The peace of Christ be with you all.
I open with these words from Paul,
“We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labour of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, for we know, brothers and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction… And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.”
1 Thessalonians 1:2-5a, 6-7
It fills my heart with joy and gratitude to hear what good care you are taking of one another. I hear of phone calls and letters being exchanged, facemasks, surgical caps, and ear protectors being made and donated, errands run and zoom meetings set and attended. Further, work continuing on our church building despite our absence and givings coming in through PAR, by cheque to the office, and through the Donate Now button on our website. We have every reason to rejoice and be grateful in this time of trial. I am so deeply grateful for every last one of you.
Let us continue to be alert and vigilant. The reports from Dr Henry and Dr Tam are daunting. Our efforts to shelter in place are having the desired effects. We are successfully bending the curve. However, we will have to persevere for many more weeks of distancing before we are able to safely gather once again, maybe (likely?) months.
We will continue to gather on Wednesdays at 10:30 via Zoom. If you would like to participate, even by phone, just ask for an invitation and we will get you on line. We have been delighted (and even shocked) by faces we never expected to see! There IS a New Heaven and a New Earth!
If you would like to set up a Zoom meeting for your small group, please contact the office and Zoe will help to make that happen.
If you are a regular giver, thank you. We are receiving cheques by mail to the office. We can receive donations through the Donate Now button on our website. We can also transition you to Pre Authorized Remittance (Pre Authorized Remittance is about a penny on the dollar cheaper to process than the Donate Button). A gentle reminder that our regular fundraising activities have been preempted for an undetermined time and any extra gifts are greatly appreciated.
I will be beginning my sabbatical on April 27th. I will be returning (hopefully to the office) on September 15. The first two weeks of my time off are Study Leave. I will be completing the Pacific Jubilee Program for Spirit Accompaniment. I’ve been participating in this program for two years. The Lenten Devotional (with images) was one of my projects for this program. For my final project, I will be illustrating one of my children’s stories Where Is My Grandma? that some of you have heard at memorial service. We will be holding the scheduled “residency” (which was supposed to be back at Rivendell on Bowen Island) via Zoom.
If you subscribe to the blog, you will be able to follow the rest of my sabbatical. That blog chain will be called, “All Who Are Weary” and will mostly be pictures from my daily art journal and other watercolour work I’ll be doing. Since I am not traveling, I’m hoping maybe I might make time to illustrate more of my children’s stories.
I assure you that while I am gone, you will be in my prayers constantly. I will prepare the Sunday Gathering for April 26, but next week’s Friday Letter will come to you from your Governance Team. So until I return, I encourage you to be imitators of the one who calls us.
Love in Christ,
Rev David Cathcart