May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be always with you!
We seem to have been receiving a lot of rain in the past couple of weeks in this corner of the world. This is good for filling wells, and for mosquitoes, and for gardens, and for keeping wildfires under control (on this side of the continent); though I suspect that our farmers would appreciate a stretch of dry weather at some point for haying!
Water, whether in the form of rain, or in the form of our great rivers, can also remind us of our baptism. Baptism is one of the two sacraments that we practice in the United Church of Canada (with the other being communion). My favourite definition of a sacrament comes from St. Augustine - "a visible sign of God's invisible grace." We can't see or touch God's love, even though we know with our heads and our hearts that it is always with us; and God has given us these sacraments as things that we can see and touch and feel (and smell and taste, in the case of communion) that are tangible reminders of God's love.
And so if you happen to be out in the rain today (or any day), or if you are down by the river or down by the ocean, let the feel of the water on your head or on your toes remind you of your baptism; let the water remind you of God's limitless love for you and for the whole world.
In terms of announcements this week, I do have a couple to pass along:
As we move towards the provincial "green" phase, a letter was mailed out at the beginning of the week to everyone on our postal mail list with information about how the church is going to be making this transition. You should find it in your mailbox later this week; but if you want a sneak peak, you can read it on our website by clicking here.
Affirm United is having their annual conference this weekend, and like last year it is going to be done through Zoom rather than in-person. There is no cost to participate, and you can find the schedule and Zoom links through the Affirm United Facebook Page.
Our United Church of Canada Moderator, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Richard Bott, released a statement this week outlining how we are working with the communities around the 15 Residential Schools run by the United Church of Canada and our predecessors. If you would like to read the statement on the United Church website, you can do so by clicking here.
Marlene Miller, who was an active member of the Bayswater-Summerville congregation, died in March but her family postponed her service until they could all be together. Visitation will be tomorrow (Thursday) from 2-4 and 6-8 at Fundy Funeral Home, and her funeral will be on Friday at 1pm, again at Fundy Funeral home, followed by interment at the cemetery in Bayswater next to her beloved Arnold. The service will be livestreamed for anyone not able to attend in-person, and you can access the livestreaming link by clicking here.
This week's Church Family Movie Night is tonight (Wednesday) - we will be watching the 2020 version of Rebecca beginning at 7pm in the Westfield parlour. I'm looking forward to this, since Rebecca was one of 13-year-old Kate's favourite books!
Finally, I wanted to mention that worship on Sunday will be at 9:15 at Long Reach (outside, weather permitting) and at 11:15 at Westfield and on Facebook Live. We'll be continuing our summer series on "Things Jesus didn't say" and this week we will be looking at the expression, "There, but for the grace of God, go I."
And I think that's it for today! Stay safe everyone; and don't forget to keep on loving God, loving all of your neighbours, and loving yourself!
May God continue to bless 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."