This Sunday reflection actually needs to
begin with a rewind to Saturday evening, since last night we held the Fall Team
Gathering.
     As previously mentioned, yesterday was
pretty jam-packed and by mid-afternoon, after returning home from my catering
sojourn for the Christian Nurses Conference, being held at Isaiah 40, thoughts
of a quiet evening with a good book were seductively floating around in my
brain. But they needed to be pushed firmly aside as there was caramel frosting
to make for my apple cake and a big vat of cider to start mulling in the slow
cooker.
   Soon the Team Members started to arrive,
each bearing a contribution towards our supper. I was touched as two of them
proudly presented organic offerings, knowing of my strict adherence to a
fair-trade organic diet.
   We had a fine turnout and soon 15 teens and
young adults were gathered in a big circle to say Grace.
   After we all enjoyed a hearty meal several
helpers dried dishes as I washed and soon we were regrouped in the living room
for Worship. There is always one “wow” moment at every Team Gathering where I
am totally overwhelmed with gratitude for the privilege of sitting in this home
surrounded by a group of such wonderful young people. A group, which has come
together to fellowship and chat but also to worship, to sing, pray and listen
to a talk;
the body of Christ in community. As we sang that first song last evening
I experienced my “wow” moment and knew that there was nowhere else I wanted to
be, nothing else I would rather be doing than sitting right there.
  Joshua did a fine job leading Worship for the
first time, and then Janice and Tim gave an excellent talk sharing thoughts and
suggestions for ways in which all of us should be active in seeking community.
Not just satisfied by attending Sunday Service or Youth Group but by being part
of smaller groups for prayer and Bible Study.
    And then, after more prayer and singing,
the evening was over. People were collecting up their mostly empty food
containers, hugging each other (and me!) putting on jackets and shoes and
heading out into the chilly night.
  Nope, I wasn’t tired anymore, sure I was
happy after walking Wil and tidying up, to climb into bed with my book, but it
was with a thankful heart. So very glad to be a part of this Ministry and to
have the opportunity to share in such a lovely evening.
  And so to Sunday…
     Today I already knew that it was unlikely
I would be leading the Children’s Group since my “regular” participants were
off at the family cabin. But I did join with the Toddlers and their leaders for
our opening time and snack and then tiptoed back to the Worship space in time
to hear part of an interesting talk given by Steve on this week’s Bible
Personage- Rahab.
   Honestly, it is still a big stretch for me to
be enthusiastic about Sermon Series, since my whole life Liturgy has been
rooted in the Lectionary and my personal feeling is that if this model for
Biblical teaching is good enough for billions of Christians, worldwide, then it
is good enough for me. But I have chosen to Worship at St. Stephen’s and
apparently the tradition there is more directed towards Sermon Series so I do try to approach the idea with an open mind and also to remember that such choices need to reflect the desire of the majority in he congregation and not any one individual! Today
was also our monthly Eucharist and that is always a very special time of
corporate worship in which I am grateful to be given the role of chalice
bearer.
    A sunny bike ride home, leaf raking, Wil
walking and finally a brief hour cosily sitting on the porch wrapped in a
blanket with Wil by my side and Mandu washing her paws nearby in the Autumn
sun, life is very full, very rich.

   At the beginning of this new week, that will
culminate in Thanksgiving Weekend, it is evident there is so much for
which to stop and give Thanks!!