Having trouble viewing this email? Click here
August 2020
As I sit in the early mornings and look out my bedroom window I can see an awful lot of brown grass in our back yard. When I mentioned what I thought was dead grass to one of my sisters she told me the grass is not dead but dormant and, once we get some rain, we will see green grass again.
In Toronto we have been experiencing higher than normal temperatures with not very much rain. It looks like the end of August here, dry and parched around the edges, but we are only just coming to the end of July. The seeming lifelessness of our grass is a wonderful metaphor for life just now.

Many of us are cut off from friends and family and from the ordinary pleasures and routine activities of life. There is a sense of life being suspended and somehow disconnected. And yet if there is one thing this pandemic has taught us it is how connected we all are. The virus has spread because of those very connections and individual actions and, somewhat paradoxically, the only way we can help is through collective action. Everything we do, from mask wearing to handwashing to physical distancing, or just staying home altogether, we do as individuals for our collective benefit. Our actions affect one another, not just during the pandemic but at all times.

Physically we are more restricted than we have ever been but our lives in God are subject to no borders, no restrictions. Although our external ministries have come to a pause here at the convent we are still, of course, praying. We say in The Apostles’ Creed I believe in ‘the communion of saints’ and when I pray I think of all of the saints, past, present and future with whom I am in communion. Prayer functions as an unbroken chain around the world with prayer being offered up all over the world every hour, every minute, every second of the day or night. Before one person says Amen another one has already started praying. The prayers are layered over top of each other like some kind of geological formation. Where does one end and another begin?

I’ve always loved John chapter 15 and the image of Jesus as the vine and us as the branches. When I’m feeling seemingly lifeless its good to remember we are invited to, “Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.” In the care we show for one other, in our compliance with public health guidelines and our willingness to live sacrificially we signal to the world that we are abiding in the vine.

~~ Sr. Wendy Grace Greyling, n/ssjd
Coming in the Fall
Online Courses! - The Sisterhood of St. John the Divine
SSJD will be offering online courses beginning this Fall. The following courses will be taught by Sister Constance Joanna Gefvert, who for the past 16 years has taught in the Pastoral Theology department of Wycliffe College (one of the...

Fall 2020 - The Sisterhood of St. John the Divine
The Guest House and Convent remain closed, but most of our Fall retreats have been re-designed as online retreats.

Silent Directed Retreat - September 15-17, 2020

Growth of the Soul - led by Rev. Max Woolaver. Friday-Sunday, October 16-18, 2020

Discover Spiritual Treasures in the World's Religions - led by Kathy Murtha. Saturday, October 31, 2020

Heading into Retirement – led by Murray MacAdam & Heather Bennett. Friday–Sunday, November 13–15, 2020

Advent Quiet Day – Led by Bishop Jenny Andison. Saturday, November 28, 2020