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'm writing this, it is a few days before the Thanksgiving weekend. I've noticed a trend this year, and I wonder if it is because of the Covid restrictions that we've been living under since March - I've noticed in my e-mail inbox this week that various organizations and stores have been encouraging me to express my thanks in very real and tangible ways. (Yes, I know that this is a marketing strategy, but it is an interesting trend to observe.) The Thanksgiving campaign from Mission and Service is encouraging us to thank someone who has helped us by making a donation in their honour. One of the tea stores I shop at (online) is encouraging me to send one of their gift baskets as a way to say thanks.
On Thanksgiving, we all have an opportunity to reflect on the things that we are grateful for - to adopt an "attitude of gratitude," and I think that we ourselves are changed by the gratitude that we feel. Then any outward actions (e.g. an extra donation to Mission and Service in thanksgiving) are a reflection of that inward change that gratitude has made on us.
This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for all of you, the people of Two Rivers Pastoral Charge. I am grateful for the love that you have for one another, and for your communities. I am grateful for all of the ways that you make God's love known in the world. I am grateful that, working together, we can make the church a beacon of hope in our communities in this very challenging year. Thank you to all of you, for not just going to church but for BEING the church.
Sunday morning will be our Thanksgiving worship - 9:15 at Summerville, 11:15 at Westfield, and 11:15 livestreamed on the Two Rivers Pastoral Charge Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/tworiverspastoralcharge). This week, we get a bit of a reprieve from the challenging scripture lessons that we are encountering this season - we will be reading a story of Jesus healing 10 people who had leprosy, and the one who returned to say "thank you." (Luke 17:11-19)
Last Sunday, I introduced our Romero House Generosity Challenge. In the week that includes Thanksgiving (Oct. 12) and World Food Day (Oct. 16), the Church in the World committee is inviting you to reflect on everything that you have to be grateful for, and to consider the people in our world who don't have as much. Each day between Oct. 11 and Oct. 17, there is a challenge as well as a prayer, with all of the money collected going to Romero House (who has been working doubly hard since March to feed hungry people in Saint John).
The challenge was distributed in the bulletin last Sunday (and will be there again this Sunday), but I know that many of you aren't comfortable in the church building yet. If you would like to download a copy of this challenge, you can do so by clicking here. Boxes will be available in all 3 of our churches from Oct. 18-25 to collect your donations - if you aren't in church on either of those Sundays, you can drop it off at Westfield United any time that week (just make sure that the envelope is marked "Romero House Challenge" to make sure that it gets to the right place), or contact any member of the Church in the World committee and we can pick it up from you.
And I think that's it for today. I look forward to seeing you (in-person or online) soon!
Blessings to you and yours, today and always,