All I can say is ... WOW!!! What a wonderful clergy conference last week. Bishop Michael Curry was even more passionate and spirit filled in person than when I saw him preach at the royal wedding a year ago. His energy is contagious as he shared with us what it means to be part of the Jesus Movement. I'll continue to process and likely pass on to you in sermons and conversations some of what he said to us.
I'm grateful that all of our planting is now done in the garden. And my aching back is proof of how much work it was. But it does look nice in the end and leaves me with a feeling of accomplishment. I also look forward to watching the various plants people gave me last year come into bloom this year. I can't remember what they are, or even what they look like. So I'll be pleasantly surprised.
On Sunday, we acknowledged liturgically
that Mark is now Incumbent of St. Paul's.
We re-covenanted with each other
in our shared ministry.
May we continue to respond with enthusiasm
to the opportunities God places before us
to serve Him, each other and our wider community.
On Sunday we had the second part of our vestry meeting
focusing on our ministry here at St. Paul's.\
We have much to be thankful for
in the abundance of blessings God has given to us.
The Men's Group are sponsoring
a parish Spring Clean up
of the grounds and gardens
Saturday June 8
Lunch will be provided.
Sunday June 9 is Pentecost Sunday
celebrating the gift of the Holy Spirit.
If you can, please wear something red that day.
Let's celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit!!
On June 23 following the 1045 service
we will be engaging with the
Natural Church Development process
facilitated by a Diocesan volunteer
to give us a snapshot of St. Paul's
at this moment in time.
Thank you to Evelyn Pogue, Ron Lee-Wing and Tiina Beaudoin
for working on this with me.
We have invited 30 members of the parish
to be part of a survey.
For those not asked to participate in the survey
we will want your feed back too
However, the process is limited to 30 people.
I look forward to seeing our results
and using them to discern future ministry here at St. Paul's.
Area churches are gathering
for the 3rd "One" Service
on Sunday June 23 at 10:30 am at Elgin Park
Although we will be having our regular worship services that day,
I encourage anyone interested to attend
our shared faith as body of Christ in Uxbridge
Thurs June 6 ... 10 am, Communion followed by bible study at Mae's Sat June 8 ... 10 am, Outside clean up at the church Sun June 9 ... Pentecost ... wear red!! ... 8:15 am, Quiet Traditional Communion (BCP); 9:30 am, "The Table"; 10:45 am Classic Communion (BAS) featuring "The Missa Aeterna Christi Munera" by Palestrina presented by "Cantorei sine Nomine"; 12 noon, Sexual Misconduct Policy Training Tues June 11 ... 9:30 to 11 am, church is open for quiet, reflection, prayer and meditation Thurs June 13 ... 10 am, Communion followed by bible study at Mae's Sat June 15 ... 2 to 4 pm, Uxbidge Gay/Straight Alliance Sun June 16 ... Trinity Sunday... 8:15 am, Quiet Traditional Morning Prayer, Robin sharing his faith story (BCP); 9:30 am, "The Table" with Robin sharing his faith story; 10:45 am Classic Sung Morning Prayer with Robin sharing his faith story Mon June 17... 1 pm, Coffee & Chat at the Tin Cup Wed June 19 ... 7 pm, Uxbridge Poverty Coalition Community Information Forum at St. Paul's Thurs June 20 ... 10 am, Communion followed by bible study at Mae's Sun June 23 ... 8:15 am, Quiet Traditional Communion (BCP); 9:30 am, "The Table" featuring music by "Add Water & Stir"; 10:45 am Classic Communion (BAS) featuring music by "Add Water & Stir"; 12 noon, NCD Survey Sun June 23 ... afternoon, Toronto Pride Parade Mon June 24 ... 7 pm, "holy spirits, faith conversations over a pint" at Wixan's Thurs June 27 ... 10 am, Communion followed by bible study at Mae's Fri June 28 ... 7 to 9 pm, Family Gaymes Night Sun June 30 ... 8:15 am, Quiet Traditional Communion (BCP); 9:30 am, "The Table"; 10:45 am Classic Communion (BAS)
After prayerful thought and reflection, the worship schedule
for the summer months will be as follows ...
July 7, 14, 21 & 28 ... 8:15 am, Quiet Traditional Communion (BCP); 9:30 am, "The Table"; 10:45 am Classic Communion (BAS)
August ... 9:30 am, there will be a traditional Morning Prayer, a contemporary service of prayer and praise and two celebrations of communion ... details to follow
September 1, Labor Day ... 8:15 am, Quiet Traditional Communion (BCP); 9:30 am, "The Table"; 10:45 am Classic Communion (BAS)
I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that three trees in our side and back yard flowered into gorgeous blossoms. I hadn't remembered that from past years so I had to take a second look.
Nature and the natural beauty of God's creation often has the potential to surprise us when we see things we weren't expecting or anticipating. That is one of the glorious things about spring as gardens come back to life after the dormant winter season. I'm especially looking forward to seeing what the plants look like that I was given last year by parishioners. They too, I'm sure, will be a lovely surprise!
We can learn something about God and our faith from the surprises we see before us in creation. God is a God of surprises. There's a children's song ... "Well, surprise, surprise, God is a surprise, right before your eyes. It’s baffling to the wise. Surprise, surprise, God is a surprise. Open up your eyes and see." The truth is, God does surprise us with wonders and mystery that we can't begin to anticipate on our own. However, if we walk regularly with our eyes open, we will see the wonder and amazement of all God offers us, especially those moments of surprise and delight.
As I was planting flowers and transplanting some of our perennials, I realized how symmetrical I like things to be in the garden. Colors are matching; plants are arranged in some order; and mulch is laid down to enhance the appearance. And in the end, I think it looks good.
Isn't it interesting, though, that God's creation in the garden is anything but predictable and symmetrical; all the colors don't always match; and seeds are sown randomly. Isn't that true also of our life and faith. There is nothing predictable about life, and often nothing that is orderly either. We always live in a state of flux, with things changing that are beyond our control or ability to manipulate. And in the midst of that we trust in the one thing that doesn't change at the core ... our faith in God and Jesus who are with us always, an integral part of our lives, guiding and directing us to be faithful in who we are and all we do.
I may want my life to be more orderly and to have more control over what happens to me and around me. But that's not realistic. And the truth is, when I feel least in control and life is most unpredictable, that's often when I'm able to see God more clearly and trust more faithfully in what God is up to with me, in me and working through me.
My prayer for myself, and for each of us, and for us together as a community of faith, is that we may be open and actively looking to see and recognize how God surprises us with blessings we can't every imagine. Let's look for the blossoming trees we haven't noticed in the past and let's celebrate and give thanks for each surprise God sends our way.
I offer us this prayer that we may be open to the surprises God places before us ...
May the God of Surprises delight us,
inviting us to accept gifts not yet imagined.
May the God of Transformation call us,
opening us to continual renewal.
May the God of Justice confront us,
daring us to see the world through God’s eyes.
May the God of Abundance affirm us,
nudging us towards deeper trust.
May the God of Embrace hold us,
encircling us in the hearth of God’s home.
May the God of Hopefulness bless us,
encouraging uswith the fruits of faith.
May the God of Welcoming invite us,
drawing you nearer to the fullness of God’s expression in us.
May God Who is Present be with us,
awakening us to God in all things, all people, and all moments.
May God be with us. 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!