June 22, 2021

Friday Email 27-11-2020

Hello Faith Pals,

I have included my last sermon/service, and an item from Bill Pugh about angels.

News: Alan has had some good news.  The cancer cells have not been found in his organs, or in his lymph nodes, but they seem to be hiding in his bones.  His oncologist will be speaking to Peter Mac re further tests to see if Alan is suitable for targeted radiation therapy.  If this is not possible, other options will be considered.

Myrtle is to have surgery next year for her heart problems. She has a number of important tests lined up for early in the new year.

Lex: on the mend, slowly recovering from heart surgery.

Oh, it has reached that stage…which is good…because it means Heeyoung will be starting next week, and you will then have a permanent minister…but sad because I will miss you, you have found your way into my heart, even during this time of lockdown!

Oh I had so much I wanted to say, but it won’t come out right.  You are so wonderful and even though I have got to know you via the phone and the internet-that was sufficient for me to realize, and feel, the love from this church community. 

I will miss your laughter, your patience, your faith, your compassion…you are true pilgrims.

When I began, I thought I’d be caring for you through visits and Sunday worship.  Well, we do worship differently now (and we have learned that this is okay too-we can still worship and pray when we are physically absent from the church building). I feel cheated that I haven’t  had the opportunity to meet most of you in your homes, see your photographs etc.  BUT I think we have coped quite well.  The most important thing during lockdown was to keep each other safe…and you did that…without complaining.  Well done, thy good and faithful servants!  I have tried my best…if I have neglected anyone, I am truly sorry.

I have tried to keep your spirits up.  We have laughed, shared favourite books/films/music/Scripture etc.  You have put up with Kermit the frog, angels, my haiku, and my many ramblings. I never got to ask you what cartoon character you are most like, or would most like to be.  I think I am most like Grover, the furry blue monster from Sesame Streetwho just wants to love everyone, and comfort them.  Thank you for allowing me to love you.

I want to share a story, that I shared with several people yesterday:

The Seven Wonders of the World, author unknown

‘Junior high school students in Chicago were studying the Seven Wonders of the World. At the end of the lesson, the students were asked to list what they considered to be the Seven Wonders of the World. Though there was some disagreement, the following received the most votes:

1. Egypt’s Great Pyramids
2. The Taj Mahal in India
3. The Grand Canyon in Arizona
4. The Panama Canal
5. The Empire State Building
6. St. Peter’s Basilica
7. China’s Great Wall

While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one student, a quiet girl, hadn’t turned in her paper yet. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list. The quiet girl replied, “Yes, a little. I couldn’t quite make up my mind because there were so many.” The teacher said, “Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help.”

The girl hesitated, then read, “I think the Seven Wonders of the World are:

1. to touch…
2. to taste…
3. to see…
4. to hear… (She hesitated a little, and then added…)
5. to feel…
6. to laugh…
7. and to love.

The room was so quiet, you could have heard a pin drop.

May this story serve as a gentle reminder to all of us that the things we overlook as simple and ordinary are often the most wonderful – and we don’t have to travel anywhere special to experience them.

Enjoy your gifts!’

When I conclude, I will tackle those boxes and mess in the lounge-I need room to put on the Christmas tree.  Did I tell you I love Christmas?  I am sure I have!

I have two books that I need to finish writing, one with a deadline that is looming, the other two years away (but time does go fast…faster as we get older).

Thank you for your care, love, and prayers for me, and also those for David.  If surgery happens in February, we will remain in isolation/lockdown until May because of his suppressed immune system.

I wanted to conclude with something profound. Oh you lovely band of faithful pilgrims, with pure hearts, and an ability to see God’s amazing world…I thought I would conclude with this quote.  It isn’t one from the Bible, indeed the spiritual teacher was not a Christian…but it sums up our calling:

We are here helping each other through life, and beside us is our friend and Saviour.