Sunday Reflections-Pentecost 19

This Sunday reflection actually needs to begin with a rewind to Saturday evening, since last night we held the Fall Team Gathering.
     As previously mentioned, yesterday was pretty jam-packed and by mid-afternoon, after returning home from my catering sojourn for the Christian Nurses Conference, being held at Isaiah 40, thoughts
of a quiet evening with a good book were seductively floating around in my brain. But they needed to be pushed firmly aside as there was caramel frosting to make for my apple cake and a big vat of cider to start mulling in the slow cooker.
   Soon the Team Members started to arrive, each bearing a contribution towards our supper. I was touched as two of them proudly presented organic offerings, knowing of my strict adherence to a
fair-trade organic diet. 
We had a fine turnout and soon 15 teens and young adults were gathered in a big circle to say Grace.
   After we all enjoyed a hearty meal several helpers dried dishes as I washed and soon we were regrouped in the living room for Worship. There is always one “wow” moment at every Team Gathering where I am totally overwhelmed with gratitude for the privilege of sitting in this home surrounded by a group of such wonderful young people. A group, which has come together to fellowship and chat but also to worship, to sing, pray and listen to a talk; the body of Christ in community. As we sang that first song last evening I experienced my “wow” moment and knew that there was nowhere else I wanted to be, nothing else I would rather be doing than sitting right there. Joshua did a fine job leading Worship for the first time, and then Janice and Tim gave an excellent talk sharing thoughts and suggestions for ways in which all of us should be active in seeking community. Not just satisfied by attending Sunday Service or Youth Group but by being part of smaller groups for prayer and Bible Study. And then, after more prayer and singing, the evening was over. People were collecting up their mostly empty food containers, hugging each other (and me!) putting on jackets and shoes and heading out into the chilly night. Nope, I wasn’t tired anymore, sure I was happy after walking Wil and tidying up, to climb into bed with my book, but it was with a thankful heart. So very glad to be a part of this Ministry and to have the opportunity to share in such a lovely evening.
And so to Sunday…
     Today I already knew that it was unlikely I would be leading the Children’s Group since my “regular” participants were off at the family cabin. But I did join with the Toddlers and their leaders for our opening time and snack and then tiptoed back to the Worship space in time to hear part of an interesting talk given by Steve on this week’s Bible Personage- Rahab.
   Honestly, it is still a big stretch for me to be enthusiastic about Sermon Series, since my whole life Liturgy has been rooted in the Lectionary and my personal feeling is that if this model for Biblical teaching is good enough for billions of Christians, worldwide, then it is good enough for me. But I have chosen to Worship at St. Stephen’s and apparently the tradition there is more directed towards Sermon Series so I do try to approach the idea with an open mind and also to remember that such choices need to reflect the desire of the majority in the congregation and not any one individual! Today was also our monthly Eucharist and that is always a very special time of corporate worship in which I am grateful to be given the role of chalice bearer.
    A sunny bike ride home, leaf raking, Wil walking and finally a brief hour cosily sitting on the porch wrapped in a blanket with Wil by my side and Mandu washing her paws nearby in the Autumn sun, life is very full, very rich. At the beginning of this new week, that will culminate in Thanksgiving Weekend, it is evident there is so much for which to stop and give Thanks!!

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