July 2021 SSUC Newsletter
Reflection by Fran
Gifts from Creator God
As often as I can, I walk to the Beach. The beach, our beach, the Point, my favourite place in the world. Since childhood, it has been my go-to place, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Each of us has a sacred place like this, tucked away in the depths of our hearts. We go there in times of celebration, or when looking for peace and tranquility, or when hearts are sad or lonely.
Close your eyes, take a few moments and go there, to your sacred place. What does it feel like - sound like - smell like - look like? Use all your senses. Just “be” there. Be filled with the wonder and joy of your sacred place.
During these summer months, as I walk to the Beach, I am reminded of God’s abundance for all. From the smallest sparrow nesting in bushes in the ditches, to the glorious fireweed blooming in tucked away corners, Creator God provides gifts freely and in abundance. These are simple abundances, ample abundances, more than enough if we learn to appreciate and share.
I continue my walk to the beach. I see a few asparagus tips left over in the neglected abandoned garden of a good friend, missed but never forgotten. Further along, apples in an old orchard from another good friend remind me that I belong in this sacred place. Rounding the corner, almost there, I see water droplets caught in lupin leaves – our diamonds. Sparkles on the water – our jewels. The glow of the setting sun – our gold. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21). At the top of the bank at the beach, I collect little red “rubies”. The wild strawberries have ripened and are ready to eat.
Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of “Braiding Sweetgrass” (2013), has written of the gift of wild strawberries. As a child, she would run to the fields behind her home to pick them. She writes “you could smell the ripe strawberries before you saw them, the fragrance mingling with the smell of sun on damp ground, the time of Strawberry Moon.” Lying on her stomach in her favourite patches, she’d watch each tiny wild berry, no bigger than a raindrop, grow sweeter, riper and bigger by the day. She’d pick only the reddest of the red, leaving the pink ones for another day.
These wild strawberries were the first to shape her view of a world full of gifts. It introduced to her the idea of a gift economy. She writes, “A gift comes to you through no action of your own, free, having moved toward you without your beckoning. It is not a reward; you cannot earn it, or call it to you, or even deserve it. And yet it appears. Your only role is to be open-eyed and present.” Robin’s wild strawberries were often made into a strawberry shortcake for her father on Father’s Day, the best possible gift, for which he was always grateful.
Whether it be wild strawberries, asparagus, apples or good friendships, gifts from the Earth and from each other establish a particular relationship between the giver and the receiver. The receiver recognizes the gift and in return, passes on a gift to another, who passes it on to another, and another, and another. “Passing it forward” we say.
So begins the “gift economy” of receiving and giving. This is different from the typical buying and selling “market economy” we know, which involves the exchange of goods for money. The relationship of giving and receiving develops and grows. The gift economy opens our way to live more conscientiously, in gratitude for the abundances Creator God has given us. We can choose. If we see our world as only a market economy, how poor we become. If we choose to see the world as gifts in motion, our world becomes transformed by love.
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.” (1 Corinthians 12:4) What gifts are to be found and shared in your sacred place?
Spiritual Nurture Committee
4 Doreen Daley 11 & 25 Rev. Beth Brehaut 18 Fran Albrecht
Memorial Song Service – This will be held sometime in the fall when, hopefully, more people will be able to attend.
The Pastoral Care Team will continue phone visits. July visitors will be Evelyn MacEachern 902-675-3742 and Helen Nicholson 902-658-2324. If you would like a visit or know of someone in need please do not hesitate to call.
Sympathies – We extend our condolences to Barbara Clement and Family on the passing of her husband, Stephen, on June 22, 2021.
Congratulations to Mitchell MacDonald and Jaqueline Vanderzwaag who will be married July 3 at South Shore United Church.
Fellowship Room - We want to remind everyone of our agreement with Merry Pop-Ins (MPI) regarding access to the Fellowship room. MPI staff take their lunch breaks from 11:30 to 1:30 each weekday. They are responsible to clean and disinfect the room after each use. This arrangement has gone well with both parties respecting the needs of one another. We wish to remind Church groups to schedule their meetings with Ruth at the church office. For weekday meetings, please plan for 2:00 pm start time. This allows the staff to finish their lunches and clean up the room. Church groups must use the entrance to the Church Office area. Jack will unlock the door by 1:45 pm on the day of the meeting. This arrangement was agreed upon to respect each other’s needs during these difficult times and to accommodate provincial COVID19 protocols.
Thank you, Frank MacDonald & Scott Howatt, Co-Chairs of the Trustees
E-transfer – Now available. email@example.com
We are updating our Community of Faith profile as it was written pre-Covid, and there was a lot of repetition. We have not had any more inquiries, again, we think it may be Covid related, but we are optimistic things will change as Covid precautions are relaxed.
The Community of Tryon Canada Day Celebration – Thur. July 1 with a rain date of July 2. First cohort 10:45–12:00; second cohort 12:15–1:30. Please pre-register at merrypopins-pe.ca, 2021 Canada Day Registration. There will be flag raising, national anthem and cupcakes, self-guided nature walk through The Tryon River Trail, activity stations and BBQ take out.
Camp Abegweit –There is a list of items needed in the sanctuary and on the Church Facebook page. A box is at the back of the church to place items in or you may drop them off at the church office by July 4. Thank you.