May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be always with you!
I know that many of us were watching the election news on the weekend as a federal election was called for mid-September. (And last night, I stayed up far too late watching the results of the Nova Scotia election... it seems to be election season in the Maritimes!)
Engaging in the political process is one way that we can live out our faith. I'm not going to tell you who to vote for (no partisan politics from the church!), but I am going to encourage you to engage in the campaigns and the issues at stake, and then get out there on September 20 (or at any time before that at your Returning Office, at the Advance Polls, or by a mail-in ballot) and cast your ballot.
Jesus tells us that the greatest commandments are to love God and to love our neighbours as ourselves; and the political sphere is one in which we can love our neighbours. If you read the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus answers the question of "Who is my neighbour?" Our neighbours aren't necessarily the people who live near us, who pray alongside us, who look and sound the same as we do - instead our neighbour is anyone in need.
And so as you consider the issues this election, I encourage you to consider them through the lens of "How can my vote be a vote for loving my neighbours - for caring for the most vulnerable and in-need people in our country? Which candidate/party platform seems most in keeping with God's vision for our world?" Casting a ballot is not only a political act - it can also be a very strong act of faith-in-action!
The United Church of Canada has devoted a section on their website to exploring election issues through a faith perspective - you can find that by clicking here. Tomorrow, Ida (from our Church in the World Committee) and I are going to sit down to go through this, and we are hoping to prepare a 1-2 page summary of some of the election issues examined through a faith perspective. You can watch for that next week!
Some other things going on this week:
Tonight's movie will be Seabiscuit - a horse movie (and yes, I made sure that the horse doesn't die before choosing this one!). The movie starts at 7pm in the Westfield Parlour - everyone is welcome!
This Sunday, worship will be at Long Reach at 9:15 and Westfield and on Facebook Live at 11:15. We are continuing our exploration of things that Jesus didn't say - this week, Jesus didn't say "You should have prayed harder." When we think that God will grant our every wish if only we pray hard enough about it, I think maybe we are confusing God with Santa Claus. Even Jesus couldn't pray hard enough to escape the cross - we are going to be reading Mark 14:32-42 this Sunday, re-visiting Holy Week.
And I think that may be it for today. I hope that you are all having a good August - finding time for rest and for reconnecting with family and loved ones, with creation, with God, and with yourself.
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."