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Musings: On Love, Showing Up and Participating...

It is a new day, and for many of us, it is another day of getting used to the reality that our beloved Wallie will not be there to smile in greeting when we walk into the house, ask us a reflective question, or share a glass of wine at happy hour.


As many surmised from the service yesterday, some funerals are both easier to do and ever more heart wrenching because of the depth of relationship I shared with the deceased and the family of the deceased. Wallie’s was one of those.

When I first served Sackville Pastoral Charge for a brief period in 2010, Wallie and Norma were the first to welcome me into their home and following that first visit I enjoyed many conversations with Wallie talking about a wide spectrum of topics – mostly centred around ministry, the prison context and faith and politics. When I returned again in 2017, as the full-time minister, with a new partner and four new children, Wallie and Norma were among the first to congratulate me and again welcome me into their home.

And then, when in the middle of the pandemic, the long strained relationship between Upper Sackville United Church and Sackville United Church fractured for good, Wallie helped me put the situation in context and see the good work I had accomplished. The tears were hard to hold back yesterday – tears of deep sadness and profound gratitude. He loved me.


And as I sit here this morning writing these words, as one who sees the gathered community each Sunday from a different perspective – from behind pulpit, a vantage point that affords me opportunity to see all the ‘regulars’ in their regular seats, I must confess that I will deeply miss the consistency of Wallie’s presence each Sunday.


I would not likely need all my fingers and toes to count the number of Sunday Gatherings (not withstanding a pandemic) that Wallie has missed since 2017. And even then, he was motivated to get on Facebook and he would participate via the livestream. During those difficult months it was not uncommon for him to call or email with a comment on the reflection.


Wallie taught us that our communities need our presence.  We need to show up. Regularly. Because when we are consistent in our presence, those who come for the first time, those who are newcomers, and those who come for a second or even third time, receive a welcome and are affirmed. This is as true for Rotary and football practice as it is for the Church community. We need to show up. Regularly. Our communities need our presence and participation.


Wallie, thank you for showing up. Thank you for caring. Thank you for participating. Thank you for loving this Church community and the larger community of Sackville. May we be both blessed and inspired by your life and memories you leave us with.



Looking Ahead

This morning I am at the Church for two pastoral visits and a meeting. At noon I am looking forward to gathering with other United Church ministry personnel for lunch and conversation before heading to Moncton to offer pastoral visits at the hospital.


On Tuesday morning I will gather with the Lectionary Study Group to look at the Peter story for this Sunday: Matthew 16:13-20, where Peter declares that Jesus is the Messiah. I am taking Tuesday afternoon off and in the evening I will be offering leadership at a LGBTQ2S+ group at Dorchester Penitentiary.


Wednesday will see me in the office and I look forward to welcoming Open Sky and seniors of the community to coffee at 10AM. I have three pastoral visits scheduled for the afternoon and one in the evening.


Thursday will be a work from home day as I craft the liturgy and reflection for Sunday and on Friday, after a meeting in Moncton I hope to go to the Island for a long overdue visit with my mom and dad!


On Sunday we will gather in community at 11AM for our regular Sunday Gathering which will be followed by our Annual General Meeting. At 3PM (provided the meeting is done lol), Jennie and I will make our way to the Drew to offer leadership at a gathering for the residents. You are of course welcome to join us!

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