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Letter from Liz: May 28, 2020

Adam Gray's wedding shoes

Don’t you love those shoes? They are the shoes my eldest son wore for his wedding - and they totally represent his character. My very favorite ever shoes are my red ones … somehow when I put them on I just feel happier….. just occasionally some clothes can be such joy-bringers!

"When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them." Acts 2:1-4 (The Message)

This Sunday, May 31 is Pentecost, and everyone is encouraged to find something red to wear… shoes perhaps, or a t-shirt or hat or just something fire-like as we ask God for the Holy Spirit to fill us afresh. A physical reminder of a spiritual reality. Please also read Josie’s blog (if you haven’t yet) to know how else you should prepare for worship this week.

The following Sunday, June 7 is Trinity Sunday - when we will linger after the service for our first on-line parish meeting. This is a chance to catch up with how we are doing as a church, looking back at the last few months and forward over the summer to the Fall. Plan to stay for a while after church!

And now, let's talk about zoom

Week by week we are wrestling with how to best move forward with Sunday worship - it will be lovely to be ‘in-person’ again, but planning reminds me there is much to love about at-home zoom as well (to my surprise)! Especially as being together is not going to be the same as it was pre-COVID…. no snacklucks for a while, no hugs, no visible smiles as we will all wear masks; also, singing will be limited and communion will remain somewhat awkward as we serve ourselves.... Corporate worship is simply going to be different in the future.

So, for now, as we continue to worship at home - here are some fun things to think about as we make the most of this season.

While we zoom - why not….

  • Invite your colleague or relative to zoom in for church (wherever they live) - seeing people connect around the world is so fun

  • Volunteer to read or pray if you haven't done so yet

  • If you like doodling or drawing - feel free to draw and journal during church! Or get out your knitting if it helps you to concentrate….

  • Curl up on the couch to listen to the sermon with a blanket and a hot/cold drink - so comfy

  • Sing with great gusto - not worrying about droplet spread

  • Do you play an instrument? Why not get it out and play it for the songs (stay muted for the moment! The songlist is always listed early here)

  • Find a map or globe and make sure you know where the countries are we are praying for week by week (hint: we are going alphabetically and last week was Andorra, so this week is....?)

  • Text your financial gifts with joy

  • Consume your wafer with relish as we commune at the same time

  • Linger after the service to chat and share news or views

  • Go for prayer at the cross at the end of the service

  • Follow up afterwards with that friend who came and ask what they thought, argue about the sermon, muse about the readings, ask what they would like prayer for and what issues in the word they would highlight for prayer.

And if you have kids, why not…

  • Decide which parts of the service you will encourage them to ‘tune in’ for - maybe the start of the sermon? When the preacher does the ‘kid prompt’?

  • I am so keen to learn some ASL - perhaps you would like to download this app, or learn these songs and maybe learn a few signs: 'Jesus' or 'alleluia' or 'Holy Spirit' or 'amen' with your kids and then listen and sign whenever you hear that word during the service…

  • Maybe they could play an instrument, ring a bell or bang a drum during the singing?

There are so many ways to worship God - and although together may be best - there is so much joy to be found right now in our worship - even in zoom-land!

Oh - and don't forget to swing by the church THIS SUNDAY morning between 10-11am to collect more consecrated wafers...

And then, finally, as we do look ahead - if you have not yet completed our survey - please do so now! Tell us EXACTLY how you feel.

See you on Sunday for zoom church!

Your pastor,

~ Liz

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