Rev. Dana’s weekly greeting July 15, 2021
The postponed Tokyo Olympic Games are set to begin in a little over a week. I have always looked forward to the Olympic Games and as far back as I can remember, we watched summer and winter games, from the opening ceremonies through to the closing ceremonies. When Calgary hosted the games in 1988, I think we recorded almost every hour of the TV coverage, though I’m not sure how much we re-watched the games. I have visited the ski jump hill and sliding sports complex outside of Calgary and even had my picture taken in a bobsled (stationary) at the training facility. The Olympics, for me, is an opportunity to watch and learn about sports that I generally only see every four years. Most of the athletes that compete at the Olympics are not household names, and will never be, but they have dedicated their lives to their sport, to their dream of competing at the Olympics. In general, being an Olympic athlete is not a lucrative venture. There is now some funding for athletes that provides a little bit of financial support, and a few will sign endorsement deals, but for most they will just get by. So why, we might ask, would anyone dedicate their life to the long grueling hours of hard work necessary to become an Olympic athlete? I suspect it has more to do with the sense of fulfillment, the striving for personal bests and the drive for excellence and passion for their sport— that these are what motivate them, and give meaning and purpose to their lives. They often live by a different measure of success, than fame or financial gain.
There are many similarities between being an elite athlete and being a Christian because both affect or are reflected in almost every aspect of our lifestyle and life choices. In both cases it is about where we place our priorities. As Christians we choose to try to align our lives with God’s will, as we say in the confession, “that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways.” There are sacrifices that we make because we know that they are the right thing to do, just as an athlete chooses to make sacrifices for the sake of excelling at their sport. Both require a commitment to training. As Christians we train through our Christian disciplines like reading God’s Word (Scripture), prayer, worship and service, among others. Our training as Christians helps us to draw closer to God, and to practice seeking God’s will over our own. As athletes draw on the support of one another, and why you often see athletes from one sport cheering on their national team mates, we as Christians draw on the support of other Christians. Being part of a faith community is important, both in the support we offer to one another and the support we receive. We might be able to be a Christian in isolation, but we were never meant to, rather we are meant to be in community with one another. Finally, just as athletes find meaning and purpose in competing in their sport, both against others and against themselves as they seek personal bests, being a Christian invites us to find meaning and purpose in our relationship with God and our desire to serve God and to serve others in God’s name. These are just a few of the similarities I see between elite athletes and Christians. As we prepare to cheer on the largest Team Canada in almost 40 years, since the 1984 games in Los Angles (according to CBC news), let us also cheer on one another, building each other up and supporting one another as together we grow in our faith and relationship with God.
This Week in Worship – 8th Sunday after Pentecost
Reflection Question: How do you create a place for God in your life? (Samuel) What kinds of practices have helped you find a quiet inner place in which to rest? (Mark)
Prayer: Holy God of Israel, draw us near to you, so that, in place of hostility, there may be peace; in place of loneliness, compassion; in place of aimlessness, direction; and in place of sickness, healing; through Christ Jesus, in whom you draw near to us. Amen. Revised Common Lectionary Prayers (2002) alt.
Cycles of Prayer: Anglican Cycle of Prayer: The Anglican Church of Rwanda
Deanery Cycle: St. Andrew’s Alliston, The Rev. Kim McArthur
Parish: Marcia and Brian Gaudet; Gary and Karen Gill; Aaron and Michelle Harwood and family
(If these look familiar: I jumped ahead in my email last week in the parish cycle)
Recorded Worship Services July 25, August 1 and August 8
Sunday morning worship will continue to be on Facebook at 10 am on Sundays while we (Rev. Dana and Stewart) are away. The services are being recorded and set to premiere on the specific day as though they were live.
August 8 will be a very special music service, as I asked our singers to each do two extra hymns when they came to record the Hymn Sing videos. These hymns are not part of the Hymn Sing, so your only chance to hear and sing-along, including a brand new one that is sure to become a part of our hymn rotation in the future.
August 15 is our first Sunday of in-person worship. The first 4 weeks (August 15- September 5) are now on the registration website. We ask that you register by the Friday noon, for the coming Sunday so that we can create a seating plan based on the number of singles, couples and families. Additional details and reminders about protocols for worship will be in the August News from the Pews. Please follow this link to register: https://rsvp.church/r/iRudYx1r
Rev. Dana will be away July 19-August 9; please contact Margaret or leave a message at the office if you need a priest, and one will be contacted. Please note there will be no Wednesday Morning Prayer or Thursday drop-in office during this time, but will resume August 11 and 12 respectively.
Financial offering can be mailed, remembering the P.O. Box, e-transferred, or made online through our website. You can also sign up for Pre-Authorized by contacting Bonnie our Envelope Secretary and Treasurer, email@example.com
Reminder that we are collecting financial donations for the Helping Hands Food Bank through the summer to assist with the increased need, especially for young families. Donations can be made through the regular givings methods listed above.
As part of the cookbook that we will be producing and selling this fall, there is an opportunity for advertising, ranging from a business card to full page ad. For more information and pricing please contact Elizabeth Annand at firstname.lastname@example.org
July 24, 11 am – Ladies Coffee Break on the south patio. Please bring your own chair and any refreshments you would like, as we cannot offer or share refreshments. Masks only required when moving around. No pre-registration required.
July 28, 2-4 pm, Garden Knitting in Anne Silvey’s garden. No pre-registration required
Upcoming parish fundraisers:
Sing at Home Hymn Sing – August 18 and 25 at 7:30 pm
Bottle Drive – Saturday September 11 – keep collecting your cans and bottles