May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be always with you!
As I sit here writing this e-mail, I am in the River Room at Long Reach United Church - our shift back to the "orange" phase of Covid means that I am back to keeping my office hours at each of our churches (Tues. morning at Summerville; Tues. afternoon at Westfield, Thurs. morning at Long Reach), even though I will be working from my home office the rest of the time until we are back to "yellow."
We still aren't gathering in-person at this time - worship, bible study, and meetings are all still happening online only. But "orange" means that the church office is open again (though it is always wise to check with Elaine about her hours before stopping by, as they do change a bit from week-to-week depending on what she has to do).
This afternoon, Ross Sherwood (Official Board chair) and I are going to be attending a webinar focused on annual meetings in this time of Covid - the what and how of them. Hopefully we will be able to make some decisions about our congregational and pastoral charge meetings after that.
I also wanted to talk about Lent, which begins in just a couple of weeks with Ash Wednesday on February 17. At our Session meeting last week, we talked through different ideas for how to make Lent meaningful this year, however a lot of these ideas will depend on what colour of Covid we are in at that time. (As of right now, we don't know whether Ash Wednesday will be in-person or online!) So we are making plans, and are prepared to be flexible and to pivot quickly depending on the situation.
One thing that we can do, no matter the Covid colour, is gather online. If you follow The United Church of Canada on Social Media, you have probably seen them advertising their 2021 Lenten Devotional, "Faith on the Move." There is a short reflection for each day of Lent, from Ash Wednesday through Easter, written by a variety of people from across the United Church of Canada, with the overall theme of movement or mobility (recognizing that while we haven't been able to move around much in the past year, so much of the way that we have been doing things has had to transition or change). Each day's reflection is followed by questions to ponder, a prayer, and a practice to consider adopting.
I am planning, each day through Lent, to post the questions for pondering in the "Westfield United Church" Facebook Group, so that we can journey through Lent together guided by this devotional. If you would like to join us on this journey:
You can order a copy of the book through the United Church Bookstore (since I will be sharing the questions only, not the full reflection) - the paper copy of the book is $15.95, and the e-book is $7.95. (You don't need an e-reader to read the e-book - it can be downloaded to your computer, or opened through an e-reading app like Kindle, Kobo, or iBooks on your phone or tablet.) If the cost of this book is an issue, please reach out to me, and we will make sure that you get a copy. You can access the bookstore by clicking here.
If you haven't already, please join the Westfield United Church Facebook Group so that you can join in the discussion. Anyone can see the posts in this group, but you have to join the group in order to be able to comment. You can find this group by clicking here.
And I think that is all that I have to share for today. Watch your inboxes on Saturday, as I will be sending out the bulletin for Sunday's service.
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."