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Mid-Week Message - May 29

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



Tomorrow, I'm heading to PEI for a couple of days for the annual meeting of Fundy St. Lawrence Dawning Waters Region. The United Church of Canada is divided into 16 geographical regions (with a parallel Indigenous church that stretches across the country beyond our regional boundaries) - Fundy St. Lawrence Dawning Waters Region includes all of New Brunswick, all of PEI, and part of the Gaspé. The work of the region is done throughout the year by committees and by an executive that meets regularly, but once a year the whole regions gathers - clergy plus lay members from each congregation in our Region.



In 2020, 2021, and 2022 we had to shift our annual meeting to Zoom because of the pandemic. Zoom is great for running efficient meetings, but it is challenging to do all fo the other things that usually happen at these meetings - all of the talk and chatter that happens in our table groups and as we share meals together; the networking with other churches; singing and worshipping together.



And so it was a delight last year to be able to gather in-person again. It was only in 2019 that we moved to this new church structure where Regions replaced Presbyteries and Conferences. We are still getting to know each other as a Region (instead of being half of Maritime Conference) and figure out the "culture" of our Church Region, and it is so much easier to do that when we can all be together.



Bette Ashley (Bayswater-Summerville) and Joan Small (Long Reach) are going as well (our Westfield member isn't able to attend this year). Over the next several days, we will be worshipping with a couple hundred people; we will be listening to reports from the different committees of the region, as well as from different groups around the Maritimes; we will be voting on different matters ranging from the 2025 budget to electing Commissioners to attend the next General Council (the national decision-making body of the United Church of Canada); we will take part in workshops; we will be part of the ordination and commissioning of 5 new ministers.  It will be a very full couple of days with the Spirit dancing in our presence - a time that will be equally exhausting and energizing.



(Next week, I'll report back on some of the decisions that we will make.)



In terms of announcements for this week:

  • Worship this Sunday will be at Summerville at 9:15 and at Westfield and on Facebook Live at 11:15. Worship this week will be linked to the Annual Meeting - the theme for both the meeting and worship on Sunday will be "Daring to Dream; Faith in Action." The scripture reading (for those of you who like to read ahead) will be Jeremiah 29:11-14.

  • Next Wednesday will be our last bible study before the summer - 10am in the Westfield parlour - followed by a barbecue. As always, everyone is welcome to join us!

  • I rarely include non-Two Rivers Pastoral Charge announcements in here, but I'm making an exception this week for the Saint John Chorale concert coming up next Monday (June 3) at 7pm at St. Mark's United Church. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for students, and free for children (tickets are available at the door). The concert title is "Back to Broadway" - it's going to be a really fun concert. You can view the poster by clicking here. (And there is a Two Rivers connection, as I and a handful of other TRPC members sing with the Saint John Chorale, so you'll see us there!)

  • A reminder to Session Members that we are having our June meeting early this year - next Wednesday, June 5, at 6pm at Long Reach with a potluck supper.

  • Westfield Tellers - as I announced last Sunday, our Stewards are looking for people to volunteer to help count the offering after the service each week. You work in pairs, and if enough people volunteer, you would only need to do this once a month or so. It is a relatively small job these days as the majority of our offering comes in through PAR, but it is important that we have 2 people each week. If you are interested in adding your name to the list of volunteers, please talk to Joe Brooks or Donnie Michaelson.

And that's all that I have for announcements this week.



For my closing thought, I usually like to share something that I've been watching or reading or listening to this week, and this week I've been spending some time watching movies as I've been planning out our summer sermon series. Here's a clip from one of the movies that we'll be watching and discussing. Pride is a 2014 film that explores a strange alliance that happened in 1984 between striking miners in Wales and the queer community in London in the early years of the AIDS epidemic. This clip captures both the awkwardness and the deep friendship that are at the heart of this movie - it made me both smile and tear up as I watched it. In this clip, one of the strike leaders has traveled from Wales to London and is invited to a gay bar to thank the community for their support - you can watch it by clicking 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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