Stopped in Awe – News From Tobermory United

Tobermory United celebrated ‘down south” Sunday on February 19.
Submitted by Rev. Sheryl Spencer 

Will Sunday afternoon of February 12 become a ‘where were you’ moment? As in, where were you when the fighter jet flew over this part of the earth? Me, I had just taken my recycling out to the garbage bin. It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon, and I was still in the driveway, when all of a sudden, there was this noise coming out of a clear blue sky… 

As the news unfolded through the week and as helicopters could be seen shuttling back and forth on the horizon above the lake, it all made me and things like my recycling efforts seem pretty small. A theologian I know, J. Kameron Carter, has spoken about “the world imposing itself on the earth.” That’s what it felt like. Especially the news about a stray missile having landed in the lake. A missile in the lake? 

It was the madness of World War One that gave birth to the surrealism movement in art, and at Tobermory United, we felt a bit of that too. Winter has been stretching on, and Lent, with its reminder that we are dust and to dust we shall return was just around the corner, and what with all this craziness around, we gave ourselves permission to be a little silly and to celebrate ‘down south’ Sunday on February 19. We turned the heat up for the occasion, came to church in our sun hats and sandals and decorated the chancel with palm trees and shells. Basically, for this one service, we pretended we were in the sunny south. We even made a “beach” so folks could remember what it feels like to have sand under their feet… 

Will ‘down south’ Sunday become a tradition? We’ll see. But it was the right thing for this particular moment, that’s for sure. 

Rev. Sheryl Spencer is the minister at Tobermory United Church.