Rev. Ryan Fea

Ordained Minister

Ryan's Message

All are welcome at Merging Waters. Seekers and believers at every point of the journey. People of all ages, identities, and walks of life will find a place in the Merging Waters family. If you're at church for the first time or been attending church all your life you have a place here.

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                               June 22nd, 2022


As we look toward the future with our divergent paths, as I am called to faithful service with a community elsewhere and you are called to continue your lives of faithful service here, I find it timely that this week’s ecumenical service, as well as last week’s reading from 1 Kings, is all about renewal. Spiritual renewal as well as physical renewal are so very important for our lives of faith in community, service, courage, and compassion.


We all need rest and rejuvenation as well as the gifts of skills, knowledge, and inspiration, we need times of celebration and preparation, to be able to live lives that serve God’s purposes of love and justice in the world. So these times are very important. This week we will be encouraged to take time for renewal and rest, accepting God’s love and acceptance, so that we can be energised and equipped to accept who we are and be our true selves authentic to our faith in identity, spirit, and action.


In these times of change, in seasons and pastoral relationship, I encourage you as individuals and as community to embrace those practices that bring you rest and rejuvenation to remind you of the Divine love that is at your core. Continue to meditate and pray, share time with loved ones, spend time with God at home, in nature, and in community, read or take a break from reading, bike, hike, run, sit, sleep, camp, fish, sail - do whatever brings you renewal. Allow it to recharge your batteries and to empower you to be your true selves, and then act on it. Go out and share that love that has refreshed you so that others too may be renewed and empowered to keep on spreading the love.


As we take time to be refreshed, I’d like to take a moment for something that always recharges my energies and centres me in love - gratitude. I want to say thank you. Thank you, Merging Waters, each and every one of you, for this time we have spent together. In all of the times, the ups and the downs, the work that is worship, the celebration, the challenges and the successes, I have been truly blessed by living and serving with you. I have learned many lessons from our time together, I have grown so much as a person as well as a minister. I am grateful for all I have learned from this time together, you will all be in my heart, mind, and spirit wherever I go.


Continue to be that supportive and loving community that is always ready to welcome others no matter who they are. Keep supporting one another, something you do so well in love and community, in growth and challenge as well as in comfort and celebration, so that you can keep those big hearts of yours open to share the love you know with others. Keep being brave and taking the risks I know you can even when other communities would shrink at the unknown. Keep being intentional in your planning and timely in your action just as you have been. Rise to those challenges that you face with grace and with teamwork, with God as you helper, with Christ as your example, and with the Spirit as your guide.


Peace and hope my friends,
Rev. Ryan Fea


May 25th, 2022


Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                   


This is a big week for us all. There have been major events of climate change and of tragedy in many ways, this includes the recent passing of a much beloved member of the Merging Waters Faith Community within Union Church. There are also new beginnings and much preparation going on for worship services, the upcoming Cabaret, and we are all preparing for summer, the change in our pastoral relationship, and of course the many changes in life that come with a change in season. You all remain in my prayers and in my heart in these times of perturbation and promise.


As we look to the changes in the life of both individuals and community, this week we are blessed by a chance to worship with our neighbours and to welcome them to be at home amongst the Merging Waters environs as we host a combined worship in God’s Sanctuary within the Union Church building. Together we will all have the wonderful experience of welcoming a new member of the church universal as we join in the Sacrament of Baptism. As this week’s reading from John 17:20-26 inspires us to know we are all one in God’s love the narrative holds that God’s love is freely given and is found in Jesus by love, and vice versa. We hear also that in love we are in God and God is in us, by the Spirit, as we follow the message. We can ask ourselves a few questions inspired by this reading:


-       God’s free gift of Grace is open to all without condition, what can we do to embody this love shared so freely in our interactions with others?


-       Welcoming all into community: what does this mean for our relationships with those who are not called into the same faith or congregation?


-       How can we embody this interconnectedness in our interactions with newcomers, other faiths, and with creation?


As we explore and celebrate the welcome that we can share with others, I look forward this week to our collective reception of the newest member of the Body of Christ in welcoming Jacqueline Lisa Owers-Leduc in Baptism this Sunday.


Easter peace and hope,
Rev. Ryan Fea


May 18th, 2022


Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                   


This week brings us into cooler temperatures as well as rains that seem to refresh the landscape as well as nourish the plants and clear the dust. We are fortunate to be spared the more extreme weather that has struck many other places. In our commitments to care for creation and one another we can lift hopes that efforts to protect the environment will help lessen the impact of climate change in the coming years.

With our reading this week from John 14:23-29 we are reminded not only that the power of Jesus’ message in the narrative is the revelation of God’s love for us but that God’s wish for us all is to find peace. This Divine peace is in reach even as Jesus is not with us physically. God reaches out to us and is alive in the world through the presence of the Spirit bringing us peace through relationship. We are blessed by the Spirit’s presence to bring us peace as a beloved community, peace brought by love that we can share with others.


As we continue to look to our partnerships in mission we can continue to ask ourselves some questions:

- When has your life of faith brought you to a place of great peace?

                        - Was the Spirit palpable in that moment?

- What role did others play in bringing you to an experience of peace?

                        - Was the Spirit active in them and their lives in that moment?

-        How does an awareness of God’s love for us offer us a chance for peace?

-        In our search for peace, what can we do to bring the message of love and peace to others?

As we seek to touch that peace that brings rest to our spirits and hope to our hearts, I look forward to the journey this week. May your hearts find the peace of Christ, overflowing with God’s love, as we are guided by the living Spirit together.

Easter peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea

May 12, 2022


Greetings, Merging Waters.


As the summer weather returns, I hope that you will be able to enjoy the beauty of nature while remembering to stay cool and hydrated – especially on these days above 30°C. May the blessings of nature’s renewal find you happy, healthy, and inspired to celebrate God’s presence in all creation.


In our readings and worship last week we were reminded that no one can snatch us out of God’s hand as we are one in the Divine. This week we will hear from the Gospel according to John, in John 13:31-34, that our connection and commitment to relationship with That Which Is Within And Beyond is made evident in the love that we share. Something we have expressed and experienced in our relationships with one another, the love that we share connects us as well as being a sign, a declaration, an assertion to all the world of what we have embraced and what we have chosen to believe in.


In our expression of commitment to live the love we hold for one another it is made manifest, concretised, shown, in relationships. This week we will be reminded of more of these relationships as we welcome Pat Mayberry – composer, singer, performer, person of faith and member of the UCC – who will share with this beloved community some of her new pieces of music. This is a relationship that is grounded in love of community, one another, and of course of the gift of music. We will also welcome the Executive Director of the West Island LGBTQ2+ Centre – a partner in mission and ministry that expresses our love for one another that is so great it inspires love for stranger and friend alike; making family of all humanity.


As we reflect on our commitments and the love that inspires we can reflect on the following and more:

-       When was a time that my sense of being beloved inspired me to share love with others?

-       What form did this sharing take in words, choices, and actions toward others?

-       What difference does it make to others for us to let them know by our actions that they are loved?  


I look forward to our time of sharing love with one another and the world this week.


Easter peace and hope,
Rev. Ryan Fea


May 05, 2022


Greetings Merging Waters,     


This week is heavy for many of us I know. We are celebrating the lives of and wishing peace to two much-loved members of this community. The experience of loss cannot be dismissed or overstated – what we experience and how we experience it for ourselves is valid. 


At times of loss, transition, and change, even as we lift our love for those we have lost and for one another we also know that in this time we are all looking towards a time of transitions and change. The church is dealing with change, our lives are dealing with change, our society has come face to face with the places where we have dropped the ball in caring for ourselves and others – in ensuring justice for all. And surprisingly we find in the Gospel a reminder that we are all one in God’s love.


In our reading this week from John 10:22-30 we will hear a message of oneness with the Divine. One way to understand this is that humanity is capable through our connections and interconnectedness to seek and find oneness with That Which is Within and Beyond. That sense of being connected to those people and places around us, the mystery of who or what that is has driven people to seek – exploring theology, spirituality, philosophy, the sciences, and more – in hopes that we will attain some level of understanding.


  • How do you experience the connectedness between us and the world?
  • If to experience love is to participate in the Divine, does the love we share with one another allow us to experience God?
  • If love echoes into eternally – both by imprinting on one another’s lives and by being an expression of the Great Spirit in the world – is the sharing of love an experience of eternal life?
  • Is this an emotional expression of our spiritual state?
  • Do we have to know that we are loved for that love to impact our lives?


As we explore how we are nurtured and connected by love this Mother’s Day Sunday, I look forward to exploring the connectedness that we share through the Source of Love.


Easter peace and hope,
Rev. Ryan Fea



April 29th, 2022


Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                


I’d like to begin this week by thanking the Outreach Committee for their leadership this past Sunday. I always know that the services are in good hands when I am away.

Jesus knowing that things are in good hands, the work of nourishing spirits and inspiring actions of love and care, even in his absence plays a central role in this week’s narrative from John 21:1-19. In a passage often referred to as the Last Breakfast Jesus calls upon Peter, the Rock of the beloved community, to take up his message of love and to feed the spiritual life of the people. In calling upon Peter three times to show his love for Jesus by feeding/nourishing/supporting/inspiring others in love, Jesus is letting Peter find a way to absolve himself of his self-imposed guild for denying Jesus three times. Not only giving Peter the chance to give others new life, resurrection in new beginnings, new relationships with others and the Divine, through faithful action and faithful community, but giving Peter the chance to give himself a new beginning.


This passage can inspire some questions:

-          Can you think of a time when you have found renewal/inspiration through supporting someone else?

-          What did that do for you spiritually?

-          How many times have we found new life for ourselves in the opportunity to bring life to others?


I’m looking forward to engaging with this passage as our journey continues this Sunday as we continue to seek paths of resurrection living together.

Easter peace and hope,
Rev. Ryan Fea



13 April 2022


Greetings Merging Waters,


As we journey this week along the way of Jesus, joining him in his journey to the cross we may find that we are at different points on the road. Some of us may find that we are still walking to Jerusalem, seeking to find the connection with the Divine of which Jesus speaks. Some of us may have found the hope for a world of justice and peace that is the focal point of Jesus’ message - the kin-dom of God - and be out on the road trying to speak its message through word and deed. Others may be in the journey trying to hold onto pre-Easter Jesus; trying to hold back the crucifixion and death. While some will never let that moment go staying in the deep sorrow and uncertainty of betrayal, arrest, and execution. Perhaps many of us are still crying our “Hosanna” which means “help us!” seeking to find in Jesus, in community, in faith, that just and loving world we have not found elsewhere. Others are ready to burst open the tomb and shout “Hallelujah!”


This week as we journey through the narrative of Holy Week in our readings, worships, and gatherings I am struck by the depth of relevance to our world today, around the globe and here at home. I find myself looking not only at the journey in the Bible - Jesus sure, but also all of the disciples who heard and followed not sure what would become of them - but also in our lives today. The Gospel shares the good news that not only was death defeated by the message of love but that our relationships, our hopes, and our very lives, have found new life, new ways, and new meaning in this timeless message that cannot be overcome by violence, Empire, war, pandemics, or even death itself. That the evils, the suffering, uncertainty and pain, is overwhelmed, overcome, and overturned by this love that will never let us go and connects us all into eternity with the Divine source of love and is woven between us all. God, the Great Spirit, the Holy One-In-All has been up to something in us and through us. 


So, in these times of new beginnings, of uncertainty mixed with opportunity, I continue to ask myself, and I encourage you to ask as well:


  • What is God doing in this situation?


This is a question can continue to give us hope as it reminds us that God’s alive and at work in the world. Through and in us. And as we ask this question perhaps others will come up. 


  • What can I choose to do to be part of God’s work in this situation?
  • How can Merging Waters seek understanding together of God’s dream for this world?
  • How can we work to awaken that dream together?
  • Who else is inspired to live the hope engendered in these questions and how do we work together?


I look forward to embracing the time we have together on this journey as we walk the road to new life, new beginnings, and new days, this Easter Sunday and into the future.


Peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea


April 7th, 2022


Greetings Merging Waters,


What is God doing in this impossible situation? This is the question that we are pondering this week as our Lenten practice. As we move towards Palm Sunday and Holy Week we join with generations of followers of Jesus, throughout the apostolic succession of believers, who asked this question for two millennia now. We ask this question quite often other times we lifted up in prayer "God what are you up to?" "God, what are you trying to tell us, say to us, trying to inspire in us, doing through us, doing in us, asking of this community?"


Sometimes we ask these questions out of desperation. Sometimes we ask these questions out of grief or pain. Other times we asked this question in Hope and in anticipation of what God has done, is doing, and will do with our hands and feet, our choices and our agency. So as we sit in this question this week we can join with the disciples in the coming story of the Sunday of the Palms, as well as Holy Week, in asking, praying, reflecting, and responding. What is God up to in the seemingly impossible, challenging, grief-filled, and even in the joyous times now and into the future?


As people of faith, we can ask this question at any point in our lives as those who seek individually and together in hopes of finding a deeper understanding of our relationship with That Which is Within and Beyond. Acknowledging that God is at work in the world, alive in the world, present and inspiring to us and to the world we activate our faith and open ourselves up to the possibilities that perhaps we have yet to see.

-          In your questioning this week of what God is up to in our times and our lives, in and through ourselves, where have you seen the divine presence?

-          What is God up to in your life?


I look forward to continuing this journey of understanding this week as We join The Narrative of Palm Sunday and Holy Week in our worship and in our reflections. We will be welcoming the leadership of several members this week in sharing a midrashic reflection on Luke 19 - 23 by Dr. Eric Norris as a dramatic telling of this story. Let us join In the Journey of Holy Week as we open ourselves up to see what God is up to and the world and in our lives together.


Peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea


Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                      March  31st, 2022


This week has met us with many changes, challenges and opportunities. As a community of faith, we have been touched by loss and sorrow as well as promise and hope. I know that even as I have encouraged each of us to live in gratitude through an appreciation inventory that there are days when being thankful is a real challenge. Sometimes all the good things in our lives seem to be outweighed by the pain and uncertainty of the world. We can have a hard time getting to being generous with ourselves, our time, and resources, when we lose connection with the good things in our lives. Grounding ourselves in appreciation can lead us to a positive-generous path.


Sometimes we just need to ask, “God where are you in this situation?” This will be the question with which we will engage after we reflect on the reading from Ezekiel 37:1-14. We can ask ourselves a few questions:

-       What are the situations in life where you have felt utterly overwhelmed?

-       Where has God been for you in these times?

-       When has your journey taken you on a new path that held uncertainty but you knew was a path that must be taken?

-       What has brought you spiritual renewal in your life?

o   How can this help at the worst of times?

-       What can we do as a community of faith to support one another, spiritually as well as practically, in hard times?

o   How does being supported spiritually in the normal times help in the hard times?


We will engage with these questions in our journey in worship this Sunday, our reflections next week, and into the future.


Speaking next steps along the journey; I would like to welcome the newest member of the Merging Waters staff Susan Kaye who joins us as office administrator. May your service with the community of Merging Waters Pastoral be a blessed blessing to the world. I look forward to our service together with this wonderful community.


As Susan Kaye joins us this means Susan Smith will be moving forward in her new calling and path. I am so very grateful to Susan for the support she has been to the life and work of Merging Waters in our ongoing ministry and wish her only the best in her future endeavours. She will remain a valued member of the community and as always a beloved child of God.


Thank you Susan! You’ve made such a difference!!


Peace and hope
Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                      March  24th, 2022


I continue to hold each of you in my prayers and in my heart as we take steps toward a future where we can live our faith out in the world, online, and joyously, hopefully, happily, and safely, in person.


For this coming as we reflect on the message of Psalm 23 this week we will delve into focusing on appreciation for all that we have and how gratitude for what we have leads to generosity toward others. As we explore appreciation and gratitude, we will joyously welcome guest speakers from St Columba House, our partners in mission and outreach within the United Church here on the Island of Montreal. Lisa Byer-de Wever, Director General of St Columba House, and Steven Wells, participant, volunteer, and board member of St Columba House, will share with us stories of community, caring, and the impact that their work has on the lives of so many.


During this week we are exploring ways to connect with God in worship at home and in the world, individually or with others. I look forward to hearing how you’ve done this. Have you spent time in prayerful contemplation and song as I have in the early part of my days? Have you gotten a hymn stuck in your head like I have? Have you worshiped online or with resources you’ve found for home church? In nature or indoors?


As we expand our daily worship of word, song, prayer, and reflection to work and sharing in gratitude – all of which is worship – I look forward to our shared journey, learning, and living together.


Peace and hope,
Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                      March  17th, 2022


This Sunday as our journey moves into the third week of Lent we will explore Psalm 95:1–7. In its message, we are called to sing our song of faith to the Divine. An invitation to embrace that all people are beloved by God which includes us. A people of generosity and of love who strive for justice and works to show kindness and caring for others but often that work can feel just that. It can feel like it’s just work, that these are merely tasks to be done, a list checked off, and then completed as an end in itself.


So easily our need for spiritual nourishment and fulfillment becomes replaced with the practical sense of a job well done that is an end unto itself. Yet as a spiritual people, as all people have some kind of spiritual core that is experienced and expressed in its own way for each of us, the practical surface covers a deeper need. A need to seek out that connectedness that is beyond simple perception. In our being and our doing, our living and our choosing, if we stop simply at that surface we miss out on seeking a deeper understanding of the mystery beyond the concrete. And it is in Lent that we explore the seeking of that which is beyond and within. Some of us call it God, others Adonai or hashem/the name, Allah, some enlightenment, and many other names now and throughout time. Many more still have no name for this connection we feel, and yet the thirst for understanding, the seeking in the journey is still there.


In this seeking in the week to come we will be invited to continue our Lenten Practices through engagement with daily connections to the mystery through worship. Worship is a time to celebrate our lives of faith, seek inspiration, and seek still to connect with that which some call God. To open ourselves in joy and celebration of that by which we are beloved. This week we will find the opportunity to journey with one another among family and with friends to worship, sing, pray, and seek daily.


In this time, I invite us each to ask ourselves:

-          What is the best way to open myself up to worship every day?

-          If I have a daily opportunity to seek spiritual fulfillment through celebration, how will it nourish my spirit?

-          What might hold me back from seeking to touch base with the Divine daily?

-          How can I help my family or friends join in worship in all places and times?


As we move forward on this journey, I hope to hear from you on ways you have embraced seeking and connection with the Great Spirit in your home and in your relationships.


Peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                      March  9th, 2022


As we continue in our Lenten Journey and winter moves into spring, I continue to hold you all in our hearts as we hope for renewal. The season of the planet and of the liturgical calendar remind us of our own needs for renewal. In times of war, ever more intense and widespread, we are reminded for the renewing power of peace. In times of despair, we are reminded of the renewing power of hope. And in times of hatred and discord, we are reminded of the power of love. Yesterday’s International Women’s Day and the upcoming Affirming PIE Day both speak to me of the human journey to embrace God’s all-encompassing love for all and live it in the world. They also remind me that there continues to be a need to actively work for what we believe in.


As we lift up prayers for peace and look to hope in the world, sharing our resources with the oppressed and displaced I am reminded of the Lenten Spiritual Practice that we have embarked upon this week. I want to share with you the three Christian values that I have chosen to lift up in my journey this week:


“Yes, I will trust God to provide what I really need”


“Yes, I will embrace love”


“Yes, I will work for justice”


What’s on your list? I look forward to hearing from you about how this practice spoke to you and your life this week.

In these times of seeking and renewal I hope for each of you to find at your Spiritual Core ways to say ‘yes’ to that which is most central to your being. This practice and the Lenten reflections of Lesser Evils have given me time to reflect on where the Divine presence is palpable in my life, and where I sometimes don’t notice it – that God is always with us.


As we look to Genesis 12:1–4a we will be reminded that not only is the Holy One-In-All found in surprising places but that we too can be the expression of the Spirit’s presence in the world. We are called, inspired, and moved to be co-creators, in the work of awakening God’s dream for us all in the world. We will explore more ways to live out what is at our core as we move deeper into Lent.


“The road is long, with many a winding turn,” as the song says, I am so pleased to journey it throughout Lent with the beloved community of Merging Waters.
To the journey!


Peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                      March 3rd, 2022


You continue to be in my prayers this week as we mark the beginning of Lent. First we enjoyed Mardi Gras, Fat or Shrove Tuesday, dining on pancakes and trivia fun. Wednesday, we sought to centre ourselves in the ashes that remind us that we come from stardust and to stardust we shall each of us return. Made and remade from and by matter that makes up the universe throughout Lent we seek deeper understanding of our place within it and out connections material, social, and divine.


