Slideshow image

Ven. Kim Van Allen

 A full year into this Covid-19 Pandemic daily life has changed in so many ways. We are learning new kinds of flexibility (and I am not talking about our body’s joints and muscles, although you may be discovering that kind of flexibility too!). We have learned how to work at home, worship at home, visit with family and friends virtually.  

For my family, holiday meals such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and birthday celebrations this year have included a lap-top on the table; our attempt to ‘gather’ together in whatever way we could.  We have shared ‘movie nights in this way too.  Never imagined learning how to sync two televisions miles apart!

From time to time this year, protocols have changed as health units and Diocese decide what is safe for us.  We do the best we can to adapt to our changing environment.  In the spirit of generosity, we try our best to be gentle with ourselves and kind to one another.  Listening is a meaningful response to someone who is having a bad day.

Worship looks very different these days, but whether in the church or at home with the prayer book, material from the church, or on-line, worship continues and often in more than one way.

Thankfully, care for people in need is allowed and continues.  Take-out meals are more the norm than sit-down meals, but people seem to understand.  Children’s programming is offered by email or home delivery!  Door bell rings, someone shouts, ‘No Mom, it’s not the pizza, it’s our Sunday School lesson!’

Pastoral Care involves phones and laptops.  I am looking forward to good weather which means pastoral care and meetings under the cherry tree!

All of this is simply to say that the Church continues to minister, but differently.  We give thanks to the Diocese for providing recording equipment grants.  We thank the government for programs to support people whose income has been affected.  We thank all who work to provide for our health care, safety, and essential needs.  Gratitude walks hand in hand with its cousin, Generosity.

Care for one another and care for our community has changed some of our life-style habits.  Some people who can order take-out from local restaurants simply to help support them.  Generosity in action!!

Remember that old campfire song ‘And They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love’?  Despite the stumbling blocks, generosity continues.  Thank you!!  Thank you for all you do in the name of the Lord.

Many people have experienced job loss or reduced hours this year.  Some are grieving the death of a loved one.  Reaching out may take some ingenuity and some conversation with them, but you continue to make the effort.  Sometimes a phone call or a card makes all the difference in the world! 

Generosity takes many forms and new ways pop up all the time.  Generosity is simply an expression of who we are and whose we are.  Our response to life’s struggles and blessings is that of generosity.  Just as God is in all things, God dwells in us and from that indwelling spirit we live our lives.  Generous lives.

Reflect on the various ways you have experienced generosity.  Consider the generosity you have offered recently.  To whom or to what have you been generous?

Many of you support your church’s ministry through automatic payment.  This has been a blessing!  Others have prepared post-dated cheques and mailed them to the church or delivered them as directed.  Others use Canada Helps (via the Diocesan web site or parish web site).  Some parishes have introduced e-transfers for members’ donations.  Thank you for your continued generosity to your church ministry.  Some normal expenses have been lower than the previous year, but the shift to at home materials and electronic communications and all the cost of protocols for example create new costs.

Generosity is expressed in so many ways.  Generous living is a beautiful expression of God’s love at work through you.  It is like the bright colours of early Spring flowers.  God’s planting ~ that’s who you are!

Archdeacon Kim Van Allen is a member of the Stewardship Committee. 

(Illustration: Tim Mossholder/Unsplash)