Greetings Merging Waters, July 3rd, 2020
I hope that you have had a great couple of weeks, as you know I was off on leave. Luke and I have enjoyed time together. I have gotten my inline skates back in working order and enjoyed discovering some of the area around Ste-Anne and Senneville. While I skate, though I always pay attention to my surroundings, I often find myself on two journeys.
The physical journey of exercise and movement, and the inner journey that comes with body prayers like yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and indeed for me skating. An awareness of self and connection to the world grows over time as skating becomes meditative for me, when in a safe venue of course. That the smallest motion of my little toe can change my trajectory and impact, sometimes literally, the objects and life around me, reminds me of the connectedness and interconnectedness of all life.
In my most recent skate, I looked forward to more discovery, and the endorphins that comes from physical exercise, but I was turned back by rain. It reminded me of the times we are in. Where what we are looking forward, or are used to, to can often lead to disappointment when we are denied it and yet creativity in seeking alternatives.
Many of us have been disappointed to be separated from what we are used to, and what we looked forward to in this time of COVID-19. Everyone has been faced with a sense of disempowerment as the Coronavirus has forced us all from work, family, and community. We are a people removed from the temple – our spiritual home – unable to embrace one another or our neighbours in worship and programs in-person as the ways we are used to no longer work in ways that are safe. Funding has been impacted by the loss of rentals, outdoor and indoor services, as well as joint summer worship has all been put in doubt. We miss being with our church community.
We have been reminded how connected we are on a global scale.
The Black Lives Matter movement has reminded us in other ways that all the world is connected and that our smallest actions have an impact on the people and world around us. Many of us have come to the realisation that our trajectory has been impacting others negatively for too long. We are challenged to find new ways as the ways we were used to don’t work for a people of peace and love.
And yet, there comes the creativity. You know what I did when it rained, and I had to walk home. I enjoyed the walk, smelled the rain on the soil and felt the cool breeze – then I hit the exercycle. COVID-19 has call for us to change our safety protocols for any in-person activity and brought new and exciting ways of worship, programming, and activities online. Confronting the racism and inequality in our society and how many of us have been complicit in it without meaning to be has called for us to be creative in finding new ways to understand one another and to call for justice and inclusion.
Merging Waters has shown in these times to be a people prepared to respond honestly in our feelings, our passion, and our compassion to explore new ways. To support one another in confronting issues that make the world unsafe for us and for others, and to find ways to be loving. We have not shied away from hard questions but responded prayerfully and thoughtfully as a people of love and peace. Seeking out new ways to be church in the everchanging challenge of COVID-19 and calling upon our courage and our care to ask ourselves hard questions about inclusion and the dignity and rights of all of our neighbours.
I know that the Spirit of the Holy One will be with us as we continue to work to be honest and supportive with one another. Acknowledging our challenges and accepting that there will be set backs at times. We will find support in one another and in our Spiritual Center within the Divine as a people of faith, hope, and love. I am so please and honoured to continue our shared journey as we seek out new and creative ways to live as a community of faith. With the gifts that we share of love, care, intelligence, social and environmental awareness, and technical capacity, following the loving example of Jesus, and hearing the song of the Spirit in our hearts, I believe that we can successfully find faithful ways forward into the future.
Blessings of peace and hope,
Rev. Ryan Fea