February Blahs – Pastor Thoughts

Well, what a week!

The world is a topsy-turvy turmoil these days. 

The freedom convoy rolled through town at the end of the week last week and then made its way to Ottawa, where protestors have taken up residence tormenting the poor folks living there in the name of some misguided sense of freedom. 

One of our nation’s political leaders lost his job, but not the one most were thinking of. 

Manitoba’s government is planning for the pandemic to be over in a few months, regardless of what doctors say.

A large apartment building burned down on our street (but not that close to us). 

The Winter Olympics have begun! 

And the Winnipeg Jets can’t stop losing while my Edmonton Oilers ended a long losing streak of their own with winning a streak!

Did I catch you up on the all the news?

Oh, and as you read this you might have just been digging out your driveway full of another snowfall. (I finally broke down and bought a snowblower 3 weeks ago…)

Also, I have a 26 day streak in Wordle going so far! 

There seems to be a lot going on these days, in the news, on the TV, in pop culture, in politics and more. 

Yet, even with all of that going on, I cannot help but feel the February blahs. Maybe you feel it too. All the positive steps towards a new “post-pandemic” way of life came crashing to a halt at Christmas, and since then it is has been hard to re-engage. I am looking forward to when we can gather again. I am looking forward to walking through the journey of faith with you. I am looking forward to the future. But these past weeks have felt like a deja vu of March/April 2020 but without the sourdough starters, family puzzle time and sense of coming together to support healthcare workers.

At our zoom clergy gathering this week, of all the things to be worried about, my colleagues were most concerned about tired and disengaging members. We were most concerned about our own tiredness and disengagement. 

But there was one thing that lifted my spirits in an unexpected way this week. My annual report. Yes, seriously, writing my annual report. As I read my report on 2020 and then reflected on all that came to pass in 2021, it turned out that this past year in ministry was better than imagined:

  • We came together and created incredible worship despite difficult circumstances. 
  • We gathered in-person for worship many times and shared in Baptism, Confirmation and the Lord’s Supper
  • We delivered sermons to shut-ins and seniors 
  • We started some family ministry events
  • We had 4 sessions with small groups
  • We hosted programs and events for youth as young as grade 3 all the way to young adult
  • We started a committee to call all the members of the congregation 
  • We started a meal team for The Urban
  • We had the choir sing and musicians play
  • We made the Free Press, the Globe and Mail and were featured on CBC, CTV and City News!

I know there was even more than that behind the scenes or things that I am forgetting. 

But somehow in the midst of all the struggle we have endured, we actually did an incredible amount of new and exciting things. I was reminded of the incredible ministry that we have strived to do together, despite all the odds. 

Of all the things that have been seemingly bringing me down lately (except that Oilers winning streak!), reviewing what we had done together this past year lifted my spirits tremendously.

But more importantly, they reminded me just how the Spirit has been at work among us. God has been doing unexpected and amazing things in our community. And by the Holy Spirit’s leading, we have been making a difference in our world. That hardly seems possible when I think of all the obstacles in our way. 

I am so grateful for all of you. I am grateful for the ways in which so many have stepped back to keep each other safe, and have stepped forward to lead and drive our ministry. And most of all, I am grateful to be able to see that despite the obstacles that appear before us, God has been leading us in new ways to new life!

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