Reveling in the Brilliance

“Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.”

(Isaiah 60:1)

Greetings, all! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

            The sun is brilliantly reflecting off the snow and the ripples in the river as I sit here writing this letter. Indeed, in my week off last week, I tried by best to enjoy the brightness and freshness that God has inspired in Creation, while also grumbling about the number of times I’ve had to shovel my walkway and clean off the car. The glory of God’s presence and God’s actions often require some response and effort on our part.

            So even though it’s back to working mainly off a screen or a phone for the foreseeable future, I am still struck by the brightness and freshness that comes from being in ministry and serving all of you. This week marks two important dates in our Christian year – the Day of Epiphany, when the wisemen came to visit, and the Baptism of Jesus, when God proclaims that Jesus is God’s loving and grace-filled presence revealed. This clarity and bright spot in our liturgical year encourages us to reflect on our own identity and lives of faith in light of knowing God’s presence with us.

            I see this brilliance at work with the way in which our communities of faith have continued to care and reach out to each other as we face another lockdown this winter. I see it in the adaptations and planning that is ongoing for our future pastoral, outreach, worship, and youth ministries. And I see and hear it in the deepening pastoral relationships that are being developed. While I am holding off on non-essential in-person visits at the moment, please do not hesitate to reach out to me if there is anything that I can do to help support you, or if you know of members or friends of our congregations who might need some support.

            I also saw the light of God in the way that folks came together for our Christmas Eve service over Zoom. I want to apologize that it was not recorded so that others who weren’t on Zoom could enjoy, but I hope that the other Youtube services over Christmastide helped riase your spirits and your Christmas celebrations. I was glad to see just how many were on, though, and how happy people were to see each other’s faces! As a result, I am wondering if folks might be interested in a weekly Zoom fellowship time for some virtual conversation and support, much as folks had been doing outdoors in the summer and fall. If you would be interested, please be sure to reach out to me or leave a message at either church office. Also, be sure to check out the other upcoming initiatives for our congregations:

Upcoming Events:

  • Plans are in the works for an adult faith formation study based around the Psalms and individual prayer practices. The goal of these sessions will be to help foster individual prayer and the use of psalms in our lives of faith, especially when group worship is restricted. The format for this study is still being planned, but in-person, online (Zoom), or a combination are all possibilities. If you are interested, and if you have a preference as to how these sessions will take place, reach out to Alex!
  • While our annual congregational meetings will likely be put on hold until the spring, still be sure to submit your committee reports for the Annual Report. Brussels reports can be submitted to Betty Graber-Watson, and Blyth reports can be submitted to Nancy Denham.
  • Previous lesson and craft packages of our Youth Ministry from the past several weeks are still available for families to pick up or get delivered to them. Reach out to Alex for more details. Weekly Youth Ministry online lessons are starting up again. Parents are encouraged to reach out to Alex with scheduling options.
  • We are still eager for volunteers to help make up lay pastoral/visitation teams to help make phone calls, deliver worship materials, and other pastoral needs for congregants going into the winter, ensuring that those who are more isolated are still connected to their church community. If you want to learn more about pastoral care, or if you are wanting to live out your discipleship in this way, reach out to Alex for more information!

Upcoming Dates:

Wednesday, January 6th, 2021 – Epiphany service available on our Youtube and Facebook pages. Print copies of the service, sermon, and announcements are available to be picked up outside of either church, or can be delivered to you. Contact either church for more information.

Sunday, January 10th, 2021 – First after Epiphany (Baptism of the Lord) service available on Youtube.

Sunday, January 10th, 2021 – Online Youth Sunday School session from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Packages can be picked up outside of either church building. Contact Alex for more information.

Sunday, January 17th, 2021 – Second after Epiphany service available on Youtube.

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 fynn on Unsplash

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