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Musings, On advent excitement

I know, its not Advent yet - but as I return to the office this morning following two weeks of Study Leave I am so very excited for all that is unfolding among us!.

Yes, the Christmas lights are up (and yes, there was yet another burnt out string that we had to replace – after they were attached to the highest point of the roof!). But this is not what has my heart pumping wildly…

Yes, a week this Sunday we will be embarking on the first steps of the Advent Journey exploring the theme ‘Close to Home’ – and thus will begin the countdown to Christmas! Fun yes, but even this is not what has me giddy…

What has me so excited for the days that lie ahead are the glimpses of new beginnings and the tender shoots of new faith that seem to be sprouting all around us. Let me share with you just a few.

A reconnection and a baptism. Back in March of 2020 I received a Facebook message from a young woman, Caylee Jobin. Caylee had been a part of the youth group at the Acme United Church where I served as a new minister from 1991 to 1994. Caylee was now a new mom and as the pandemic unfolded around us, she and her husband connected with Sackville United Church via our Facebook page. Caylee and I stayed in regular contact. She sent pictures of her son watching our online gatherings and took part in other online gatherings. This past Sunday her newborn daughter Riley was baptised at the Acme United Church.

A new connection and a renewal of baptismal faith. Back in June of this year an individual by the name of Dianna ‘liked’ the Sackville United Church Facebook page and I reached out and invited further contact. I learned that Dianna and her wife Chantal had been participating with us online for the last little while and in September, after they’d been to a few in-person Sunday Gatherings, the three of us met in person for a visit. I was so deeply moved by their story as a couple and their individual stories – as I know you will be – when you hear Dianna’s story before she reaffirms her baptismal faith on Sunday and becomes a member of Sackville United Church.

A sense of creative energy. There are four creative projects in the works for this Advent that have involved multiple people and will serve to enhance our Advent and Christmas experience: the Cookie Walk, video recorded readings of The Greatest Christmas Pageant Ever, 4 video recorded Christmas stories for children and adults alike, and a musical and spoken word recording by the Sackville United Church Choir and others. There is so much creative energy among us!

A renewed energy and expansiveness. A few months ago the Executive put out an invitation for folk to consider serving on the Worship and Sanctuary Committee and the Executive. Three people stepped forward to serve on the Worship and Sanctuary Committee and four people stepped forward to serve on the Executive. Regrettably one person was unable to follow through due to work commitments, but this person remains engaged and committed and with the other six, contributes to a renewed energy within the governance structures of the congregation!

Friends, we have much to be thankful for as we stand at the threshold to the Advent season – we are indeed Close to Home.



Looking Ahead

I am in the office this morning and then this evening I will be attending the meeting the Trinity St. Stephen United Church Council as their Pastoral Charge Supervisor.

Tuesday morning will again see me in the office. At 10:30AM the Preacher’s Help Group will gather and in the afternoon, now that the circuit breaker is over, I’ll be arranging pastoral visits for the coming days and weeks, including two already scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

Wednesday morning, I have a Zoom meeting and over lunch and the early afternoon I hope to have at least two visits scheduled. Please call me if that might fit into your schedule. At 2PM I will again be at Trinity St. Stephen United Church attending a meeting of their Board of Trustees. Thursday will be a work from home day as I prepare for Sunday.

Friday and Saturday will be days off and on Sunday I look forward to gathering with you as we mark the final Sunday of the liturgical year, celebrating the renewal of baptismal faith and the welcome of new members by transfer.

Advance Notice! Join the Worship and Sanctuary Committee on Thursday November 25th

(American Thanksgiving) from 3PM – 6PM to trim the tree and decorate the Sanctuary for the Advent and Christmas season. At 5PM a simple meal will be shared in community! All are welcome!

In closing, I encourage you to visit our Advent & Christmas 2021 page, bookmark it and share it widely with your family and friends. The password to the recording page will be circulated next week. Until then, blessings!!

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