May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be always with you!
I hope that everyone had a safe and healthy Hallowe'en! I had to turn out my lights around 7:15 on Monday night, but by then, I had already had 60 kids to my door. I love seeing all of the different costumes, and I found the kids (and their adults) to be very friendly and talkative this year. Several kids commented on my "little pumpkins" (I had 4 pie pumpkins from Fullerton's lined up down my front steps), one asked if I had a puppy (he had seen the cat toys on the floor behind me), and my knowledge of the different Hogwarts house colours came in useful (I had a Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff come to my door in different groups).
Hallowe'en, apart from all of the spooky things, is also a good time for neighbourliness. It is an evening that is filled with joy and laughter. It is an evening when neighbours who may not see each other very often get to exchange "hellos" and "how-are-you-doings" and smiles. It is an evening where, no matter what the costume is, all children are equally welcomed at the door.
And all of this is a beautiful thing. I wonder if Hallowe'en might, in some ways, be an anticipation of God's vision for the world - a time of abundance and joy and caring and a welcome for everyone.
I do have a handful of announcements to pass along this week:
Confirmation Classes: it has been a while since we have offered Confirmation at Two Rivers Pastoral Charge (thank you, Covid), but we have a group of people who are eager to begin. We are going to meet on Thursday afternoons, 4:30-6 pm, at Westfield United Church, beginning on November 10; with confirmation planned in each of our churches on December 11 and 18. I am envisioning a diverse group gathering, including teens who haven't been confirmed, adults who haven't been confirmed, people coming to the United Church from other faith traditions, and adults who were confirmed at a younger age who would like a chance to explore questions of faith from their current point in life. Confirmation, in the United Church, is strongly connected with baptism. When a baby is baptized, their parents make promises on their behalf; and with confirmation, a person has the opportunity to make these same promises on their own behalf. (When a teen or an adult is baptized, baptism and confirmation usually happen together.) If you would like more information, please feel free to reach out to me!
Worship on Sunday: 9:15 at Summerville and 11:15 at Westfield and on Facebook Live. This Sunday, we will be wrestling with a very confusing story from the Gospel of Luke (Luke 20:27-40), but it will also be a communion service, and we will include an Act of Remembrance at the beginning of both services, as this is the Sunday before Remembrance Day.
White Gift Sundays: These will be beginning soon, on Sunday November 13 - I'll have more information about the specific requests from our partners for you soon!
Broadview Magazine Discussion: We will gather next Monday, November 7, at 10am in the Westfield Parlour to discuss the July/August issue. Everyone is welcome!
Thank you to everyone who volunteered at or bought tickets for the Peninsula community roast beef dinner hosted by Bayswater-Summerville UC, Long Reach UC, and St. Bridget's RC Churches! The dinner was a great success! (With an extra special thank you to Judy and Gary Gamble for organizing it and bringing our three churches together.)
UCW Bake Sale: The Westfield UCW are going to be having a Christmas Bake Sale on Saturday November 26 from 9-12 (or until all of their delicious baking is sold out) at Westfield United Church.
Ida's Cupboard: One of the last projects that Ida MacPherson was working on for our Church in the World Committee was little free pantries for all of our churches. These are not meant to replace our local food banks, but rather to supplement them since we know that they have limited hours in which they are open. Bette is working with a carpenter on the Peninsula to build the pantries for Long Reach and Summerville, and thank you to Doug Thorne from Westfield for building and installing a pantry in front of Westfield United Church. The idea is "take what you need; leave what you can." And so you are welcome to leave any non-perishable food in the cupboard when you are at the church, and please help us to spread the word in our community that this is here. Dry goods are best (so we don't need to worry about things freezing when the weather gets colder) - e.g. pasta, Kraft Dinner, rice, dry soup mixes, nuts - though before winter, canned goods can also be left.
And that is it for announcements this week! For a closing thought, one of my newly discovered favourite Facebook pages is called Purr.in.ink and it combines cat humour with a message of love and self care - you can see one of their recent posts by clicking here. Never forget that you are loved more deeply than you can ever know!
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."