October 2018 Active Page Article:
“Rev’s Reflections” - Why the Gospel Matters
Recently I was blessed to spend two days with a very close friend - who is both a very senior mining engineer specializing in land reclamation in the oil sands and an Episcopal/Anglican Priest. She is also Barbados born, and a dual citizen with the “US and Canada.” In her work she travels a lot! Between us we have seen and experienced harsh government policies, frightening poverty, organizational systems that discriminate against women, and others, and a conviction that the gospel as contained in the Hebrew and Christian sacred texts, as well as Buddhist teachings, matter! We are also both frustrated with the “archeology” of church structures and hierarchies as they too often seem to get in the way of what is really important!
What matters is the consistent message of caring for the stranger, the outsider, the hungry and the sick - that the “empire” in whatever its manifestation is frequently, if not always, at odds with the teachings in the sacred texts especially around “compassion in action.” In a world sharply divided by race, wealth, lack of opportunity, the world view embodied or incarnate or embedded in these texts is the difference that makes the difference. The teachings as I understand them and try to live them is not a source of judgement to justify injustice or exclusion or inequality, or abuse of any kind. I also acknowledge and am deeply influenced by the Buddhist teachings of compassion in action, the way of the Bodhisattva.
The role of any church or synagogue or teaching and mediation circle is to be a container for all this - to hold out and support a different way of being in the world, an invitation to walk to a different drum. Such a journey is really hard to make alone. This is why we need companions to share our spiritual practice, our need for fellow sojourners, to be, as the Torah says, God’s partners in working on the world. And so here we are in the autumn of the year when the small spiritual centre of St. Margaret of Scotland, where we try to be and do all these things, asks for the support of not only our “members” but also our “friends”. St. Margaret’s is more than the Food Bank, though that is very important. It is also a place where we spend time with and pray for many people on the island, the sick, the dying, the teachers, fire fighters, first responders, farmers - anyone who we know that might need support, like the people in the Philippines, or the Carolinas, or Africa, or Syria, to name a few, or for others who have asked for our prayers - and there are many.
St. Margaret’s is a small, but I believe an important, resource on Galiano It has been the community church for over 65 years! One of our current commitments is to try to make it a sanctuary for the whole community. We hope that you can see your way to help us continue to make a difference. Every contribution helps!
Yours in hope and gratitude for many things.
Thomi (The Galiano “Rev.”)
P.S. On October 14 at 2:00pm we will hold our annual blessing of our animals…who bring so much joy in our lives and in that sense truly give us life. All sizes welcome!