May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be always with you!
I'm writing this on a sunny July day, when many of you are likely on vacation or finding other ways to enjoy the outdoors (don't forget to put on sunscreen and drink lots of water!). Summer is a great time for getting out on (or in) the water; it is a great time for hiking and camping trips, it is a great time for looking at the stars at night (even though you need to stay up late to wait for the darkness).
Summer is a great time to feel connected with God's creation; but we should never forget that God created all of the seasons! God creates nighttime as well as sunlight; God creates snowflakes as well as rainbows; God creates ice as well as waterfalls.
Every Sunday this summer, we are going to be exploring one of our favourite hymns (as chosen by you) - this week it is a hymn sings of the glory of creation pointing us towards God. It was the 3rd most popular hymn in our Pastoral Charge as of this spring. And here's a bit of trivia that I learned while researching it - it is a hymn that began it's life as a Swedish poem set to a Swedish folk tune. Any guesses as to what this week's hymn might be? (You can click here to listen to the hymn and check to see if your guess was correct!)
Worship will be at 9:15 at Long Reach (outside in the garden, weather permitting, so don't forget your lawn chair) and at 11:15 at Westfield (with livestreaming to Facebook). Everyone is welcome!
In terms of other announcements this week:
I want to say a big thank you to everyone who helped with Ida's funeral on Saturday - from our greeters (those of you who were "officially" greeters, and those of you who stepped in to help), to the UCW for the reception, to those of you who helped with the livestreaming and parking and other logistics - thank you. I know that it was our collective grief that brought us together, but it also made my heart smile through its tears, seeing our churches come together to support Dave and the rest of Ida's family. And a specific thank you from Linda McCullough: "Linda would like to thank everyone who helped in any way to prepare for Ida's funeral reception. We had an abundance of food, enjoyed by all, with very little left over. The little bit left over went to Hestia House, one of the charities which was dear to Ida's heart. Thank you everyone!"
I am still looking for a couple more bowlers to join our team for the Church of the Resurrection bowling fundraiser on September 24 (fundraising for the Sunrise Play Park). For more information, you can click here to read the July 6 mid-week message; and let me know if you are interested in joining us! No particular skill or talent is required - just a willingness to help our our siblings in Christ and have a fun night out!
Saint John Pride has announced the details of Pride Week on their Facebook Page - you can click here to scroll through all of the different events and activities that they have planned. The Pride Parade is back for the first time since 2019, and instead of an evening parade like they used to have, it is going to be at 1pm on Saturday August 6. My question to all of you is - are you interested in putting together a Two Rivers Pastoral Charge group to walk in the pride parade to remind the world that all people (of every gender and sexual orientation) are perfectly and beautifully created in the image of God, and to let the world know that there are churches who not only welcome but who celebrate the calling and giftedness of our queer siblings? If you are interested in being a part of a group from the church, please let me know; and if there is enough interest, I will register us for the parade. (If you are looking for some inspiration from what other churches in other cities have done for their pride parades, you can look at pictures here and here and here.)
Movie Nights - every Wednesday this summer, we will be watching movies int he Westfield United Church parlour beginning at 7pm. Tonight we will be watching the classic movie, The Princess Bride. Next Wednesday, we will watch the newest Pixar film, Turning Red. (Next week's movie was chosen by my nephew who will be visiting next week - I asked him to recommend a movie that he thought would be good for both kids and adults, and this was his suggestion.)
And one final round of thank yous to the folks at all three of our churches who organized our flowers for the flower services this year - Anne Titus and Gwen Quigley at Long Reach, Cathy Thorne and Brenda Brooks at Westfield, and Martha Crabbe at Bayswater-Summerville. All three of our bouquets of memories looked spectacular, even though they were very different from one another. (If you haven't seen the pictures yet, they are available here.)
And that's it for announcements.
As a closing thought this week... sermon inspirations come in many forms, including comic strips, and I want to share one of my inspirations for this coming Sunday - you can see it 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."