Home Forums Noticings… 200429 – Grieving

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    Noticings…

    April 29, 2020

    Monday night my wife and I were supposed to be sitting in Toronto at the Scotiabank Arena being serenaded by the incomparable James Taylor. Of course, things being how they are, the concert was cancelled. We had our tickets for many months, and had been looking forward to the concert with great anticipation. I’ve been yearning to hear James in person for decades and decades – this was finally to have been my chance. It would have been one of the highlights of my year. And just like that it’s gone, possibly to be rescheduled, but who knows when. I’m a bit miffed about it, a bit put out, feeling a little bit sorry for myself, but mostly I’m grieving.

    You may think that’s too strong a word to use, but it isn’t. We are all grieving all sorts of losses in this season of disruption and disconnection. Sometimes it’s loss upon loss. Grieving is exactly what it is. Obviously, grieving is what happens when tragedy befalls you or someone you love, or when you experience a death. There’s certainly a dramatic increase in deaths lately – some due to the usual realities of life, some due to Covid-19, some due to incomprehensible violence. It is well and true to experience grieving in all those situations, even if you may not be in a direct relationship with those who’ve died.

    But grieving – a word whose roots mean to experience harm, burden, heaviness, and sorrow – isn’t limited to death. We are grieving the burden and heaviness of carrying all this fear and stress about our current pandemic. We are grieving having to miss birthdays, and gatherings, and graduations, and travel, and concerts, and yes church. Some are grieving lost opportunities, lost options, or lost paycheques. Grief abounds.

    What shall we do with our grief? We can’t laugh it off, or ignore it. We can’t talk ourselves out of it, or just get over it. We have to acknowledge it, name it, and journey through it. And there’s no set time line or order of steps. Everyone grieves in their own way – and everyone’s grieving right now. Everyone. On some level everyone is feeling burden, and heaviness, and sorrow, because this season is causing harm. I have no magic answer. I only have a faith that promises that we are not alone in our grieving, and that on the other side of the dying and letting go there is an invitation to renewed life. It doesn’t instantly assuage my grief, but it gives me hope as I trust in the newness of tomorrow. And until then I’ll play my James Taylor albums, and pray.


    Communion This Sunday

    Our usual rhythm is to celebrate the sacrament of communion together on the first Sunday of each month. As this Sunday May 3rd is the first of the month I will invite you to prepare some bread and juice – OR whatever food and drink you wish (no need to go out and buy anything special!) – so you can participate at home. If the preparation is done with the intention of it being holy and blessed then it is!

    Support Our Outreach Programs While In Isolation

    Please help support our local outreach programs while in isolation. Current needs are:
    Bethesda House Masks (cotton, homemade or store-bought) , Lysol spray, Lysol hand wipes and hand sanitizer.
    Denise House  Masks
    Back Door Mission Masks
    If you have any of these supplies please call Sheila Ellis or email office@faithunited.ca. Sheila will be happy to pick them up at your home and deliver them to the agencies.
    Shalom,
    Larry
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