This morning most of Canada woke up to the news of the death of Gord Downie, lead singer of the now-quintessential Canadian rock band, the Tragically Hip. Yet also on my own mind and heart is the recent death of long-time congregation member Fred Whitley, and this past weekend, my own Aunt Patricia. Life in its cycles, and at least in my own reflections, a day in which I am contemplating life and death personally, professionally, and as part of our identity as a society.
There is nothing that so profoundly stops us in our tracks and forces us to consider meaning in our lives as death itself. While we live in a society that tends to minimize, downplay, or even ignore it, it is as much a part of life as life itself. So we try to fill the void, ignore it, and even when it comes we try to shut it away as quickly as possible. But that’s not healthy. It leads to trite sayings that can be more harmful than helpful, and it minimizes the reality that grief is a healthy part of life. What isn’t healthy is when we don’t get to express it, putting on the mask of normalcy, or “keeping that stiff upper lip.”
Remember that Jesus cried at the grave of a friends. Remember that even though we proclaim resurrection, that death does not have the final say, death is still something that all of us will face, and grief is a companion that we will all get to know. Our hope for resurrection, at least here, is that Gord, Fred, and Patricia will all be remembered in their own ways by those who loved them, and that they did have an impact and made a difference in life.
Yours in Christ,
Upcoming Events and Announcements
- Shakespeare at St. Matt’s – Much Ado About Nothing – Mondays at 10am
- Wayne Valleau returns with his considerable teaching ministry here at St. Matthew’s to offer the first of a three-part series of how Shakespeare explores the sixth of the seven deadly sins: Jealousy.
- The first of the plays Wayne will be exploring is the comedy Much Ado About Nothing, and then will follow up in the New Year with Othello and The Winter’s Tale.
- The seminars started at 10am on Monday, October 16th in the Narthex, and continue for the next four weeks.
- This seminar is in partnership with CALL (Calgary and Area Lifelong Learners), and is open to anyone, regardless of one’s background or familiarity with the material. For more information, please contact Wayne Valleau at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Evolution of the Bible – Part 1: Hebrew Scriptures – Mondays at 7:30pm
- Started Monday October 16th at 7:30pm, Rev. John Crowdis is leading a five-week seminar as an introduction to insights on how the Bible that we know today developed over time. Using the work of scholars over history, this course delves into the timeline, structure, and development of the Bible, as well as how that information helps us to interpret it for people thousands of years after the first words were penned. This is part 1 of a 2 part series. In particular, this course investigates Hebrew Scripture, commonly called the Old Testament.
- As a seminar format, you are welcome to come an learn about the history of the Biblical texts themselves, how they developed into their current form, as well as a discussion on what constitutes “canon” and how that can both help and hinder our reading of these ancient texts.
- As with Wayne’s Shakespeare explorations, this seminar is in partnership with CALL (Calgary and Area Lifelong Learners), and is open to anyone, regardless of one’s background or familiarity with the material. For more information, please contact John at the church or at email@example.com.
- Thrift Shop – Volunteers Needed!
- Matthew’s Thrift Shop re-opened on Wednesday, September 6th. The regular hours are Wednesdays from 10am to 3:30pm and Saturdays from 11am to 2pm.
- We are in need of volunteers to help in the shop. If you are interested and able to help, please call the church office at 403-249-1721 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our regular Office Hours are Monday through Fridays from 9am to 3pm.
Of those hours, Wendy is in the office on Mondays from 11am to 3pm, and Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 3pm.
John will be the office from Mondays through Thursdays from at least 9am until 3pm or later, although he may be out on Pastoral Visits or meetings as time demands.