May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be always with you!
Hallowe'en is coming up this weekend, and I hope that everyone has a fun and safe (and Covid-free) celebration! We will be talking about this more on Sunday, but did you know that the name Hallowe'en comes from the Christian festival of All Saints Day which falls on November 1 each year? (Even though many of the foundations of Hallowe'en pre-date Christianity and go back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain which ushers in the darkest season of the year.)
November 1 is All Saints Day. So the night before would be "All Saints Eve" or "All Holy Eve" or "All Hallows Evening" or "Hallowe'en."
This year, All Saints Day falls on a Sunday, so we will be recognizing it in our worship on Sunday. We will remember all of the saints who came before us, and we will remember that we are also saints - all of God's people are saints.
It will also be our first communion service since re-opening our buildings for Sunday worship, so I wanted to say a few words about the logistics of how this is going to happen safely in this season of Covid.
In order to keep our "bubbles," our Elders won't be circulating with the bread and juice, and we won't be inviting you forward to receive it. Instead, if you are attending worship in our buildings, we invite you to bring your own communion elements with you to worship on Sunday. To eat, you can bring a piece of bread or a cracker or a biscuit or anything else that you have at home. You can also bring some grape juice with you, or water, or another type of juice. (And if you forget, we will have some communion packages of grape juice in a condiment cup and a cube of bread - prepared by a volunteer wearing a mask with freshly washed hands - available near the bulletins for you to pick up when you arrive.)
(If you are going to be part of our Facebook congregation, it will be the same as it has been since April - you are invited to have your elements prepared at home so that you can join us in the virtual space when we come to the communion part of the service.)
When we come to the communion part of the service, I will be inviting you to mirror all of my actions - whether you are worshiping with us in-person or on Facebook. We will eat and drink together, at home and in the church building, trusting that the Holy Spirit isn't limited by distance or time.
Our services this Sunday will be at 9:15 at Long Reach, 11:15 at Westfield, and 11:15 on the Two Rivers Pastoral Charge Facebook page. (Don't forget that Saturday night is the time change - you get an extra hour to sleep in on Sunday!)
I have a couple of extra announcements to pass along regarding things coming up:
Monday November 2 at 10am is our Broadview Discussion for the November issue - we will be meeting in the Parlour at Westfield. (And don't forget - if you want to subscribe or renew your subscription, get in touch with Joanne Yorke!)
White Gift Sundays - our Church in the World committee has decided to do White Gift Sundays with the same format as last year, stretching it out over 6 weeks - 2 weeks each in support of Coverdale, Hestia House, and Avenue B Harm Reduction. The full schedule will be in the bulletin on Sunday (including the wish list from each of the 3 organizations) and circulated by e-mail and on Facebook. First up is going to be Coverdale (collecting on November 8 and 15) and they are asking for gift cards to stores like WalMart, Sobeys, Superstore, Giant Tiger, etc. Please remember to tape the cashier's receipt to the card.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our Romero House Gratitude Challenge - as a Pastoral Charge, we raised $870.25 that will go to help feed hungry people in Saint John.
And I think that's it for this week. Happy Hallowe'en to all of you who will be celebrating; and Blessed All Saints Day to all of us - remember that you are one of those saints, and that God loves you more 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."