“I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel.” (Exodus 17:6)
Hello, all! The Peace of Christ be with you and yours this day.
As September draws to a close, I am thankful for the opportunity to get to know even more of you, and better get to know the communities. The kind welcome that Jean-Luc and I initially received has continued, and we are very appreciative. Yet we know that this is a time that still has a lot of anxiety. The rising case numbers across the province, the continued risk of isolation and burnout, and our schools being back in session all weigh heavily on us. It feels like we are going back to the desert, to a wilderness without much sign of support.
This is the context in which the churches have made the difficult decision to cancel the hymn sing scheduled in Brussels for this Sunday (27th), and also to change any plans for an outdoor joint Thanksgiving service to an online service. Out of an abundance of caution, respect for legislation and community groups, and in our call to serve and care for the most vulnerable, these decisions are tough, but faithful. Yet even though it seems barren right now, with some events cancelled or changed, God is still pouring into our lives through community and care. We are still sustained musically by our wonderful music directors and congregants, who have and are putting together videos and other opportunities to enjoy the music that bolsters our faith. We also have in each one of us the call and capacity to share in fellowship. I encourage you all once again to explore safe and meaningful ways to connect with one another, particularly those who do not have internet access or much locally in the way of family and companions.
The life and work of the congregations continues, a stream flowing in desert land, providing nourishment for our communities. Members of the Brussels congregation have been hard at work making pies for Thanksgiving. Orders for pies can be given to Jean Davidson (519-887-9318) as soon as possible. The Blyth congregation is also discerning how best to offer meals, most likely in a drive-through format. More information on that to come. And a big thank you to both congregations for you support of the joint mission this month. We have had a wonderful response, with many school supplies ready to be sent to northern communities. Any last-minute donations are still appreciated. Just drop them off at either church. Thank you!
Our conversations about when and how to re-enter our sanctuaries is still being faithfully offered. Meetings for the Spiritual Growth team are upcoming, and hopefully by then we will have a better lay of the land. In the meantime, I do hope that you are all finding spiritual fulfillment in our weekly online services. While not the most comfortable medium for some of us, know that God speaks through and embraces us in many ways, including digitally.
Know that God provides for us, in times of plenty and times of wandering. Continue to pray and care for one another. Continue to reach out to myself and others with ideas and concerns. We are continually sustained by Living Water, and can be surprised to find streams of compassion and care in the oddest of places. Blessings to you all!
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
Featured Photo by Ivars Krutainis on Unsplash