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Pastor Mark shares an elbow bump in the church foyer with Pastor Kim of Our Korean Presbyterian Church

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: This will be the last Elbow Bump.  I’m not announcing the end of the pandemic, or that things are back to “normal” (who remembers normal?)  I’m not even suggesting that elbow bumps and fist pumps have been replaced by handshakes and hugging. But these Elbow Bump blog entries have served their purpose, and it’s time to retire them.

We started the Elbow Bumps on March 16, 2020, the day after our first Sunday worship service was cancelled. The hoarding (of toilet paper, you will recall) had already begun, but mostly there was much uncertainty in the air as we all tried to grasp the enormity of what was going on. In that first Elbow Bump we announced the cancellation of four other church programs; more importantly, we called ourselves back to who we are, and to the need to care for one another.

There was a sudden and acute need to feel some sense of connectness. I was blogging five, sometimes six, days a week then, trying to pass along church news and/or comment on what was happening in the world.  It was not that hard, because in those early days of the pandemic, there were all sorts of inspirational things being written about the pandemic, worth sharing.  April 22nd was Earth Day, and we looked at “Our World Belongs to God.” We did not plan it at the time, but we continued with all 58 paragraphs of that Contemporary Testimony, right through to November 27th. We also shared songs, poems and other material, much of which you readers contributed.  The Elbow Bumps became a good way to communicate these expressions of shared conviction and faith.

It was not difficult continuing to write through Advent and Lent, but frankly since Easter it has been hard blogging. The general weariness of the pandemic and the third lockdown just made it hard to know what to say. So, like a long train with the brakes on, the blog entries slowly but surely have come to a halt. 

What’s next for this space? I don’t know, but  I’m sure there will be something.  After all, you can’t have a tab on the church website entitled “Pastor’s Blog” with only outdated entries!  After my vacation you can look for something new in this space.

Thank you for journeying with me over these past 16 and a half months!


Sunday is Emancipation Day.  “Emancipation Day marks the anniversary of the Slavery Abolition Act which came into effect August 1st, 1834, freeing approximately 800,000 enslaved people in British colonies including Canada. For over 180 years, Black communities across Canada have celebrated Emancipation Day every August 1st with church services, parades, outdoor festivities, protests, speeches, entertainment, and more, seeing an opportunity for celebration and a time of reflection on the struggle for freedom and justice, past and present. This year marks the first official recognition of Emancipation Day by the Government of Canada, following a unanimous vote in the House of Commons in March 2021.”

That quote comes from the Canadian Council of Churches’ website. I encourage you to take a look at the many significant resources to be found there. I especially point you to the link for the Emancipation Day Ecumenical Worship. This would be a great way to invest an hour of your time on Sunday.  That, and eating in any of the fine Black-owned restaurants in our city. They could use your business right now!

Pastor Mark

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