The Coming of Light
Even this late it happens
the coming of love, the coming of light.
You wake and the candles are lit as if by themselves, stars gather,
dreams pour into your pillows,
sending up warm bouquets of air.
Even this late the bones of the body shine
and tomorrow’s dust flares into breath.
Mark Strand, 1934 – 2014
It is hard to believe we have turned our calendars over to the fresh pages of a new year and have marked with liturgy and chalk, the return of the light.
January also marks 7 months of my ministry with you all. It has been an amazing beginning and I thank each of you for your trust, support and encouragement.
It has been a time of sorrow as we said goodbye to several core members of our congregation who moved on to other places of ministry and as we grieved and celebrated the lives of family members and friends who have died this past year.
It has also been a time of joy as many have mentioned a feeling that the Spirit is settling in this place. In September, St. Matthias participated in a visioning day that delved into who we are as a church that stands at the crossroads of three neighbourhoods, and what gifts and challenges we have as we move forward as a community of faith. In October, we celebrated the new ministry we have begun together. Through the fall, we were blessed with beautiful presentations of music including Emmet Cahill, Sandra Fletcher, The Canadian School for the Performing Arts, soloists and musicians from a variety of traditions and, of course, more recently our own choir under the new leadership of Victoria Beauchesne treated us to a beautiful service of Lessons and Carols.
This past fall saw the start of our children’s choir and we delved a bit deeper into questions of our faith with our ‘Reel’ Conversations – a faith and film series led by our Intern Rob. 2017 also saw the Abbey Church come to share our space and we have been blessed by their presence on the campus.
2018 promises to be a wonderful year as we move toward greater sustainability. Thank you all so very much for your generous contributions in 2017. While we still have a ways to go, I am constantly humbled at the generosity of both time and financial offering given by this Parish and its friends and supporters, to continue to make this a vibrant place of worship flowing into action. Under the direction of our new Treasurer, Brian Martin and with the important work of Hazel Tremblay and others in solidifying our rental contracts, I am confident in the financial future of this church. I truly believe that together, with leadership, discipleship, stewardship and creativity, we will build a community of faith that will be here for many years to come.
Looking forward, we are excited by a number of upcoming events.
Under the enthusiastic leadership of St. Matthias’s own Peter Gatt, St. Matthias will host Jesus Christ Superstar for a number of nights in February. Order your tickets now! http://www.ticketrocket.co/event/details/102527/jesus-christ-superstar
On March 24th, under the talented direction of Bob Hall, we will be treated to a profound and beautiful production of the Magic Flute which will explore the theme “Reconciliation and healing through Mozart.” (Information about tickets coming soon!) I encourage you to come out to these two incredible events and support the creativity and passion of two of our own congregation!
We are also planning a series of musical evenings in the near future and one of them is rumoured to be Genevieve and the Wild Sundays!
Lent begins early this year and we will kick it off with our annual tradition of a Shrove Tuesday pancake dinner on Feb 13th. This will include some fantastic music so bring your appetite and your dancing shoes!
2018 will also provide the opportunity for our Parish to deepen our engagement with the wider community and in particular to address our vision priorities of responding to needs arising from social isolation poverty and a lack of spiritual nourishment. We hope this will be a year where we see our individual passions meeting the deepest needs in the communities around us.
On a worship level, we will continue the beautiful way we have begun with a diversity of music and liturgy but we will return to the high altar for the spring season. We will also launch a new partnership with the Christ Church Cathedral Jr Kindergarten, leading faith formation sessions with our youngest neighbours.
This year we will be preparing for our Synod and there will be several regional gatherings as we claim our shared vision of transformed and renewed hearts. We ask your continued support of our lay delegates and Synod staff and your prayerful consideration of where you might be called to serve in the many ministries at St. Matthias and beyond.
As we celebrate the coming of the light this Epiphany, as we gather with folk expected and new to meet again the infant Jesus, may we open our hearts and community in vulnerability and trust, knowing we are held and led by the ever-present light of Christ. As the poem says, may dreams pour from our pillows into the reality of our life together and may this body, the church shine!
May deep peace be yours this 2018
The Reverend Meagan Crosby-Shearer
A Franciscan Blessing
May God bless you with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.
May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for justice, freedom, and peace among all people.
May God bless you with the gift of tears
to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.
May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really can make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.