Drummond Hill Newsletter, Wednesday, Oct 26, 2022
Wednesday Meditation (Isaiah 9:6)
For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Clicking the picture will take you to Kairos website where they talk about speaking up for peace.
We usually look at this passage from Isiah in the Advent Season as we wait for the coming of our Lord. Something made me wonder that this is as a good time as any to remind ourselves of the names by which Jesus was to be known. Once again, this week we will focus on Prince of Peace. Before your roll your eyes, let me tell you that today we talk “peace” very differently.
Prince of peace sounds nice, but what does that really mean? Is this person who stops wars? Is this the person who brings peace? Is this the person who can give peace to anyone?
As we have mentioned a few times, peace for Christians mean the very life of being with God or living in God’s presence as God’s recreation now and always. It is an eternal life that we live. Not only a sense of belonging, but true sense of flourishing to one’s full potential. When we say the flourishing, we mean living as we are created to be, embraced in unconditional love and without worries. Ups and downs of life will be present in this life, but even in pain and suffering, life is enjoyed and lived out in thanksgiving.
Let me clarify what it means to understand peaceful life in pain and suffering. Unlike in COVID-19 Lockdown when we experienced where dying elderly patients were separated from everyone who loved them, imagine their final days being full of loving presence of family and friends standing vigil 24 hours each day. Fear of death is eased, sense of alienation pushed aside, everyone can focus on the dying with love and hope. At the same time, dying ones also allowing the living to follow COVID distancing rules because they know they are fully loved and are not being abandoned to die alone. This is what I mean by life being lived out fully gratefully.
Prince of peace is the one who comes to us to invite us into this life of peace, without fear of death, without anxieties of this world, living day to day in God’s presence in full. Jesus offers this peace not by offering us wealth and life of plenty. He welcomes all those who are in despair. When he is our prince, then, as part of his entourage, we, not only enjoy this peace, but become sharers of it as well.
They shall know we are Christians by our love
Every church that is seeking a minister because it is vacant at the moment goes through an exercise of putting together a profile of what they think is most important. This is done by describing what kind of church they are trying to be and what kind of skills in ministers they are looking for.
Usually the skills a congregation is looking for appear at the top three skills are: 1. A minister’s ability to preach the Word, 2. A leadership in worship, 3. Emergency pastoral care. If we also polled our congregation and asked to list what we think are three most important skills we like to see in a minister, we will end up pretty much with the same list. We, too, assume ministers should be able to preach inspiring and uplifting sermons, should be good at leading worship and should visit congregation members who require emergency care. These skills are what we teach at the seminaries.
The reason almost all Presbyterians in Canada think this way is because we have seen a local church to be a place of Sunday worship. As in the 1960s and before when everyone in the country went to a church, this worked perfectly. As young people began moving away from the churches in the 1970s, we instituted youth and children’s programs by hiring workers. Today, people no longer see Sunday worship as the event or highlight of their week, it is hard to see what we think important skills in ministers are as essential and crucial as they used to be.
In our case, we have been looking at what kind of church we should be like in five to ten years from now. For a while now we have tried two ways of being a church in Niagara Falls: 1. A historic church that continues to support our neighbours with ancient and current faith expressions and 2. A new faith community bringing a new way of life to those who do not know what a church is. Our Sunday worship has been expressing the way a historic church can be vibrant as today’s faith is rooted in the ancient faith. To this end, we are finally beginning to find out how we can be a church in all aspects. The second way has been more difficult. We have begun this way of being by establishing what it means to be a church–a church that serves the vulnerable in the surrounding communities. So far those who are looking for churches are finding us to be too different from what they are looking for. Those who come to us seeking a church home are looking for better versions of the churches they left behind. In this, we need to figure out to whom God is sending us. In these two new forms of being a church.
Letting God Recreate Drummond Hill A Community Of Faith Through Us
Being ancient, yet, very current church
According to the Book of Acts, Paul often went to a new city and found Christians gathering in many different places. Some met in houses. Some met on riverbanks. Others gathered at synagogues that were friendly to Christians.
As people of ancient and current faith, could we see ourselves meeting at people’s homes?
Could we see ourselves meeting in school gymns or cafeterias?
Can a new church be
- we become a church for all mothers to be, mothers, and grandmothers?
- we become a church for all those who have stores on Lundy’s Lane?
- we become a church for everyone who works on Lundy’s Lane and Main Street?
Sunday, October 30: Reformation Sunday
Sunday, November 6: Remembrance Sunday
Sunday, November 13: Special Music Service at 2 pm
Cinnamon Bun Tuesdays (10 am Tuesdays)
Wine, Women, and Song (Thursdays, November 3, November 10, November 17)
Love Your Church
In order to carry on our ministries, we are asking you to help us raise $20,000 on top of the regular offerings. You may choose to help us with small amounts weekly or monthly. Another way is to make a one time donation. Whatever you can help will be greatly appreciated.
and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.