Letter from Rev. Dr. C. Johnson – March 26, 2021

Dear friends, 
Spring has sprung and the ice is melting and I can see the buds forming on my lilac bush.  As you know, we have an energetic dog that needs a lot of walks.  I take him out on our busy road for long walks, but usually we ramble around the property and he gets to stick his nose into everything.  Honestly, I sometimes thinks he’s more goat than dog because he seems to like to eat anything he can chew. 
I have found, however, that when you walk on your paths over and over again, you start to see the minute changes that happen from season to season.  It’s amazing how powerful the forces of life really are and how the dead or dormant find a way to rebirth.
This is really the story of our faith.  Just when we think death has won, especially when it comes to the final week of Jesus, we realize that God takes those horrible events and transforms them into good news.  Yes, death is a reality for all of us, but so is the cycle of life that is continually making all things new.  
Holy Week is a powerful reminder of the ups and downs of this journey.  We witness the final days of Jesus AND trust in God to show us how to truly live — even in the face of a pandemic.  
I hope your Holy Week will be richly blessed.  Here’s how you can participate in our upcoming worship services.
Palm/Passion Sunday – March 28, 2021 – 10 a.m.
I’ve designed a physical walk around Fitzroy Harbour called “In the Footsteps of Jesus.”  We follow a 2.5 kilometre route around the village.  This also includes communion which will be provided.  Please email me at minister@bethelstandrews.com in order to reserve your space.  At this point, we have six participants and can go up to 25. 
If you can’t walk, we are planning on videotaping the walk so you can watch it on YouTube.  Here’s the link to our channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWxNraoLq065v47I1kpY9Gw.  
This recording will also be posted on SermonbyPhone at 613-963-0064. You can also take the attached document and do it on your own.
Good Friday – April 2, 2021 – 10 a.m.
Our church will be doing a live streamed service with Trinity-St. Andrew’s United Church in Renfrew.  You can find it on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Trinity-St-Andrews-United-Church-248786075142932
Easter – April 4, 2021 – 10 a.m.
We are planning another outside venue for this service although we haven’t figured out all the details yet.  With the help of the Aldis Family, we plan to live stream our service so we can celebrate the wonder of the risen Christ.  Stay tuned for more instructions next week.  
As I’m writing this letter to you, my nephew Justin Francoeur, is heading into surgery for a liver transplant in Montreal.  Please keep him in your prayers along with his wife and my niece, Rachel Johnson.  I’ve been letting him know about our prayers as a church and he is so appreciative.  
Also in need of prayers: Donna Jorgensen, Bob Pekarchuk, Debbie McIver, Bruce Williams (recovering from knee surgery).  Remember to pray for the families involved as well.  Every person has a strong support team and they need our prayers too.  Please let me know if there are others that need to be on our prayer list. 
As the vaccine roll-out continues, I’m grateful that many of you have either received your shot or are anticipating it.  In Renfrew County, we have registered as “faith leaders” but no word yet about timing.  Stay safe!
In the love and friendship of Christ, 
Rev. Dr. Christine Johnson 

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