While staying with them, [Jesus] ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:4-5)
Greetings, all! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
I’m sure that many of us are getting tired of being told to wait. Being told to hold off on family occasions for just a bit longer. Being told to be patient while others clearly aren’t. It seems like so many areas of my life are requiring patience. Patience with the new dog, still getting used to his surroundings and slowly getting socialized with other people and dogs. Patience with the work going on outside the house, with new siding being put on and a new deck being built out front. Patience with the plans to slowly re-enter our buildings in time, and the patience in getting to know these communities more. To be honest, patience is quite exhausting at times.
We can identify with the earliest disciples, who were probably sick and tired of being told to wait by the time of the Ascension of Jesus, when the risen Jesus was exalted. Jesus’ final words to His disciples after the post-Easter appearances was to hang tight, to wait around in Jerusalem. Here they got a foretaste, then were told to sit on it for even longer. What gives?
For those disciples, and perhaps like us waiting today, this time of patience is a time of preparation. The disciples were about to be thrown to the wolves and the Holy Spirit in Pentecost, with all the unknowns and possibilities that offered. For us today, as much as folks are wanting to get “back to normal”, in many ways what we’re being slowly ushered into is a new thing. A thing where normal doesn’t mean the oppression of minorities, a lack of care for community, and unsustainability.
In this time of exhaustive patience, have hope and take hold of the Spirit’s promised presence and presence already here. They say that absence (and patience) makes the heart grow fonder. Perhaps this time of waiting can also make our hearts more caring and compassionate. This all being said, our patience does not mean being completely inactive. There are still many things happening in our congregations and our communities:
- 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.
- We are taking a few weeks off of our weekly Zoom Sunday School sessions. However, 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.
- Many thanks to our Lay Pastoral teams who are checking in with congregants and friends, and making sure that they are connected to the happenings of our congregations. If you know of someone who might enjoy a call, or who may need pastoral care from Alex, be sure to reach out!
- We are looking for Blyth folks who would be interested in helping to man a multi-church hospitality booth, either as part of the Blyth Market, or as its own stand if the market does not go ahead. We will be handing out youth ministry packages and providing conversation to passers-by. If this is something that might interest you, contact Alex.
- Starting the week of May 31st, we will be having a Bible study on the Book of Acts. Come learn more about the narrative of the early Church, and how we might be called to act as Church in the community coming out of this pandemic. More details and times to come next week!
Sunday, May 16th – Ascension Sunday service available on Youtube.
Monday, May 17th – Huron Women’s Shelter Zoom Seminar at 1:30 p.m. Link will be sent to congregants next week via email; those not on the list can contact Alex for the link.
Tuesday, May 18th – 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, May 19th – Zoom Fellowship session from 10:30-11:30. Please check your email for the Zoom link and phone passcode, or email Alex for details.
Wednesday, May 19th – Blyth Ministerial meeting from 9:00-10:30.
Sunday, May 23rd – Day of Pentecost 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