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Musings... On Joy and Community!

On Sunday morning, because of operator error (me) the wrong slides were in the slide deck for the Affirmation of Faith that followed the reflection. I invite you to take a few moments and ponder the words below – and determine which statements, if any, you assent to?

We believe that joy is a sacred gift,

existing on a plane deeper than happiness,

stemming from this truth:

that we belong to God – to Love!

We believe that joy is not meant for isolation.

Joy is meant to be shared,

weaving us together in laughter and in hope.

And when joy feels impossibly out of reach,

we believe

that part of being sacred community

is leaning on one another.

So together we say:

I will share my joy when yours runs out.

You will share your joy when mine runs out.

And in doing so, we will both see God –

we will both see Love. Amen.

It is my hope and prayer, that in these next two weeks leading to the celebration of Christmas that you might know and experience joy – not just the joy that is giddy happiness over temporal things – but rather, the joy that comes with connection and contentment, the deep abiding joy that Julian of Norwich speaks of when she writes, "All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well."

Here also are links to the two poems I shared as part of the reflection on Sunday: Joy Unspeakable by Barbara Holmes and Joy is the Justice We Give Ourselves by J. Drew Lanham.

I am taking an extra day to be at home today where I am alternating between getting some work done at my desk in the basement and catching up on some rest after a very busy week last week.



Looking Ahead

As above, I am working from home today from the basement, and, thankfully I cannot hear the noise of construction across the street from us. The Shaw Group has begun to build four homes in our neighbourhood. Three across the street and the fourth will be built on the lot between us and our neighbours. The construction crew is made up largely of Ukrainian folk. I met a few of them yesterday when I walked over to the site. The homes will be built on concrete slab foundations and be about 850 square feet and contain two bedrooms, a bathroom and an open concept kitchen and living area. In speaking with the General Manager at the site yesterday, he told me that they are not sure if the four units will be for sale or rent but they are seeking to meet the increasing housing needs in the area. The neighbours should be a draw for sure!

Tomorrow, following the Lectionary Bible Study and a lunch meeting, I have four pastoral visits scheduled and on Wednesday after coffee with Open Sky, I have two visits scheduled, followed by the Executive Business meeting which begins at 6:30PM.

Thursday will be another work from home day as I seek to craft a reflection for the fourth Sunday of Advent. In the evening I will be present at the Silent Prayer Gathering which begins at 7PM.

Friday and Saturday will be days off (I hope) and on Sunday I look forward to gathering at 11AM as we mark the Fourth Sunday of Advent with Sock It To ‘Em Sunday! This will be your opportunity to throw things at me! Bring new socks, mittens, and hats (tags removed), fold them into projectiles and throw them at me for a good cause! All items will be donated to Ensemble Moncton to support their important work.

At 3PM on Sunday you are invited to join with Jennie and members of the Choir to sing carols and Christmas songs in the Atrium of the Sackville Memorial Hospital.

And looking ahead to next week, you may want to put these dates in your calendar:

Tuesday December 19th at noon – a special gathering at Patterson’s to mark the Christmas season. Contact Brenda Allen if you’d like to participate.

Thursday December 21st at 7PM – on this, The Longest Night of the Year, we will host a a special gathering for those who find the Christmas season challenging. An opportunity for those who are weary with grief, loneliness or other challenges to gather and create space for hope and healing.

Sunday December 24th at 7PM – our Christmas Eve Gathering. Please remember, there will be no gathering this morning. Our next Sunday Morning Gathering will be on December 31st.

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