There is a song in my heart in the midst of changes that both myself and SouthWest are facing as of September, 2018.
One more step along the world I go, one more step along the world I go,
from the old things to the new, keep me travelling along with you.
Round the corner of the world I turn, more and more about the world I learn,
all the new things that I see you’ll be looking at along with me.
We sang this song in the closing service of Verdun United Church in 2007 as SouthWest was named through an amalgamation with Crawford Park.
We sang it with hope, faith and a willingness to face an uncertain future.
We sang it in our new reality of two locations for our ministry: one in Crawford Park and the other in Verdun Elementary School.
We will sing it again on September 9, 2018 as we begin worshiping for two months during roadwork on Clémenceau at the Mission (11h15 service time).
From full to half time is a lot of change, for myself and everyone.
Reorganising how worship, pastoral care (Intouch) and the life of our faith community prepares for a different future than the one we have known these last eleven years needs much determination and courage.
How do I respond to these changes? I can long for the past, bemoan our circumstances, be critical, or just hide my head in the sand.
I choose to sing my faith and root myself in God’s faithfulness experienced over the last 19 years of ministry with the United Church in Verdun. I choose to believe that God is in our midst as the ground shifts under our feet and we face yet more decisions about our future. I choose to serve Jesus through generous love, service, celebration and seeking justice here where we live. I choose life and song!
As I prepare for a different and emerging model of shared time with its inherent challenges, I imagine how we will be ‘church’ together, both here at SouthWest and at Emmanuel in Cowansville. There are so many things to sort out and it will take time, patience, graciousness and lots of grace for this to work.
Jesus said to his disciples as he commissioned them to be his presence in the world: ‘I will be with you always, to the end of the age!’ (Matthew 28:20b).
I live in this promise, and sing:
Give me courage when the world is rough, keep me loving though the world is tough,
leap and sing in all I do, keep me travelling along with you.
And it’s from the old I travel to the new, keep me travelling along with you!
(Sydney Carter, 1971, Voices United 639).