|Posted by Harmony United Church on June 15, 2020 at 7:35 PM|
Minister's Message - June 10th, 2020
“God blesses our lives with moments so full of joy
that they get us through the rest of it .”
(Nora Sanders, General Secretary, U.C.C.)
Today is the 95th anniversary of the United Church of Canada, a joining together of Methodist, Presbyterian, and Congregational Churches whose members believed they could better serve God in unity rather than in separate communities. Over the ensuing years much good has been accomplished, though not without struggle.
As we face personal and societal challenges today, I believe we need the support of our church community as much as ever. When we hear of so many problems in our world it's easy to become cynical and to give in to a state of hopelessness. That is a kind of easy, safe stance to take – above the fray, looking down on all that's happening. But it is not a good place to be, for it leads us to be judgmental, and to feel alone and helpless. Our faith urges us to reject cynicism and pray for ways to be part of positive solutions.
Listening as others share their stories and thoughts, reading inspiring books, and watching good films can all help us renew our sense of hope. Through prayer we open ourselves to blessings of comfort and peace, and sometimes surprising ideas of what we may do, or how we may change our understanding of things. We need to pray in quiet solitude at times, but we also need our faith community – we need the support, example, and challenge of one another. It is good to visit other churches' online worship services, but I hope you will continue to keep as close an involvement with our local church as possible. This is where we live out our calling as the family of God.
This week I have been overwhelmed with gratitude at the very positive response to an invitation that Peter and I sent out asking if anyone would like to support the people of Palestine by buying their fair trade olive oil. This is a small thing we can do which demonstrates great love. It makes a huge difference in the lives of Palestinian farmers struggling to make a living in their occupied territory, and helps to keep hope alive.
God bless you as you find joy where you can, and nourish hope in yourselves and in neighbours near and far.