May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be always with you!
This will be my last Mid-WeekMessage of 2020, and what a year it's been! Even though the new church year began a few weeks ago on the first Sunday of Advent, there is something about the week between Christmas and New Year's, and changing the calendar, that leads to reflection on the year past and looking ahead to the year to come.
I read a quote this morning that said, "We are happy because of our circumstances, but we are joyful despite our circumstances." When I look back on 2020, and when I hear your stories about this past year, I hear stories about happiness that is linked to our circumstances - Christmas spent with grandchildren, travel that was possible before the pandemic or despite the pandemic, new skills that were acquired. But even in the most difficult parts of 2020, even when the circumstances make it seem impossible, joy is still possible. Joy is still possible because joy is a gift from God and God is always with us.
I picture joy like a mighty underground river flowing underneath our lives, and not dependent on what is going on in our lives. And then I picture our lives like trees, with roots reaching down into that river of joy. It may make no sense, looking at a surface level; but that joy is always there, always nurturing our souls.
And so whatever circumstances 2021 might bring your way, I wish to you the gift of joy - that you might be able to tap into the joy that God offers freely to us.
This week between Christmas and New Years is a quiet week around the church, but next week things will start to pick up again.
Worship this Sunday will be at Summerville at 9:15 and at Westfield (and on Facebook Live) at 11:15. This week we will be celebrating Epiphany and the visit of the magi to Jesus and his parents (Matthew 2:1-12). We will also be receiving our "Star Words" to guide us through 2021.
Our gathering to discuss the January/February edition of Broadview Magazine will be on Monday January 4 at 10am in the Westfield United Church parlour. Even if you don't subscribe to Broadview, you can read many of the articles online by clicking here.
Our weekly bible study will resume on Wednesday January 6 at 10am in the Westfield United Church parlour. We are slowly reading our way through the Gospel of Mark, but each week is a stand-alone gathering so no previous experience is required. We do invite you to BYOB ("Bring Your Own Bible") since we try to read the passage from a number of different translations.
And finally, a reminder that if you are responsible for contributing anything to the Annual Report, the deadline to get these to Elaine is January 10.
And may God continue to bless you and everyone you love, 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."