I hope this week finds you all well. Many of you have voiced your concerns and your sadness over the recent shootings in Orlando, Florida. Tomorrow (June 24) at 7:00pm at Comox United Church there will be a vigil held for the victims of the shooting, as well as the memory of all people who have been persecuted because of their gender orientation or any other identity. Christians have undoubtedly been deeply divided over the past few decades on issues of sexual orientation. Nonetheless, as a people rooted in the love and life of Christ, which was given for all, we are undoubtedly united in our opposition to hate, violence and discrimination against anyone. I will be attending the vigil, and I hope you are able to as well.
This coming Sunday, we'll be hosting the text of 2 Kings 2:1-14, the ascent of Elijah in to heaven and the passing of his mantle to his protege Elisha (pictured above). We'll also be recognizing those who are completing the Disciple Bible Study, a 34-week spiritual formation program that has had them reading 70% of the Bible, and engaging in spiritual practices and discernment as to what it means to follow Jesus. By their example, they are inspiring us to take more seriously the life that Jesus invites us to.
I look forward to lifting our hearts together again this Sunday!
In the peace of Christ,
Rev. Ryan Slifka
PS: Speaking of "passing on the mantle," yesterday I had the privilege to attend Alastair Hunting's ordination to the diaconate (a step before full on priesthood in the Anglican Church) at St. John the Divine. I offered Alastair a gift on our behalf, and he reiterated his appreciation for our hospitality in the time he spent with us earlier this year. Good news for Alastair, and the Body of Christ!
PPS: We have been asked to distribute a survey on behalf of the Comox Valley Foundation--Comox Valley Vital Signs. Vital Signs® is a regular check-up conducted by community foundations to measure the vitality of communities across Canada. It gathers and publishes data on significant social and economic trends in areas critical to quality of life. As a community of faith that seeks the welfare of the city (Jeremiah 29:7), each of us are invited to fill this out as a way to contribute to the common good. Click here to fill it out.