As I write this I am filled with gratitude for the support and care offered to me by the community of Sackville United Church. If I had a dollar for every person that encouraged me to make full use of my week of study leave, to not work too hard, to be kind to myself, and so on… I could take myself out for a nice dinner! Thank you!
The week away was rich and full. I left on Sunday afternoon following the gathering with
residents at the Drew and arrived at my mom and dad’s home in time to be treated to a dinner of homemade cabbage rolls – such a treat!
I spent the Monday doing errands with Dad and when we were not out and about, we found ourselves sitting and sharing stories. It seems that the older I get, the more they tell me about life when I was young. It is such a privilege to have this time with them.
On Tuesday, before heading home, Dad I took a drive toward Belfast and then onto Montague. It is easy to see that Prince Edward Island suffered far more severely from Fiona than did our area. So many trees down and so much damage to homes and other buildings. Along the way we picked up some potatoes from a local farm and bread from dad’s favourite bakery. And, before leaving for home, Mom cut my hair. There is something deeply spiritual in having your 86 year old mother cut your hair - the privilege is not lost on me, not by a long shot!
I was home on Tuesday in time to take part in two meetings, one was a gathering of ministry personnel who meet regularly to talk theology and the other was a local committee focused on grief and support for the dying. On Tuesday evening I rolled up my sleeve and received my annual flu vaccine.
Wednesday was devoted to reviewing the resources we will be using for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany and on Thursday I began working on some of the liturgies and promotional material.
On Friday I joined Jenn in attending the Remembrance Day events in River Hebert, NS and on Saturday and Sunday I hunkered indoors working on the computer out of the rain.
Regrettably, I was called to the hospital on Friday evening with the news that John Houtsma was near death. His daughter Rebecca and I shared a time of prayer with John and I left knowing that Rebecca’s sister would soon arrive. Sadly, Rebecca informed me on Saturday morning that after a restful sleep, John died on Saturday morning. We hold all of John’s family in care and prayer as they grieve and come to terms with the void his death leaves in their lives.
Finally, a very big thank you to Ellie Hummel for her leadership on Sunday! Yes, I was there – online like 13 others and I can see the attraction in participating in that way. I didn’t even have to change out of my pajamas! But it was not the same… I look forward to being with you in-person this coming Sunday as we mark the changing of the seasons with special guests, Christine MacLeod and Terrasonga!
Monday has been spent in the office finalizing some of the Advent promotional material and responding to messages that had accumulated in my absence – and of course, writing these Musings to share with you.
I have two meetings booked for Tuesday morning. First there is the Weekly Lectionary Study Group at 10:30AM (via Zoom). There is always room for new participants. Drop me a note if you’d like to receive the link. And then at 11:30 Jennie and I will spend an hour or so planning Advent and Christmas music and look at some possible special events. After lunch I have two pastoral visits scheduled.
On Wednesday I am off to a meeting in Moncton from noon until about 4PM and then at 6:30PM I will take part in the monthly business meeting of the Sackville United Church Executive.
On Thursday I have a medical appointment (eye related) in the morning. I fully expect that there will be no reading or writing for the rest of the day and as a result, I will have to devote Friday and Saturday to crafting the liturgy for Sunday – a liturgy that will invite us to reflect on the changing seasons and the climate crisis.
As mentioned above we will have some special guests with us on Sunday, Christine MacLeod and Terrasonga – a youth musical troupe whose work focuses on environmental justice. Please be sure to participate and offer your support and encouragement to the youth of our community as they engage in this important work.
Be well. Stay safe in the wind and I hope to see you on Sunday, if not before. And please remember, I am here as an encouragement and support. Do reach out if you are in need.