May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you always!
I've been thinking a lot about hope in the past week - partly because our Sunday morning readings over the next several weeks are very focused on hope, and partly because I think that hope is something that we (and the whole world) need right now. And when I'm talking about hope, I'm not talking about wishful thinking - I'm talking about the confidence that things are going to get better. Hope is, as someone put it at our daily check-in this afternoon, the thing that gives us the strength and the courage to keep on going.
There is so much pain and suffering in the world today - suffering from Covid-19, suffering from isolation and loneliness and fear, suffering from racism and homophobia and transphobia. But we can contrast all of this with God's vision for the world. Last Sunday, we read a vision of a time where there is no more hunger or thirst, when God will wipe away all of our tears (Revelation 7:16-17).
And at today's Facebook Live Check-in, without any planning, we read Psalm 10 together. This is a psalm that begins at a point of lament - lamenting the pain and suffering that those with power can inflict on the poor and the vulnerable, seemingly without facing any consequences. But from this place of lament, the psalm moves to a remembrance of God's promises - that God will hear the desires of the meek, strengthen their hearts, hear their cry, and do justice for everyone who is oppressed so that there is no more fear in the world. What a perfect reading for a time like this!
Our theme of hope will be continuing this Sunday. We will be reading Jesus's parable of the 10 bridesmaids, 10 "wise" and 10 "foolish" as they wait for the bridegroom (Matthew 25:1-13). I find this to be a very challenging parable to read since the characters don't act in very kind or loving ways, but we will be exploring what it is that they (and we) are waiting for. Worship will be at 9:15 at Summerville, 11:15 at Westfield, and 11:15 livestreamed on the Two Rivers Pastoral Charge Facebook page. Both services will include an Act of Remembrance as this is the Sunday before Remembrance Day, and a wreath will be laid.
A couple of other announcements to pass along:
Tickets for the Westfield Remembrance Day Turkey Dinner are now sold out! If you would like to volunteer to help that day, or contribute financially to offset the cost of the turkeys, please contact Judy at 647-1849.
Our White Gift Sundays are beginning this week! For the full outline of the next 6 weeks - what organizations we are partnering with, as well as what gifts they are requesting - please click this link. On Nov. 8 and 15, our gifts will be in support of Coverdale: "The pandemic has caused Coverdale Centre, which is a safe place for all women, to move twice so far. One more move is probably going to happen in the New Year, which will be into a larger home so that Covid protocols can be followed for a greater number of women. The skills programs and wellness programs offered to women bring about healing, change and growth in a safe environment." White Gift Request: Gift cards to stores like Wal-Mart, Sobeys, Superstore, Giant Tiger, etc. Please tape the "activation slip" from the cashier to the gift cards.
You still have a week and a half to read Brother by David Chariandy, ahead of our discussion on Sunday November 15 (7pm at Long Reach)!
And I think that's it for today! As we move into this season of longer nights and shorter days, may your hope be sustained, may the peace of Christ fill your heart, and may you receive and extend kindness to everyone you meet (including yourself).
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."