Musings, September 16th 2019; Taking A Long View
Greetings on this fall day!
I woke this morning filled with gratitude for the opportunity to gather in community yesterday. As I enjoyed my coffee, I recalled with fondness the warm greetings I witnessed as folk reconnected and/or connected with newcomers. I smiled as I remembered the awe of the little ones watching the potter at work and the conversations I shared with them afterwards. My heart swelled at connections that spanned the country through the work of the United Church of Canada! Life is good!
And then, I opened my iPad and had a look at the headlines: A Grade 12 Student Killed in Mississauga, Fake Jobs and Immigration Scams, Attacks on Oil Fields and Spiking Energy Costs… One could become discouraged – depressed even, at the destruction, negativity and violence of the world – but instead I found myself ever more hopeful that this small committed community of people are actively making a difference in the world: reminding children that they matter, lifting up the value of sharing your time and talents, working together to reduce, reuse and recycle… creating community with Divine Love at its core.
On September 11thduring my pilgrimage to Newfoundland to connect with men that I’d worked with while they were incarcerated, I also met with two former colleagues who operate Turnings (a restorative justice agency in St. John’s NL). One of them, Dan, a former priest and retired parole officer with CSC, had the following on his wall. I took a picture of it. I needed to be reminded of the ‘long view’ and can only say: Amen. May it be so.
It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view. The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision. We accomplish, in our lifetime, only a fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work. Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us. No statement says all that could be said. No prayer fully expresses our faith. No confession brings perfection. No pastoral visit brings wholeness. No program accomplishes the Church’s mission. No set of goals and objectives includes everything. This is what we are about. We plant the seeds that one day will grow. We water the seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities. We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest. We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker. We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own. Amen. ~ Archbishop Oscar Romero
Taking A Long View Taken during my 2015 motorcycle advent to Iceland.
Today I am in the office responding to emails and making plans for the next couple of weeks – including visits. If you would like to see me for any reason at all, please call me at 506-940-1151. I’ll be happy to arrange a time that works for you.
On Tuesday at 10AM I will (hopefully) gather with a group of people for the first of our Weekly Lectionary Study Group sessions. We’ll spend an hour together looking at the text for the coming Sunday and seek to discern together wisdom that might be shared when we gather on Sunday. Come and check it out! In the afternoon I’ll take part in at least three meetings before calling it a day!
Wednesday will see me at the hospital and Nursing Home in the morning followed by a couple of pastoral visits in the afternoon. At 3:30PM I’ll be present with others as we welcome the Queer Room participants and at 6:30PM I’ll be with the Welcoming Team that has been supporting Rose for their regular meeting.
Thursday will be a work from home day as I try to incorporate input from the Weekly Lectionary Study Group and come up with a ‘word of God’ from the story about a shrewd/dishonest manager.
Friday September 20this the date set for the Global Climate Strike. Watch for local events and take part as you are able. I’m told that the Sackville Youth Climate Change Coalition is planning their march and strike for September 27th!
Saturday is World Gratitude Day and a great day for a Gratitude Scavenger Hunt. Use Google and find a myriad number of such scavenger hunt ideas – and may your identification of those things you are grateful for lead you to be with us as we gather on Sunday: 9AM @ Upper Sackville and 11AM @ Sackville!