Greetings to each of you! It is a joy to know that many of you have taken advantage of the good weather and have headed to the cottage, gone camping or taken some lovely day trips. And many are also now enjoying socially distanced visits in back yards (which is bringing back a bit of a feeling of normalcy to your lives) – what a treat to enjoy conversation and fellowship with good friends.

This Sunday, as we gather for worship through the magic of the radio and internet (live streaming) we will be reminded that as Jesus’ disciples, we are all together in the boat. (The boat was an ancient Christian symbol and today is still a symbol for the Church.) We will hear the lectionary passage from Matthew 14:22-23 that talks about walking on water but also that we are  “Together, in the Boat”.

We will see Sean Jackson’s Generosity Video and listen to Jake Villeneuve sing “Blowin’ in the Wind” and Mary-Catherine Pazzano singing “You will be found”. Together we will sing Hymn 407 “Praise my soul, the king of heaven”, 461 “Be thou my vision” and 671 “I heard the voice of Jesus say”.

I’m delighted that Nancy and David Matthews (Elders and leaders of Knox’s “Food for Thought”) will read scripture and our Clerk of Session Deb Schlichter will also provide leadership in worship. I’ll try my best to do something fun for the Children’s story – it’s called “Surprise and Mystery” and it will either be a surprise for everyone, or if I can’t pull it off, a big surprise for me!

David and Kathryn Hare and family are leaving Waterloo and moving to Haliburton next week. For the past 25 years or so they given leadership and participated in many aspects in congregational life. We are very grateful and thank Kathryn for her years as our Treasurer (some years ago) and most recently this past year. We wish the Hare family all the very best as they begin a new chapter in their lives.

Next Sunday, the candidate for the position of Associate Minister will be preaching for the call. This past week you should have received information about the candidate as well as information about how we are conducting a virtual congregational meeting.

I want to remind you that on Saturday, August 15, you will have the opportunity to meet our ministry candidate virtually at one of two Meet & Greet gatherings via Zoom. These gatherings are scheduled for 10AM and 11:15AM on Saturday, August 15. If you wish to participate, you must register at this link: https://doodle.com/poll/xg73nryiwth6krnf. If you register, a Zoom link will be sent on Friday August 14 to the email address you provide; this link will grant access to the Meet & Greet. The gathering will utilize a question & answer format, so if you have a question you would like to submit to our prospective new minister, please write it down and send it to search@knoxwaterloo.ca by Thursday, August 13.

Thank you to the various Search Committees (for four new staff) and to the Knox Transition Team who have guided us throughout.

After 41 years of ministry and 31 years as minister at Knox Waterloo planning a final worship service comes with various emotions. As we give God thanks for the faithfulness, the courage, and the vision of ministry that we have shared, we are assured that God goes with us into the future.

Grace and peace to you my friends,

Linda Ashfield, Associate Minister at Knox Waterloo