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Mid-Week Message - May 15

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be always with you!



I want to begin this week by sharing a story with you from my Sabbatical. I'm part of a Facebook group called "Clergy with Cats" - we are just over 3000 clergy of different denominations and different faiths from around the world. It is a caring and supportive group (that is well-moderated - no generic content, only pictures and stories of our cats and the cats we encounter), so even when I was off Facebook for my Sabbatical, I continued to check in with this group most days.



Back in March, a small 7-week-old fluffy kitten appeared on the doorstep of one of the group members who lives in Oklahoma, but who already had too many cats and wasn't able to keep this kitten. She shared a picture of the kitten in our group, and the group named the kitten Baby Motka, as the kitten looked like a miniature version of one of the cats in the group named Motka who lives with her human in a convent in Cincinnati Ohio.  A question was raised in the group - does anyone close to Oklahoma want to adopt a new kitten?



A few days later, (Adult) Motka's human posted that their organist at the convent was interested in adopting Baby Motka, the only problem was that this kitten would have to be transported 1300km (800 miles) from Oklahoma to Ohio.



And so the week after Easter, a bunch of clergy along the route came together and tag-team transported Baby Motka to her new home, with clergy living further away donating towards travel expenses and vet bills (with the extra going to animal rescue organizations).



The Sunday after the kitten transportation train, in the Facebook group, different group members shared how they had used the story of Baby Motka in their sermons. (If I had been preaching in April, you likely would have heard about Baby Motka then!) One minister spoke about the community effort that it took to bring Baby Motka to her new home - one person alone couldn't have done it, but by everyone coming together it became possible. A bit like the church when we work together to make God's love known.



But my favourite Baby Motka sermon story came from a group member who is a chaplain in a women's prison in Australia. That Sunday she told the story to the prisoners who make up her congregation, and after the service, one of the women came up to her and asked, "Does God love me as much as your group loves Baby Motka?" The chaplain smiled and said, "Yes, and even more."



And so a kitten who had been discarded not only has a new home, but became a vehicle for telling the story of God's abundant, unconditional love.



Which makes me wonder... we all have stories about things that we experience in our lives. How can we tell our stories in a way that others hear a story of God and how God is with us and in us and working through us?



(For a picture of Baby Motka when she first appeared on a doorstep in Oklahoma, you can click here. And for a picture of the two Motkas meeting each other in Cincinnati, you can click here.)



In terms of announcements this week:

  • Worship on Sunday will be back to the regular schedule - 9:15 at Summerville and 11:15 at Westfield and on Facebook Live. This Sunday is Pentecost - the "what next" that I talked about in last Sunday's sermon. If you want to read ahead, the scripture will be Acts 2:1-21.

  • If I manage to hit "send" on this email early enough today, this is a reminder that we have a Session and Official Board meetings this evening at Summerville (6:30 for Session; 7:30 for Official Board).

  • Harvest Garden - many of you have seen the "Harvest Garden" that a group is planting in front of Westfield United Church. The idea is that this will help supplement the non-perishable items in Ida's Cupboard with fresh produce when it is in-season. This week it is time to plant the garden! If you are interested in helping, a "planting party" is going to be happening on Thursday evening (May 16) from 6-8pm. You can bring your own gardening gloves if you prefer to garden with gloves, but everything else will be provided. (With thanks to all of the businesses who have donated to this garden; and with a big thank you to Cathy, Marijka, Natalie, and Marlene for organizing this project.)

  • Bible Study continues every Wednesday at 10am in the parlour at Westfield United Church - everyone is always welcome to join!

  • Thank you to everyone who helped with Kevin Thorne's funeral on Saturday afternoon, with a special thank you to our Session for offering a welcoming presence and to the UCW for arranging the reception afterwards.

  • Thank you to everyone who joined us for worship last Sunday and to everyone who made the potluck lunch happen. Opportunities for us to join together as a bigger church family are always Holy Spirit-filled.

And I think that's it for announcements this week.



For a closing thought, I've been thinking about Alice Munro, the Canadian Nobel-prize-winning author who died this week at the age of 92. She was a beautiful writer, and while I'm sad that I will never get to read a new story from her, I also know that her stories stand up to re-reading (and maybe this summer I'll do an Alice Munro re-read marathon). Some of her stories are available online - if you would like to dive into her world and read one of them, pour yourself a cup of tea or coffee, sit back, and click here.



Blessings to you and yours, today and always,


Kate.



 

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."

(Matthew 22:36-39)


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