May the God of infinite goodness brighten your hearts.
They say you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. Well, I beg to differ.
Heather and I have an old dog. Her name is Sara and she is a Shih Tzu, a “little lion” (and she lives up to that moniker). The average life span of aShih Tzu is 10 – 16 years. Sara is now 17 or a little bit more. That’s about 120 years old in dog years! She qualifies as an old dog.
A couple of years ago Sara lost her hearing so we began using just a couple of simple hand signals to replace verbal commands. And Sara has learned those hand signs – she doesn’t always obey them but then again she didn’t always obey the verbal commands either!
Well, I’m not as old as Sara but each year I am becoming more of an old dog. I remember vividly when my Area Bishop (not out Area Bishop Riscylla – another one from another time and place) referred to me as a senior priest of the Diocese of Toronto. I have to say that I did wonder when that had happened but apparently it did. So I guess I’m getting there.
And just like Sara, this old dog can learn new tricks too! Most recently I have learned the very basics (emphasis on very) of Zoom and have had the delight of participating in two meetings using Zoom. One was with our Area Bishop Riscylla and all the clergy of Northumberland Deanery. It was wonderful to “meet” with my colleagues for a time of mutual support and hearing what other congregations in our Deanery are doing amid Covid 19. The other meeting was with the Chairs of our two working groups, Fran & Doug, and the Bridge between the two working groups, Susan. The reason that I bring this up is that I wanted to inform you that even though these two working groups cannot meet in person, they are, nonetheless, moving forward though admittedly at a much slower pace. Despite Covid 19, we are all still concerned and perhaps a bit anxious about the state of being of our beloved St. Peter’s parish. Though so much cannot be done in light of the current pandemic, what can be done is being done in regard to discerning God’s call for our congregation.
So, dear friends, let’s all continue to pray for each other and for the future of St. Peter’s, Cobourg. Here is the Collect that we have been using for some time now in our weekly worship. Perhaps you might include it in all your daily prayers.
Gracious God, we pray for this our parish church of St. Peter.
We thank you for the richness of our history and all those who have served you through the years.
We thank you also for the future into which you are calling us.
Give us faith to go forward with good courage into that future,
not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.
Tomorrow I will include a form of worship that we can all use this coming Sunday morning, which is Palm Sunday. We are also working on a plan to distribute, (safely and respecting social distancing and proper hygiene) palm crosses so that St. Peter’s parishioners will have them in hand during Sunday morning worship. There will be more on that as well tomorrow.
But for today I leave you with a little saying I heard some time ago: “Don’t tell God how big the storm is – tell the storm how big our God is.”
The blessing of God almighty, eternal Glory, incarnate Word and abiding Spirit rests on you this day. Ric