Saturday, 31 December 2011

New Year Blessing

As another year comes to a close, it is good for us to take some time and to not only reflect on our experiences in the last year, but also to recognize how we have changed over the last 12 months.

Whether we recognize it or not, as time goes by we are changing. I am not the same person now as I was last year. Our experiences, both good and bad, can form who we are becoming, for both good and bad.

Our life experiences in and of themselves are not the most important factor - because a lot of the time we cannot control them. But how we "respond" to our life experiences is what is most important.

As we grow older, are we learning to respond with a greater sense of love, understanding and compassion to the experiences that make up our lives?

The authentic life is not found on the surface, it is in the heart.
This year I hope to enter more deeply into my heart, my spirit, where I encounter God's Divine Life, Christ's Life. And out of the depths of that sacred center which is Love, to ebb and flow with the unpredictable surface turmoil of my life.

My prayer is the same for you.
Wishing you a happy, blessed and love filled new year,
Father Gerald+

Friday, 30 December 2011


Today, Dec 30, is the feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth. This is also a time of year, the Christmas season, in which "family" is a prominent feature.

As a husband for 23 years, and a dad for 22 years (not to mention a son to an aging mother [whose hot water tank burst last night!!] and a brother to 3 sisters), I know that being family doesn't come easy.

Not only is being family not easy, family can look a lot different today than it did even a generation ago.

What we learn from the holy family of Nazareth, is the need for a huge amount of love in our families, a LOVE that is bigger than we are.

We don't always have to like what a family member is doing, or agree with the way one is living their life, but we do have to find ways to love and support one another regardless of the circumstances or issues.

What I have learned to do over the years is to put the relationship first, the issue (whatever it may be, and there are always lots of them!!) second. We are made for relationship, and the first priority for relationship is within the family where love, forgiveness and reconciliation is to be practiced.

Every family, however it is made up, is holy.
Every family is important to those who belong to it, and to our society as a whole.
And in every family is the IMAGE that makes us all one family.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

The Queens Christmas address

I saw a note on twitter (nickie gumble) a day or two after Christmas day referencing the Queen's Christmas address. Although directly addressing the United Kingdom, her words are broadcast to the Commonwealth and the world at large.

70% of those who live in the UK say they are affliated with the Christian Church. Of those 70%, something like 30% say they go to church regularly. That is approximately 16% or so of the population. Interesting to note that number is starting to go up a little bit in the UK.

The part of the Queen's message that I saw televised on CBC showed her talking about some of the various problems and concerns throughout our global village. It is is this context - of a mostly Christian UK, and the desperate needs of the human family - that she said that humanity needs a Saviour; and that this Saviour has been given to us in the person of Jesus Christ.

Having spoken to a few of my clergy colleagues, numbers out to the Christmas eve liturgies may be up a little this year.

Deep down, most folk know that they are spiritual people.
Deep down, most folk know they have to deal with sin and death.
Deep down, most folk know they need to be loved with a love bigger than themselves.
Deep down, most folk know they need a Saviour.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Attempting to reach out and connect with more people with social networking

Hello. My name is Father Gerald Westcott. I am an Anglican priest living and working in rural Newfoundland. I am married to a wonderful wife, Valerie; and we have three beautiful children, who are now young adults finding their way in life.

Finding OUR way through LIFE is something of what I hope this blog will be about.

My parish is the Church of the Resurrecton in South River, just south of Bay Roberts in Conception Bay North. Our web page is

As a Christian community, we have been trying in various ways to reach out to the region around us in meaningful ways. We operate a daily cafe in our Emmaus room (our own version of Starbucks!), offering lunch, refreshments, and a listening ear if asked for! We run a monthly seniors cafe, and a week night messy church for young children. And we offer life skill courses such as parenting, bereavement, marriage, divorce and separation.

Of course, we also gather for liturgy (worship) on Sundays and Wednesdays; we teach and practice corporately Christian mediation; and we offer courses on the Christian faith such as Alpha.

My desire is to connect with people in meaningful and relevant ways, and in a manner that will make a difference in the living out of their lives.

For me, meaning and purpose in life is found in Jesus Christ.

Yet, having said this, and because of this, as a faith community, we want to meet people where they are, not where we think they should be. Consequently, we exercise a radical hospitality, a radical welcome to all.

Anyone and everyone is invited to journey with us in any of our various environments, in the unfolding conversation and discovery of Life.

And hence the beginning of blogging for me.

This can be potentially for me another environment to try and meet people where they are, and for us to share a conversation about Life, where we all change and grow into more loving and compassionate people in the process.