May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be always with you!
I was thinking at lunchtime that today almost feels like a normal ministry day from the Before Times - with the exception of masks and physical distancing and slightly more computer video stuff going on. This morning, Joan Small and I were at the Snow Centre in Hampton to lead a chapel service with the residents there (with great thanks to Gloria, their Recreation Therapist, who has done an amazing job at organizing events and activities within the constantly changing Covid rules and protocols). Now I am back at the office at Westfield, and since the 1pm Facebook check-in was over I have been catching up on e-mails and phone calls. I'll probably be heading home early-ish, because this evening I will be back here for a (masked and physically distanced) UCW meeting, after which I will be joining the Board of Hampton United Church for part of their meeting over Zoom.
Thinking about how today almost feels like a normal day makes me recognize and appreciate how adaptable we are as humans. In the past year, we have adapted to masks being a normal part of our day to keep each other safe. We have adapted to giving elbow bumps and air hugs even when we would rather give the real thing. We have adapted to technology shifts as we have found new ways to connect with each other.
And through it all, I know that God has been with us. God has been with us as we have found new ways to connect with each other and with God. God has been with us when we have been struggling, but God has also been with us when things have been good. The Holy Spirit isn't limited by time or by distance, and she is still working in all of us, drawing us closer together, even when we are gathering in virtual spaces or when we have to stay at least 2m apart.
And even if the Covid situation changes in our zone and we have to move back to increased restrictions, I know that God will be with us no matter what the future holds.
I have a couple of announcements to pass along this week:
Worship on Sunday will be at Long Reach (9:15) and Westfield (11:15) with livestreaming of the Westfield service to Facebook. The service at Long Reach will include the baptism of Joe Fullerton (child of Tracey and Tony); and our scripture reading at both services will include a baptism story (Acts 8:26-40).
Church in the World Book Discussion - we have been circulating copies of Tangles by Sarah Leavitt within our three congregations, and Ida and I have set a date when we will gather to discuss this book. We will meet on Sunday May 30 at 7pm in the River Room at Long Reach United Church (as long as the Covid restrictions at that time will allow us to gather). This gives you about a month to read the book if you haven't had a chance yet.
Peninsula Food and Clothing Bank - a couple of weeks ago, Bette Ashley gave us an update on what they were in need of. If you would like to support the food bank, they would appreciate donations of:
* peanut butter
* sandwich meats
* canned vegetables
* canned fruit
* dish soap
* toilet paper
* gift cards
Youth and Young Families Ministry Coordinator - we sent Gaby and her family off to her new adventures on PEI a couple of weeks ago, and while we wish her well, we will also miss her around Two Rivers Pastoral Charge. Her position within the church is currently vacant, and ideally we would like to have someone in place to fill it by the end of the summer as we head into a new year for Sunday School and Youth Connection. To do this, we need to form a small search committee, ideally with at least one representative from each of our congregations. This committee would look into advertising the position, interviewing potential candidates, then making a recommendation to the Ministry and Personnel committee who would then sort out the contract. If you have an interest in the future of ministry with youth and young families in our communities and would be willing to serve on this search committee, please get in touch with me within the next week, so that we can look at getting started.
Parking Lot Coffee Hours - a reminder that, weather permitting, we will begin gathering next week for our Parking Lot Coffee Hours. Bring a lawnchair, bring your beverage of choice, and bring your hat/sunscreen/bug spray; and I'll see you there!
Summerville - Tuesdays at 11am
Westfield - Tuesdays at 3pm
Long Reach - Thursdays at 11am
And I think that's it for today!
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."