I find that time seems to fly by so fast these days. I can't believe that we are coming to the end of July when it seems like the summer just started. Now we're almost half way through. That reminds me how important it is to take each day that God blesses us with and find joy in all that life has to offer. It's far too easy to squander our days and let them pass by. Today, I want to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine; enjoy a delicious meal with my family; take a walk; savor a toasted sandwich with fresh Ontario tomatoes; but most importantly, I don't want to waste a moment and maybe miss out on some grace that God has to offer. Maybe the same is true for you too!!
We're learning as we go
how our systems work ...
the video didn't record
for last Sunday's sermon.
Watch for next week's sermon on line!
tomorrow's Thursday morning communion
will be in Jill's garden
5649 Concession 3, Goodwood
Enjoy celebrating the eucharist
in the surroundings of nature.
Over the Sundays in July
and labor day weekend
I will be offering a reflection series
in place of the sermon ...
Anglican who have had the courage
to take risks out of their faith
to advance the ministry of the church
and the proclamation of the kingdom message
July 29 ... Li Tim Oi
September 2 ... "Church Army", Wilson Carlile
& Marie Louise Charlile
Let's learn something ourselves
about our call to be audacious
from these ordinary men and women
who did extraordinary and faithful ministry
We enjoy our lemonade on the lawn
after Sunday morning worship.
We need volunteers for the month of August.
Please see the sign up sheet in the narthex.
For the second year ...
Filling backpacks to give to the foodbank.
Last year we filled over 10 backpacks
that were very much appreciated
by the children who received them.
Please bring donations to the church
by August 19th
so they can be prayed over on the 26th
and taken to the foodbank for the 29th.
Let's help the children of our Sunday School
reach out to children of our community
so they have what they need
for a successful school year!!
Here's a list of items needed ...
Pencil case or box
Pencils - can buy them sharpened
Coloured Pencil Crayons
Markers - large and small point
Loose-leaf paper or spiral notebooks
Tissues (small travel packages)
Donations so far!!
Thank you to those who have made contributions!!
July & August 2018
Thurs July 26 ... 10 am ... Communion service in Jill Markle's garden, 5649 Concession 3, Goodwood Sun July 29 ... 9:30 am ... Communion Service & baptism followed by Lemonade on the Lawn Mon July 30 ... 7 pm ... "holy spirits ... faith conversations over a pint" at Wixan's
Mark will be on vacation from August 4 to August 27. There will be noThurs morning communion services throughout August.
As well, we will not meet
for coffee and conversation in August,
resuming the 3rd Mon of September. There will be coverage for pastoral emergencies that arise.
Sun Aug 5 ... 9:30 am ... Morning Prayer followed by Lemonade on the Lawn ... Len Skidmore officiating Tues Aug 7 ... 10 am ... Wardens Sun Aug 12 ... 9:30 am ... Communion followed by "Sundae Sunday" ... The Rev. Don Shields celebrating Sat Aug 18 ... 2 to 4 pm ... Uxbridge Gay/Straight Alliance Sun Aug 19 ... 9:30 am ... Communion followed by Lemonade on the Lawn ... The Rev. Don Shields celebrating Sun Aug 26 ... 9:30 am ... Morning Prayer followed by Lemonade on the Lawn ... Len Skidmore officiating Sun Aug 26 ... 4 pm ... Jazz Vespers with "Add Water & Stir" ... donations in support of "Orange Shirt Day" Mon Aug 27 ... 7 pm ... "holy spirits ... faith conversations over a pint" at Wixon's
Beginning in September
on the fourth Sunday at 1:30 pm
we will be offering Communion
at Douglas Crossing
If you'd like to assist me out with this ministry
I'd love to have you join me.
Any musicians would be most welcome
so we could sing a couple of
old tyme favorite hymns!!
September 23 will be our first time.
Speak to me for more details!
Nothing like planning ahead ...
even though things may change,
mark your calendars now so you don't miss out!!
