May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be always with you!
How are you doing these days? I've been sensing a lot of anxiety in our world these past couple of weeks, with Covid case counts increasing (including in schools), and with increased restrictions being implemented. So how are you doing?
My #MentalHealthMonday post on Facebook this week was around self-care - and not self-care as in candles and bubble baths, but self-care as in caring for yourself as a precious and beloved child of God. I wrote:
"When we look at self-care, we have to look at ourselves as whole people:
Physical Self - e.g. go for a walk, eat a vegetable, kitchen dance party, make yourself go to bed at a reasonable time, book a doctor's appointment for that niggling concern
Spiritual Self - e.g. meditate, pray, attend worship (in-person or virtually), seek out a spiritual director
Emotional Self - e.g. have a deep conversation with a trusted friend about how you are feeling, seek counseling, watch a tear-jerker to have a good cry, watch a comedy special to have a deep belly-laugh
Mental Self - e.g. learn a new skill, do a jigsaw or crossword, get a handle on your finances (with professional help, if necessary), seek out professional help if you are coping with stress in unhealthy ways (e.g. with alcohol, drugs, or unhealthy behaviour)
So how are you really doing these days? How can you make a commitment (even if it is just baby steps) to care for the beautiful and resilient and beloved "self" that God has given to you to care for?
In terms of announcements this week, I have a couple to pass along:
Our Blessing of the Animals service will be this Saturday at 10am in the Westfield prayer garden. It will be a fairly short service, but I encourage you to dress for the weather. I look forward to meeting your animal companions (though feel free to bring something belonging to them for blessing if the animals don't travel well)! You can see the poster by clicking here.
Tomorrow is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Watch our Facebook page all day long (you don't need a Facebook account to see the posts) as we will be sharing Indigenous voices throughout the day - artists and storytellers and musicians and writers. The Eastern Circle event that had been planned for outside the Saint John City Hall has shifted to an online only event. The latest update says that it is happening at 2:15, though I would check back tomorrow to see. I don't know if it will be recorded for viewing after the event. You can access information and the event itself by clicking here.
Worship on Sunday will be at Long Reach (9:15) and Westfield (11:15), with livestreaming of the Westfield service on our Facebook page. This is Worldwide Communion Sunday, and so both services will be communion services. If you are joining worship on the livestream, I invite you to have your elements prepared at home (bread or cracker, and juice, water, tea etc) so that we can all eat and drink together. The whole service will be digging into themes of community and communion, with our bible reading being Genesis 2:18-24.
Our next Broadview Discussion gathering will be next Monday, October 3, at 10am in the Westfield Parlour. We will be discussing the October/November issue. If you aren't a subscriber, you can still read many of the articles by clicking here. Everyone is welcome!
And I think that is it for today. My closing thought this week comes from Lutheran pastor, Nadia Bolz-Weber. She writes: “We need to let people bless us. Maybe letting ourselves receive blessings is part of the Christian life. It’s just not one that people talk about much because we’re so busy worrying about what we should be doing for others.”
Know that you are blessed. Know that you are loved deeply by God, more deeply than you can ever know. You are beloved and precious. Let the blessings that you receive soak into your very soul.
And may God continue to bless you and everyone that you love, 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."