Rev. Beth's Weekly Letter - Apr. 5

Palm Sunday

Hosanna!  Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord— the King of Israel!”

(John 12:13)

April 5, 2020

Dear Friends:                               

This Sunday is Palm Sunday. During this Holy Week, with Jesus we will make our pilgrimage into Jerusalem. It begins with the excitement of the crowd praising and giving thanks for their new King and it ends with the incredible   glory of the resurrection.  During these two events, Jesus cleanses his Father’s temple of the “den of thieves” and the Pharisees battle with Jesus relentlessly. In the Upper Room for the Last Supper the master turns the tables and washes his disciples’ feet.  Then what seems to be the final act – Jesus’ trial before Pilate and the crucifixion – we are left in silence and darkness.  However, death does not have the final word. The good news is God‘s work of the resurrection and that gives us hope.  

Worship: For our service this week, you will need some greenery.  Maybe a branch from a tree, a plant or a few blades of grass.  The greenery is our symbolic palm. The link for the service is the Christ Church web page:  https://youtu.be/VFTf3LGlaPY . The order of service and sermon can be downloaded as documents. Again this week, at 10:45 a.m., Christ Church is going to have a virtual coffee hour over Zoom. To join click 

(Link to virtual coffee hour can be supplied by email)

Food Shelf and Open Arms were busy this week feeding those in need. Donations for Food Shelf are accepted on Tuesdays from 10:00 to 11:00am. This week’s grocery list is:  

  • zip lock type bags –snack and sandwich size,
  • pasta,
  • pasta sauce,
  • instant coffee,
  • powdered milk.

Lynda Hughes, Barbara Johnson and Ginette Boucher are most appreciative of the donations as are the recipients. 

Web Site: St. John’s has a well-designed web page maintained faithfully by Erik Rogers.  Click on  www.stjohndivine.ca  for photos of parishioners putting their faith into action. Click on the tabs Community Ministry and Gallery.  Find great photos of Open Arms, Food Shelf and past events. The photos will make you smile, possibly laugh aloud.  Explore our web page! Feedback is invited.

Finances: Thank you in advance for maintaining your offerings and givings.  We are blessed as a congregation of a generous and spirit-led people of faith. Thank you. There are four ways to give: mail, EOP, e-transfers and Canada Helps.

Last week’s question was: What are your strategies for dealing with COVID-19?  Sandra Minor shares with us that listening to music is uplifting. Check this link for an incredible version of “It is Well, With my Soul” https://m.youtube.com/watch?fbclid=IwAR1vuFSTxscQ4aFIOI7UdnPDCQQK-yEdDr07AqUS4s-sJNBHVOhkqiwls1s&v=nDIJz6zzHNU

This week’s question is: What is the  COVID-19 pandemic teaching us?

As I reflect on this question, I have a new appreciation of the word “essential”.  Initially essential was having certain stores open, like Dairy Queen and the hair salon.  As a patient pointed out to me, “Would those be wants or needs?”  And over time the needs or the necessities became clearer.  The essential need is having contact with those I care for – my immediate family, the St. John’s family, the hospital community -- and praying and knowing that they are safe.  The type of contact I miss is the physical nearness to folks.  The shaking hands, touching an arm or hugging a grandchild.

Recently I stumbled onto Psalm 131 and the last verse fed my soul, O Israel, hope in the Lord now and always.  And then I personalized it and it read:  O Beth, hope in the Lord, now and always, and I repeat it often. Share your thoughts on what you have learned from Covid-19.

Have a wonderful Holy Week. Check the Diocesan web site for Holy Week services at: www.dioceseofalgoma.com/2020/03/27/holy-week-and-easter-services/       Looking forward to Easter Sunday. Stay well and safe.

Your sister in Christ,

Beth+