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Thursday September 17, 2020

Dearly Beloved,

I’m back.

I did very little during my time away. In May and June, I completed the Pacific Jubilee Soulguiding Program (through Zoom), but all the rest of my plans were canceled due to Covid. I had some fun in July: did a couple mixed spirit tours in the Fraser Valley and lots of driving about. But in August, I ended up in hospital for an emergency appendectomy! So I slept through most of August and September, recovering. I did get lots of rest. Picking up speed to start working again is proving to be a challenge.

I bought not one, but two ukuleles in June and July. As I sit down after 5 months of not using a keyboard (the longest I’ve ever gone in my adult life without using a keyboard!), I can’t feel the keys with my left hand for the calluses I’ve grown! I’ve also forgotten how my word processor works! Do you realize I haven’t gone more than 7 weeks without composing a sermon in over 20 years!?

It is good to see and hear from folk again. It has been so long. I’m grateful to find that so many people continued to participate in the Wednesday morning Trinity Zoom visits. I’ve heard good things about folks connecting over the Sunday Gathering. And so much work has been done around the church building! New carpets in the sanctuary, a cage for our waste bins on the south side of the building, concrete steps fix around the outside of the building, fresh paint in the hall… the list goes on. I can’t tell you the joy I felt as Maestro David and I filled the sanctuary with music, preparing this Sunday’s Gathering materials.

It is my intention to hold space in the church, in my office. I’ll be in the building between 10am and 3:30pm Monday through Thursday. However, the church office will remain effectively closed for the near future. Zoe will continue to work mostly from home. We ask that you call to make an appointment if you need to see me in person and we will prepare space in another part of the building to meet. I am also available by phone, zoom, duo, whatsapp, and a number of other communication platforms.

We will not be gathering for face to face worship for some time yet. We will start working towards enhancing our Sunday Gathering/Worship. It wasn’t our intention that we would use the blog/email to convey worship for more than a few weeks or months, certainly not six months! But a new worship platform will be a learning curve, so please be patient with us as we slowly build up capacity for a more robust and sustainable worship practice.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to those folk who stepped up while I was away, making my sabbatical possible: worship leaders – in particular Robert, and Harvey (who arranged supply); the governance team – Judi, Syd, Betty, Pat, and Robert (especially since Robert spent so much time learning about financial support grants!); pastoral phone callers – everyone who read to folks who didn’t have access to the Sunday Gathering; building stewards and doers – Ross, Judy, Jo-Ann, John, Dave, Sharon and Maureen; our office administrator, Zoe who delt with no end of communication crisis; and of course, to all who gave so generously.

And again I leave you with these words from Paul,

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. … Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:12-13, 15)

Love in Christ,

Rev David Cathcart