Sun 2 … Labor Day Sat 8 … Men’s Breakfast Sun 9 … return to 8:30 & 10:30 service times Thurs 13 … Communion & Bible Study Sat 15 … Gay/Straight Alliance Mon 17 … Coffee & Chat Thurs 20 … Communion & Bible Study; Lunch & Learn; TAB Sun 23 ... Communion at Douglas Crossing
Mon 24 … holy spirits Thurs 27 … Communion & Bible Study; Noon Organ concert Sun 30 … Orange Shirt Day ... shared worship at St. Andrew's Chalmers Presbyterian Church ... other activities including a walk in solidarity with our aboriginal brothers and sisters
Mon 1 … Coffee & Chat Thurs 4 … Communion & Bible Study Sun 7 … Harvest Thanksgiving Thurs 11 … Communion & Bible Study Sat 13 … Men’s Breakfast Sun 14 … Jazz Communion service with the “Monday Morning Singers” Mon 15 … Coffee & Chat Wed 17 … Pilgrim Series Thurs 18 … Communion & Bible Study; Lunch & Learn; TAB Sat 20 … Trent/Durham Mental Health symposium for clergy at St. P’s; Gay/Straight Alliance Wed 24 … Pilgrim Series Thurs 25 … Communion & Bible Study Sat 27 … “What’s God Up To?” … appreciative inquiry summit for St. P’s … details to follow
Sun 28 ... Communion at Douglas Crossing Mon 30 … holy spirits
Thurs 1 … Communion & Bible Study Sat 3 … Men’s Breakfast; Turkey Dinner (TBC) Sun 4 … All Saint’s Day; Evensong with Tudor Singers Mon 5 … Coffee & Chat Wed 7 … Pilgrim Series Thurs 8 … Communion & Bible Study Sun 11 … Remembrance Day; Orpheus Symphonietta concert Wed 14 … Pilgrim Series Thurs 15 … Communion & Bible Study; Lunch & Learn Sat 17 … Gay/Straight Alliance Sun 18 … Feast of St. Cecilia; afternoon “Old Tyme Hymn Sing … celebrating the gift and ministry of music” Mon 19 … Coffee & Chat Wed 24 … Pilgrim Series Thurs 25 … Communion & Bible Study Sun 25 … Reign of Christ; Cantorei sine Nomine Concert
Sun 25 ... Communion at Douglas Crossing Mon 26 … holy spirits Wed 28 … Pilgrim Series Thurs 29 … Communion & Bible Study
Sat 1 … Men’s Breakfast; putting up the Christmas tree Sun 2 … Advent 1 Mon 3 … Coffee & Chat Wed 5 … Advent Candlelight Communion Thurs 6 … Communion & Bible Study Sun 9 … Advent 2 … “Old Tyme Christmas Carol Sing” Wed 12 … Advent Candlelight Communion Thurs 13 … Communion & Bible Study Sat 15 … Gay/Straight Alliance Sun 16 … Advent 3; Christmas Open House at the Rectory Wed 19 … Advent Candlelight Communion Thurs 20 … Communion & Bible Study Fri 21 … Longest Night Service Sun 23 … Advent 4
Sun 23 ... Communion at Douglas Crossing Mon 24 … Family Christmas Eve Communion; Festive Almost Midnight Communion Tues 25 … Christmas Day Communion Sun 30 … 9:30 Communion
"Another Shooting ... Lord have mercy!!!"
Late Sunday evening, I read on the internet about the shooting on the Danforth. Immediately we were concerned and worried because that is the very neighborhood that Nathaniel lives in. He often frequents the very corner where this tragedy had taken place. Thankfully, we reached him quickly and knew he was at home and safe.
There has been so much gun violence in Toronto recently and each time something happens we grieve yet again what is happening so close to home. This case, though, had another element that struck me as I thought about it ... the Danforth has always been such a safe place ... families enjoy leisurely strolls through Greek Town ... it's a quiet neighborhood ... friends enjoy drinks and dinner on one of the many patios or in one of the restaurants. This is not a neighborhood where one might expect something like this to happen ... a random shooting spree.
