Reflection by Jane Doull, “Sitting loose to your worry”, August 11, 2019

Wandering/Wondering in Spiritual Landscape

Luke 12:22-34 . A companion piece to August 4 blog.

Do not worry? Do not be anxious.

Does anyone here not worry? We all worry. Of course!  

I sometimes wonder if Jesus inhabits the same kind of world as we do. He doesn’t seem to have young family or older family to look after. He doesn’t have rent or mortgage or car payments. He and his friends don’t have to worry what they will eat- someone always seems to feed them.  He’s not concerned about providing for his old age- he seems to know he’s not going to have one.  And in his time, no one worries about climate change. 

And yet Jesus knows stuff can happen at any moment. Life is precarious. His world is one of small farmers one harvest failure, one rent payment away from losing their land- fisher folk one storm or shipwreck away from…

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Reflection by Jane Doull, “Sitting loose to our stuff” , August 4, 2019

Wandering/Wondering in Spiritual Landscape

[Text: Luke 12:13-21 ]. This and August 11 somehow go together- there’s a little repetition , partly because not everyone gets to church every week or remembers perfectly, and partly because I think this is really important for North Americans like us.

You can guess- it’s not going to end well for that rich farmer. In Luke’s gospel rich people are headed for trouble, from the get-go. Mary’s Song promises “ the rich will be sent empty away”. In Luke’s blessings and woes- blessing number 1 is for the poor- not just the poor in spirit, no, the poor- theirs is the realm of God. Woe no. 1 is for the rich: “ you have received your consolation . “

And Jesus as told by Luke is not the first to attack the rich. Prophet after prophet in the Hebrew Bible, the First Testament , do the same.

And yet…

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Jane Doull’s Reflection “ Spiritual M and Ms” July 28, 2019

Wandering/Wondering in Spiritual Landscape

(Luke 10:38-42 ;Luke 11:1-13 ; “Praying” by Mary Oliver)

Long ago, my church in England was planning an event – I’ve long since forgotten what it was.   All I remember:  the priest said, well, someone could bring lunch, just  a few chicken sandwiches , that would be easy wouldn’t it?  This priest knew more about theology than about food preparation: he didn’t realize to get proper chicken sandwiches, someone first had to cook and dismember  a chicken – not exactly a 5 minute project on the way out the door  !

Jesus and his travelling troupe didn’t get it either. Poor Martha, toiling away- and remember, no freezer, no microwave, no running water– she had to do it all herself, for people who may have known about as much as my priest about what went into preparing a meal. It’s always bugged me that Jesus criticizes Martha…

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Cooperator Vol 6 No 29 25th July

Dear Friends of Wesley and St James 

It was an exciting weekend!  I did a small wedding, my first bilingual one, on Saturday.  Tara Small, one of our Wesley young people, got married that day too- a busy weekend for Lynn Small [mother] and Jean Flewelling

whom many of you know well!  Two more weddings are recorded in our Wesley register, with at least 2 more to come shortly.   Last night, I was going over wedding details for the first of two weddings scheduled at Scotch Ridge.  Romance is in the air this year- there were several other weddings at the Algonquin this weekend, and the bride I met with last night reported that she’s already been at several weddings this summer.  That means many busy families, many house guests, many very busy beauty salons, and much festivity all around! 

Sunday was our big Celebration of Music and it was indeed big!  We had to get up extra chairs, and we figure there were at least 100 in the congregation, plus the 16 students and I think 4 choir members, up on stage, plus three wonderful pianists, Jean plus the two collaborative pianists accompanying the students. 

I was thrilled  to see 8 St James people along with many of our Wesley community – plus many more from the wider community:  music lovers, family and friends of the singers, and of course Wendy Nielsen and the other Vocal Techniques Faculty,  We even had several visitors who were looking for a service in town with a visiting choir.  They never found the choir- so they ended up back with us and said they were glad they had!

