Integration and Fellowship

The Rev'd Bill Strong

St. John the Evangelist, Topsail

It is a truism that there are times when an air of apprehension envelops us in our midst. But at the same time, a more happy period is also blossoming as we mingle in fellowship with other faith communities around us along the way.

On Saturday, April 13th, 2024, several members of our ACW team accepted an invitation to attend a quiet day at the parish of St. Peter’s in Upper Gullies. Also affiliated were ACW members from other parishes including members from All Saints’ parish in Foxtrap.

That special time of celebration began with a 10:30 church service competently conducted by The Rev’d Dr. Bonnie Morgan.

Her topic specifically reflected upon three special women of wisdom. She reiterated specifically the story of St. Catherine of Siena (25 March 1347 – 29 April 1380). Also, elaboration of wisdom and purpose was bestowed upon Sophia and Charlotte Elliott.

It reminded us of the Samaritan woman at the well whom Jesus befriended and subsequently went out to evangelise in his name (Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore get wisdom). This is one of the biblical passages where Jesus seems to be recognizing the gift of women (John 4:7). We listened, spellbound, as she read and reiterated to the group the stories of Catherine, Sophia, and Charlotte.

While universally and instinctively, women have an innate impulsion to be givers and protectors, we must still take time to digest the great commandment in its entirety—Love the Lord with all thy strength and love thy neighbour as thyself. But sometimes we leave out ourselves from the equation.

Later, in the hall, after I extended appreciation to the ladies of St. Peter’s and conveyed our gratitude to Dr. Bonnie for a most inspirational delivery, we were pampered with a delicious lunch of soup and dessert.

Then a period of entertaining with jokes and story telling wrapped up a most relaxing an enjoyable fellowship with neighbouring parishes.

That day at St. Peter’s, the hall was a forum to dispel stress and concentrate on the moment, and relish what we got.

And having come in, the Angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favoured one, the Lord is with thee, blessed are you amongst women”
Luke 1:28.

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