ANNOUNCEMENTS

Church Office Hours for July - The church office will be closed all Mondays and Tuesdays. | Commencing in September, we will be returning to in-person worship! | 
DONATIONS - To make a donation to support Heart Lake United Church click here | May & June 2022 - The church office will be closed all Mondays.
 

Welcome to Heart Lake United Church

At Heart Lake United Church you will find people with diverse backgrounds and experiences all coming together to share our faith and build a caring, inclusive community. Everyone belongs!

Our Mission: To live an active faith connecting God, people and community.

These are not easy times. As we begin to ‘open up’ we may be feeling relieved or maybe even more uncertain and vulnerable. The early followers of Jesus were not living in easy times either. They faced disease, economic uncertainty, great income disparity and injustice maintained by force.

Jesus knew that standing up for justice and protecting the rights and the lives of the vulnerable during such a time is not easy. Yet Jesus encouraged his followers to do just that.  He told his first disciples “I am sending you out like sheep in the midst of wolves.” He advised them to be “wise as serpents and gentle as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)

With so much information coming at us and so many expert opinions being shared, we all need to use our own wisdom to sort through it all. We need to seek reliable sources and trust our own common sense. We need to put the care of others before our own comfort. We need to speak out for justice, but do it gently, firmly but gently, so that when we come through this time we will have built a more just and peaceful society for everyone. 

Jesus has more advice for being faithful witnesses to the gospel during challenging times. Join our online worship. 

  Heart Lake United Church is a model of diversity and living in harmony.   
  • all ages,
  • all genders,
  • all races,
  • all religious experiences

Everyone is important to Christ so everyone is important to us.

We all belong.

Heart Lake United Church reaches out through various programs and there is something for everyone.

On Sunday mornings  at 10:30 we worship with inspiring singing led by our music team, sermons that make the Bible relevant to today, and through sincere prayer.

We have a BLAST program for younger kids and SURGE program for youth. Our infants and toddlers are cared for by a trained ECE worker.

 

GOODBYE - PRESENCE TO ABSENCE

Written by Super User on . Posted in Sunday Sermons

Sermon: Goodbye – presence to absence May 29th Acts 16:16-34. John 17:20-26. The time between Easter and Pentecost.

Last weekend I visited with friends at Fellowship Lutheran Church, Tulsa, Ok. It was a time of reunion, reflection and sharing stories on the numerous trips they made to Guyana. I wanted Ken to meet some of the people who helped shaped and supported my leadership during my ministry there. A time for reunion and reflection includes gratitude to God. Our spiritual journey is built on relationships with both God and the people we encountered on life’s journey.

It was 2004, I said goodbye to my friends in Tulsa. It seemed so long ago, over eighteen years. Last Sunday I worshipped there and said goodbye again. Their minister who is serving there for the last twenty years will retire in July. They are preparing to say their goodbyes to him.

Goodbyes bring mixed emotions, sometimes feelings of sadness, joy, gratitude, hope, fear, anxiety and uncertainties. When we say goodbye to family members or friends it means that a movement is happening; from presence to absence and some goodbyes are inevitable.

Our toddlers learn to let go of their parent knees or hands. Our youths learn that their goodbyes are happening as they go off to college or into the work force. Our aged seniors do not like goodbyes because memories gradually faint. The comfort and reassurance of presence is moving towards absence and with aging the gap widens.

We know the deep pain of final goodbyes to our loved ones who departed from us whether youthful or aged. These include sudden deaths or a long time of illness. It is difficult time to say goodbye. We have religious rituals, shed tears, share stories and hopefully with God’s grace we let go of their presence and learn to live with their absence. Each culture has a unique word and ritual of saying “goodbye.” These include kisses, hand-shakes, hugs, and blessings.

However it is done; implies that the moment of being here and not being here is happening, presence and absence. In our Community of faith we say: “God be with you.” It implies we are no longer with you but God Almighty is with you. We are letting go and surrendering to God. We learn to trust in God.

John’s gospel tells us of the many goodbye conversations Jesus had with the disciples.  Philip asked: Where are you going Jesus? Can we come too? What will become of us? (14:18) Jesus promised; “I will not leave you orphan.” These were not easy discourses; one can feel the tension rising between presence and assurance to absence and uncertainties. They pondered, what would become of us? How are we to lead this ministry you called us to? There are so many needs and we do not have the resources.

On Easter morning we claimed the blessing that Christ is alive, death is conquered and we are set free from the chains of life for eternal life. After Easter morning attendance dwindles and enthusiasm fades. Mary and the disciples tried to hold unto and define Jesus but they could not contain Jesus in one place.

Jesus makes an appearance several times; at their house gatherings, while eating, walking along the road to Emmaus, at the seaside, while at work- fishing. Jesus appears among them and then mysteriously vanishes again. Jesus tells them I am going to prepare a place for you and I will never forsake or leave you alone.

The living Christ is not contained in one location, experience, community of faith or relationships. The living Christ explodes and takes us to places for God’s purpose with a living message. Jesus comes among us and goes to places where there is work to be done. Jesus has other sheep to bring into the fold. Jesus discourses and goodbye is preparing the disciples to give leadership to their community and the world.

Our goodbyes say something about us and our relationships with God and one another. Jesus sets an example before leaving; Jesus shared meals, teaches, expressed joy, laughter, reflection, meditation and prays with them.

I believe whether you are online or in-person worship is a place to bring our fears, burdens, unresolved grief, conflict and pain. We know that no matter how good the music is, the hymns we sing, how trashy or meaningful the sermon could be, we will probably carry a lot of emotional baggage with us when Jesus goes in the absence. What will become of you in the in between time?

Today when we say goodbye remember that whatever tough situations you are facing, the good news you are waiting to hear, how well you are healing or what the needs are for your family or neighbour; Jesus is praying for us. We are not alone!

Jesus is praying for us in the between time as we wait for the Holy Spirit. She comes with grace and power as she unfastened everyone’s chains and opens all the doors for God’s miracles here.  We are building relationship with God by giving service to all people; through teaching, caring, forgiving, praying and loving one another. The Holy Spirit is with you! Amen

Contacts

Heart Lake United Church
85 Sandalwood Pkwy East
Brampton ON L6Z 4S3
Tel: 905 846 7314
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.hluc.ca

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