We can find inspiration in exploring our interconnectedness in the Biblical narrative of Matthew 4:1-11 wherein we read about Jesus being inspired by the Spirit to go into the desert and face his personal demons. Tempted to seek power, comfort, and freedom without consequence he takes time in his wonderings to find strength, hope, and resilience in his Spiritual core; that which is within and beyond.


We too can be tempted to give up hope, to let others take decisions for us, or to fall for the claims that the wealth or influence of the few is worth the suffering of the many. We can be tempted to believe that the easy way out is the right way and that our anger or fear is greater than our hope and our God. In our journeys this week and throughout Lent, with the Lenten study of Lesser Evils and our weekly offerings of spiritual practice we can ask ourselves a few questions that may lead us to greater clarity:

-       What is my relationship with the Divine Presence?

-       In decision making ask: are the easy answer and faithful answer the same?

-       What values and ethics have I said “yes” to that are inline with my faith?

-       What does my faith ask me to do that would mean saying “no” to social or political pressures? When does the world as me to say “no” to God?

-       How can my faith family at Merging Waters help me in discerning these questions? How can I help others to do the same?


This week and throughout Lent we will explore these questions and more, seeking to understand how our relationship with the Divine and one another impact our alliances, commitments, and actions.


Peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                         February 23rd, 2022


As our journey continues we see a world in upheaval. Spring and winter collide and remind us of the ups and downs of life’s ebb and flow. Nations collide over questions of who owns lands and territory that is a part of those said same humans. In our own country, we hear the voices of those few who have been unable to find an outlet grounded in reality or acceptance for their anger over feeling vulnerable and disempowered by the pandemic.
And we call for peace.


We call for peace within and between us as people who seek to find healing rather than anger. We have a hard road as Christians being called to love those who disagree with us, even those who hate us, and yet we strive to answer with love and commitment. We seek to find peace within ourselves and with the world around us as we slip and slide on windy days of late winter. Where can we find a grounding in these times of tumult and uncertainty?


In Luke 5:1-11 we hear the story of Jesus telling those who fish for life to seek once again even after being disappointed. The symbol of a loss of hope even after making a great effort and using all their know-how, and yet through acts of faith and seeking to find hope in the unexpected this narrative reminds us that we can be surprised. Much like the Spring that always comes, even when we sometimes feel that winter will never end, and the hope we find in our neighbours, even when hope seems lost for peace in the world. The peace and comfort we find in the love of God that we find when we are centred in the bounty of creation within which we are wonderfully and beautifully made, we find that not only can we be nourished by creation and others but that we can nourish others.
We can be the hands and feet of Christ, doing God’s work in the world, helping others. 


Reflecting on the bounty of God’s peace and love that we are called to share let us ask ourselves some questions:


If we belong to the church, and the church belongs to God, do we all belong to God?

If all that we are and all that we have come from God how do we see what we have? 

Is it ours or is it God’s?

If all belongs to us what does it serve to use it in/as the church?

If all belongs to God whose resources are we using when we put the church resources to use?

How can we share the abundance we have received to the benefit of others?

How do we remain the hands and feet of God if we don’t use what we have in the church for the betterment of others?

We continue to ask ourselves these and other questions about being God’s beloved community that shares this love with the world this Sunday and into the future as we journey together.


Peace and hope,
Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                         February 9th, 2022


In these times of change and loss, tensions and promise, as the days continue to brighten, I have continued to lift you each up in my prayers and hold you in my heart.


How close is God, to you, to me, to us all?


This is the question that we hear this week in our worship as we engage with Psalm 138. The question of how deeply we are known, loved, accepted, by the Divine Spirit is one that many have tried to answer for us. Some of us have insights and beliefs that inform our experience of the sense of God’s proximity. To our lives and to our being as individuals, as people, and as communities.


In our lives together as Merging Waters, as Union Church and Beaurepaire United church, as you and as me, we get a lot of messages from the world, from media, from interest groups, from family and friends, from teachers, employers, partners, and from ourselves. In our tradition as followers of Jesus, we have received a message that hopes to communicate to us that God loves us, calls to us, inspires us, hopes for us, even prays for us.


Often this is an exploration done in extremes. We’re told that we’re either all in or all the way out of God’s grace and love by all sorts of people and perspectives. Sometimes even by ourselves. But is it possible that the question isn’t about God so much as it is about ourselves? Should we ask ourselves, “how close does God feel to me today?” Maybe today that connection feels less palpable than it did yesterday, maybe more. Am I open to the Sacred Presence in my life today? What can we do to explore this more deeply within ourselves, and what can we as community of faith do to support one another in asking these questions?


I look forward to our time spent in worship this week as we seek together and support one another in asking these questions and how we lived out their significance in our lives.


Peace and hope,
Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                         February 2nd, 2022


Today is Groundhog Day which has me thinking about the movie of the same name. Unlike that film, we do not have a day to repeat over and over, nor a life to try and do differently from scratch, but we do have a life filled with opportunities. Opportunities to learn, and try, to fail and learn and try again. We can’t do everything from scratch  like the movie Groundhog Day, we can take some time to reflect on how we live up to and live out our opportunities to learn from our experiences of being called, inspired or drawn, into lives of faith and service by God’s Spirit in the world. When things don’t work out as we envision we can always try something new, together.

This week in our worship we will be reflecting in worship upon Jeremiah 1:4-10, wherein Jeremiah is shown as being called to by the Divine to a voice of prophecy and a life of service and suffering. Much like Jeremiah, we too are inspired, motivated, and moved by our relationship with the Holy One-In-All to live and act faithfully even in hard times. This is not an easy calling, speaking truth to power, putting ourselves second to the needs of those who are less privileged even than we, forming community with strangers and friends alike. The two questions I encourage us to ask ourselves and one another during this week are:


-       What are we asked to give to this life of faith, only what we believe, or also our actions, resources, and service in sharing our skills?

-       What keeps us coming back over and over to this life of faith that asks so much of us?


I look forward to continuing our exploration together of the ways and the whys of sharing our gifts with one another and the world this week as our Epiphany celebrations continue.


Peace and hope,
Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                         January 26th, 2022


This week we have come to a place where the journey takes on a sense of depth, uncertainty, and promise, one that underscores the important role that faith has in our lives.


Today, I have spent time with members of two families within the Merging Waters faith community. These families have both experienced the death of a beloved child of God. These deaths have touched many of us with mixed feelings of pain for the loss of a sweet and loving person in our lives but also of gratitude for the love and kindness that each has brought into our lives and our community. Bathed in the love of these relationships we can find ourselves in sorrow and in thanksgiving all at once. I know that like the Holy Presence both myself and this community will be here for both families, and one another, in this time of celebrating lives well lived even as we mourn.


In a similar way many of us have mourned the church that has blessed our lives by the Spirit with the love, connectedness, and hope found in God through Christ. We often try to hold onto this connection, the blessings of the community, for fear of experiencing its loss. This sadly has led to many too afraid to let anything change to experience the blessings that are yet unknown. We can find peace in the many steps of the journey if we open our hearts to the experiences we have found. They were unknown before we encountered and embraced them, just as the questions of where or how our journey continues after death. The future after a loved one has died is filled with the unknown while still, we can celebrate the lives and loves that have touched us in how we choose to continue in our living and loving. Similarly, we can embrace the unknown of how to live as a church in new ways into the future, having been touched by God’s love in community in the past being open to the new loves and blessings we have yet to meet.


This week we will ask ourselves, along with our neighbours all over the West Island and Laval:


-       How do we get from being the church we are to being the church we are called to be?

-       How does embracing change and continuing the journey honour those whom we have loved and shared with along the way?

-       What can we do to help one another through times of loss even as they lead to the promise of God’s future for us all?


As we find God’s steadfast-loving kindness together today and into tomorrow we will journey together with courage and compassion giving what we have to God’s purpose and mission in the world. Together let’s answer God’s call to love passionately, intentionally, and unabashedly in this journey with the courage, integrity, and steadfastness we find in the message of Christ and in one another.


Peace and hope,
Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                         January 19th, 2022


As we move through Epiphany this year we have been exploring the gifts that we receive and the gifts that we share in our faith journeys. On Epiphany Sunday we spoke about how sharing a gift can transform both the giver and the receiver. We spoke of water, literally, and the water of life that are shared as freely as God’s love. Last week we spoke of Gifts received of the Spirit – gifts such as speaking with wisdom, or with knowledge, having deep faith, the ability to recognize the Spirit’s presence, a prophetic voice, or abilities of healing. This week we will explore the our relationship with the gifts of creation and how we are called, inspired or drawn, to be those who speak God’s justice to the world, the ones whom the Spirit taps to do the work of living God’s love in the world.


As we continue to explore the gifts we experience by the Spirit, reflecting this week upon Luke 4:14-21 and the message of the one who came to put us into greater relationship with That Which Is Within And Beyond, let us ask ourselves some questions:


-       What are the gifts that the Spirit has shared with you?

-       What are the gifts of the Spirit that you have seen shared within Merging Waters and the world?

-       How can the Spirit support us in sharing our gifts freely?

-       What more can we do with our gifts to care for Creation and the oppressed?


I look forward to our explorations and reflections this week as we continue our journey together into Epiphany.

Peace and hope,
Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                     December 30th, 2021


You all remain in my prayers, and I lift gratitude for each of you as we face the challenge of renewed distancing and limits in response to the realities of the newest variant of COVID. It’s natural to feel blasé about New Years, this year because of diminished celebrations and being physically apart. Yet, we can still find hope and joy in community with one another – connected in our souls.


We can support one another in these difficult times; reaching out with emails, phone calls, and ZOOM/Skype calls to share encouragement, news, and love. If you know someone who lives alone or may be going through a hard time, I encourage you to reach out. And please feel free to continue to be in touch with me in these days. I have found our sharing of news and encouragement to be a wonderful way of sharing our lives together in faith and hope even in the toughest times.


I encourage us all to continue to spend time with God. Practice the ways that we find centring, maintain our relationship with the Divine, and help to engage in seeking deeper understanding. As we consider ways to touch our connection more deeply to that which is within and beyond, I encourage you each to take this time to reconnect with the source of love and find hope in the connection.


-       What are the spiritual practices that help you to connect with the Divine Spirit?

-       What role does gratitude - for creation, our lives, our community, the blessings we share and those we find within ourselves – play in our spiritual centring?

-       What role does gratitude play in finding hope, joy, peace? In sharing these?


This week we join with neighbouring West Island churches in finding joy together in our collective journey in this final Sunday of the Season of Christmas. In the new year our worship life will lift our gratitude for life’s blessings and how we can respond to God’s generosity.


I look forward to continuing our journey as a community; finding hope in our faith lives together into the new year filled with possibility, creativity, and promise.

Peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                     December 23rd, 2021


As we encounter these days of uncertainty and ongoing danger this Christmas, I have kept each of you in my heart and my prayers. I have been so grateful to hear from those of you who have reached out in letters, emails, and phone calls, or who have talked after church or when we see one another in the community. I have appreciated reading family Christmas newsletters and continuing to get to know you even in these times wherein we face challenge together. I have also enjoyed the cookies and kind words that members of Merging Waters have shared as we prepare to receive the Light of all Light into the world.


And so, as we come to the end of Advent and enter the Season of Christmas with an upsurge of cases due to the newest variant of COVID-19 we are once again looking toward an online Christmas. This can be disheartening, and we all miss one another when we are apart. And yet even in the darkest times we can find a light that leads us to hope. A hope that I find in this loving community of Merging Waters, that inspires in me hope for humanity. The love you all share. The commitment to justice. The care for creation. The resilience that you have all shown, each in your own ways, throughout these trying times. The longing that each of you have for togetherness in community as a church family when we are apart, and the joy and celebration of being together when we can be.


And so, with Tuesday being the winter solstice, the longest night and shortest day of the year, I was thinking about you all and the light that you are to one another, the community and to me. The light that reflects that which we have found in the Christ Child, and my soul is brightened. It’s not by chance that late December was chosen long ago as an ideal time to celebrate one of the best known of Christian messages: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it,” John 1:5.


This light that we share in our work and actions of love brightens the world, as we share the Divine light that is found in the message of Christmas. It is the message that God is working to turn the world to birth life made new, in each of us, in all of us. The poorest and the richest, the youngest and oldest - each one of us ministers of the light called to shine it forth to all the world in our actions love care and compassion, justice and joviality, renewal and respect for the dignity of all life. This is the Light of Life that shines in the world through you, through your work by the Spirit.


Christmas is God who comes to us! Christmas saves us, lifts us up, fills us, and frees us! During these uncertain times, I wish you the experience of light, life, and love!

Merry Christmas,

Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                     December 16th, 2021


As we approach the 4th Sunday of Advent, the Sunday of Love, we find ourselves once again in uncertain times. The Omicron variant is becoming a great concern, climate change is throwing wild weather and added danger back at us in the world, tragedy strikes near and far and we grieve with those who have lost loved ones and livelihoods to the brokenness of this world. And yet this week we hear a voice of one who would have been somewhat disadvantaged by her world, Mary, singing a song of hope and justice. This song has shaken the pillars of established power and calls into question all systems of oppression and exploitation. To this day it challenges all those who are privileged at the expense of another. And we are inspired by the words that the narrative credits to our sister Mary. As one who was not elite but certainly in a family respected in the community to find herself unmarried and single this young woman had the courage to accept God's love and let the Divine found in humanity - in the life of her child, the life of all - inspire her to dreams of justice and equity. The love she felt in her connection with that Divine spark lights in her a fire for justice for those who are even less advantaged than she.


In the face of all those who stand up for justice despite insurmountable odds, in the spirit of Luke 1:39–55, and seeing the events that happen in the world often at the hand of human agency, let us consider some questions:


●     What does the love you receive inspire in you?

○     In your actions?

●     How have you shared the love found in your journey of faith with others?

●     With messages from media, TV, and society telling us that it is in objects that we find Christmas, how do we ground ourselves in the true meaning of Christmas, in the love of the Divine found in humanity?

●     What love do we show others and ourselves when we forego immediate gratification and instead embrace actions that would lead to a more loving world for us all?


I look forward to continuing our Advent journey this week and into the New Year as we embrace God's ways of love.


Peace and love,

Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                     December 9th, 2021


May the joy of the season meet your spirits and those of your families in this time of Advent. As we continue to face times of uncertainty and pandemic, I encourage us all to be called back into our spiritual centre that is the source of all joy in the world. In times of stress, concern, and facing the unknown we can seek joy wherever possible even as we take precautions to care for ourselves and one another.


“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”
― Rumi


In this time of preparation for the birth of the Christ anew in our hearts and our actions lets take time to recentre ourselves in our spiritual practices. In this pursuit let us ask ourselves a few questions:

-       What are the Spiritual practices that centre you?

-       What prayer, meditation, mindfulness, work of justice and community, or nature encounter practices bring joy to your soul?

-       What activities and which people in your life bring you renewal and joy?

-       How often do you make space in your life for spiritual practices that bring you joy?


As we continue our Advent journey, I look forward to engaging in my favourite spiritual practice this Sunday morning, celebrating the blessing of our lives of faith together in worship.


Peace and joy

Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                     December 2nd, 2021


As we move toward the second Sunday in our Advent journey I lift up my prayers and hopes for each of you that the deep peace of the Christ, whom we await in the arrival of the Baby Jesus, will rest in your hearts and in your lives this week. Peace is a gift of God’s grace that we find within our relationships with the Divine Spirit, with one another and with the world.


As we find peace in the many ways that the Holy One-In-All reaches us we have the blessed privilege to respond in becoming peacemakers for others. We share our love in community and with the world, wishing one another peace - comforting one another in our times of need and supporting one another in our journeys of seeking and growth.


Our readings this week from Luke 1:68-79 and 3:1-6 remind us of our call to hear the voices of those on the margins, those placed on the outside, who have a liminal perspective to share with us. This week, Friday, Dec. 3rd, is The International Day of Persons With Disabilities. So often those who are living with disabilities are placed on the outside and left looking in to social and institutional structures, even churches. This week we are blessed by a message shared by our neighbour from another West Island Congregation his name is Gift Tshuma, one truly named appropriately, who has lived with disabilities his entire life and will bless us with a message of peace found by grace in relationship. 


As we prepare to open our hearts to the sharing of our neighbours and to the message of Peace this week let us ask ourselves three things:

Where have I found peace through grace shared in a relationship?

Where have I found myself sharing grace with others?

How do I open myself up to hear the grace present in the message/perspective of those on the margins?

I look forward to our continued journey this week as we seek understanding and grace as they bring peace to us and through us to the world.


Peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                     November 25th, 2021


This week we end the Church year and begin a new one with the first Sunday in the season of Advent. This is the Ecclesiastical New Year! We approach Christmas throughout Advent, a time of preparation, making ourselves and our community ready to truly welcome the message of the Christ into our hearts and our lives. Questions of endings and beginnings are on many of our minds and hearts this year perhaps even more than in the past.


With many changes that persist in our daily lives because of the pandemic, changes in the life of the church, and those life choices that are faced by individuals and families within the Merging Waters community, I continue to lift each of you in my prayers. Blessed by a community that supports one another, the blessings of your dedicated minister, and the ever-present love of the Spirit you know that you are not alone. As a community you share this awareness with others in the world as well, offering to all the world the very hope that we each seek.


In our journey this week let us ask ourselves three questions:

-       What is the hope that we seek in our lives together?

-       How have we found hope within our faith journey, in our seeking, together?

-       How can we as individuals and as a faith community, be the hope that we and others need in this world?


Let us continue to prepare to welcome the Christ into this world through our reflections and actions in this our Advent journey.


Peace and hope to your spirit!

Happy New Year,

Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                     November 18th, 2021


This week we will celebrate the final week of the season of Pentecost, when we lift that the Spirit is with us in our work and our lives. This is a fitting time to lift what we believe and to act upon these beliefs as a community. This is traditionally referred to as Reign of Christ or Christ the King Sunday because the message of hope, love, justice, and faithfulness that we find in the narrative of the Christ reigns in our hearts and actions. We celebrate that we are not ruled, not swayed, not motivated by despair, hate, privilege and indifference but rather the Spirit-filled message of the God of Love. So, we say that it is Christ who Reigns in our lives.


But this is pretty old language, isn’t it? Sure, Canada has a queen, but really what does this idea of a sovereign mean to us in our modern day? Is the Queen of England more influential in our lives, hearts, and deeds than the Queens on RuPaul’s Drag Race? Is she maybe even less influential in our popular culture and everyday life? For some of us these same questions can arise about Jesus – historical figure or literary tool personifying a message - the narrative presents the person of Jesus as one who is the embodiment of values, commitments, and beliefs that challenged the assumptions of life both 2000 years ago and those of today.


Individualism over collective life, self-interest over justice, the majority rule to the detriment of minorities, conformity over celebrating each person’s uniqueness, the exploitation of people and planet for monetary profits: these are modern precepts that oppose the message we find in our faith tradition, scriptures, and in a very specific way within this denomination. What we choose to prioritise will shape our choices. What message we allow to reign in our hearts and our actions both demonstrates our beliefs but also shape our world.


So, wrestle with the difficulty of the word King or sovereign all you need, it’s good to keep our minds sharp. But also remind yourself that this is a question of your own agency - in your mind, soul, spirit, and thoughts you have a choice. And pray on, reflect on, and allow yourselves to ask: What message do I choose to embrace in my actions? How will that help you to shape the world? How will it allow us all to help shape the world so that we say as a human family that all are loved, all are welcome, all are needed?

I look forward to our continued journey this week as we ask what messages we allow to have sway over our lives together


Peace and hope,
Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                     November 10th, 2021


Merging Waters has chosen this time as a season of Stewardship, which we continue this week and fits perfectly in the context of this time. How we choose to care for all that has come into our lives, indeed the world, through the blessings we find in one another and this planet we call home, fits right in. We have been exploring, in past weeks, Creation Time, focusing on the great blessings and wonder of this planet we call home and how we respond with gratitude in our actions to protect and nurture the natural world. Ahead of us is Advent when we not only choose to believe that Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love are possible, but rather we choose to participate in fulfilling these realities in the world. Stewardship is precisely these things, the choice to seize the opportunities before us to support and nurture that which nurtures and supports us.

In sustaining that which sustains us we allow a wonderous thing to happen. In supporting the people, programs, and community that sustain our lives of faith and loving relationships, we support the very same thing for others. In community we can do more, we can support more, on a wider scale, and we can do it together.


