May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be always with you!
The Summerville quilters have reconvened, and yesterday I was able to sit with them around the newest quilt that they are working on, stitching away. (This one is beautiful - pieced by Martha Crabbe with cardinals framed by brown and green fabrics.)
Psalm 139 tells us that God knits us together when we are in our mothers' wombs, but sometimes I wonder if God is a quilter rather than a knitter. God is able to take all of us - each with our own unique stories and gifts - and stitch us together to make the church which, like a quilt, is so much more than the sum our the parts. Each one of us has a place in the quilt - whether you are in the building every Sunday and sit on every committee, or if you are part of our online congregation, or if you are just checking out the church for the first time, or if you used to serve on a committee but have had to retire. Whatever your place is in the quilt that is the church, the quilt is only complete because YOU are part of it!
And together, we can do God's work of spreading and growing love in the world. It is only with all of the pieces in place that a quilt can be a quilt; and it is only with all of us sharing our gifts that the church can be the church - and together we can wrap the world in warmth and love.
I have a couple of announcements to pass along this week:
This week will be our last Thursday Lenten Gathering - this week we will be trying a guided meditation as we continue to nurture our souls this season. We will meet at 7pm in the sanctuary at Westfield United, as well as on Webex for a virtual option (contact me if you want the connection details).
Next week is Holy Week! Here is the schedule of Services: Palm Sunday (April 10) - 9:15 at Summerville and 11:15 at Westfield and on Facebook Live Maundy Thursday (April 14) - 7pm at Westfield and on Facebook Live Good Friday (April 15) - 11am at Summerville (service will be recorded and posted to Facebook that afternoon) Easter Sunrise Service (April 17) - 6:30am at Brundage Point Easter Worship (April 17) - 9:15 at Long Reach and 11:15 at Westfield
This Sunday, for Palm Sunday - if you are planning to join us on Facebook Live, we invite you to have a cedar branch handy (or some other sort of local branch that you can easily access). If you are going to be in-person at one of our churches, we will have cedar branches for you.
Westfield Parents, Grandparents, and Guardians - we are planning to resume Sunday School after a 2-year Covid hiatus on Easter Sunday. We look forward to seeing you and your families again!
Youth Connection - your leaders are meeting this evening, and we are hoping to resume those gatherings soon!
Bible Study - we are taking a 2 week break for Easter, and will be resuming on Wednesday April 27. Unless something changes with the Covid situation, we are planning to be in-person that day in the Westfield Parlour from 10-11:30.
Carol Swan's funeral will be at 11am on Friday morning at Westfield United Church, and it will be livestreamed on Facebook for anyone not able to be there in-person. Thank you to Session and the UCW for all of your help with this.
And finally, I wanted to tell you about a presentation on Zoom tomorrow night that some of you may be interested in. Bri-anne Swan, a United Church minister, will be presenting her research on how the United Church of Canada has lived into our vision of queer-inclusiveness (a vision that begin in 1988 with the decision at General Council to ordain openly gay and lesbian ministers). If you would like more information, including the Zoom link, you can find it by clicking here. (Just note that since the presentation is happening out west, it is a bit later than the poster says in our time zone - 8:30-10pm Atlantic Time tomorrow.)
And I think that's it for announcements this week. There is lots going on right now! For a closing thought this week, I wanted to share with you a post from Cole Arthur Riley (aka BlackLiturgies). We have been walking through a lot of grief this winter as a pastoral charge, and I want to share this as a way of honouring this sadness without being consumed by it. You can read the post 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."