Dear St. Mary’s Parishioners,
Another day in paradise; regardless of how we may be feeling. God’s creation is stunning, abundant and serving life, always.
I received this lovely letter from Carol Kilner in response to the photo of the dogwood in blossom that KAT took for our last Update.
Take a look at this very short video, forwarded to me by Marg Denney: Click HERE.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be…..
Not us, but God and God’s creation.
It appears that our earth does very well without us. In fact, it is thriving as we have withdrawn from most of our activity.
And having drawn back from our usual lives, we have a unique perspective…..if we choose to take it.
Our world is not healthy. Left alone, Creation will again flourish and re-create itself. It lives within the Divine flow. It cannot do other than strive for life and serve life.
We, on the other hand, have fallen into ways that only prosper a limited number of people on this planet. We have fallen into the ways of sin; of “missing the mark” of how to live in congregation, in right relationship with our Creator and the created.
We have a God complex. We think we know better than God how to run this world, And we are running it, and ourselves, into the ground. We will perish if we continue to live as we have been living. There is no going back. We cannot close our eyes. We have seen and experienced too much. We have new choices to make.
I’ve already mentioned that there has been an alarming rise in domestic violence in this country and that alcohol sales have increased 40% in BC in the last 2 months. Add to that what I read just this morning in our local paper: “Hospitals have seen far fewer heart attacks, strokes or trauma in the last 2 months” (Jim Halvorson, MD).
We have been running our bodies into distress but when we slow down, we don’t know how to be with ourselves and others. We either self-medicate or take out our frustrations on others.
We have a lot of work to do. We need to learn how to be in community; how to have healthy relationships, how to manage stress, how to share the work, how to ask for help when we need it, and how to celebrate and have fun, and how to be alone in a healthy and rejuvenating ways.
Our relationship with God, neighbour and even ourselves needs deepening so we are grounded and connected during both good times and tough times.
The good news is that we have been shown the way to a healthy life by Jesus. He came to live with us for the express purpose of showing us how to be in healthy, life affirming and life serving relationships that respect Creation, God and neighbour. We have been given the map. When we combine the reading of Scripture with time in prayer and in community with fellow believers, we learn how to read that map.
This is the Good News. We can learn how to live in the Divine flow, in obedience. And in doing so, we become free of the trappings and illusions of this world. Not to distance ourselves from the world, but to see God’s creation for what it is, and to give thanks for it, and live respectfully as part of it.
Today when I woke up, my first impulse was to say “Thank you!” for this new day, this gift of life. This is part of my daily practice. But my second thought was unexpected, “Take in all the prayers that others are offering you,” and my heart melted.
Isn’t this a wonderful way to begin the day, receiving the love that God and others are offering us? I encourage you to take a moment right now to sit quietly and say “YES!” to all the love surrounding you in this present moment! It’s there, believe me. Believe the good news. And give thanks!
COMPUTER WOES…I hope I’m simply apologizing for last couple of sermons where the sound didn’t quite match up with the visuals and that there won’t be issues going forward. I have been working on a Mac and the office equipment is PC so that’s where the problems stem from. Please bear with us. I am on a steep learning curve as I acquaint myself with a PC tablet this week.
NOTE: For links that do not seem to work. A copy and paste in Google Chrome NOT Explorer might work.
And more Covid creativity sent in by Al Hardy – Click HERE.
We are not out of the woods. A helpful article on the spread of Covid (of specific interest to those of us in the vulnerable years) relayed by Margaret: https://www.erinbromage.com/
UPDATE ON MASKS…We had approximately 20-25 masks picked up. All donations have been put to General Offerings. They are made of FUN (cheeky monkey material to name just one) and very well made. Thank you Tumaini! We still have an inventory with many material choices, so please stop by either Tuesday or Wednesday from 9-4:30 when KAT is in the office.
to Frank Hammer who recently moved to Victoria. He donated the sale of his car (which he no longer needed) to St. Mary’s!! Thank you, Frank! Your donation (of $5,000) will ameliorate our fundraising shortfall as we have had to cancel our Spaghetti Cabaret.
The gospel reading for this Sunday is: John 17:6-19
This is a time to focus on our blessings. To receive and to give. We may be socially distancing but we are still together.
From Harry & Jean Costerton
From Morning Prayer yesterday –
A Collect for the Renewal of Life
O God, King eternal, who divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning; drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that having done your will with cheerfulness while it was day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
I know that not all of us are experiencing this as a time of blessing. This time may be a time of challenge for you. There is nothing wrong with this. But please don’t withdraw into yourself. Please reach out. Call someone in the parish, on the Care Team and/or I can be reached at 250 821-5600. Leave a message and I will call you back.
We all need support at different times of our lives. This is how community works. And we are blessed to be part of this incredible parish of St. Mary’s.
Joy for your day,
Blessings on your way,