When the entire nation had finished crossing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua: Take twelve stones from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood, carry them over with you, and lay them down in the place where you camp tonight… so that this may be a sign among you… When your children ask in time to come, “What do those stones mean to you?” then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off in front of the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the Israelites a memorial for ever.’ Joshua 4
A number of years ago, I was helping my Father make the difficult decision of moving to an assisted living accommodation in my hometown of Paris. As we sat in his living room and discussed the pros and cons about this move, I watched as he looked around, commenting as to what furniture he could take with him and what would need to be distributed throughout our family and beyond. As he moved from item to item, he was taking a mental inventory and recounting the various stories associated with each. I was struck by how intricately these stories of people and possession are woven through our life’s journey. It wasn’t simply a grandfather clock, it was one that he had built when his workshop was still in the basement of our family home, and it made him chuckle as he recalled how my Mother used to get so annoyed with the ever present sawdust constantly rising up from the basement. I understood that for my Dad, this grandfather clock was one of those stones of which Joshua writes, touchstones connecting one generation to another.
As we celebrate this time of Thanksgiving, we, like Joshua, are able to take stock of our lives, acknowledging the touchstones that mark the path that we have shared, allowing us to celebrate the past as well as anticipate the future. The signs of the harvest are for us a reminder, memorials if you like, of God’s goodness and presence in our lives, and in the lives of those who have gone before us. This time of thanksgiving offers us the opportunity again to praise God for the manifold gifts with which he has blessed us, and those whose lives have been woven through our own. As you celebrate with family and friends, may you know the fullness of God’s grace in each of the touchstones of your journey.
If this is your first visit, it is a joy to welcome you to our parish web site. Perhaps you are one of those who are looking to find the presence of God in your own life journey, a search that in the midst the noise and confusion of our age, can at times seem overwhelming. Maybe we can be of some assistance. Contained within this site are examples of the ministry that we share as the Cathedral Church of St. Paul’s, London Ontario. We enjoy a wonderful mix of young and old, those who are new to the faith, as well as those who are mature Christians. In the midst of a wonderful blend of personalities comes the blessing of a variety of gifts and ministries. May the information you find here encourage you in your own faith journeys.
We invite you to come and make your spiritual home with us at St. Paul’s, but pray that wherever you are, you will find a Christian community where you can deepen your faith and put your talents and gifts to work. Wherever you are, your prayers for the ministry of the people of our parish are appreciated.
We are thankful for all who give of themselves in the ministry of the church and for their commitment to carry out the commission that our Lord gave to us all. We are also thankful that you have visited our web site and invite you to come and get to know us better.