Dear Glen Morris United Church,
As I sit down to offer you a greeting of peace, I find myself distracted and troubled by distressing news about what is currently happening in the United States. Over the past several hours, pro-Trump supporters have engaged in a protest with escalating violence, storming the US Capitol building.
Social media and news reports alike are continuing to offer updates and are leaving many people feeling a helpless sense of overwhelm and grief as this moment reveals to us a deeply divided and broken world. As Canadians, we know that our lives are not separate from our neighbours to the South - we have loved ones who live there, we ourselves have lived, studied, and traveled to many places across the US. As Christians, we understand that the call for us to love our neighbour extends far and wide and certainly beyond borders.
As someone who has been trusted with supporting you in your spiritual care and growth, I want to remind you that following Christ in these moments are difficult and it is important to take time to pray. Some of you may feel the Holy Spirit calling you to be present, to read the news, to become more aware of what is happening. Some of us need to listen to the Spirit inviting us to take a pause, to put our phones down and remember to breathe deeply. Trust that God is speaking to you in this time and place.
Please pray with me,
You who walked this earth with us as the Prince of Peace,
Who calls us to love one another,
Who requires us to walk humbly, seek justice, and love tenderly,
We pray for peace
Peace in our troubled hearts
Peace in the streets where violence is unfolding
Peace in the minds of all those who have been lead astray by ignorance, hate, and fear
May it be so, Amen.
Yours in Christ,
Thanks again to all of you who journeyed with me this Advent and Christmas by exploring the theme of Those Who Dream. I am grateful for the folks at Sanctified Art who created such a beautiful resource for us and for Hymns for the Architect who provided us with such beautiful and grounding music to prepare us for worship each week. May you find a light.
If you are wanting to enjoy the videos again on your own, all of the videos and more can be found here.
Still not feeling completely ready to start the new year? 2020 is certainly a difficult year to say goodbye to and we enter 2021 with so much still unknown. When life hands us these opportunities for transition in a time of uncertainty it can be helpful to engage in a process of honorable closure. Here are some questions that might be helpful to think about or use as journal prompts as we say goodbye to a challenging year:
l. Name three or four of the most significant challenges and breakdowns that you went through in 2020.
2. Name any growths and strengths that came from those breakdowns.
3. Name three or four significant accomplishments, breakthroughs, or successes you experienced in 2020.
4. List the ways you have been blessed and what are you deeply grateful for at the end of 2020.