Last Friday afternoon, as is becoming the annual custom, on the afternoon of the ‘Town Light Up’ we strung our red and green Christmas lights along the eve of the house and shed, and, because we had a faulty string with one led bulb that didn’t work, I wound that set around the mailbox pole.
That evening, the town hosted the Annual Light Up – the moment in time when switch is thrown to light the town square in a festive glow. This is followed by the Amherst Regional High School band leading in a carol sing-a-long at the First Baptist Church. On Saturday evening the Town of Amherst hosted its Santa Claus parade and we took in both events with our NSISP (Nova Scotia International Student Program) student, Ai.
Ai is from Japan and this is her first experience of Christmas in Canada. Everything is new and she is embracing it fully. She helped me put up the lights, holding the ladder and even venturing up it once to clip a light on (mainly as a photo op)! She stood in the cold as the lights were turned on in the town square and joined in the carol sing-along and stood in the cold again as the parade wound its way past us.
Experiencing Ai’s enthusiasm is helping me to embrace the coming Advent and Christmas season more fully. As some of you know, I struggle with the commercialism of the season – I absolutely loathe going grocery shopping in November, only to be overwhelmed with Christmas candy just inside the door and Christmas musak playing while poppies are still being worn! I also wrestle with the expectations that come with the season: extra special services, the requirement to have something ‘new’ to say about a timeless story… But
Ai, with her curiosity and obvious joy at the holiday lights that push at the darkness is helping me to shed my grinchyness and look for the light of the season – to focus on what brings joy and gratitude and not take on projects or activities for the wrong reasons.
As we enter this last week of (anything but) Ordinary Time, and look toward the coming Advent season, I invite you to join me in seeking the light and embracing that which brings you and those you love joy!
Today I am in and out of the office for meetings and pastoral visits.
On Tuesday the Lectionary Study Group will meet at 10:30 AM after which I’ll be working from home until the evening when I am out for a meeting followed by a pastoral visit.
Wednesday will see me in the office for the better part of twelve hours. Coffee Hour with Open Sky will take place at 10 AM. At 3:30 PM the Worship and Sanctuary Committee will meet. At 5:30 PM the final Soul Supper will get underway and while I’m not sure what will be in pot our discussion will focus on Table Grace. At 6:30 PM the Executive of the Sackville United Church will meet.
I have two pastoral visits and two meetings scheduled for Thursday and don’t forget portraits are being taken for our Pastoral Charge Directory from Thursday to Saturday. You can schedule your appointment by clicking on the link here (https://booknow.appointment-plus.com/73x5j3rg/) or by calling 902.769.0766.
Friday and Saturday will be days off and on Sunday at 9AM we will welcome Bob Adshade to Upper Sackville United Church for a musical service and at 11AM we will welcome Sara and Luc Porier to Sackville United Church for a Conversation Café on the topic of serving and being changed. Hope to see you at one or both gatherings!