Ice Storm. Tornado. Windstorm. What next?
It was an . . . interesting . . . weekend, wasn’t it? How did you fare? How are you fairing?
Us? Well . . . I’m careful when it comes to our family. Probably too careful at times. I try not to make things about “us”. I try not to focus attention on our family, and sometimes (unfortunately) that means I underemphasize what our family is going through. I don’t celebrate our successes and triumphs as much or as often as I should. So graduations and marriages and babies might not be highlighted as they should be.
I tend, instead, to generalize. I can talk about “us” this weekend because I know that what we went through we all went through. Because we were all resilient in some way. Because we all have the same story: what about that storm!
Us? Saturday was interesting. We held a bit of a garage sale (it went OK, thanks). We were to the “please take anything you may want so we don’t have to pack it up again” stage when I heard the emergency alert. I had just looked at the Weather Network’s radar, and I thought that the storm looked a long way off. I looked at the sky: sure, it was getting dark, but the clouds weren’t ominous. Two minutes later I looked again and thought “I’d better get moving!”. Then there were three or four raindrops . . . and then the heavens opened and the deluge started. I thought of last week’s message about Noah and was glad for God’s promise never to flood the earth again, because it sure seemed like that could happen! Forty minutes of rain was enough – I can’t imagine forty days of rain!
When it finally ended . . . trees were down in our neighbourhood . . . some roofs were destroyed, others slightly damaged . . . a few cars were crushed by falling trees (but not many) . . . some people had “near misses” and were thankful . . . we had an umbrella blow into a fence (the umbrella is now in the garbage, unsalvageable), and a tree that fell missed my motorcycle by a few inches (I am thankful!!!), but other than that all is well. Oh, and we have been without power and will be (it is said) until Thursday or Friday.
In the grand scheme of things – when you put it into perspective – we have endured a little discomfort, but that is all. Perspective does make a difference: waiting fifteen minutes in line for coffee during “normal” times leads to frustrations and grumbling; waiting fifteen minutes in line for coffee during windstorm times leads to laughter and story telling with the next person in line. Or this: we might not have power for a few days, but think about Lebanon, which has not had a working power grid since their last Civil War ended in 1990. Or this: we do not have an army trying to conquer our country (think Ukraine).
Eventually power will be restored and the internet will be restored and (although it will take longer) houses and vehicles will be restored, and we’ll have stories to tell . . . stories of inconveniences endured and damage suffered . . . and stories of neighbour helping neighbour through difficult times. And life will go on. Until the next storm (because one will come) when communities will rally together again.
And then came Sunday. I was going to try to play for a laugh – to say that Sunday you could have called me Rumpled-shirt-something-or-other, as I was unable to iron anything to wear to the service, but I was not alone in that. Funny, how dependent we are on electricity without even realizing it. For example, the step on our deck is lose. I hunted all over for screws so that I could fix it yesterday, as it is a safety hazard. Then I plugged in my electric screwdriver . . . Needless to say, the work still needs to be done.
I don’t need to say it again (although I will): we have a great team of young leaders in our congregation. God is helping them to find their way in Him as they mature and grow, and He is using them to do great things in the church – in your church! I appreciate your support for and encouragement to them as they lead, and I appreciate the way they challenge us to look to God that we grow as well.
I am thankful for Johania, and for the message that she shared Sunday (not her message, God’s message through her). I do not have a copy of this message to put on our web site (yet), but once I have it you will find it in the SERMONS section of our web site. We will upload the service to our Facebook page and to our YouTube channel as soon as we can.
As you know, I have been the unofficial chaplain of the Ottawa Misfits Motorcycle Group for the last number of years. The year before the pandemic (BC – Before COVID) we invited the group to join us for breakfast and our service, and had a great celebration together. This year with the pandemic waning and indoor services allowed, the group will join us as we gather together as “Misfits” in our Fourth Annual/Second Actual Misfit Motorcycle Rally Day.
We will gather at 11:00 to celebrate together. Our worship team will lead in song (e-mail me at the church if you do not receive the lyrics weekly and would like them sent to you). Our message will take us on One More Ride. A “Blessing of the Bikes” will follow.
If you do not feel comfortable joining with others in the congregation in person please join us through our Facebook feed (click here) or our YouTube feed (click here) – or link directly from our web site (click here). Please “check in” – let us know if you worship with us “live or delayed”.
Our annual spring Celebration of Worship through Music will be held on June 5. We would like to invite everyone to participate . . . talk with Matt if you would like to sing, to share some prose/poetry/a story, to play . . . to be part of a great time of praise.
It is also Pentecost Sunday . . . we expect a great time of blessing!
Our District “Family Reunion” service will be streamed on the District YouTube channel beginning at 3:00 pm Sunday June 12. We will gather to celebrate through worship at 11:00 am in the sanctuary as we usually do.
We meet every Wednesday evening at 7:00 through ZOOM to pray together. We share with one another, we discover the needs of others who are part of our church near and far, and we pray . . . some silently, some vocally. Join us this week! Click here to link directly. There is a new meeting code and password: meeting ID is 863 4628 8292 ; passcode is 631738).
We have been talking about the denominational Half Million Mobilization – a call for people of our denomination to stop and listen for and to the voice of God and to become grounded, to search for God’s direction so that we can be what He wants us to be in the coming days. We pray as a local church within a denomination . . . and wait quietly for Him to speak powerfully.
We are Praying Our Way to Pentecost (June 5). We are praying for God’s protection, direction, and revelation, looking to see renewal and revival in our churches.
This Half-Million Mobilization is a call to Nazarenes to experience unity as a region, to hear from the Spirit in our times of prayer, to share with each other what the Spirit is saying, and to discover His plans for our hope and future. A prayer journal has been developed to help us in our focus (click here, or download your copy from the main mailing page).
An app for mobile devices has been developed, and will provide the daily devotionals:
A Holiness Today Special Edition devoted to prayer is also available (please e-mail the church to receive a copy or click here to download a copy). Print versions were made available but were sold out before we could order them; I am sorry that we missed out on them and could not have them for you.
Thank you for your faithful support of the work we are trying to accomplish for Christ through what we do as a church . . . for giving generously of your tithes and offerings to the meet the needs of our local church. We continue to receive our tithes and offerings through e-transfer (email@example.com) and through the Canada Helps web site (click here).
Barb, Emmanuelle, Matt, and Pierre are your pastoral transition team. They will begin working with our District Superintendent following the upcoming District Assembly and will be seeking input . . . a “transition handbook” is available on the district web site. During the transition Johania, Matt, and Pastor Lloyd Rodriguez (and perhaps others) will share preaching duties; we are working on a preaching schedule.
Also note . . . A family that we are in contact with is moving into the neighbourhood and is in need of some furniture . . . talk to me if you have anything you can share . . . the church property committee will share a “spring cleaning needs” list soon; we ask that if you can you sign up for a cleaning need, to be completed at your convenience; this is instead of holding a work day . . . District Assembly will be led from the Rosewood Church in Scarborough June 10 and streamed on the district YouTube channel. The evening ordination service (only) will be “in person”. . . Pastor André of our Ottawa Haitian Church will have his credentials recognized by our denomination (he comes to us from the Mission Evangélique d'Haiti) . . .
Our Monday Musings is a place to celebrate significant events . . . and we (I) missed one! When I was with Marilyn Brown a few weeks ago I mentioned that I knew that she had just celebrated a birthday, and I did the unthinkable: I asked her how old she was . . . in May she turned 91! (my guess was a few years shy). I am sure everyone joins me in wishing this faithful servant of God a very Happy Birthday. She has been – and still is – blessing to all she has come into contact with.