Mutual Encouragement and Announcements

Now if you are unwilling to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve… but as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15)

Hello, all! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you and yours.

I’m writing this letter half-asleep, it feels. Like many of you, I stayed up into the wee hours on Tuesday evening to hopefully get a clear answer about the result of the election in the U.S., only to have it come down to a couple of key states that are counting the plethora of mail-in ballots. In the final days leading up to the election, I was trying to keep my mind off it as much as possible, praying for peace, but trying to assure myself that it’s not my election, so it’s not my problem. But of course the way it dominates the headlines made it almost unescapable. It’s one of the double-edged swords of being in community with the wider world: out of an impulse of care and curiosity, we naturally are interested in major events in the lives of others, and form opinions about it.

With the results unclear (as of writing this on Wednesday morning), many of us are likely feeling anxious, frustrated, and ultimately scared about the aftermath. In this, let us pray for compassion and justice. I would suggest that this is a good time to turn to the scriptures that sustain us through all times of ill ease. I’ve been reading and re-reading Psalm 37 this morning, which is too long to put in full in this letter, but I encourage you to seek it out and be comforted by it. The gist of the Psalm, and of the entire Scripture narrative, can be summed up in the short hymn by John Bell, found in More Voices #90:

Don’t be afraid; my love is stronger,

My love is stronger than your fear.

Don’t be afraid; my love is stronger,

And I have promised, promised to be always near.

Encourage one another with these words, and whatever other insights we can share at this time. Use this event to reflect on your own sense of identity and communal responsibility, as citizens, but more importantly, as members of Christ’s body. When listening to the pundits, think about what other voices need to be represented in our society and in our lives of faith. In this time of anxiety and remembrance, take the time to really think about where your allegiances lie as an individual, and where our allegiances lie as communities of faith. Be inspired to take up the call of the leader Joshua, “as for me and my house, we serve the Lord.” Here are some ways that our houses are serving the Lord:

  • In the coming days, we will be reaching out to members of our congregations to get a feel about if/when to return to in-person worship, and explain the restrictions of worship practices from the health units and government. We thank our Spiritual Growth Team for their continued discernment, upholding both the worship life and health & safety of all. If you have any particular concerns or questions, you can reach out to me (Alex) directly.
  • One of our youth crafts for Advent will involve using egg cartons. If folks have extra egg cartons, please drop them off outside of the Brussels church, or contact me (Alex) for pick-up.
  • Many thanks to all of those who supported Blyth’s Lasagna Lunch and Dinner on Thurs (Nov 5th). Both churches are taking orders for fruit pies for the holidays. Please contact Jean Davidson for pies from Brussels (519-887-9318), and Sharon Bromley for pies at Blyth (519-523-9421).

Upcoming Dates:

November 8th, 2020 – Remembrance Sunday service available on Youtube. This service will include a liturgy of remembrance for veterans and victims of war.

November 8th, 2020, 3:30-5 ish p.m.In-person children’s time at Brussels United church to plan and film parts of next week’s service. Contact Alex for information.

November 15th, 2020 – Children’s Sunday

November 22nd, 2020 – Reign of Christ Sunday, the final Sunday before Advent.

Blessings and Christ’s Peace be with you all!

Alex Jebson

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 Dan Meyers on Unsplash

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