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Join us for worship on Sundays at 10:00
- Please join us after the service in the Van Roon Community Hall for the HeBrews Café, refreshments and fellowship before continuing on with your day.
- Thank you to everyone who contributed to this year’s School Supply Drive. A large collection of supplies was delivered to Westgrove School this week for distribution to students in need. Mission and Social Action is now inviting us to share in a collecting boxes of cereal and jars of peanut butter for Westgrove Family Resource Centre. Details in Life and Work.
- Blessings and joyful wishes are extended to Savanah Baird and Gavin Wiebe as well as to Jacqueline Pollard and Jarett Nick. Both of these young couples will be married this Saturday.
- We were saddened this week to learn of the death of our dear friend and long time CUC member Mary Buchanan following a lengthy and courageous battle with cancer. Funeral arrangements are pending and details will be shared as they become available. Please remember Grant and all of his and Mary’s large family in your prayers.
Welcome to worship for Sunday, September 17, 2023.
I suppose the further away a natural disaster occurs, the more distant our attention. As I said in a letter two weeks ago, nearly every one of us has some connection to someone living in British Columbia and endangered by wildfire even it is by two or three degrees of separation. On the other hand, few if any of us are connected to people in Morocco or Libya. And yet, the devastation visited upon these remote North African countries is horrifying and humbling.
An earthquake that hit Morocco last Saturday brought homes built with nothing but clay brick to the ground in an instant. The loss of lives is being measured in the thousands, the loss of shelter is presently immeasurable. The flood caused by a cyclone over Libya and exacerbated by the collapse of two dams south of Derna literally swept families out of their homes as they slept and carried them into the sea. A report from the BBC says that 20,000 people may have been killed in that moment. Perhaps the number will never be known.
No matter how often we receive such news, our reaction is always the same. We can scarcely believe that such harm can come so quickly to human communities. The images which travel around the world so fast today only serve to re-enforce our shock and despair. We cannot believe our eyes and we dare not imagine what these people, so beloved by God, have gone through and are living through. Perhaps your next reaction is like mine, to simultaneously offer prayer and seek for ways to help. These two responses go hand in hand like the great commandment itself. Love God and love neighbour for they are one and the same.
Because of its partner relationship with the Red Crescent (emergency relief in Muslim countries), the Canadian Red Cross seems to be the Canadian agency best situated to bring relief to these devastated places. Please visit their website for more information https://www.redcross.ca/ . Responding through the United Church is not yet available.
Creation is fragile, gentle, and vulnerable as well as powerful, unpredictable, and dangerous. These two ways of understanding nature are not incompatible. They represent the tension with which we all live. Our own bodies both bless us and betray us. As we seek balance and harmony in the beauty and wonder of creation let us remember that there is much we can do for another. The task of being our brother/sister’s keeper is a sacred one.
Please pray for God’s children in Morocco and Libya. We are one.
Grace and peace,
- For news and events please have a look at Life & Work on our website: Life and Work
- Did you know you can support this ministry by e-transfer, automatic withdrawal (PAR), and gifted securities, in addition to weekly or monthly cheques? For Offering Information please visit: https://charleswoodunited.org/support/ Thank you for your generous support.
- Michael Wilson’s book “A Pastoral Pandemic: Remaining Connected in a Time of Disconnection” is available in store and online through CommonWord Bookstore (Canadian Mennonite University). For more information visit: https://www.commonword.ca/go/3408.
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- The reading for this week’s service can be found at: Matthew 18:21-35