The bishop is placing Rev. Alan Naylor as interim priest-in-charge at St. Mary’s when Selinde leaves on February 24th. He will chair the Annual Vestry Meeting on ZOOM on Sunday February 27th after he presides at the Sunday service, in person, at 10am.
FROM THE RECTOR'S DESK
The good news can be the bad news which is the good news. A few weeks back, I read a commentary on a piece of scripture that contained this idea: The good news can be the bad news which is the good news. What can this possibly mean?!
Well, in a nutshell, it means that the good news is that we are forgiven. Jesus came to make this good news explicit. When he hung on the cross in agony, he did not blame or condemn. He forgave everything and everyone. Forever and always. So, the bottom line then, is that we are forgiven. Period.
The bad news follows. To accept this forgiveness we need to admit to our absolutely human nature – the way we were created. We were created to grow in wisdom. And the only way we grow in wisdom is to learn from our mistakes. Mistakes are an essential part of life. We don’t grow if we’re not learning. And part of learning is to see more and more clearly where we’ve missed the mark: where we’ve been self-centred or when we’ve hurt others. The trick is to be ruthlessly honest with ourselves and with God. If our intention is to bring to our awareness all the ways in which we have hurt others, intentionally or otherwise (which infers that we need forgiveness all the time because we are never able to see all the ways in which we inadvertently hurt others!), we are looking at something that, initially, is very difficult to do. With practice, however, it becomes easier.
It’s necessary to have compassion for ourselves as we look, without excuses, at our thoughts and behaviours. Beating ourselves up in the process bogs us down. This is not the purpose of bringing ourselves into God’s presence. The whole point of coming before God with our regrets and shame and disappointments is to become relieved of the past so we can begin again, learn something new, and come to live more fully in the present (i.e., in life!). The more space we create inside, the more room there is for the Holy Spirit to move in and through us!
So the good news is that as we experience God’s forgiveness in light of our sins, we develop compassion for others and move away from judgment of self and other into the fullness of the divine flow, the kingdom within, God’s peace. So the good news is the bad news is the good news. God doesn’t hold back, God’s nature is love, all-encompassing, unconditional love.
Our task is to come forward, offer up all the blocks that keep us from this love of God’s, and to allow God to forgive us, cleanse us, and love us into the people we were created to be. Not perfect, but perfectly willing.
God bless you and the ones you love, Today and always,
LENTEN STUDY BOOKS are in!
From Living Compass, the group from which we have been getting our booklets for Advent and Lent these past years, comes Living Well Through Lent 2022 – Letting Go with All your Heart, Soul, Strength and Mind. Available in the narthex on Sunday or from KAT in the office, we’re asking a $4 donation towards costs.
Bible Study with Selinde – Next Wednesday, February 16 at 10:00am will be the last Bible Study Selinde will lead.
...to Selinde’s party on her last day at the office.
Please join us on Wednesday February 23; 11:30am-2pm for a pizza lunch and refreshments. I know she’d love to see all of you!
Your 2021 TAX RECEIPT will be available at the back of the church until February 17th. Any that are not picked up by that date will be mailed out. Big thank you to Barb W for getting these receipts to us!
Readers? We need you to sign up on the brand new Readings Roster. Thanks in advance.