“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
Greetings, all! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
Valentine’s Day is the next big hullabaloo, happening this Sunday. I’m sure there are those who have a personal vendetta against Hallmark and the commercialization of the day and those who are ambivalent to the holiday, or perhaps some who are super fans of this holiday. And maybe there’s one or two of you reading this who didn’t realize that it was Valentine’s Day this weekend until I mentioned it!
We all have different relationship with this day of Love. But the blessing in this is that, in each of our unique relationships with God, we bring to this day of love all our varying and impactful experiences of knowing love in our lives. The love inspired from God is truly an amazing gift. The hymn is right: “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”.
It’s the kind of love that often doesn’t seem sensical; a love that extends to the stranger, the enemy, to all Creation. But it makes sense when you reflect on your own relationship with God, and the boundless love found there. A God who is willing to be vulnerable with us, to care for us, to suffer the worst of ourselves and still find a way to show love above and beyond. It’s the love that shows that death doesn’t have the final word, and the love that invites our participation in the Spirit’s loving work today.
As we celebrate this season of love, and prepare for the more reflective and quiet journey of Lent, you might consider expressing your love for God and one another through some of the various offerings from our congregations:
- Annual Reports are currently being compiled and edited, and will be made available in the coming couple of weeks. However, at this time, we are not planning to have congregational meetings until the spring, when it may be easier to gather together in-person. For the time being, the United Church has temporarily authorized governing bodies (i.e. official boards) to pass budgets and other pressing concerns.
- Our Zoom Psalm and Prayer Study is underway, but you are still welcome to join in! The main focus of these sessions is exploring how to incorporate Psalms and different prayer practices into your individual lives of faith. And be sure to invite others in the community as well to join! Sessions are on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m., and Thursday mornings at 10:30 a.m.; this study will run for five weeks.
- Our Zoom Fellowship Times continue on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from 10:30-11:30. Folks can join in electronically or by phone. If you do not have the links or codes, be sure to reach out to Alex.
- 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.
- 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. With this team, we can ensure that those who are more isolated this winter 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!
- 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.
- Many congregants have been praising the curbside book pick-up at our Huron County Libraries, as an efficient and safe way to have some reading material this winter. There is a wide selection of regular print and large print books, audio books, and DVDs. You just need to call the library with your selections (or have them suggest titles to you), and either you or someone you authorize can pick up the books. If you need assistance with picking up the books, leave a message at either church office, and we’ll see if someone can grab them for you.
Sunday, February 14th, 2021 – Transfiguration Sunday service available on Youtube.
Sunday, February 14th, 2021 – Valentine’s Day Prayer and Communion service held live on Zoom at 10:30 a.m.; further details and link will be in a separate email.
Tuesday, February 16th, 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.
Tuesday, February 16th, 2021 – Psalm and Prayer Study Group on Zoom at 7:00 p.m. Contact Alex for more details.
Wednesday, February 17th, 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, February 17th, 2021 – Ash Wednesday Service available on Youtube. This service is offered jointly by Blyth and Brussels United Churches, alongside the Regional Ministry of Hope (the Anglican churches of Blyth, Brussels, and Wingham).
Thursday, February 19th, 2021 – Psalm and Prayer Study on Zoom at 10:30 a.m. Contact Alex for more details.
Sunday, February 21st, 2021 – First Sunday of Lent service available on Youtube.
Sunday, February 21st, 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.
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
Feature Photo by Jamez Picard on Unsplash