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Reflections from Shirley Bays

Good day all,  

I don’t know about you - maybe most of your friends are Christian - but very few of my friends and family believe in God. Once I admit that I go to church, I often get a puzzled look and the question: Why?

And it is a good question; why indeed do I go to church? It’s certainly not because I’m ‘good’, which some people seem to think you have to be. To fob them off, I usually say something like, it’s a great way to be part of a community or I love the music, but that’s a cop-out and I know it. I assume they are making a judgement about me: that I believe God is a judgmental old man in the sky answering prayers or not, depending on how ‘good’ we are, along with all the myriad concepts that date from medieval times and seem to be stuck fast in many people’s imagination.  

If I’m honest, it’s because I have always found life a struggle, and for most of my adult life I have felt like I am just doing it all wrong. I just didn’t like myself very much. However much I tried to change myself, be more confident, happier, braver, less judgmental, I couldn’t do it. But when I stepped into a church, I was with other people looking for answers to life’s big questions, and especially how we should deal with all life’s problems, pain, confusion and uncertainty.  I just felt at home.

I am a slow learner, but gradually over the years I have been starting to see that it’s all OK. I don’t have to try so hard. I am definitely getting the message that I just need to relax and trust God.  Trust and listen, which for me means shutting down the ceaseless chatter in my mind and trying to discover what that still, small voice in my heart is trying to say.  Because that is God in me; that’s who I am.

How could the intelligence that created every cell in our bodies to work ceaselessly in cooperation with every other cell, all dedicated to keeping me alive, not be taking care of my life, and all other life and all situations, including COVID-19?

I still don’t believe some of the things we say in our service, I don’t really see Jesus the same as other Christians seem to, or understand yet how life and love are the same thing, but I hope I am becoming a bit more able to stay open and accept life as it comes, just as it is, to experience it and see God in it.  

So my answer is, I go to church because yes I do believe in God (but not that one), I want to say thanks for everything I have, and I want to learn more about love and peace and joy, and letting go. And I need to be reminded every week about what is important and that it’s all OK.  And I really like the people I meet there.

What do you say when people ask why you go to church, I wonder?  


   Readings for August 2020  

August 2      
Genesis 32:22-31              Isaiah 55:1-5                     Romans 9:1-5                  Matt 14:13-21

August 9      
Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28      1 Kings 19:9-18                  Romans 10:5-15               Matt 14:22-33

August 16   
Genesis 45:1-15               Isaiah 56:1, 6-8                  Rom 11:1-2a, 29-32           Matt 15:10-28

August 23  Patronal Feast, St. Mary    
Exodus 1:8-2:10                 Isaiah 51:1-16                  Romans 12:1-8                 Matt 16:13-20

August 30   
Exodus 3:1-15                   Jeremiah 15:15-21             Romans 12:9-21                Matt 16:21-28    

    AUGUST Anniversaries & Birthdays

August 5- David S
August 10 – Anniversary – David & Maria S
August 10 – Mihai D
August 11 – Luis Q
August 13 – Bill E
August 15 – Felicity S
August 18 – Jean R
August 22 – Rose C
August 27 – Marg D
August 30 – Margo W    

Mary Holte shared this lovely video all about ‘Shoulder Taps”.  Click HERE to enjoy!  

Parish Directory
We will be updating the 2020 Parish Directory over the next few weeks.  If you would like to change your profile information or photo, please let KAT know by Friday August 10.  If you are changing your photo, please send a digital photo.  If I have contacted you directly, please ignore this!  Below is the permission form that must be completed if you are changing the way your information is presented.

Permission Form (This parish directory is for the sole use of parishioners and not to be shared.) If the photo includes more than one person, please use one section per person. Thank you. 

Your return email to us will be considered your permission.  

I, ______________________________________, (name), give permission for St. Mary Nanoose Bay Anglican Church to publish the following information in the parish directory:

Photo                                  Y_______                        N ______                
Home number                    Y_______                        N ______                
Cell number                        Y_______                        N ______                
Email address                     Y_______                        N ______                
Home address                     Y_______                        N ______

And last but not least…a new type of mask!