“….encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you are doing.” —1 Thessalonians 5:11
When these weekly posts began, none of us could have imagined that our world would still be locked in. Locked in a struggle with an ever evolving virus. Locked in a struggle for resources. Locked in a struggle for vaccines. Locked in a struggle with the tremendous and extant oppression of colonialism and greed the pandemic has made painfully obvious.
But here we are in Christmastide of 2021. And Christ is born. Christ has died. And Christ is risen. So, those of us who believe, are not locked in. We have the abundance of the Spirit and the shared community in Jesus’ global church to sustain and supply us.
However, we are weary. Bone weary in many ways. Spirit weary in our human spirits. And wondering, with varying degrees of hope - depending on the day - what will happen next to call on us to dig deeper into the reserves that our faith provides.
For many weeks and months, there have been dozens of CANAAC members who have contributed thoughtful, theological and hopeful words of encouragement from the “front lines.” As one of those who has organized the publication calendar, I want to say a sincere word of thanks for the efforts of laypersons, clergy, students and educators who have taken precious time and talent to write. Many thanks, too for the help of Phil Tanis in organizing the translations and postings. And to those who have translated from Spanish to English and English to Spanish - many thanks.
It now feels like the time for something to change in the way we meet one another. Hopefully, we have gotten to know one another more through our weekly postings. Perhaps it is time to build upon this fledgling relationship to dig a bit deeper into things that we need to build one another up. True things. Things that may fill us with joy and encouragement. But also the hard, historical, ecological, climatalogical and theological things that exist among us. The question is, how can we best “build up one another in love” ?
CANAAC Moderator Angela Martins and I have talked very briefly about some possible answers to that question. And in the new year expect to hear a bit more from her about what will come next for CANAAC.
For now, we will suspend the weekly posts. But this is not the suspension of our connection and encouragement.
May Christmastide and 2022 be filled with all good things.
Peace to you and love.
Rev. Anne Weirich is retired from pastoral ministry in the Presbyterian Church USA. She lives on Cape Cod in Massachusetts and is a member of the Federated Church (UCC) of Orleans, MA and the Presbytery of Southern New England. She serves as a volunteer administrator for CANAAC and on the PCUSA General Assembly Committee for Ecumenical and Inter-religious Relationships.