The past few weeks have been challenging for me personally, with sick children, injured pets, friends in crisis and a Grinch. But in the midst of everything, its has actually made me aware of just how blessed my family and I are. We have a roof over our heads, food on the table and love and support one another without question.
Not everyone is as fortunate, and as we are heading into this wonderful Christmas season, with White Gift Sunday this weekend, I for one am going to try and do a little more to help those with less.
Plus, we live in a place on Earth that has SNOW! Yippee J
Enjoy your weekend!
This Week at Trinity, Beamsville
Friday, December 7, 2018
This week I was able to learn a new word, in a new place – or at least, I should say, both were new to me. I should also say it was in a moment of privilege, as I was part of a Tuesday afternoon roundtable on future directions for a vital outreach ministry: coordinated and led by a denomination and congregations beyond our own, and yet still very much part of our Trinity family story. Intrigued?
About 10 days ago, I received an invite from one of our Outreach & Social Justice Committee; Katharine Anderson to be exact. For a few years and counting, she has been Trinity’s liaison with our neighbours at St. Alban’s Anglican Church, meeting with them and coordinating with us, bringing to life a ministry to local (particularly Hispanic) Migrant Workers. Our work with St. Alban’s is a developing and cherished partnership, following their lead in supporting these men and women who make brave choices in long stretches of work far from home. They arrive as seeming strangers in a strange land, but through St. Alban’s and a growing number of congregations in Niagara, care is extended and lives are upheld, breaking down barriers along the way, transforming both giver and receiver in the process.
You may know already most of that previous paragraph, and if that is so, I’m grateful already for your passion and compassion for this ministry. You may also know already that this ministry has been moving through a leadership change, with plenty of worry in the midst of it, but Tuesday’s meeting brought renewal one step closer. It drew together participant communities, including Katharine and me on your behalf, for wisdom on how best to continue the program, with a new missioner at the helm.
Missioner was the new word to me, and while I learned it in a church hall just down #8, it was in a denominational space almost as new to me. Anglicans I know. Their structure I do not. And so, a few days later I’m still processing the wonderings about all the times I have slipped into UCC church-ese, with the presumption that all in our midst know the language. In the grander scheme, it likely won’t matter that I know a People’s Warden from a Rector’s, or a Rector from a Vicar, but it does matter that I lift the mirror to our language and ways… which may or may not give space for all to feel part of the conversation. As graciously as we/the TUC presence were welcomed to Tuesday’s discernment, we were still a bit outside the circle, because of institutional lines we’ve all imposed over centuries.
More on that another time, but for now, I will say this: no matter the setting, no matter the language, it isn’t easy to live life with folks we do not know, or barely yet. It will always be easier to let strangers remain strangers, and for each to look after their own. But if our Anglican brothers and sisters taught me anything on Tuesday, it was so much more than a beautiful word: it was an ongoing invitation to be part of something bigger; to be part of sharing and growing with folks seemingly far from our everyday reality, and yet inextricably part of our world. Language hurdles and denominational ways aside, it was and is an invitation for each of us to be missioners. In our own time and our own way, we are all called into the heart space of really living Jesus’ mission.
Yes, you – a missioner. And yes, White Gift (Peace) Sunday is a great place to begin (again).
With Advent love to you all,
“Peace is a ribbon that circles the earth, giving a promise of safety and worth.”
(Brian Wren, Voices United 7)