May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be always with you!
Christ is risen!
Christ is risen indeed! Hallelujah!
Easter is not just a day - Easter is a season. We have 40 days of Lent leading up to Easter, but then we have 50 days of Easter - the 7 weeks that begin on Easter Sunday and continue through to Pentecost (this year, June 5). We have 7 full weeks to celebrate the joy and the hope of the empty tomb - 7 full weeks to celebrate the love that is stronger than even death.
Here at Two Rivers, on Easter Sunday, we had three joyful celebrations of the resurrection - the Sunrise Service (and we knew that the sun had risen, even though it was hidden behind the clouds), then the services at both Long Reach and Westfield. So much laughter, so much chocolate (at least at Long Reach), and three communion meals as well.
In this season of Easter, where are you seeing new life unfolding around you? What new beginnings do you see? Where do you see life and love and hope overcoming fear and pain and death?
Last week, I was off on Study Leave - as well as catching up on some reading, I was also able to attend (virtually) the festival gathering of the Network of Biblical Storytellers - Canada. This was a joy-filled 3 days of learning and sharing and worshipping together through the wonders of technology.
And now I'm back!
I have a couple of announcements to pass along this week:
Hospital Visiting: Since March 2020, I have been limited in my ability to visit the hospital - clergy have been under the same rules as everyone else, with the exception of end-of-life visits. (Fun fact - I was at the hospital the day that it was being shut down to visitors in March 2020, and had a nurse come in to the room where I was visiting to tell me that I had to leave. So I can say that I have been kicked out of a hospital!) But beginning last month, community clergy are allowed back in the hospital again! The one big change from before though is that we no longer have access to lists of people who are admitted, and we are only supposed to go in if invited by the person who is hospitalized (or their substitute decision maker). What this means for us is that if you would like me to visit you in hospital, you need to let me know that you are in hospital. Unfortunately I haven't mastered the skill of mind reading (yet - lol!), so I won't know that you want a visit unless you ask. (And it does have to come from the person in hospital or their substitute decision maker - if a friend or neighbour lets me know, I will check with the person in hospital or their spouse/child to make sure that they want a visit and to get the room number before going.)
Broadview Magazine: Our next gathering will be on Monday May 2 at 10am in the Westfield Parlour. There isn't a May issue, but since we weren't able to gather this winter due to Covid restrictions, we will be discussing the January/February issue this month. Everyone is welcome! If you don't subscribe to the magazine, you can still read many of the articles by clicking here.
Bible Study: We are back in-person again - every Wednesday at 10am in the Westfield Parlour. We are reading our way through the Old Testament, looking at the story arc and wrestling with some of the more challenging stories we encounter. Everyone is welcome - no bible study experience necessary!
Youth Connection: Our upcoming gatherings will be May 1, May 15, May 29, June 12. 7pm each time, at Westfield United Church. All Youth in Middle or High School are welcome to join us.
Sunday School: We have resumed Sunday School at both Long Reach and Westfield. If you are interested in helping with Sunday School at either church, please contact Ken at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Sunday, May 1, we will be worshipping at Long Reach at 9:15 and at Westfield at 11:15, with livestreaming of the Westfield service on Facebook. In the season of Easter this year we will be reading stories from the book of Acts - this Sunday will be the story of Paul's conversion on the Road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-20). (Or is it the story of the conversion of Ananias?) How are we being called to love more broadly?
Elaine is off for the next couple of weeks, enjoying a long-overdue vacation with Rob. Thank you to all of the volunteers who are stepping in to help cover the things that she normally does; and my apologies if your e-mail to the church office goes unread for longer than usual. Today is Office Professionals day, so if you are reading this Elaine, I hope that you are having a fabulous time away, and know how much we appreciate you around Two Rivers Pastoral Charge!
And that's it for my announcements today. As a closing thought this week, I want to leave you with a beautiful story of resurrection from the April issue of Broadview that led to a lot of conversation at last month's gathering - you can read it by clicking here.
Blessings to you and yours, today and always,
Rev. Kate Jones Two Rivers Pastoral Charge (506) 757-2201 (office) (506) 343-1307 (mobile) www.tworiverspastoralcharge.com Pronouns: she/her/hers "Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the law?"
Jesus replied, "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: "You must love your neighbour as you love yourself."