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Musing... On the New Thing God Is Doing...

Last night almost a dozen of us gathered at the Church to participate in the livestream of the 99th Anniversary Service for the United Church of Canada that served to kick off the Centennial celebration. One of the text was from Isaiah and the words, “I am doing a new thing…” have been echoing in my mind ever since.


Truth be told, those words have been an unconscious guiding force over the past weeks as the Collaborative Ministry Pilot Project Commission has gained its footing and set about the work it is tasked with.  So much of a force I didn't even think of gathering as a community to participate in the national service... I was too focused on the Commission meeting that was scheduled for 7PM on same Sunday night! Thank you to Catherine Gaw for suggesting that we gather to participate in the service together! I made it to the Commission meeting as the final hymn was being sung!


The theme for the liturgy (13 pages and over 2 hours long) was Seeds for Our Future. You can watch it here. I found myself particularly moved by the Prayer of Confession and the Words of Assurance that were accompanied with the actions of removing stones and planting of flowers by the children who were present.


Prayer of Confession:

Loving God, in the fields of our lives and the life of our church, not all of the ground is ready to receive your seeds of hope.

Let us make room for love.

There are places where the soil is so rocky that the good life you intended is choked.

Let us make room for love.

As we prepare for your new seeds, help us to clear the rocks and tend the ground on which we live.

Let us make room for love…


We name some of the obstacles that have impeded/prevented the seeds of love from flourishing:


Stones of fear and hatred, when we have taught hate instead of love (e.g., White supremacy, moral superiority, homophobia, sexism, racism, antisemitism, ableism).


Stones of injustice and evil, when we have oppressed other people (e.g., forced adoption homes, Japanese internment camps, residential schools).


Stones of silence and ignorance, when we have not boldly denounced injustice (e.g., classism, advocacy work, environmental racism, colonialism, or failing to care for seeds that have been planted by misusing or failing to nurture the gifts of others).


Stones of pride and arrogance, when we have prioritized power and possessions over the gospel and of people, when we have relied on ourselves and our own understandings, failing to live in community as the body of Christ.

Stones of disrespect and cruelty, when we have failed to reconcile and be in good relations with the earth and with each other.


As we reflect on this pile of stones, may they serve as a marker of where we have been, a remembrance of the things we wish to change, and a signpost for the direction in which we wish to travel together further.


Gracious God, allow the fields of our hearts and lives to be gardens of your new hope and love. All of this we pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.


And then, later in the liturgy there was opportunity to reflect with the Moderator, the Rt. Rev. Carmen Lansdowne, on what we need to celebrate and then let go of? What needs to die? What are the resources we have been given that we are hoarding? What hopes and joys are we called to plant in the world today? How are we called to plant the seeds of the gospel in our time and place?


We, together with the communities of Central and Visions United Churches have planted this new possibility for ministry and the Commission has begun to advertise for the additional staff person(s). Visit and click on the graphic that was created by Terry Hawkes of Visions United Church! Read the document: A Collaborative Ministry Opportunity and share it with ministry personnel who you think may be interested.


God is doing a new thing… through us and others!



Looking Ahead

I am in the office this morning. The first few hours have been devoted to items related to the Collaborative Ministry Pilot Project, and before lunch I have a pastoral visit scheduled. After lunch I will be doing hospital and nursing home visits.


Tomorrow I am claiming back some overtime and on Wednesday I will be in the office in the morning and out doing pastoral visits in the afternoon.


Thursday will be devoted to crafting a liturgy and reflection for Sunday and on Friday, in addition to visits at the hospital in Moncton I will be gathering supplies for the Parade on Saturday and our BBQ on Sunday!


Saturday is the Cumberland PRIDE Parade. Gather at 2 Fleming St. at noon to assist in decorating the float, at 54 Victoria St., at 1PM to participate in the parade (sitting on or walking with the float) – note that the parade begins at 2PM.


Sunday is Chill and Grill at Truemans Blueberry Farm. Those needing a ride and those able to provide rides are asked to gather at the Church at 10:30AM.  The service will begin at 11AM at Truemans Blueberry Farm and the BBQ will begin around noon.  Please let the office know if you are coming and what you wish to eat and if you wish to have attraction tickets.  We will be providing numbers to the farm on Thursday afternoon! The weather is looking awesome! Hope to see you there!

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