Happy Birthday, Church!

May 31st is Pentecost Sunday this year, the traditional day we remember the beginning of the church as a community.

As you know, I am currently working with 4 different communities: Lunenburg, First South, Rose Bay and Feltzen South.

As you also know, thanks to Covid-19, we are not able to gather in our church buildings for public worship these days.

So, I put something together so each of these communities can touch base with their buildings, even as we remember that it is the people who are really the church.

Peace be with you all.

The End of Easter

This was not the Easter season we were looking for.

And as it draws to a close, we still cannot see the end of the pandemic.

But we still cannot see the ending of hungry children in our world.

Or violence against people who are different, simply because they are different.

Or murdered and missing aboriginal women and girls.

This was not the Easter season they were looking for, either.

So, in our waiting, in our praying, in our longing, let us sit still in the quiet time, and wait in hope.

Because the Spirit of Pentecost is promised, the Spirit who inspires, and who fills, and who empowers, and who points, and who sends.

It won’t be the Pentecost we, or they, were expecting either.

But maybe that will be ok.

Worship for the Home – Easter 7

The Good News is Challenge Before it is Comfort

The Good News of God’s love for us is the core of what we are about as church.

It is literally the bottom line.  If we lose that, we’ve lost everything that matters.

The challenge is that God’s love calls US to love as we have been loved.  We are called to care for others the same way we are cared for.

This is a challenge in the best of times.

It’s a REAL challenge these days, when we are NOT in “the best of times.”

It can be kinda scary to venture outside the house these days.

It’s also getting harder to stay in the house these days!  The sunnier it gets, the warmer it gets, the more isolated we feel.

It’s natural to want to “get back to normal.”  It’s natural to want to interact.  It’s natural to want to spend time doing “normal” things again.

But it is precisely in the hard times that the Good News becomes Good News!

We are called, especially in these days, to do the loving thing, to be loving people, to care for as we have been cared for.

It’s a challenge.  But it’s also our calling.

And God goes with us.

Thanks be to God.

Worship for the Home – Easter 6

Worship during Pandemic – May 6, 2020

“We can’t gather as the church.”

That’s what we are telling ourselves, isn’t it?

Since health officials are telling us to keep practicing “Social Distancing,” we are forced to stay home on Sunday.

(I’ll bet you already know where this is going, don’t you?)

But we are not just The Church when we are sitting in the pews.

Indeed, in these extraordinary times, I suggest that we are most truly being “The Church” of Jesus precisely when we are staying home for the sake of our neighbour.

It not easy.  In fact, some days it’s downright tough to be this kind of church.

But then, being a loving community has frequently felt like a cross.  Especially in extraordinary times.

So remember that God goes with you, every step of this unfamiliar path.  Remember that God goes with us, every step we take (even when we’re not sure of the direction we need to be going).

And remember that your sisters and brothers in Christ are praying with you, as you make use of the liturgy attached below.

Which right now, is a pretty good way to BE “The Church.”

Worship for the Home – Easter 5

Good Shepherd Sunday – May 1, 2020

This Sunday (May 3rd) is the 4th Sunday of the Easter Season.

It is traditionally a Sunday to emphasize the care that God provides us, God’s people and, indeed, all of creation.

In the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, we can find ourselves wondering about that care.  Is it still there?  Does is still apply?  Did it ever?  Has it changed?

I don’t think God’s care for us HAS changed.  However, the situation in which we currently live has forced us to think differently ABOUT that care.

And as hard as this may be, it’s probably ok for us to be doing this “different thinking.”

After all, our situation has changed rather drastically.  It makes a certain amount of sense that our thinking just might need to change, too, in order to keep up.

That being said, be gentle with yourself as you do this “different thinking,” as you learn how to process your experiences in new ways.  You’ve had your whole life to get to this point!  It’s ok that it might take a while to adjust.

It is an oft-quoted aphorism, but it’s true – Life is not about the destination; it’s about the journey.

We are most definitely “on the road” right now!  And, quite frankly, we’re not too sure about where we are heading.

