I am enjoying this time when things slow down a bit, and yet there are still things happening in our life together here at St. Paul's. A change in rhythm helps to be renewed and reinvigorated in the ministry God invites us to participate in.
I enjoyed a day at the convent this past week when I had the opportunity to do some planning for the fall. It is something to be thinking about Advent and Christmas when the temperature is in the 30's with a humidex making it feel almost 40. But there is a sense of satisfaction in feeling prepared to hit the ground running when September arrives.
After I've checked it out with the parish leadership and the chairs of the various committees, I'll share these dates with you in advance. That way, you can mark your calendars now and anticipate the exciting things we have ahead of us in our life together.
A reminder for tonight ...
and on Wednesdays July 18 & 25
we will celebrate communion
on the front lawn of the church.
Last week we had three ... "literally where 2 or 3 are gathered!!"
Bring your lawn chair
for this informal, meditative service of communion
with contemplative music.
Perfect for those who travel
to their cottages on the weekend!
are back this year!!
next Sunday ... July 15
& on August 12
Ice cream and various toppings
Thank you to our wardens
for making this happen!!
Over the Sundays in July
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 15 ... Samuel Ajayi Crowther
July 22 ... Percival Gibson
July 29 ... Li Tim Oi
Let's learn something ourselves
about our call to be audacious
from these ordinary men and women
who did extraordinary and faithful ministry
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)
July & August 2018
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
What's on your spiritual Bucket List?
Sometimes throughout our lives, we stop and take an inventory of what we hope we will accomplish at some point in our lives. We think of the things we've been able to do and accomplish so far, but also what we want to do in the future to feel fulfilled. It's a wish list that might include places we'd like to visit, adventures we'd like to have, a person we'd like to meet, a performer we'd like to hear in person or a milestone we'd like to reach in our work. And then, having made the list, we need to be intentional about keeping it before us and trying to do what we can to accomplish some of what we hope for.
My bucket list is primarily places I'd like to go ... England, the Holy Land, a Caribbean cruise, Alaska. Surprisingly, I enjoy things too that have some adventure to them like kayaking on the ocean while we were in Newfoundland or white water rafting down the Ottawa River. This summer I'm hoping to go out on a Zodiak while we're on Cape Breton Island. Last summer I thought of going out on an Sea doo and even sky diving when I saw someone else up there attached to a guide who knew what they were doing.
Who knows what of that list I'll actually do, especially the more adventurous as I get older and maybe a bit wiser too. But I do want to visit those various places and trust that someday, in retirement especially, I will see these parts of the world that are on my bucket list.
I wonder, what might be on our spiritual bucket list ... what are the things we'd like to experience that are of God, that touch us deeply within the depths of our souls; what would we like to experience of holiness and the sacred that might transform us and our relationships with God. Having a spiritual bucket list reminds us that there is always room for us to grow in our faith and how we are called to be faithful disciples of Jesus.
For me, I'd love to see and capture on my camera the most glorious rainbow in the sky, or an awe inspiring sunset, or an eagle flying in the sky, or a whale breaching. I would like one day to experience standing where Jesus stood and celebrating the Eucharist where he might have shared communion with His disciples. I look forward to standing in the crypt of Canterbury Cathedral where Archbishop Thomas Becket was martyred. Spiritually, I hope I continue to recognize God in the everyday moments and to receive the grace God desires to offer me in my life. I trust that as time moves along, I will integrate more and more my faith and my spirituality into my day to day living in ways that can make a difference. I pray that God will use me in ways that I can't even imagine to share the good news of Jesus and the hope of the kingdom to come. I also anticipate seeing and recognizes the miracles that bring joy to my life and others and to in the end be able to simply enjoy the moment of now whatever that moment presents.
In truth, none of us know for sure what we will experience day to day, and especially spiritually. God has amazing things in store for us to experience. It's a good discipline and rhythm to name what we hope for and then do what we can to allow those hopes to grow into fruition. But we always need to remember too that spiritually it is God who will initiate those moments of grace for us, when the mystery is unmasked before us and we recognize the holy and sacred of that very experience. We can't necessarily anticipate what those experiences may be; God may well surprise us. Whether on our bucket list or not, that spiritual experience will be a blessing.
I encourage all of us to take a moment and think, what do we most want to experience in our spiritual lives of faith, write down a list, and then as life continues enable those opportunities that God can and will open the doors that we will see, recognize and experience the vastness of God's grace.
What is on your spiritual bucket list?
I offer us this prayer to accomplish spiritually what God hopes for us ...
Lord, I earnestly seek after You
I seek Your kingdom, Your will
That heaven may come to earth
And Your presence would be known by all
I lay my plans before You
Please rearrange them as You see fit
See if there is any thing I need to let go of
And lead me in discerning your will for me and my life.
I give you the desires of my heart
My ambitions and my bucket list
I surrender them wholly to You
Please anoint them for Your purposes and glory
I give You my whole being
My giftings and my character
Come sharpen my skills and transform my heart
This day and every day. 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!