I write this to you on Earth Day, April 22, a day when we take time to contemplate, assess, educate and pray about our actions which impact God's good creation. In our baptism we are given the responsibility to be a good steward of God's creation, caring for the earth and all of its inhabitants and to work for justice and peace. This work can be daunting as there is so much that needs our voice for justice and care so that God's creation can be protected and nourished and given space to grow and flourish. With such a magnitude of issues before us it can cause us to become discouraged and think there is nothing we can do. But there is....
Tomorrow, on Saturday, we will have the opportunity to prepare and enrich the garden plots in our Sharing Garden for a new crop of vegetables. The gardening bee will begin at 10AM.
Then on Sunday, during our worship (rain or shine) we will go outside and bless the gardens. Why do this? It is a tangible way to acknowledge that all we do is holy. We are a holy people enlivened by the Holy Spirit and we live out our daily lives under the shadow of this holiness. Secondly, we ask a blessing on the gardens to remind ourselves of the God's presence in, with, and under all aspects of our lives. God is creating and a re-creating God, always making things new and so we ask the blessing on the gardens to remind ourselves that God is always re-creating us too. Thirdly, we ask a blessing on the gardens, the implements used, the seeds, the bodies as a way of asking God to remind us again through the life of Jesus how he used what was given to care for others.
In the Gospel for this Sunday Jesus reminds us again of the new commandment which encapsulated all of his teachings: "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another" (John 13:34). This Sunday we will also be asking God to bless the work of the quilters who have made several quilts that are destined for Nicaragua through Canadian Lutheran World Relief. Our care for others tangibly shown in using what we have (garden space, fabrics, time and ability) to help others live (have food on the table and comfort in warmth from the quilts) and grow.
After worship our children will be able to plant a sunflower seed which will grow to a height between 7'-12' over the summer. What a statement of God's blessing, love, care, and protection for all of us! A blessing is a powerful thing.
Here’s a blessing I love from John O’ Donohue in his book on Celtic spirituality, Anam Cara:
May the light of your soul guide you.
May the light of your soul bless the work you do with the secret love and warmth of your heart.
May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul.
May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light, and renewal to those who work with you and to those who see and receive your work.
May your work never weary you.
May it release within you wellsprings of refreshment, inspiration, and excitement.
May you be present in what you do.
May you never become lost in the bland absences.
May the day never burden.
May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams, possibilities, and promises.
May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.
May you go into the night blessed, sheltered, and protected.
May your soul calm, console, and renew you.
Come be a part of the blessing, come be a blessing, come and be blessed. Worship begins at10:00am
1. For those who were present at the forum presented by the Congregational Missional Renewal Team on April 8th, you are kindly asked to please return your completed interview form by May 1, next Sunday. If you were not at the forum the team asked each of us to interview one neighbour. Attached to this email you will find a Word Document with the questions.
2. Pastor Jennifer will be away this coming week attending the BC Synod Convention. Many thanks to Jim Berger, Jason Assam, Ursula Adler, and Larry Denef for leading the congregation in Worship and Holy Communion on May 1.
3. The funeral for Florence MacDonald will be held 2pm, Wednesday May 11 at Gloria Dei. A reception will follow in the fellowship hall.
4. May 8th Larry Denef will be leading a forum titled Engaged in God's Continuing Work following the service. Please read the short essay Larry has written on this topic (on the Events page) and then come join the discussion!
5. May 15th will be the Member Care monthly potluck.
6. Sunday June 5 Gloria Dei is hosting the North Vancouver Regional Worship. We will have many guests with us that day from our sister churches on the North Shore and it will be a grand worship! Mark it on your calendar and plan to be there!
7. A Music Director has been found! Hurray! Sonja Koruga will begin her official duties as music director on May 1st. Please extend a warm welcome to her. Sonja brings a wealth of musical experience in performance and choral directing. We are glad she has joined our ministry team.
See you tomorrow if you are going to come and help with the gardening bee if not, we will see youon Sunday!