[This month, Rev. David began splitting his time between SouthWest and Emmanuel United (Cowansville Area Pastoral Charge.)]
I knew ministry would be different at Emmanuel when I got lost heading for a meeting with the Worship/Pastoral care/Christian education team.
I took a wrong turn and ended up passing the Cowansville Institution; then I saw soldiers in full military gear doing maneuvers at the side of the road. And at the end of the day, as I followed my Waze app, I encountered three horses riding on the country road just in front of my car. Prison, soldiers and horses, on the same day. You are not in Verdun anymore, Reverend!!
Last Sunday SouthWest adapted to road work at the church and worshipped at the Mission. I had arrived early for another meeting and was present when the Metro Group gathered. They extended a welcome to their open meeting, and I attended my first ever AA group. They appreciated our letting them keep their regular 10h00 time and helped set up the chairs for our 11h15 service, and even left their coffee and milk for our use.
Faith keeps us looking at what can emerge when we move forward and adapt to changing realities. Faith reminds that when we choose life there will be challenges and joys, new friends and new possibilities. Faith sits us down unexpectedly in another group’s meeting and prays with them the Lord’s Prayer.
I am reminded of these words:
Faith, while trees are still in blossom, plans the pickling of the fruit;
Faith can feel the thrill of harvest when the buds begin to sprout.
Long before the rains were coming, Noah went and built an ark.
Abraham, the lonely migrant, saw the light beyond the dark.
Faith believes that God is faithful: God will be what God will be!
Faith accepts the call, responding, “I am willing, Lord, send me.”
(Voices United 643, Anders Frostenson, 1960)
I prayed with brothers and sisters last Sunday this prayer (this is its original version) written by a Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr.
May it be our prayer:
God, give us grace to accept with serenity, the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.
Mon Dieu, donne-moi la sérénité d’accepter le choses que je ne peux changer,
le courage de changer les choses que je peux,
et la sagesse d’en connaître la différence.
We say/Nous disons: Amen.