Thank you to everyone who sent such lovely emails in response to my “televised” Easter morning sermon. Your love and support are such a joy to me!!
Attached please find the Bishop’s Easter message.
This seems like a landmark on our journey through the pandemic. We are one month into self-isolating and social distancing. And we are on the other side of Easter. We have hope and promise of new life.
For all of us, this time has been our gift/our sacrifice to the common good. For some of us, this time has created a sense of loneliness, restlessness, anxiety.For others of us, this time has allowed us to slow down, rest, smell the roses, reconnect with people or deepen our existing relationships. Whatever your experience - and realistically, we may be all over the map with the full range of emotions and experience – this time of Covid-19 is a time of deep change.
We will never go back to normal. Anyone who has lost a loved one knows this. We don’t go back to “normal,” because our normal has been profoundly changed. We journey through our experience, our emotions, our faith and our changing relationships to a “new normal,” and isn’t that what life is all about? Change is the only constant. This particular time of change is unique because as a planet, we are all experiencing the same thing – a virus. We are all experiencing loss of some kind – loss of jobs, volunteer work, freedom of movement, etc. But for most of us, the response is the same – to practise social distancing and to stay at home as much as possible; and to reach out in whatever way we can to those we love, those who need our support, and to those who are taking risks to keep us all safe.
The world around is changing. The air is clearer; I think the colours are sharper than I’ve noticed in years. Wildlife is feeling free to venture out; it’s quieter, more peaceful. The water is cleaner. Nature is rejuvenating. And we are benefitting!!
So hang in there.
Our hope as Christians takes us beyond our particular wishes and desires to the will of our God. We cannot imagine what God has in store for us. But we do know, God’s plan is one of love – as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Halleluja! Amen.
I think I’ve given away my Sunday sermon here. Oh well. I always seems to have more to say!
This Sunday, as last Sunday, you will receive an email from KAT by 9am with the link to my recorded sermon. I will also post my sermon on the website.
MASKS! The Tumaini crafters have kindly sewn up cloth masks for the parishioners and friends and family of St. Mary’s. KAT will bring then to the door when she is in the office on Tuesday or Wednesday. They are FREE (but we’ve already been asked if donations can be made so – yes, OK, we gratefully accept donations to St. Mary’s if you insist, but honestly, it’s not necessary). Thank you friends of St. Mary’s!!
We have a stack of The Anglican Journal/Diocesan Posts at the office so if you come by for a mask or to bring your weekly envelopes, ask KAT to give you one. Did you know you can access the Diocesan Post on line at https://bc.anglican.ca/news/april-2020-diocesan-post
On March 16, our last day in church since the outbreak of the Covid-19, we were to have Pam Bjornson, the chair of NCS come and speak to us for 3rd Sunday. She forwarded me her talk so I can share it with you here. Please see attached.
“NCS” stands for Nanoose Community Services, Nanoose community’s version of a food bank. Instead of having food supplies stocked to hand out to people who need a little help in making it through the month on meager finances, NCS determines the needs of Nanoose residents and then hands out gift cards to Quality Foods in Red Gap. This way, folks can buy fresh fruit and veggies (not Food Bank staples usually) and the kind of food they like to eat.This non-profit came to St. Mary’s with the encouragement of Jean Russell who has served on the board. They are housed in our choir room (by the bathrooms in the hall). St. Mary’s provides the space to them, rent-free and provides other support as we are able.
NCS provides the kind of outreach and support to the community that we, as a small parish, are not able to do. So, our support of NCS allows the important work of supporting the vulnerable in our community to get done. It also means that as rector, my need for discretionary funds to support those who need help is greatly reduced. Our relationship with NCS a win-win relationship and a very important one!!
So please take the time to read Pam’s talk. And we will invite her back at some point.
Enjoy the fresh air, the warm sunshine, the Spring colours.Thanks be to God!
Yours in Christ,
PS: a little chuckle for the day!