March 29th Reflections

March 29, 2020

Dear St. A’s Church Family and Friends,

Well, here it is Saturday evening, and for the third week in a row, I have no Sunday morning service to finalize! And it is not vacation time! In truth, it feels a little strange. I actually had time to make a pot of homemade soup and to go for a walk today! Craig and I will likely watch another movie tonight from Pure Flix, a movie streaming service of positive movies and shows.

How are you folks doing? From phone conversations and email contacts that Sandra and I have been having with you, we are encouraged that you are all holding your own, and “making the best of it.”

Despite the challenges of this crisis, some really positive things have been happening. Last week, a restaurant -bar in Montreal contacted the church and offered us some fruit. We were able to distribute it to three families. This week, Sandra was once again contacted at the church by a restaurant in Lachine. They were also shutting down and offered us food,- bread and fruit. One staff member delivered a car load of bread to the church, and Craig, who “just happened” (coincidence?) to be working in Lachine that morning, was able to go and pick up another load. When I asked the contact person how come we in Chateauguay were approached, she said they picked up the telephone book and the first church number they saw was ours. Again, I believe the Lord’s hand was in this. As well as some families that we were able to assist, we contacted the Rencontre Chateauguoise who came and took the rest, stating their outreach has increased greatly and one of their food sources was not able to give as much as normal.

Two young ladies (names just now withheld for privacy reasons) have offered to deliver to seniors who may not be able to get out for groceries and medical supplies. If this applies to you, please let Sandra or myself know, and we will endeavor to link you up.

Many of you have been in touch with one another sharing comical and inspiring material via the computer, helping to keep up one another spirits. Thank you, Sandra, for your gifted and warm contact with people, and to Karen Snair and Craig for looking after the church Facebook site and the church website. You all are being the Body of Christ to one another. It is with this spiritual fellowship in mind that I share reflections from Bill Gates (our guest speaker this weekend) sent to me from Rev. Ian Johnston, a Presbyterian minister friend (FYI, Jessie Amy). You might want to read Romans 12 as the Scripture lesson. J

By way of announcements, we extend our sincere sympathies to Woody Paulette in the passing of his dad Dr. Robert Paulette, a well-loved surgeon originally from Sherbrooke, Que., who died in Calgary on March 21st.

We still don’t know when we will be physically able to meet at St. A’s as a congregation, but let us continue to hold up one another in prayer and all those who are on the front lines with this virus.

God bless you all. With love and prayers and computer hugs. Rev.Alice

And now …Mr. Bill Gates

From:Bill Gates

What is the Corona/ Covid-19 Virus Really Teaching us?*

I’m a strong believer that there is a spiritual purpose behind everything that happens, whether that is what we perceive as being good or being bad. As I meditate upon this, I want to share with you what I feel the Corona/ Covid-19 virus is really doing to us:

1. It is reminding us that we are all equal, regardless of our culture, religion, occupation, financial situation or how famous we are. This disease treats us all equally, perhaps we should to. If you don’t believe me, just ask Tom Hanks.

2. It is reminding us that we are all connected and something that affects one person has an effect on another. It is reminding us that the false borders that we have put up have little value as this virus does not need a passport. It is reminding us, by oppressing us for a short time, of those in this world whose whole life is spent in oppression.

3. It is reminding us of how precious our health is and how we have moved to neglect it through eating nutrient poor manufactured food and drinking water that is contaminated with chemicals upon chemicals. If we don’t look after our health, we will, of course, get sick.

4. It is reminding us of the shortness of life and of what is most important for us to do, which is to help each other, especially those who are old or sick. Our purpose is not to buy toilet roll.

5. It is reminding us of how materialistic our society has become and how, when in times of difficulty, we remember that it’s the essentials that we need (food, water, medicine) as opposed to the luxuries that we sometimes unnecessarily give value to.

6. It is reminding us of how important our family and home life is and how much we have neglected this. It is forcing us back into our houses so we can rebuild them into our home and to strengthen our family unit.

7. It is reminding us that our true work is not our job, that is what we do, not what we were created to do. Our true work is to look after each other, to protect each other and to be of benefit to one another.

8. It is reminding us to keep our egos in check. It is reminding us that no matter how great we think we are or how great others think we are, a virus can bring our world to a standstill.

9. It is reminding us that the power of freewill is in our hands. We can choose to cooperate and help each other, to share, to give, to help and to support each other or we can choose to be selfish, to hoard, to look after only our self. Indeed, it is difficulties that bring out our true colors.

10.It is reminding us that we can be patient, or we can panic. We can either understand that this type of situation has happened many times before in history and will pass, or we can panic and see it as the end of the world and, consequently, cause ourselves more harm than good.

11.It is reminding us that this can either be an end or a new beginning. This can be a time of reflection and understanding, where we learn from our mistakes, or it can be the start of a cycle which will continue until we finally learn the lesson we are meant to.

12.It is reminding us that this Earth is sick. It is reminding us that we need to look at the rate of deforestation just as urgently as we look at the speed at which toilet rolls are disappearing off of shelves. We are sick because our home is sick.

13.It is reminding us that after every difficulty, there is always ease. Life is cyclical, and this is just a phase in this great cycle. We do not need to panic; this too shall pass.

Whereas many see the Corona/ Covid-19 virus as a great disaster, I prefer to see it as a *great corrector*. It is sent to remind us of the important lessons that we seem to have forgotten and it is up to us if we will learn them or not