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Good morning sisters and brothers;

I took this picture of our lovely spire yesterday at noon. When I checked my phone later on to see how the picture had turned out, I was amazed. Yesterday the sunlight had been very bright, almost too bright, yet this picture looks like it was taken at midnight beneath the glow of a full moon. This snapshot of the church spire jutting upwards toward the heavens is a haunting image, and it reminded me of all those who have stood in its shadow since it was first erected. 

Christ Church Anglican opened its doors in 1861. The world was a different place back then. The Civil War in the United States was just getting started, plunging the Republic into darkness. Those seeking freedom set their sights north, finding their way to Chatham. They sought sanctuary here and found it. From the very beginning, the cornerstone of Christ Church Anglican was social justice. They adhered to our current marks of mission, especially numbers three and four. 
3. To respond to human need by loving service.
4. To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation. 

I thought about the different eras in which the spire has stood out like a beacon of hope.
The Geat Depression 
Global upheavals of all kinds
The list goes on and on.  What has remained a constant is what the spire represents, and just how far the shadow extends outward. The spire is not just bricks and mortar and architectural beauty. It is a solid and  tangible reminder of the brief but all encompassing passage from the Gospel of Matthew .
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, and with all thy
soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." 
( Matthew 22: 37-39)
Yesterday the downtown core was completely abandoned. There was not a soul to be seen on the streets. And as crows flew overhead our bells began to ring. In the shadow of the spire appeared a homeless gentleman, disheveled, broken, angry, a mere shadow of his former self. It seemed clear that he was suffering from some type of mental illness. And while he did not present a clear and present danger to me, I was nervous. But I stood and listened to what he had to say, in the shadow of the spire. And as he left, we offered him a bowl of hot chicken noodle soup and fixings. For a brief moment, his demeanor changed. He smiled, took the lunch, and went on his way. In his anger and confusion, there was a moment of reconciliation. It was brief, but it was  nonetheless a moment.  
The spire at Christ Church Anglican has not really changed since 1861. People have not changed. Society and technology have, but not people. We still yearn to belong, to be in community, to be loved, to be part of something greater than ourselves. The spire will cast its shadow for years to come, and our doors will be open to all who seek to belong. 
Let us pray 
"The night has passed and the day lies open before us; let us
pray with one heart and mind. As we rejoice in the gift of this
new day, so may the light of your presence, O God, set our
hearts on fire with love for you "
Romans 12 : 9
Diosito me los colme de bendiciones
I love you