FROM THE DESK OF THE RECTOR
Yesterday as the sun rose over the hills to the east, through the now leaf-bare trees, we saw something we haven’t seen before. Where the cranberry bog was, a shining sea of vast proportion shimmered in the morning light. Buildings and vehicles underwater. We were stunned. We knew it had rained a LOT.
I drove home from church on Sunday in pounding rain. And we couldn’t get into Chemainus yesterday – the highway was flooded at Mt. Sicker Rd – again! The owners of Russell Farms there have been flooded out twice in the last few years. After the last restoration, they were not able to get insurance but were reassured that such flooding rarely happens.
With climate change, we are seeing intense changes in weather, water levels, flooding, drought . . . The question is not “What is happening?” but “How fast will it happen?” And more importantly, what can we do?!
Yesterday Jim pulled out the bible and looked at the story of Noah and the flood. Jim remembers the story of Noah as a child in Sunday School. Even I, not raised in a Christian home, knew the story of Noah. And what is that story? If you read from your bible you learn:
God is so grieved with the wickedness of humankind and decides “I will blot out from the earth the human beings I have created… for I am sorry that I have made them” and “The earth was corrupt in God’s sight and …was filled with violence.” Yikes! Does this sound like a children’s story?!
Maybe God’s decision to save Noah and his family and two of the wild and domestic animals is encouraging. The puzzles, picture books, stories about the animals on the ark is something kids love - the idea of a floating zoo. The thought of being self-contained in a big boat might sound like an adventure. And the raven who flies out and finally finds an olive leaf and the rainbow make for a fun ending.
But the reasons for the rain, the animals, boat and rainbow are pretty horrific. So it was interesting to read the story again with fresh eyes in light of the recent flooding we’re having.
Almost every culture has a flood story in it; told in a mythical way but based on real experience. We are living our version of that story now. We know full well that our behaviour is not what God wants. We are to care for the earth and all that is in it; and share God’s abundance. Not indulge in selfishness, violence and the degradation of creation. With a modern understanding we know that we are not being punished but rather experiencing the consequences of our behaviour. God loves us regardless of what we do. We just need to decide what kind of world we want to live in and work to make that a reality. Because God yearns for a just, compassionate, abundant life for all of us. And so we pray….
(From Morning Prayer in the Book of Alternative Services)
Oh God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now and will be for ever. Amen.
And as I am (and some of you are) praying throughout this pandemic:
God of the present moment:
Bring us the hope that you will make us the equal of whatever lies ahead;
Bring us courage to endure what cannot be avoided;
For you are God and we need you.
Your love is never changing and in this lies our future.
Loving God, open our hearts, minds and will to listen to, and follow, you as we help create the conditions for You to recreate the earth. Amen.
Stay dry and warm.
Two Letters from Bishop Anna: See attachments. The first addresses the Transgender Day of Remembrance which is happening on November 20, 2021. The second is in response to yesterday’s storm and flooding across the province.
This Remembrance Day, in the Memorial Garden on Nov. 11th and in the church on Nov. 14th we were blessed to have the haunting sound of the trumpet call the Last Post and Reveille by local Nanoose teenager Jon Robbie. We’ve made a nice connection with this young man so expect to hear more from him in the future. Click HERE to Download (this file is safe and does take a few more steps than our usual links)
The Operation Christmas Child SHOEBOX Campaign is due this Sunday November 21. Selinde will bless them and then they will be delivered.
NCS Christmas Elf Tree
The Christmas Elf Tree is set up and is adorned with gift wish tags again this year. Donors can pick a tag, buy a gift and return it to the tree in our hall before December 10th. This special gift will bring great joy to a neighbour’s child or a senior in our community.
Living Well through Advent is a devotional booklet to guide you through this year’s journey through Advent. A limited number of the booklets are available, hard copy, in the office for a donation of $2. Let KAT know if you’re coming by to pick one up. Or, if you are not here in the vicinity, you can access the booklet online at: LivingCompass.org/Advent
This year’s theme is Practising Patience with All your Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind.
Carols By Candlelight is taking on a different form this year. We will have a recorded event to share with the parish and Nanoose Bay Community.
Patricia Plumley’s students will be gifting us with their music, interspersed with some story telling by parishioners. If you have a really interesting, unusual short little story to tell about one of your past Christmases, please let Selinde know ASAP. And we will pull together a wonderful show.