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First Sunday of Lent, 2016

Associate Sharon Norton begins our Lenten meditations. In current idiom, she points out that God’s paths for God’s people are often unexpected, challenging and invite us to courageous and loving response.

Greetings all,

Come July 5, I will be a grandmama. My daughter-in-law Rachel is pregnant with her first child, our first grandchild. Did I mention that Rachel is Jewish? Did I mention that our son Jim converted to Judaism? Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Or rather, in this case, Miriam, Rachel and Jim!

So in the midst of our family’s biblical identity crisis, I reflect on the readings for the first Sunday in Lent.

I have always imagined the Bible as a kind of mystical road map that tracks the human search for identity from the Garden of Eden to the Garden of Gethsemane. Along the way, the Old Testament tells us how too often our Jewish forefathers and mothers were forced to remake themselves in foreign lands, only to have terrorists drive them out once again. The Jewish people repeatedly called on God for proof of their Chosen identity; and each time He gave them the strength to relocate and recreate themselves. What he did not give them were permanent visas to the Promised Land.

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Supporting Students in many different ways

Demand at the UPEI campus food bank is up by about 25 per cent.

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Syrian Refugees

A Syrian couple arrived late Thursday evening in Canada; they will be staying with Sister Susan Kidd for the next few weeks. Sister Susan says “They are well, tired and we are all learning much. Non-verbal communication can be effective! Friday, they went to Sears, Marks Work Warehouse and a convenience store owned by a Syrian family and got groceries. Saturday was more around the house. Ibtisam cooked for us and in the evening went to the mosque for a social event for women. Their suitcase arrived yesterday so today is for laundry and possibly phoning friends in Lebanon. Tomorrow, they will go to the bank and Tuesday to Newcomers. My Arabic speaking neighbours have also been over a few times. We celebrated Fawaz's birthday with balloons, Syrian music, a roasted chicken with PEI mashed potatoes, chocolate cake with candles and a UPEI student from Jordan as translator. Fawaz and Ibtisam are two of the most courageous people I know and still … they smile. When we ask if they would like anything or need anything, they want us to be happy! We laugh and say that is what we want for them. Lots of "Thank God," in the house these days. We are blessed! Please continue to carry them and all refugees in prayer” 

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