We’re in this Together

The following link will provide you with additional information and resources for the whole family for this Sunday, Easter 4: 
https://sjruc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Easter-Week4.pdf

Scripture Reading: Acts 2:42-47  (Contemporary English Version)

They spent their time learning from the apostles, and they were like family to each other. They also broke bread[a] and prayed together.

43 Everyone was amazed by the many miracles and wonders that the apostles worked. 44 All the Lord’s followers often met together, and they shared everything they had. 45 They would sell their property and possessions and give the money to whoever needed it. 46 Day after day they met together in the temple. They broke bread[b] together in different homes and shared their food happily and freely, 47 while praising God. Everyone liked them, and each day the Lord added to their group others who were being saved.

We’re In This Together                                                             Teresa Carse

In an email exchange this past week, a friend of ours said that he is starting to feel like a dog these days … he roams around the house, looking for food and treats, he runs to the window when he sees someone walk by, and he gets ridiculously excited at the mere mention of a car ride.

I admit that I was hesitant to ask him what happens when he goes out for a walk and sees a tree or a fire hydrant …

We all know that our world … our social circles and communities … our neighbourhoods … our families … our individual households …. have all had to change in recent weeks.

At first, and to some degree still now, many of us could only focus on what we couldn’t do, like:

  • go to school
  • send our children to daycare
  • go to work
  • work from home, because you’re an essential worker and on the front lines
  • meander through the stores, chatting with friends we might see … wander through Home Depot, drooling over the cool toys in the tool department
  • go out for dinner, or to a movie, or go to the playground
  • go to a friend’s house for a visit
  • get a haircut, or a manicure

You know as well as I that the list goes on.

But as we journey through this time – apart, but somehow together – we are learning, and figuring out how to be community in a different way.

Our reading from Acts this morning gives us a quick look at what it was like to be part of the early Christian church. This growing community of believers came together to live radically different than what was the norm before becoming followers of Jesus. They sold their possessions and what they had to ensure all had what they needed….

And in many ways, differently, yes, but we are seeing that being lived in recent days and week:

  • Drive-by celebrations for birthdays, anniversaries, being able to see family members in retirement homes at a safe distance
  • One couple in our church do safe distanced drive-by ‘Hugs’ with a huge banner they created
  • Couples getting married with virtual guests …. Saving an incredible amount of money … and asking guests to give gifts of cash to the food bank or local charities instead of gifts to the couple….
  • Family dinners, and church coffee hours, and choir bringing their gift of music are being done online with the help of things like Zoom
  • bedtime stories are being read by grandchildren to their grandparents thanks to smartphones and Facetime;
  • businesses have come together to change or enhance their production facilities to ensure that our front line workers have the protective gear they need, when they need it
  • Businesses are offering ways to support front line workers by providing supplies, food and accommodations to keep them safe
    • Len’s Mill and other operations started putting together kits so that local sewers can make gowns, masks, and head coverings for essential workers. They’ve made them available to the public to buy at cost. They can hardly keep up with the demand because there are so many people willing to buy the kit, contribute their sewing skills, and then donate the finished products to others who need them
    • Five Oaks is now home to a community of migrant workers, providing a safe haven for these essential workers

Individuals with 3D printers are stepping forward to make and donate shields and protective gear. In fact, just recently you may have seen on the news the story of a young boy who recently designed an ear guard for those who have to wear masks all day. His printer is going 24-7, making the guards so that he can get them to those who need them. He’s a Scout, by the way.

Through Facebook, an online support community has developed:

    • CareMongering-KW: Kitchener-Waterloo Community Response to COVID 19 online community

It is a safe place where people are able to give and to share what they have to offer. It’s also a place to ask for what you need … and reaching out for help when you need it is just as important right now as making that offer to give. ‘Asks’ have been posted to this page asking for help with things like grocery runs, trips to the pharmacy … and no sooner is the need made known, than dozens of people are responding, almost immediately, to help however they can

People who are in need of other items are posting whatever it is they are searching for, and are often overwhelmed with the number of helpful suggestions and offers. One friend of mine was in search of ‘previously’ enjoyed kids plastic pools. She wants to use them as small garden plots in her yard. Within a few hours, she could have had enough plastic pools to line her street.

The list goes on.

Other online communities are appearing:

  • KW Covid 19 fibre arts community
    • regular Zoom meetings bring together those who enjoy the fibre arts for a good old fashion “Chat and Craft” session (or, as some would say a Stitch and “B” … well, you know the word that finishes that. It brings together people with a common interest – knitting, crocheting, rug hooking, felting, quilting …., people who may not have known one another a month ago … and maybe would never have met if things hadn’t changed so dramatically
  • music communities are offering gifts of the musical arts
  • there are more and more online lessons and opportunities to be together in a way that maybe we hadn’t considered before … because we didn’t have to … or because it wasn’t as important as it is now.

In many ways, communities are expanding beyond what might have been ‘normal’ 2 or 3 months ago … expanding to include people we didn’t previously know ….

In the days of the early Christian church, becoming ‘family’ with someone you didn’t know would have been quite common as the church grew in leaps and bounds.

Yes, things are different right now. We cannot know what ‘normal’ will look like when we come out the other side of this. There are things that we once took for granted that are cancelled, at least for the time being.

But here are some things that are NOT cancelled:

  • sunshine is not cancelled
  • spring is not cancelled
  • love is not cancelled
  • relationships are not cancelled
  • reading is not cancelled
  • naps are not cancelled
  • devotion is not cancelled
  • music, and dancing, and singing … are not cancelled
  • imagination is not cancelled
  • kindness is not cancelled
  • conversations are not cancelled
  • praying is not cancelled
  • HOPE is not cancelled

In this coming week, and in the weeks that follow, may you continue to Blessed by all of the different ways we are being community, and by the many things that are not cancelled.                  Amen.

10 Comments

  1. I am so glad I ran into one of the groundsmen of the church on Saturday this week. I’m sorry I cannot remember his name. He showed me how to get connected to the Sunday services on line on my phone. I really enjoyed participating. I will do it again. I hope and pray we will be able to physically attend church soon. I’m looking forward to going through the services in the archives. THANKYOU FOR THIS MORNING

  2. Inspirational in all aspects Teresa. I also enjoyed reading along with the kids’ story.

    Janice Bock

  3. Wonderful Worship Teresa – thank you for holding us together and reminding us of the good that can never be cancelled 🙂

  4. A very special, beautiful service Teresa. Many thanks for uplifting our day/week. Please take care, keep safe and well.

  5. Thanks for a lovely service Teresa. Great music, visuals and message. There was even a picture of my very favourite wee bird – the British robin!!!!
    One thought – would it be practical to film our choir’s anthems to be seen on our website as some Sunday’s – most Sunday’s – Alison and I wish we could hear them again.

    • Hi Doug. Thanks for the commment. There are several issues with that would have to be overcome to provide our choir on the website. Copywrite, and Physical distancing being the two major ones.

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