United Church of Canada: General Secretary Letter

Posted: September 18, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Dear friends:

The antelope alarm of my blackberry intruded into my sleep at 6:30.  I had set it for half an hour after my usual alarm time, and half an hour before I thought I needed to actually get up to have a run before breakfast here at Five Oaks.

At 6:30, it was too dark to see the trees outside my window, but I could hear the rain and the wind blowing the wet leaves.  I lay there in the dark for a bit enjoying that sound, then checked a few emails and sent one home, filling in time to see if the rain would let up.  It didn’t, and I couldn’t stand the thought of a whole day inside, so out I went. 

As my shoes hit the wet gravel I found a song running through my head, or at least a fragment of one.  My head for music is like that, there are bits that come to me but I seldom have the whole thing, even with the ones I know and love the best.  I have no idea where this one came from this morning:  it might have been that I heard someone singing it yesterday, or maybe it was just there.  Anyway, the song I sang as I ran went like this:

Let there be peace,
let there be understanding,
let all the nations gather,
Hallowed be thy name.

I know there is more to it than that, but that was the song – or prayer – that carried me past the wet cornfields, along the familiar roads of this beautiful part of southwestern Ontario.  Did you ever notice how the rain brings out different shades of colour, and the cloudy sky offers a different light by which to see familiar country?

There was more than a song in my head through the run.  I was thinking of all the people I’m here with this week, the executive secretaries and speaker from all the conferences, the executive ministers and officers from the general council office, and the Moderator.  I was thinking of our opening time in worship together yesterday, and our Bible study last night and the discussion generated by the text of Jeremiah 29:1-15 that Moderator Gary had chosen for us.  I was thinking of how much I learn when I am with this group of people.  I was thinking about how each time the group is a little different, with some new and some preparing to move on to other things. 

I was thinking all these things through the run but on another level I wasn’t thinking at all, just enjoying the movement and the beauty of being out in God’s world. 

I came back soaked, energized, and somehow…… washed.

Nora Sanders

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