Rev Paula has Retired!

Greetings Trinity and community folk!

I need to let you all know that I am now officially retired.  Yes, it is a year early, but it is the right thing for me to do at this moment in time.

 If there is one learning I can take from this pandemic, it is of the importance of staying connected to friends and family and engaging in activities which bring joy and comfort to the soul.  I will be remaining in Creston, and available for a wide variety of congregational and community supports if needed and as appropriate.

As an example of what those supports could look like, I have agreed to continue to curate the congregation’s social media sites, at least until someone comes forward to either share the task or take it over entirely.  The weekly reflections from the lay leaders will continue to be posted on this website and on the congregation’s facebook page.  Please send me an email with anything you would like to see posted online.

Meanwhile, stay safe everyone, and remember to be kind and gentle with yourselves and one another.

Rev Paula

Sunday Reflection Oct 25

Reflection for Sunday October 25, 2020

21st Sunday after Penticost

Readings Deuteronomy 34:1-2, Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17, 1 Thessalonians2:1-8,Matthew 22:34-46

 

Opening Prayer

Bless your servant, O God

And favour us with your steadfast love.

May your love flow through us

Like springs of living water,

That we may rejoice and be glad

All the days of our lives. Amen

Reflection – Matthew 22: 34-46

In the Matthew reading the Pharisees are testing Jesus’s knowledge of the law.  Their intention is to catch him off guard and defeat him.  Their question is which of the commandments of the Law is the greatest commandment? Jesus answers without hesitation “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and all of yo9ur mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it:  Love your neighbour as yourself.  All the law and prophets hang on these two commandments.”

At first glance Jesus has simplified how we are to live our lives.  Love God and love our neighbours and we have qualified for the green light to heaven.  Simple isn’t it?  Well it wasn’t until I started asking questions of myself like; do I really love God with all of my heart, mind and soul?  My temptation was to say “of course I do” but the next thought was what would that look like?  Our thoughts, actions and deeds need to match in order to demonstrate that love.

 

I know that often I find myself in a state of ecstasy as a walk surrounded by forest and river, the dome of a blue sky hearing the songs of a variety of birds.  I am overwhelmed by gratitude for experiencing such perfection and awe for the gifts of God.  Sometimes when I meditate and I achieve a stillness of mind I feel the presence and love of God and I know that all is well.  Conversely, unfortunately these are not states that I can maintain for any duration.  My thoughts my mood and state of mind seems to easily be drawn to the negative influences of worldly events.  The only way I have discovered to at least keep my foot in the door of basking in God’s love is to regularly practise praying, meditation and gratitude.  So much for the green light to heaven, I recognize that I am often running a yellow light the light of caution.

The second commandment of Love thy neighbour as the self would seem simple enough to achieve.  When I ask myself how successful and consistent I am with this commandment, truthfully I am again running on a yellow light.  Sometimes it is my ego, sometimes my fear of people that makes me act rather defensively, rather than out of love.  Ultimately the practise of forgiveness for both myself and others, is what will set me free and allow me to change from fear, perhaps hatred to loving others.

I have attempted to reflect on how well I keep those two commandments in an honest fashion.  It would be easier to lie to myself, it is uncomfortable to know how far I have yet to go and how aware I must be to keep on the right path.  Keeping these two commandments Jesus says are paramount to keeping all the others.  It is my hope and intent that anyone reading this reflection will take some time to honestly reflect on their own success of abiding by these two commandments.  Despite our good intensions, we all have frailties and flaws that get in our way.  The grace of God and the power of forgiveness are the gifts we are given to help us get back on our path as true servants of God.  On that path we build and add to the great power of love and healing.  Amen.

Commissioning

And now we give a final word of thanks:  thanks to the One who is Creator and Creating.  Be aware of what is around you and know that God is with you, in water, land, air and sky.  Know that God is continually creating within you.  Never stop learning about this world that is ours as stewards, that is God`s gift to us and to all creation.  Know this earth as an expression of God`s love and live in gratitude. Amen.

From the Gathering – Peter Chynowith

 

Congregation Update

this was emailed to the congregation on Oct 23rd

Trinity United Church

LETTER TO CONGREGATION

October 20th, 2020

Dear Trinity Congregation:

As we still navigate our way through this COVID pandemic, each day seems to bring one significant event or another. As a church congregation, it is hopeful that we find meaning and inspiration to fill our daily lives.

