Dear Members and Friends of Gloria Dei,
My heart was glad to see so many of you come out and support our children at our outdoor “Blessing of the Backpacks” service a couple of weeks ago. At the same time, I know that the ever changing conditions of our pandemic climate and other life circumstances make it difficult for some of you to find the security you need in order to feel safe to gather with others - especially indoors. We are all moving through this pandemic at a pace that is comfortable for us. Please know that you are remembered in community when we gather for worship and that I am available to bring you home Communion on Sunday afternoons.
I check my weather app to see if it will be a sunny or rainy, hot or cold so that I know how to dress for the climate. I wish that we could have a similar “COVID weather” app that would tell us whether the COVID climate was hot or cold so that we would know exactly when to ditch our layers of protection or keep them. However, pandemic conditions continue to be fluid requiring us to be resourceful and prepared for all kinds of “Covid weather.”
At the moment conditions are somewhat unstable and this makes finding a firm footing elusive for all of us—whether we are a sport’s team, restaurant owner, theatre troupe or faith group. For a second consecutive year we are missing the usual injection of energy and momentum associated with the start of a new church year. It is difficult as a church community to make plans for the future, when we cannot predict when measures will be lifted and we can return to some semblance of normal.
However, although we do not yet have the restoration we all hoped would come this Fall—a return to church as a sanctuary unhindered by health concerns and safety protocols—there is much that we can do on behalf of the gospel. As the words of the hymn declare:
Jesus Calls us O’er the Tumult, of our life's wild, restless sea;
day by day his sweet voice soundeth, saying "Christian, follow me."
As we prepare to vote in a federal election National Bishop Susan Johnson joins Anglican leaders in calling to ponder the questions, “What kind of a Canada do you desire? How is that desire rooted in your spiritual convictions as a follower of the way of Jesus Christ?” Their letter points us to election resources from KAIROS, “Citizens for Public Justice” and others that that will help us in our discernment and you will find links to those resources in this issue.
This first September newsletter issue is brimming with opportunities for engagement: in learning more about how Indigenous rights are intertwined with climate justice, hearing the story of a transgender pastor who had the courage and perseverence to remain in the church despite experiences of pain and rejection and much more.
And do scroll down the newsletter to read Bishop Greg Mohr's letter announcing his retirement.
Welcome to September! Welcome to engaged discipleship!