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Greetings 

Peace be with you! 

May your homes be filled with warmth and sunshine on this day

May you who are weary and tired find a moment for rest and restoration 

May you who are lonely feel the embrace of our ever present God

May all of you be blessed with health and comfort. 


As time manages to find ways to bend and stretch during this time of physically distancing, I give thanks to Glen Morris United Church that we remain committed to being a community that cares for and supports each other. I give thanks for warm weather that made getting fresh air all the more enjoyable this past week and for being able to continue my highland dance classes online. 

Staying Connected

Coffee Hour - Sunday, April 5, 10:00am

Join us online on zoom for a “bring your own coffee” community gathering time. Last week we had over a dozen people drop in, including some from far away! Simply click here on Sunday morning at 10:00am to share the peace of Christ with one another and share how you are doing. I miss you and would love to see you! 


Prayers of the People 

Send me your prayers and prayer requests by email at [email protected] or by phone call 647-967-0746 at any time! Here are some questions to help guide you: 

When and how have you been blessed recently? 
How are you connecting with God these days? 
What loss or sadness are you experiencing? What support are you seeking? 
Who are you concerned about at this time? Why? 

Offering 

One of the ways that we remain connected to our community is by offering our time, talent, and treasure. I want to thank the many people who are offering companionship and care during a time of increased isolation for many. Please stay in touch through our Facebook group to learn more about how to help each other out. If you are able, please continue to support the church financially during this time. Our building may be closed but the work of the church continues! 


Grief & Loss: Living in Hope During the COVID19 Pandemic

The COVID19 pandemic has changed our lives in ways we could not have imagined just a few short months ago. We have been hearing news of devastating loss across the world, we are seeing people respond to this crisis with greed and recklessness, we are dealing with isolation from friends and family. We no longer know when things will ‘return to normal’ or how normal things will even feel at the end of all of this. This week I have gathered a variety of resources that explore the ways grief may be showing up in our lives these days. Let us learn together how to better understand one another and may you hear the Spirit speaking through these resources reminding you, you are not alone. 

Article: How ‘Anticipatory Grief’ May Show Up During the COVID-19 Outbreak by Sam Dylan Finch

Article: That Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief by Scott Berinato

Podcast: On Being with Krista Tippett: Rebecca Solnit, Falling Together   “When all the ordinary divides and patterns are shattered, people step up to become their brothers’ keepers,” Rebecca Solnit writes. “And that purposefulness and connectedness bring joy even amidst death, chaos, fear, and loss.” In this moment of global crisis, we’re returning to the conversations we’re longing to hear again and finding useful right now. 

Podcast: Unlocking Us - Brene Brown, On Comparative Suffering, the 50/50 Myth, and Settling the Ball

Youtube video: Pandemic Practicums # 1 Everyone’s Response is Unique Community & Workplace Traumatologist, Compassion Fatigue Therapist, Critical Incident Responder, and clergyperson, Diane Strickland, launches the first video in a series to support folks through the COVID-19 Pandemic. In this video she discusses how and why some people respond to traumatic events, what to notice about yourself, and how to respond to others in ways that harness calm.

 

Spiritual Practices 

A candlelight vigil: Consider creating your own candlelight vigil as a way of remembering the many people you are praying for these days. Find a space where it is safe to light a collection of candles and name someone for whom you are praying for as you light each candle. Some ideas of who to light a candle for are: people working in hospitals, researchers who are working to develop a vaccine for covid 19, those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, for the church, for all those who are particularly vulnerable right now such as the homeless and incarcerated. May God bless with strength and protection all those for whom you light a candle. 

Musical meditation: Be Still - The Fray Take a moment to breathe and let the words of Psalm 46 surround you. 

Bible Study: John 11 Visual Meditation (Lazarus is Raised from the Dead) Pray with your eyes open with this contemplative reading of John 11:32-44 that incorporates music, visio divina, and visual art.

If you are hoping to join a community of faith for worship: 

This interactive map has links to churches across the country that are streaming their worship services. 
If you are looking for a local option, St. Andrew’s United Church in Brantford is using Facebook to stream a worship service Sundays at 10:00am.  More information about worship online, including how to join the Moderator for worship, can be found here.  

 

Some Christian Reminders

 

In the time of a global pandemic

Nothing changes 

I am still a beloved child of God

I am still called to seek justice, walk humbly, and love tenderly 


In the time of a global pandemic

Everything changes

God’s creation continues to reveal itself

Each unfolding challenge becomes a new opportunity to choose love


In the time of a global pandemic

Nothing changes 

We share what we have, knowing that ultimately everything is a blessing from God

We worship God by loving our neighbour


In the time of a global pandemic

Everything changes 

We repent the ways we have created a world where so many are vulnerable and vow to work for the inbreaking of God’s kin-dom here and now.

A new world of deepened solidarity emerges, and we awake to our ability to keep ourselves safe.


Yours in Christ, 

Michiko