But Good Shepherd Sunday reminds us that we have not been abandoned.  The Shepherd is simply taking us to a new pasture.

Enjoy the trip.

Peace be with you.

Worship for the Home – Easter 4

Is it Easter, or is it still Good Friday? – April 28, 2020

The only possible answer to the question above… is Yes.

Yes, it’s Easter.

And yes, it’s still Good Friday.

Here in Nova Scotia, people are senselessly dead for no good reason, sacrificed to the twin gods of ego and self destruction.  Family, friends, neighbours and co-workers around the province are in shock.  Communities, already isolated by Covid-19, are devastated, and cannot even get together to hold on to each other.

This is the time of year when the church wants to talk about new life, yet we are surrounded by hatred and fear and anger and death.

This is the time of year we celebrate God with us, but the prayers around us (and, to be honest, within us) sound much more like Jesus’ prayer from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

This is the time of year when we look for signs of renewal (bud, blossoms, bees), but the news is all about endings and conclusions and brutal finality.

So, what do we do?

I think we start with honesty.

This sucks.

This whole experience is just wrong.  And nothing we can say is going to make it right.  Or better.  Not even a little bit.

And in spite of all of the well meaning platitudes, “We’ll get through this,” or “Better days are coming,” or “We rise again,” right now we are in the middle of Good Friday.

We might as well own that.

Ironically, it is Easter that enables us to “own” this new experience of Good Friday.

It doesn’t make it better.  It doesn’t make it easy.  It doesn’t make the pain or shock or anger go away.

But it reminds us that we don’t go through it alone.

We can be honest about what we are going through.  We can admit our shock and hurt, our numbness and rage, precisely because of the Easter promise that God walks with us, even in the worst experiences of our lives.

We do not demand that others see it this way.  The folks who have lost family, friends, neighbours and co-workers last weekend are most likely too raw to see much of anything right now.

And that’s ok.

But we can do whatever we can to surround them with love and care and support.  We can do whatever we can to walk with whoever is hurting, so that they know that they are not alone.

Our job right now, as the church of Easter, is to be present with those who are still in the middle of Good Friday, to cry with them, to sit in silence with them, to mourn with them, to pray with them, to hurt with them.

It is precisely here, in the raw parts of life, that we are called to trust the promise of Easter.

Because it is Easter.  Even in the middle of Good Friday.

Click here for the text of these prayers


Did you notice that?

Easter came!

In spite of Covid-19, in spite of lock downs, in spite of restricted travel and “social distancing” and confusion and cabin fever and no public gatherings in church (or anywhere else for that matter), Jesus showed up, and brought New Life with him.

Sure, it’s different.  Yes, adjustments needed to be made (and will continue to need to be made). Absolutely, it feels strange.

And that will continue, too.

But that’s the great thing about new life: it’s NEW!

It’s not like it was before.  It’s not a continuing version of what we knew.  It’s not just perpetuating the old.

The New Life of Easter is NEW.  Brand new.  Completely new.  Totally new.

And that’s worth celebrating, even if we are stuck inside!

Christ is risen indeed!

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Here’s a link to a fun little Easter greeting.  Pass it along!


And here are links to the liturgies we are making available for the Sundays of Easter.  Feel free to share them.

Worship for the Home – Easter 1

Worship for the Home – Easter 2

Worship for the Home – Easter 3

Good Friday

This is a very different Holy Week this year.

So, we are doing things differently.

Below is a link to the video which our Lunenburg Ministerial Association put together for Good Friday.

We had originally planned to hold a joint, ecumenical service at St. John’s Anglican Church in Lunenburg this year.

Since that is not an option, we decided to use the liturgy we would have used, but share it in a more appropriate way, give the Covid-19 pandemic.

May God bless us all with an increased awareness, not only of the presence of God in the middle of our suffering and isolation, but also of the inherent connection between people, and between people and creation, all of which are loved by the God who came, who died, who rose, and who comes, now and always.

Peace be with you all.

Lunenburg Good Friday