Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
Did you know this is the greeting used in almost all the letters of the New Testament? According to the Cambridge Annotated Study Bible, “this standard salutation joins the Christian concept of (God’s) grace with the Jewish concept of (God’s) peace. “Grace” refers to God’s free
and unmerited offer of mercy and love toward all people, while “peace” (=shalom) expresses all the benefits of a right relationship with God, namely a partnership of reconciliation, eternal well-being, and wholeness of life.”
The link for this week’s worship is here.
Harrow Council Meeting
Our church council met on Tuesday of this past week. Some participants were physically present (socially distanced, of course) in the space which the re-opening committee has set up in the Lower Hall. Others joined from home by zoom.
An update on the church’s financial picture was provided; so far we have
managed to stay afloat (though barely). We are incredibly grateful for the subsidies provided by the federal government, and for the many extra hours of work put in by our treasurer, Karen Corbett, applying for this support. THANK YOU CANADA AND THANK YOU KAREN.
Council also set a new date for the congregation’s Annual Meeting, which originally scheduled to be held March 15. The new date is Sunday, September 27 at 10am.
We will be able to accommodate approximately 25-30 people in person (in either the Upper Hall or sanctuary), and will have the capacity for others to join by zoom. If you haven’t yet figured out how to ‘zoom’, we will be providing assistance for anyone wanting to join by phone or with a
computer, tablet or smartphone. More news will be coming from the church office as the date approaches.
When will we be able to gather again for worship?
That question is being asked by many – not only at Harrow but in many places. The answer is complicated. Under current provincial health restrictions, we would only be able to have about 25 people in attendance at a service. As well, there would be no singing (though humming behind a mask may be permitted), no physical contact, no food or drinks, and no
communion (unless we find a way to ‘share’ the bread and cup without
physical contact or unpackaged food and drink).
For the time being, we will continue to provide online worship and are considering the possibility of delivering services on DVD to those who
cannot access the online version. We are also exploring ways to simplify the creation, recording, editing and production of the worship, which takes many hours in its current incarnation.
We know that God is not limited by time or space or place, and I pray that we may each and all find ways to remark upon the wonder in God’s world around us, and find ways to be faithful examples of God’s love, God’s hope, God’s compassion, God’s justice, and to find ways to connect with one another and with God.
Our worship this week features a couple of local musicians who have graciously agreed to use of their material.
Dr. Jonathan K. Wong has been co-music director (with Chuck Kroeker) for the contemporary worship path called “The Journey” at St. Mary’s Road United Church (Winnipeg, Canada) since 2010. He is also a physician
consultant for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Palliative Care Program and Assistant Professor at the University of Manitoba. When not practising medicine, he is busy creating and performing music on various
instruments to raise money for various causes. The piece we used in worship (# 171 in More Voices, composed by Rick Gunn) is from his album
On the album cover, Jon writes:
The Covid-19 global pandemic has turned the world upside down in so many ways. As part of St. Mary’s Road United Church’s transition into
providing online worship services, I had recorded and arranged numerous instrumental worship songs for cello and piano. Inspired by Yo Yo Ma’s “Songs of Comfort” concept, I have decided to offer a selection of these recordings in an album format in order to raise much needed funds for the SMRUC food bank ministry.
I hope this music will serve our Christian and spiritual needs as well as help us better connect with our local community. In times of trouble, music is one of the arts that brings us together.
‘Connectivity’ features instrumental worship music with cello, piano and upright bass with my arrangements of repertoire from More Voices, Voices United and a selection of more contemporary songs.
**As of August 8th, 2020, this album has raised over $12,500 for the food bank @ SMRUC! Thank you very much for the support!**
Cameron Denby is a Winnipeg percussion artist, specializing in marimba and vibraphone. Cameron studied at the Marcel A. Desautels Faculty of
Music at the University of Manitoba, graduating in 2018. Following his graduation, he pursued higher education at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, graduating with a Professional Studies Diploma in Marimba Performance in 2019.
Cameron’s notes for his album (released August 28, 2020):
This is an EP of music for solo vibraphone. The four pieces
were commissioned and composed for this project. 100% of proceeds
will be donated to Black Lives Matter Global Network. Endless and heartfelt thanks to the brilliant souls who gave their art to make this happen:
Music composed by Stephon Davis, Cameron Denby, Steve Denby, and Kiara Nathaniel.
All tracks recorded in-home by Cameron Denby. Mastered by JP Peters.
Artwork by Max Robert-Betzold. Created and produced by Cameron Denby.
Both Jonathan and Cameron’s music are available on bandcamp.com
If you haven’t thought about joining with a few others on Sunday morning for ‘virtual coffee’, but think you might like to try it, please call or email the office for the zoom link. We can also give you a hand figuring out how to get online. And it’s possible to join with audio only – using your regular phone if that’s the best way for you. Each Sunday morning, there are about 12-15
people enjoying a 40 minute (or less) visit. More are always welcome.
The gardens and trees at Harrow are into full production of the fruits of their labours. We have zucchini, squash, tomatoes, beets, flowers – and acorns and spruce tree cones!
On a personal level, I had the opportunity to join in harvesting an abundance of honey this past week – a sweet and sticky enterprise with a minimum of stings involved!
In these days of the abundance of garden and field, may you be blessed with abundant faith, abundant hope, abundant love.
Grace and peace to you.