Memorial Garden photo compliments of Elaine Cowan
I never realized before how we truly live in a rain forest!! Our backyard is so lush; the plants seem to be growing before our eyes. The bees are all over the borage and the day lilies are bigger than they’ve ever been. I’m carving out clover “islands” when I mow the lawn so that the rabbits can enjoy a clover feast (and hopefully stay out of the new veggie planter!) The wild daisies are in bloom so I have one of my favourite bouquets on the dining room table. There is so much to be grateful for.
And…. we are at a point in this pandemic when nerves are fraying, emotions are running high and frustration is mounting.
For those who are working, teachers for instance, more and more is being asked of them.
For those who have been waiting patiently to get back to work, the delays and the fears of exposure to the virus are nerve wracking. For those who have had to learn new skills and take on new tasks, fatigue and burn out are on the rise.
We’ve been holding on, we’ve been holding out at home, we’ve been holding the sorrows and struggles of loved ones at home; the people in Nova Scotia; strangers around the world. And we’re not sure of where we are, what we’re doing, why we’re doing what we’re doing and what’s coming next…..
Yesterday’s Gospel reading speaks directly to the situation we find ourselves in.
18 “Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path.
20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away.[a]
22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing.
23 But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
Again, we’re reminded where to put our attention. We cannot change the world. But we can let the word of God into our lives to ground and strengthen us. We want to be able to bear fruit and share the good news that is our source of strength.
If we focus on our own lives, on fertility of our soil, on our openness to the nourishment of God, we will grow in faith and bear fruit, and in sharing our experience, our love, our sense of abundance, we will become a source of hope for others. We are reminded that even, or especially, in times of trouble, as people of faith, we have a way through. It’s not easy, but it’s the only way. Bloom where you are planted!
God bless you all,
If you like to learn online, why not consider a course through VST (Vancouver School of Theology) Summer School? See attached.
To view the “God Whispers” video sent in by Evelyne Gremo click HERE.
Don & Pat Nicoll also share a joyful video called “A New Day”, click HERE to enjoy!
And last but not least, here is a letter from the Diocesan office about the changes ahead re: social isolating and the opening of churches:
On May 13, Dr Bonnie Henry announced that faith communities could begin to gather again for worship in the near future. In so doing, she emphasized the need for strict adherence to current and future public health orders. It is important to note that she was addressing a broad range of faith traditions who gather in diverse ways.
Anglican liturgical practice poses unique challenges related to such things as movement, touch (of people and surfaces), length of exposure to recirculating air, congregational singing, and so on. Further, many active Anglicans—including our clergy and staff—are vulnerable to the coronavirus by reason of age or underlying health conditions. The health and safety of all concerned is our priority.
Therefore, in this diocese, we will continue to keep our churches closed for a while yet. This includes gathering for worship, and for other ministry activities. Meanwhile, our synod office staff is researching best practices, and next week we will provide diocesan guidelines for a safe reopening of our churches and ministries.
We hope also to provide a target date by which all of us can meet the necessary requirements, so that we can move forward on a similar timeline.
Thank you for all that you are doing to breathe life into our shared ministry.
Faithfully, (The Very Reverend) M. Ansley Tucker
Dean of Columbia and diocesan administrator"