This Letter to you reports on our Council meeting on October 14, 2020.

Anne Jackson reported that the Restorative Care reimbursement to the church from Rev. Paula’s Health Plan will be initiated to CEWS by the end of October, 2020. Financially, right now, Trinity seems to be on stable ground.

Karen Shannon noted in her Income Statement that the month of September 30, 2020, the Trinity Treasures had a net profit of

$5, 599.95. On behalf of Trinity United Church, we gratefully thank Karen and her staff for their hard work and commitment in their success.

According to Linda Price, the Outreach committee had their first hot lunch. Their Wednesday’s bag lunch continues being distributed in from of the church.

Joan Fahselt reported on the Worship committee and the Licensed Lay Worship Leader’s schedule from October until December. Church services will continue every Sunday from October 25, 2020 until November 29, 2020 on line. I am hoping that in December and following the Safety Plan, we will have church services in the church hall.

Trinity Council is very pleased to say that we have signed a contract for the six-month and half time Supply that was advertised.

Rev. Laura J. Turnbull will be with us from January 2021 to June 2021. She lives in Penticton, BC. We are hoping to sign up for ZOOM for our church so that some times and in bad winter travelling, some of our services will be by ZOOM. We are also hoping that she will conduct a service in December, 2020.

The Lay Leaders will also be providing services in December.

In November, we will begin organizing for December services and the required Safety Plans. You will be notified on the procedures for attending the services and a notice will be on the church door.

On Sunday, October 18, 2020, I attended the Creston Concert Series performance by John McLachlin. He accompanied his singing with slides and videos from his childhood, youth, teenager, and adulthood of his vacations on The Spit of Hornby Island. His presentations were very nostalgic and meaningful and showed how fast life goes by. His photos of The Spit showed the ocean waves pounding on the stony shores.

As they erode and smooth the sharp rocks, it reminded me of the hate, anger, revengeful, pretentious and awful behaviours we humans also have to erode. Walking on a beach, our eyes often spot the smoothest and prettiest stones. These, first get cleaned by the waves, then smooth and shiny by erosion. Similarly, we are transformed by first our heart being cleaned by prayer, second, healed by the Spirit, and third, becoming whole by practising being in God’s Presence. This is the cleanser that purifies our body, mind and thoughts and the true path of becoming an active servant of God.

Our next council meeting is on November 17, at 3:00pm. This time change as well as the one held at 3:00pm on October 14, 2020, is to facilitate Kathy Davies of Pacific Mountain Region to oversee our Council Meeting. Without a Minister, we would be unable to conduct our meeting.

Keep well and always in the Divine’s Presence.

Remember that “Thoughtfulness is the doorway to the sunlight of wisdom…” a gyaana (bit of wisdom).

Anjanee Gyan-Dyck, LLWL

Chair,

Trinity Executive Council

Worship for Sunday Sept 20

Worship for this coming Sunday can be found here: 

https://revsponderings.wordpress.com/2020/09/17/gods-justice-is-grace/?fbclid=IwAR1C8VKsRv4-83CL3KAZK7by0q-O1VEnxoKzPna5qPUhpnesn-_u5dXVu

This week we learn about God’s justice, and how it suspiciously looks like grace.  Let me know your thoughts! What parts of the lessons from the past three weeks have you struggled with?

Good news!  The safety plan was approved at the Sept 16th council meeting.  We are aiming for an in person communion service Oct 4th and an in person thanksgiving service on the 11th.  Today property and worship are meeting at the church to set up the worship space using the safety plan guidelines.  Then we start training the chair people on council as they will be the ones responsible for implementation and compliance.  And then we can worship together!  Please contact the church office if you would like to attend as total numbers (for now but not for always) are limited to 15 including worship leaders.

A reminder about FaithFest coming up at the end of the month.  The lay leaders will not be providing a worship service for you that Sunday.  Instead, everyone is encouraged to sign up for all or part of the Kootenay Faith Festival called “Small but Mighty” Sept 23-27, streaming live from Knox United in Fernie.  Everything you need to know about the schedule and how to register can be found here:  https://www.leadershiftpm.ca/kff2020

We are starting a prayer group 9am Friday mornings, and you are invited to attend.  The location will be outdoors and will vary from week to week.  If the weather is not suitable, we will move the prayer group indoors.  Please contact Rev Paula directly if you would like to attend.  Numbers will be limited to ensure COVID compliance.