As is my practice most weeks, my Monday morning began with looking at the texts for this coming Sunday. I knew it was coming, but I didn’t expect it so soon – the club. John 3:16 the verse flashed on poster boards in stadiums around the world, the verse that is used to beat people into submission to the idea that there is only one path to salvation. And here I thought the three kilometres I walked on the treadmill at the Y this morning was difficult. How does one begin to unpack this verse that has been used bludgeon people over the centuries? I guess you’ll have to wait until Sunday to find out!
I suspect that something of what I might say on Sunday will be rooted in the wisdom that Marcus Borg offers in his book, The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith: “to believe in God is to belove God. Faith is about beloving God and all that God beloves.”
It was so humbling and encouraging to overhear some of the conversations yesterday about what people appreciate and find life-giving about Sackville United Church. I was especially touched by the comment one person made, ‘that they feel safe at Sackville United’. I was touched deeply by this as I cannot begin to imagine the pain that would come with feeling unsafe in a place that calls itself Church… and am so very glad to be part of a community that intentionally seeks to be such a safe and affirming place.
I hope that as many of you as possible will engage in the project that Sackville United Church has undertaken to discern our mission. You can take part on Sunday morning as part of the conversations that will form the latter part of our Sunday Gatherings over the Lenten season. You can also take part on Sunday morning via the chat box on Facebook Live. And/or, you can take part via the Zoom session at 7PM each Monday evening over Lent. The room will open at 6:30PM for informal visiting with the scheduled conversation beginning at 7PM. And, or, you can use a webform by following this link. Or you can simple respond to the discussion question via email to the secretary of the Task Group, Rebecca Houtsma.
And remember, your participation, your views, thoughts and understandings matter whether you attend weekly, or not at all, online or in-person, benefit from the ministry we offer, or not at all – in fact the Task Group will be establishing a process to intentionally seek input from the neighbourhood we are a part of – for our perspective is limited if we listen only to ourselves or those who look and think like us!
This morning after my visit to the gym I managed to squeeze in two pastoral visits. This afternoon I am in Moncton to a meeting and then taking part in the Task Group gathering via Zoom this evening.
On Tuesday morning I will host the weekly Lectionary Study Group and in the afternoon I have three pastoral visits scheduled. In the evening I will host the first of our ProFuture Faith discussions with more than a dozen participants! I am so looking forward to this time together!
Wednesday morning will see me at the weekly gathering of Seniors Sharing the Table and in the afternoon I’ll be in the office doing to preparation and scheduling before meeting up with the Executive for supper and then attending the President’s Speaker’s Lecture at Crabtree Hall.
Thursday will be a work from home day where I will seek to craft a liturgy and reflection for Sunday followed by a working meeting with the Mission and Ministry Task Group beginning at 6:30PM.
Friday and Saturday will be days off before I gather with you in community again on Sunday morning at 11AM. And remember, this being the first Sunday of the month, Jennie and I are up to the Drew at 3PM to lead a service there and you are welcome to join us!!