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“Normal,” “Traditional,” or not – All are Welcome
Our Prayer of Gathering on the first Sunday in Advent was supposed to include:
Because of You we come to know the way to Bethlehem, where justice is born to a shunned family, where the riches of Your love are born into poverty.
“A shunned family” – Is this true?
“A shunned family,” – I removed it. I do not believe it.
As a fresh, young minister more than 30 years ago, one of the very first greetings I received was from a woman in the local, country store. “Judge not, lest you be judged. Is what I go by,” she said. “Some people around here might not like the way I live but ….” She continued a discourse that included glass houses and stones, and “the church would fall down if I entered.” The encounter was curious. I had not heard a single condemning comment about her or about anybody else in the community. She, however, seemed to assume that fingers were wagged at her
and tongues were wagged about her
. Her grievous sin? She was not formally married to the man with whom she lived and with whom she was raising children. 30 years of ministry has been and remains punctuated by forms of apology or sheepish comments regarding a person’s own marital or family status, structure or circumstance. “We’re not really married… Is that OK?” Such comments remain curious to me because the circumstances most often described as “outside the norm” are really quite common. Also, circumstances for which people assume they will be judged by the church are shared by many people in the church.
Luke 2:5-7 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
Mary was an unwed mother who gave birth in a barn (or a cave, or a shed, or a lean-too – we are not sure which). Her explanation was that God, through the Holy Spirit, was the biological father. I challenge anybody to present a family circumstance more uncommon than that. Yet, far from being shunned, far from having to offer an apology or to be sheepish; this is the most honoured and celebrated family in the Church. If Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus presented themselves at Trinity United Church on Christmas Eve, they would not be judged. I suspect we would baptize the baby on the spot. This holds true for your family too.
This Christmas and always, you and your family, you and your way of being with people you love are welcome without apology, explanation or judgement. If we can celebrate Mary, Joseph and Jesus; we can celebrate you.
“Normal,” “Traditional,” or not – All are Welcome
7 October 2018
World Wide Communion / Thanksgiving Sunday
The Communicator hot off the press!
Sunday School starts Sept 9th. Rev Christopher is back from holidays. Trinity in Tuesday starts Sept 4th. Office hours are back to normal, Monday to Thursday 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Our Facebook is always active… check it out!
We look forward to seeing everyone back to Church after the summer holidays and ready to get back into Connecting, Inspiring and Serving our Community and Beyond.
Apples Pies by Trinity Cooks
Available the weeks of 24 September and 1 October. Help is always appreciated. There are a variety of table and kitchen tasks and workers that make this week an excellent time of Fellowship.
Order forms are at the literature display and in the office. For information, call Marguerite (283-7438), Elizabeth (283-3274), Linda (283-2728).
Rideau Trail – Tip to Tail / Let the Adventure Begin
Autumn is approaching and the weather is more suited to enjoy the trail. Insects and heat-stroke are less a worry. Our hope is to get out five times before the snow flies.
Saturday the 22nd looks like a reasonable start. It would be helpful if hikers were able to meet prior to consider logistical and hiking requirements, and review the route.
So let us meet on:
- Tuesday evening, 18 September at 7:00 pm at Trinity United Church to plan
- Saturday morning, 22 September to hike
- depart Smiths Falls for Kingston 9:00 am
- assemble 10:00 am at the head of the Trail in Kingston – City Hall
- traverse 15 km
- arrive at end point NLT 3:00 pm.
- anticipated arrival at Trinity 4:00 pm
The above outline is notional. Planning and practice will show us what is reasonable and accurate. Since the first leg is largely urban or developed, it will be a safe shakeout with unlimited off-ramps, if necessary. We should plan and pack, however, as per isolated portions of the Trail.
Some of the local Venturers and Scouts may join us and give hiking and planning advice as part of their community engagement.
Consider joining us for any and/or all of these services: