This Week at Trinity, Beamsville
Friday, March 4, 2022
This week I’ve been thinking a fair bit about greetings. I’ve been holding on to the wonderful, sunny “good morning” of Tuesday, when young Eli found me outside the church doors – me setting out ashes for Wednesday, he on his way to school. I’ve been living into the invitation to take in the sunrise, and even the sunset, as reminders of new days dawning and then coming round again, in a time of great uncertainty. I’ve been witnessing the delight on my parents’ faces as they answered countless calls for their birthdays, this week and last, hearing familiar voices and a lifetime of memories just in that opening hello.
Amid all that, I’ve been thinking, too about the formality of language that we follow, in opening congregational gatherings like our Annual Meeting this Sunday afternoon. I wonder if it isn’t language I should draw upon more often – not because of its formality. You know already that I’m most comfortable in so-called “low liturgy”. What I want to draw upon, instead, is the reminder that we gather and we discern in the name and in The Way of Jesus, “the only head of the church”. It is a phrase of humility, of intentionality; of centering and decentering, all in the same breath. It comes with the beautiful reminder of who we are, whose we are, and why on earth we’re trying to do all that we are. At least, I hope that’s what that phrase is all about.
Just a few hours before the Annual Meeting, we’ll gather in for a time of worship. It’s the first time in my time here that we’ve separated the Meeting from a Sunday morning. Call it the practicalities and push of the pandemic, but I think it’s the wisest and most technologically sound way forward, not to mention inclusive. We will, however, still have prayer and music, and the presence of the Christ candle, all through the Annual Meeting. More than remnants or token pieces of what we do on a Sunday morning, they’re more of the crucial reminders about why we have all this business in the first place; in this place, with this name on our front lawn sign.
And so, while I’m occasionally envious of congregations that hold Annual Meetings well apart from the Season of Lent, there are more times when I’m grateful for this converging of markings. If we look to Lent as a time of preparing for new beginnings, what better moment than to also gather in as a body of faith, to prepare for new beginnings in this congregational life. That may be heightened this year, but it holds true every year. With God, through God, in God, Trinity United Church Beamsville can greet this next stage of your journey with the promise of good still to come. This sometimes very upside-down world needs your presence and commitment as much now as it ever has; as it always has… as I’m committed to believing that it always will.
With love to you all,
“Always, we begin again.” (St. Benedict of Nursia, ‘The Rule of St. Benedict’)