It was at this time last year that the first rumblings of a Corona virus started becoming real to us in Canada. It would be a few more weeks before we started closing things down, but we were in Lent when all came to pass and Palm Sunday and Easter services were cancelled. We thought maybe it would all be over in a couple of weeks and then a couple of months, and now here we are wondering if we are even going to be in our sanctuary for Palm Sunday a year later.
I attended a Zoom workshop where the question posed to us was, “Where has God led us since last Ash Wednesday?” One person responded that it feels like it has been a year of Lent. I could relate. Often Lent is thought of as a time of giving up something or abstinence. This practice is meant to be a spiritual discipline. It is meant to be a preparation time for Easter, a time to really focus on the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. We have given up so much this year, from celebrations of life and death, to transitions of various kinds; beginning a school year, retirements, graduations, weddings, and changes in jobs to name a few, so giving up more seems like asking too much.
We are mourning what has been lost and so maybe this is a good time to pay attention to what God is doing. God didn’t pack up and leave. God is still with us, but it takes paying attention to see the ways that God is moving in the world. In these coming weeks leading up to Easter it may be time to finally sit and reflect. It may not be a time for giving up one more thing but rather to give thanks. Many times I have read the suggestion to take up some spiritual practice during lent, maybe prayer, scripture reading, walking with the purpose of seeing God in creation. It is meant to bring us more closely in relationship with our creator. I have decided that this season of Lent I am going to make at least one phone call, Monday through Saturday to check in on a family member, a colleague, a friend, or acquaintance, asking God to be with me in those conversations so that I may be light and salt in a world that is struggling. It will be one way that I intentionally look for what God is doing in a time that feels like an extended period of Lent.
Regardless of your take on Lent, may you find blessing and strength in this season of preparation and anticipation of the remembrance of the death and the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Rev. Joyce Yanishewski
Exploring the Lent Garden, Week by Week
Enjoy your journey through the Lent Garden each week. Start by clicking on the bible on the park bench. With one click you will open up a collection of daily bible readings, children’s bible story readings, prayers, and questions to think about throughout each week. Once you’ve got these devotions at hand, go ahead and explore the rest of the garden by clicking on items in the Lent Garden to discover stories, music, craft ideas, a labyrinth and so much more.
Each Sunday in Lent and on into Holy Week the Lent Garden tour offers new insights and delights so be sure to visit often during this special time. Click on the links below to open the Lent Garden gate.
Lent 5, March 21, 2021
Lent 4, March 14, 2021
Lent 3, March 7, 2021
Lent 2, February 28, 2021
Lent 1, February 21, 2021
Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Be Not Afraid
Sunday November 29, 11 am (Advent I) Service with Communion
Sunday December 6, 11am (Advent II)
Sunday December 13, 11 am (Advent III)
Sunday December 20, 11 am (Advent IV)
Tuesday December 24 – Christmas Eve One service only at 7:00 pm
Sunday December 27, 11 am (Wassail Service)
Communion will be celebrated both in church Sunday November 29th and by Zoom later that same day at 7:00 pm. A link to the communion service will be sent out by Friday evening for the Zoom service. If you have not received the link and would like to participate in the service please contact Rev. Joyce at email@example.com. Rev. Joyce’s column in the newsletter will help you prepare for both in person and Zoom communion.
St. Andrew’s will be continuing its tradition of our annual Tea & Bazaar, minus the tea. We have received many donations of new and unused items and will be selling them through a Facebook event.
You will need a Facebook account to view the items. To access the event and see all the wonderful items that are available for purchase please use the link provided below and click the Discussion tab on the St. Andrew’s Marketplace Facebook event.
No Facebook account? Please call the church at 622-4273, Monday to Friday 9 AM to 1 PM.
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church will be hosting an online Marketplace & Bazaar for the month of November. We have many new/unused knitted items for sale, donated by members of our church/community. Jamie Gerow, a member of the International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santa’s, is donating his time for Video Calls with Santa; $10 for 10min! Shaundra Benincasa of Benincasa Boutique, creates Disney inspired headbands. $10 from every headband purchased will be donated to the church; each headband is $25. Local artist, Judy Persian, has created original watercolour blank cards for all occasions. Cards are 1 for $5 or 4 for $19. Last but not least, St. Andrew’s will be selling our famous shortbread cookies $5/doz. Please visit our Facebook event page to see all the wonderful items available and for more info on the other fundraising projects. https://fb.me/e/3KbYTGPJF or call 622-4273.