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Let's Stay Connected - e-newsletter - 1 May 2020

posted 1 May 2020, 14:52 by Gary van der Meer   [ updated 2 May 2020, 04:41 ]

Dear Friends, 
This has been going on for a while now. It feels like we are settling into a new normal - reluctantly, grudgingly, or maybe even with a smidge of appreciation. 
Are we far enough beyond our old patterns to look back on them critically? We have been trying these new ways and learning as we go. But not for long enough to say that we now have new habits. 
It reminds me of the Israelites in the desert with Moses for forty years. It was hard for them, but it was also long enough to lose their old slavery-mindset. It was a formative time; the new habits they learned carried them into a different future. 
What are you learning? Maybe a renewed appreciation for things you already knew? Anything you want to keep doing when the Covid discipline gets relaxed?
This e-newletter is for encouragement. Stick with it! I hope staying connected is a blessing for these days and weeks.

Sunday May 3: Psalm 23 with Rabbi Elyse Goldstein
Rabbi Goldstein's sermon will be included in this Sunday's worship video. She will also join us on Sunday afternoon for sermon discussion and reflection. Texts: Psalm 23, John 10:1-10.
Meeting ID: 835 5659 7864
Password: Send an email to to request.
You can also dial in by telephone: 
+1 647 374 4685 or +1 647 558 0588

-->Community Dinner: Sunday, May 17
-->Messy Church Playdate: Every Tuesday 5:00 p.m. 
      Play Pictionary with us on Zoom - Tuesday, May 5!
-->Mother's Day Zoom: In Honour of Mothers: Bring a photo of your mother (or bring your mother) for our conversation about mothers. For those whose mothers have departed this life, we will share memories with reverence and light a candle in loving memory. For the mothers who are with us, we will offer our gratitude and blessing, including raising a glass in their honour. 

Bring: A candle to be lit. A glass to toast. 
Saturday, May 9, 3:00 p.m.                        
[Yes, we will honour our fathers - Saturday, June 20, 3:00 p.m.]

This week, we feature photographs by Precious Ofoezie, one of our photographers on the Worship Schedule.

And here is the Ofoezie family - part of our St. Anne's family.
Precious (above: back row centre; below: at right)
-->from Peter Gorman: 
"The Road to Emmaus" by Spencer Reece
...She opened her Bible on the shipping box between us,
leaned in, her hearing aids on, her silver crucifix knocking on her chest.
Above her head, a nail where the Emmaus scene had hung.

I asked: “What caused him to remain?”
Why did he want freedom for me?
Sister Ann spoke then of the Gospel of John
and the Samaritan woman at the well,
the one married nearly as many times as Elizabeth Taylor,
and how when Christ listened to her she became the first evangelist.
It was Christ’s longest conversation with anyone Sister Ann said.
The Samaritan woman’s life changed because Christ listened to her...

This is an excerpt from a longer poem - a powerful story with a hinge into last Sunday's gospel reading - Luke 24:13-35

--> from Anonymous: In honour of Earth Day/Earth Month...
The Lorax set to rap music by Wes Tank!

--from Merlin Homer: 
"Take me to the Alley" by Gregory Porter 
Well, they guild their houses in preparation for the King
And they line the sidewalks
With every sort of shiny thing
They will be surprised
When they hear him say

Take me to the alley
Take me to the afflicted ones
Take me to the lonely ones
That somehow lost their way
Let them hear me say

I am your friend
Come to my table
Rest here in my garden
You will have a pardon

Take me to the alley
Take me to the afflicted ones
Take me to the lonely ones
That somehow lost their way

...does it sound like Jesus talking to us...
"Dear Lord,
In this our hour of doorknobs and droplets, when masks have canceled our personalities; in this our hour of prickling perimeters, sinister surfaces, defeated bodies, and victorious abstractions, when some of us are stepping into rooms humid with contagion, and some of us are standing in the pasta aisle; in this our hour of vacant parks and boarded-up hoops, when we miss the sky-high roar of the city and hear instead the tarp that flaps on the unfinished roof, the squirrel giving his hingelike cry, and the siren constantly passing, 
to You we send up our prayer, as follows:
Let not heebie-jeebies become our religion, our new ideology, with its own jargon. Fortify us, Lord. Show us how. What would your saints be doing now? Saint Francis, he was a fan of the human. He’d be rolling naked on Boston Common. He’d be sharing a bottle. No mask, no gloves, shielded only by burning love. But I don’t think we’re in the mood for feats of antic beatitude. In New York City, and in Madrid, the saints maintain the rumbling grid. Bless the mailman, and equally bless the bus driver, vector of steadfastness. Protect the bravest, the best we’ve got. Protect the rest of us, why not. And if the virus that took John Prine comes, as it may, for me and mine, although we’ve mostly stayed indoors, well—then, as ever, we’re all Yours.
Until further notice,
The Coronavirus Prayer: A pandemic that won’t last forever and ever, amen." James Parker, The Atlantic, April 19, 2020
With best wishes,
PS Gentle reminder: see the attached Tips for Work at Home.
Gary van der Meer,
1 May 2020, 14:52