Monday Musings Weekly
Subscribe to feed

About This Blog...

our weekly e-newsletter . . . with random thoughts from the Pastor.



Archives

Recent Posts





Other Blogs



06
April 6, 2020

Well, right about now we’d normally expect to be strolling on green grass and breathing fresh air while meeting our neighbours outside. Normally. But we are into a new normal and the old normal is gone for good, never to return. How we think and how we act have been/are being/will be changed and will never be the same again. We have been forced to do the very thing we have trouble doing: change. But as these changes take place in the world around us, may we continue to be compassionate people, aware of what is going on around us and aware of the needs of those around us – and willing to act.

This will be a challenge if we look at isolating ourselves as insulating ourselves – if we look inward only and ignore our world. It might be that our neighbours that we nod to occasionally and the work-mates we no longer see every day and the friends in our church are not just alone but are lonely and are not just bereft of companionship but are struggling in their seclusion. Again I encourage you to keep in touch with them – and with one another. Call or write or text or e-mail or face-time. Be intentional – we are not just a Sunday people seeing one another once a week; we are a caring community looking after one another. Make it your goal – this week – to contact someone that you normally (there's that word again) wouldn't.

I have been posting brief messages on our FaceBook page Thursdays (Thursday Thoughts) and plan to do so every week until our time of isolation is past (and perhaps after that). David is setting up a YouTube account for the church, and is uploading these messages as well as our past services to YouTube for those who wish to view them but have not signed up for Facebook. We’ll let you know when this is ready and how to find us.

I think that we’d all agree that this was not the Palm Sunday celebration that we expected, just as Jesus wasn’t what the crowd of people, the Pharisees, and even the disciples expected that day. While we did meet for our “service” at 11:00 Sunday morning, we missed the excitement of waving palm branches and of worshipping together once again.

We’ll continue to meet by ZOOM Sunday mornings to hear how everyone is doing and to encourage and to be encouraged. I’ll share a few thoughts rather than a full sermon, and we’ll pray together as the Trinity family worships together rather than watches a service on a computer screen individually. And we’ll wait – together and alone – for God’s shekhinah glory to fall on us. The ZOOM link remains the same – click here Sunday, or from the ZOOM browser or app enter the meeting ID: 725 542 198. I will remind you of this and of the password you will need to enter the site – Marg will send it to you – later in the week

It is Holy Week. The past number of years we have gathered with our sister church in Bridlewood for services each evening between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. As we are not doing so this year I’d like to again point you to the Easter Now app – something that will help you focus on the scriptures important to the week. It follows the movements of Jesus from Palm Sunday through to Easter Sunday, reminding us of times and events of the week (be aware of the sound effect reminders). Download the app from your app store.

Also in past years we have joined with the Bridlewood Church for an afternoon Good Friday service. As this is not possible this year, Pastor Charmaine, Pastor Kaleb of the Pathway Alliance Church that meets in the Bridlewood building, and I will lead a Tenebrae service at 7:30 Friday evening – a ZOOM service that everyone can join. We will read Scripture and pray as we focus on the passion of Christ; unfortunately congregational singing does not work with ZOOM, but there will be special music. We will share the link and the password later this week.

Sunday. Easter Sunday. Resurrection Sunday. The day of our spiritual renewal. The day our hope was restored.

Again, sadly we will not be able to gather together as a people of God to celebrate the resurrected Jesus other than by technological means – but we will meet none-the-less Sunday morning at 11 to remember that He is risen – indeed! Watch for the link to our service later in the week.

Each Thanksgiving and Easter we receive a special offering to help those who have gone into all the world – have gone where we cannot – to share the Good News of Jesus. Our missionaries count on our support; perhaps even more-so this year than others as they cannot travel “home” for furlough or for deputation (visiting churches to share their stories and to raise funds).

