It’s the last Monday of the second last month of the year… two months from today Christmas 2020 will be but a memory and we’ll be marching (or maybe fumbling and groping our way in the dark) toward a New Year.
I must confess that I find myself feeling ever more anxious these days, what with rising case numbers in the Spain and Italy, the United States and closer to home in Ontario and Quebec, the colder weather that will drive us all to spend more and more time in closer quarters and the looming Advent and Christmas season that will have us all desiring to be with family and friends… I’m worried – perhaps unreasonably so? Perhaps not?
In these moments I try to take a moment to be still, focus on my breathing, and ponder my sphere of control and influence. What is within my control? What choices can I make that may contribute to the safety of those I love and share life with? How can I use what power and influence I have to contribute to the safety the communities I am a part of?
Each morning, I start my day in the office with The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have by Mark Nepo. The reading for October 24th began with a quote from Lao-Tzu
Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.
I’m certain that Lao-Tzu would not have me rejoice in the circumstances of a world-wide pandemic, but what if instead of the external world he is referring to my internal world – that what I have is enough: my control and my sphere of influence?
And, as I think about my internal world, I cannot help but think about all of those who have shaped and influenced me – the saints on whose shoulders I stand, the ones who have loved me, encouraged me and challenged me. I am so very blessed – there is nothing lacking.
I hope you’ll participate in our Facebook Live All Souls… All Saints Gathering on Sunday November 1st at 7PM by sharing a photo and the name of a person or persons who has positively influenced your life. You can send the name and photo of such (or just the name) to firstname.lastname@example.org and they’ll be included in the photo montage.
Today I am in the office for meetings and to the hospital for pastoral visits.
Tuesday morning I look forward to gathering again with the Preacher’s Help Group at 10AM and then spending some time dreaming about Advent and Christmas with Jennie and scheduling pastoral visits for the coming weeks. Tuesday evening I hope to take part in the Kitchen Sink series as offered by Affirm.
Wednesday will have me offering http://www.psalms.com in the morning and then, in a couple of meetings in the afternoon.
Thursday will be an office day finalizing the liturgy for Sunday and beginning a reflection before meeting with the Worship and Sanctuary Committee at 3PM for our first meeting since February in which we hope to begin to put some plans in place for Advent and Christmas.
Friday and Saturday will be days off and on Sunday I look forward to gathering again at Upper Sackville United at 9AM and Sackville United and with those on the Facebook Live stream at 11AM. And then we’ll gather online again at 7PM for our Facebook Live All Souls… All Saints Gathering.
Finally, I am making plans for an Advent study to take place on Zoom using a resource created by Janice MacLean as part of her Prayer Bench Ministry. If this interests you, please drop me a note and let me know which evening would work for you: Monday or Wednesday at 7PM.