I am continually reminded how important our faith is when I see and hear of things that are going on both geographically near and farther away. There is often so much reason to give up and feel hopeless. But we remember that when there is escalating violence, further injustice to individuals, lack of respect and dignity, and all the other myriad of issues confronting us, that God is with us in the mess and muck. As the psalmist reminds us in Psalm 46, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear ..." Yes, we keep our attention on the affairs of the world, but we look at them through the lens of our faith and the proclamation of hope we have in Jesus Christ. As Julian of Norwich prayed, "All will be well, and all manner of things will be well".
Sunday's "One" worship service
in Elgin Park was
inspiring, encouraging, uplifting,
full of the Holy Spirit!!
And all even in the midst
of the rain as we sat under tents
and opened our umbrellas.
God was very present, visible,
engaged and recognized
as we praised God and prayed
for who we are called to be
as a united church, the body of Christ,
here in Uxbridge.
Watch for more information
because I'm sure there will be more
opportunities to be together in the future
and witness to our unity!!
"holy spirits ... faith conversations over a pint"
this past Monday night
we had 13 people
with lively and engaging conversation
a real mix of people
both from St. Paul's and others
remember next month Monday July 30!!
Invite your friends to join you!!!
Thurs June 28 ... 10 am Eucharist at the church followed by Bible Study at Mae's
Sunday is a holiday
celebrating Canada Day
Remember we are
open as usual
with communion at 9:30 am
Celebrate and give thanks
for our many blessings
July & August 2018
Sun July 1 ... 9:30 am ... Communion celebrating Canada Day followed by Lemonade on the Lawn Mon July 2 ... NO Coffee & Chat at the Tin Cup Wed July 4 ... 7 pm ... Communion service on the front lawn Thurs July 5 ... 10 am ... Communion service Sun July 8 ... 9:30 am ... Communion Service followed by Lemonade on the Lawn Wed July 11 ... 7 pm ... Communion service on the front lawn Thurs July 12 ... 10 am ... Communion service Sun July 15 ... 9:30 am ... Communion Service followed by "Sundae Sunday" Wed July 18 ... 7 pm ... Communion service on the front lawn Thurs July 19 ... 10 am ... Communion service Sat July 21 ... 2 to 4 pm ... Uxbridge Gay/Straight Alliance Sun July 22 ... 9:30 am ... Communion Service followed by Lemonade on the Lawn Wed July 25 ... 7 pm ... Communion service on the front lawn Thurs July 26 ... 10 am ... Communion service 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 Wixon's
Mark will be on vacation from August 4 to August 27. There will be no Wednesday evening or Thurs morning communion services throughout August. 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
On Wednesdays July 4, 11, 18 & 25
we will celebrate communion
on the front lawn of the church.
Bring your lawn chair
for this informal, meditative service
with contemplative music.
Perfect for those who travel
to their cottages on the weekend!
are back this year!!
July 15 & August 12
Ice cream and various toppings
Thank you to our wardens
for making this happen!!
Time to de-clutter!!
I read a reflection I received that has become the focus of my musing this week ... it talked about how much stuff we accumulate and the need we have to de-clutter from time to time.
These two images above often represent our lives day to day. Things can seem to be chaotic and seem so cluttered in our homes, schedules, our lives and in general in the world we live in.
I think of how people talk of "downsizing" and getting rid of the things that aren't necessary; and especially the things that we've held on to for years that have been on a shelf in the basement and never once used.
There are things we can't and shouldn't get rid of in our effort to de-clutter. Whether it's because of sentimental reasons or has some significance because where we got it or reminds us of a particular individual who gave it to us, those things have value if not to others to us.
However, it's all the other"stuff" that we sometimes need to go through and purge. And I don't know about you, but I feel so good when I've purged in preparation for moving. Someone else could be using that item; I don't need it; I don't use it; but maybe there's someone for whom it will have value and be useful. I think places like "Chances Are" and "Value Village" and collections by various charities are wonderful ways to recycle our "stuff" instead of simply throwing it in the garbage.
I think that sometimes we need to de-clutter our lives as well and do so as a kind of spiritual discipline. What in our lives is causing us stress; are there routines that drain us of energy; are there expectations placed upon us that weigh upon us; are there difficulties in relationships that are tense and unresolved. When we are not at our best as God created us to be, what is the stuff of our lives that perhaps we need to let go of. And more importantly, what rhythms of our lives compromise our spirituality and the relationships God wants to have with us.
God created us to experience joy and to grow throughout our lives. If there are things that compromise the delight of daily living and which get in the way of growing fully throughout our lives, then maybe there's something that we need to change or adapt so we can be the best we can be. And more importantly, what do we need to downsize in life so that we can be faithful to who we are as followers of Jesus and children of God.
Part of the rhythm of spiritual de-cluttering is evaluating what is important in our day to day lives that we value and that in fact enhance our joy and delight. We need to hold on to these aspects because they are integral to the goodness of life as we know it.
Discernment is what it's all about ... what is helpful in my experience of life ... what is draining and stressful ... what brings joy ... what compromises my spirit. Once we ask these kind of questions, then we have to take the necessary actions to claim what is life giving and allow that to grow further in us as we live abundantly blessed by God each day of our lives.
I offer us this prayer for the de-cluttering of our souls ...
God, open my mind and my heart. Lift the barriers, unbind the strong grasp of my demands when I want everything to go my way
God reach into my inner space sweep out all my old clutter, enlarge my capacity to receive.
God, empty me of whatever impedes the growth of our relationship. Help me to recognize and accept your sources for my growth.
God, soften my resistance to emptying. May I welcome each inner season as a catalyst for my transformation.
God, deepen my trust in you. Ease my doubts, fears and discouragements. When I am feeling vulnerable, remind me that you are my safe haven.
God, may I be ever more rooted in you. Draw me into solitude. Entice me into endless encounters where I experience oneness with you.
O God open the ears of my heart, May I hear your voice within the silence as well as within the noise of my life. Re-awaken me so that I can listen to you wholeheartedly.
God of goodness, I yearn to be open and receptive to your generosity. May I trust your presence amidst the cycle of emptying and filling. 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!