It was a busy but rich and rewarding weekend – made more frantic by a cold that began on Tuesday, a day away from the office on Wednesday and many demands on Thursday. As a result, I spent Friday putting the finishing touches on two funeral services and the liturgy and sermon for Sunday, and on Saturday I officiated at the funerals of two saints: one who I knew well and the other I wish I had known.
Being with families at the time of death and remembering with them and giving thanks for their loved one’s life continues to be one of my greatest joys in ministry. Yesterday was no exception.
At 1PM I gathered with the family of the late Ann Ross. Ann and her husband Murray and their children and grandchildren were part of the congregation at Wesley Memorial United while I was minister there – before I went to prison. They are presently associated with Mount Royal United but the minister there was unable to officiate as he was participating in a service for the Region. I was a joy and privilege to be with Murry and his children and their partners and their children to celebrate Ann’s life of love and curiosity, compassion and community building!
And then, later that afternoon I was back in Sackville with the family of the late Alex Zoellner, his wife Julia and their children and grandchildren and his sister Sandra Sears to recall with gratitude his life, and the impact he had on the world around him as we entrusted his spirit to God’s care.
As is often the case, I was deeply touched by the stories of his life and regret not having had the opportunity to meet him…
All this to say, never miss an opportunity to meet someone and listen to their story – our lives can be immensely enriched when we do so!
Today I am following the advice of a trusted member of the Preacher’s Help Group who suggested “Save your energies for the essentials and let other things go. Model the self-care you would wish for your parishioners. Sermon ended and done.” Thank you for the sermon!
Tuesday morning, I will share time with the Preacher’s Help Group beginning at 10:30AM and then join in the first of a two day, ½ day on-line conference “Getting to Tomorrow: Ending the Overdose Crisis-New Brunswick Dialogue”. The second ½ day is on Thursday afternoon. Tuesday evening I will be meeting with Santa to do some promotional recording for Zoom with Santa which will occur Dec 3rd, 4th and 5th.
On Wednesday morning I’ll be in the office early (do drop in and say hi), among other things getting ready for the last http://www.psalms.com session before we shift to Advent events and activities. Then, on Wednesday evening, I will meet with the Executive of Sackville United Church for their regular business meeting.
Thursday morning will see me in the office along with Bea our co-op student (do drop in and say hi) and then in the afternoon I’ll be taking part in the second half of the on-line conference I mentioned above. This will be my last engagement for 10 days as I am taking my final week of study leave as a bit of a pre-Advent retreat.
On Sunday morning the Rev. Catherine Gaw will offer leadership at both Sunday Gatherings AND make her debut on Facebook Live! I’ll join in on-line, holding you and her in prayer, that the technology will work well in my absence!!