“And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers…” (1 Thessalonians 1:6-7)
Hello, all! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!
One of the greatest blessings of being part of the Body of Christ is knowing that there are a wealth of connections, known and unknown, that bind us together. It is an opportunity for us to look beyond our walls and our membership rolls to see just where all the Spirit is at work, a creative and sustaining presence for us all. I am fortunate to be getting to know the local communities even more, but this is also a week where we look towards our wider Church. This week is the annual general meeting for the Western Ontario Waterways (WOW) Regional Council, which our congregations belong to. As it is with everything this year, we are meeting in virtual, but still meaningful, ways. This will culminate in a region-wide worship and ordination service, which will be live-streamed on Sunday at 10 a.m. from Avondale United in Stratford.
You can watch that service on Sunday morning at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_P2mzF8I6oc, or look up the Youtube channel “ARW, HF, WOW Regional Councils”. This link will also be on our website and Facebook page. You can join in and celebrate region-wide as we uplift our connectedness and celebrate new ministers embarking on their journey. There will be service bulletins for an alternative worship printed with this letter available outside both of the churches, so you can still worship, even if you do not watch this service. However, I really encourage you to watch!
As we celebrate with our regional siblings in Christ, we can also celebrate the ongoing work and discernment done by our own congregations. By the time most of you have read this, Blyth’s drive-thru turkey dinner will have already occurred (and if not, be sure to get your dinner! Look on Facebook or our website for more details). Thank you to all of those who volunteered, and all who ordered wonderful meals to support our work as the Church. And many thanks to all of you who supported our outdoor craft and fellowship time this past Saturday. Be sure to stay tuned for more outdoor events in the future. This will also likely include outdoor Advent activities such as outdoor nativities and church decorating services.
As of this upcoming week, we are starting our weekly online Children’s ministry. We will have packages with some craft materials, songs, readings, and more available to be picked up outside of both churches early in the week. On the weekends, we will have a Zoom session in which we can do the craft, sing together, learn together, and share in fellowship. We do not have a time on the weekend set in stone yet. I would love to hear from parents what days and times would work best for them, and we can try to include as many as possible. Please reach out to me with preferred times and we can go from there!
Whether celebrating region-wide or journeying on as communities of faith, may we continue to be inspired by what the Spirit inspires in others, and may others be inspired by what we do in Christ’s name through the Spirit. 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
Feature Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash