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On Sunday, January 12, 2020 we celebrated our first Sunday worship led by our new minister Joan Kessler. In her reflection "Here to There" she described her path from "there to here: as well as wondered about our (the congregation's) path from "there to here" and how quite often these kind of paths lead through wilderness and comes with many uncertainties and questions.
"...You are wondering what to expect from me…will she turn the tables on everything we’ve worked so hard for…will she pick hymns I don’t like…will she wear sensible shoes and say sensible things…will she be there when I really need a minister. You folks may have lots of questions and adjustments to make with my arrival. We are both in a time of Wilderness…but we are here together. We are going to keep putting one foot in front of the other with patience and perseverance and a coming together….and we will get to where we are going…from Here to There...."
read the entire reflection "Here to There" by Rev. Joan Kessler
On the first Sunday of the year 2020 we welcomed our new minister Joan Kessler amongst our midst. Bob Thompson with the help of the search committee (Don Sawatzky, Sandy Bogardis, Norrie Cochrane, Penny Gambell, Karen Gibbons, and Spiro Vouladakis) lead the service including communion.
In his reflection "20/20 Vision" Don Sawatzky reviewed the past year and expressed his hopes for the future.
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s word await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.”
Don ended with a summarization of five things he believes we have learned to value in the past year:
read the entire reflection "20/20 Vision" by Don Sawatzky
Bob Thompson was leading the last service of the year 2019. In his reflection "Following Jesus is a Lifestyle" he talked about a Covenant Service by John Wesley that was first celebrated in 1755. It has become a service celebrated ever since around the New Year, although with changes and revisions as the years past.
"What is the kind of life we are prepared to covenant to today?" A newer version of the Covenant Service, he hopes, "reflects the kind of covenant we are striving to live, and the kind of life we can feel called to.
… "Richard Rohr says that when Jesus began to announce, "Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven!", he was calling us to a life style -- a way of being in the world that is simple, non-violent, shared, and loving. …
read the entire reflection "Following Jesus is a Lifestyle" by Bob Thompson
Fran Schultz lead the service on December 22, 2019 about "love." The idea of her reflection "I love you 100%" was sparked by the loving relationship of her grandson Sully to his "Pa."
read the entire reflection: "I love you 100%" by Fran Schulz
read the entire reflection: The Colour of Holiness by Jim Taylor
In his reflection, Doug Martindale picked up on the passage in Isaiah 65 which refers to a new heaven and a new earth. Doug explored what a new heaven and a new earth would look like in our place and our time. He talked about many visions and examples.;
But "what have these visions got to do with me, you may well be asking. [Visions] are very personal for each of us because we are co-creators in the visions of a new heaven and a new earth. Our visions need our hands to make them become reality. It means we have to think, act and feel differently."
And because "we are creatures of habit" what we need in order to co-create these visions is "new practices"
Read the entire reflection: A New Heaven and a New Earth by Doug Martindale
Jim Taylor's reflection on Remembrance Day Sunday was not about the wars that Canadians have participated in and not about the sacrifices made, the heroics, and the graveyards. Instead he talked about a different kind of heroism. Of people working together, without concern for their own welfare, for the good of all.
He told the story about the miracle that happened in October 1972 when a plane crashed in the highest peaks of the Andes.
At the centre of his reflection Jim quoted Nando Parrado, from his book "Miracle in the Andes," about his perception of God:
"To be honest, as hard as I prayed for a miracle in the Andes, I never felt the personal presence of God. At least, not as most people see Him. I did feel something larger than myself, something in the mountains and the glaciers and the glowing sky that, in rare moments, reassured me ...If this was God, it was not God as a being or a spirit or some omnipotent superhuman mind... It was simply a silence, a wholeness, an awe-inspiring simplicity."
Read the entire reflection: Heroism by Jim Taylor
Read the entire reflection by Rev. Alice Hanson: "The Heart Path"
Read the entire reflection by Rev. Bob Thompson: "Prayer - Speaking with the Heart"