Dear Friends in Faith,
It was a joy to be with you again yesterday and to share in a time of worship and conversation with you.
I offered a couple of invitations to those who gathered yesterday which I promised to prepare for Karen to send out to you today!
The first was this: to read a beautiful, poetic and expansive expression of our faith as The United Church of Canada, check out our most recent doctrinal statement (2006): A Song of Faith here. This document expresses what we believe about God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Church, Sin, Grace, Church, and our relationship with Peoples of Other Faiths. We used several portions of Song of Faith as our worship liturgy and prayers yesterday. You can find the order of service in last week’s Passing the Peace newsletter under Sunday's worship. We also used a John Burton hymn based on it and those words are also printed there.
The second was in reference to our reading from Acts 11:1-18 which describes the moment when the early church intentionally began to include people outside of the Jewish Faith. It is a wonderful story describing a time of major challenge and change for the Followers of The Way which prompted this question: "Do you have a story of a time in your life that changed the way you understood or shifted your views on something significant? Think on that… and share your story with somebody! There is so much power in sharing our stories!
The third was this: In the midst of the many challenges and changes of these days, be sure you take your Sabbath times. Take time to rest, to restore, to rejuvenate… to smell the roses! Sundays are great days for that… if they work for your life… otherwise… find another day of the week! If you can’t manage a whole day, start with what you can manage… even if it is a couple hours weekly when you commit to ‘doing nothing’… at least nothing serious!!
With Deep Affection
Rev. Debra Schneider
Retired United Church of Canada Minister (pulpit supply) Ordained to Glen Morris United Church, 1996