Worship Start Time: 10:30am
Theme: Creation V - Prairie Sunday & World Communion
Come to Scarboro as we worship together every Sunday at 10:30am. We will have the coffee on at 10, so come early and catch up with your community. There will be more time for coffee, tea and conversation after the service in the Memorial Hall.
This week we will be celebrating communion, all are welcome to participate. It will be an intergenerational service, with children and youth invited to stay in the Sanctuary for worship.
Save the date: Saturday, October 13 - FALL FEST - one week and counting!
Come to Scarboro from 11am - 3pm for a day of festivities:
There will be the usual bake sale - featuring our famous Oat Cakes - as well as various preserves, frozen soups, and other goodies; a book sale; a children's clothing & toy swap/sale; a loonie twoonie carnival; displays from various community partners; and a cafe where you can have your tea and scone, or grab a coffee and choose from a selection of goodies.
There will be live music in the Memorial Hall,including the Foothills Brass and a drum circle led by our friends at YYC Campus Ministry. Between musicians we will also be showing several Pecha Kucha presentations - a new and dynamic style of storytelling. Come by and check it out!
We are still accepting donations of gently used children's clothing of all sizes and genders!
Thanksgiving Sunday: Matthew 6: 25 – 33
Rev. Lee Spice
Oh, I want to believe it. I want to take seriously Jesus’ words not to worry, but there’s just so much to worry about.
The madness of the world leader to the south of us, pipelines (for or against), the continuing sexual harassment and violence against women, poverty, homelessness, climate change.
Racism, the legacy of residential schools, and how we can really and truly reach out and be reached in reconciliation.
Whether there will be enough aid to Indonesia, and what the next days will bring.
And even this? Did any of your hearts break to see the plight of an abandoned dolphin in Japan?
And then there are people’s own troubles – losses, great losses, and worries about money and jobs and Christmas coming and…
…family troubles and breakdowns in relationships and concerns about addictions.
So much to worry about!
Yeah, yeah, easy for Jesus to say. The lilies of the field and the birds. What did that crowd have to worry about?
Wait, actually, things were not so good, back then. Jesus would have been speaking to a people who were oppressed by the Romans. Many of them would be living a hand-to-mouth existence. Dying of starvation was a real thing, as was dying of disease. There was huge infant mortality.
People would be collected there, listening to him, from all walks of life – from the very poor to the artisan classes – religious people and those who didn’t have enough money to go to the Temple.
And down through the ages, people in all kinds of situations have listened to these words:
“And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?”
He has a point – worrying is more likely to shorten your life than to lengthen it.
But how can a person just quit worrying about things? Perhaps the answer lies not in what you don’t do – that is, “don’t worry,” and more in what you do do.
Do you know what I mean? It’s like trying to lose weight – trying NOT to eat something is harder than actually eating healthy food. So, instead of trying not to worry, what positive thing can we add in?
Jesus didn’t have the benefit of recent studies, but he knew something basic to human life – something which, in our world of worry, is easy to lose sight of.
It’s the practice of gratitude. Gratitude – not a Pollyanna attitude that everything will just be perfect, because we know that just isn’t so, but, rather, a practice of just being grateful. Recent studies show that the practice of gratitude is actually beneficial to physical, mental and emotional health. Gratitude for waking up to a new day, for friends and family, for food, gratitude even in the midst of trouble…somehow brings a “glass half full” into places that may be spiralling into a black hole.
And, maybe, just having gratitude is enough to change the world, but I rather think that having gratitude without doing anything about it is like pressing LIKE on Facebook – just makes us feel better as the release of endorphins hits our brain.
I wonder it that is a part of Jesus’ message – that worrying is just a dead end, and doesn’t do anything good for yourself and the world.
But having gratitude brings hope for next steps – hope for the future.
In a strange twist of fate, we watched Young Sheldon on TV last week. We normally don’t watch it, but, right off the get-go, something happened that made me have to watch it. To catch you up, Sheldon is a young boy genius, who doesn’t fit in with the world around him. His family copes with this with a kind of benevolent disbelief, and they love him, none more than his Mom, who is deeply religious.
At the beginning of the show, a phone call comes, revealing that a young person has died in a car accident. This puts Sheldon’s Mom into a crisis of faith, and she asks all the questions that many ask – “How could a loving God let this happen? Is this really a part of God’s plan?”
Curious as to how they were going to answer this existential conundrum in a half hour, I watched to the end. Twenty-eight minutes were about the problem. In the last two minutes, Sheldon, who doesn’t really believe in God himself, points out that, scientifically speaking, if the force of gravity were any greater or any lesser, then the earth as we know it would not exist. It is a marvel, he says, that points to a Creator. Then he says, of the millions of people in the world, how is it that you turn out to be the perfect Mom for me?
In those two minutes, Sheldon didn’t answer the questions of the problems of pain and evil in the world. Instead, he shone the light on the power of love, and the joy and healing in relationship. The show ended in a moment of gratitude. Worry was left behind, and Sheldon’s Mom was filled with new hope for the future, even if her faith had been challenged and changed.
I know, it’s a bit simple. But maybe it is more simple than we think.
In the end, it’s not really about not worrying. It’s about having enough hope in the world to put one foot in front of the other. It’s about knowing that we are not alone – no matter what.
And so, in the face of the mountain of reconciliation that we have to climb, hope has families wearing orange shirts to remember, and people reaching out to get to know other people and to hear what they have to say.
In the face of violence and vitriol directed against women and people of colour and gender and sexual minorities, hope has commitments to justice being made, voices are saying “#metoo” and people are saying that, “no, that’s not right.”
In the face of natural disaster, hope has people people are banding together to offer aid and resources.
Worrying is an unhappy end to any story. Jesus is right. Worrying will do nothing to help. But in this troubled world, gratitude will. Gratitude brings hope, and that is the beginning of a new story.
Thanks be to God.
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