We would normally (isn’t it amazing how often we use that word in non-normal times?) set a goal – an amount that we as a church want to raise. This Easter we will not do that. We know there is a need out there while realizing that there are needs here as well. Would you pray about how much God would have you give to World Missions (the WEF/World Evangelism Fund) in your Easter offering? May God bless you for your faithfulness. We will receive this “over and above normal” – special – offering the next two Sundays.

Speaking of faithfulness, I'd like to again express my thanks to you for your faithfulness in remitting your tithes and offerings even though we are not meeting together at the church building. Some are mailing their envelopes to the church while others are using the two electronic options available. Thank you! I realize that these are difficult days for many financially/that the employment situation is in flux and that difficult days may be ahead . . . so thank you for your commitment to Trinity Church.

Click here to go directly to our on-line giving site (there is a drop-down menu so that you can direct your giving to our different ministries). You will be able to immediately print a receipt. You can also e-transfer to the church directly; the church e-mail address is ottawatrinity@rogers.com . We are now set up for auto-deposit. And for those who mail their tithe envelopes to the church, deposits will be made to the bank every second Friday.

Please indicate how you would like your gift designated: Tithes and Offerings, WEF/Easter Offering, Cuba, Child Sponsorship, etc. The drop-down menus on the Canada Helps web site only allow for one designation; you can leave a note if you would like to give to more than one need.  

I wasn’t sure whether or not to include a link to the CERB – the Canada Emergency Response Benefit that some may be applying for this week – but think it is always best to have too much information than not enough. So just in case there are some who may be applying, here is the link (click here).

Have you looked at the spare time that you now have as a gift? We have been given an opportunity to sit and to listen for God's voice and to find Him anew. It is also a great opportunity to read those books that you have wanted to read but have gathered dust on your bookshelf – or that have been on your want-to-buy list. Or, perhaps to re-read.  Or, that you think are so good that others should read! E-books are available from the library, and Chapters is shipping free until April 12.

This week’s Book Corner recommendation is Tattoos on the Heart – The Power of Boundless Compassion – by Father Gregory Boyle, who founded Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles. It is the story of how he worked with and ministered to the people of the poorest parish in the Los Angeles archdiocese; the story of how he started a successful gang intervention program. It is his story and it is their story . . . a story well worth reading.

Let me know what you are reading and what you recommend, and I’ll pass the titles on in next week’s Musings.

On our hearts these days . . .

  • Pastor Al and Barb (and their siblings’) uncle, Rev. Lorne MacMillan, former District Superintendent of Canada Central District, passed away yesterday. A memorial service will be held some time in the future. Although this is sad news, we rejoice in the home-going of this man of God, and ask for comfort for the family.
  • Heather MacAskill, wife of former pastor of Bridlewood Church Rev. Keith MacAskill, has been diagnosed with a brain tumour. She is in hospital undergoing tests and treatment. This is a serious situation . . . we are praying that God would intervene and give the doctors wisdom, bring Keith and the family peace, and bring about healing on Heather’s body and mind.
  • District Superintendent Steve Ottley’s father (95 years old) suffered a stroke early Sunday morning. He lives in Belize; the country is under Marshall law, so even if travel were possible Pastor Steve could not go see him. The Ottley’s also have relatives in New York who have succumbed to the COVID-19 virus. Pray for the family.
  • Andrew, Nadine, and their extended families . . . Andrew’s father, recovering from a stroke; Annakay, still in hospital with her family looking after her; Nadine, still recovering from her operation.

Changes. Yet another change taking place is how our provincial government sees community gardens such as ours. The Government of Ontario has deemed community gardens as non-essential and as health risks in possibly spreading the COVID-19 virus. For many reasons we who garden disagree, and a petition has been started to remove all such gardens from the non-essential list. A letter writing campaign has also begun (a letter or e-mail is always better received than an on-line petition).

Would you help us out by contacting your MPP in support of community gardens?

            https://correspondence.premier.gov.on.ca/en/feedback/default.aspx

A reminder: the music and worship night with JCL planned for April 26 has been cancelled – postponed, rather, until September. We’ll know better about the church work day, the Annual Meeting, the music and worship day, and the motorcycle rally day as time passes.