Catie Oates-Hill
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Dawna's letter for Epiphany

In the season after Epiphany we will explore Jesus' call to follow him. We will shape our worship over the next several months around the metaphor of pilgrimage. On Epiphany we travelled with the Magi as they searched for the Christ child and for another way home and last Sunday we travelled with Jesus as he waded into public ministry with his baptism at the Jordan. This week Jesus expands God’s call to those who become his first disciples.  

Come and journey — what an invitation Jesus offers the disciples and all of us who hear and respond. And what a journey we have been on for this past year. We know that part of our capacity to be resilient in the face of so much stress is in our faith and we are thankful.  

As a parish, our pandemic journey has been enriched by the outdoor worship space, and we are grateful for those who had this idea years ago, and those who helped make it a reality for such a time as this.  

This week, Christine Eschman and Miki Jablanczy, weeded and seeded the labyrinth. I look forward to watching for new growth with you and we will send photographic updates as it establishes itself anew in our outdoor space as a place for reflection, meditation, prayer and pondering. The labyrinth will have a rest while the seeds take root.   

Behind the Scenes at Recording

You may wonder what it’s like filming in pandemic and wet weather - one thing required is flexibility and a good weather forecaster.  

And lest you worry that Dawna and Colleen have been packing on extra weight during COVID, rest assured that they are merely wearing many layers underneath their albs to keep warm (at least this is what they hope!) Angela has taken to wearing snow pants and our brave readers sometimes choose to wear their hats and coats. Boots are recommended as the ground around the platform is very muddy.    

Last week, when we celebrated the baptism of Jesus, a font in the form of a bird bath was provided by Laurie and Denise Hansen and the blue ceramic bowl is the one we use for baptisms. It’s challenging and fun to create worship in new ways and we hope it’s helping to provide a sense of connection and community for each of you. 

 The lights around the edge of the platform, and those that adorned our outdoor tree were courtesy of Brian and Tristan Goddard. The inside tree, where we safely filmed our readers, was courtesy of Gerry Norie and Don MacSween (assembled by the aforementioned Goddards) and the Chrismon’s were made by Diana Caleb. Following diocesan and provincial protocols means that we don’t see the pieces all come together until Angela has done her magic and it becomes a worship service.  

Given the new restrictions, our choir is working to find ways to record and follow protocols. You will have seen them bundled up and working to hear the organ inside the church while they were outside. Joan Clement has been learning new technological skills to synchronize audio tracks filmed individually. Angela then puts photos to compliment the theme of the music and voilà, choral music from a distance.   

You may see fewer readers in the next little while as we try to minimize contact and keep everyone safe. If you are interested in reading, let us know. It has been a great joy to see how many people have stepped forward to try something new like reading scripture or sharing in the prayers.  We are keeping the lights up around the edge of our worship platform through the season after Epiphany — a time when our readings encourage us to explore how the light of God is present in our sacred stories, our hearts and even at the edges of our patience, stamina and weariness. Meister Eckhart explored this theme and wrote:  

"In times of doubt I forget that You are not a God of thoughts, to be found in concepts or theories, but are the source of my life and the radiance that shines forth in all that is, and then I remember: mine is the work of learning to see You as the radiance that shines forth in all that is, even in the dark. Even in me."  

May you continue to see the radiance that shines in all that is, I am so grateful for your light. 

Many blessings, Much love, Dawna 

 

The labyrinth has been seeded with a coated grass seed that is suitable for shade. It's a mixture of three types of grass. The centre circle is filled with sedum and a tiny snow drop is blooming there.