This Week at Trinity Beamsville
Friday, October 30, 2020
My Pappa Matthews died this past week. He was 91 years old and was healthy up until mid-summer. He was very dear to me and admired for many reasons.
At such a time as this, when the kind of celebration of his life I would wish for his is not possible, I am grateful for the space All Saints Day provides. In our tradition, it is a time to remember the saints of yesteryear and whom we’ve known personally, who have shaped the world in which we live. Mentors, theologians, justice warriors, family members, past Sunday School teachers and clergy, loved ones. We remember them because even death does not separate those who love. We remember them to say, “thank you”. We remember them not only to honour them, but to declare their peace with God. Their stories are part of ours, and observing this time reminds us to tell these stories.
A special part of the story of our congregation has been Betty Mittler, who made the difficult decision to move nearer to family this past summer. She has written this letter to us all, full of her usual wit and wisdom, entitled “Goodbye to Trinity”, which follows.
I invite you this week to light a candle on your table in memory of Betty and the “Saints” you have known; the souls who have inspired you or poured into your life. We will focus Sunday on honouring their contributions, receiving their torch, and reflecting on how we may shine the light forward.
Blessings on you and your week,
“Goodbye to Trinity”
This year has been one of change for everyone, especially me. I knew I was going to move to live with my children and give up my tiny home in Albright Gardens. I had it all planned. I would pack a little each day and bu June 13 all there would be left to do is turn out the lights and give the keys to the manager. We would have had the Spring Concert the choir was practicing for, and I would buy a big good-bye cake with the nice icing for after church coffee hour and say my goodbyes. I would give the last of my angel collection to anyone who wished to have a remembrance from me. I did leave some at the church for you when they can be accessed.
There is a saying, If you want to make God laugh, tell Him what you are going to do tomorrow. I don’t think God is laughing, He grieves along with us. He made us to be in community and the community I had in Beamsville was a treasure. I knew everyone in Albright Gardens for the last thirty years. Trinity was my church home, not just physically but in my heart and soul. Trinity cared for and nourished me, all of me. The music grew my soul. The services and the study groups were my sustainance through good and sad times – my brothers and sisters in Christ in every way. We praised, we enjoyed, we laughed and we mourned together. That is what real families do, live in love and grow.
Then illness and age had their way with me and then everyone. A pandemic savaged the land. I give thanks every day that I live in Canada where the government believes in caring for everyone, even when some people fall through the cracks and the ordinary citizens need to take on some of the responsibilities. We do our best and try to be faithful to our beliefs. We have been given a time to take stock of what is most important to our individual and corporate lives. I am heartened by the families who are really getting to know each other and enjoy their lives together. I am praying for the families who have not learned to work together and be grateful for those they have.
My memory is excellent and my time in Trinity is a whole string of bright jewels that I will treasure always. The building is beautiful, warm, welcoming and so are the people. Being part of the choir met one of my deepest needs, to be inside the music that binds us together as a worshiping community and raises us to a much higher plain of consciousness. The view from the choir loft let me see who was away and who I needed and wanted to talk to after the service. Each minister we have had the privilege to lead us, has been just the one we really needed and all have been good friends.
We have been spared the long goodbye and the tears of parting. To each of you I say Thank you for being my friend and companion along The Way. I could not have made it without you. Keep on being your true self, the best, most loving people I know. Music has always been part of my life. It will always be integral to who I am. Recently I found a treasure I share with you now. I daily listen to The Music is Always There by John Rutter. Please listen to it and know I mean it for each of you. If you wish to get in touch with me, my information is in the church office.