The theme for this week’s worship is All Saints. The link is:
Happy Hallowe’en and Blessings on this All Saints weekend.
“In a little while, the world will no longer see me … but you will see me …”
According to the Gospel of John, these are among the words of Jesus to his friends as followers in the hours before his arrest and death. “… the world will no longer see me … but you will see me …”.
The Celts speak of the veil between this world and the next as being ‘tissue thIn” – I suspect many of us have some personal experience or understanding of this. The season of All Saints (and All Hallow’s Eve) provide an opportunity for us to pause and remember the saints – yes there are some Saints – too many to name perhaps, but the early church also used the term ‘saints’ to mean members of the Christian community – look it up – it’s in some of the letters in the New Testament (for example, “greet all the saints with a holy kiss” – but please don’t follow this directive during a pandemic!!
On the Sunday nearest November 1st, Harrow has a tradition of lifting up in particular those ‘saints’ who have died within the past 12 months. On this All Saints weekend, we are thinking particularly of those individuals, and of their families, friends and communities.
I also invited you to send in stories and photographs of those whom you might name as ‘saints’, and a few of you did just that. Thanks!
We are grateful for the many ways our lives and our living have been influenced and affected by so many. We are grateful for the ‘saints’ whose lives and faith have shaped our communities and our own faith and actions.
The Voices United hymnbook contains the follow prayer for All Saints (# 719):
God of the ages,
we praise you for all your servants
who have done justice, loved mercy,
and walked humbly with their God.
We praise you for all who have sought your new creation,
and who, by their steadfast faith,
have shown their discipleship in Christ Jesus.
We praise you for those we have known and loved,
and pray that we, with them,
may follow in the way of Christ,
and, at the last, dwell in your holy city,
sharing the inheritance of the saints in light,
through your son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.
To prepare for worship, you may want to be ready for communion – some form of bread, wafer, or cracker, and something to drink.
You may also want to have a candle ready, as there is opportunity to light your own candle and to remember those ‘saints’ in your life.
In other news:
These are challenging days – most particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of us are feeling worried, others are impatient, most of us are tired of all the uncertainties in our lives. Our worship video includes a message from the Moderator of the United Church, the Right Reverend Richard Bott – it’s also available on Facebook. He speaks to that sense of isolation, fear, weariness and despair that many of us are experiencing. You may want to check it out.
Ways to connect with others at Harrow:
Sunday coffee continues weekly from 10 to 10:40 a.m. If you’d like to join the ‘zoom’ coffee, we would be more than happy to provide the link or to help you figure out how to get set up. Or maybe you’d like to suggest another/additional coffee time or other meeting?
Faithful Readers has a great list of reads (as always) this year – the next one is The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd. Discussion will be by zoom at the end of November.
Yoga continues as an online option Mondays and Wednesdays.
Rhyme & Storytime – Michelle & Sherry continue to create wonderful videos each week for children and the adults in their lives to enjoy. Because we know how important it can be to break through isolation and actually ‘meet’ with others, we are planning to begin a Friday morning Rhyme & Storytime zoom meeting – 10 – 10:30. Mostly a chance to see each other and say hello. Perhaps a few of the familiar rhymes and songs. Starting soon. Watch Facebook for more information!
There was a suggestion at the Annual Meeting to have a storytime/book club/discussion for children between the ages of 6 and 12 (approximately). If this sounds like a good idea to you – please let us know. If you’d like to suggest a book, that would also be great!
House Groups will be getting a little more involved in helping us to stay connected to one another. Expect to hear from the leaders of your House Group soon.
Thanks be to God
For the cloud of witnesses
For neighbours and friends
For the capacity to adapt and to learn and to do things in a different way
For the gift of a sense of humour and the gift of perseverance.
God, please also grant us patience!
Keeping you all in thought and prayer. Please stay safe.
Yours in Christ,
(Rev.) Teresa Moysey
Harrow United Church