May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be always with you!
This is the first week of school for students and learners, young and old. A time of new beginnings. A time for a fresh start.
One of my favourite passages from the Old Testament (and yes, I have as many "favourite bible passages" as I have "favourite hymns"!) comes from Isaiah. God says (speaking through the prophet):
"Do not remember the former things,
or consider the things of old.
I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert."
While I think that it is OK to remember the former things of the past, the past can start weighing us down if we are constantly longing for things to go back to exactly the way that things were. (Think of the ancient Israelite people wandering in the desert wilderness for 40 years, longing to return to slavery in Egypt because it was what was familiar to them, compared to the unknown of the Promised Land.)
The God in whom we trust is a God of newness and a God of life. New things are always springing up out of what came before - after all, isn't that the heart of resurrection? And so my prayer for you as you begin whatever new things that you are beginning this September, is that the path that you follow be like a way in the wilderness, and that your new endeavours flourish like a river flowing through the desert. And that always, always, God is leading you and transforming you in this new way.
As it is September, I have number of announcements to share with you this week:
Church Picnic: The weather forecast is looking promising for Sunday! As a reminder, we aren't going to be having services in any of our church buildings this week (or online on Facebook) - instead our 3 congregations are going to gather together by the river (100 Admiral Lane, Long Reach) for a beautiful worship service together and potluck lunch. Bring your lawnchair, a plate and fork, your beverage of choice, and a potluck dish to share (and a sweater if it is cool on Sunday morning). If you want to see the poster, click here. Carpooling is strongly encouraged. is about a 20 minute drive from Brundage Point - after Yip's Cidar, before the Neck Road, turn left on to Admiral Lane and follow the balloons. If you are able to walk, you may need to park up the driveway a bit and walk in - there will likely be someone out there directing the parking! And please feel free to invite your friends, family members, and neighbours to join us.
Outdoor Concert: Peninsula folks are likely familiar with the New Kingston Trio (and if you attended Ida's funeral in July, you heard 2/3 of the trio with their guitars). They are going to be doing an outdoor concert on Sunday evening (September 11) from 6-8 at the home of Jen and Randy Wilson 1829 NB-845 - almost right at the end of the Pipertown Road in Summerville). Bring a lawn chair, snacks, drinks, and a sweater in case it cools off in the evening), as well as your singing voice to sing along with old (or new) favourites. This is a fundraiser for Bayswater-Summerville United Church, so donations will be collected at the concert.
Affirming Team: We are gathering for a meeting tomorrow, Thursday September 8, at 7pm in the Westfield Parlour. We will be doing some planning for a special Affirming-focused worship service coming up in October, as well as talking about what directions we might want to go as an Affirming community of faith. It has been a couple of years since this group was very active, and the committee would like to open this meeting up to anyone across our churches with an interest in Affirming who would like to attend. This is a journey we are on, not a destination that we reached in 2017!
Broadview Magazine: We are going to gather on Monday September 11 to discuss the September issue of Broadview Magazine - 10am in the Westfield parlour. Everyone is welcome - even if you don't subscribe, you can read many of the articles on their website by clicking here.
Bible Study: We are resuming our weekly gatherings next Wednesday, September 14, at 10 am in the Westfield parlour. We are currently meandering our way through the Old Testament, looking for the overall story arc and wrestling with some of the more challenging stories we encounter. Everyone is welcome - no previous experience is necessary!
Official Board and Session: A reminder that our September meetings are coming up in 2 weeks on September 21 - 6:30 for Session and 7:30 for Official Board, both at Long Reach. I'm sure that Ross is going to be reaching out to committee chairs for your reports before too long, so if you are responsible for a report, you might want to start thinking about that now!
And lastly, as most of you know, Girl Guides and Scouts use the Westfield United Church building for their programming throughout the school year, and they are both going to be beginning next week.
All age groups for Girl Guides meet on Monday evenings, and meetings are open to all girls age 5-17. (And if you are over 17, they are also looking for leaders this year!) You are welcome to attend a meeting to decide if it is right for you before you register - registration is done online at www.girlguides.ca and if you have any questions, you can reach out to Debbie at 654-0726 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Scouting meets on Tuesday (Cubs, age 8-10), Wednesday (Beavers, age 5-7) and Thursday (Scouts, age 11-14) and is open to all children and youth. (Ventures age 15-17 and Rovers age 18-26 meeting time is still to be determined.) For more information, including how to register, you can click here to see the poster, or contact Kathy Calvin (aka "Malak") at 650-1949.
Like I said at the beginning - lots of announcements this week!
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."