Farewell 2020 ... hope for 2021

Farewell 2020 ... hope for 2021

There was a joke going around that said something like ... I'm staying up until midnight not to see in the new year in but to make sure 2020 is finished and done with!! Another one is that after midnight tonight we'll be able to say "hindsight is 2020!!" 

This has been quite a year, like nothing we would have expected when we turned the calendar 12 months ago. It has been like nothing my generation or even the generation before me has ever experienced. And as a result, we have had to deal with emotions and realities that we haven't been familiar with. All of this has led to feelings of heightened anxiety, stress, grief, confusion and for some hopelessness and despair. The number of Covid 19 cases continues to climb at a more rapid rate even in our own community of Uxbridge and so do the the number of those who have died as a result. Our hospitals and medical services are being stretched beyond capacity. At times it seems and feels like there is no end in sight. Weariness and fatigue is common.

Into that reality, we are preparing to move from 2020 to 2021. In many ways things won't be any different; we will still be facing the same realities and feeling many of the same emotions. Yes, there is hope with the vaccine that is being administered. But to have a real effect it is going to take time and patience and especially faith and trust on our part.

Whatever is happening in our lives or in the world we live in, we are a people grounded in our faith in all God has promised us through Christ for today and every day of our lives. We trust that God is with us in the muck of these pandemic days. And even though that still means we have to comply with restrictions and protocols for some time to come, there is comfort in knowing we don't face these days on our own. God's hand is upon us; God's Spirit is within us; God's healing is a gift which is real for us to hold on to and trust in.

As we move from 2020 to 2021, marking the passage of time, remember that well known passage from Ecclesiastes 3 ... 

There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth: A right time for birth and another for death, a right time to plant and another to reap, a right time to kill and  another to heal, a right time to destroy and another to construct, a right time to cry and another to laugh, a right time to lament and another to cheer, a right time to make love and another to abstain, a right time to embrace and another to part, a right time to search and another to count your losses, a right time to hold on and another to let go, a right time to rip out and another to mend, a right time to shut up and another to speak up, a right time to love and another to hate, A right time to wage war and another to make peace.

Jesus promised us that no matter what time brings, He would always be with us and HIs Spirit would endure forever no matter what. That is a gift we need to hold on to these pandemic days even as we mark the end of one year and the beginning of another. We have hope and we must never lose our hope. For that grounds us and helps us face the days which are trying and difficult and tiring.

So my prayer for you and your family is that as we have endured these days of 2020, we may continue to face whatever the future holds with faith, hope and trust. God has blessed us, God is blessing us, God will always bless us. May we believe that to be true and walk into this next year confident in our faith and trust in all God promises us through His Son Jesus Christ.

Be well ... be safe ... stay healthy!! God bless!!

On behalf of the wardens
thank you for your support of St. Paul's
throughout 2020!!

We have been very blessed
as we significantly surpassed
the budgeted projection of offerings for 2020!!

You have been very generous
in your commitment to our parish church.

That is especially something to be thankful for
during these days of Covid 19.

Details will follow in the new year.

Thank you!!! Thank you!!! Thank you!!!
An appropriate prayer I discovered
as we enter 2021 ...

God, Thank you for helping us
make it through this difficult year.
Thank you that you’ve carried us
through the uncertainty of deep waters,
through the trials, and through the pain of hard losses.
We are constantly aware of how much we need you,
your grace, your strength, your power
working through even the toughest days.

Help us to keep our focus first on you
as we enter a new year.
Please forgive us for giving too much time
and attention to other things,
for looking to other people before coming to you first.
Help us to reflect again, on what Christmas is really all about.
Thank you that you came to give
new life, peace, hope, and joy.
Thank you that your power is made perfect in our weakness.

Help us to remember that the gift of Christ, Immanuel,
is our greatest treasure, not just at Christmas,
but for the whole year through.
Fill us with your joy and the peace of your Spirit.
Direct our hearts and minds towards you.
Thank you for your reminder that
both in seasons of celebration and in seasons of brokenness,
you’re always with us. For you never leave us.
Thank you for your daily powerful Presence in our lives,
that we can be assured your heart is towards us,
your eyes are over us, and your ears are open to our prayers.
Thank you that you surround us with favor as with a shield,
and we are safe in your care.

We choose to press in close to you today,
and keep you first in our hearts and lives.
Without you we would surely fail,
but with you, there is great hope.
Thank you for your healing power,
thank you for bringing us into this new season up ahead.
We look forward to all that You still have in store.
In Jesus' name, Amen.
Sun Jan 3 ... Epiphany ... an email will be sent with a link to the worship video
Tues Jan 5... Tuesday Connections
Tues Jan 5 ... 7:30 pm; Zoom Compline
Thurs Jan 7 ... Mark's Midweek Musings
Thurs Jan 7... 11 am; Conference Call Bible Study
Thurs Jan 7 ... Online Hymn Sing
Sun Jan 10... Baptism of Jesus ... an email will be sent with a link to the worship video
Tues Jan 12 ... Tuesday Connections
Wed Jan 13 ... 11:15 am; Zoom Coffee & Chat
Thurs Jan 14 ... Mark's Midweek Musings
Thurs Jan 14.. 11 am; Conference Call Bible Study
Thurs Jan 14 ... Online Hymn Sing
Sun Jan 17... 2nd Sunday after Epiphany ... an email will be sent with a link to the worship video
Tues Jan 19 ... Tuesday Connections
Tues Jan 19 ... 7:30 pm; Zoom Compline
Thurs Jan 21... Mark's Midweek Musings
Thurs Jan 21... 11 am; Conference Call Bible Study
Thurs Jan 21 ... Online Hymn Sing
Sun Jan 24 ... Converstion of St. Paul ... our patronal festival ... an email will be sent with a link to the worship video
Mon Jan 25 ... 7:30 pm; Zoom "holy spirits ... faith conversations over a pint"
Tues Jan 26... Tuesday Connections
Wed Jan 27 ... 11:15 am; Zoom Coffee & Chat
Thurs Jan 28.. Mark's Midweek Musings
Thurs Jan 28... 11 am; Conference Call Bible Study
Thurs Jan 28 ... Online Hymn Sing 
Sun Jan 31 ...4th Sunday after Epiphany ... an email will be sent with a link to the worship video

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St. Paul's Anglican Church, Uxbridge · 59 Toronto Street · Uxbridge, On L9P1H1 · Canada

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