Let us keep ourselves open to the power that carries our life in every moment…that we may be filled with silent gratefulness. (Paul Tillich)
Paul Tillich was a theologian and philosopher who was born in Poland in 1886, and who lived until 1965. He was a thinker who sought to build bridges between the old ideas and symbols of Christian faith, and the questions and concerns of contemporary life.
That seems as important today as ever- how do we re-fill the empty places in our lives with hope, joy, and faith during this strange time in which we are living?
I can think of at least two ways.
One way is to talk about our faith- to share our joys, our sorrows, our hopes and even our fears. I had a wonderful experience just this morning. I met online with four young people who are very involved with Harrow United Church, for our first confirmation class. They were patient, and encouraging as the old minister was learning on the go to use the Zoom video conferencing platform. They were engaged, and open and honest with their responses as we talked about God.
Is God all powerful? How we reconcile that idea with the suffering we see all around us? Do we all think about God the same way? Do we think about anything the same way?
I feel so grateful to have the members of this class in my life. We will meet online once a week for the next while.
A second thing that brings renewed hope, joy, and faith into our lives, is doing acts of mercy, kindness, justice. It does our hearts good, it lifts our spirits, it puts spring in our step, when we know we are making a difference. It is good for us to make movement from gratitude to generosity.
As a community of faith, Harrow United Church desires to uplift its members, and also care for others, in God’s name. When we do good works, we check both those boxes.
Speaking of boxes….
Friday morning, from 10 until 12 noon, we will be filling boxes in the back of Jeff Csikasz’s shiny red pickup. We are collecting food and necessities for Windsor’s Downtown Mission. The staff and volunteers at the Mission are front-line heroes, responding to the needs of hungry, homeless, and hurting people- and they are running out of supplies. The population served by the Mission face the same fears and worries about COVID-19, and the need to self-isolate, and keep clean, and eat healthy, as all of us. Imagine dealing with all of that, on top of being homeless.
(We will do this again, if needed, to re-stock the Harrow Food Bank, which our church, and others in the community support year round.)
Here are things we need: (Please watch for expiration dates.)
Laundry and hand soap, hand sanitizer, wipes
Canned tuna, salmon, chicken, ham
Soups: Beef stew, chili, chicken noodle, vegetable, assorted soups
Canned fruit-in own juices or light syrup
Pasta, whole wheat pasta, White rice, brown rice, Macaroni and cheese
Canned Vegetables-Low sodium/no salt added
Pasta sauce, tomato sauce, gravy
Fruit & Vegetable juice: individual & family size
Tea, Instant coffee, Hot chocolate
If it is raining, the pickup will be under the church carport (the elevator entrance). The tail gate will be open. We will have people around, but at a careful, social distance, to keep everyone safe.