May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be always with you!
Yesterday morning, the Summerville Quilters had some visitors - out-of town family members of one of the quilters who wanted to see what quilting was all about. (Normally the quilters don't gather in the summer, but we missed so many months in the past couple of years due to Covid lockdowns that we decided to keep going on the quilt we were working on when the summer rolled around. There's nothing like gathering in a cool church basement on a hot summer day with good company and a project to keep our hands busy!)
One of the visitors was interested in learning how to quilt, so all of the quilters were sharing their tips and strategies for beginning - what type of fabric and thread are best, the advantages of hand vs. machine quilting, favourite patterns.
I see some connections or analogies between quilting and our faith. When you piece together the top of a quilt, you bring together all sorts of different pieces of fabric of different colours and different shapes, and each one of them contributes to the overall design. If you were to remove one of the pieces, the quilt would no longer be whole. In the same way, we all come together to be the church, each of us bringing our different experiences and gifts to contribute to the whole (and like with the quilt, the absence of one makes the whole less than it would or could be).
Quilts are made with different layers sandwiched together by the stitching. If those stitches let go, then the whole quilt will start to fall apart. In the same way, our lives are held together or grounded by the spiritual practices that keep us connected to God - whether that spiritual practice be prayer or meditation or walking or photography or music or journalling or...). Without these practices to keep us connected with ourselves and with the Holy, we can become unmoored.
Even the act of quilting - of putting one tiny stitch after another - can be a very meditative practice. Or it can be a community-building practice, in the case of quilting as a group!
I do have a couple of announcements this week:
Worship on Sunday will be 9:15 at Long Reach (outside, weather permitting) and 11:15 at Westfield and on Facebook Live. This week, the beloved hymn that we will be looking at is "Jesus, You Have Come to the Lakeshore" and we will be exploring what it means to be called to seek other seas.
Our Wednesday night movies will continue to the end of the month, so we still have a couple of weeks left. Tonight we will be watching "Dumplin'" a 2018 film about the teenage daughter of a former beauty pageant queen. Next week (August 24) we will be watching "Yesterday" - a 2019 movie that creates a parallel universe, one in which The Beatles never existed as a band. There is lots of great music in that film!
A reminder that the Long Reach Vacation Bible School is happening tomorrow (August 18) at Long Reach United Church from 9-4. There is no charge, all children are welcome, and please bring your bathing suit and towel (and lifejacket, if required to go in the river). We will be exploring the stories of David and Goliath and Jonah and the Whale.
Last Sunday's Minute for Mission talked about a Podcast called The Scribbler's Story - it is a story told in 15 minute segments, produced to encourage children and families to engage in deep spiritual questions. If you want to learn more, or see where you can access this podcast, click here.
Speaking of children, Ken has started working on organizing Sunday School to begin in September! His plan is that we will offer in-person Sunday School at both Westfield and Long Reach, and he will continue to produce YouTube Sunday School lessons for families who aren't able to attend in-person. To make this happen, he needs some volunteer Sunday School teachers (and with enough teachers, he will be able to set up a roster so each teacher won't be responsible for every Sunday). No experience is required - just a desire to help nurture our children along their spiritual journey. There will be a curriculum for you to follow, and Ken will be involved as well to support you. If this sounds like a ministry that you might be called to, or you would like more information, please contact Ken at email@example.com.
Finally, as we have done in previous years, we are going to be supporting the students at MacDonald Consolidated School in Kingston. The items they are in need of are: - Loose leaf (Refill paper) - Hilroy notebooks ( 32 pages, 4/pkg) - Geometry set with compass and protractor (middle school) - Pencils - Erasers - Nutri-Grain bars (no nuts) and Granola bars (no icing coatings) - Multi Grain Cheerios - Cheese packets (with pretzels/crackers) - Sneakers (grades K-8) - NO backpacks (several have already been donated) Donations can be dropped off at the church (Long Reach or Summerville) between now and Labour Day. If you would prefer to give cash, you can give it to Church in the World members Anne Titus (Long Reach) or Bette Ashley (Bayswater-Summerville) and they will purchase the needed supplies.
And finally, plans are continuing to come together for the church picnic on Sunday September 11 at the Sherwood's cottage (100 Admiral Lane, Long Reach). There are going to be fun fair activities for the children (including the return of the famous cotton candy tree!), a celebration of communion with our whole Two Rivers church family, and a glorious potluck lunch - you've got just over 3 weeks to plan your favourite potluck dish.
And that is it for announcements this week. As a closing thought today, one of my favourite Christian writers, Frederick Buechner, died this week at the age of 96 and my Facebook feed has been littered with his words shared by my friends. The quote from him that I have used the most in sermons is: "Resurrection means that the worst thing is never the last thing." He also wrote: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” And also: "You do not need to understand healing to be healed or know anything about blessing to be blessed." If you want to read a longer article about him and about his writing, you can click 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."