I have been terrible these past few weeks about keeping up with the blog. Truth be told, my mind has been diverted a few different directions. I have not been as focused lately. Indeed it would be fair to say that I have missed writing and trying in my own feeble way to communicate a little of what is going on in my noggin thorough this virtual portal.  So alas I am writing again. I think this space will help me regain that focus.

 

There has been much take place over these past couple of weeks. I have been most pleased with the outreach that again has taken such strong root at St. Mark’s by-the-Lake.  Our latest project was Similac Sunday in support of The Salvation Army’s Eastwood Chapel Diaper and Formula program.  I am pleased to announce that through the efforts of the parishioners of this parish along with some help from the Knights of Columbus and the St. Vincent de Paul Society as well as the Shopper’s Drug Mart in the Ottawa market, we will deliver over 200 cans of formula to this very worthwhile project. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who assisted in any way.

 

H. Jackson Brown writes a series of little books called “Life’s Little Instruction Book.” He writes, “Love is when the other person’s happiness is more important than your own.” My experience is that there is a lot of love in this parish community. While this may seem a small way to show love, I would argue that it is actually quite large. Each time we place another’s need before our own we are expressing love. Each time we have the courage to look beyond our own needs to embrace the idea that when another human being is hurting or in need it means that we are hurting and are in need. Love is about embracing the idea that there collectively our humanity is fragile and it is interdependent. We do have an impact on each other and we can choose to make that impact a very positive one.

 

In the near 10 years that I have been in this parish i have witnessed many of you have express your love and your compassion to many around who need that sense of love and justice.  I have been so very fortunate to be a part of that and I was proud as punch on April 20th to call Captains Steve and Ericka White to let them know that we were able to provide such a high level of support for that very important ministry.  There gratitude and the gratitude of the people at Eastwood Citadel is palpable and I know that we have made a difference where difference should be made.

 

I will finish tonight with a prayer that I was asked to read yesterday at the funeral of Judy Sneddon. Judy was fairly new to St. Mark’s by-the-Lake, she died last week after a courageous battle with stomach cancer. She will be missed by many, and I count myself among them. One of the things that attracted Judy to our church was the light heartedness and the sense of purpose to reach out and to help others.  Judy’s daughter Jo-Anne found this prayer in her mother’s notes and asked if I would share it. I was pleased to as I think it reflected well Judy’s attitude about discipleship and I think it reflects well our parish’s resolve to make the world better. We are called to act, and to act in patience and in love. Just ask St. Ephraim the Syrian

 

The prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian

 

O Lord and Master of my life, give me not the spirit of laziness, idle curiosity/meddling,

lust for power and idle talk.

But grant unto me, Thy servant, a spirit of chastity/integrity, humility, patience and love.

Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see mine own faults and not to judge my brother or sister.

For blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen