"To be continued"

Mark's Midweek Musings ... April 29, 2021

On the one hand, these days are dreary, overcast, raining and thunderstorms. But that's spring!! And the result are the gorgeous flowers coming into bloom in the gardens and the grass that is turning green. As with most things in life, there are things that might pull us down, but that when we look at them from a different vantage point are positive and lead to joy and delight. 

The same is true of these pandemic days. The more prolonged this time is, and the added uncertainty of how long it will go on, it's understandable that we are getting fed up and our emotions reflect that reality too. And yet there is a light at the end of this tunnel. It may be far off yet, but we are getting there. And although we won't see an exact return to what once was pre Covid 19, there is no doubt that we will be blessed as we engage with the new realities we have learned and the desire to be connected with one another however that is possible.

Without denying how we feel at this moment, let's also engage in the glass that is half full and the potential of what is to be ... all in good time!!
On May 5, Edna will be turning 100!!

Obviously we can't celebrate with her
with cake at a coffee hour after church.

So let's find another way
to mark this milestone!!

I encourage as many as are able
to send Edna a greeting card
indicating that you know her from St. Paul's.

She will enjoy receiving them
and reading them!!

Her address is ...

Edna Donovan
19 Oakside Drive,
Uxbridge, ON, L9P 2A4

God, the birth of your Son Jesus Christ
brought great joy to Mary and Joseph.
We give thanks to you for Edna
whose birthday we celebrate today.
May she ever grow in your faith, hope, and love.
We ask this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Last week, Len and Lynn
celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary.

Many blessings on this milestone
and in the years to come!!

Gracious God, on this special day
we remember with thanksgiving
the vows of love and commitment
Len and Lynn have made
to you and to each other in marriage.
We pray for your continued blessing upon them.
May they learn from both our joys and sorrows,
and discover new riches in their life together in you.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
This is how we do choir practice
in the midst of Covid 19!!

We gather on zoom,
Stuart shared the music track,
we all are muted so we only hear ourselves,
we eventually record oursleves on our own,
send the recording to Stuart
who then puts it into a computer programn
and we end up with the beautiful music
and hymns for our Sunday worship.

Thank you Stuart
and Dave, Tiina, Beth, Ann and Delfina
who sing as part of our virtual choir.
Outreach ministry to North House ...

Thanks to our knitters and crocheters, nine blankets as well as four baby blankets and other knitted garments were dropped off at North House. They appreciate all we are doing as they share them with those in need.

Thank you to all those spending some of their covid time knitting and crocheting.
This week ...
  • Tues Connections email'
  • Zoom Prayer Group ... Tues at 7:30 pm
  • Zoom Coffee & Chat ... Wed at 11:15 am
  • 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
  • zoom "holy spirits" ... Thurs 7:30 pm
  • On line worship links will be emailed on Saturday for Sunday Worship Video

This Thursday, April 30 at 7:30

Join in the conversation
and the opportunity to catch up 
with friends we are missing.

Watch for the zoom link
that will be sent out on Thursday.
This week in our parish cycle of prayer
we remembered and gave thanks for ...

Scott, Helen, Maureen, Jay and Jean and Sharon.
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 87; Jn 10:22-30
  • Wednesday ... Ps 67; Jn 12:44-50
  • Thursday ... Ps 89:1-2, 19-26; Jn 13:16-20
  • Friday ...  Ps 2; Jn 14:1-7 
  • Saturday ... Ps 119:33-40; Jn 14:6-14
  • Sunday ... 5th Sun of Easter ... Ps 22:24-30; Jn 15:1-8
  • Monday ... Ps 115:1-12; Jn 14:21-26

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"
Sun May 2 ... 5th Sunday of Easter... an email will be sent with a link to the worship video
Mon May 3 ... 7:30 pm; Zoom Choir Practice
Tues May 4 ... 7:30 pm; Zoom Compline
Wed May 5 ... "Covid 19 ... Reflections on Life and Faith"
Thurs May 6 ... Mark's Midweek Musings
Thurs May 6... 11 am; Conference Call Bible Study
Thurs May 6 ... Online Hymn Sing
Sun May 9 ... 6th Sunday of Easter ... featuring Jazz music and hymns ... an email will be sent with a link to the Online worship video
Mon May 10 ... 7:30 pm; Zoom Choir Practice
Tues May 11 ... 7:30 pm; Zoom Prayer Group
Wed May 12 ... "Covid 19 ... Reflections on Life and Faith"
Wed May 12 ... 11:15 am; Zoom Coffee & Chat
Thurs May 13 ... Mark's Midweek Musings
Thurs May13... 11 am; Conference Call Bible Study
Thurs May 13 ... Online Hymn Sing 
Sun May 16 ... Ascension... an email will be sent with a link to the worship video
Mon May 17 ... 7:30 pm; Zoom Choir practice
Tues May 18 ... Tuesday Connections
Tues May 18 ... 7:30 pm; Zoom Compline
Wed May 19 ... "Covid 19 ... Reflections on Life and Faith"
Thurs May 20 ... Mark's Midweek Musings
Thurs May 20 ... 11 am; Conference Call Bible Study
Thurs May 20 ... Online Hymn Sing
Sun May 23 ... Pentecost ... an email will be sent with a link to the worship video
Tues May 25 ... Tuesday Connections
Tues May 25 ... 7:30 pm; Zoom Prayer Group
Wed May 26 ... "Covid 19 ... Reflections on Life and Faith"
Wed May 26 ... 11:15 am; Zoom Coffee & Chat 
Thurs May 30 ... Mark's Midweek Musings
Thurs May 30 ... 11 am; Conference Call Bible Study
Thurs May 30 ... Online Hymn Sing 
Thurs May 30 ... Zoom "holy spirits"

An option to make your St. Paul's donations
which is easy and convenient

we have online banking available for e-transfers.

If this is helpful as you support the ministries of St. Paul's
the email address you need is

Please use the security question
"What town is the church located in?"
If you or someone you know
is in need of pastoral support
during this time

please leave a message
at the church office or email me.

Trust me when I say
it is no bother!!

This is what I'm here to do!!
"To Be Continued"

I wonder, how many of us really enjoy a cliff hanger when we're reading a book or watching a television program. And invariably many of the shows we watch end their series run with a cliff hanger that we then have to wait months until the outcome is revealed. Isn't that what keeps us going back to the program or story though ... we want to see how it ends, what happens to the characters, how the plot is resolved.

The gospel of St. Mark ends with the recounting of Jesus' resurrection. The women go to the tomb and there is no body. Furthermore, it is revealed to them that He has been raised and that they are to go and tell the others what they have seen and heard. The original writing of Mark ends simply with the women fleeing from the tomb, filled with terror or amazement, not telling anyone because they were so afraid.

In a way, that ending is a cliff hanger because we want to know what happened to the women; what did they say or do when they caught up with the other disciples; how were they changed or transformed out of that experience. But the gospel writer Mark doesn't give any of those details. We could insert into the end of the reading "..." or "to be continued.

Thankfully, the other gospels flesh out more details as stories are told about the disciples and Thomas and their interactions with the risen Lord. But even then, there is a bit of a cliff hanger as the story feels incomplete. Even at the Ascension, they asked Jesus if this was indicative that the coming of God's kingdom was near. Jesus response ... "wait and see". In other words, "to be continued".

In truth, the story of the gospel of Jesus and the relationship of God with His people is never finished; it is always "to be continued". And that includes right up to our own day. God began His story with creation; and moved along through His up and down relationship with His people; to the moment when Jesus came into this world as a human being; through his teachings and healings and other miracles as He proclaimed the hope of God's kingdom; up to his being taken into custody, put on trial, nailed to the cross to die; and all so He would rise to new life in the resurrection; to his appearing to His followers and encouraging them to continue what He had begun; to the coming of the Holy Spirit; and on through the establishing and building up of the early church ... and then through over 2000 years of God interacting with his creation right up to the moment of today.

We, like the disciples, want to know how and when this story of faith will end. We have a glimpse of how it will all come to be ... through the gift and promise of Jesus who was, is and always will be. But as to when we can expect the kingdom of God in all of its fullness to be a reality ... no one knows, not even the Son. And yet God continues to interact and motivate and empower His people, including you and me. The story continues in and through us ... and it will continue in and through those who come after us too. It will always have the ending ... "to be continued".

And that's where our faith becomes so integral and important. We believe that as God has acted in the past for the good of His creation; and as God we believe acts in the present too; so too God will continue to be intimately involved and connected in all that is to be continued in the future too. 

We're facing realities like none other with this Covid 19 pandemic which is full of so much uncertainty especially around what is next. It seems like almost everyday is a cliffhanger with the caveat "to be continued". We don't know how long this will go on and even what our lives will look like whenever we reach that point we will call post Covid 19. And that leads to a myriad of emotions and responses which are real and affect us especially emotionally. 

However, I wonder if people in the pandemic of 100 years ago felt much the same way; or during the depression; or the Second World War; or the other crisis that have affected us and the world. Everyday of our lives ends with "to be continued". And we sometimes do face a cliffhanger in terms of what the next day or week or month or year will be like.

However, by remembering and recounting the stories of our past, we can gain insight and wisdom that allows us to face the uncertainty of today and the reality that we are always in this liminal space when we don't know for certain what will come next. That too is when our faith is so important ... we need to hold on to and remember that especially when we can't see what lies ahead, God is with us in that moment; and God will see us through that moment and the next moment too. 

As we face so many moments of "to be continued", may we anticipate with patience not only the hardships that might continue in one form or another, but even more so the joy and blessing we are always abundantly blessed with.

So, let's embrace the "to be continued" of our lives and wait with expectation for whatever adventure life invites us on and which God will always see us through.
A prayer for Covid 19 days
but equally everyday of our lives
from  The Corrymeela Community

God who sees our invisible scars,
God who helps heal hidden wounds:
many of us carry pain 
stored not in tissue, but in memories;
held there by coping mechanisms that
keep us carrying on. 
May we in our interactions
be gentle and respectful,
showing dignity to each other.
And may our inner strength
and others’ outer grace
meet at the point of need
to apply the balm our souls still seek,
the relief you help us find.
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St. Paul's Anglican Church, Uxbridge · 59 Toronto Street · Uxbridge, On L9P1H1 · Canada

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