This Week at Trinity, Beamsville
Friday, July 2, 2021
This week has been another poignant reminder of the power of seeing. As much as I love the written word, and the spoken word; as much as I turn to print articles and radio reports as primary sources of news, there is inevitably great power in opening windows to the visible truths of another’s experience. The devastating fires presently ravaging British Columbia’s interior are a frightening example of images as transformative media. The same could be said of any news source, but there is something inimitable about hearing truths with and from a physical entity. Hearing a voice alongside facial expression, even in 2D, offers powerful insight into our multi-dimensional human reality. It is humbling place of witness, even from afar. Now I’m just telling you what you already know.
It is from that vantage-point we are entering the latest iteration of Trinity’s summer worship series. We’ve lost count a little bit, but think this is the 4th edition of a seasonal invitation to hear from folks in the Trinity family. This year we’re doing things a little bit differently again, in a version of ‘slow church’ that we’ve adapted from another UCC experience and coupled with the sacred opportunity to hear real life (pre-recorded) responses from real-live siblings in faith. This summer we’re also working with a cycle of 3, in an unintended but very trinitarian way. Over 9 weeks, we’ll centre on 3 psalms, hear from 3 branches of the Trinity family tree, and have at least 3 opportunities for personal reflection and sharing. It’s all gathered under ‘The Gifts of Summertime’ – a little hashtag of sorts, that we hope will engage you, wherever you are these glorious weeks of growth.
As summer series usually are, this one has been in the creative stages for a long time now – and so there has been an equally inevitable re-evaluation of its relevance in the midst of present-day news. I pray that it is. I know that the themes of offering praise, being grateful, and cherishing laughter are as universal as anything might be, in terms of time and place. I also know that these core life practices carry us through the times when we feel least able to embrace them. (That feels less circular to say in my head.) Above all, I know that this sacred time, every Sunday morning, every Sunday of the year, is a precious invitation to hear God speaking to us, in the most profound and transformative ways. Media simply cannot capture the work of Holy Love in our hearts, bringing us closer by the moment to being the people, the nation, the living Creation that God needs us to be. Will you join me, in working on opening our eyes to that gift, all over again?
With love to you all,
“What is saving my life now is the conviction that there is no spiritual treasure to be found apart from the bodily experiences of human life on earth. My life depends on engaging the most ordinary physical activities with the most exquisite attention I can give them. My life depends on ignoring all touted distinctions between the secular and the sacred, the physical and the spiritual, the body and the soul. What is saving my life now is becoming more fully human, trusting that there is no way to God apart from real life in the real world.”
(Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith)