This Week at Trinity, Beamsville
For Friday, July 17, 2020
This week I actually had a bit of an advance plan for these musings… and a draft in hand (the tried and true, handwritten way) by the middle of Tuesday. Later on Tuesday, some news came through that added another, very unexpected layer.
First, the advance plan: I’ve been noticing, in my daybook in particular, that the Trinity family is in the midst of another season of remembering. As I’m sure I’ve told you before, at the end of every calendar year, when it’s time to move from one daybook to the next, there’s a bittersweet ritual of remembering farewells. It’s a simple but cherished process, where I transcribe dates and milestones, and give thanks for all who have come and gone from our present sightlines. What that means for right now, is that every week of July and early August, my calendar has a name and a date, sometimes two or three, to mark the loss of a beloved. Spouses, siblings, parents, children, neighbours, and friends, are all quietly acknowledging anniversaries of the heart; giving thanks again for the lives that they and we were so blessed to share.
As you saw from the Wednesday evening email, I’m very sorry to add the name of a colleague to this season of remembering. So suddenly, as is too often the way, The Rev. Dwain Ketcheson died this past Monday, at the tender age of 55. His congregation of Mountainview United in St. Catharines, and most deeply his family and friends, are mourning his passing, and lamenting all that was to be. And yet, I am certain, when Dwain’s beloveds gather in this weekend, to honour his life and love, they will also lift up great prayers of gratitude. In his quiet, humble ways, Dwain led and transformed countless lives in the Way of Jesus. This timing is not what anyone wanted, but none of Dwain’s time on earth will be lost, ever.
I won’t be at Dwain’s funeral on Saturday afternoon – in part because present restrictions leave the gathering small, and by invitation only. Even more pressing is that I will be gathered, the same day and afternoon, with the closest loves of our Don Pyefinch, who died in early April. After three and a half months of patient waiting, Don’s Norma, their children and closest family will gather in the fresh air of this community Don loved so much. We will honour and remember, and we will lift up great prayers of gratitude. For even in the midst of circumstances that no one wants or celebrates, we celebrate God’s faithful love; God’s faithful, abiding, fulfilled promises, that welcome us all home, in ways beyond our present seeing.
With love to, and gratitude for you all,
“Oh Lord, how shining and festive is your gift to us, if weonly look, and see.” (Mary Oliver, “Look and See”; in ‘Why I Wake Early’, 2004