May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be always with you!
I had a great vacation, but it is good to be back with you all. I didn't leave the province, but it was a couple of weeks of rest and relaxation and re-creation. When you read the first creation story in Genesis (Genesis 1:1-2:3), after God created the heavens and the earth and everything in the, God rested on the seventh day and enjoyed all of the glorious creation. This sabbath day is the pinnacle of creation - the high point - and we as humans are called to practice sabbath. It is important to take time regularly to rest and to simply be present. To be present with creation, to be present with loved ones, to be present to ourselves, to be present with God, to simply BE. I do hope that all of you find some of this sabbath time in the months ahead.
I do want to thank everyone who stepped up in the weeks I was off - Kathy Roy and Linda Watson for offering pulpit supply, Margaret Stackhouse for being available to coordinate any pastoral emergencies (of which there were none this time!), and Rev. John Roy and Rev. Elizabeth Stevenson for being available in case of any pastoral emergencies.
This week's mid-week message is going to be mostly announcements about stuff that is happening in our churches and in the wider community.
We are going to be resuming our summer movie nights - we weren't able to gather last summer because of Covid, but as long as we stay physically distanced (between bubbles) and masked in the parlour at Westfield, we can gather safely. Our first movie will be next Wednesday, July 7, beginning at 7pm.
A reminder that our annual Flower Services are coming closer - they will be held on July 11 at Westfield at 11:15am (with livestreaming) and at Long Reach at 2pm, then on July 18 at Summerville at 11am. You can view the poster by clicking here - please help us get the word out to families who might be interested in attending.
Peninsula folks - we are going to be moving our Sunday services outside for July and August (weather permitting). Bring your lawn chair, your water bottle, and sunscreen! (Rain plan - we will move back inside the sanctuary.)
Two Rivers Pastoral Charge Facebook Page - now that our daily check-ins have come to an end (at least for now), I am going to start picking up some regular weekly features. Pre-Covid, we had Theology Thursday posts where each week I posted some questions to help you think about God and how God is working in the world - those will be resuming next week. We've also had occasional Mental Health Monday posts that I'm hoping to make a more regular thing. I also want to start having Wednesday Prayers - this will be an opportunity for you to share any prayer requests (like you did in our daily check ins), as well as to pray for the prayer requests that others post. And of course, our Sunday services will continue to be livestreamed there. If you aren't already following our page, you can find it by clicking here.
This summer, we're going to be having a bit of fun with our Sunday Services. A while back, I asked you to share with me popular expressions of phrases that sound vaguely spiritual but are things that Jesus didn't actually say. Each week, we are going to be tackling one of these phrases, and exploring what Jesus actually said instead. This coming Sunday, our first phrase will be "God helps those who help themselves." Worship will be at 9:15 at Summerville and 11:15 at Westfield and on FB Live!
Finally, while I was away, there was another discovery of unmarked graves at a residential school, this time near Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan. We continue to mourn with our Indigenous neighbours all of the lives that were lost - the children whose bodies have been discovered, and those whose bodies have yet to be discovered. Tomorrow, July 1, there are going to be several activities in our communities to mark Canada Day differently as we as a country try to work towards reconciliation. I encourage you to consider attending one of these if you are able.
Healing Walk (Saint John) - this will take place in Rockwood Park beginning at 10am, and will include teachings from First Nations across Canada. For more details, including where to meet, you can click here. (Also - if you want to be aware of upcoming reconciliation events, I encourage you to follow Eastern Circle on Facebook.)
Wolastoquey First Nation Oral History (Grand Bay-Westfield) - this will begin at 12pm at the Brundage Point River Centre. Gary Gould of the Wolastoquey Nation will share some of the oral history of the Wolastoquey in the Grand Bay-Westfield area. For more details, check out the town website by clicking here.
Wreath Laying (Branch 62 Legion, Moss Glen) - at 12pm, there will be a wreath laid at the Moss Glen legion in remembrance of all of the children who died at Residential Schools across Canada.
Vigil to Honour and Remember Indigenous Children (Online) - Glebe St. James United Church in Ottawa is going to be holding an online vigil that will begin at 12pm Atlantic Time (11am Eastern Time). This vigil will remain on their website moving forwards for anyone who isn't able to join live. You can access this vigil by clicking here.
People have been asking, "What can we do to make things right?" The Truth and Reconciliation Commission released 94 Calls to Action in 2015 at the end of their process, and these Calls to Action offer us a very detailed roadmap of what it looks like, as a country, to move towards true reconciliation in a very practical way. Beginning on July 1 and continuing for 94 days, each day one of these Calls to Action will be posted on the Two Rivers Pastoral Charge Facebook Page at 1pm. Taken together, these Calls to Action offer us a vision of what reconciliation looks like - I encourage you to follow along with these, and ask yourself the tough questions - how have we failed (and continue to fail) as a country; and what can we do differently moving forward?
Finally, if you don't already, I encourage you to follow our Moderator, the Rt. Rev. Richard Bott on Facebook. He has always had thought-provoking posts, but in the past several weeks he has been offering insightful posts from his position as the spiritual leader of a denomination that oversaw and ran 15 Residential Schools. You can find his page by clicking here.
I know that this has been a long e-mail - I had to keep a list in my daytimer so that I wouldn't forget to pass anything along to you! Like I said, it is good to be back, and I look forward to reconnecting with you all soon!
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."