How are you feeling? Many people are feeling the strain of isolation, the lack of connection. The scriptures that have been selected for today, Peter 3:13–22 and John 14 acknowledge the continuing need to acknowledge our humanity (we are social creatures) which can be daunting, especially when the way of love leads us in a different direction. In these times the acts of love, grace, and compassion to which the gospel calls us when our bodies and minds want something else, can be challenging and discomforting, to say the least. Yet Jesus reminds us, that even here we are not alone in our struggle. The Holy Spirit, to whom he refers to as the Advocate (literally, the one who is called alongside us), who shows us the way to love. And to be engaged in love, is to be engaged in God.
In these challenging times, where and when do you find that you need to be reminded of the abiding presence of the Spirit of God, the Spirit of love, to give you the reassurance that in choosing to love, you will find the spaciousness and comfort of God?
If you find that you are experiencing stress or depression, please contact someone to help you. Contact your EAP (Employee Assistance Program) if you have one, your Doctor, the Distress line, or one of the websites listed below. Remember your health, including your mental health is important, we all deal with stress differently, this is especially true if you are taking care of others. If the symptoms are severe, call 911.
Here are some helpful articles and websites:
• CAMH “Mental Health and the CoVid-19 Pandemic”
• https://www.anxietycanada.com/ Anxiety Canada has an online program called My Anxiety Plan (MAP) an anxiety management program designed to provide adults struggling with anxiety with practical strategies and tools to manage anxiety. MAP includes 6 easy to navigate units with 45 -10 minute lessons.
• Distress Centre Halton: 905-877-1211
• Community Services 311
If you would like to make a donation to St. John’s United Church please go to: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/st-johns-united-church-of-georgetown-and-glen-williams/
Photographs sourced from: Unsplash.com Photographers: Katharine McCormack, Kwang Mathurosemontri, Anton Rybakov,Yulia Khlebnikova, Yoksel Zok, bantersnaps, Aaron Burden
Prayer of St. Francis Adapted by Gretta Vosper and Scott Kearns (c) 2005 West Hill United Church.
Music in this program:
“Our Father, Who Art in Heaven” adapted from a chant by R. Langdon
“Quiet Faith of Man” © 1981, Bill Staines, used with permission
“Love Divine,” Charles Wesley (1747) and Rowland How Prichard (1831)
Music streamed under One License A-606768