I’m looking forward to Easter, I always do.  I enjoy the liturgies and the services, waving palm branches, and the times that call us into deep reflection.  Here is an account of an experience I had while in Ministry at Birchcliffe Bluffs United Church in Toronto. A handful of years ago on Easter morning I was standing on a grassy wind-blown cliff top overlooking Lake Ontario called ‘the Bluffs.’  This area is in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough, just to the east of downtown.  It was the practice of the congregation to meet here in the early morning of Easter Day and greet the new day with the first service of Easter.  We would arrive in full winter regalia, boots, winter jackets, woollen hats, mits and smiles on faces.  We would carry everything necessary for a service of Holy Communion and be in full voice ready to sing, ‘Jesus Christ is Risen Today!’  If I remember rightly on this such morning the temperature was well into the minus double digits!!!  After the service we would return to the church for breakfast and make ready for the 10:00am celebration of Easter. This was a tradition that was kept for more than thirty years, except on this day something different, and perhaps quite amazing would happen.  Around 30 people plus some sleepy children were ready to begin the service as the sun was rising. It shone on the calm lake and seemed to reach where we were standing on the cliff-top.  As we began we sang hymns, and shared the Easter proclamation.  The scriptures were read.  During the reading from Luke we had hardly left the words, ‘they found the stone rolled away from the tomb’, when there was an exceedingly loud crack and a rumble that built into a thunderous roar, and the ground shook beneath our feet and then a crash as an extremely large chunk of ice and snow landed in the lake below.  We stood in silence and awe for a moment or two, when a voice said, “Indeed, I think the stone has been rolled away.” As the quiet of an early morning returned and the ground stopped shaking, we laughed, we questioned, we spent time contemplating.  It is a normal experience for ice chunks to break of off the top of those cliff in winter, it happened, and it happens.  But on this day the timing could not have been better, all our ducks were in a row, so to speak.  As this time of year comes along I think of this experience and ask again ‘Why did it happen?’ and What does it mean?’. So what does rolling the stone away mean? I’d be happy to talk to you about this.  Give me a call. Brian
From Brian’s desk  
Mosman Uniting Church
Serving Mosman since 1877
From Brian’s desk  
ADVENT
Advent has begun a new church year has started – well known tunes are being sung and played – Christmas carols are being sung on street corners – the stores are full – Christmas shopping is in full swing – plans are being made for Christmas gatherings – travel plans are likely made – school will be over soon, and I hear the shouts of “YEA.”  I said to my uber driver yesterday, “Merry Christmas, if I may offer those wishes to you.” His response was, “you may, we do not celebrate Christmas, but I trust yours will be full of meaning and that your God will be with you.” I think those words will be with me for a long time – a gift indeed giving much to think about?  My friends we are truly blessed to have what we have, so, can we share a little of what we have so that others might more. We will be collecting non-perishable food items and personal hygiene items for the ‘Bridge for asylum seekers food bank’ until mid-January. Please leave your donation by the creche in the church.  With many blessings for these holy seasons of Advent & Christmas  Brian
Mosman Uniting Church
Serving Mosman since 1877