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Let's Stay Connected - e-newsletter - 22 May 2020

posted 24 May 2020, 05:04 by Gary van der Meer   [ updated 24 May 2020, 05:17 ]

Dear Friends,

With the warmth returned to the early morning sun, I have returned to a comfortable familiar habit. I wake up before my alarm, make a small thermos of coffee, and walk across Queens Quay to sit on the dock. I enjoy watching the planes as they take off and land, but the airport is silent. 

I bring my notebook and a book - I am nearing the home stretch in the seventh and final book of Stephen King's The Dark Tower. Sometimes I grumble that he must get paid by the word or by the pound of words. Recently, he annoyed me by killing off a character that was so blatantly obvious, I wanted to accuse him of manipulating his readers. I punished him by setting my book aside for a month - but it is the final volume and I actually want to know. What will happen?

Today, I forgave him because he gave me a poem:

See the TURTLE of enormous girth!
On his shell he holds the earth.
His thought is slow but always kind;
He holds us all within his mind.
On his back all vows are made; 
He sees the truth but mayn't aid.
He loves the land and loves the sea.
And even loves a child like me.

I sip my coffee as I read. I turn eventually (always) to the news on my phone. I became a subscriber to get past the paywall for The New York Times; and I subscribe to The Guardian - which doesn't have a paywall, because they are so nice about it. 

Today's reading gave me riches: "No One Knows What's Going to Happen." I realize that I am tired of this and I want to know what will happen. The author, Mark Lilla, professor of humanities at Columbia University, quotes from the bible to make his case that "the history of humanity is the history of impatience." We want to know what will happen. In the Book of Job, God speaks out of the whirlwind to condemn Job's desire for immediate attention. "God makes it clear that he is not a vending machine. He shows His face and reveals His plans when the time is ripe, not when the mood strikes us."

There are so many ways that we try to get around this, with a history of oracles and prophets, magical thinking, big data and statistical modeling. With people staying home, there's actually less news. The relentless media needs material to fill columns and newscasts, so we are getting endless articles predicting the future. But nobody can really tell us about the post-Covid future. 

Other articles give us glimmerings. California's big tech is going to make employees work from home permanently, albeit with a paycut since they won't have to drive. Banks are starting to foreclose on mortgages. 

The author arrives at humility, both about the future and and to "help reconcile us to the radical uncertainty in which we are always living." I have to admit to myself that I still want to know. How long will we be doing this? 

How do we "wait on the Lord"? We learn to wait. By doing our best today. By intentionally noticing the blessings and being grateful. On a day when it's hard to be grateful, it helps to hear other people say what their blessings are. Today, I was grateful for the warmth of the sun - and the poem by Stephen King (of all people!). And I am grateful for St. Anne's. We are a group of people who reflect on stories about Jesus and look out for each other. We pray for each other and we show each other how to "Wait on the Lord".

Thank you for watching the videos. Thank you for coming online for our Sunday afternoon gatherings. Thank you for supporting the church with your offering. Thank you for including me when you pray for the people in your life. 

We don't know the future. But we do know today. "He loves the land and loves the sea. And even loves a child like me."

With kindness,
Gary+
SUBMISSIONS

-->from Carole Giangrande: Birdwatching Photographs taken by Carole

Carole and Bryan are avid birdwatchers. I hope we can have an evening with their pictures when we are again allowed to come together.





-->from Merlin Homer: "I cannot say I did not" - a poem by Sharon Olds

I cannot say I did not ask
to be born. I asked with my mother’s beauty,
and her money. I asked with my father’s desire
for his orgasms and for my mother’s money.
I asked with the cradle my sister had grown out of.
I asked with my mother’s longing for a son,
I asked with patriarchy. I asked
with the milk which would well in her breasts, needing to be
drained by a little, living pump.
I asked with my sister’s hand-me-downs, lying
folded. I asked with geometry, with
origami, with swimming, with sewing, with
what my mind would thirst to learn.
Before I existed, I asked, with the love of my
children, to exist, and with the love of their children.
Did I ask with my tiny flat lungs
for a long portion of breaths? Did I ask
with the space in the ground, like a portion of breath,
where my body will rest, when it is motionless,
when its elements move back into the earth?
I asked, with everything I did not
have, to be born. And nowhere in any
of it was there meaning, there was only the asking
for being, and then the being, the turn
taken. I want to say that love
is the meaning, but I think that love may be
the means, what we ask with.

