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Peace is Possible only Through Vulnerability.

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

Blessings to each of you on this Monday morning! I am writing this on Sunday evening as the events of Sunday morning continue to embrace me in warmth and love. Thank you. I consider myself deeply privileged to be part of a community that permits, nurtures, and encourages vulnerability. I was deeply touched by Eric’s words and the embraces and words of support offered by others. Thank you.

I really struggled with offering the liturgy as I did – but it was all I could do – and in the crafting of the words I shared and the songs we sang, I felt that our time together on Sunday, in the face of such tragedy and uncertainty, really was the ‘work of people’.

And this morning, as the next headline threatens to take you to the place of fear and hopelessness, recall again the words of Paul, the scrap of a letter, written from prison, in the face of death, to people he loved and cared for:

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:4-9

“Keep on doing the things you have learned and received and heard and seen…” be vulnerable with one another. Share your fears and worries. Speak from your insecurities and uncertainties. Listen. Pray. Be silent. Pray some more. Find joy. Share Joy. And sing. Sing along with the radio. Hum your hope, wail your lament. Sing the longing of your heart… and the God of peace with be with you (and me).

To close, I leave you with these words (that I have shared before) and return to often - they seem especially appropriate given that the author is an Israeli poet.

In The American Poetry Review, May–June 2016, David Biespiel wrote of Amichai: "He translates the hardness of existence into new tenderness; tenderness into spiritual wonder that is meant to quiet outrage; and outrage into a mixture of worry and love and warmth ... He is one of the great joyful lamenters of all time, endlessly documenting his anguish, throbbing pains, mistaken dreams, shortages of faith, abundances of ecstatic loves, and humiliations.

Joyful lament. May it be so,

The Place Where We Are Right

From the place where we are right

Flowers will never grow

In the spring.

The place where we are right

Is hard and trampled

Like a yard.

But doubts and loves

Dig up the world

Like a mole, a plow.

And a whisper will be heard in the place

Where the ruined

House once stood.

Yehuda Amichai



Looking Ahead

Monday morning I am in Moncton for two meetings followed by visits to the hospital. In the evening I have two pastoral visits scheduled.

On Tuesday morning I will gather with the Lectionary Study Group and look at the texts for this coming Sunday. There is always rooms for one more in our Zoom meeting space! Email me if you like to receive the link. I will share lunch with the Seniors Lunch Group at noon and then sit with the Caregivers Support Circle and at 3PM I have a pastoral visit scheduled.

I’ll be up very early on Wednesday morning and on my way to Halifax for a meeting of the Academic Senate at the Atlantic School of Theology. I was appointed to the Academic Senate by Fundy, St. Lawrence, Dawning Waters Regional Council and it is an honour and privilege to share in the work of the Atlantic School of Theology. After the meeting, as I am halfway there, I will journey down to the valley for a visit with my son Justin and his partner Emily. While there, thanks to technology, I will meet with the Executive for their monthly Business Meeting.

Thursday morning, I will drive home and spend the day writing the liturgy and reflection for Sunday. I do hope to get over to the Church on Thursday evening for the Community Game Night from 6PM to 8PM. Come check it out!

Friday and Saturday (barring any crisis or emergencies) will be days off. And, on Sunday at 11AM we will gather again in community to pray, sing, and find and create joy together!

Looking Even Further Ahead

On Sunday evening Rasta and I will be off to Toronto where I will be attending a gathering of Consultants, Investigators and Reviewers who work on behalf of the General Council with the larger Church. Unfortunately, this means that I will not be sending Musings on Monday morning. On Wednesday, at the conclusion of the event we will fly to Montreal and spend a night with Zack and his partner Gabby before flying home on the 27th.

In the event of a pastoral emergency while I am away from Sackvile, please call me and I will put you in touch with the person covering for me, or make arrangements to connect with you upon my return.

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