The Vision of a Future Within

Sometimes things come in that say exactly what is needed, in ways I have never thought of – that’s the wonder of this highly communicative time in which we live. So, (with permission granted from the author, Cameron Trimble) here are some thoughts about where we are and where we might be going as we move through these times.

Grace and peace,
~Bob Wallace

The amazing part of the transformation from the caterpillar to the butterfly is that you have this middle space, the cocooning season, where your body literally becomes mush. You disintegrate. You lose shape. You lose everything that defined you as a caterpillar. You become goo. In meaningful ways, you die to what you were.

But here is the miracle: inside that deathly mush are imaginal cells. These cells hold the vision of a future within them. When all seems lost and nothing that was known can be known as it was, the imaginal cells give us the vision for moving forward. They know that with the right conditions and a little time, a butterfly waits to be born.

We are mush right now. We are messy, fragile, unprotected, insecure, unrecognizable, disoriented, developing, transforming, imaginal beings. We are in that liminal space between what was and what can be. Our becoming something better on the other side of this is not guaranteed. But with the right conditions, with the awakening of people to the beauty of our planet and the intimacy of our connection to everyone and everything, we have the chance to become something new.

Don’t dismiss this as flowery language or overly optimistic dreaming. If ever there was a moment for you to become who God has dreamed you to be, it’s now. Don’t miss the chance. Everything is being made new, especially you.

By Cameron Trimble – from Convergence

A Supplication

Spirit God, Be Our Breath
(More Voices 150)

Spirit God: be our breath be our song.
Blow through us, bringing strength to move on.
Our world seems inward, defensive, withdrawn…
Spirit God, be our song.

Patient God: soothe our pride, calm our fear.
Comfort us. When we know you are near
we grow more certain, our vision is clear.
Patient God, calm our fear.

Spirit God: be our breath, be our song.
Blow through us, bringing strength to move on.
Through change, through challenge,
we’ll greet the new dawn…
Spirit God, be our song.

Words and music by Bruce Harding

No More Waiting?

by Elenore Wieler

The waiting is over. Christ is risen.

“Wait, what? No more waiting? Are you crazy? Easter is just one day. When the chocolate’s gone, it’s back to reality.”

In reality, Christ is risen. All will be well. We are saved.

“Saved from waiting? I’m waiting to get my job back. I’m waiting for these darn kids to go back to school. I’m waiting for this cursed isolation to end.”

End the waiting. Be still and know.

“You really are nuts. I need to hear the news. Okay it’s the same stuff over and over but the tv is on all day, my cell keeps beeping with more scary tweets, my kids cry because they don’t know how to do their homework, not to mention they keep begging me to let their friends come over. It’s crazy noisy so how am I supposed to find stillness?”

You don’t need to find it. Easter’s promise is that the Christ-light is right inside you.

“Inside me? I’ll tell you what’s inside me. Worry about how I’m going to pay the bills. Anxiety that we’ll catch this thing going around. Terror that the world will never get back to some kind of normal.”

Take a moment and pause. As you feel the risen Christ within, look around you.

“Huh? Okay, for once the kids are eating their cereal without killing each other. They actually look kind of cute.”

As you feel the Light, keep looking. What else?

“Well, I went shopping yesterday and I see the pantry’s stocked for now. And, okay, with all the time we’ve had, we did a big clean and the house looks pretty good.”

And outside?

(Pause while remote located and television powered off.)

“Right now the sun is shining, trees are a little greener after the rain, and the robins are back. I actually took the kids for a tour of our yard yesterday and we found crocuses popping up where we planted bulbs last year.”

(Pause while cell phone put on mute.)

“Now that I think about it, things aren’t so-o-o-o bad for us.”

(Pause, listening…)

“Hey kids, I just had an idea. How about we colour some hearts to put in the window as a ‘Thank You!’ to essential workers?

Then maybe we can bike over to Grandma’s and wave at her and Grandpa from the sidewalk so they aren’t so lonely.

But only after we call that support line to get you some help with your homework…

You know what? Now that I think about it, no more waiting! Let’s make a list of things we appreciate right now.”

Alleluia poster

Children Are With Us

Alexander and Arata Campbell

As one of our contemporary hymns, written by Jim Manley, invites us: “Come in, come in and sit down for you are a part of the family!” On Sunday mornings I usually log on around 9:45 and one of my favourite things is watching people enter worship which—when we are worshipping in the sanctuary—I rarely get to do! When I reflect on what I have learned so far from this time of physical distancing, it’s that it isn’t the programs that matter most, it is the people.

Most folks, it seems, would rather watch an amateur Zoom worship with their own minister whose hair is in bad need of professional cutting, than watch a slickly produced online worship service from afar. Not because there’s anything wrong with quality livestreamed worship, but because for most people, the most important thing about church is the warmth and personal connection they feel when they gather. Being with our church family is an important part of worship.

Worshipping together while physically apart is full of challenges and you have blessed us with your good humour and patience as we have struggled to provide a service that is meaningful and still-engaging though it is being delivered online.

We used to have intergenerational services, worship when all ages are together for the whole service and there is no separate Sunday School program offered, about 7 times a year. But in this time when many of us are attending church services from our living rooms at home, every week is intergenerational worship.

A colleague of mine in children’s ministry, Robin Murray, reminds us in her article “Intergenerational Learning and Covid 19” that even if children are somewhere in the background, sitting off to the side, “don’t be fooled into thinking they are distracted! They are absorbing all that is going on around them, learning hymns even if they don’t sing, catching key words, and developing curiosity about why older family members value church. They are also worshipping God in their own way, especially that two-year-old bouncing on the couch in the background on Zoom worship!”

We are still working at ways to invite people to be participants, not merely spectators, in worship. I have been touched when, on one of the first Sundays we had online worship, Beryl Itani spontaneously lit a candle, or listening to scripture read by children like Charlotte Seethaler and Theo Ducs, or hearing the concerns and names on your hearts read into the Prayers of Intercession each Sunday.

Having a sense of connection and inclusion is especially important during this time of social distancing. As you arrive to worship on Zoom and during the service use the Gallery View and arrow keys to notice who else is in worship just as you would in the sanctuary! And after the Postlude we encourage you to stick around for breakout rooms. This is just like coffee hour after worship and Sunday School ends—a little bit chaotic even!—but a fun way to visit with and get to know some other members of the congregation you might never have had a conversation with.

Over the last few weeks I have loved seeing Noah and Sophia’s fort and a model car they assembled, a picture that Ada had drawn during worship, and visiting with Brock and his family and hearing that they were having a special Easter dinner with family on Zoom.

Even if they are just passing by the screen or tucked in a corner of it, children are with us! Thanks for helping to remind them they are valued members of our congregation by giving them a special wave!

~Cheryl Perry