The reading that we will be engaging with this week, contributing our own stories and understandings to its message, is that of John 21:15-17. Jesus ask Peter to feed his sheep, to care for the people who are drawn to his message and nurture their growth and their faithful living. We have some questions that we can ask ourselves as we engage together:


-       When have I felt that my spiritual life was being nurtured?

-       What benefit has my participation in this community of faith brought to my life?

-       What would my life of faith be like without a community to support, challenge, and sustain its growth?

-       What can I do to support the community that supports my life of faith?

-       What can I do to help others have the opportunities that they need to grow in their faith-filled relationships?


I look forward to our worship this week as we continue to celebrate the lives we live together the community of Merging Waters lets keep asking our questions and seeking understanding together.


Peace and hope,
Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                     November 4th, 2021


This week we begin a season of Stewardship, looking to the commitment we are inspired to give to the things that nurture our spiritual growth. We show this commitment in many ways, as have countless others throughout our lives and the history of the Church. The great cloud of witnesses who have been and are the church, us included. People like you and me, around the world, throughout the last two millennia have found community and support in spiritual growth together. They valued the lives that this supported, the courage it engendered in themselves and one another, the love shared in the Sacred Presence found in relationship between and within each of them. In finding God, Christ, Spirit, and the Divine within us, as we seek together, we celebrate this in how we respond through commitment and love.


This week we will share in the stories of those who have been drawn to this life of dedication and faith together. We will reflect on the story of Jesus watching the wealthy and the widow from Mark 12:41-44 giving of themselves and their resources, in different ways and with varying levels of humility, to the faith community that supports and uplifts them. At the time of writing the Christian communities lived together in communal ways sharing everything. Some questions to consider, reflect and pray on:


·In what ways do the people in the Merging Waters family support your spiritual growth and faithful living?

·What does the support and growth that you receive from others in the Merging Waters family inspire you to commit to the community?

·Where else are you able to engage in spiritual growth?

·Where are you able to express your faith journey in deed and word, and acknowledge that openly? Is it at church? Is it outside of the church?

·How does this church and the wider church support your commitments as seekers?

·How has the commitment to peace/community/love in faith relate to the actions we take in conflict?


In this world our lives of faith need to be supported, by our commitment, our resources, our willingness to give and receive. Let’s explore and celebrate how we do this as we gather this week, and throughout our lives together.


Peace and hope,
Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                       October 28th, 2021


I’ve been away on study leave these past two weeks but you have not been far from my thoughts and my heart. Special thanks to the wonderful people who have taken the lead in worship and programming – with particular gratitude to the Outreach Committee and Lisa Byer-de Wever. Lisa has shared with me how pleased she was to be among the Merging Waters family last week.


This life that we nurture together with the help of the Spirit is vital and important. Faith communities like Merging Waters offer something to people that they cannot get in secular groups. Grounded in God, Christ, and Spirit we offer the opportunity to join in a community which seeks that which is beyond and within - we seek it together, hoping for understanding, finding it in relationships of love and compassion and living it out in justice and equity.


This week we celebrate All Saints Day. We will lift up the many gifts we have shared and commend to the keeping of the Sacred One-In-All those who have touched our lives and recommit ourselves to the life of being the Church.


Reflecting on All Saints Day I encourage us to pray on some questions:

-        Who has touched your life and inspired you as a member of the church?

-        How have you been guided by the Spirit’s presence in them?

-        How do we honour the Saints of the past and be the Saints of the church to future generations?


I look forward to our time together Sunday and our work of service and celebration, stewarding the church into the future, emboldened by the courage and love of the great cloud of witnesses to our lives of faith.


Peace and hope,
Rev. Ryan Fea


Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                           October 7th, 2021

As we approach Thanksgiving Sunday I lift up my gratitude for each and every one of you. This is a great week to focus on the people and things we love, those things that bring us joy. As we reflect on those things and people who brighten our lives we can ask ourselves a few questions:

-        Focus your attention on someone you love. Sit in the feeling that this elicits.

-        How long can you hold onto that moment of deep feeling?

-        What would you be willing to offer to help them in a time of need?

-        How much of yourself do you need to keep for yourself to be healthy?

-        If we can love another this much, be willing to do so much for one other, could we love any other this much? New connections? Strangers? Enemies?

-        How do we share this same love with ourselves?

I look forward to this coming Sunday morning when our journey will continue as we will lift up gratitude and grace together as we celebrate the blessings we share. I wish a Happy Thanksgiving to you all and your families.

Peace and thanksgiving,

Rev. Ryan Fea


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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                           Sept 30th,  2021

As we look toward World Communion Sunday coming up this weekend, we have an opportunity to ask ourselves what being in communion with the world means. Today is the First Annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The day honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process. This day being the same week as World Communion Sunday brings us to a point where we can ask ourselves some questions:

-       What can we do to lift up and support this important day in Canadian history?

-       If we are meant to be in communion, full spiritual community, with all the world how can our faith help us to embrace our neighbours no matter their faith?

-       The Divine in their wisdom has filled the world with diverse creatures, beings, and inspired at least as many perspectives on expressing our relationship with the Great Holy Spirit. What can we learn from this diverse and beautiful creation?

·         How are we called/inspired/drawn to live as followers of Christ who embraced and broke bread with all people?

·         How can the spiritual connection we share with all creation help us to heal the divisions of the past and be enriched by our interconnectedness?

This week in worship we will reflect upon the narrative of Genesis 2:18-24 and how the Holy-One-In-All acknowledges our need for one another and other living beings. As we celebrate the sacrament of Communion together with people from all around the world let us reflect on our connection to the global Christian community, as well as our interconnectedness with people of all faiths, those who claim no faith, and the living world of plants, animals, trees and rocks, water and wind.

As we seek to understand that all are connected, all are needed, all are sacred blessings to one another, I look forward to continuing our journey together.

Peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                           Sept 23rd,  2021


September 30th marks the very first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day which we will lift up on Sunday. We will reflect on the painful reality of residential schools and the blessing of hope we find in the opportunity to listen to our neighbours and to find healing together.


In the reading from Mark 9:38–50 that we will reflect on in worship this week Jesus acknowledges that the work of love and justice in the world, resisting hate and exploitation, is not the exclusive work of one group of people who call themselves his disciples. The narrative further calls upon us to let go of the things that hold us back from living lives of love and justice for all.


Some questions related to this passage:


-       What is it that keeps us from respecting and working in partnership with other congregations, denominations, faiths and cultures?

-       What keeps us from seeing ourselves as one with all people?

-       How do we rid ourselves of all that keeps us from considering others before ourselves?

-       In the times we become mislead, thinking our way is the “only” way, what is the result? Were residential schools one such time?

-       God is at work in the world, the world is changing, what do we need to let go of in order to embrace the Spirit’s work of love and justice in today’s world?

-       What is it that we can hold onto that keeps us faithful to Jesus’ message of peace, love, and service?


I look forward to seeing you all on Sunday as we seek to journey in love and peace with all people, reflecting on these and other questions. Sharing the road with all creation moving forward in faith.

Peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea


                                                           Please click this link for PDF version


Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                           Sept 16th,  2021

After a great experience of moving forward to include the Church’s building into our lives of worship and work this last week we are looking forward to the future with increased optimism. We have learned a few things and will worship online this week as we lift up the Season of Creation together.

We will be asked as we reflect upon Mark 9:30–37 to consider how we behave toward those who have less influence or status in our world. Children in first century Roman society had no status, no rights, and no voice. Jesus tells us that to welcome them, so those without status or power in the world, is to welcome him. Children still do not vote to decide or have a deciding voice in decisions made for the world they will have to live in. If Jesus is an example of the Divinity within all people and all creation, then we can ask ourselves some questions based on this passage:

-        How do we show our faithfulness, our commitment to God’s demand for justice and love, in how we treat those without power?

-        How does our society stand up to this question in how we treat immigrants? Racialized peoples? The LGBTQ2A+ community? The poor and the homeless? Children? Women’s rights?

-        Is there an implication of how we greet the Divine in future generations in how we treat the planet?

-        How does our choice of leaders in society, how we vote and hold people to account, show our commitment to uphold and be a blessing to all people, present and future, all creation?

I look forward to the journey this week as we continue to seek out the Sacred Presence in each one of us and all those whom we meet in people and in nature. Showing our welcome to all in all we do.

Peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                           Sept 9th,  2021

As many have said, we blinked and the summer was lived and gone before we knew it. If Labour Day weekend marks the end of the summer, with the return to school, end of summer holidays, and the cooling of weather many of us are wondering if we can hold a vote to extend it a few more weeks. But alas time moves ever onward, seasons change, pandemic and life evolve, and we are drawn forward in time ever onward.

In this time of endings and beginnings we find the emergence of new life once more. For the past 18 months Merging Waters has been living our lives of faith online and in the world. The Boards of Union and Merging Waters have decided that this Sunday September 12th, 2021 we will add in-person worship to this life. While our online worship and programs continue, we will be adding the option to worship in person as well. This is not going back to what was in the Before time, this is a moving forward into the new ways – embracing safety protocols as part of nurturing and caring for body and soul in our lives together.

As we look to the readings for this week we hear of the New Heaven and New Earth of Revelation 21:1-6; 22:1-5. In this reading we hear of the renewal of the world – making pure the waters, soil, and air – and the reconciliation of the Divine Spirit with all humanity. God’s great work of bringing into unity all life with the Divine and one another is brought into fruition.

-       What hope do we find for the future in these readings?

-       What part will we play in bringing about this new connected world?

-       Where is the promise in our participation? The comfort? The challenge?

-       How does The Sacre Presence In All help us to bring this about in the world?

I look forward to our shared journey as we seek out new ways and new perspectives together.

Peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                           Sept 2nd,  2021


The air is cooling after August’s heatwave and as September arrives the time to transition from summertime schedules and frames-of-mind is upon us. But not quite yet. We still have Labour Day Weekend. A time for many, if not all, of us to take time to rest, rejuvenate, and gird up for a change in schedule. A time where perhaps some don’t have to change schedules. Maybe you’re not going back to work or school. Maybe you never stopped.


-       Can we take time to rest?

-       Is rest all we need?

-       How is God, the Spirit, the Sacred Presence In All involved?


This week in worship we will be talking about the Sabbath – God’s instituting of the weekend. Embedded in the commandments found in the decalogue, in Deuteronomy, and lived out in the life and times of Jesus. But was it just a day off “because God said so,” a time off for the sake of itself or is there more to it? Jesus and the Pharisees argue about that.

A people freed from slavery are given the Ten Commandments. Half of these are about our relationship with God and half about our relationship with our neighbours. Seeking to understand themselves and live out God’s demand for justice a day of rest is commanded for all people, animals, fields – perhaps so that a freed people do not become as result oriented and production based as their once slave masters. So that they avoid enslaving themselves and others to working and wealth?

We find commandments in Deuteronomy for weekly, every seven days, rest for all, the fallowing of fields every 7 years, the forgiving - to release and free all people - of debts and the freeing of slaves every 7 years, and a complete wiping of the slate for all every 7 times 7 (49) years in the Year of Jubilee. Does this seem more than focused on having a day off and a going to worship? Is there a trust in the generosity of the Divine, of the world and in our response if gratitude in generosity to others? Does Jesus have a point in Matthew 12:1-13 that helping others – caring for the sick and the poor, feeding the hungry and clothing the naked – is a Sabbath action? Is the centre of the Word of God the grace of God?

Let’s continue to explore on Sunday and in our lives together.

Peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea


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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                           Aug 26th,  2021

This week we continue to worship with our neighbours as we lift up the United Church’s commitment to climate justice. How we choose to live out our commitment to live with respect in Creation. All places, things, all living beings have been created in love. How we treat creation shows our gratitude and love for ourselves and for the Divine in all.

As we celebrate the things we do as a denomination and as local church family to do our part as part of the Body of Christ to embody that love let us ask ourselves:

-          What have we done to nurture and sustain Creation even as it nurtures and sustains us?

-          What more can we do?

-          What do we need to call upon others in the church, community, government, and corporations to do in order to protect the beautiful mother who births and forms us?

-          What are we willing to give up of the wealth and comfort, that we have gained at the expense of the planet and of others, in order to live a just and Earth-nurturing life?

-          What is the relationship between our faith and how we treat the Earth and one another?

There are many ways that we can find promise even when the world is on fire, in our faith and in our lives. We will lift up the reality, the challenges, and the hope the we find in the Divine in all of us as we worship this week.

Peace, hope, and the grace of our Divine Mother be with you all,

Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                           Aug 18th,  2021


As I returned to office hours last week, I learned of some events in the lives of the community which joined in my understanding of the events in the news and they have all touched my heart. In a summer of great turbulence, we seek to celebrate whatever we can. This summer in our shared summer service series we have celebrated the gift that the United Church, our communities of faith here and around Canada have striven to be to the world. Lifting up our commitment to social justice, human rights, sexual and gender equity, and the environment we have been repeatedly reminded by events here and abroad that these commitments are still fervently needed.

In these days of mixed experiences - some of us are working, others on vacation, some people are doing well, others are deeply troubled, some of us are safe while others live in hazardous situations. Life moves us ever onward as we all find promise in vaccines and renewed concern in the 4th wave that has begun, we see reflected in it the ebb and flow of hope and challenge that is life.


As we continue to look toward our lives together, seeing beginnings and endings, ups and downs this week I invite you to take some time to find connection and renewal in doing three things:


1)    Reach out to someone who is in similar circumstances. Connect with someone in your life whose going through a similar set of circumstances. Reach out to someone you can relate to and connect with one another and find support and encouragement together. You can speak (use appropriate protocols), call, IM, or email them.

2)    Pray for someone who is in different circumstances than you. If you are older pray for a younger person who may be looking toward an unusual school year. If you're younger person pray for older folks perhaps people who are dealing with work weeks or looking at retirement. Taking a time to explore understanding and empathy for someone else in communion with the Divine in prayer.

3)    Sit with a piece of scripture you find comforting. Read a piece of scripture that has brought you reassurance, comfort, hope. A reading that has inspired you or brought you peace in the past. No need for deep study, we can do that at another time, simply allow yourself to sit in that time and embrace the feeling.


So, as we look forward to continue to share in worship with our neighbours let us find connection, prayer, and inspiration in these three actions this week.

Let's enjoy the journey together.


Peace and hope

Rev. Ryan Fea


                                                           Please click this link for PDF version


Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                           July 15th,  2021

Belonging - the sense that one is accepted, included, part of a group, safe, and supported. These are wonderful parts of community, and a beautiful part of the experience of church, family, and cultural identity that can promote growth, nurture, and peace. Feeling part of a beloved community can inspire us to want others to know its blessings, to know the joy and love of belonging. A flip side of the sense of community is the cohort mentality. The sense that identity cannot change or include others because belonging risks not being expanded or enhanced but lost. Exclusion, competition, defensiveness, and ego dominate cohort mentality.

The difference between cohort and community lives in our hearts, belief and thoughts, and can be seen in behaviour. The United Church, seeking to find ways to grow and celebrate being a Beloved Community, has continued to work on how well we live out that identity while struggling to resist cohort mentality. In our social action and self-awareness we challenge not only the world but ourselves and one another. We have asked ourselves many questions about who we are and how we live. This week in our worship we will lift up the continuing journey and commitment that the church has made two confront racism within our church and our society.

As we prepare to lift up this journey and the struggle and celebration that it will involve, we can ask ourselves some questions:

●     Why must arbitrary markers like the colour of skin influence how we treat one another?

●     If we are called/inspired/challenged by our faith to recognize God in all people, the presence of the Divine in all living beings, how can race, culture, sexuality, gender, religion, ethnicity, or ancestry limit how that presence is found?

●     If we find ourselves slipping into cohort mentality, how can we remind ourselves of the love that has been shared with us so that we can be motivated to share it with all others?

●     How can we continue to nurture the commitment within ourselves and one another to resist cohort mentality?

●     Have we seen cohort mentality, clinging to rigid identity that causes exclusion and draws boundaries between who can belong and who cannot, in our journey?

●     When we find ourselves and other members of the congregation, our neighbours and fellow members in the church drawing lines about who can belong to what congregation, what resources can be shared between us, where we draw the line on who belongs and who's inclusion is valid, how can the message of Jesus, the experience of the Spirit, and the presence of the Divine help us to act as a beloved community?

Seekers, I look forward to our continued journey of supporting and challenging one another into a world where the truth is known - that all are needed, all are loved.

Peace and hope

Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                           July  8th,  2021

This week’s worship service continues to lift up the faithful ways that the United Church of Canada has contributed to the social and cultural mosaic of Canada and the world in times of faithful living. This week we look at the church’s work toward gender equality and inclusion.

In 1918, women in Canada were granted the federal franchise. It would be another 10 years before the Famous Five won the Persons Case Victory, and it was not until 1940 that Quebec women won the right to vote in provincial elections. In 1960 First Nations were allowed to vote without giving up treaty rights. Thanks to the work of United Church Members like Nellie McClung, and Louise McKinney – the only woman to sign the Basis of Union in 1925 – and other Canadians the rights of women and all Canadians have be recognized and grown closer to where they are meant to be.

Amid this work the United Church was call/inspired, faithful to the message of love, equality, and inclusion of Jesus, the Rev. Dr. Lydia Emelie Gruchy felt the call to ministry. In answering her call, she became a teacher and then the first woman in Canada to graduate theological college, at the Presbyterian College in Saskatoon in 1920. She was also the first woman in Canada to earn a Doctorate of Divinity. And the good people of The United Church in Saskatchewan agreed that her call from the Divine to serve alongside the rest of the church was as valid as all those who hear the Spirit’s call to ministry. She was ordained in 1936.

The United Church continues to celebrate the ministry and leadership of women and gender inclusion throughout the church and our society. This time of celebration can help us to ask of ourselves:

-       What are the places in our lives and church where gender inclusion and equity have enhanced our understanding of God’s love for all people?

-       Seeing the benefits and blessings we experience through learning from one another, with all we’ve gained by expanding inclusion to gender equity, what other kinds of inclusion can enhance our faithful expressions of love?

-       The church and society have found that respecting the rights and contribution of women has been a great blessing: how can we continue to lift up and enhance the status of women in the world?

-       Where is there still work to be done to ensure full gender equity in the UCC? In Canada? In the World?

o   What can we contribute to this on-going journey?

I look forward to our time of celebration together this week as we embrace the struggle and the achievements in gender equality and its many dividends now and into the future.  

Peace and hope

Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                           June 30th,  2021

As we approach Canada Day, tomorrow, we are also beginning this Sunday the Combined services with our United Church neighbours on and around the West Island and GMA. Our series this summer will be looking to lifting up the ways that the United Church of Canada lives out our faith in justice and inclusion.

This week we will be looking toward work in international justice with specific attention to global mining issues. The United Church of Canada has a specific page that discusses how mining impacts people around the world as well as the environment – Mining Resources and Extraction. 75% of the world’s mining companies are Canadian and in recent years many of these companies have been accused of practices and policies that damage both the Earth and the people in many nations. The Beaconsfield Initiative started by Beaconsfield United has offered first hand eyewitness to the behaviour of the Canadian Mining Industry in the Philippines. The reality of Canadians profiting off of the violation of human rights and wanton destruction of the Earth brings us many questions as Christians, let us ask ourselves some:

-       On June 13th we heard of the universality of our actions. Injuring others, is injury to the Divine, while caring for others is showing care for the Divine, (Matthew 25:40-46).

o   If Christ called upon those who follow his message to stand up for and stand with the oppressed how do we do this today?

-       What other actions are needed to reflect our care for all creation in how we respond to actions that destroy precious biodiversity and assault human dignity?

-       If we learn that Canadian corporations or individuals are committing atrocities around the world in the name of profit what are we as Canadians and as people of faith inspired, motivated, called, or even responsible to do in response?

-       What is the blessing here? Do we have a chance to be of help to all those in this situation?

o   In what ways can we be the dreamers/imagineers who help others find ways that lead to healing from past hurts and perhaps newer practices of commerce and even resource utilisation and extraction that are less damaging?

Asking the big questions together, while lifting up the ways that we as people of faith are already striving to make the world a better place for all, is how we will journey this summer. Let’s celebrate together and individually.

Peace and hope

Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                           June 23rd,  2021

This week is Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day (tomorrow in fact) and the Ecumenical Service. Like John the Baptist so many of us have felt like we were out in the desert for the past year and a half calling out for change and seeking spiritual renewal. Some of us wandered alone, some have been in this desert time together like the Ancient Israelites searching for spiritual nourishment and renewal, seeking our home. For so many of us it has been a hard time but also a time out of time. As a community some of us have found different kinds of nourishment and connection in the online activities and worships we were able to accomplish together.

The theme of this week's service is Streams In The Desert wherein we will explore the opportunity for respite, inspiration, and connection through faith - being nourished by the waters of life. Alone or together, we have all had a journey in the desert of life and in ways big and small we have all found some kind of change, renewal, challenge, and promise. Stories we hope to be able to share in the coming months as we journey in the new normal that we will find together. Looking at the readings from Isaiah 35:1-7 we can ask ourselves some questions:

-       Either during the pandemic or in the time before, when have you felt like you were in a spiritual desert, in need of spiritual nourishment?

-       When have you found the waters of life, the life-giving presence of the spirit, in your life?

-       Has this been in times of trouble or when times were good?

-       How can we share the waters of life, the spiritual nourishment of the Divine presence with one another? With our neighbours? With people near and far?

I look forward to our shared worship with ecumenical neighbours and to hearing your individual and collective stories from the journey.

Peace and hope

Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                           June 17th, 2021

This week we're lifting up our great joy and thanksgiving for the life and work of Merging Waters. This will be a celebration of our collective ministry with gratitude being lifted up for the faith community of Merging Waters and special appreciation lifted up for the Ministry of Music that Pierre has shared with us in his time as staff. Pierre has let the Boards know that he will be retiring at the end of June from his staff position, but he will be remaining with us in community as Merging Waters is his home faith community - so we have much to celebrate.

As we lift up our thanksgiving and gratitude for our life of faith we will share in music and word, reflection and thanksgiving through a Service of music woven together with A Song Of Faith, one of the beautifully composed and deeply thoughtful Creedal Statements of the United Church of Canada. This beautiful theological statement published in 2006 that is both contemporary and moving can move us to ask ourselves many things but this week let us reflect on the following:

●     Where is it that you experience connection with the Divine/Spirit/God/That which is Within-and-Beyond/the Holy One-In-All in your life?

●     When have you experienced this within the Merging Waters community?

●     How does this experience enrich your life?

●     What can you do, individually and together, to help the Merging Waters family provide one another and those in the wider community and world the opportunity to experience this spiritual connection as well?

I am so pleased to be able to lift up our gratitude this week for the work of the church and in particular for Pierre having shared his many gifts with us in his time with the Union and Merging Waters Ministry of Music. My own gratitude for his inspiration, support, and insights cannot be overstated. I join you in lifting up gratitude for our lives of faith, the wonderful work of mission, outreach, and worship that we all share and how these are enriched and inspired as we sing out our song of faith together.

I look forward to celebrating the journey as we continue it this week and into the future.

Peace and hope

Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                           June 10th, 2021

Today is the 96th Anniversary of Union of the United Church of Canada, a day that we can lift up the journey of a young church seeking the way to enlightenment, hope, and love in the world. Born from the dream of bringing many together as one we have progressively discovered the beauty of diversity within unity: a work in progress.

This week in worship we will lift up the anniversary of Church Union as we engage John 17:20-26 and Romans 15:1-13. By encouraging us to be unified in love for one another, expressed in self-giving service to the needs of others, these passages inspire us to ask ourselves some questions:

-       If the nature of the Divine is that of self-giving relationship, are we encouraged to see the sacred nature of diversity within our togetherness?

-       How does service to those most in need bring fulfillment to our lives?

-       How do we express this challenge to be of service to others as a faith community on a local, national, and global basis?

-       How do these messages of service, togetherness, and the sanctity of loving ourselves and others inform our journey today?

-       What can hold us back from a commitment to service to others or celebration of diversity? What can we do to help one another in overcoming these roadblocks?

I look forward to lifting up the beauty and challenge of diversity in unity as we celebrate the journey together in worship this week and throughout our lives in the future.
Happy Birthday United Church!!

Peace and hope

Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                           June 3rd, 2021

As we lift up the beginning of International Pride Month, we join with a global movement to support human rights and acknowledge the specific need to heal the brokenness within society caused by discrimination, marginalisation, and hate based one sexual orientation and gender identity. In our worship this week we will explore a story by Rabbi Marc Gellman that is based on Genesis 8:1-12 and 9:8-17. In the Biblical narrative we see that the rainbow is a symbol of peace and reconciliation between all of humanity and the Divine, and of new beginnings for all after a time of great suffering.

The Rainbow is a symbol of hope after the storms of oppression, pain, and loss within the 2S & LGBTQAI+ community. It is also a symbol of creation, re-creation, and hope for varied faith traditions today and at many points in history as well as for all people during the current pandemic. If the Divine seeks out not only peace but calls us to find ways to be at peace with ourselves, one another, and Creation we can ask ourselves:

-       If going “back to normal” would include society returning to practices that are hurtful to the planet and humans, what can we do to create a more loving “New Normal,” when we are able to be back in-person?

-       What are the new beginnings, the creative ways open to the Spirit’s call, that we can imagine as we seek out hope for the future?

-       If all the world is our sacred home, how can we live this as a faith community?

-       What actions and awareness can we choose to integrate into our lives that will create a more just and peaceful place for marginalised people in our society?

As we continue this journey of faith together, a road that is at times bumpy, I am grateful to travel with the community of Merging Waters. A community that honours our past experiences through an openness to creative response to our call to be community in new ways. I look forward to our time together this week and into the future.

Peace and hope

Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                           May 27th, 2021

I hope that this message finds you well, even in these times of continued uncertainty and frequent change I lift up prayers daily that there are silver linings that we can each find in the clouds of our lives.

We continue to explore together the inspiration we receive from the Spirit that touches our souls and motivates our lives of faith and community. This month we have been exploring questions integral to our deliberations, reflections, and actions of moving ever forward into the future. These reflections and questions are intended to help us articulate our Spiritual centre, the theological grounding, the core values we find in our faithful connection with the Divine that inform our actions and will help us to remain focused and resolute in our commitment to those things that are most important as we face decisions as a community.

This month we have been asked to reflect on our own personal encounters with the Divine and ask ourselves some questions:

-       What kind of experience have you had with the Divine in your experiences of scripture, the living Spirit in the world, and your relationships?

             - What are the traits of the God, Divinity, Spirit that you have met in your life?

-       What traits does this experience inspire in your way of living in response?

             - What are you called to be, what traits does this inspire?

             - What is the community of faith called to be like in our life and work?

-       In this being that is grounded in the call of the Holy One-In-All, that is inspired by or a reflection of your experience of the Spirit in the World and your life:

            - What does this being call/inspire/motivate you to do?

            - How will you act in response?

            - In responding together what corporate actions are we going to take as a community?

We continue the exploration of these and other questions along side our neighbours this week in our time of Worship, the Church Café, and in ongoing explorations of our lives together. Please continue to actively reflect on these questions. And as always you are welcome to get in touch with me and members of the community to share in discussions.

Peace and hope
Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                           May 20th, 2021

This week we celebrate the Pentecost. The moment when Jesus tells of the grace of the Paraclete, the presence of the Spirit in our lives. We here in this week's reading from John 15:26-27; 16:4-15 that the spirit is to be a companion, a partner in work – a friend and supporter who loves, inspires, and encourages us just as Jesus did his first disciples. Calling us into relationship with the Divine.

Exploring the role of the Spirit in our lives we hear of one who is love alive in the world, and in us, who calls, inspires us to be a people of faith, in relationship with the Divine, the Sacred One-In-All, that which is within and beyond. This passage brings questions for us to reflect upon:

-       When have you felt the presence of the Spirit in your life?

-       In what ways has the Divine presence been a shelter, challenge, and support to you?

-       What is the Holy Spirit saying to the churches through our various sources of inspiration?

-       What are we called, motivated, inspired to do in expression of this relationship?

Let’s continue to seek inspiration. As we embrace the presence of the Spirit, encouraging our lives and work, and lighting the way for our journey, I look forward to our time together this week.

Peace and hope
Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                           May 13th, 2021

This week has been one already quite filled with the work of the Boards, and I encourage everyone to join me in keeping them in our prayers. The Boards take on the discernment and visioning, and the responsibility of maintaining the life and work of the congregation in work together with committees and with the staff. This work is always one that is done with wisdom and dedication and has required a great deal of reflection, research, and even more work than usual. There are important decisions that are being made on your behalf and the three boards of Merging Waters, Beaurepaire United, and Union Church feel the weight of it. Let us lift up our gratitude for this very-much ongoing and active work in new and old ways and give our support, insights, and encouragement to the boards. If you’re not on the board find out who is – they are listed on the church website - Please, lift them up in your prayers, supporting them as they faithfully continue to keep the missional work and relationships of Merging Waters alive in these trying times.

This week in our worship together we will explore the message of John 17:6-19. The narrative is a time when Jesus prepares to call those who follow his message to the work and life of ever forming and reforming the church – the body of Christ - in the world. This passage that is an example of Jesus in prayer wherein he asks that the Divine dream of the world be fulfilled in those of us who continue the work of the church and that the joy of the Divine relationship be fulfilled among and within us. That our faith found through Jesus will fulfill the hope of a world filled with love, justice, and peace and that in this faith-filled relationship we will find joy!

In hopes that it will bring us closer to that joy in these times wherein we could all use a little more I ask us to reflect on these questions:

-       What/who is there in your life right now that currently brings you joy?

-       What are the ways that your relationship with the Divine is expressed in this?

-       In the moment of reflecting upon that experience/relationship how long can you hold this joy in your heart? 

o   Try to sit with that joy, focus on and experience it. Give yourself permission to stay with that joy. Then answer to yourself how long.

-       What else do you feel in response to this? Gratitude? Peace? Curiosity? Hope?

I look forward to seeking out the fullness of joy in our sacred relationships this Sunday and in the future of our journey together.

Peace and hope
Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                           May 6th, 2021

I start out by wishing a Happy Mothers’ Day this week to all who are mothers to others in the world. All who have by birth, adoption, friendship, and community nurtured and caringly challenged others to grow in life to actions that are just and loving. Your gifts to us all, whoever you are, have helped us all to grown in that thing that is all from the Divine – love. Whether we knew it or not, whether we say it or not, you have shaped us and the world. May God’s blessings and love be upon you.

As we continue our journey this week, we look to celebrate Christian Family Sunday, a tradition within the United Church that seeks to honour and expand on the blessings of family in its many forms. While Sunday is Mothers’ Day, a day we honour and celebrate with joy, Christian Family Sunday seeks to embrace the message found in Luke 8:19-21 that calls us to remember that family is a blessing that comes in many forms. Jesus doesn’t reject his mother and brothers but expands his family to include the beloved community who embrace one another and the message of justice and love through their work and living together.

This passage can bring us some questions that we can reflect on in the joy of this wonderful day:

-       If the definition of family is wider than those with whom we are blood-related then what are the limits of whom we call family?

- If sharing in a life of faith that actively works, in community, to awaken God’s dream for us in the world is what makes a family; are everyone who worship and work together within the Merging Waters community a family?

     o   Are all those who work to awaken God’s dream on the West Island?  In Canada? On Earth?

- Doesn’t this passage call our families of origin and our families of choice both wonderful blessings within the beloved community, a sacred family who love the world?

- Who has been a nurturing/challenging presence in your life who helped you to grow? Your birth/adoptive mother? A grandmother? Aunt? Teacher? Friends? Others within the church? Our Mother the Earth? Have there been nurturing men in your life too?

- How best do we celebrate the ways that they have blessed our lives?

Siblings, I look forward to lifting up our joy and celebration of the family we find together here and in the world this week and as our journey together continues.

Peace and hope
Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                           April 29th, 2021

It’s nice to be back from my time of leave and to hear from you about all that has been going on during this time. I have continued to hold you all in my prayers and enjoyed a time of renewal as well as reflection and study. I’m looking forward to the coming time.

We continue our journey this week, that of walking the road of Eastertide and living in solidarity with the world. Indeed in our reading this week we are called by John 15:9-17 and 1 John 4:7-21 to do just that by sharing the love that we have experienced through our relationships found in the message of Jesus. We are called up to love one another and all the world in example that Jesus gave us. We are not asked to be Jesus but we are asked to walk with him by this example of how to live with others. Called upon to accept that we are loved and to be inspired to share that love unabashedly with all others.

These passages are lovely, no pun intended, in their poetry but have a quite serious tone about them in that they challenge the norms of the world and ask us to question some presuppositions about life, society, and faithful living within the world. Feeling loved and comforted is one thing, sharing this love with all others is often seen as something separate. Some questions that may help in reflecting upon these passages:

-       Do you feel God’s love for you?

-       Where/when do you feel this love?

-       What are the ways that you feel called to express this love?

-       We are called/challenged/expected by these passages to be inspired by the message of Jesus to show love to all others:

                 ●  Do we?

                 ●  In what ways?

                 ●  How/When/Where?

                 ●  How often?

I look forward to our time together this week as we seek deeper understanding to embrace the comforting and challenging Love of the Sacred Presence.

Peace and hope,
Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                           April 8th, 2021

We’ve started our year two of the COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic hasn’t stopped us from having the capacity to participate in spiritual practices or to support the relationships and work of the community through fundraisers, political and social action, and environmental justice. Things have been different and often difficult but we continue to live as a community whose love and passion is not defeated by distance.

We have all shown ingenuity and creativity throughout the past year in our journey of faith together. The membership have shown commitment to participate in the life of the church, and the staff, board, and committees continue the hard at work keeping the administration and visioning of the congregation going. I lift up daily my thanksgiving for the commitment to living the Spirit of Resurrection in the world that continues to be shown through all of our lives here at Merging Waters. Showing our care and concern for all people through caution and common sense in the face of a highly contagious virus and its new variants, an example how Christ is present in times of fear, doubt, and absence.

This week we will be reflecting on the words of Acts 4:32-35 that remind us of what we can do together when we embrace resurrection living. And while it speaks of some things that we would be challenged to do safely right now, since togetherness must remain online, by phone, and at a distance for the foreseeable future, it tells us of the possibilities when we share our resources. With a community mindset giving new life to the world means bringing down class divides and making sure that everyone has what they need.

This passage asks the very important question:
“How do we embrace resurrection living if all are needed and all are one?”

We will welcome this Sunday in our worship live on ZOOM Anwar Alhjooj, Montreal City Mission Intercultural Coordinator and Assistant Director. MCM are our partners in ministry in the United Church of Canada who advocate for and support the great need of immigrants and refugees in Montreal. We look forward to getting to know Anwar and to hear more about how the work of MCM has continued throughout the pandemic and how we can continue to support this important Ministry.

I look forward to seeing you all this Sunday.

Peace and grace,

Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                        March 30th, 2021

This Holy Week we walk a path toward the cross and this Sunday we are met by the empty tomb. We are asked to explore reconciliation with ourselves, one another, and the Divine in Lent and in particular Holy week. Seeking to confront the ways that are broken in our lives, society, and faith, so that we can find healing and discover new life in the experience of resurrection living. I encourage you all not to miss the journey through Holy Week, something I am well aware you can handle – not afraid to confront the things that are broken Merging Waters is a community capable of facing this journey.

Indeed Sunday, by the journey through doubt and fear in the narrative of the story of Jesus’ ministry, confrontation with oppressive power, and crucifixion, we will come to our reading of Mark 16:1-8. An empty tomb, found by the courageous ones who were willing to venture there, left with an open ending. God had broken all of our expectations and confounded our fears with hope and wonderment, yet the end, whatever end we hoped for is unwritten, uncertain. The Spirit of Love is let loose in the world, neither deterred or limited by our boundaries or rules, even the cycle of life and death is broken.

-       If God is loose in the world, what are you being called to be and do?

-       How will you express your resurrection living this year?

-       What is the Spirit saying to the churches?

-       What is the hope we find in Jesus inspiring you to do in the world?

-       What vision will we live out, letting that which is spiritually dead become resurrected into new life and new ways, as Merging Waters?

Looking forward to our journey this week and into the future.

Peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                        March 25th, 2021

This week our Lenten Journey travels the road into Jerusalem alongside Jesus as we engage in dialogue with Mark 11:1-11. We see Jesus, coming in symbolic expressions of both humility and defiance. While his defiance stood against the oppression of the poor and marginalized, telling truth to power, the humility shown by Jesus was also defiant. The people celebrated his arrival and cried out to him for help. They expected a violent overthrowing of empire, what they got was the promise that love was the only true way to achieve the peace that was sought. A peace that we have yet to find in a world ruled by love because we have not accomplished it. Jesus believed that a world at peace and in love, love and abundant life for all was possible and that there were no excuses to accept anything else. He was willing to face the violence of the Roman empire and the betrayal of the same people who cheered him on, even that of his friends and family, to show us how to make the world the paradise that is God's dream for us. He was willing to suffer rejection, persecution, and execution to stand up for love.

This passage, and the story of our Biblical narrative poses uncomfortable questions for us in our modern context:

-       What does it take for humans to live for love instead of for fear, to see a call to change as opportunity as opposed to loss?

-       What would you be willing to let go of to see a world without war, discrimination, hunger, and poverty?

-       What will it take for us to realise that we can change systems that keep us from living with respect in creation for this Earth and for all who live here, because these systems were made by us humans?

-       How can we show our trust that the Spirit is alive and well in the world and that we can express her call to us faithfully?

-       What are we willing to let go of?

-       Thinking that being right is more important than doing right?

-       Traditions that comfort some but hurt many others?

-       Ways of living that harm the Earth and disadvantage specific people?

-       What is the best way to celebrate the gift that we have in the ability to choose?

It's a journey that challenges and enlivens us, I look forward to continuing it this week with you all.

Peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                        March 18th, 2021

As the weather warms melting snow reveals that life has continued in the ebb and flow of the tranquility of winter toward the glorious eruption of colour, sounds, and activity of Spring. In our Lenten journey we have been reminded of the need for social and climate justice. We continue this journey this week as we are called into ever-renewing covenant with the Lover of The Universe as we read the words of Jeremiah 31:31-34. We are reminded that our human journeys are no exception to nature’s ebb and flow, with the constant cycle of change, adaptation, rest, movement, and change once more that we experience to varying degrees as we travel the road of life.

In this time of seeking let us ask ourselves some questions about this encounter with the Divine:

-       When have you been inspired by an encounter with nature?

o   How was God present for you in that moment?

-       What are we doing that furthers the goal to lift up the divinity found in nature?

-       As our understanding of the interconnectedness of life deepens in this world how can we deepen our response to the call to live with respect in creation?

-       How can we relate our commitment to creation with our commitment to lives of faith?

-       How to we communicate these commitments to others in ways that open up dialogue and understanding?

We will continue to engage the scriptures in our Lenten journey together this week and well into the future as seekers of the call to life in faith.

Looking forward to seeing you all Sunday

Rev. Ryan Fea


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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                        March 11th, 2021

This week we are celebrating United Church Affirming Sunday and reading in
Numbers 21:4-9 and John 3:14-21 that as a beloved people of God we are called to look at places of fear, illness, and injury in order to allow for healing. This can be a real challenge, yet if injury and illness is ignored it is never tended to. Looking at the world today we know, having lived a full year with the iniquities of the world exposed by the pandemic, engaged with the struggles and accomplishments of racialised communities, and International Women’s Day, and as a community aware and sensitive to many issues, we know that there is much brokenness and pain in the world, in our community, and within each of us.

We’re a well informed and aware group, reminded as we are by these passages that healing, and so movement toward a more just and loving world, involves a commitment to look at the broken places, the places of dis-ease and injury, we can hear some questions in ourselves and the community: 

-       When was the last time you heard updated statistics on the disadvantages placed upon 2LGBTQ+ peoples?

-       What daily efforts do we make that are Public, Intentional, and Explicit to welcome members of oppressed minorities into the faith community?

-       Where is the Spirit calling us to be in the struggle against oppression in our society?

o   Are we there?

o   How do we get there?

-       What will we do to continue our commitment to be informed, aware, and active in continuing to fulfill this call?

-       How have we participated in and struggled against systems of society, institution, and norms that have hurt others?

-       When have we helped our community and world in facing these issues?

-       How can our own faith journey help us to lament past injuries in loving ways and to aid us and others in healing together?

Our shared journey continues as we face the pains of the world, seeking the Spirit’s accompaniment in moving from injury into renewal, oppression into abundant life, and broken hearts into joy.

Peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                        March 4th, 2021

We continue to engage the Lenten Journey. Our Lenten Discipline of the ECOfast includes engagement with actions that can be taken in daily living to live with respect for creation but also includes awareness raising and engagement with issues of climate and social justice. This is meant to further sensitize us to the issues and facts, and to remind us of how our collective attitudes, ways of thinking, are inter-related.

