"And it was good
... very good!!

Mark's Midweek Musings ... April 22, 2021

I typed in the date for this musings and can't believe we're heading to the end of April already. Someone in one of my zoom conversations mentioned how everyday is just like the day before. It's so true. And yet, even in the midst of Covid 19 time is flying by.

Covid numbers remain at a high, even though they have dropped a little over the past day or two. Even in Uxbridge our numbers have gone up drastically just like they have around the province. We need to remain vigilant and attentive to following the various protocols in place for our own health and the protection of others. Please continue to be safe and stay home unless it's necessary for you to be out.

I read an article that talked about how many people today would describe themselves as languishing through this pandemic period we are in. I can identify with not always functioning at my best and at the same time not lost in hopelessness and despair. Languising is that middle ground of simply going day to day very much affected by what's happening in our lives. Let's commit to pray for each other especially during this time. And if you're able, reach out and call or email others from the parish just to say hi and see how they are doing. That's what Christian community does for one another as we care for each other especially during these strange and difficult days.
This week ...
  • Tues Connections email'
  • Zoom Compline ... Tues at 7:30 pm
  • Covid 19 ... Reflections on life and faith email
  • Mark's Midweek Musings ... Thurs
  • Conference Call Bible Study ... Thurs at 11 am 
  • Online Hymn Sing ... Thurs
  • On line worship links will be emailed on Saturday for Sunday Worship Video
This week in our parish cycle of prayer
we remembered and gave thanks for ...

Bob, Judy, Derek and Joy, Ann, and John and Dorothy.
I have been asked to share
some scripture passages
that people can read over the week
and reflect in their own personal times
of prayer and bible reading.

These are the appointed lectionary readings
from the psalm and the gospel
for celebrations of the Eucharist
  • Tuesday ...  Ps 31:1-5; Jn 6:30-35
  • Wednesday ... Ps 66:1-6; Jn 6:35-40
  • Thursday ... Ps 66:7-8, 14-18; Jn 6:44-51
  • Friday ...  Ps 117; Jn 6:52-59
  • Saturday ... Ps 116:10-17; Jn 6:60-69
  • Sunday ... 4th Sun of Easter ... Ps 23; Jn 10:11-18
  • Monday ... Ps 2:7-13; Mk 16:15-20

Thurs Apr 22 ... Mark's Midweek Musings
Thurs Apr 22 ... 11 am; Conference Call Bible Study
Thurs Apr 22 ... Online Hymn Sing
Sun Apr 25 ... 4th Sunday of Easter... an email will be sent with a link to the worship video
Mon Apr 26 ... 7:30 pm; Zoom Choir practice
Tues Apr 27 ... Tuesday Connections
Tues Apr 27 ... 7:30 pm; Zoom Prayer Group
Wed Apr 28 ... "Covid 19: Reflections on Life and Faith"
Wed Apr 28 ... 11:15 am; Zoom Coffee & Chat 
Thurs Apr 29 ... Mark's Midweek Musings
Thurs Apr 29 ... 11 am; Conference Call Bible Study
Thurs Apr 29 ... Online Hymn Sing 
Thurs Apr 29 ... Zoom "holy spirits"

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Trust me when I say
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This is what I'm here to do!!
As I sit at our dining room table, looking out the window, it's Wednesday. And outside the snow has been falling covering the buds on the trees and flowers beginning to come up in the garden. It's a good day to be inside. And a bit strange too to have temperatures at the freezing point when just a few days ago we were up close to 20 degrees. Add to that that I could enjoy being out in shorts and my sandals a few days ago and today feel most comfortable in sweat pants and sweater. But that's the weather patterns that have become "normalized". And there's a reason for it!

When we read the accounts of creation in Genesis, God looked around at the end of each day and said, "it is good". In fact, he often elaborated on that to say "it was very good". And  indeed, it was!! God created human beings; and God gave us as human beings the gift of creation to enjoy.. Along with that, God asked us as human beings to take care of all that He had created and given to us; we were called to be good stewards of all that was good.

Today is Earth Day when we intentionally stop and reflect on the gift of the environment and the devastation we have caused in the environmental crisis we have contributed to. I looked up the definition of "environmental crisis" ... "a dramatic, unexpected, and irreversible worsening of the environment leading to significant welfare losses." That sounds pretty dire ... and in truth it is!!

Some examples of how pervasive this crisis is today include
  • air, water, soil and noise pollution
  • global warming and climate change
  • waste disposal
  • loss of biodiversity
  • deforestation
These are real issues and real concerns that require a real and intentional response on the part of all of humanity to make a difference.

Paul referred to the pain of creation in his letter to the Romans when he said, " We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now;" All of creation is indeed groaning, crying out because of the harm that has been caused by our often human indifference.

The environmental crisis is equally a spiritual issue that requires a faithful response. As part of our baptismal covenant, we are asked, "Will you strive to safeguard the integrity of God’s creation and respect, sustain, and renew the life of the earth?" It is easy to simply respond yes, and add to that that we will do so with God's help. But we then need to ask the question, how will live out this commitment and promise in our everyday lives.

Here are some suggestions ...
  • change our driving habits 
  • notice how much water we use and sometimes waste
  • reduce the amount of paper we use and receive in the mail
  • use a refillable water bottle and reusable food containers 
  • be mindful of how much garbage we create
  • recycle and compost 
  • use reusable bags at the store
  • plant a tree
  • don't litter
These may sound like small things; but if we were all to undertake to be better stewards, safeguarding the integrity of creation, it would undoubtedly have a positive impact on the environment and the looming environmental crisis.

Covid 19 has taught us some things environmentally. Air travel, and any travel even by car, has been drastically reduced. People have learned the value of being outdoors, walking in parks and on our beautiful trails here in Uxbridge. That is but one thing that has already had an impact on climate change. Equally it has helped us appreciate the gift of creation all the more. But the question is will we remember that when we can travel again; will we still walk the trails when other activities are opened up and available to us.

On this earth day, let's remember it is both a social justice issue and a spiritual issue. God has abundantly blessed us with the gift of creation. Let's do our part to be the good stewards we are called to be as we care for and nurture the gift of the environment that is ours to enjoy. 
A prayer for Earth Day ...

Dear Creator God,  on this Earth Day and all days,
let us always be in awe of Your wonderful works of creation.
We don’t want to take the details
of the world You created for us for granted.
Everything around us is wonderfully complex and splendid.
You, Lord, are both an Engineer and an Artist
that built a world to perfectly sustain life.
But you didn’t stop there.
You also made immense details
that please all of our senses as well.
There are beautiful things to see,
sounds to hear, textures to feel,
yummy food to taste,
and even delightful aromas to bring us enjoyment.
Thank you for the details of life.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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St. Paul's Anglican Church, Uxbridge · 59 Toronto Street · Uxbridge, On L9P1H1 · Canada

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