|Posted by Harmony United Church on June 1, 2020 at 2:55 PM|
May 27th, 2020
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
anointing me to bring good news to the poor,
to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour.”
These words quoted by Jesus at the beginning of his ministry, were an important part of my ordination to the Ministry of Word, Sacrament, and Pastoral Care in the United Church of Canada. The ordination service took place 30 years ago on May 27, 1990. It was another step along the way of my great faith adventure. I had just completed a four-year Master of Divinity degree at St. Andrew's College, U. of S., in Saskatoon, although my education is really a lifelong process – as it is for all of us. I have had many interesting, challenging, and fun times, and have been privileged to serve alongside so many wonderful people in congregations in southern Manitoba, Nipigon and Red Rock, and in Thunder Bay (before and after official retirement in 2013!) I am so pleased to be serving in a gap appointment at Harmony UC, a congregation courageous enough to have taken the step of amalgamation and to explore together how to carry out Jesus' mission in the world.
I began two weeks of study leave May 18th, and have been so inspired by taking part in a virtual conference called “Preaching a New Earth: Climate and Creation”. Each day included thoughtful and uplifting worship followed by several wonderful speakers. The lectures focused on climate change and our response as stewards of creation; our faith and the global pandemic; and dealing with stress and anxiety. At the conclusion of each day there was an amazing musical offering from a whole range of talented folks.
I was so engaged with this conference that I took 28 pages of notes, hurriedly scribbled, so it's fortunate I was able to order a recording of all the lectures for future reference. This week I am reflecting on all the ideas presented, and I'm reminded of how soul-feeding and mind-expanding it is to keep on learning in the company of other seekers.
I pray for you, the Harmony United Church family, every day, and look forward to when we can gather together again. God bless you.