What does it mean to live with abundant thankfulness during covid-19? This is a question that has weighed on my heart and grounded my prayers over these last few months. As the leaves change, the apples ripen, and pumpkins come ready for harvest, nature seems ready to proclaim the free gift of God's abundance to us, despite our pandemic. So in a time of isolation and new normals, how do we give thanks for the abundance of our lives? By freely offering the gifts of ourselves, for the mutual transformation of all.
Covid-19 has shown us that while our regular patterns of life have become upended, the Spirit of God persists. We have worked hard to keep our common life together in the parish so that we can continue to respond to the needs in our region. While this has not always been perfect, it has been an indication of our readiness to freely offer our gifts of time and talent to build up the kingdom of God. We have helped break down isolation by calling each other. We have used technologies in new ways to continue our work of building an inclusive community which truly reflects the kingdom values we profess. All of which is possible because of the mutually transformative nature of what we are doing.
This phrase, “mutual transformation” is our Neighbourhood Ministries guiding principle. The foundation of the work we do on the streets with our friends is not about charity, but about working together for the benefit of the whole community by breaking the cycle of poverty. This cycle goes two ways. First it starts with our friends on the street, as they start to trust people again, feel seen, valued, and loved by people. Second it breaks the cycle of poverty within us that suggests this isn’t possible, that it is someone else's problem, that nothing we can do actually changes anything. Well for 13 years we have been changing a lot of things, both in the streets and in ourselves. A change we are called to embrace again today.
From our hospitals, to our schools, the indigenous nations of this country and our friends on the streets, we support and empower ministries with our time, talent and treasure, that are seeking to mutually transform people. Because we are all God's children, worthy of the same love and opportunities. Transformation that continues here, today, with you.
As you gather this thanksgiving, I invite you to pray for our outreach ministries which are enclosed and consider a financial gift from the abundance God has given you to take care of in support of our mutual transformation into Christ.
This thanksgiving, I give thanks for you and your transformative presence among us.
these lands upon which we worship as the ancestral, cultural, traditional and unceded lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people from time immemorial.