This Week at Trinity, Beamsville
Friday, May 29, 2020
This week I might have set a new record for images saved to my phone’s photostream. It seems like multiple times a day, I’ve been coming across poignant phrases or summary statements, on the backdrop of simple yet powerful graphics, that I don’t want to get lost in cyberspace – and so I save, save, save… for future reference, and future wisdom. It may even be a strange form of scrapbooking for this strange time.
Probably no surprise, but almost all of this week’s saves have been in relation to the process of church re-opening. To be clear, that remains a long way off, in any capacity, for us, and for all Ontarians. The realities of this pandemic dictate that sad truth. We are, however, surrounded by jurisdictions – most notably across the southern border – that are navigating this very complicated, difficult process. My heart aches for American colleagues in particular, who find themselves at odds with government leaders on how best to protect their people. Balancing rights with responsibilities is always fraught with debate, but in this, there is so much, so many at stake.
In all of the above, I’m exceedingly grateful for the wisdom and leadership of our United Church of Canada. Just this past Monday, our Regional Council released a letter sent to our provincial decision-makers, reiterating the call to heed science alongside our faith. I’ll paste that text in below, for your interest and awareness… and I’ll wax on a little bit more, to say why I think this week’s release is particularly appropriate.
In short(ish), while I doubt the timing was intentional, having a letter such as it is go out at a time such as this, reminds me how vital it is to pursue this endeavour called church. Here on the edge of another Pentecost, another birthday for the Christian church as a collective body, we have another chance to affirm this incredible gift to be bearers of God’s news in the world. This is our newest and next chance to discern what it means to be ‘church’, at a time when our usual ways of being church have been turned upside down. This is precious, crucial time to listen to God, more carefully than ever before. This is our time to seek clarity, and renewed vision, and to do it all in search of God’s great, Love-defined way.
I lift my thanks for all of you, and all of your patience in this process. I lift my thanks to you, O God, for your sacred and wise accompaniment, all along this journey.
Love and peace, courage and clarity to you all,
“Pilgrims are persons in motion – passing through territories not their own – seeking something we might call completion or perhaps the word clarity will do as well, a goal to which only the spirit’s compass points the way.” (Richard R. Niebuhr, Parabola Magazine)