet, voice and presence
in our homes, our communities, in our ministry, in the world;
proclaiming through our actions… our living… our love
the sacredness of life,
where ALL are welcomed
and ALL are beloved.
This we pray in the Name and Way of Jesus. AMEN

Have a beautiful week! “We are NOT alone!”

Peace,
Sue

Sue Cowan
Supply Minister,
Carlisle-Kilbride United Churches