May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be always with you!
I'm writing this e-mail the day after Remembrance Day - a Remembrance Day that looked very different than in previous years. The Legions were not able to hold services open to the public, and the annual roast beef lunch at the Moss Glen Legion also didn't happen this year.
But in the middle of things not being able to happen, new things emerged - and isn't that one of the themes for 2020? I suspect that more people that usual were able to watch the national Remembrance Day Ceremony from Ottawa. Our local Legions recorded their services and shared the video, possibly reaching more people than are able to attend in-person services. The Westfield Scouts organized their own Remembrance Day ceremony. And while the Westfield United annual turkey dinner couldn't proceed as a sit-down dinner, the drive-through version that happened yesterday was an overwhelming success!
(And before I leave the turkey dinner behind - a huge thank you to Judy Sheaves for organizing this, and for figuring out how it could happen safely this year; as well as thank you to all of the volunteers who cooked, served, ran up and down those stairs and out to the parking lot, directed traffic, and promoted the dinner!)
I think that the Holy Spirit has been busy in the world this year, inspiring creativity, helping us to discern what is important in life, and drawing us together even when we can't be physically close to each other. I've said it before and I'll say it again - God did not send this pandemic, but God is still working in the world, even in pandemic circumstances.
Worship this Sunday will be at Long Reach (9:15) and Westfield (11:15), with the Westfield service streamed to Facebook beginning just before 11:15. Remember how I mentioned that we are going to be having some challenging scripture readings this fall? Last Sunday we tackled one challenging parable (the "wise" and "foolish" bridesmaids) and this Sunday we get to read another one (the parable of the talents - Matthew 25:14-30). Even though it's a tough reading, I think that it is one that applies to us when we are living through difficult circumstances, just as last week's parable did.
I also want to take a moment to thank everyone who has stayed home on Sunday morning (and throughout the week) when you have been feeling unwell. It is good practice always to stay home when you are sick so that you don't share your germs with anyone else, but it is extra important this year with Covid. We need to work extra hard to keep our neighbours and our church family healthy this year. We ask those screening questions at the door for a reason, so even if you know that "it's just a cold" or "it's my allergies acting up" - thank you for staying home rather than trying to cheat on the screening questions!
At our last Session meeting, we worked out a plan for what we will do if I wake up on Sunday morning with a cold (not that I'm planning to get sick, but most winters I end up with one or two colds... though maybe not this year because I'm wearing a mask all the time and not hugging anyone), so don't worry about not being able to make it last minute, even if you are supposed to be involved in the service as a greeter or reader or singer. Just get in touch with me or with someone on Session, and we can adapt!
I have a couple of announcements or reminders for the week ahead:
White Gifts - this Sunday we are still collecting for Coverdale - they have asked for gift cards to stores like Wal-Mart, Sobeys, Superstore, Giant Tiger, etc. that they can give to the women who are staying with them.
Church in the World book study - the date is finally here! After postponing it in the spring, we will be gathering on Sunday evening (Nov. 15) at Long Reach at 7pm to discuss the book Brother by David Chariandy. Don't forget to bring your mask.
And finally a reminder to Session and Official Board members - we have our meetings next Wednesday (Nov. 18) at Westfield - 6:30 for Session and 7:30 for the Official Board. If you haven't already, please get your reports to Beth, and any agenda items to Chris (Session) or Ross (Official Board).
And I think that's it for today!
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."