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Pentecost – God in the Midst of Crisis

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; when through the rivers, they won’t sweep over you.” –Isaiah 43:2

I need to begin by expressing a deep sense of gratitude to everyone who came out for the yard clean-up and garden work to get the church grounds ready for the summer months. The yard looks fantastic, and it is clear that a lot of love and work went into Saturday’s efforts. I had also expected to be there, I would be late, but the plan was to come as soon as Megan’s Highland Dance competition was done. I had promised Megan that if we came to help, she could get a chance to explore the Thrift Shop.

All that changed when Ian took a tumble up some steps at the school where Megan’s competition was being held. There was a lot of blood as Ian had hit the edge of the second step near his mouth, opening up a small but deep cut. So instead of coming here, I spent most of Saturday in medical waiting rooms at a clinic and later the Alberta Children’s Hospital to get Ian’s facial wound treated. Ultimately they went with sterile super-glue rather than stitches, which fortunately made the treatment much faster. Still, the little guy ended up with a swollen cheek for everyone to see yesterday. 48 hours later and he’s okay, and frankly in much better emotional shape than I was. It hurts us deeply when we see the ones we love in pain.

Still, this weekend was all about the Holy Spirit, of God’s enduring, sustaining, and profound presence in our lives, even in those moments of panic and anxiety. Yesterday was Pentecost, the gift of the Holy Spirit, the most intangible and yet most consistent way we experience God in life. I will admit to only offering prayers once the emergency of Ian’s facial wound had passed, in that the bleeding was under control. Yet I also knew that God was there in the midst of my own panic, and through those around me helped me to calm down and focus on what Ian needed in the moment. Sometimes this is how it is in our experience of God in the midst of crisis. It is a comforting thought as the adrenaline from Saturday continues to ebb away.

Yours in Christ,

John

Upcoming Events

  • The Crusades: A Dark History
    • Session 5: The Third and Fourth Crusade and Beyond goes tonight, Monday, June 5th at 7:15pm, John Crowdis continues to lead his latest seminar, exploring the historical military campaigns known as the Crusades from the late 11th Century to the mid-13th Centuries in Europe and the Middle East.
  • Truth and Reconciliation – Sunday, June 11th
    • This coming Sunday, the Rev. Clint Mooney and the Right Rev. Bill Phipps will be taking the lead in worship, reflecting on the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the United Church’s participation in and response to this important, if dark, part of our history as a church. Please mark your calendars and make time for this important event.
  • Spirituals Sunday!
    • Sunday, June 25th is our annual Spirituals Sunday, which follows the theme “From Slavery to Freedom.” As this is David’s last Sunday as is retiring as Minister of Music, it is a profoundly important date in the life of our congregation.
  • Congregational Membership Classes
    • If you or someone you know would like to formalize membership with St. Matthew’s, I am running personalized membership classes as a way of exploring faith. I am making use of a United Church resource called “Jesus 24/7” which explores our faith using the New Creed that we say every week as a jumping off point. If you are interested, please email me, call me at the church, or speak with me directly on Sunday mornings.

 

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