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Community Letter: Sept 13th, 2020
“God is my strength, God is my song, and yes! God is my salvation. This is the kind of God I have, and I’m telling the world.” (Exodus 15:2, The Message translation)
Hello, all! Greetings in the name of Christ, and blessings to you and yours!
It has been a very busy first official week for me serving the Blyth and Brussels congregations, and certainly a very busy time for us all. Much of my work has been behind the scenes, starting to set up the new website for the churches, planning and recording services, and starting to put names to faces. It may take some time to get all of the names right (and even more so when half of our faces are covered by masks), but I look forward to the process immensely. I hope that you were all able to enjoy the inaugural online worship service. I apologize for the delay in uploading: technology and I were not the best of friends on Saturday evening and Sunday morning. However, I hope that you were able to find some comfort and could discern your relationship with God and with your faith communities through this medium. I would appreciate any and all feedback in terms of how we can tweak these services to make them even better.
In the coming weeks, I will be starting to do some introductory phone calls or socially-distant visits to get to know even more of our faith communities, some visits alongside Sandra Cable, who has been a great help in providing an introduction to the communities. If you have a particular way or time you might like a visit, or know of someone who might like a visit, please be sure to let me know! One of the emphases of our lectionary readings this week is the power of testimony and the importance of embracing and remembering our narratives, as like the Israelites reflecting on their escape from Egypt. I look forward to getting to know all of your narratives, and celebrate and reflect alongside you as we discern how God is at play in our lives.
In this time of transition and new beginnings for myself and us as faith communities, starting a pastoral relationship, we also know that this is a time of transition and unease for many as students begin returning to school. Their narratives have certainly altered these past months. Whether this be in-person or distance learning, we know that this has not been an easy decision for parents and a stressful time for students and educators. I am sure that you are praying with me that God’s comforting presence and guidance will be known by all teachers, students, and parents, and that the Holy Spirit inspire our efforts to help support our educators and learners as best we can. Let us respond to their testimonies and needs in the way our Saviour taught us, with love, compassion, and kindness.
As we hold those in our community in our prayers, we can also celebrate how the life of the Church is continuing in our congregations. The Blyth congregation has continued sharing with Trinity Anglican in selling food at the Blyth farmer’s market and is also continuing with their Wednesday morning fellowship meetings outside of the church building. The Brussels congregation has been hard at work too, making pies that can be pre-ordered for Thanksgiving. Contact Jean Davidson (519-887-9318) by Sept 30th if you would like pies. As well, both of the congregations are continuing to collect school supplies during the month of September to send to northern Indigenous communities. This joint mission is in partnership with True North Aid, as mentioned last week.
The one new fellowship and outreach event to announce is our “Golden Oldies” outdoor hymn sings. Musicians from both congregations are putting together a program of their favourite old hymns that folks may have missed hearing these past few months. The first event will happen this Sunday (September 13th) at 1:30, located at the Lions Park in Blyth. Another one will happen September 27th in Brussels. Folks from both congregations are invited to both events. Both events will be held outdoors, with physical distancing and health guidelines being enforced. Mask-wearing will be recommended, especially if you are wanting to sing along, and required where distancing is not possible. You can also just sing along in your heart and enjoy the music God inspires! Just be sure to bring a lawn chair. School supplies will be collected at these events. Be sure to reach out for more information and invite others. More information on this and other events can be found on our new website: brusselsandblythuc.ca
As we go into the fall, let us contribute our voices and acts towards these and others works of the Church. Your support in these efforts are greatly appreciated. As well, your continued offerings assist in ensuring that our testimony and participation in God’s work is meaningful and filled with love. You may consider joining PAR for automatic monthly donations, dropping off donations at the church, or finding other ways to support the life and work of our congregations. And be sure to reach out if you have any ideas, concerns, or just want a friendly chat. Blessings, and have a wonderful weekend!
Yours in Christ,
Student Minister – Blyth and Brussels United Churches
Blyth Office Number: 519-523-4224
Brussels Office Number: 519-887-6259
Emergency Pastoral Number: call/text 705-344-3385