Three weeks from today I and others will be gathering up the ingredients for pancakes in preparation for Shrove Tuesday which takes place on February 21st, the day before Ash Wednesday that marks the beginning of Lent.
Our Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper will begin at Sackville United Church at 5PM and end around 6:30PM with some fun and games. Mark the date and time on your calendar and plan now to take part. Lloyd and Jennie will host an Ash Wednesday gathering the next day at 4PM. Resources for personal Lenten practices: devotional booklets and cards, will be available at both events. To reserve your copy please contact Jennie at the Office.
Our theme for Lent this year is Seeking: honest questions for deeper faith, and it comes to us from A Sanctified Art. Last week, in one of the discussion groups I am a part of, one of the participants asked if they could use the logo and remove the subtitle – having it simply read: Seeking. I was struck by this – perhaps an acknowledgement that they did not want to be honest in their questions? Or, perhaps a recognition that their faith is as deep as they want it to be?
Truth is, we do oftentimes shy away from the ‘honest questions’ – sometimes it’s because we are afraid of where the question may take us and other times it may be that we are simply trying to be polite and don’t want to upset others. It was an honest question that had me so bent out of shape over the last two weeks: “What would life look like and sound like if I could no longer hear anything?”
Thankfully, it would seem, there has been minimal reduction in my hearing at this point and the chirping birds in my head (tinnitus) seem to have found another place to roost – but I am glad I wrestled with the question, for in the wrestling I found support and care and a resilience that brought me through. May it so for you as you wrestle with your own honest questions.
This morning I am at my desk at home writing this little missal and some correspondence about upcoming meetings and events. I have a lunch meeting in Moncton followed by a pastoral visit with one of our members now living in Moncton.
Tuesday will be a full day at the office. In the morning I will gather with the Lectionary Study Group and after lunch I will take part in the gathering of Maritime Progressives via Zoom followed by pastoral visit to end the day.
Wednesday morning the world will stop for many of us as we honour Frank Oulton’s birthday! Make sure you say, “Go Leafs Go” when you see him! Seniors Sharing the Table will take place at 10AM as they welcome Open Sky participants and others to share the warmth of community with coffee and treats. At 1PM I will host a meeting of the Moncton area United Church Clergy Cluster at 1PM followed by visits at the Drew. At 6:30PM the Sackville United Church Executive will meet for its monthly Grounding Meeting.
On Thursday morning I’ll make my way to Moncton for a follow-up appointment with the Ear Nose and Throat Specialist and then return home to craft the liturgy and reflection for this coming Sunday – the Sixth Sunday after Epiphany. The Gospel text for this Sunday is Matthew 5:21-37 which contain what have come to be known as the ‘hard sayings’ of Jesus… if you want to see me work for my salary, join in-person or tune in this Sunday!
Friday and Saturday will be days off (not likely as I wrestle with the ‘hard sayings’) and on Sunday I look forward to gathering in community as we travel The Way of Jesus together.