Imagine the biggest kitchen table in the world. Imagine it covered with good things - ripe fruits, aromatic breads fresh from the oven, delicious wine and sweet spring water. Imagine the colours, and the fragrance, the flavours. A feast for all the senses.
Imagine people coming to this table from all directions. From every country. Long lines of walkers and runners and dancers; those being carried and those being helped along the way. The many hues of skin and hair and eyes. Dresses and trousers, dashikis and saris, kimonos and chamantos moccasins and mukluks. There is singing and drumming and laughter and friendship.
And when we all finally arrive there is plenty for everyone. Someone raises a loaf of bread for all to see and breaks it. Another pours a cup of wine and lifts it high. Around us we hear many languages all saying the same words. “This is my body which was broken for you." And then, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Drink this in remembrance of me.”
And with those word we know we are home. We know we are among our family - the family of God. The Body of Christ.
This is how I imagine World Communion Sunday.
Come on Sunday and share the Bread of Life and the Cup of Blessing with family.
God bless you!
Jesus spoke a lot about neighbours. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ Jesus said. And ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Matthew 12: 30,31)
Last week there was a gathering of neighbours in Aylmer. Community members and groups gathered to find out about hunger in our town. Like most communities it is the youngest and the oldest who are most vulnerable.
It is hard for most of us to imagine that many of our neighbours are hungry, but the facts from the research tell a different tale. It is especially hard to imagine when our gardens and grocery stores are filled with the abundance of the fall harvest.
We are grateful to Iris Roberts who attended the the Hunger Map event on our behalf. And to Rebecca Overall who has a keen interest in the health of our community. Together on Sunday they will share learnings from the gathering, and help us engage in a faithful conversation as people who follow Jesus. Who are our neighbours, and how do we love them as Jesus commands?
See you Sunday!
God bless you.
I want to share some of your own words with you today. Below you will see a list of comments that came out of the last part of the workshop on Sunday facilitated by Sharon Moon. For those of you who were present this was the last "hat" we wore - the blue hat. When we were wearing our blue hats we were listening to what God wants for Aylmer United Church.
Sharon led us into a time of silence. Some time to reflect on the conversations so far and to go to a deeper place. The place where God meets us. The place where we can put away the busyness and the clamour of the noise around us, and be able to listen to what God is saying. This is what you heard God saying to us:
...let us continue to listen to God's voice as we continue the journey.
Good luck and thank you to all of you on Team Aylmer United Church for Terry! Hope to see the rest of you at church on Sunday.
God bless you.
Happy Eid to our Muslim neighbours! As summer holidays come to a close, and autumn approaches I have a sense of anticipation of something new on the horizon. It has been this way for me as September approaches for as long as I can remember. When I was growing up a new school year brought with it anticipation and excitement. A bit of anxiety too, but mostly I looked forward to the new adventures I would have at school with my friends. I looked forward to seeing friends I had not seen for two whole months, and to meeting new ones. I looked forward to a new classroom - clean and ready to go with a new teacher and a new curriculum. What wonderful things I would learn during the new school year!
I hope your summer experiences have left you both refreshed and full of lovely memories. Time spent with family and friends in some of your favourite places. Ready for new adventures and new learnings!
It has been fairly quiet around the church over the summer months. But one group has worked hard throughout the summer. The Strategic Planning Working Group is working on your behalf to ensure a sustainable future for Aylmer United Church. Next week, Sept 10 after church plan to attend our second Congregational Visioning Session called "Hats Off the the Future!" It will be a fun and creative time. We need your presence and your voice as we continue this important work together.
See you Sunday at 10:30 at Aylmer UC!
God bless you.