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 sitting in my office at Westfield at the end of the day on Wednesday afternoon, getting ready not only for the Session and Official Board meetings this evening, but also for a week of Study Leave that begins tomorrow. I'm not going anywhere for this leave - I had considered popping over to Halifax for a couple of days on the weekend to visit friends, but given the current Covid outbreak there, I think that I'm going to stick close to home. I have a couple of books that I'm hoping to read in the next week, related to church-ing and building community in online or virtual spaces.
That is something that I have been thinking a lot about since March - what does community look like when we aren't all in the same physical space, but we are connected in a virtual space? How is God present in that virtual space, and is it different than how God is present with us when we gather in physical spaces? How can we build community and be present with one another when we can't be physically present in the same place? These are some of the questions that I'm hoping to explore this week.
I do have a couple of announcements to pass along this week:
Westfield people - from Judy Sheaves - We are sponsoring 14 families this Christmas, and Christmas Exchange has suggested gift cards instead of the things that you would normally give. You can buy your own gift cards (please attache the activation slip to the card), or make a monetary donation - these must be marked "Christmas Family", and can be placed in the collection plate (if you are attending worship in-person), or dropped off to Margaret Stackhouse at the Grand Bay Home Hardware. Donations must be received by December 13, as delivery is beginning on December 14. (Bayswater-Summerville and Long Reach people - Ida, Bette, and Anne have been communicating with you already about the peninsula families - you can talk to them for more details!)
Christmas letters were printed last week, and thank you to Elaine for formatting and printing those. Long Reach - many of you picked yours up last Sunday, and Beth sorted out deliver/mailing of the rest of them. Westfield - they were at the church on Sunday, and will be there again this Sunday - if you are at the church, please consider picking up your neighbour's letter and delivering it, to help us save on postage. Bayswater-Summerville - I dropped them off at the church yesterday so they will be there on Sunday, and delivery/mailing will be arranged for anyone who isn't there in-person. If we don't have your address, and you would like to receive a copy of the letter, please e-mail Elaine in the office (firstname.lastname@example.org) and she will pop one in the mail to you.
Worship on Sunday will be 9:15 at Summerville, 11:15 at Westfield, and 11:15 on Facebook Live - as a special treat this week, Ross and Josie will be leading the service, and sharing their enthusiasm for Mission and Service. We're approaching the end of the year, and I know that Ross would really like to reach our goal of $18,000 coming from Two Rivers Pastoral Charge to support the Mission and Service of the church across Canada and around the World - last year, we missed our goal by less than $50!
Bible Study next week is cancelled, due to my study leave, and will resume the following Wednesday (Dec. 2) at 10am at Westfield. Our Facebook check-ins will continue while I am away - I have pre-recorded these, and they will post at 1pm beginning tomorrow on the Two Rivers Pastoral Charge Facebook page. In case of any Pastoral Emergencies in the next week, you are still able to call me, as I am not going away.
And finally a reminder about masks - because the church is an "indoor public space," masks are required at all times when you are in the church, as per the provincial law that came into effect just before Thanksgiving weekend. You must have a mask on in the church when you attend worship, are at a meeting, or are coming to meet with anyone at the church, even if you are able to keep 2m apart.
And I think that is it for today. Next week's mid-weekmessage will be coming out on Thursday which will be my first day back from Study Leave.
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."