May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be always with you!
It was only when typing the subject line for this e-mail that I realized today's date - I had to look it up to see when autumn begins (neither calendar in my office tells me the seasons) and apparently today is the last day of summer, making tomorrow the start of autumn. (Which, in this part of the world at least, looks like it might be ushered in with a bang as post-tropical-storm Fiona is forecasted to arrive this weekend.)
I think that autumn is probably my favourite season. I love the cooler nights, the changing trees, and the blue, blue skies that we can get at this time of year. (And of course in church-land, we have Advent, my favourite church season, to look forward to!)
There is a meme that I see circulating on Facebook every year at this time that goes, "The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go." Are there things in your life that you have been holding on to (for whatever reason) that you feel it is time to let go of? Are there things in our church (either physical things or things that we do) that have served us well in the past but it is time to let go of?
This Sunday, we are going to be reading about the ancient Israelite people on the brink of exile. They are about to lose everything - their homes, their communities, their temple. And yet even there in exile, after losing everything, God is still with them. Before the exile, the people believed that God resided in the temple, but after the temple was destroyed and the people were taken into exile in Babylon, far away from Jerusalem, they came to realize that God was there with them as well.
It can hurt to let go of things, but it can also be beautiful when our knowledge (our heart-knowledge even more than our head-knowledge) of who God is grows as a result of the process.
I have a couple of announcements to pass along for this week:
Worship on Sunday will be at 9:15 at Summerville and at 11:15 at Westfield and on Facebook Live. We will be reading a passage from just before the people go in to exile - Jeremiah 32:1-15 - and what could possibly possess Jeremiah to buy a piece of property at the very moment when the world around him is falling apart?
This Sunday is also going to mark the return of the Westfield United Church Choir after a bit of a pause! We welcome the choir back, and we give thanks to Bertis for his ongoing music leadership both in the church and across our Pastoral Charge.
Sunday School kicked off last week and will continue every week at Westfield, and every 2nd week at Long Reach during the service. Ken is looking forward to getting to know the younger members of our congregation better!
At Bible Study this morning, several of us were commenting on how much we look forward to our Wednesday morning gatherings. It is amazing to see the direction our conversation goes each week - this morning we read about Moses and God conversing at the burning bush (Exodus 3:1 - 4:17), and our conversation included every-day holy moments, how we might react to a burning bush, kids magic kits, how can we express reverence, and what would happen if Moses accidentally dropped his staff that turned into a snake and just how would he secure it when traveling! We gather each Wednesday at 10am in the Westfield parlour, and everyone is welcome to join us. No bible study experience is necessary!
The next issue of Broadview Magazine (October/November) arrived in mailboxes this week, and we will be gathering at 10am on Monday October 3 in the Westfield parlour to discuss it. If you don't subscribe, you can still read many of the articles in this issue by clicking here.
Remembrance Day is coming up soon, along with the Westfield United Turkey Dinner. Judy and Dave Sheaves are looking for some volunteers to help with the leadership of this dinner - for more information, please contact them at 647-1849.
And finally - looking ahead a week - on Sunday October 2, in addition to celebrating Worldwide Communion Sunday, we are also going to be celebrating our Affirming ministry and re-committing ourselves to the journey that is becoming more and more affirming. Ross Sherwood is going to be preaching at both services (adapting a sermon that he preached at Fundy St. Lawrence Dawning Waters Region's annual meeting this spring as we celebrated becoming an Affirming Region). You are invited to wear your brightest, most rainbow-coloured outfits that day! (I may have to pull out the rainbow face paints that we had at the pride parade, in case anyone wants a rainbow on their cheek!)
And I think that is it for this week.
As a closing thought, related to my opening reflection this week, I want to share a song with you that always pops into my heart at this time of year. There is a line in it that goes, "the leaves haven't even started falling / already there's such a chill in the air." The leaves will start to fall, but the world will still be beautiful even when all of the leaves are gone. You can listen by clicking here.
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."