This Week at Trinity, Beamsville
Friday, March 5, 2021
This week it feels like I have so much to tell you. My copy of the Sunday service text is already overflowing with notes and points of things I don’t want to forget to say. I imagine it might feel that way often, for you as listener/receiver, as I tend to cram too much in one page, or one hour-ish of worship. I also imagine it will always be that way, as I try to give you even an abbreviated version of the goodness you bring, that we share, that God gives, each week.
For today, let me focus on something happening today, March 5, and another on March 8. Both are marked annually, with long connections at Trinity, Beamsville – and both have been radically upended by these ongoing social and cultural realities. Both have decided to press on.
First, today: the International World Day of Prayer, coordinated in this country by the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada, and held every year on the first Friday of March. It has been held and celebrated by Christians around the world, for 99 years now, and not even a pandemic could slow down this essential movement. Things will be different than usual, of course. A “normal year” would have seen a core group of Trinity folks, led by the long example of the UCW, participating in the local ecumenical gathering, with lasting impact. Even so, never fear. Now fully switched to online options, with reorganizing such as I cannot imagine, this global commitment continues to focus on “Informed Prayer and Prayerful Action”. It brings together millions of Christians, speaking dozens of languages around the world, gathering in spirit, “uniting to pray for relevant issues affecting women and children.” This year, the service text is written by the women of Vanuatu and speaks again of unyielding courage to overcome adversity and uphold justice. The World Day of Prayer continues to clearly say that “prayer and action are inseparable and that both have immeasurable influence on the world.”
I don’t know if the timing of the World Day of Prayer has anything intentional with International Women’s Day, March 8, but their annual proximity always makes for a powerful connection in my heart. I seek out the wisdom and the voices honoured on both days, and in my time at Trinity, have always been awed by the solidarity and community, pouring out in equal measure from the IWD Concert coordinated by our Outreach & Social Justice leaders, and led by WomEnchant Chorus and Drummers. We will miss them, this year, of course. We continue to miss each other, always. Even so, never fear. There’s still an opportunity to hear WomEnchant, and to help raise money for women locally and globally. Check out www.thedinnerpartyiwd.ca, and listen and watch for what can happen with commitment to change.
All of the above is, at its core, what we’re listening for this coming Sunday, all over again. It’s the nature of our Lenten season, and our lifelong season as Jesus-followers. It’s the nature of our response to holy, unending Love, calling us to lives that peacefully but actively and courageously upend injustice, in all of its forms, as it presses down on any of God’s people. This isn’t a gendered response, or a national response. It is a global, faithful necessity. Informed prayer and prayerful action may seem to require more courage than we think we have, but there is always all that we need. God has seen to that, long before our asking.
With love to you all,
“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going.
What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment,
and to embrace them with courage, faith, and hope.”
(Thomas Merton, ‘Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander’)