Time feels so warped these days. The days themselves don’t seem to fly by but over time, I’m astounded to discover that I have been home for almost two months with only one short trip back up to the church.
Today KAT took a lovely photo of the dogwood in full bloom in the Memorial Garden!
The wardens and I met online earlier today with the incumbents and wardens from the other parishes in our region. We heard how other parishes are managing during this pandemic and heard some good ideas for other ways we might engage as a community. So stay tuned!
I was able to publicly recognize the wardens of St. Mary’s for all the ways they have stepped up to support the community in my (physical) absence. And I was struck by how much so many of you are doing to keep the parish connected, to clean and improve our buildings and grounds, and to steady us in prayer. Our 10am prayer time every morning reminds me of the importance of prayer, especially during challenging times, and how prayer connects me to you all in the most encompassing and loving way!
I am still not feeling fully recovered and will stay home a while longer. It’s my nature and my training to see the silver lining, or blessing, in every situation. And for me, this time is teaching me patience. And humility. I’m not God; it’s not for me to save anyone. As your priest, I am here to lead worship (and we will get back to that as soon as we get the green light!) and to remind you that we were created in love, for love. And we work on living out that love in community.
I hope I’m not sounding like a broken record, but it continues to amaze me how one of my daily devotionals seems to be speaking directly to this pandemic. Much like scripture, every time I read a passage from God Calling, it’s as though I’d never read it before (and I’ve been reading out of this particular devotional for 25+ years!).
From May 10th:
All agitation is destructive of good. All calm is constructive of good and at the same time destructive of evil. When people want evil destroyed, so often they rush to action. It is wrong. First be still and know that I am God. Then act only as I tell you. Always be calm with God. Calm is trust in action. Only trust, perfect trust can keep one calm.Never be afraid of any circumstances or difficulties that help you to cultivate this calm. As the world, to attain, has to learn speed, you, to attain, have to learn calm. All great work for Me is done first in the individual soul of the worker.
So much wisdom here; so much to ponder and work with!
Our lives are based on, and filled with, grace. Through my husband Jim and via Marrianna, I offer you this immersion into GRACE:
From Shawnigan Lake School: Watch here.
From Marrianna: The Bells of Banff. Click here to appreciate it!
And now, in thanksgiving for the grace in our lives: Click here.
For something lighter, from Jennifer “So God made a Dog” Click here to enjoy!
And HERE for a belly laugh!
Look no further, here’s a Podcast list to keep you learning and inspired! This list has been prepared by one of the priests in the Diocese of New Westminster, Rev. Jessica Schaap, who came to speak to one of my classes and impressed me deeply as a seminary student: Click here.
If we’ve missed your birthday or anniversary, it’s because we don’t have you on our list. Please call or email KAT in the office so we can celebrate you when your special day comes around!
When I was a child, I always knew where my mother was because she whistled under her breath continuously as she worked around the house. I have picked up that habit and if I stop and pay attention to what I’m whistling or singing, it’s often tell tale of how I’m feeling or what I’m needing. How about you? Do you have songs that come to you when you are in a particular mood? Hymns that lift you up when you’re feeling down? Hymns that are your rock?
Mary Holte sent me the words of a hymn that’s been speaking to her during this pandemic: Give Thanks - by Henry Smith
Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son
And now let the weak say, "I am strong."
Let the poor say, "I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us"
Please think of passing on the words, or a recording, of the hymn that is helping you through these days of self-isolation and I’ll share them.
Dear friends, go with God’s blessing and may God’s calm and grace surround you!