May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be always with you!
As I am writing this e-mail, I am sitting in the River Room at Long Reach United, looking out at the glorious fall colours, and the Wolastoq River flowing past at the bottom of the hill. On a day like today, it is easy to sense God's presence moving in every atom of creation - in the wind, in the leaves, in the river, and in the people we meet.
But one of the things that my faith gives me in the confidence to know that God is still present even when things are tough. God is not only present on a mild October day on the beautiful Kingston Peninsula, but God is also present in places of pain, places of heartache, places of loneliness, places of suffering.
At our 1pm Facebook Live check-ins, we have been reading our way through Paul's letter to the Romans over the past several weeks (we will be reading the last chapter this afternoon), and Paul reminds the church in Rome, as well as us, that "neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39). As a group, we started to re-write this passage for 2020 (which has been a tough year for all of us), and part of what we came up with was, "I am convinced that neither politics, nor elections, nor physical distancing, nor loneliness, nor masks, nor quarantine, nor illness, nor Covid-19, nor anything else in all of creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
I have just a couple of announcements to pass along this week:
I haven't been e-mailing out the Sunday morning bulletins since we re-opened our church buildings and shifted to a hybrid in-person/online service. I wasn't sure how many people were using the e-mailed bulletins (vs. following the service in the comments section), and I don't like to overwhelm your e-mail inbox. If you would like to receive an e-mailed bulletin each week, please let me know and I am happy to keep sending you one.
Tickets for the Westfield United Drive-Through Turkey Dinner on Nov. 11 are on sale now at the Grand Bay Home Hardware for $12/ticket. We are able to sell a few more tickets than usual this year since we don't need to worry about seating, but this dinner usually sells out so you probably don't want to wait for the last minute to get your tickets! Judy Sheaves is calling her usual volunteers to ask for help, but if you are interested in volunteering to help, or if you would like to make a financial contribution towards offsetting the costs of the dinner (this year, the costs are a bit higher than usual due to the takeaway containers), please get in touch with Judy (647-1849).
This is not church related (beyond the fact that it is important for all of us to get the 'flu shot this year to keep each other safe) but the Medicine Shoppe in Grand Bay is holding a drive-through 'flu shot clinic on Saturday morning in the parking lot of the Church of the Resurrection. You can find details on their Facebook page, or on the poster here.
Session met last night, and one of the things that we were figuring out is what our Advent and Christmas services are going to look like in this season of Covidtide. (Yes, I know that Christmas is still more than 2 months away, but since our Christmas letter will be going out at the end of November, we need to plan in advance!) Watch for details of our plans to unfold in the weeks ahead.
Sunday morning, our services will be at Summerville at 9:15, Westfield at 11:15, and livestreamed to the Two Rivers Pastoral Charge Facebook page at 11:15. This week, we get to read one of my favourite passages in the bible - Matthew 22:34-46 - which includes Jesus's commandment to love God and to love our neighbours as ourselves (the quote that you will find at the bottom of each of my e-mails, as well as on the back of my business card). It's a challenging reading, that should push us to ask questions like How can we love God, whom we can't see? Who is my neighbour? Do I need to love myself in order to love my neighbour? How can I love someone that I might not like? We will be wrestling with some of these questions on Sunday morning.
And I think that's it for today. I hope that you are all finding ways to enjoy this beautiful day, and that you remember that whatever you are up to, or wherever you are, God is with you and God loves you!
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." (Matthew 22:36-39)