There were many tragedies that night ... the loss of life for those who died; the witnessing of such a tragedy by bystanders walking along the road; the thought, "that could easily have been me"; those who were injured and survived and yet won't forget that moment when they were struck down; the business owners who open their doors everyday; those who live near by on the quiet side streets whose neighborhood doesn't feel quite as safe as it did last week; the emergency workers who respond with vigilance and do their best and yet feel the effects of the trauma; the community leaders who respond to questions and themselves wonder "why??"; the average citizen of Toronto and further afield even to here in Uxbridge because if this could happen in that part of Toronto, it could happen anywhere.
And in the midst of all of that, what is our response? Someone said, "All I can do is pray for safety". And, that is true for sure. Yet I know even myself, I wonder if maybe those very people who were most affected had prayed for their own safety. It's easy to get into the spiral of cynicism about our faith, prayer and for some even God himself.
I personally struggle at times because I don't have an answer either as to why these things happen even though we pray for safety and protection by God from harm. And in truth, there is no answer that is adequate. So, we live with the tension and reality of that conundrum that is perplexing.
And yet, what does it mean to be faithful in such a time as this, in the midst of the struggle and all the emotions we feel. Jesus calls us to pray and encourages us to pray and to never stop praying. That's what I hold on to because what else can we do? Jesus says "Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you." (Matt 7: 7, "New Living Translation")
I often say to people, always, always, always tell God what you are feeling; keep the lines of communication open with God, especially when we are disappointed or angry or frustrated with God. God has broad shoulders; God can take what we say or yell at Him; God wants us to keep talking with Him even when we don't really like what is happening to us or around us, even when we may want to blame God for what was done, or left undone.
Even though I can't and don't understand why these kind of things happened as they did on Sunday night, prayer is the only thing I can turn to. Left to our own, without looking to God for hope in the future, things will only get worst. Yes, our faith is complex on many levels. And yet so simple on other levels.
So, we can question God; we can feel angry with God; we can even doubt God. But God is and always will be faithful and desire to be in relationship with us. My prayer is that nothing will lead us to lose that hope, that faith and that trust.
A friend shared these comments on my facebook post which I share with you.
"I am not sure what to make of this. A psychotic man gets a gun and kills people. But most psychotic people are harmless-- I have worked among them. An Arab man shoots people at random: but most Arab immigrants never do anything nearly so destructive. A popular stretch of sidewalks and stores become places of murder. But this is the first time this has happened and may be the last.
Lesson? Don't generalize, no matter how shocking the incident. I was on that stretch of the Danforth last night and the only inconvenience I suffered was being blocked from an interaction by the news crews. Grieve? Yes, if you are truly sad. Get angry? Yes, but be careful where you aim your anger. Avoid that part of Toronto and be suspicious of people who live there? You have to be kidding. Lose hope? Never--take a walk or a drive through the scene where it happened, and realize that you are still alive and uninjured. Thank God for that."
Indeed ... thank God for that!!!
I offer us this prayer as we each feel heavy hearts and troubled spirits in light of the shooting on the Danforth this past Sunday evening ...
In peace we pray…
For a community shaken by gunfire
For the injured; For the dead
For first responders, police, fire and ambulance;
for those who work in the hospitals
where the injured were sent for treatment;
for community leaders,
especially the mayor and police chief;
for all who live in this neighborhood
and those who enjoy leisure along this street;
for those whose safety and sense of security is shaken;
For all who are trying to make sense of the senseless;
Encircle in your tender embrace all who grieve;
Comfort all who are afraid;
for the young man who fired his gun
and for his family;
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer. Amen.
Remember, if you have a question, I encourage you to send it to me in an email and I will do my best to answer it either in a weekly update or in a sermon.
As always, my inbox is open, and so is my office door if you'd like to chat. I'm usually in my office most mornings Monday through Thursday unless otherwise announced due to a meeting. Stop by or make an appointment!