At our third congregational interim gathering on Nov 25, following the special Baptism service for Charles and Claira Massey, members of the congregation gathered to discern the gifts of this congregation. They did this through listening to stories of how members found their way to Living Spirit United Church and why they have chosen to stay, and, they shared favourite hymns and discerned spiritual themes from those favourite hymns that point to the gifts that continue to feed them spiritually here in this community. All of the gifts named through the storytelling and the favourite hymn sharing were written down on small angels, and at the end of our time together the members of the transition team named the gifts on the angels and then taped them to the wall around the stable with the infant Jesus at its center.
I won’t name all of the gifts named but there were definite themes like: home, family, acceptance, belonging; as well as theological gifts like hope, joy, “My love colours outside the lines” and “Jesus Loves Me”. Please take some time to look and ponder the expression of the gifts of this family of faith clustered around Mary and Joseph and Jesus in the Manger.
I hope that you will ponder not only the latest installment of the work of the congregation around the manger, but I hope that the entire wall of angels will draw you to them to look and learn:
I will place some extra coloured cards and small angels in an envelope along with a couple of sharpie pens if anyone would like to add to the expression of the angels from all three events.
As we move into the new year it will be good to hold the wisdom of our history together and all we have learned; the resilience of coming through hard times together and seeing evidence of the gifts of this community as we prepare to have challenging conversations about where we may be called as a church in the coming months.
This Sunday we encounter yet another angel in the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth, the elderly parents of John the Baptism. They had long ago given up on ever having a child, yet an angel delivered a most unexpected message for old Zechariah. With all of our work with angels through these Fall months, we too can ponder what the unexpected angelic message is for us as a congregation, at this point in our life together.