Letter of Reflection

   by Brent Neumann

March 19, 2020

Day 9

Hey Everyone,

Well here we are, day 9 (just counting back to last Wednesday – March 11, when the concern in Canada began to ramp up) of Canada’s amazing new course in social change. All of us are in it. No one really knows the outcome and we sit in our homes, listen to the news, marvel at the changes that are occurring around us and wonder how this will all end. We are being told of the risks, fear is an ever-present reality, and we are seeing some of the best and the worst of behaviours with human kind. It seems almost mind-numbing and surreal, but it is a new reality for all of us.

I find myself looking at my own behaviour these last few days, and I know that I have been reactive at times; not paying close attention to those I love; regretting that I cannot be everything that is needed in our community. Yet at the same time, the reality of trying to be perfect in this situation is an inhuman response. None of us are perfect. It is the demand to do the best we can in trying situations and accepting that even at our best, we will never fully meet the needs in front of us.

Instead, we are called in ways that demand more now than we have been since the Second World War – to step up our response to our country. This is a call that demands sacrifice and commitment to the community around us. We are called to isolate when needed; to socially distance from each other; to listen to the directives of those who understand the issues; and to stay calm. These are all things that everyone of us can do.

It is also a faith directive. Scripture reminds us that we are to love God and our neighbour as our primary goals. The first two commandments that we were taught in Sunday School. The goal that we are reminded of every Sunday. Remember when we state – ‘On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets’. 

Reminding us of our primary directive will perhaps ease some of the burden caused by this change. Life, death, loving, and caring are things that we talk about regularly… and now that talk becomes very real. Many of us in this community fall within the high-risk category. Age, poor health, chronic and immune deficiency…these are all things that many of us have to recognize. I have always considered myself strong and able. Its quite a change when I am being told that I, too, fall into this category.

So here we are, part of a Christian Community, being called on to practice our faith on a very tangible level. It gives a very real, demonstrative and loving way of being. We have many choices in front of us. Our challenge to live our faith fully and completely. I am so thankful that God is with us.

Some of the tasks that we currently have in front of us is creating a virtual service that all of us can participate in. I need volunteers to distribute hosts. Early next week I have asked Catherine to do a postal code analysis to identify where our members live in the city. We will then figure out clusters of parishioners who can distribute ‘blessed host’ to people’s houses. You don’t have to go in simply drop the host off in each person’s mail box. The eucharist will be virtual, but all of us can actually receive during the service, binding us together in a worship and community. It’s the best we can do, and frankly, allows us to do things in ways that have never been available in the past.

I trust that this missive lands well for all of you. If you have worries, concerns, or simply need someone to talk to, reach out and we will start to build a community support network.

Signing off for today with a sense of deep thankfulness for each and every one of you.

Love Brent