News and Notes is our online section to share weekly reflections, documents or letters of interest, and resources that you may wish to read, review or use to start conversations. Items are posted weekly, and sometimes re-ordered based on current interest.
This Sunday finds us in that momentary lull nearing year’s end when things may seem to pause for breath between the calendar events of late Fall and the beginning of Advent. Following the activity of Halloween, the relative solemnity of All Souls and Remembrance Day may helpfully incline us towards a bit of reflection. This is well timed, given the significance of the season ahead, traditionally signaled for believers across the world by the appearance of a star in the heavens announcing the imminent birth of Jesus.
I will always remember visiting my Granny in her cramped too-warm bungalow in Middlesbrough. She’d ask if I had a boyfriend, and I’d roll my eyes and shrug my shoulders. Then she’d tell me not to worry and she’d say, “You’ve got your Granny’s figure and the boys were lined up round the block when Granny was a girl!” This is, of course, a particularly entertaining memory to share with my partner, Andrea.
As November 11th approaches, I recall attending Remembrance Day services when I was a child, at the cenotaph in St. Catharines Ontario. What I remember particularly were the older veterans on parade, standing very still at attention as wreaths were placed, and names of the fallen read. You could see in their faces and sometimes in their tears, that, for them, this was not some kind of civic duty — this was a profoundly personal moment of remembering friends whom they loved and would see no longer.
We are growing as a community. With 4 (and sometimes 5) services on a Sunday, weekday services, intentional quiet space during the week for the downtown business community, concerts and the people we welcome and collaborate with in the Maundy project, thousands of people are touched each week by our ministries.