And who wouldn’t have been glad!  I’ve probably said this every year- but this year felt like the best yet.   Such an abundant feast of anything from opera oratorios in Italian, French and Czech, to art songs in French, German, Italian, Czech and English, to sacred music, including a spiritual !  It would have been perfect for anyone who thought they didn’t like classical music, as well as for any of us who’re already hooked.   Each singer brought energy, enthusiasm and expression to her/his offering.  They didn’t just make beautiful sounds- they told a story!   When performers love what they sing, we’re sure to love it too.  

Our young visitors had helped set up the stage, and helped take it down, and some had even helped someone take their summer sale offerings downstairs last week.   Many of us enjoyed chatting to them and learning more about them and their music.   They’re an inspiration! 

I’m sure you’ve noticed I’ve never taken holidays when the Celebration of Music is on.   I think I love it even more than Christmas Eve.  We know what’s coming Christmas Eve.   But the Celebration varies from year to year- different students, different music.   As soon as I know who’s performing what, I’ve had the fun of arranging the programme as well as preparing programme notes.  

Many things drew me to Wesley 9 years ago- and one was the promise of wonderful music- a gift that keeps giving, and a gift that I’m happy you all can enjoy year after year!

There are more lovely music events to come – some mentioned in our coming events.  Next Tuesday, you can join in a celebration of early harvest. Next Friday and Saturday you can feast your eyes too, at the quilt show. And soon, our Wesley labyrinth reopens.    And soon, we’ll be blessing Lorie’s outdoor labyrinth at Oak Hill.   We have much to look forward to.  Stay tuned!

blessings to all and I hope to see you soon! 


Reflection by Jane Doull,” A fresh look at a familiar story” July 14, 2019

Wandering/Wondering in Spiritual Landscape

[]Readings – .Amos 7:7-15 ; Luke 10:25-37]

We think we know today’s gospel story. But do we?

I’ve been reading a Jewish commentary on Luke- by Amy Jill Levine- part of a whole New Testament commentary written entirely by Jewish scholars. Jewish people don’t grow up with this story the way we do. And they often know the First Testament, their Bible , much better than we do. So they may notice things we’ve missed.

So – I’ll start today’s reflection in light of my dialogue with this Jewish commentary.

That lawyer- well, he’s not what we may think- he’s a learned scholar of the Torah , the Jewish law. He’s a pedantic fellow, as some scholars are. He wants to get the better of Jesus- testing him with a trick question: What must I do to inherit eternal life?

Jesus doesn’t bite. Instead he throws the scholar…

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Jane Doull’s Reflection : journeying and receiving, guests and hosts. July 7, 2019

Wandering/Wondering in Spiritual Landscape

Today’s sacred texts : Luke 10:1-11, 17-20: “The Messenger” by Mary Oliver, and as it turns out, Rumi’s “The Guest House”

Imagine 2 out of those 70 travellers, showing up on your doorstep. Barefoot, dusty, carrying nothing, looking as if they didn’t have a shekel to their name.

Remember, back then, your house was probably have been very small and humble. No guest room. Everyone doubling up if house guests came , some sleeping on the floor in whatever corner you could find. Your pair might have been male or female or one of each- or, who knows? You wouldn’t have a fridge or freezer with extra soups or casseroles for last-minute meals. You’d be cooking from scratch and you’d be stretching out a pretty modest food supply, and making sure the guests got the best of it. You likely had to haul water from the town well…

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Jane Doull’s Reflection for June 9, 2019- “We are launched”!

Wandering/Wondering in Spiritual Landscape

[This reflection was offered on Pentecost Sunday in Wesley United, St Andrews. That day we also dedicated and blessed our new renovations, as well as celebrating communion. That afternoon, we had a huge Open House, attended by many well beyond our congregation, who wanted to take a look around and hear/see the story of our renovations. We had the chairs moved to the side so that the floor labyrinth was displayed.April 16 was our soft reopening- today was the Grand Reopening.]

Pentecost did not just happen out of the blue, you know. Here’s some backstory.

  Easter happened first- and you know what happened before Easter- Holy Saturday- the day of watching and waiting, with not the foggiest idea what was next.  And then, Easter-  the day, not just the day,  40 days-40 days of Mystery breaking into the Jesus- followers’ world . One way or another, they experienced…

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