I was so deeply touched yesterday to be surprised during the service with the presentation of a beautiful gift of pottery by Sackville United Church, in recognition of the 30th Anniversary of my ordination to a ministry of word, sacrament and pastoral Care with the United Church of Canada.
As I shared earlier, the platter made by Rachel Morouney beautifully compliments a bowl that presently graces our table. In the card, there is an overview of the symbolism:
The circle and the dragonfly: the circle represents both endings and new beginnings, and it extends a hand and heart to all, the blessings and invitation to come to the Table where there is Room for All. The dragonfly is a symbol of change, transformation and self-realization. It teaches us to love life, to rejoice, and to have faith even amidst difficulties.
In these thirty years I have grown, been changed, transformed even, mostly by encounters with persons like each of you, in whom I have experienced the presence of God – in hopefulness, brokenness, joy and grief, persons who have taught and cared for me as much as I have them. This is the gift, blessing and joy of ministry – that one is filled as one is emptied out, that one is cared for as one cares, that one is served as one serves others.
Thank you for this gift which honours that service and for the opportunity to share in ministry with you.
In the words of Jim Strathdee… (part a of verse 1 and part b of verse 2)
We have this ministry and we are not discouraged; it is by God’s own power that we may live and serve. Openly we share God’s word… … called to service by your grace, different cultures, different gifts, the young and old a place. We have this ministry, O God, receive our giving.
It is my hope and prayer that in the days ahead, Jen and I may again one day welcome you to our home where you might receive food from the platter you have gifted me with – food for the journey of growth and service, the ministry we share!
Today I have pastoral visit scheduled all day and by the weather forecast, will be enjoying the air conditioning in the truck between visits!
Tuesday will be spent in a series of study groups and meetings (in-person and online) followed by participation in the preaching cohort that I am a part of in the afternoon, after which Rasta has an appointment at the vet for his vaccinations.
Wednesday morning includes the regular monthly meeting of the Greater Moncton Clergy Cluster that I am a part of – likely our last gathering until the fall followed by a meeting and then visits at the Sackville Memorial Hospital and the Drew Nursing Home.
I will likely work from home on Thursday and try to bring some shape to the liturgy and sermon for Sunday.
Friday and Saturday will be days off and on Sunday I look forward to being with you either in-person at Sackville United Church at 11am or via the live-stream on Facebook Live!
On Sunday June 20th at 9am I will offer leadership at Upper Sackville United Church as we mark a significant transition in our life as community: from one two-point pastoral charge to two single-point pastoral charges and the end of my covenant relationship with Upper Sackville United Church congregation. I hope that you will be able to join us for this important service. Recognizing that some may be unwilling to participate in-person as a result of the continuing pandemic efforts will be made to record the service and make it available to those who are interested.