Now the LORD came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:10)
Greetings, all! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
This is a time of listening. We are being called this week to listen and heed the advice of the health officials, which means hunkering down for the foreseeable future. We are being called to listen to one another, as we uphold each other with our testimonies and words of comfort. And we need to listen to God’s new thing. Like Samuel, we need to stay attentive and eager in times when “…the voice of the Lord is seldom heard.”
In these next few weeks, hear this: you are known, you are loved, you are renewed, and you are called to be a child of God and a support for all God’s children. You are called, those who feel small and insignificant. You are called, those desperately seeking or doubting God’s assured presence. You are called, those who need the occasional wake-up call.
And you are called to listen and keep active in the ongoing work of our congregations. Our churches are heeding the regulations from the health unit and government strictly; we are only using the buildings for essential purposes, and I am continuing to hold off on in-person visits unless it is essential. However, we are still connecting and sharing with you all and our wider communities. There are many things coming down the line, and hopefully you will be able to participate in them!
- 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 will most likely be on Zoom. If you are interested, reach out to Alex!
- We are looking for hymn suggestions and reflections for our Music Celebration Service on February 7th. We want to know what hymns or songs have been helping you this past year, and more importantly, why these songs or music in general is important to you and your life of faith. Submit suggestions and reflections to Alex or one of our music directors (Glenda, Katie, Marilyn)
- 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.
- 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!
- Starting next week, we will be having Zoom fellowship hours, sharing in community and care. For now, these will be scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, but this may change later on. Members and friends from both congregations are able to attend, either by video or by telephone. Look for another email for more details.
- A generous community member has offered to the Brussels Ministerial occasional home-cooked meals to those who need it. If you know of someone or a family who might benefit from the occasional home-cooked meal, please reach out to Sandra Cable.
Sunday, January 17th, 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.
Tuesday, January 19th, 2021 – Zoom Fellowship session from 10:30-11:30. Please check your email for the Zoom link or phone passcode, or email Alex for details.
Wednesday, January 20th, 2021 – Zoom Fellowship session from 10:30-11:30. Please check your email for the Zoom link or phone passcode, or email Alex for details.
Sunday, January 24th, 2021 – Third after Epiphany service available on Youtube.
Blessings and Christ’s Peace be with you all!
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
Photo by Free To Use Sounds on Unsplash