We have been journeying through Epiphany for the last two months now. Epiphany is the "Season of Light". Even though we have seen many dull days lately we are also experiencing morning light filtering through the blinds earlier, and the afternoon light extending into early evening.
This Sunday marks the transfiguration of Jesus. A moment some of his friends saw him in a new way; shimmering with radiant light. You might say they were blind-sided - blinded by the light. And for them a number of things started to become clearer than they had been previously.
Have you ever had that experience when you are caught full in the face by a blinding light? It can be frightening. It can knock you off balance. It can stop you in your tracks.
That same thing can happen when you have a new insight, and you suddenly understand something that has been puzzling you. It makes you stop and think. Maybe it makes you change the way you have been thinking, or acting with a particular person or in a particular situation.
It is not often a comfortable experience. It wasn't for the disciples.
What is the light shining on for you to notice these days? What is being revealed for you that needs to change? What is being revealed for us as Aylmer United Church? Where are we going as the light calls us into Lent?
We may not know the destination, but let us walk together in community and find our way together. That's what being church is all about.
See you Sunday.
I have said many times over my ministry career that if it weren't for the UCW (United Church Women) the church would be in a terrible state. So many times in the churches I have served it is the UCW that came through and saved the day with either funds or service - often both. Women have always played an integral role in the life of the church. From as early as the nineteenth century, women worked as teachers, missionaries, and nurses, providing care in communities. As time went on, fundraising and social function organizing were also added to the women's roles.
When the United Church officially formed in 1925, the Ladies Aid (LA) (later the Woman's Association (WA)) and the Women's Missionary Society (WMS) were doing work at home and abroad. The WA focused on supporting the local church and community, while the WMS was more involved with education and world mission.
The UCW officially came into being on January 1, 1962. Its purpose was:
To unite women of the congregation for the total mission of the church and to provide a medium through which we may express our loyalty and devotion to Jesus Christ in Christian witness, study, fellowship and service.
This Sunday we celebrate the 55th anniversary of the UCW. Happy Anniversary to the women who serve now. To those who have gone before us we honour and celebrate the wisdom and inspiration they have been for us.