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Musings, On Being In The Yellow Again & Yellow Snow: December 7th 2020

I woke this morning, and drove to work in Region 1, which is again yellow. And this morning, the photos widget on my iPhone reminded me of another, now long past, but still funny memory of yellow on this day!

Richard’s Landing, St. Joseph’s Island, ON

The memory centers around Sung Chul-Choi and I in a little mom and pop motel (The Clansman Motel) in Richard’s Landing on St. Joseph’s Island, Ontario, where we’d travelled to attend a meeting of Algoma Presbytery, after what I think was the first snow of the season.

First, a little about Sung. Sung had come to Canada from Korea with his wife Lara and two children, to study engineering, and was called to ministry through his association with a United Church congregation in Montreal.

With his family still in Montreal, Sung arrived in Sault Ste Marie in September to begin an eight-month internship with John Wesley United Church where I would serve as his educational supervisor. Sung was also a gifted soloist and had performed with the National Chorus of Korea. During his time at John Wesley, in addition to preaching and offering excellent pastoral care as he grew in ministry among us and with us, he taught the congregation to sing “Come Now O God…” and other hymns in Korean.

But back to that day in December!

Sung Chul-Choi with Anna and I and Justin and Zack on the occasion of Zack’s baptism

We arrived at the little motel after having picked up some post meeting, evening refreshments, at the local Beer Store. After unpacking I proceeded to put the six bottles of beer in the bathroom sink and suggested that Sung go and get some snow to put in the sink to chill the beer down. As he left the room I called out, ‘Don’t get any yellow snow…’. He turned and looked at me, with a somewhat puzzled look on his face, but then carried on with the task, putting a few handfuls of snow around the bottles in the sink.

Later that evening, after a full meeting, and a memorable dinner hosted, as was the case so often in those days, by the UCW, we retired to our room, joined by a couple of colleagues from the area. The beer was pretty well gone and perhaps that is why Sung disappeared into the washroom – whereupon we heard laughter – uproarious laugher! The door flew open and there stood Sung, laughing – and between bursts of laugher, holding his belly and saying, ‘Don’t get any yellow snow…!!!’

We were still laughing at this memory a year and half later when I travelled to Lennoxville, PQ to participate in his ordination service and lay hands on him, alongside former Moderator, the Right Reverend Sung Chul-Lee!

If only avoiding the yellow snow were all we had to worry about this December!

Friends, with the return of Region 1 to the Yellow level of recovery, as per the decision of the government of New Brunswick, upon the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the congregations of the Sackville Pastoral Charge will return, on Sunday December 13th, to in-person Sunday Gatherings, 9AM at Upper Sackville United Church and 11AM at Sackville United Church. Accordingly, our live stream on Facebook Live will shift to 11AM as well. In addition, all other scheduled in-person gatherings will resume. The Advent and Christmas schedule has been updated and you can view it here.



Looking Ahead

Today I am in the office in the morning and then to Moncton for meetings.  Tuesday will again have me in the office in the morning, taking part in the Preacher’s Help Group followed by time in front of the computer editing the online Christmas Eve service that we are preparing.  Wednesday will have me working from home for most of the day – doing – you guessed it, more editing!  At 7PM I will offer leadership as the Advent Study Group gathers on Zoom.  On Thursday I will be in the office working on a reflection for Sunday.  Bea will join me in the morning and Jennie will be there in the afternoon! (Maybe we’ll take advantage of being yellow again and go for lunch together!) 

Friday and Saturday will be days off! I hope.

And on Sunday I am so looking forward to seeing people in our church buildings again!!! It will indeed be the Sunday of Joy! 9AM at Upper Sackville United and 11AM at Sackville United (and on Facebook Live). And then, at 2PM we’ll gather for A Virtual Christmas Tea using Zoom! I do hope you find the time to join us! Finally, at 7PM I will host the third of four Christmas Stories with Rev. Lloyd on Zoom and Facebook Live where I’ll share in conversation with our little ones and read the Joyful Book by Todd Parr.

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