In some ways, these early days of July have left me feeling the same as I felt last summer. Once again, many of our congregations are in the process of discerning how, when and if they should plan to resume in-person worship; and what exactly such a resumption ought to look like. Undoubtedly, we engage these questions with a healthy dose of both uncertainty and optimism as we watch case numbers across the territory of our Eastern Synod continue to drop.
First and foremost, allow me to express my deepest gratitude to our Rostered Leaders, Lay Leaders, Musicians, Volunteers and congregations for your continued and faithful commitment to the health, safety, and wellbeing of your neighbours. This has been, is, and will continue to be an act of love and service. I am so proud of our church, and the resilience, creativity and faithfulness with which each of you have navigated this long period of pandemic.Read more →
India’s total number of COVID-19 cases has dramatically risen to over 18 million as of April 29, with more than 300,000 cases reported for seven straight days and with no immediate signs of slowing down — and medical experts believe that the numbers are even higher with many cases not reported from rural areas. The reported national fatality rate is at 1.11%, with an acute shortage of medical supplies including oxygen. Hospitals and crematoriums alike are overwhelmed, and hotels and railway coaches are being converted into critical care facilities to make up for the shortage of hospital beds.
You can make a difference — your donation will help provide emergency medical support to those forced to be sick at home, and help support critical advocacy and public awareness efforts to keep as many people safe as possible.
Stella Bowles, M.S.M., O.N.S.
When she was just eleven years old, Stella Bowles wanted to go swimming in the LaHave River, but her mother explained that the water was contaminated. Many homes still have illegal straight pipes that allow sewage from the toilet to flush directly into the river. Stella was appalled and wondered if she could change this somehow.
With guidance from her mentor, Dr. David Maxwell, Stella’s testing verified that bacteria levels in the river exceeded permitted guidelines. After posting her results on social media, Stella drew national attention and support for the removal of illegal straight pipes from the LaHave River. Stella’s project helped influence the development of a $15.7 million project, funded by Federal, Provincial, and Municipal governments, to have straight pipes replaced with compliant septic systems by 2023. Author Anne Laurel-Carter’s book “My River” tells the story of Stella’s journey. Stella’s story is now part of Nova Scotia’s grade seven social studies curriculum on empowerment.
Stella is also a published researcher in the Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science Journal. Along with mentor Professor Brent Wilson, she studied and had published Intertidal foraminifera in the Spartina patens floral zone of the LaHave Estuary, Canada: A baseline for assessing organic pollution remediation.
Stella presents at conferences and in schools working with youth around the world addressing environmental issues in their own communities. She also works for Nova Action as a youth leader. This program has ten youth from across Nova Scotia tackling their own environmental issues in their own communities. She has won many awards including the Meritorious Service Medal 2018 and the Order of Nova Scotia in 2020. Stella hopes to demonstrate that science combined with social media, can influence positive environmental transformation. At just seventeen years old, Stella has become one of Nova Scotia’s leading environmental advocates.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself.” (Matthew 37-39)
Dear Siblings in Christ,
We, the Eastern Synod, acknowledge and denounce the continued and increasing hateful, racist and targeted acts against the Asian-Canadian and Pacific Islander (ACPI) community. Specifically and especially, we denounce those actions that are perpetuated due to poisonous misinformation and anti-Asian rhetoric in relation to the COVID-19 virus, and its origin in China. Importantly, it is a matter of justice.Read more →
Dear friends in Christ,
Grace and peace be to you from God our father and from our Lord and savior Jesus Christ!
In recent weeks many of us have been contemplating how and when our congregations might return to in-person worship. Some of us have already begun to physically gather. Others are contemplating a return during Holy Week. And many of us are, as yet, unsure as to when we might be able to return to our sanctuaries.
It seems timely, therefore, to reiterate some of the basic principles that I have shared with you in previous communications.Read more →