May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be always with you!
Today is my Ordination anniversary - 3 years ago today, I was ordained to the ministry of Word, Sacrament, and Pastoral Care in the United Church of Canada, and a month later I arrived at Two Rivers Pastoral Charge to be in ministry with you all. (In a fun coincidence, today is also Rev. Elizabeth's ordination anniversary, with a few years in between our May 27 dates!)
This has me thinking about what it is to be the church. Even though not all of us are ordained, commissioned, or recognized; even though not all of us are in paid, accountable ministry positions, all of us ARE ministers. All of us have been called by God to follow the way of Jesus, the way of Love. All of us have been called by God to care deeply for one another, and to live love in the world.
One of the principles of the Protestant Reformation 500-ish years ago was the "priesthood of all believers." In your baptism, you were called by God, claimed by Christ, and commissioned by the Holy Spirit to the ministry of the church in the world. The ministry of the church is only possible when all of us participate in this ministry, sharing the gifts that God has given to each one of us. And I thank God every day for the gifts that God has given to you as an individual and to us collectively.
This reflection ties in with where we are going to be going on Sunday with our worship service. We are going to be looking at the call story of the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1-8) and other people in the bible, and connecting that with our own call stories. What part of the ministry of the whole church is God calling you to? How do you know that God is calling you to this ministry? Our services will be at 9:15 at Long Reach United, at 11:15 at Westfield United, and with livestreaming to the Two Rivers Pastoral Charge Facebook page beginning a couple of minutes before 11:15.
I have a couple of other announcements to pass along:
The Westfield UCW is going to be having another drive-through meal on July 8 - we can't have a sit-down strawberry social because of Covid, so this is going to be a Strawberry Non-Social! It will be a cold plate with ham, salads, and of course, strawberry shortcake. Tickets will be $14 for a full plate and $7 for a half-plate, and will be available very shortly at the Grand Bay Home Hardware. Pick-up times will be in half hour blocks, beginning at 3:30, with the last block being 5:30-6. UCW members will be reaching out to the Westfield congregation, looking for volunteers as well as financial contributions towards this meal.
A reminder that Yoga is continuing at Long Reach United Church on the new patio on Wednesdays at 7pm. $10 per week, as a fundraiser for the church; bring a yoga mat if you have one (but there are mats available to borrow if you don't); and dress in warm layers.
The community World Day of Prayer service had to be cancelled this year because of Covid restrictions on gatherings in early March, however there is a National World Day of Prayer service from the Women's Inter-Council of Canada that you can watch online by clicking here. This video will be available until September 30.
And finally a reminder that our discussion of Tangles by Sarah Leavitt is this Sunday, May 30, at 7pm in the River Room at Long Reach United Church. This is a very powerful book, and I'm looking forward to our conversation!
And with that, I'm going to close off this e-mail. My study leave last week was a good time of renewal and re-energizing as I attended a preaching conference and was able to hear some fabulous preachers; but it is good to be back with you all!
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."