Monday March 8th is International Women’s Day. We will lift up the journey, struggle and triumph, of women in our world as a family of faith. Looking not only at the past but at the reality that we live as a human family with continued and recently increasing violence against women here in Canada and around the world. The reading from 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 challenges us to question earthly wisdom, which often pits one against the other, calling us to embrace God’s wisdom of love. This can encourage us to look at how human society works and ask some questions:

-       If the status of women in our world is a result of worldly wisdom how can we not prefer God’s wisdom in the call to justice, equality, and equity for all – peace with all living beings?

-       If the norms of a species are detrimental to many or all of its members can they be taken as wise?

-       Is “this is how we’ve always done things” an explanation that we as a faith community are called to accept?

-       How can we as a church, as a society, as a species, be open to the insights of the prophetic voices throughout history that tell us that there are more loving, more just ways to be?

-       If the Holy One calls us to stand with those who are being hurt or oppressed how can we faithfully stand with and for women in Canada and around the world?

I look forward to engaging these and others questions in our worship and journey.

Peace and hope,
Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                   February 25, 2021

This week continues to remind us of the precious and those with whom we share it are gifts. I continue to lift up in my prayers the entire pastoral charge and in particular those of you who are dealing with particular periods of loss and pain. We life in hope and wish the best for all but we also know that we are a people who will deal with whatever comes our way in love. As a family of faith we are lifting our prayers for healing and peace supporting one another even as we continue to call for justice and peace in the wider world. I encourage us all to take each moment that comes to show that we appreciate others as best we can, whenever we can. And do what you can to take time for yourself, renewal and self-care are so important these days and helps us to better care for others. We do so with the Sacred Spirit alive and present with us in our lives and in the world.

As a people of faith we continue to be called to live life abundantly and to empower others in doing so as well. In honouring Black History Month in this week’s Worship celebration we will engage through song and word the struggle and blessing of our siblings in humanity within the Black community here in Canada and in the world. In this exploration and in the reading for the week from James 2:1–10, 14–17 we will be asked to reflect on some questions such as:

-       How does our society treat minorities?

-       How do we as a church engage this social dynamic in our faith community?

-       If society treats people minorities differently how does our life of faith call us to respond?

-       If someone who was completely different from you shows up for church how are you prepared to welcome them?

-       Does this differ from how you are prepared to welcome someone with whom you have much in common?

-       What can we do to ensure we are prepared to welcome people who are alienated by the rest of society?

-       What can we do as a community to help society share our commitment to welcome and inclusion of people who are marginalised?

I look forward to lifting up the struggle and journey of our neighbours and continuing our commitment to being a welcoming community this week and into the future.

Peace and hope,
Rev. Ryan Fea

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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                   February 18th, 2021

It's great to return from leave and see so many of you this week in our life and work together. It has been so nice to see everyone online at the Shrove Tuesday event, the Ash Wednesday Service, in board meetings, and gatherings for our Lenten Journey with the ECOfast and Lenten Imaginings. It is a very different experience than prior years and yet as we ZOOM into this time of Lent we can still engage in preparation and reflection as we journey toward Easter.

Looking at this week's reading from Genesis 9:8-17 we are given a  glimpse of the rainbow after the storm. The peace we find there, with a promise that The Holy One is at peace with all living beings, is a beautiful image even as it reminds us of the conflict that precedes it.

The Rainbow in the sky as rain ends is a reminder of the covenant, the promise, that we, all living beings, are the focus of God's Steadfast-Loving-Kindness, and yet is the need for a reminder important? In engaging this question more deeply we may want to ask ourselves:

-       What was it that gave us the sense of being in conflict with the Divine to begin with?

-       Was the conflict in this story really with God or were humans seeking to understand the spiritual aspects of suffering in life or the things we do to each other and the planet?

-       Does this covenant of love call us to love the world, ourselves, and others more deeply?

-       Does it let us off easy when we fall short?

-       Where are we called to share this love in the world?

-       Where does humanity need to build its own rainbows of peace? With one another, ourselves, the environment?

I look forward to exploring the journey together throughout Lent as we gather insights into expressing our relationship with the divine and all the world.

Peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea


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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                   January 28th, 2021

This week has been one of creativity and visioning, the Merging Waters Board and many committees have been hard at work. We are seeking to put this time of change, where things are shaken up, to work and explore different ways of being the church. There has been much creativity in fundraisers, worship, and programs which continue to inspire some upcoming events that I hope you will all keep and eye out for on the website and midweek message.

As I have lifted the community in my prayers for hope and support, I continue to lift up prayers of thanksgiving for each of you bringing your particular personality, inspiration, and gifts to our life as a community of faith. There have been troubles and challenges during this pandemic but you have risen to meet them with faithful and loving community. We have faced the reality of limits with honest feelings leading to acceptance, and met with passion the call to continue our work as a people who celebrate togetherness. The Spirit is alive in the life of Merging Waters which we are showing is not put to an end by challenge but rather inspired to find and encourage life abundantly lived.

This week Merging Waters will share our commitment to vision and answering the call to be faithful community at all times as we host the Combined West Island United Churches in Worship. We will be reminded by engaging the readings this week, 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 and Mark 1:14-20, of our call to discipleship and hope of renewal found in the message that is shared in the life of Jesus.

As we move, not only toward this week’s service but also into the future of the church, let us look at ourselves, our congregations, journey of faith, wider community and world continuing to ask:

-       Who are we?

I look forward to answering this and other questions in our continued journey, as we embrace the ways that these answers will inform our decisions and actions.

Lifting prayers of peace and courage for each one of you,

Rev. Ryan Fea,


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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                     January 21st, 2021

We are in a week that has held historic events for our neighbours in the world. This week continues to be a time when we all struggle with the realities of a pandemic. We live in a time when the world faces climate change, economic ups and downs, and we all face the challenges and blessings of our daily lives. I continue to lift you all up in my prayers of hope and continue to see this family of faith holding one another in our hearts as we journey together.

The journey of faith as we travel the road of life together and as individuals has many hills and plateaus, and can often throw us curves when we least expect them. In our readings from this week’s lectionary, we will engage the story of Jonah. His journey has brought him to a place where he is called upon by the Holy One to bring a message to his greatest enemy. A message that will save his enemies from calamity, these are people who have brought pain and anguish to countless peoples in the world including his own. 

His story of resisting the forgiveness of enemies, even as God can love those who hurt or betray us, brings up some hard questions for ourselves:

-       Can we learn to forgive those who hurt us?

         o   How important is this to a process of healing?

         o   Is it sometimes beyond us to forgive others and ourselves?

-       When can the Divine help us to heal by forgiving us all when we cannot do it on our own?

-       Can we help others to find forgiveness in time when healing is needed for all to move forward?

As we seek to journey forward in times that are demanding and promising I am grateful that we travel this road together.

Peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea,


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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                     January 14th, 2021

As we continue in these times of challenge and of promise, I have been holding the community in my prayers. Lifting up hopes for each one of you, that you will know you are not alone. As we journey even in hard times, maybe especially at hard times, we can feel a call to ask ourselves who we are and how we express this to the world. As seekers on this journey, we look to be found and to find the Divine as well as one another on the road of life.

This week's readings, 1 Samuel 3: 1-10 and John 1: 43-51, remind as of being sought, seen, and found but also of seeing and finding. Called, inspired, or drawn, into lives of faith through the encounter with the Holy One In All we can reflect on these passages in asking ourselves some questions:

-       Where have I felt that the Divine has called me into relationship?

-       Where have I found the Sacred in my relationships with others?

-       When have I felt like I have been truly seen by God? By others?

-       When have I felt that I have seen others through the eyes of the Spirit?

-       How do we show this finding in our choices and our actions?

I look forward to continuing to engage with the scriptures together this Sunday as we expand upon how we are called.

Peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea,


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Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                     January 7th, 2021

I would like to start this first message of 2021 with gratitude: Many thanks to all of you who sent emails, texts, and cards so full of warmth and love to Luke and I this season. They have warmed our hearts and our home. Thank you to those who shared Christmas treats with us. It was so kind and so fun to get a text message here and there telling us that something was dropped off for us to enjoy. You did it safely and lovingly and, while our waistlines might not, we thank you for that. This has been a year where we all needed reminders of love and support to get by and we have all shared those together.

Another thank you is one for us all. I am so grateful that despite a pandemic, even, as we have lamented our time apart, missing the physical presence that has brought us joy we have worked with what we’ve got to be the best we can be. We have had a sense of privilege challenged we were reminded by a virus that we are all connected and none of us made immune by position, wealth, faith, or commitment. We have been reminded of the inequities in our health and care systems, and in the unjust treatment of racialized peoples. What we have done in response however, has shown who we are.

The work of Outreach, pastoral care, education, yoga, administration, and worship in showing our love for the Divine in all has continued despite the need for additional steps, physical distance, and the learning of new technologies. Our online discussions, Zoom Worships, and activities like the Twelve Days BEFORE Christmas allow us to continue to bring joy and community to so many. We have continued to lift up our song of faith in different ways and while they were not the same, we looked still to the future.
Aware that things will not always be this way and that we can find opportunities to continue to be relevant and who we are even in the face of sweeping change. God continues to call us into a vibrant and active life of faith and service to the world.

So, we let each other know that we miss one another and we use whatever tools we can to continue to share in community as best we can. To all who continue to show the world that we are a loving community ready to show love, even in new ways, Thank You!

This week as we join in worship, at the beginning of a year that offered promise and challenge, we will seek to remember the connected nature of our existence. Connected with the Divine, Creation, and one another we will ask:     

-       How do our choices show the connected nature of our lives?

Matthew 25:40 will continue to inspire us this week to ask our questions and

seek to understand the Divine in all.

Peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea,


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Dear friends,                                                                                                      Dec 22nd, 2020

 As we prepare to welcome the Christ child into the world once more, I have held you all in my heart and my prayers. As a community called to serve God in loving and serving others we have continued to seek to reach out to others even in the challenges of this year. It has been hard on us all and still we seek renewal in Christmas and the Divine connection within humanity. What will we find in the manger when we visit Jesus newly born in each of us this year?

This year has felt like a year of firsts. Everything has been so changed that every day has felt like we are doing something for the first time. Learners all in every aspect of life once more, like being born into a new world. There is much struggle in that and yet much promise isn't there? We may have lost much but we have gained new insights, skills, and connections. Some have had a harder time than others this year, having lost loved ones, others have felt a loss of community as they lacked the skills, technology, or motivation to celebrate our togetherness in new ways. And still, we find that we are not alone, we do live in God's world who comes to us wherever we are and whomever we are with. At home, in the church buildings, parks, the quiet of gardens or chalets, in a phone call with a family member, in the eyes of a friend over a mask that's saving our lives, or a stranger across the street who waves just to be nice.

Each year we celebrate the birth of Jesus and each year we explore the meaning for ourselves as well as for this community and world. The idea that Divinity can be found in humanity and indeed chooses to be found in us is a profound one. Just as profound is our own agency, our capacity to choose to engage of our own volition, as active participants in the Sacred. An invitation to the manger, Jesus born into the world, is also an invitation to have God be born in our hearts. Something that is shown in our actions every day.

The invitation to follow the Christmas star remains every day of the year. As we join Mary and Joseph, angels, and shepherds, in welcoming Jesus into the world can we also welcome him into our hearts like its the first time? Is this the perfect time to embrace what Jesus has taught us with the passion and enthusiasm of a new beginning? That God is love, and that the Holy One invites us to the great joy of midwifing love to all the world. I hope this Christmas that each of you will find fulfilling ways to let love overflow your heart, so you may pour it into the world. Sharing it as freely as Jesus did, giving it all to those around us, and letting those around share it with us.

May we all welcome Christ to be born in us every day.

Merry Christmas to all!

Peace, hope, joy, and love,

Rev Ryan Fea

MDiv                                                                                         Please click this link for PDF version

Dear Merging Waters,                                                                                                      Dec 17th, 2020

This week we continue in our Advent journey stewarding, inspiring and uplifting, one another in Love. There are many ways that we can hold to our faith and be the people we hope to be as a community of faith. Luke 1:46-55 reminds us that when facing difficult choices, we can stay true to ourselves as we live out what we believe.

Mary believed that the Divine love she felt present in her motherhood was worth risking the dangers it posed. She stood by who she claimed to be even if it risked her betrothal, her status in society, and even her life. Her persistent faith, ready to make hard choices, reminds us that our faith can get us through hard times. It comforts us that we are not alone, and challenges us to be steadfast in the face of difficulty.

Mary sang the Spirit’s Song within her heart even as she faced uncertainty and chose to act, rooted in what she believed, on who she claimed to be at all times – good or bad. Her integrity of faith filled her life with joy, love, and hope in the Good News.

As a people committed to community, we may ask ourselves:

-       Who do we claim to be?

o   A people of love who wish to include as many as we can? All?

-       What can distance do to stop our love?

-       Who are we here for, some? Few? All?

-       How do we stand firm in our commitment to community even in times that are difficult?

-       What can we do now to help one another in dealing with the hard times?

-       If we cannot be together physically how do we show our belief that this connection continues even when we are far apart?

Many have shared their lament with me that we all miss being in-person, I too have had a hard time adjusting to the new realities. I have found that there is solace and oneness found in choosing lament over complaint, to include rather than exclude, to hope despite fear, choosing to be for the safety and love of all.

As we journey toward the Child of Bethlehem, I look forward to sharing the road with this community of believers and seekers. Welcoming all who choose to be in togetherness, leaving no one out of our love.

In the peace and hope of Christmas,

Rev. Ryan Fea


Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                      Dec 3rd, 2020

As we continue our Advent Journey, having been reminded last week to hold onto a piece of Peace, we Steward this week Advent Joy.
We are reminded 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,
give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

In these times of difficulty, as Advent asks us how we will let Jesus into our lives once more, it might be hard to rejoice always. We have all experienced loss and grief in this time. And yet we are a loving community who care for the world and one another. We understand that we are loved beyond measure even at the most difficult of times, and seek to take hope from this. So, in this time of joy, we can ask ourselves:

-  What is it that has brought us joy in the past? Something that you miss?

          -  What is the core factor in that joyfulness?

-  In these times is there a silver lining in the clouds? Something new you can enjoy?

          -  More time with God?

          -  Catching up on your reading?

          -  Opportunities to commune with nature?

          -  Greater appreciation of time with others when we’re back?

-  What happens in this time that has value for you? That you might even miss when we are no longer as much apart or isolated?

If what brings you joy is the chance to sing Christmas Carols at home, you are in for a treat this Christmas season. We will lift up our voices and our hearts on Friday sharing our favourite carols during the church café; singing them as well as sharing the stories that made them our fav. We will join together in song during our live worship services on Zoom, with recordings of our entire community singing to lead us in some of our carols. The Christmas Eve service will be filled with song and story. Even our ecumenical service on December 27th will be filled with song, carols, and laughter.

At this time of seeking to let Christ into our lives in new ways I look forward to our continued times of sharing in the stewardship of Advent in sharing and caring for one another. Let us grieve, seek, and celebrate together in all ways and all times seeking to see Divinity in all.

Peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea


Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                      Dec 3rd, 2020

This year our Advent Journey will explore ways that our life as a church, a community of faith, stewards – inspires, supports, and encourages – us to experience and express hope, peace, joy, and love in our lives. In this faith journey we share small acts of kindness, faith, and community that make a big difference in the lives of others.

As we approach the Sunday of Peace, still deep within our continued seeking of Hope, I know that we share the deep longing that is expressed with anticipation in Advent. Most years we anticipate the blessing of time with loved ones and community in gatherings at home or in the church buildings. We will celebrate our togetherness in new and different ways. This year is one where we all need to find a little more peace in our lives to share with the world. As we look to Isaiah 40:1-11 we will be reminded that we are offered peace through our lives of faith. Calling us to offer comfort, so that all may have peace.

As we journey throughout Advent members of the congregation have volunteered to share their stories. Stories of how their lives of faith have inspired actions of peace, joy, and love in their own lives and those of others.

I encourage everyone to reflect on three questions this week:

-       How has your faith journey within the community of Merging Waters brought you peace?

-       How have you been inspired to express this peace or comfort?

-       How did this expression bring peace into the lives of others?

I wish you all peace and hope in this season of challenge and beauty, let us seek comfort so as to better love one another and this world in our journey this Sunday.

Peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                            Nov 19th, 2020

Last week’s Outreach service was an excellent reminder of the work of the church. The work of waking the Divine Dream for the World. A dream of peace, hope, love, and justice for all that the Merging Waters community has at its core. A dream that has shaped our identity and that we continue to work to awaken today, changing lives with justice and compassion, showing love to all the world.

This week we will look to Matthew 25:1-13 to remind us that it takes continuing this deep commitment for us to truly live our faith with authenticity. The passage underscores that our intentional planning and commitment to support these actions will help to midwife this dream into reality.

We call that Stewardship.

The Spirit calls us, through Jesus, to see our faithful commitment, Stewardship, Care of the World as Sacred, in different ways. Let’s ask ourselves some questions about this:

-       What have we been doing in our community to bring about a world united in love?

-       How have we been preparing for the growth and continuation of the sacred work we do?

-       We know that mission and community cannot be sustained without resources. What are we going to share to fulfill our mission and show our commitment?

-       What things can hold us back from showing a full commitment?

-       How can we continue to live out our lives of faith even as the world changes?

-       How can we help it to change for the better?

I look forward to being joined by members of our Stewardship teams in this week’s worship service. We will seek renewal and inspiration together in showing our commitment to lives of faith.

Blessings of peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                            Nov 12th, 2020

Last week we reflected on Amos spurring us to fulfill the Divine call for justice to flow like rivers. This week we will celebrate the ways that Merging Waters, both Beaurepaire United and Union Church, have, do, and can love kindness, do justice and walk humbly with our God. These words from Micah 6:8 inspired a hymn that is difficult to sing in groups without practice – it’s done in the round – and almost impossible today, but even more importantly is one of the passages that has inspired Outreach and Mission.

Let’s ask ourselves what Outreach, as faith in action, means to us:

-       The term has long been used by the church, do others know what it is to us?

-       Are “community/relationship building” or “community/social engagement” terms that could help others understand what we mean by Outreach/Mission?

-       Inspired by our faith how do we do Outreach? As a group? Individually?

-       In our lives of faith are we called to say we love God, others, and creation or to show it through our actions? Can it be both instead of either/or?

-       We can still do Outreach in the pandemic, but which ways call to you?

I am looking forward to the service lead this week by the Outreach Committee that will celebrate our deep roots of sharing our love, work, and faith with the world. Traditions of faith in action that continue to grow and live today.
Let’s see what blossoms!

Peace and hope,
Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                            Nov 5th, 2020

Over the past few weeks, we have lifted up those who have shared the journey with us, and sought inner peace. This week, as we reflect upon the need for peace in this world, we will hear from Amos 5:18-24 that it is through authentic faithful living, with justice flowing like rivers, that we fulfill the wish, awaken the dream, that the Divine holds for us and this world.

In the context of Remembrance Day, a world living a pandemic, racialized and religiously-motivated violence, uncertain economic and political realities, we may find it helpful to ask ourselves some questions:

-       How can we share the peace we find in our faith with others?

-       If we are called to express our faith through acts of justice is demanding just solutions from our leaders a way to encourage peace?

-       If justice is an avenue to peace in the world what are things we can do to find peace for: veterans and civilians? Nature? People who are racialized and marginalized? Those impacted by poverty?

-       What are the ways of peace that can already be lifted up and celebrated in our faith community?

We will seek the ways of peace through justice in our worship and work this week.

Peace and hope,
Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                            Oct 29th, 2020

Last week we spoke of finding inner peace to strengthen and support us for our journey of faith. This week we lift up the people who have supported this journey and brought us forward in faith. Those people who have come before us and journeyed with us who have spent their lives asking hard questions and making difficult decisions that have resulted in the church becoming what it was in the past and what it is today.

This week looking at Revelation and Matthew we learn about the wide variety of those called to the life and work of being the children of God. Called to respect the agency of those who are marginalised and disempowered, to comfort one another in our times of weakness while challenging one another in our strengths. Those who are called to make peace, and to resist evil by overturning oppression. 

-       Who in your life has nurtured your faith?

-       For whom have you been a comfort and a challenge?

-       Who has been a peacemaker in your life?

-       When have you seen the church (the people of God) empower those who are marginalized?

