July/August 2019 Message for Congregations and Lay and Rostered Leaders
By: The Rev. Prema Samuel, Assistant to the Bishop for Congregational Life.
Grace and Peace to you from God, our Parent, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, and the Holy Spirit our Guide and Counselor.
A few years ago, I was called and ordained to serve among the wonderful people in a Long-Term Care Centre, where I learned the beauty and the miracle of being present with someone, ranging from sharing coffee with conversation through to their time approaching death. Being a part of that Holy Moment, to just be present, and witness God at work – what a Blessing.
During my time as Chaplain, along with staff and people in care, we have worked side by side, continually exploring our faith. We’ve gathered in large groups and small to discuss our ideas about God and Jesus. We’ve sought to discover what it means to be a Christian and where God is, in our present day and situation. We’ve worshipped, worked and celebrated together. We have seen God working in our midst – what a Blessing.
Alongside of my time as Chaplain, I have also come together with many of you as Preacher and Congregation; as Pastor and Parishioner: individuals in relationship with each other. I thank God for the many times I have been invited into lives; sharing with me the highs and lows; in times of joy and anguish, thanksgiving and suffering, introductions and goodbyes, during life-changing moments – what a Blessing!
And now, God’s call has extended to serve the Synod of Alberta & The Territories – What an honor to be asking the very question along with each of you, ‘Where is God calling us? Where is God meeting us? Where is God Leading us?’ What a Blessing to witness and journey together with you to where God is calling us.
Having celebrated Pentecost Sunday recently, we ask these familiar questions, ‘Where is God Calling us? Where is God meeting us? Where is God Leading us?’ We don’t truly know; but one thing is certain: the future lies together, in community, following God as a community, the body of Christ. Together we can bravely face the future in trust and hope. My experience of this church shows me that we are strongest when we stand together. I hope to bring a continued sense of community and relationship in my ministry as Assistant to the Bishop for Congregational Life within the Synod of Alberta and the Territories.
I always thank God for all of you in my prayers. Brothers and sisters, I ask that you pray for me as I walk alongside of you in this journey.
May the peace of God be with us in all that we do. May the grace of our Lord Jesus, God’s anointed, be with us all.
In the Name of +Christ.
Assistant to the Bishop for Congregational Life