Come, Connect, Be Inspired!!!
Our vision is to transform and revitalize the Ardglen/Orenda community in Brampton, bringing hope to its residents and helping children, youth and families to take positive steps in their lives. This vision is realized through: Relevant Programs, Transforming Properties, Advocating for Residents.
I grew up going to church – a lot. Not just Sundays, and Christmas and Easter, but also all the other church calendar events – Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Shrove Tuesday (one of my favourites – Pancake Day), and of course Good Friday. There was a part of me that wished I was Roman Catholic, because they also have all these great feast days to attend. There is nothing like a church potluck dinner.
Anyway, my church going probably seems a little excessive to some, but this was my community, these were my friends and this was the centre of practicing my faith in Christ.
The one challenge that I had with all this was how few people went to the Good Friday service. Palm Sunday was always a big hit at the church I grew up in. The service was lively and celebratory. There were palm fronds everywhere and everyone got a palm cross – folded by the youth group on Friday night. And, of course there was Easter Sunday. It was always one of the most well attended services of the year, only second behind Christmas Eve. Easter Sunday always made Palm Sunday look quiet and subdued. Our large choir would sing the most moving songs and the hymns and choruses were triumphant and joyful.
But, Good Friday was always lightly attended, and that bothered me. It seemed to me that the vast majority of those who went to church during the Easter season only experienced the celebrations and happiness of Palm Sunday and Easter, but they missed out on the very heart of the season – the raison d'être for our faith. If you only attend church on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, you would think that Easter is all about celebration and joy, but you can’t have the celebration and the triumph, without the cross, without Good Friday.
Isaiah, the prophet wrote about 700 – 750 years before Jesus was born the following:
Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. - Isaiah 53:4-6 (NIV)
This passage is far too rich to go into any kind of detailed commentary in this devotional, but let me point out one part, “. . . and by his wounds we are healed.” I think that is an especially appropriate promise at this time. There is much that we need to be healed of. Not only for those who have come down with COVID-19, not only for those with other health issues whose treatment is complicated by this pandemic, not only for those whose mental health is precarious at the best of times, not only for those who are confined with their abusers, not only for those who struggle with depression, and not only for those who struggle with financial challenges, homelessness, loneliness, anxiety, bankruptcy, fear, etc., etc.
There is much need for healing and the one whose life and death we observe and celebrate this week can bring that healing. I love to celebrate Jesus triumphal entry on Palm Sunday and his resurrection on Easter Sunday, but the heart of Easter week is what took place on Good Friday. While, our eternal hope comes from Jesus’ resurrection, our salvation, healing and reconciliation with God comes with Christ’s sacrifice, his death on the cross.
So, as you hunt for chocolate, colour Easter Eggs and practice “safe physical self-distancing” with your family, remember what our hope and healing cost and more importantly what it brings.
And please, give some time to remember what Jesus did for us – read your bible, attend an online service and take some quiet time to reflect and pray.
Have a blessed Easter season and keep safe – Kevin.
Today Ashleigh shares some pics with us from her recent home redecorating projects! Painting and making your space more cozy is always a great way to deal with being stuck inside!
Here’s a link to an article we really like, highlighting some really cool tips for staying organized!! #staysafe#stayhome#stayproductive#staystrong#thejourney#community
Hey parents. If you are looking for a fun family activity, today at 2 pm Toronto and Region Conservation Authority will be hosting a Facebook live session on "Signs of Spring." It’s on the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority page @TorontoConservation
The Journey has hosted the TRCA's presentations and from past experience we can guarantee that they will be interesting and engaging for the whole family!
Our mission is to protect, conserve and restore natural resources and develop resilient communities through education, the application of science, community engagement, service excellence and collaboration with our partners.
"The Ontario government is offering direct financial support to parents while Ontario schools and child care centres remain closed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The new Support for Families initiative offers a one-time payment of
$200 per child 0 to 12 years of age, and $250 for those 0 to 21 years of age with special needs.
Families can complete a simple online application at Ontario's Support for Families web page to access this financial support. Parents already receiving Support for Parents payments through direct deposit will be automatically eligible for this financial support and do not need to submit a new application." https://www.ontario.ca/page/get-support-families
Don't Forget Little Library! As well as educational and family activity materials, we have started putting some books back in Little Library. Please visit the library and let us know if there is anything specific that you would like us to provide (i.e. grade or topic specific worksheets, colouring pages, activities, etc.). The Journey staff will do our best to provide for you!