Safely On Shore

Good morning!
Yesterday I made the trip to Fredericton to see Terri and return Jase into the care of his parents. It was a beautiful drive as creation was alive with colour and wonder. On the return drive I had the radio on in the background and was simply lost in my thoughts. Those thoughts were interrupted as I heard this story coming through my speakers:

“150 years ago this week in 1867 a most amazing thing took place. This story has been all but lost over the years except in the hearts of some of the residence in a small Newfoundland Community called Ranews. Captain William Jackman, a fisherman from Ranews NL, was out fishing the waters off the coast of Labrador. While out on the sea a major storm blew up and the Captain and crew took refuge in a cove off Spotted Islands Labrador. Once the boat was secured and crew safely on shore Captain Jackman decided to walk over the crest of the hill to look out over the sea. Whether it was providence or instinct that caused him to do this it was indeed a blessing. As he crested the hill he could see a stricken ship about 400 yards off shore. Boat and canvas gone, the crew clung to the wreckage shouting for help. There was no one else within reach and Captain Jackman stood there alone. Without thoughts for his own safety or taking time to discern if it were possible Jackman ran to the shore, stripped off his clothes, and jumped into the frigid Labrador waters. Twenty seven times he swam out to the wreckage and each time returned with a member of the crew on his back. That night, so long ago, all crew members of this ship were brought safely to shore thanks to the singlemindedness and determination of Captain William Jackman.”

After hearing the story my mind began to wander to all the things that are happening in the world around us that seem to be impossible or so overwhelming that we are paralyzed by fear. Things like food justice, environmental issues, economic justice, poverty, racism, hatred, discrimination, inequality, gender justice and the list goes on. How often do we find ourselves so overwhelmed that we simply cannot see a way through to do anything? Then I thought about Captain Jackman. Imagine how different things would have been for the crew of that ship had Captain Jackman allowed his fears to paralyze him? How different would it have been if he stopped to think that his efforts would be futile? Instead life was changed for those 27 people because one person decided to just dive in.

As people of faith we are surrounded by stories just like this. How many can we recall about the ancestors who were asked to do the impossible and when they did the course of history was changed? People like Moses, Abraham and Sarah, Samuel, Saul, Hagar, Deborah, Jonah, Micah, Isaiah, Jeremiah…… Each one of these were faced with a decision to become agents of change. They could have easily thrown up their hands and said “It is too big for me”. But they did not. They said “Okay, here I go, ready or not!” and life was altered.

We too are being led to walk over the crest of the hill and view what is taking place in front of and beyond us. It may appear impossible, it may feel that our efforts are not enough, and we are left with a choice. Do we walk away and allow death to be what wins the day or do we dive in and make the impossible reality?

It is my prayer and hope that there are more Captain Jackmans than not and that together we will make a difference and bring many safely to shore.

Blessings, Valerie

Reminders of the Week
Tonight at 6:30 the “Take Back The Night” walk begins at the Riverfront Park. The drummers from the church will be there to take part in the ceremony and to drum throughout the walk. One small way that we can stand up against the violence that lingers in the night

CRAFT MARKET!!!! October 21st. Mark you calendars and spread the word. If you are a pie maker apples, pie plates and boxes will be available after church on Sunday so you can make a pie for the pantry table. If you don’t make pies then all other donations to the pantry table are also needed and welcomed.

Memorial Hymn Sing – October 22 at 3pm. Forms for this are available at the back of the church or on the church office. Forms to be returned to the office by October 17th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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