Recently, I have been thinking a lot about Paul’s letters to the early church, especially the opening lines of greetings and salutations. He almost always started with “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” and with a sentence or two talked about his gratitude for them. Somewhere in the mix as he answered their questions and elucidated about the Christian faith, he would often talk about missing them and his hopes to see them soon.
This is how your ministers and staff are also feeling. We miss you all but more than anything we are filled with gratitude. We are grateful that so many are joining us in worship on Sunday morning so we can truly worship together. We are grateful for those who offer their technical skills each Sunday to bring you sound, images, videos and of course the live streaming. We are grateful for our Music Director and the wonderful way she is weaving her music and other’s musical offerings into the worship service.
We are grateful that so many of you are reaching out to one another through phone calls and emails, checking in and sharing your thoughts. Groups like the Choir, Fun and Fitness and others are checking in weekly. We are grateful that committees and session can still meet (via zoom) and people have been willing to learn new technologies.
We are grateful for the most recent edition of Across the Pews (knowing that our editor had to completely revamp it because everything had changed!). We are grateful that our Faith Formation Co-ordinator continues to send Sunday School curriculum out each week and is finding new ways to connect with youth.
We are grateful that though they could not make and serve the dinner at Ray of Hope, our Senior High sent the money they raised so a meal could be prepared for those who need it. And we are grateful that so many of you continue to support the church with your finances, even finding new ways to give.
This Sunday, May 10th we gather (via radio, livestreaming, and later YouTube) to worship. Sophie Kim will share “Abide with me” on the piano and Mary-Catherine Pazzano will sing “Take Me to the World”. The sermon “A Good Foundation” is based on Psalm 119:33-40 and 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23.
This Sunday is Mother’s Day in Canada. When I was a new mom, I remember connecting deeply with many of Isaiah’s words (of all the prophets, he seems to be the fondest in painting God as an actual human mother). In particular these two verses became deeply personal and opened my heart to see God in a new way: “As a mother comforts her child, so will I [God] comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.” (Isa. 66:13) and “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I [God] will not forget you!” (Isa. 49:15)
May you too know God’s comfort and compassion in these difficult days, knowing that God has not forgotten you!
And as Paul often finished his letters, I finish this note: “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love to all of you in Christ Jesus” (1 Corinthians 16:23,24).
Linda Ashfield, Associate Minister at KnoxWaterloo