This Week at Trinity, Beamsville
Friday, May 4, 2018
This week I’ve been replaying in my head an orange juice commercial. That’s a bit of an odd declaration for someone who doesn’t watch much TV, and especially for someone who doesn’t enjoy orange juice all that much (long story). That said, and much to the ad agency’s chagrin I’m sure, the piece that stayed with me was the opening line that said (I think): sometimes the best thing you can decide to do is nothing at all… or something along the lines of trying to tell would-be customers that this is a natural, minimally touched product; fresh like you squeezed it yourself.
The notion of deciding to do nothing at all, and realizing that sometimes that is the best thing, is extra resonant with me in the days leading up to a week of retreat. This time next week, I’ll be 5 days into a long-awaited time of renewing and recharging; of reading and writing; taking breaks in the form of a bike ride or walk along the shore; and just generally doing nothing that requires a schedule. Even though I know it will take some time for my head and heart to step out of life’s usual pace, I also know it is a gift to be able to do just that, and I’m just about counting the hours till the ferry leaves for Pelee Island.
If it sounds like I’m already there, you’re a little bit right, in an anticipatory sense, but rest assured I’m still very focused on this Sunday – perhaps more than usual? This will be a bittersweet service, as we’ll be celebrating and honouring Trinity’s United Church Women, even as we recognize the sadness in their decision to disband formally. To be cliché, it will mark the end of an era, and while there is an extraordinary list of gifts and accomplishments that will forever be Trinity’s UCW story, there is also the awareness that our church culture, our broader culture, has changed radically in the last half century. Sabbath isn’t in our everyday language anymore, and not because we’re working too hard.
In the Sundays since Easter, we’ve been moving through a series on letting go; on learning to distinguish what is healthy to hold, and what God longs to have us release. It’s a lifelong process that cannot be defined by or confined to a few services, but I believe it’s a critical space to enter, again and again. I also give thanks that we can end this series with the most life-giving lesson on letting go; with a commercial if you will, for what it means to make a courageous choice to embrace something new. As our UCW have modelled for us, there is often a great letting go that accompanies great change, but with prayer and confidence, there is equal comfort and freedom in choosing to believe in more; in trusting that there is still great promise and hope, in places now seen with eyes refreshed and ready.
Blessed rest and love to you all,
“Bravery is the audacity… to walk with freedom, strength, and hope, in the face of things unknown.”
(Morgan Harper Nichols)