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SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICES and SUNDAY SCHOOL
St. James United Church,
5540 Osgoode Main Street,
Osgoode ON  K0A 2W0

11:00 am Regular Sunday Services and Sunday School

All are welcome! Please join us.

This Week at Worship

A beautiful, sunny greeting to you on this wonderful Friday for the ice of Sunday and Monday is but a memory. The birds are singing, and the tulips, daffodils and crocuses (or croci) are emerging from God's good earth. There is new life wherever we look this Season of Easter!

 

Have you ever had the experience of having a very full week, of being tired but so thankful for the week that was? That was and is my week (thus far).

 

This week has been one of evening board meetings (Trinity on Tuesday, St. James on Wednesday and Joint Board on Thursday) in which there was lively conversation, food(!) and laughter as your board members gave of their time to undertake the work of your community of faith. There should be a "Thank a Board Member Day" for all that our board members do on our behalf. Then again, every day should be a day of expressing thanks to one another for all that we do together for God's church. Between board meetings, planning Sunday worship, leading joyful worship at the Osgoode Care Centre and the Dr. Dowd apartments, my week, among many other things, also included three visits with family members preparing to say their final good-byes to loved ones.

 

For two of the families, my visits related to planning the interment of the ashes of the deceased whose funerals took place late-winter. My visits were a time of remembering, of planning, of continuing to offer pastoral care and being the presence of the Holy to people as they prepare to say their final goodbye.

 

 

 

My third visit was to meet with one of five daughters of a woman who died in March who has journeyed to the mystery of life beyond this life. We gathered to plan a funeral service in the coming weeks for a beloved Mom, grandmother of 10 and great-grandmother of 11. The deceased was just shy of her 102nd birthday when she died to this life. What a joy our time together was. It was a time of remembering, of laughter, of learning about a beautiful woman who was much loved. As we sat in her late mom's kitchen, it was as if the deceased was still present - the pantry was full and everything was in its place. Her daughter and I talked of mourning, of death, of knowing that "mom" had a great and amazing life, that she was fiercely independent and living in her home until a few days before her death and had only recently given up her driver's license. As we chatted, my eyes were drawn to the side and backyard of her home. I couldn't help but notice the signs of life emerging as we talked of death. The mock orange bushes and the lilac trees were showing signs of life - buds were emerging after a long winter of Sabbath rest. And I thought, in death there is life. There is always life emerging around us - we just need to pause and look.

 

I end this little reflection by adding that even as I have had a full week, even as I think of the work of your church boards, even as I think of death and the mystery of life beyond this life, I was blessed in being able to hold a beautiful baby boy, just over 3 weeks old, early Wednesday evening. What a joy to hold him and to give thanks for his life. And, as I give thanks to God for lives lived and for new life, I give thanks that you called me to minister to you, among you and the wider community. This week, though long, has been a blessing. I am blessed and I give thanks to each of you and to God for a wonderful week of ministry.

This Sunday we gather together at St. James (11 a.m.) to sing, pray, learn and listen for God's Living Words for us this day. Our scripture reads are Psalm 23 and the Gospel of John, Chapter 10:11-18.

 

Psalm 23 is well-known by Christians and non-Christians alike. The Psalm speaks of God as Shepherd and expresses the writer's confidence in God's presence and steadfast love. The Gospel reading also includes the "shepherd" theme with Jesus being the Good Shepherd - the one who cares for, loves and protects us. What might it mean for us to say that Jesus is our Good Shepherd when there are so many people in our world, so many things in our world that claim they are the "Good Shepherd?" Might we gather to explore God's Living Words for us on Sunday as we give God our thanksgiving.

 

Have a wonderful day and weekend. See you Sunday.

 

Blessings

Our Church

 

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