Church of the Incarnation

Community Newsletters

Sept 2020 Pastoral Letter

Dear Parishioners of Incarnation,

I begin my letter to you with two verses from Scripture that have always provided me with the greatest assurance to persevere in and with hope through the most challenging times of my life: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” - Romans 8:38-39.

These last six months where we haven’t been able to gather together for worship, prayer, and fellowship, and where of course we have lived through economic, social and political upheavals, have certainly been challenging for me as a priest, as I would imagine they have been for all of you. At times I’ve felt sad, and even empty. I have wondered, what’s next? When will things go back to normal? What will happen to our churches and to The Church?

But as I have read Scripture each day, as I have read Morning and Evening Prayer, I am reminded that so many of God’s own people have experienced similar circumstances: various plagues (throughout history and of course as we find in the Book of Exodus), even experiences of severe economic devastation (Exodus 7:14-12:26), food shortages (Exodus), political and social turmoil (Judges, Kings, the Prophets), and individual loss (Job, Paul, Jesus Christ himself); the Scriptures and the Church’s own history, are filled with these circumstances and the ways God’s people and that God himself responds. To find God not standing far off from his people, but right in the midst of them, as I read Scripture and Christian writing through the last 2000 years, well this has given me assurance that I am not alone; that in Christ Jesus I, along with you, his people, are bound to him through his Holy Spirit (John 14:11-14).

What now(?) was a central question for me, as I would imagine it is for you too. The starting place for us as Christians cannot be mere recourse to ‘the practical,’ even if this is too is important. That would be to let go of the greatest gift we have: God revealing himself to us and with us, given to us in the Scriptures. What is God doing with us in the middle of this plague is a question we should be asking as challenging as it might be to think of God’s involvement here. But it is to these books of Scripture; to this living Word of life, that we are called to seek our way forward. As your new priest-in-charge, I look forward first, to meeting and getting to know you, and second to using some of the ways of the past, but also exploring with you, new ways of ‘soaking’ (Psalm 62:1-2) ourselves in the ‘honey’ of Scripture (Exodus 3:8; Leviticus 20:24) of receiving the “living water” that is Jesus Christ himself written in them (1 Corinthians 10:4).

Blessings to you in our Lord Jesus Christ,

The Reverend Leigh Silcox

A poetic reflection from Incarnation parishioner, Olivia Lee, on Philippians 2:5-13:

            (During the Sunday sermon
       at Church of the Incarnation, Toronto)

                   Mirrored crucifix
            reflects the church, safely held
      in the Saviour's physical outline as worshipers
              come and go, groping their way
             through an age-old wilderness 
                    challenge to
              survival with no known exit 
            and not knowing how to get there

                    But Jesus knew
                  where he was going
             and how he would get there---inconceivable 
                 to those who followed---
             a pathway dreaded yet willingly
                  to hold in his care
                those willing to trust.

     "For God is the one who, for his good purposes,
      works in you" .
     Philippians 2:13
  "I am confident and unafraid.
 My strength and my courage is the Lord."
        Isaiah 12:2
 "Behold I am doing something new"
       Isaiah 43:19


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