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Musings, On Stories and Creativity: November 29th 2021

Updated: Dec 14, 2021

On Sunday last week (thankfully he waited until after church), on the cusp of Advent, Frank Oulton placed this picture on my desk - his best effort at Photoshop (using a pair of scissors and some tape) and said, we need something like for the front of the Church. He went on to say that he'd talked with Anne Pirie about possibly involving the Sunday School.

As I looked at the image, almost overwhelmed by Franks enthusiasm, I could not help but go back to the snippets of conversation from the Seekers Group earlier that morning as we embarked on the study by Donald Schmidt, Birth of Jesus for Progressive Christians in which he reminds us "the actual date of Jesus birth (never mind its location in a stable) is not known, and attempts to establish it with any kind of certainty are doomed to failure."

Do we need a manger scene? You bet we do - for there is deep truth in the story of one born in a humble barn who brings hope to a hurting, sometimes broken and homesick people!

And so it was on Sunday evening I was down on my knees taping together over 80 pieces of paper to form three patterns: Mary and Joseph and Jesus, a shepherd and a couple of lambs and a camel and a donkey. No, there are no wisemen (we couldn't find any), nor are there any magi at the actual birth of Jesus - and we're not sure when they showed up anyways! Perhaps at some point in some glorious time in the future we'll add an angel and a star that will show us the way... but for now...

Early on Monday morning last week, I arrived at Kate Keough's door with my plastic bag of patterns. Kate was almost giddy with excitement! She said she'd been wanting to do something like this for herself too - that she'd start cutting soon and then we can get to painting. Frank has offered his garage as a place to paint the silhouettes, after which they will be placed where Frank imagined them... in front of this place where the community gathers to be light and love for one another, holding hope and offering care and shelter.

If you'd like to join in the fun and joy of this story and share in the painting of the silhouettes watch for an announcement here or on the Sackville United Church Facebook page! Many hands make for light work that is a lot more fun!



Looking Ahead

Today, given the weather and road conditions, unless it is absolutely necessary that I go out, I am going to work from home. I am sure I can find enough to keep me busy!

On Tuesday the Preacher's Help Group will gather at 10:30AM. Jennie and I will offer Advent Promises in Song and Word at 2PM via Facebook Live and at 3PM I will meet with a preaching cohort to ponder some more, the texts for the coming Sunday followed by a meeting and a pastoral visit to round out the day..

On Wednesday December 1st I will be doing visits in the morning and the afternoon, including a visit with an individual who's marriage I officiated at this past fall who is seeking a volunteer opportunity. At 7PM Jennie and I will offer leadership in a gathering marking World AIDS Day at 7PM. A special invitation has been extended to the Tantramar Association of Grandm/others. You are welcome to join in-person of via Facebook Live.

Thursday will be a work-from-home-sermon-writing-kind-of-day and at 7PM I look forward to gathering with others via Zoom for A Christmas Carol and a Cocktail. Please use this link to join!

Friday and Saturday will be days off - but you can bet that you'll see me at Moonlight Madness and the Cookie Walk on Friday evening. On Saturday evening I will update the Advent & Christmas Stories. I will take down chapters 1&2 of the Best Christmas Pagaent Ever and the story St. Brigid's Cloak so make sure you tune in before then! And then, I'll upload, for your listening pleasure, chapters 3&4 of the Best Christmas Pageant Ever, read respectively, by Sarah Poirier and Edward Knuckles and the story Amazing Peace read by Laura Hunter.

On Sunday, we will gather to light the candle of peace and explore the theme, Laying the Foundation. We will be joined by representatives of the Sackville Meditation Group who will share how peace is nurtured in the partnership we share. Again, you are welcome to join us in-person or via Facebook Live.

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