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Musings, Dec 2nd 2018: Beauty of Hope

Advent Blessings!

Yesterday was such a rich and beautiful experience: the Christmas decorations at both

Churches including the Hope banner at Upper Sackville and the Advent Art created by Luke Francis at Sackville – add in special music by Jennie, Susan, Julia and the choir and you have a feast for the senses!

Thank you to all who contribute to making our Advent and Christmas gatherings extra special with decorations, candles, wreaths and cookies and treats.  Your efforts enhance in significant ways the experience of holy mystery!

The Worship and Sanctuary Committee is inviting you to continue to building on the theme at the Sackville United Church by bringing a photography of a special Christmas memory and placing it on one of the four pillars of Advent: Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. You can bring your photo any Sunday or during the week when the office is open.

Another significant contribution to our Advent season are the paintings by Luke Francis.  I commissioned these paintings in order to highlight the intersection of art and spirituality, support a local artist and… to simply add beauty to the gathering space.  I think the effort has been successful on all counts!

It was interesting, later that afternoon as Luke and I were talking about his work and the inspiration he found in stars and light and the dark blue sky I became aware of a new Advent Calendar published by the Atlantic: 2018 Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar.  So very beautiful and awe inspiring – as are Luke’s paintings!

In commissioning the paintings I provided the blank canvases.  Luke and I had agreed that he would sell the paintings and make a donation in the amount of the cost of the 4 blank canvases to the Mission and Service Fund and the balance would be his to keep.

There was much excitement about the paintings on Sunday and it was generally agreed that the four paintings belong together and that Sackville United Church should have a special fund-raiser to purchase them.  On Wednesday evening the Executive will consider the following request:

On Hope Sunday of Advent, the congregation was treated to a work of art by local artist, Luke Francis – 4 paintings representing Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. We understand that these will hang in the sanctuary through the Season of Advent, and then they are to be sold. It is our hope that our congregation will purchase these 4 paintings as a set, and keep them in our sanctuary to inspire and deepen our faith for years to come.

It is requested that the congregation be invited to give this Christmas gift to our church community by making extra offerings, as we are able, during the Advent season to cover the cost of the paintings ($600) and that funds over this amount be used to fund other important projects too.

While I had originally spoken for one of the paintings I am most prepared to forgo a personal purchase in order to see them remain together in the Church and, I will make a donation toward their purchase for the Church community.

I fully expect that the Executive will have an announcement for us on Sunday!

’til then,


Looking Ahead

I am in the office today and have a series of meetings this afternoon – one of which is the first of many seasonal celebrations!  This evening I look forward to joining with others at St. Paul’s Anglican for Advent Sacred Chanting at 7PM.

My work day will begin Tuesday afternoon with a meeting of the Sackville United Church Trustees followed by some pastoral visits.  On Tuesday evening I am looking forward to the UCW Christmas gathering at the Painted Pony!

On Wednesday morning I’ll be at the hospital for visits and then in the office until a meeting in Port Elgin with their Joint Needs Assessment Committee as part of my role with Presbytery.  The Queer Room will be open from 3:30 to 5:00PM and at 6PM I’ll meet with the Executive followed by a meeting with the Campus Community Social Justice Steering Committee at 7PM.

On Thursday morning I’ll be in Moncton for a meeting and hospital visits and that evening I’ll preside at the Annual Christmas Service of Remembrance at Campbell’s Funeral home at 7PM.

Friday morning I hope have some time to bake some cookies for the Cookie Walk and that evening I’ll take in the Grannie’s Soup Night at St. Paul’s followed by the Cookie Walk and other Moonlight Madness activities!  Hope to see you out and about!!

On Saturday… much to Kate’s relief we will finally get our Christmas tree up!!

And on Sunday I look forward to gathering with both communities as we continue our Advent Journey and open ourselves to peace.  I hope to see you at 9AM at Upper Sackville or at 11AM at Sackville!

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