Recently, after staying home for 5 days because I was in contact with someone who might have had COVID, I was released into the world for a day of walking and shopping in Duncan. It was a day of pure joy as I nodded hello to people on the street and chatted with store owners. I browsed in the library and asked another patron for a recommendation. The people in the stores seemed especially helpful that day. Was it because I was so happy to be out and about? Was my joy infectious? This kind of contact that comes with being out and about in the community is really important to our health and sense of well-being. When we’re shut up at home using the convenience and safety of online shopping, we miss these moments of kindness and interaction with perfect strangers. The kind of interactions that counteract the news on TV. The experiences that tell us that the world is a good place, for the most part, people are kind and considerate, willing to engage and trust people at face value. And so we know, deep down, that while there are a lot of problems in the world, there are also a lot of good people.

When I was young, my parents were always engaging with servers and cashiers. And it drove me nuts. I was embarrassed. “Just pay and let’s go! They don’t want to listen to your chitter chatter,” I would think. And now here I am, all these years later, doing exactly the same thing they did. For me, now, the with people are as important, if not more, that the purchase. The “how” is as essential as the “what.”

Love and joy are in us. Not in things. And we can share that love and joy in the everyday, mundane moments of our life. With a pedestrian, as we take the time to let them cross in front of us. With a cashier as we beat them to the question, “So how is your day going?” and meet their eyes with a warm smile in our own (behind our mask!). With someone in line at the bank, when we comment on the weather and engage in some light conversation. Even on the phone, we can modulate our voices to be warm and respectful. We can thank people for their time, for the way they’ve made our life just a little bit better.

So I’m grateful for my parents for showing me the way to enjoy life more and to create the kind of interactions I hope to see more of in the world. But I’m not ready to go as far as they did yet. For when there was a particular kind of music playing in a store or foyer, my father would grab my mother and they would start to dance together. It made me cringe in horror! Yet today the memory of those moments makes me smile.

Love and joy. There’s nothing more important to share with the world!

With love and joy, just thinking of you all,

Nanoose Community Services is housed at St. Mary’s in our 'choir room'. NCS is this community’s version of a food bank. Once clients’ needs are assessed, they come to our hall once a month to receive food voucher cards to Quality Foods here at Red Gap. This vibrant, effective non-profit does the kind of outreach that expresses our values as a parish. They do much more than simply hand out food vouchers. They look to support people in a variety of ways.

NCS Directors at Large Wanted
If you are looking for a meaningful way to get involved in Nanoose Community Services (NCS) and would like to work with interesting people, consider this:

If you would like to become involved, NCS is looking for "Members at Large" to serve on the Board. To find out more about this position, please contact Pam Bjornson:  

Tumaini Canada writes us a beautiful card with the following message:

Dear St. Mary’s Church,

Tumaini Fund Canada would like to thank the contributors to the Birthday Box for the very generous donation of $487.72. This is enough to provide school books (Daftari) for 32 Secondary students so they can attend school!   

Blessings to you,
Marg Denney, Asst. Treasurer


What happens after Selinde leaves??   Elaine, your Rector’s Warden, read the following message from Barry Foster, the Executive Officer at the Synod office to the congregation on Sunday:  “There is a plan in place and not a beat will be missed following Selinde's departure.”

The wardens will keep you updated as information becomes available so all is well.

St Mary's wants to make more gift bags for staff on a different unit at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.  We want to continue to express our support for the medical staff who are under incredible stress supporting people with Covid-19 in hospital and their families. This time St. Mary’s will provide gift bags to the staff on the ward where COVID patients not needing to be in ICU are cared for.

This time we need to raise enough money to put together about 60 bags of treats. Mary H and 5 helpers are ready to do the work.  We have already raised over 50% of the funds we need. If you would like to chip in $5 or so, please bring it to church this Sunday or drop it off at the office (call and make sure someone is in before coming by).  Thank you!