From Arias by Sharon Olds
Copyright © 2019 by Sharon Olds

"I cannot say I did not" begins at the 7-minute mark; but it's all good - listen to the whole thing!


-->from Gary van der Meer - Recipe for Beer Bread

Gary: I have joined the crowd of people who are experimenting with bread baking. One of the best so far is this recipe for Beer Bread.

This is a no-yeast bread. I have played around with it, substituting different kinds of flour, different sweeteners, different kinds of beer. It's wonderful and fun.

1.5 cups unbleached flour
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
4 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 regular sized bottle of beer (room temperature) *If your beer is larger than 355 ml, do something obvious or something creative with the rest of it.

Combine dry ingredients; stir in the beer, make into a round ball (no kneading) and put on a greased & floured pie plate. 
Bake immediately (no rising time) for 40-50 minutes at 350*F

-->from Margaret Yanicki - Hopeful Signs on a Drive through Kleinburg



WORSHIP THIS SUNDAY

Sunday, May 24 - The Ascension of the Lord

Scriptures: Acts 1:1-11; Luke 24:44-53
Sermon: "Jesus is the Bridge" - Gary van der Meer

--> Join us for the video uploaded to our YouTube Channel on Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m.  

--> Join us on Zoom as we continue our Sunday worship Service at 2:00 p.m.
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82485557432
Meeting ID: 824 8555 7432
Password: Request Password - pastor@saintanne.ca

You are also welcome to join by phone:
        +1 647 558 0588 Canada
        +1 778 907 2071 Canada
        +1 438 809 7799 Canada
        +1 587 328 1099 Canada
        +1 647 374 4685 Canada

ST. ANNE'S VIDEOS
All the St. Anne's videos continue to be available for you to watch at any time. You will find them here:

REST IN PEACE



As the family of Myrtle Bancroft prepares for her funeral on Saturday, May 23, we continue to pray for them.

SERVING OTHERS

-->Community Dinner: This past weekend was St. Anne's monthly Community Dinner. We served 72 dinners of roast beef, mac&cheese, sweet potato and carrot mash, rice, vegan chili.  We are grateful for donations of chocolate (Mondelez), juice (Rotary), apples (Dufferin Grove Organic Farmers' Market), cookies (homemade by Nancy). In addition, we are grateful for an online donation of $500 as a designated gift towards future dinners. The actual cost of this dinner was $400. Thank you so much to all our volunteers: Victoria, Gordon, Michael & Susan, Sarah, Bill, and our coordinator Juli!

-->Masks: Thanks to our volunteers for making masks. We have donated 3 batches to Oasis Dufferin Community Centre Food Bank. It makes a huge difference for their volunteers. Mask patterns are easily found online if you would like to be craft-minded! 

Below: 
Richard Steinecke of Oasis Dufferin with our latest mask donations. 



MUSIC

What will we do if public singing is not permitted? People offer their thoughts about this.
How important is singing to you? Please reply!

PRAYER

Lord, thank you for your abundant, abounding grace. 
Thank you that we don't have to earn a drop of the mighty river of grace that flows freely for us today. 
Thank you for the unexpected, unmerited favor 
you've showered on my life. 
Help me put myself in the path of your love and grace. 
Help me not neglect the disciplines I need to meet with you regularly and to drink from the water of life. 
Thank you for your rich love. 
Amen.

The Rev. Canon Gary van der Meer
Incumbent - St. Anne's Anglican Church
Interfaith Officer - Anglican Diocese of Toronto

270 Gladstone Ave, Toronto  M6J 3L6
church (416) 536-3160  
pastoral care emergencies (416) 455-2609


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