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 lovely relaxing vacation week last week – the pandemic restrictions meant that I couldn’t go anywhere, but I spent the week by the woodstove with a stack of books. And now I’m back for the final few weeks of Lent as we gear up towards Holy Week! Thank you to Kathy Roy for offering worship on Sunday, as well as to Rev. Susan Gamblin for being available to cover any pastoral emergencies in the week.
Tomorrow, March 11, marks one year since the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 to be a global pandemic, and what a year it has been. To mark this one year anniversary, tomorrow’s 1pm check-in on Facebook Live will shift from our regular format to focus on this anniversary. We will make time to lament all of the losses of the past year, as well as to look forward in hope, knowing that God is with us and there is nothing that can ever separate us from God. You will be able to find this on the Two Rivers Pastoral Charge Facebook Page – going “live” a few minutes before 1pm. I know that for many of you, 1pm is in the middle of your work day so the video will be available for viewing for a couple of weeks after that.
This Sunday, we are going to have the first two of our Annual Congregational Meetings – Bayswater-Summerville at 9am and Westfield at 11:15. As has been our practice, these meetings will be integrated into our Sunday morning worship service. If you are not comfortable being present in the church building but would like to participate by telephone, please contact me as soon as possible, and you will be paired up with someone who will be in the building who has a cell phone. This will allow you to participate in the discussions, and cast your vote. Our worship theme will focus on celebrating where we saw God working in Two Rivers Pastoral Charge and in our congregations in 2020, as well as looking ahead to 2021 to see where God might be leading us. (Long Reachers – your turn will come next week!)
Don’t forget to spring your clocks forwards on Saturday night, as Daylight Saving Time begins this week. You wouldn’t want to miss our meetings!
(Also a quick note – Josie Pike is looking for people willing to be Greeters and Readers at Westfield. This is a very important role in this time of Covid as our greeters screen people as they arrive at the building, collect names and phone numbers for Contact Tracing, and wipe down the sanctuary after worship. If we don’t have greeters, we aren’t able to gather in-person. If you are willing to volunteer for a Sunday or two, please get in touch with Josie – many hands make light work.)
This Sunday is also PIE Day – a day when we get to celebrate being an Affirming Community of Faith, as we are Public, Intentional, and Explicit (PIE) about welcoming, including, and affirming all people in every aspect of our congregational life. We have two PIE Day initiatives going on:
On Sunday March 14, we encourage you to use whatever Social Media you have to spread the word that we are Affirming and why that is important. Pictures of pie are encouraged! When you share your posts, please add the following hashtags to make your posts more visible: #tworiverspc #uccan #affirming #affirmingchurch #pieday2021
On Sunday March 14, we will be having a livestream on our Facebook Page at 7pm – I will be “interviewing” guests who will have a couple of minutes to share with us their connection to our Affirming status, and why it is important that our churches are Affirming. (If you would like to be one of the “guests” to share your story, please get in touch with me in the next day or two!)
Finally, a reminder that since we are back in the “yellow” phase of Covid, in-person gatherings are allowed (committee meetings, worship, bible study), but all of the Covid-19 protocols must still be followed (hand sanitizer, masks, physical distancing, collecting names and phone numbers for Contact Tracing, wiping down spaces after they are used, and staying home if you have any Covid symptoms). We had our first in-person bible study of 2021 this morning (we have been meeting on Webex since we went orange in early January), and it was delightful to see the top half of everyone’s faces again!
Blessings to you and yours, today and always!
Rev. Kate Jones
Two Rivers Pastoral Charge
(506) 757-2201 (office)
(506) 343-1307 (mobile)
"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."