“Every parting gives a foretaste of death; every coming together again a foretaste of the resurrection

 

Those are the words of German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. I really know very little about the man or his philosophies but I stumbled on this little gem of his and it I quite agreed with its sentiment. Let me use this a shameless segue to tell you about two things that I think have added something positive to the universe in the past week or so.

 

I’ll start with a week ago and work back to today;

 

On November 23rd Anglican Churches across the country were singing Amazing Grace. This was a project of the national church. On its’ webpage the national church says that ‘The Amazing Grace Project is about lifting our voices together in song, expressing our faith in Christ, and celebrating a common life and witness. It’s simple, but it’s powerful and will be a reminder of the amazing power of God’s love and grace in our lives.” Many congregations collected or donated a ‘toonie’ for each singer to the Council of the North to assist northern congregations in their ministries.

 

In our own congregation we sang the song twice. It was sung once with the children and youth in a contemporary way, and once in the more traditional setting. Both were effective and both were well done. There was something very moving about singing that hymn and knowing that so many more were singing it as well, with us as it were, from sea to sea to sea. More interesting to me is the fact that this hymn up until 1998 and the publication of ‘Common Praise’ this hymn was not in the Anglican hymn book. We have congregations that still use the ‘old blue book’ from the early 1938 that would have had to print the hymn for use. In any event, it was great to be a part of that event. It was a musical ‘coming together.’  And yes I believe that it was ‘a foretaste of the resurrection.’ Whoever came up with this idea at National church Office – Good on ya!

 

 [As an aside, our Amazing Grace video is posted on our webpage and should be on the synod’s ‘amazing grace web page’ in the next day or two. Take a look at our neat way of doing ‘Amazing grace’ by CLICKING HERE. The Amazing Grace site can be found at

http://www2.anglican.ca/ I had a email saying that it should be uploaded in the next two days so be patient. But do take a look at the many a varied faces of the church singing this great old hymn.]

 

Last night there was another great coming together. Eight faith communities in this area joined in prayer and song in celebration of the church’s New Year. As an added bonus, it was hosted by our friends Captains Stephen and Erika White and the people of Eastwood Citadel. That meant that the music was provided by the Salvation Army Band. Several people commented about being moved by the music. Banwell Community Church, Tecumseh United, Our Lady of the Atonement, Eastwood Citadel, St. Mark’s by-the-Lake, St. Anne’s, St. Gregory the Great and Calvary Community Church were all participants. Also participating were the Knights of Columbus – Nicholas Point Council who have been kind hosts for our planning meetings and Lt(N) Catherinanne George – Padre to HMCS Hunter. It was a wonderful evening. The reception afterward would not have happened without the assistance of the Tecumseh Ladies Council (TLC) of the K of C and what a wonderful reception it was.

In coming together we bore great witness to the light of Christ in our communities and how brightly that light can shine when we are together in prayer. Many thanks to all who came out and many thanks to the leaders of the churches present.

 

We have a challenge now to be committed to continued cooperation. Another great philosopher (well okay great car manufacturer) by the name of Henry Ford said that “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” We have made a beginning. Now if we can keep it together we will make progress. We continue to pray toward success – working together!

 

I do love it when we get a foretaste of the resurrection – don’t you?