-       How do we honour the work of those who have kept the church alive and grow?

We will take time this Sunday to lift those who have joined us on the journey and have died in the last year. We will also have opportunities to remember all those throughout our lives who have nurtured us on the journey - sharing in the long line of Saints, the cloud of witnesses of the power of love enacted in the world.

I hope you can all join us in our live service on Zoom this week.

Peace and hope,
Rev. Ryan Fea

Theologians that link you back to Jesus of Nazareth for All Saints Day – Can you find others? If you prefer replace some of these names with family and church members.
      << Your name here >>

21st century – Nadia Bolz-Weber
20th century – John Shelby Spong
19th century – Paul Johannes Tillich
18th century – Friedrich Schleiermacher
17th century – John Owen
16th century – Martin Luther
15th century – Ignatius of Loyola & Magdalene of Nagasaki
14th century – Bridget of Sweden
13th century – Thomas Aquinas
12th century – Francis of Assisi
11th century – Anselm
10th century – Bernard of Claivaux
9th century – Paschasius Radbertus 
8th century – Isidore of Seville
7th century – Isaac of Nineveh 
6th century – Benedict of Nursia
5th century – Boethius
4th century – Catherine of Alexandria
3rd century – Perpetua
2nd century – Felicitas
1st century – Apostle Paul of Tarsus
Jesus of Nazareth

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                            Oct 22nd, 2020

This week's reading from Matthew 22:34-36 is, if not the most well known, one of the Gospel passages that are most often referred to. And why shouldn't it be? It encourages us to love the Divine and to love one another as we love ourselves. Neighbours being those near and far, enemies and friends alike. What better description could there be of the core behaviour that defines Christianity? This passage has been a familiar part of encouraging so many to follow in the way of Jesus, in whom we find the Christ, as we seek out our paths on the journey.

There is a less-explored theme from this passage that I believe is important to ask about in these times. "As you love yourself."

●     If we live in a world of people who have forgotten how to love themselves how will they love others?

●     We are called to love our enemies, are we first at peace with, and love, ourselves?

●     How can we find peace so as to share that peace with the world?

●     What spiritual practices can help us to find peace with and within ourselves?

●     Understanding that the Divine has no secrets with us; does it help to realise that we are already fully known and fully loved just as we are?

I look forward to exploring ways of inner peace in our Worship Celebration this week.

Blessings of peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                            Oct 16th, 2020

This week’s theme is World Food Sunday. Each year on this Sunday in past we have been asked to bring offerings of non-perishables to go to local Food Banks. There are many reasons for sharing with those who have less than we do and are entwined with expressions our journey of faith. As we listen to the teachings of Jesus and the wisdom found within our scriptures, as the Spirit moves within our hearts and lives, seeing the generosity and compassion of those around us, we are inspired to share.

As we work to feed others, inspired by others and the love within ourselves to kindness and empathy we can ask ourselves some questions:

-       In giving do we also receive?

-       Through sharing and compassion, working for justice and inclusion, are we given a sense of fulfillment?

-       Do we find that we are fed on another level through the spiritual practice of generosity?

There are links available in the Midweek Message and the Order of Worship for this week and the past several weeks to give to local food banks. If you are in a position to give please do. Another great way to support food security is to give internationally through programs like Suitcases for Africa, Caring for Kenya, and the Ebi Kimanani Scholarship. I know that you all give in many ways; I lift up my thanks every day for the ways that Merging Waters is a great blessing to the world near and far. Let’s keep it up!

As we continue to explore the challenges and blessings of our faith journey, I look forward to seeking with you once again this week in our live online worship.

Blessings of peace and hope to all,

Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                            Oct 8th, 2020

As we continue in our theme of Creation time this week we are asked to reflect upon how we share the abundant gifts of nature that touch every aspect of our lives. The reading from 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 reminds us that the more that is given the greater the response. This theme coincides by design with Thanksgiving Sunday.

Let us reflect momentarily on the gifts we have been given and the way we share with others.

-       Seeing the grandeur of creation that has been shared with us - stars and nebulae, forests and wind, our only home and life-support, our Mother the Earth - how do we respond?

-       Being the image of the Creator, a reflection of the Divine, called to walk with God not as God, what do we do to project the reflection of God’s generous nature?

-       Do we share best when we accept that all are needed?

-       All those present now, and those who will be in the future?

-       When we are shown the generosity of all of our blessings – intelligence, the presence of the Spirit, belonging found in community, love that comforts us in our weakness and challenges us in our strength, are we moved to response?

-       In a time where we cannot be together in old ways do, we show our gratitude by embracing new ways of togetherness?

-       What does sharing with others, understanding that all are needed, mean in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic?

-       If the Divine presence is found in the greatest and the least of all what are we moved to share with those who are least blest in these times?

As I lift my own thankfulness for this community of faith and our many blessings, I look forward to embracing the Spirit in generosity in our live online worship.

May we all be blessed with peace, hope, and generosity,
Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                            Oct 1st, 2020

Looking at the text of 1 Kings 19:8-12 Elijah is hard-pressed to find the Divine presence in a windstorm, and most who’ve been in the middle of one have a hard time feeling bathed in love at that moment. It’s understandable that in the silence that falls afterward it is easier to feel God’s presence for many. It’s easy to find love in birdsong and summer fields. What of ice and mosquitos?

Let’s consider the cycle of life, the impact humanity has on the environment, and that for nature to thrive resources need to cycle. Rain, and sun, even natural erosion, give life, snow and ice give rest and control population. Even fire under natural conditions can bring renewal to a forest. Earthquakes are a side effect of the geological forces that help maintain our atmosphere, keep the planet warm and spinning, and protect us from falling space debris.

- Can we love those big disruptions that nourish the life forms that provide us with beauty and resources?

- If the weather is getting more extreme in response to humanity’s treatment of nature is this an indication of the will of God?

- Are we being called to appreciate the Divine in the floodwaters?

- How is asking us to love creation asking us to control our behaviour?

- If mosquitoes and black flies help the lifecycle of bats, flycatchers, swallows, and warblers, dragonflies and damselflies can we learn to love them?

- If loving creation means a better life for others – using and sharing resources with respect and fairness to eschew pollution, overcrowding, and eliminating poverty - does loving creation mean loving ourselves as well?

Let us ask ourselves how we love Creation the easy way and the hard way, finding the Spirit’s presence in all things, as we gather in our live-online worship this week.

Blessings of peace and hope,
Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                            Sept 24th, 2020

It’s come again this year, even in the time of COVID-19, even in new ways, the work of the church continues with our Annual General Meetings that have begun. This process has been made slightly different due to the realities of the pandemic; we are meeting on Zoom. It’s easy to use and helps to keep us all safe, if a little different.

What is not different is the importance of members to share in continuing the work and relationships of this community of faith by participating. Being heard and committing to the decisions of the church is an aspect of the dynamic and inclusive spirit of the United Church – we are diverse, we don’t always agree, but we work, live, and discern our path together in unity with the Spirit as our constant companion.

I am reminded of Matthew 5:37 “Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’.” Listen. Share. Vote. Whatever your stance is on the decisions of the church, commit to it, with an open heart. We contribute to the work and life of the church in participating.

    -    How will you participate in the life of the church this week?

    -    What direction is the Divine calling us to follow in these times?

    -    What impact will the decisions that are made have on the future of this community?

I’m grateful for the courage of the members who are meeting in new ways, the generosity of time and talent shared by those volunteering to support the work of these meetings, and the vision of the board and chairs for continuing to seek ways to live out the life, relationships, and mission of the church! Together we will continue this journey.

Peace and hope,
Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                            Sept 16th, 2020

As we continue our Creation Time theme of asking “What Is Creation Saying To Us?” this week we are asked to listen to the wisdom of creation. Job 12:7–12 and John 1:1-5 ask us to look to nature to find the wisdom of the Holy one shared within living things. The Gospel According to John is quite explicit in its statements that life itself denotes the Divine presence and will. In Job, we are asked to look to the lives of animals and plants to seek a greater understanding of the ordering of the universe.

I am moved to ask myself some questions that I hope we will all consider:

    -    What wisdom do we glean from the lives of plants and animals?

    -    Have you had a moment of peace, clarity, understanding from what you have seen of nature?

                  -    In learning about how plants and animals interact with their environment?

                  -    In learning the impact that changes to the environments have on plants and animals?

    -    How do we express our relationship with the Great Spirit in our treatment of the life around us? In our treatment of     
         animals, plants, and humans?

    -    Where do we find comfort, peace, or hope within our interactions?

As we continue in exploring Creation Time I look forward to reflecting on these and other questions.

Blessings of peace and hope,
Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                                  Sept 9th, 2020


We move from the season of Summer this year a little more uncertain than usual. But we move
nonetheless toward fall, a time of harvest and cooling of the weather for us in the Northern
Hemisphere. As we start to see the green leaves turn to gold, amber, red, and brown we can
reflect on the summer that has past as a challenging time of uncertainty and isolation to be sure. We can
also reflect upon a summer filled with quiet times with ourselves, with the Divine, and with nature. Many of
us have spent time at chalets, in parks, in and around our homes and the region.

This week starts the Creation Time season within the United church and we will be looking at two readings,
Isaiah 55:12–56:2 and Revelation 22:1–5 that call us to delight in Creation. We have gone out in joy to
places where we are in touch with nature. A picnic in the park, a trip to the woods with close family, a walk
outside to rejuvenate us and many have come back with peace. Children have expended energy running in
the fields, a quiet time spent breathing fresh air, an inspiring sunset have given us pause and calm. And we
return to our homes, hopefully with a greater sense of the connectedness with the world.

So this week I would ask that we reflect on two questions:

       - Where have you found peace and joy, delighted, in nature?
       - Where was the Divine, the Holy One, Spirit of Life, for you in that moment?

Looking forward to delighting in Creation with you this week in our worship and lives together.

Peace and hope,
Rev. Ryan Fea,


Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                  Sept 2nd, 2020

This week’s reading marks another big jump in the narrative, this time of Exodus, from Moses’ encounter with the burning bush now to the tenth plague of Egypt and a call for the Israelites enslaved there to prepare to seek freedom in the wilderness. Exodus 12:1-14 speaks of many things: plagues brought down against oppressors, faithful adherence to ways of blessing, holding a day of rest as Sabbath, a pretty extreme way to BBQ, and a call for the people to prepare for a journey to an unknown Promised Land. The terrifying and fantastical imagery of Exodus in relation to the plagues of Egypt make for great movies and special effects but they always leave me asking some questions about the author of this and other Biblical narratives, about our relationship and understanding of the Divine, and our own sense of agency or willingness to discern our actions.

Some questions we may want to consider in engaging this reading are:

-          Does the author mean to say that the plagues are a literal punishment committed directly by God or do they mean something else?

o   What are the alternatives? Could our treatment of others and of nature have natural results – which if they were set in motion by the Divine Wisdom equates to God’s will?

-          If the plagues, and other curses mentioned in scripture or even modern life, are punishment for being cruel to others or the destruction of nature how can we justify mistreatment of anyone or of nature in our society?

-          If they are the natural result of mistreating others and the world, do we not have the same difficulty in justifying complacency or even complicity with injustice and environmental degradation?

-          What does it say to us about our faith journey that the Biblical narrative has repeated instances of exile, renewal, corruption and indictment of that corruption?

-          What is it about our relationship with the Sacred that brings us back time and again to our faith journey?

-          Can we always start anew? Are we called to start journey to new ways of life today? Where do we find our connection with the Sacred in all this? A Holy One that never gives up on us?

Looking forward to engaging these and other questions together on our continued journey. And to joining in worship this week as Merging Waters hosts the final of the Shared Summer Worship Series with our neighbours on the West Island and Laval.

Blessings of peace and hope be with you all,

Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                                Aug 26th, 2020

There are various ways to understand the story of Exodus as we have received it. Archeologist and Biblical scholars/historians debate about how accurate it is historically, if it is an amalgamation of narratives. Others say it is a moral lesson on slavery – reminding us that falling to fear can move people to do terrible things – and the struggle against oppression and injustice. Some suggest it’s an origin story that was first put down in writing after the Babylonian exile, so that a people may know who they are.

The prominent view is that no matter its source that the story is a traditional understanding that the people sought out freedom. They found that uplifting for the downtrodden, care for the discarded, and resistance to oppressors in YAHWEH.  Seeking freedom from oppressive rulers, imprisonment and slavery, the people of the story of Exodus encounter “I AM” in the wilderness, places of discovery, and are inspired to act.

These are the main themes of Exodus 3:1-15:

·         Theophany, an encounter with the divine, in unexpected places.

·         A call is given by the Holy One come and is received with doubt.

·         A call is affirmed - despite doubts the Spirit of Love has faith in you.

These themes call us to reflect on some questions:

-       What role are we asked to fulfill in response to oppression?

-       What are the things that hold us back from fulfilling our call to be a people of faith today?

-       What oppressive systems, fears, prejudices, and discriminatory practices, are we called by the Spirit of Love to support one another in the struggle against in our world? In ourselves?  

-       What do we hear when we hear that “I AM” is calling us to act in faithful ways?

·         Do we hear “I am just,” “I am love,” “I am here”:

-       How do respond to this call? Do we?

Let us seek to answer these and more questions together.

Blessings of peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                                Aug 20th, 2020

This week’s passage from Exodus 1:8-2:10 holds major themes that relate the story of Moses to the story of creation and the promise of the a great nation that is a blessing to the world, discussing the courage of the least powerful in the face of oppression, and standing up for the rights and safety of others even at risk to ones self. This passage is often been referred to as the Hebrew Bible’s most important statement on the courage and leadership of women. Indeed, the difference in social, political, and military power between the ancient Pharaoh of Egypt and a childless-unmarried midwife, or a Hebrew slave, is so large that it’s impossible to describe by modern Canadian standards. The danger of defying the Pharaoh would be a horrible-torturous death to say the least.

Despite the difference in power between them and the Pharaoh we see here that Egyptian midwives and oppressed Israelite women stand up for the must vulnerable and themselves in defiance of a command from their ruler. The one in power is calling for action that is unconscionable and they do all that they can to defy it. They don’t call him out on it. Some might say it is not a noble act to deceive their ruler or sneak around, yet in their context what choice did they have in standing up for what is right?

What lesson are we asked to take from this story?

Nelson Mandela famously said “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave [person] is not [one] who does not feel afraid, but [one] who conquers that fear.”

-        Are we taking on in our lives the lesson that Mr. Mandela and others have embraced in our history?

-        How are we brave in our daily lives?

-        Do we take risks for our own benefit or the benefit of others?

-        Like the women of this story, do we find that taking courageous actions to protect and uphold others also benefits us?

-        How do we act to protect the oppressed?

-        In our context, with the rights we all enjoy in Canada, can we be more vocal in telling truth to power?

-        As people who follow the message of Jesus of Nazareth, are we called to speak truth to power even in the face of adversity?

                  - Is this story from Genesis one of the ways that the women and men of the story of the Bible taught Jesus to do so too?

Here at Merging Waters there are women, whom I know the men and women of our pastoral charge lift up as courageous. Women past and present, mothers, daughters, friends and family, who stand up for what is right, making hard choices, to make the world better for all people even in the face of challenge. Women who care for others and call for justice. They join Canadian women and women around the world in lifting up justice with courage. I would encourage us all to remind ourselves of others who have done so in checking out pages like this one  that reminds us that women had and continue to stand up in a world that very often puts them down. Examples of real people, imperfect, fearful, and brave. How will these examples, and those we encounter and live every day continue to enliven our story as a people of faith?

I lift my thanks to God for the inspiration of women who act for justice, for the men who stand with them, and that I see their work ever day. This journey of courageous faithful people continues, in new ways and old, in our life here at Merging Waters.

Wishing you grace and peace,
Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                             Aug 13th, 2020

The lectionary hasn’t given us much time to covering the entire story of Joseph. A story that has warranted musicals and film. So, let’s take some time now to reflect on his journey. This week’s reading from Genesis 45: 1-15 happens after Joseph, favoured son of Rachel and Jacob, having been beaten and sold into slavery in Egypt by his own brothers, has found favour with the Pharaoh because of his ability to interpret dreams. His gifts have helped Egypt to weather a famine that has not spared his family and so Joseph here – having been through times of great suffering and pain – meets his brothers who are now refugees in Egypt. And he embraces them with forgiveness.

Joseph hasn’t had an overt encounter with God in his story like others in Genesis. And yet he finds the Holy One active in his life in this reading. He doesn’t revel in his suffering nor does he justify it as something that was desirable but he does acknowledge that through it all the Spirit was with him. The Divine moved with him into a time and place where his gifts could help not only himself but many others. His abilities helped an entire nation, who could be seen as his enemies, avoid destruction. He could even use them to help the family who has alienated him. And he does while forgiving them.


Then he bursts into weeping.

- Was this a catharsis?
     • Was it about reconciliation with brothers? Worry for his father?
     • Did the culmination of all his trials and tribulations, now that he has some stability and even family with
       him, lead to an outpouring of feeling?
     • Is this a time he can finally let out all the emotion that was pent up through an extended time of crisis?
     • Was it an emotional response to realising that he was not alone in all of what had happened to him?
     • All of the above and more?
- Today, are we aware of the presence of the Sacred Spirit, the Holy One, in the ups and downs of our lives?
- Is this a time we need to share our feelings? Is it time for an outpouring?
- What gifts can we share with one another? With those who have wronged us? With our family?

As we continue our reflections this summer along with our neighbours from the West Island and Laval let’s remember that we do not journey alone. We have one another and we have the steadfast loving kindness, חֶסֶֶד (ḥesed), of God who journeys with us.

Blessings of peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea



Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                        July 15th, 2020

Reading Genesis 28:10 – 19a as we will this week in Worship, we hear the story of Jacob encountering the Divine somewhere he didn’t expect. He’s on a journey, sleeping outside with a rock for a pillow, probably not prepared to meet God. Yet, here he is dreaming of celestial beings, a conduit connecting spirit and physics, and a conversation with the Holy One. In this unfamiliar and uncomfortable place Jacob finds a thin space, a place where the physical and the spiritual intersect. The connection between the sensual experience of life meets the ethereal experience of the Eternal. It seems to happen in a place of discovery and discomfort that, for the place and the person in the story, means a major change of understanding and identity.

In times of journeying, discomfort, and discovery:

-       Have you found yourself in a thin place, somewhere that you encountered the Divine?

-       Where were you? Can you revisit it or have you moved beyond it?

-       What insights did you gain about your relationship with the sacred?

-       How did you feel to sense God’s presence with you in hard times?

-       Was it a comfort? A challenge? A surprise?

-       What can we do to help times of discomfort become times of discovery?

-       How can the Spirit of Love help?

-       How can the Church help?

Looking forward to exploring the thin places together as we seek our Spiritual Center in times of disquiet and discovery, as we do in times of normality and comfort.

Blessings of peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea, MDiv

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                       July 8th, 2020

This week's Gospel reading from Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 is that of the parable of the Sower of Seeds. Parables challenge social convention and give us the opposite of what was expected at the time. Jesus reminds us that being set in our ways by tradition, being stubborn, or by being overly fearful closes us off from the blessings of love and hope found in his message. We must be prepared so as to be able to nurture God's dream for us of love lived out in and for the world. In this parable we hear of the seeds of the Divine dream for us being scattered and yet they don't grow just anywhere. We are asked to consider if we are prepared to awaken God's Dream in ourselves.

On the path:

●     Are those of us who are comfortable with the routine or tradition - the way things are - so used to the beaten path that we are closed off to new growth, even if it is from seeds of love?

The Rocky soil:

●     Are we being steadfast when we refuse to be flexible in the face of a call to change, or stubborn?

●     Christ's message has been one of love embraced in new ways over the years, do we need to soften so we can let the Holy One's love nurture how we act?

The Thorn-choked ground:

●     Are those of us who have been hurt often too afraid of opening up to a message of hope due to being stung too often in this world?

●     Could that hope help us and others to heal?

The Prepared soil:

●     When have you felt that you were moved to faithful actions (seeking justice, loving kindness, walking humbly with the Divine) by Jesus' message?

●     What helped you to be in a place where you were receptive?

●     What can the church, your community of faith, do to help you to be prepared to continue to grow the seeds of love?

●     What can we do to help one another be prepared?

We will continue to be surprised by the scriptures and by the Spirit as we continue our journey together and with the wider community this summer and into the future.

Hoping to be ready for the cultivation.

Blessings of peace and hope,

Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                       July 3rd, 2020

I hope that you have had a great couple of weeks, as you know I was off on leave. Luke and I have enjoyed time together. I have gotten my inline skates back in working order and enjoyed discovering some of the area around Ste-Anne and Senneville. While I skate, though I always pay attention to my surroundings, I often find myself on two journeys.

The physical journey of exercise and movement, and the inner journey that comes with body prayers like yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and indeed for me skating. An awareness of self and connection to the world grows over time as skating becomes meditative for me, when in a safe venue of course. That the smallest motion of my little toe can change my trajectory and impact, sometimes literally, the objects and life around me, reminds me of the connectedness and interconnectedness of all life.

In my most recent skate, I looked forward to more discovery, and the endorphins that comes from physical exercise, but I was turned back by rain. It reminded me of the times we are in. Where what we are looking forward, or are used to, to can often lead to disappointment when we are denied it and yet creativity in seeking alternatives.

Many of us have been disappointed to be separated from what we are used to, and what we looked forward to in this time of COVID-19. Everyone has been faced with a sense of disempowerment as the Coronavirus has forced us all from work, family, and community. We are a people removed from the temple – our spiritual home – unable to embrace one another or our neighbours in worship and programs in-person as the ways we are used to no longer work in ways that are safe. Funding has been impacted by the loss of rentals, outdoor and indoor services, as well as joint summer worship has all been put in doubt. We miss being with our church community.

We have been reminded how connected we are on a global scale.

The Black Lives Matter movement has reminded us in other ways that all the world is connected and that our smallest actions have an impact on the people and world around us. Many of us have come to the realisation that our trajectory has been impacting others negatively for too long. We are challenged to find new ways as the ways we were used to don’t work for a people of peace and love.

And yet, there comes the creativity. You know what I did when it rained, and I had to walk home. I enjoyed the walk, smelled the rain on the soil and felt the cool breeze – then I hit the exercycle. COVID-19 has call for us to change our safety protocols for any in-person activity and brought new and exciting ways of worship, programming, and activities online. Confronting the racism and inequality in our society and how many of us have been complicit in it without meaning to be has called for us to be creative in finding new ways to understand one another and to call for justice and inclusion.

Merging Waters has shown in these times to be a people prepared to respond honestly in our feelings, our passion, and our compassion to explore new ways. To support one another in confronting issues that make the world unsafe for us and for others, and to find ways to be loving. We have not shied away from hard questions but responded prayerfully and thoughtfully as a people of love and peace. Seeking out new ways to be church in the everchanging challenge of COVID-19 and calling upon our courage and our care to ask ourselves hard questions about inclusion and the dignity and rights of all of our neighbours. 

I know that the Spirit of the Holy One will be with us as we continue to work to be honest and supportive with one another. Acknowledging our challenges and accepting that there will be set backs at times. We will find support in one another and in our Spiritual Center within the Divine as a people of faith, hope, and love. I am so please and honoured to continue our shared journey as we seek out new and creative ways to live as a community of faith. With the gifts that we share of love, care, intelligence, social and environmental awareness, and technical capacity, following the loving example of Jesus, and hearing the song of the Spirit in our hearts, I believe that we can successfully find faithful ways forward into the future.

Blessings of peace and hope,
Rev. Ryan Fea

Dear Friends in Merging Waters,                                                                                                           June 23rd, 2020


While our minister Ryan enjoys a second week away from his usual routine, many members of our community are giving of themselves to keep our life and work moving along, including worship and pastoral care. Thanks to all.

For this week’s message, we hear the reflections and the questions raised by Jeremy Lewis, well known to many of us as a talented actor, bringing life to spoken word in many of our Road Shows and cabarets, as Jan Langelier’s grandson, and who is also a man of both Black and white ancestry who joined recent demonstrations in Montreal protesting against racism. Thank you, Jeremy, for sharing your powerful words.


Christine Bryce, Spiritual Formation


Jeremy Lewis On Racism

Here's my thing. If you are an "'All lives matter' is a sound response to 'black lives matter'" kind of person, and you go around drumming up that sort of rhetoric in comment sections, you'd better be ready to have a proper conversation.

If you're claiming to be the only logical person amidst a mass of people with views that aren't the same as yours, you should be able to listen to what people say. Not just so you can tear down their arguments, but so that you can see where they are coming from. Like a logical, level-headed person.

Everyone has their own perception of what's right and wrong. I don't think that listening to an opposing view, to gain a better understanding of where they are coming from, means that you are sacrificing your beliefs. Conversation, when done right, can only lead to gain on both sides.

I believe that we need a whole lot of talking and a whole lot of listening, all around. This is like one big group project, and group projects go to ruins when everyone thinks that their way is the only right way without communicating and finding what they right way is for everyone.

If you speak with hate, I will ask you why. I will question you. I will disagree with your hate, but that won't stop me from trying to understand why you hate. I will also call you out on illegitimate facts. I will propose alternate possible ways of thinking. I will share my opinion. And I expect any logical, level-headed person to grant me the same level of respect that I offer them, and try to understand where I am coming from.

We need to talk. I want to talk. I want to work on this together with you. I don't want to tell you how to live your life. However, I may have a couple of recommendations that you might not like at first, but trust me, they aren't going to take anything away from you. They are recommendations that can add positive change to your life at the same time as doing so for others. All you have to do is be willing to listen.


Michael Woytiuk has crafted a beautiful video: Black Lives Matter:                                                                  


We worship here together online:


Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                    June 16th, 2020


This week’s worship will be led by the talented and creative music ministry of Merging Waters. A Musical Reflection For A Summer’s day, on the first day of Summer.

I will be on study leave from the 17th to the 30th but I wanted to leave us with some thoughts that are sparked by upcoming lectionary readings and our modern context. In the midst of re-openings, second waves, and history coming to a head in this world we are presented this week and next with readings from Jeremiah. A prophet who brought a message of resilience and faith to a people in exile. Evicted from the places that they called home and separated from the temple they were reminded that God is with them wherever they go. They were called upon to live full lives of faith and community in new ways and with new vision and hope.

The Ancient Israelites and the first century Jewish community all dealt with being exiled from the Temple. The place where they encountered the Holy One. And they found their faith alive in the world nonetheless.

Questions that we may ask ourselves are:

-       Where do we find God when we are outside of the walls of our temples?

-       Who are we outside of the hour from 10:30 – 11:30 am on a Sunday?

-       What does resilience and faith look like for a people exiled from our temples today?

-       Seeking safe ways to return?

-       Finding new ways to continue outside of buildings?

-       Cyberspace?

-       Inner and outer spiritual life?

-       Mission?

I look forward to returning refreshed and renewed in a couple of weeks, and to us all continuing this journey of faith together. With the Spirit of Love as our guide we will find the path.


We worship here together online:


Blessings of peace and hope.

Rev. Ryan Fea


Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                            June 10th, 2020

There are many important birthdays and anniversaries within the congregation this time of year. Today marks another important anniversary. June 10th 2020 is the 95th anniversary of the formation of the United Church of Canada. After a series of discussions, for decades, several different denominations joined to form the United Church of Canada in 1925. It was not a decision taken lightly, but after about 30 years of negotiation, reflections, prayer, and discussion over 600,000 people united to form this denomination. It was decided that not in mourning difference but in celebrating and living the diversity of all people that we find the beauty and strength of the United Church. Not in conforming but in celebrating the differences.

This anniversary brings to light questions we’ve all been facing in the shortcomings of our social structures that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light and these important times of confronting systemic racism within our society. We might ask ourselves:

-       With all of the possibilities of making something new that celebrates the gifts, uniqueness, and beauty of all people why do we fear change so much?

o   What or who is holding us back?

-       In a time that change can make us safer from a pandemic and respect the lives of marginalised people how can we not? How do we challenge that?

o   Where can our journey of faith help us?

-       How can we as a community of faith challenge, support, and encourage, ourselves, one another, leaders, and society to better celebrate the beauty of diversity rather than setting differences as a boundary or point of separation?

-       How can we physically distance for safety and yet reach out with compassion? The way we speak out? Spend? Vote? Pray? Live?

-       Where is The Divine in this discussion?

o   In the call to love one another? In the hope of peace to all the world?

o   In the call to live with respect in creation?

Looking forward to engaging these questions and more as we continue our journey together.

We worship here together online:


Rev. Ryan Fea


Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                                June 3rd, 2020

The events of recent days confront us in light of the readings that we have for this week. Genesis 1:1 – 2:4a where we hear that God said that creation works well in its structuring and Matthew 28:16-20 in which we are told that Jesus will be with us always in our commissioned work of offering belonging and inclusion of all people into the Body of Christ, those who follow the way of the message of love Jesus shared with everyone.

In the light of times wherein we are confronted by the reality of pain and suffering, of oppression and discrimination in this world we may feel called to ask ourselves some of the following questions:

-       If Jesus is with us unto the end of the age where are we seeing that presence?

o   Is Jesus present in actions that oppress or actions the free people?

o   Is God revealed in how we alienate or include others?

-       Are there actions that we can choose that reveal God’s presence, the love Jesus showed us in his actions?

-       If the system we live under is broken, even breaking God’s well-structured creation, if it does not reveal the love that God has taught us in Jesus, does it need to be changed?

-       What does it mean to refuse to change in a system that is broken? That exploits and oppresses, or alienates, all but the very wealthy and very healthy?

-       If change brings more dignity to all, protects the environment, and saves lives why are we so afraid of it?

o   What can we gain in a world where we love and share with all of our neighbours, protect the environment, and make life the important factor over profit?

-       Do we find comfort in the hope that comes from hearing that Jesus has never left us? God’s love is present with us and within us always.

Hard questions this week for a journey of faith that is not easy. Thankful for God’s ever-loving presence as we move forward together.

We worship here together online:


Rev. Ryan Fea


Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                                May 27th, 2020

As we look to this week’s readings, we come face to face with the risen Jesus, not yet confronted by Thomas, still on the same day as the disciples were led by Mary to the empty tomb. Jesus is suddenly among them, inside a locked room, where they are in fear. Jesus offers them peace, reassurance, support and a mission – to nurture and renew relationship with the Divine. The Spirit is to be their companion, the one to go with them as the Divine presence that Jesus had shown them in their time together.

John 20:19-23 provides the opportunity to ask ourselves many questions, a few of which are:

·         How did Jesus get in that locked room?

o   Was he already in there? In the hearts of the disciples?

·         Where have we see the Spirit at work in our communities?

o   In our lives?

o   In ourselves?

·         If the Day of Pentecost was the birth of the church is this year a rebirth?

o   Is it meant to be every year? Day? Moment?

·         How will we mourn what was past so we can celebrate what we are to become?

·         Will we let the Spirit support us in letting go of past ruptures of relationship and entering into a new relationship with God? Ourselves? The world? The church?

I look forward to the journey as we continue it this week along side our neighbours in a shared service with other United Churches from the West Island and NDG.

We worship here together online:


Rev. Ryan Fea


Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                                 May 13th, 2020

This week’s readings from Acts 17: 22-31 and John 14:15-21 remind us that even with Jesus physically distant from us that the Spirit of God is ever-present in our lives. Closer than we can see or touch with our bodily senses while present to us nonetheless in our faith and our actions. Revealing the Spirit to ourselves as much as to others in our living. In a time where we are all feeling a growing awareness that there is no going back to how things were - even if we wish we could, these passages present questions to us that both challenge and assure us:

●     Is the Spirit calling us to something new?

●     Are we being realistic if we think we can go about business as usual?

     ○     Where do we find God in times of change – even involuntary change?

     ○     What does that say of the new ways? The old ways? Our relationship with the Spirit?

●     Do we trust one another to journey together in this new context?

     ○     Do we trust the Divine to be present with us? Ourselves? One another?

●     Where do we find the Spirit at work in our midst?

     ○     In what is known? What is unknown?

     ○     How do we find out if we don't try new things?

●     How can we expect others to answer a call to new things if we won’t?

If not us, who? If not now, when?

Will we answer the call of the Spirit or our own will in how we move forwards?
Let's find out in how we journey together.

We worship here together online:

Blessings of discovery, courage, and wisdom,

Rev. Ryan Fea            MDiv

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                      May 6th, 2020


This week’s reading from the Good News of Jesus Christ according to John speaks of the relationship of humanity to God that is seen through Jesus.  In John 14:1-13 Jesus, at his pastoral best, points to his helping to show us that even if Jesus himself is not physically with us that he abides in God’s love, that the Divine love dwells in him, that he is with us always through this relationship we share.  This is because, as like Jesus, we abide in relationship with the Eternal One, who also abides in us.  The abiding relationship of Jesus with the Divine is meant to show us that we too are in relationship – and that in times of worry and separation this abiding connection is meant to bring comfort to our troubled hearts.

Let us reflect on this by asking ourselves some questions:

-        If the Divine abides within us can we feel it?

■  Can we show it to others?

-        How are we shown that God’s love abides with us in the world?

-        Jesus speaks of there being dwelling places within God’s home, what does
         that tell us about our welcome?

■  What welcome does this suggest for others?

-        What do the many places that the Eternal One has prepared for us to dwell
         together in a relationship of love tell us about diversity?

■  Diversity within Christianity?

■  Within other faith traditions?

■  Within all of humanity?

■  Within the world?

-        If God is in all things/beings and all things/beings are within God is it
         possible to be away from the Divine love?

■  When we are in times of trial and trouble can we be lifted up by God's abiding love that is revealed in relationships?

■  How is this love revealed through our family (given and chosen)?

·       How is this revealed through our church family?

Looking forward to exploring these questions and more as we continue our journey of faith together, particularly this week in our Mother’s Day service.


We worship here together online:

Blessings of peace and hope,
Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                      April 29th, 2020

"I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly," says Jesus in John 10:10. Revealing that Jesus did not come to burden us with judgement and guilt, oppression or suffering, but to open the way for us to have life abundantly. This poetic, and freeing, statement could pose many questions for us in our faith journey:

● What does it mean to have abundant life?
    ○ Is it living any way we feel like or is it about living a life that gives life to all the world?
● Does living an abundant life free us from the religious, moral, or social judgements that others try to impose upon us?
     ○ What does that mean?
● What does having life abundant mean for how we treat others?
     ○ Are we too called to nurture abundant life for others? For nature? For the world?
● Freed from guilt and judgement are we called to free others from it as well?
     ○ Does this mean letting go of our guilt and shame?
     ○ Does it mean supporting others to let go of them too?
● What role does forgiving ourselves and others play in freeing us all to have abundant life?
● What role do defensiveness and other coping mechanisms play?
● How does respect for ourselves and others relate to having a life truly lived?
     ○ Does this mean not accepting the judgement pf others?
     ○ Do some have to let go of claiming the judgement of other upon themselves?
● What does a life lived abundantly look like?
     ○ How do we treat those around us while we live them?
● How is love expressed in abundantly life?
     ○ Love of self?
     ○ Love of other?
     ○ Love of the Divine?
     ○ Accepting that we are loved?

As we seek to follow the way to the abundant life that Jesus hoped for us and that God loves us throughout, I look forward to continuing the journey of discovery.

We worship here together online:

Blessings of peace and hope to you all,
Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                      April 22th, 2020

Cleopas and the unnamed disciple have met Jesus on the road to Emmaus in this week’s reading from Luke 24:13-27 . In their grief, these disciples don’t recognize Jesus at first but are made aware of him in a moment of hospitality. Jesus breaks bread with them, reminiscent of the eucharistic act he instituted at their Passover gathering, symbolic of his life being committed to giving all to show the world the path of love – reuniting humanity with the Divine and one another in a renewed relationship. A beautiful gift of radical welcome, relationship, and love.

The road to Emmaus is a journey of discovery and revelation that brings many questions for us today:

-       Where do we find Jesus when we are in grief and pain?

          ●  How can we find renewal in our relationship with the Divine?

-       Are we the unnamed disciple in this story?

          ●  Will we find Jesus in unexpected people, places, or events?

-       What does this story tell us about strangers?

          ●  Those we encounter and when we are a stranger to others?

-       How do we reveal humanity’s relationship with the divine in our hospitality to others?

-       When have we been surprised by the message of love that Jesus has for us?

          ●  When was it unexpected?

          ●  How can we find Jesus in our journey today?

          ●  What does Jesus tell us about sharing love with others?

-       What can we do to show radical welcome and surprising love in the world today?

Looking forward to continuing our journey of faith in worship and in our discussions, visits, and studies online in the coming days and weeks.

We worship here together online: 

Blessings of peace and hope to you all,
Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                       April 15th, 2020

This week’s reading about the questions asked by Thomas, (John 20:19-31) remind us of the importance of discernment to faith. Seeking a deeper understanding, of our relationships with one another and the Divine, that which is beyond and within, is part of our journey of faith. Belief, in the Gospel according to John, is a verb and not a noun - it is seen as a journey that sustains us and is active. In the process of questioning this passage also reminds us that Jesus, while pointing out that there are different experiences of faith, wishes us, something very important, peace.

Let us ask ourselves some questions about this passage and our faith – especially important at this time of the COVID-19 pandemic:

-       Where do we find the peace that Jesus wishes upon us?

  • ●  In times of strain and pressure how do we find peace?
  • ●  Is peace found in spiritual practices?

-       How do we see belief as a noun or a verb?

  • ●  How does our faith work for us?
  • ●  Is faith a journey? Participatory or receptive?
  • ●  Does our faith/belief have to be based on understandings that do not change in order to be considered valid? Valid to whom?
  • ●  How does faith grow within us?
  • ●  Is it something we are convinced of by factual evidence or is it something different?
  • ●  Can we be convinced in our faith journey by other types of experience than the five senses?

-       How do moral or social truths/norms influence our understanding of the Divine?

  • ●  How do they influence our relationship with the Divine?
  • ·         With one another?
  • ·         With the world?

-       Have you had a time that asking questions of your faith, yourself, others, society, the church, our community, Jesus, or God helped you to explore your personal journey?

  • ●  How have these impacted your sense of peace?
  • ·         During the time of questioning?
  • ·         Afterward?

Looking forward to continuing our journey of faith in worship and in our discussions, visits, and studies online in the coming days and weeks.

We will journey through Holy Week together to find Easter living and continue to ask our questions and seek to hear the Spirit calling us to new hope, new ways, and new life as we worship here together online: 

Blessings of peace and hope to you all,
Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                       April 8th, 2020

As we move through Holy Week the journey to Easter takes us through some challenging times theologically and emotionally.  Holy Week is often a difficult time for people of faith travelling the road to the Cross with Jesus in the study of our biblical narrative, and recent events of the COVID-19 pandemic have made this time particularly challenging. We move toward Easter seeking, in the darkness of the Biblical narrative and of our lives, the promise of new life and new ways.

The journey of struggle and pain, life and death, conflict and love, crucifixion, and resurrection that is Holy Week and Easter brings many questions for us in this context:

-        What are we struggling with at this time of troubles? As individuals? As a community?

-        What are we mourning?

                            ▪ Loss of physical proximity to others?

                            ▪Having to find new channels to connect with our wider community?

-        How can we grieve the loss of what we are used to?

-        What can help us to cope with the loss?

-        Where do we hear the voice of novelty and love in the universe calling to us  
         in these times?

                            ▪How are we reminded that we are not alone, held in God’s arms?

-        How can we find new life, the resurrection in these times?

                            ▪In online connections?

                            ▪In learning new ways to appreciate solitude?

                            ▪Maintaining regular participation in our spiritual practices?

                            ▪In quiet times with God?

                            ▪In reaching out even more than ever to support others?

-        What is the new life that we have found at this time?

                            ▪Can we share these new ways and insights with others to help them to find new life as well?


We will journey through Holy Week together to find Easter living and continue to ask our questions and seek to hear the Spirit calling us to new hope, new ways, and new life as we worship here together online: 

Blessings of peace and hope to you all,
Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                                April 1st, 2020

In this time of global pandemic, with many of us staying home to avoid the spread of COVID-19 while some have to stay home because they are ill or vulnerable, Lent has taken on a truly palpable feeling. We find we are grieving the loss of how we are used to living. Encountering what we neither expected nor wanted.

The people who lined the streets to greet Jesus in this week’s Palm Sunday story, the parade of Matthew 21:1-11, are soon silent. Dealing with a reality that they did not expect. They celebrated Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem as a conquering king who would free them from their oppressors but this passage is of a parade before grief, celebration turns to fear, disappointment, and betrayal. Some hard questions come from this time and this passage:

- What did we expect for Lent and Easter to be like this year?
- Are we living this Lenten Journey as a time, out of time, that helps us to reflect? 
      ▪ How can we listen for God’s message for us in this time?

- Are we grieving the loss of old ways or are we holding out until things “go back to normal?”
- In grief how can we find solace in our faith?

      ▪ Where is the Divine presence in all of this?

- Were we expecting God, or Jesus, or our faith to be a triumphant King, a ruler with all the answers to save us?
- How can our spiritual practices help?

      ▪ How do our times of prayer, reflection, meditation, yoga, and study bring us through grief to new hope and new ways?

      ▪ Is the Divine found for us in these or other ways?

      ▪ In what ways can our relationships bring us sacred connectedness?

- How can we, having been nurtured and renewed in Spirit by worship and other spiritual disciplines, bring hope and healing
   to one another?

      ▪ Can we be the presence of the Divine caring for others? How?

      ▪ How can we connect with others to bring hope and healing to one another?

As we begin Holy week this Sunday let us gather in our online worship to ask these questions and seek healing and renewal together, to be the Divine presence for all.
Blessings of hope and peace,

We will continue to celebrate the promise of the journey through our online worship this Sunday at

Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                            March 25th, 2020

As we journey through Lent, toward Easter, and are facing the physical distance that is due to the COVID-19 pandemic Ezekiel 37:1-14 has a message for us that holds promise in times of desolation and suffering. With the imagery of the fields of bones being awakened to new life through the blessings of relationship with God this passage can bring us many questions in troubled times:

      - How can we maintain our faith in times of stress?
                      ▪ How can our spiritual practices help us to deal with hardship?
      - What can we do as a community of faith to share our sense of peace and community with others?
      - Does participation in spiritual practices in good times equip us to maintain our faith in troubled times?
      - Do we feel the presence of the Spirit of love in hard times?
                      ▪ What events or times do we feel it most?
                      ▪ Do meditation, prayer, body prayers like yoga help us find the thin places where we are more aware of the Divine in our lives?
      - When has our faith helped us through times that we have felt afraid or hopeless in the past?  
                      ▪ How did we feel after those times had passed?
      - How can we celebrate our faith/spiritual life as a support for ourselves and others even in times of difficulty?
      - Where do we find the hope in God’s promise to be with us through hard times and find new life?


We will continue to celebrate the promise of the journey through our online worship this Sunday at

Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                           March 18th, 2020

The narrative of John 9:1-41 this week finds Jesus, the light of the world who came to bring enlightenment to all (John 1:9), sharing the vision that is gained in faith and the blindness that is bespoken in the abuse of authority. A person on the margins sees that Jesus is a way to connectedness with the Divine, while those who use their power to oppress others are unable to find relationship with God or the rest of creation.

Given the reality of our global context connectedness becomes a big question:

● With a global viral pandemic are we reminded of how connected we all truly are in this world?

● Are we in a time of global Sabbath with time set outside of normal life to reflect and connect with the Divine Spirit of Life?

● Do we see new ways to reveal God’s love in the world through the care that we show for one another?

● Can we see those in power show that they care more for people or power in how they react to the needs of the poorest and least favoured in times of crisis?

● What can we do to maintain our lives of faith, in actions of love, and spiritual practice in times where it is prudent to respect physical distance from one another?

Looking forward to finding new ways to see worship and community this Sunday in our online worship at 10:30am.

Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings all,                                                                                                                               March 14, 2020

While we have chosen to cancel regular worship this week and to postpone events that are scheduled at Merging Waters Pastoral Charge I would like to take a moment to remind us all that we are doing so not in fear but to care for ourselves and one another. We are often reminded in scripture to 'be not afraid' and it is not in fear that we dwell but in faith - faith that our community and our call continue when we are physically apart and we will weather times of trial and concern.

We act in joy and love for one another in proactive action to pre-empt an advancement of the COVID-19 virus. So, we make small sacrifices of prudence and patience because we believe in one another and we love one another. We believe that God is with us we are not alone, we have the gifts of initiative and wisdom, the courage of resilient spirits, and the peace that we share.

As members of a Christian faith community, we share Christ’s compassion within our communities of faith and the wider community by being well-prepared and well-informed. In doing so, we minimize the impact of this time of concern, including reducing the potential spread of disease and enable our communities to return to a sense of normalcy as soon as possible.

I am present for the Merging Waters Family and all the people of the area who seek support in these times. Please do not hesitate to contact me via email or by leaving a message on one of the church voicemails which will be checked regularly.

The cancellation/postponement of public gatherings and the physical distancing of our daily life are steps that needn't move us further apart in spirit. Continue to pray for one another in phone calls and at 10:30am Sundays from home. Keep an eye on our website for regular updates and opportunities for communal-distance prayer/worship.

Please continue to share information with others and keep lines of communication open. We trust in God, the Spirit of life, and the peace of way of the message of Jesus, to be with us and guide us through these times in faith, hope, and love.

Grace and peace,
Rev. Ryan Fea
Union Church - 5144575819
Beaurepaire United - 5142509527

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                March 11th, 2020

In the narrative of this week’s reading John 4:5-42 Jesus surprises everyone in breaking social and religious norms by speaking with a woman, someone of another faith, and declaring God’s love as inclusive despite human social taboos or religious limitations. The interaction helps others to see an outcast as being worth listening to.

Let us ask ourselves some questions.

● Can we see beyond our own ideas of belonging to recognize that all belong in God’s love?

● Do we treat one another with the same inclusion as God’s love does?

● What can hold us back from respecting others as equal in God’s eyes and so deserving of our equal respect and consideration?

     ●  Do we let social conventions get in the way of knowing that all are needed?

     ●  Do religious differences impede our ability to respect the beliefs of others? Does God’s love stop at the walls of our church?

● Who needs God’s message of love and inclusion? The people who are most at peace and have their lives together? Or those who face challenges and troubles in life?

● Does the message of love and peace that Jesus shares with us speak most to those who are in the mainstream or those who are marginalized?

● How do we as a community, as people of faith, express our understanding of Divine love? By including those who are most approved of by society or those are on the margins what is ‘acceptable’ according to social standards?

● How are we asked to treat those of minority groups?

     ●  People of different social, sexual, or economic groups?

● How do we treat/interact with people with different national identities? Spiritual/religious beliefs? Political views?

● If God’s love includes all the world can we justify separating ourselves from anyone or anything?

I look forward to continuing to explore questions as a community in our Lenten journey this Sunday.

Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                March 4th, 2020

The Gospel according to John is known as a spiritual gospel the challenges us to avoid neutrality – often showing spirituality as contrary to physicality. In this week’s reading from John 3:1-17 we are asked to be born anew not as people who are earthly but spiritual. With its tendency of pitting one extreme against another it is likely that the Evangelist is trying to convince centrists to get off the fence and to commit to faithful action.
The reading says that even when we’ve reached maturity we are called to continue to be renewed by the message of hope and love that Jesus brings us.


● Who wants to change once they have already reached maturity?

● Are we being asked to grow spiritually?

● Are we being asked to find new hope and spiritual inspiration throughout our lives?

● Can we ever truly get to the point where we have nothing left to learn about ourselves? The world? The spiritual aspects of life? The universe we live in?

● How can we support one another when we find we are unable to get off the fence in our thoughts, beliefs, and actions?

● Is it easy to do?
      • Where is the compassion for it being hard to make hard decisions?
      • How much time do we need?
      • If we won’t make hard decisions should we support others to make them instead?
      • If we won’t make hard decisions will they be made for us?
● Can we be spiritual people if we neglect the physical?
● If we focus only on the physical do, we neglect the spiritual?


In reading the Gospels we read that Jesus spent a large part of his ministry and life living with and standing up for the poor and the oppressed – to the point that he was executed for disrupting the oppressive powers of the world.

● Is the salvation, or freedom, that Jesus tried to bring us that of freedom from oppression?
● Does that include religious or spiritual oppression?
● Does this call us to stand up against oppression in our modern world?

Looking forward to engaging this text together throughout our Lenten journey.

Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                             February 26th, 2020

The passage this week, Matthew 4:1-11, speaks of Jesus being tested in the desert after fasting for 40 days and 40 nights. He’s starving and likely feeling very vulnerable so it’s the right time for him to be tempted by food, comfort, and security. This happens in the wilderness, which is frequently portrayed as a place for journeys of transition and discovery. Ancient texts such as the book of Exodus from the Bible, the Epic of Gilgamesh, and many more, portray the wilderness as a place of struggle with discovery and journey but also as oneness with nature – a place away from humanity where we can figure things out.

When we are in the wilderness, struggling on the journey, we too cross paths with temptations found within ourselves and others. And much like Jesus, who was struggling with his unique role, we must struggle with who we truly are and what that means for our choices. We are not asked to be Jesus but asked to be ourselves in our discovery and journey which means asking ourselves these and other questions:


• What is my relationship with God?
      • What does maintaining that relationship ask of me?
• How am I tempted in my life? Economically? Socially? Communally?
• Jesus refuses to feed himself so as to avoid disturbing creation, turns down power and influence so to be subject to the will of God, would I do that?
      ▪ What does that ask of the church?
      ▪ What does that ask of me?

• Jesus returns from his hunger and goes forward to feed thousands of others, physically as well as spiritually.

      ▪ What does that ask of the church?
      ▪ What does that ask of me?

• Jesus refuses to have his own safety secured by his relationship with God – refuses to test God for his own comfort, yet suffers taunts and death to stand up for and to live with the poor and the oppressed.
      ▪ What does that ask of the church?
      ▪ What does that ask of me?

• Jesus refuses to use his position to control the world but offers the dream of God, the Kingdom (and KIN-dom) of God to all people.
      ▪ What does that ask of the church?
      ▪ What does that ask of me?

Looking forward to travelling the road of discovery and questioning together this Lent.


Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                             February 19th, 2020


This week ends Epiphany, when we explore the revelation of God incarnate - Jesus coming into our lives. Next week we will enjoy our Shrove Tuesday Pancakes and begin our Lenten journey to the Cross on Ash Wednesday. In the reading this Sunday we find that Lent is bookended with two images of Jesus upon a mountain. This week in Matthew 17:1-9 we see Jesus high atop the mountain, glorified, with light pouring out of him, and a voice calling out of the clouds that he is the beloved son of God whom we should emulate. Then at the end of Lent, Good Friday, we see a different Jesus put to death on Mount Golgotha. Within the Matthean crucifixion narrative (Matthew 27:32-56) we read of Jesus – humiliated, feeling forsaken by God, abandoned by his followers (except the women), and crucified for telling truth to power and calling for justice whilst standing and living with the poor and the oppressed.


Looking at this juxtaposition we have some questions to ask ourselves:


● Do we have a favourite way to see Jesus?

       ● Can we separate them?

● Is Jesus telling the Disciples not to speak of his Transfiguration – his glorification – until after his resurrection a bit of a spoiler alert situation?

       ● Do we see how the one is related to the other?

       ● Is the way he lived glorified by the way he died?

● Is the resurrection the only aspect of Jesus’ life that brings him glory? And us enlightenment?

● What aspects of his life are we meant to emulate?

       ● Do we need to stand resolute to what we believe?

       ● Does that have to mean suffering or is it about authenticity to our beliefs no matter how the world responds?

       ● Does it mean giving everything to live out our relationship with God?

       ● Do we draw lines at some point?


The journey continues in questioning, faithful worship, and our life in community this Sunday. Looking forward to it.


Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                    Feb 12th, 2020

In the lectionary reading 1 Corinthians 3:1-9 asks us many questions about who we are and to whom we belong.
This passage acknowledges that we can be challenged as we mature in our faith and that we can be distracted by the mundane details of the world. We wouldn't hear about it if it wasn’t something that happens - as we are human we grow and mature in life, in knowledge, in relationships, and in faith.

Knowing that 1 Corinthians is Paul's correspondence with a community that feels torn between who is more important, a question of identity, and speaks of growth in belief. I feel inspired to ask myself these questions that I hope we will all reflect upon:

● Are we expected to start out with the same spiritual understandings we end up with?

      • Is there anything else in life from education, sport, or relationships in which we are not to expected to grow?
● Is it a failure to need to mature in our understanding of God or is that the nature of a living an authentic faith?
● What's worse; feeling we have a lot more still to learn about our relationship with the Divine/that which is beyond and within or thinking we have nothing more to learn in our faith?

As a fellow traveller on the spiritual journey I look forward to continuing to engage and grow together in God this Sunday - and beyond.

Looking forward seeking the challenge and the comfort of these and other questions this Sunday.
Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                              February 5th, 2020


Last week we talked about Micah (6:1-8) and Matthew (5:1-12) calling us to be aware of the need for radical love and suggesting some perspectives on how that is lived out. This week we hear from Isaiah 58:6-10 and Matthew 5:13-20 who speak of how we can shine light in the world and stay authentic to our faith. While Isaiah gives concrete examples of what we can do, free the oppressed and care for the poor, Matthew uses the metaphors of being salt and light to speak of authentic expressions of faith. We often focus on the flavour that is brought to life through our loving actions, driven by our relationship with the Divine, and the light that we need to shine in the world.


Some questions we can ask ourselves about this are:


Are we aware of how we are one with the marginalised, oppressed, and poor?

Do we see those spoken about as us or as some other group?

If we are one then how can we help these people to whom we belong to overcome injustice and poverty?

If we are not one with those who need freed from oppression are we one with the oppressors?

Is there another option?

How do we maintain the authenticity of our faith in a society that tells us that small differences make us a separate group, culture, people, or even race?

Are these differences an illusion in the light of what we hear from Isaiah and Matthew?

Is the Divine asking that we stay separate from other people and creation?

If so how can we stand in solidarity with our neighbours?

If not then how can we express our solidarity as one?

Is the Good News that God walks with us, that we are not alone, as we seek to find answers through reflection and action?

What can we do to celebrate that our faith calls, draws and inspires us, to be one with the world: freeing, loving, and caring for all?


Looking forward seeking the challenge and the comfort of these and other questions this Sunday.


Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                              January 29th, 2020

This week’s readings from Micah (6:6-8) and Matthew (5:13-20) remind us that living an authentic faith has always been challenging. Micah and Matthew, each in their own way and context, state unambiguously that those who wish to live a life in line with the Divine will need to live a life of justice that is actually just and commit to act steadfastly with loving-kindness. A life of faith in just and loving actions not only for us but for all those whom society, and even we in our human limitations, see as outcasts or undeserving reveals God’s presence. This takes honesty, humility, and let’s be honest – courage.

So, if what is required of us is to do justice, love kindness, and walk intentionally a life that recognizes the presence of the Lover of All the Universe in our lives then we have to ask ourselves some questions:

   ● Do I believe that God’s nature (the nature of the Divine) is that of steadfast-loving-kindness?

          ● If not then what is the nature of God?

          ● If so, do my actions show justice, loving-kindness, and faith in the   

                                 will of the Spirit?

   ● When I show love/kindness is it to all people or the ones I like or feel most comfortable with? Is it mainly to people who       resemble me?

   ● Do I go out of my way to show loving-kindness to strangers or enemies?

         ● If that is hard why am I supposed to do it?

   ● What is important about being radically loving?

   ● In a culture that rewards assertive people who are willing to step over others for financial, political, and material gain what would be the value in being meek?

   ● Am I willing to be persecuted, by governments, neighbours, or media institutions because I believe?

   ● How does the triumphal language that is sometimes used in churches line up with God being pro-meek and calling         
   peacemakers God’s children?

   ● What would I stand up for? What would I stand up against in order to show the world that I believe in God?

Looking forward to exploring these questions and others in our worship this week.

Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                            Jan 22nd, 2020

This week’s reading on the Baptism of Jesus, in Matthew 3: 13-17 is often used to ask us to reflect on our own Baptisms. Baptism being one of two Sacraments for the United Church. The importance of this isn’t because we are expected to be exactly like Jesus. Jesus had his own relationship with God and his own sense of call to faithful living. Within the United Church and our context with Baptism we acknowledge a belonging, both to the Body of Christ today Universal and a community of faith that is the Church  and witness to who Jesus was and our calling, being inspired or drawn, to fulfill his mission and ministry in the world.

We practice infant baptism in the United Church and as we grow, supported by a Baptised and Baptising community. Our faith – our relationship with the Divine - and understanding of how we live loving-actions grows too. It is about that growth that I would ask us all to reflect this week in asking ourselves these questions:

·         What was your relationship with the Spirit of Life when you were a child?

·         What is your understanding of what that Divine Spirit is?

o   How has this changed since you were a child?

·         What is your understanding today of how you are meant to live out your witness of Jesus and his ministry/mission?

o   How has that changed since you were Baptised?

·         How do you live out, show others, your call – your inspiration – to fulfill the mission of Jesus in the world today?

o   What words do you use and actions do you take?

·         What do you do to show others who/what you believe the Divine is?

·         How do we renew a commitment to our Baptism of who we are and to whom we belong?

o   Is renewal to return to something past or to recommit to the development of something relevant to today? What does it look like to others?

Thrilled to look at the renewal of our Baptism this Sunday in our morning worship.

Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                              January 15th, 2020

After the cancellation of services last week due to intense weather I am inspired by this week’s reading from Isaiah 49:1-7 wherein the author speaks to a people returning from exile told that they are liberated from their slavery and humiliation. They are a people who have called out to the Divine Mystery to free them to return to the way of life and faith that they knew before their exile and yet are told that things will be different. Where they saw failure, they are told by the Creator they will find justification. Where they seek to return to a faith and life for themselves to look inwardly for the source of life they are told that there will be a new way – a way of looking outward. Instead of being slaves to the powers of the world they will be empowered to take the Light of the Source of All Light to all the world. They are called, inspired and drawn, to a faith that speaks of justice, love and freedom for all people after a time that their faith and freedom were oppressed.

Some questions for engaging this topic for us today are:

-        When was a time that you felt that you were in exile?

-        Have you had a time of humiliation or loss where you felt that your efforts, perhaps in career, school, or faith didn’t amount to anything?

o   Are you in one of those times now?

o   Is the church?

-        What can it mean to be told that we are loved by the Creator even though we think we’ve failed?

-        What does is mean to be told that in our experiences, what we call failure, is a greater truth that can turn from humiliation to empowerment of all people?

-        Does the church have a past of inclusion or exclusion?

o   What does a future look like where it is not only a church for those inside its walls but a source of light and freedom for all people everywhere?

Looking forward to engaging these and other questions with you this Sunday in our Service of Worship and Communion.

Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                                             January  8th 2020


I hope that you had a very Happy New Year celebration!


I want to thank everyone for their lovely cards and Christmas gestures, Luke and I really
appreciated them. I would also like to express my gratitude for the gifts that were given to those
of us on the staff. A thoughtful and Spirit-filled donation in our names to a music ministry the benefits the
children of lower-income families in our city. What a wonderful blessing to bestow. It’s such a blessing for
me to serve a community that is giving and thoughtful.

As we approach this week’s service and the Baptism of Christ we are often asked to renew our Baptisms. I
have been asking myself what that means, as we see in Matthew’s story of Jesus being baptised (3:13-17) it
is a response to a call for repentance, turning from where one is or one’s mindset toward a new path to
God. He’s already been through all of the membership/belonging rites of Judaism at the time why this new
beginning? I am inspired to ask us all questions about what this means for us:

● If Baptism is a new beginning, belonging anew to the body of Christ, does renewing our Baptism
mean recommitting to staying the course or turning to new paths?
● How is God calling us to renew our Baptism?
● What do we think about this renewal?
● How we feel about it?
● What definitive actions will we take to enact this turning in renewal?
● Is it renewal if nothing changes?

Looking forward to celebrating in the sacraments this Sunday, in engaging the questions of renewed
Baptism and in encountering God in Communion.

Rev. Ryan Fea

Greetings Merging Waters,                                                                                                                                                   April 17th 2019


As air warms, the sun rises higher each day, and the flowers push up out of the soil, I find the anticipation of Spring and Easter building. I, like many, have a hard time with staying in reflection of my challenges and shortcomings, as we are wont to do in Lent -those things that hold us all back from God - when there are so many song birds singing and the leaves are budding. But then nature is a great reminder of the journey we are on.  Coming from the cold and dark of winter, the world at rest, nascent with new life and new beginnings, the world springs (yes that was a pun) into new life. The cycle of the seasons is reflected in our journey through the Story.Looking at our challenges, fears, doubts, times we turned from one another or the world, or from God, helps us to understand ourselves and our lives better. Confronting them and engaging them, in loving community and in the knowledge of a loving-understanding God, frees us from shame, guilt, and other things that hold us back. Finding where the Christ is risen in our lives, where we are renewed, helps us to spring into joyous life. If the light shines more brightly from the dark place we do need to examine them, but we need not stay in the dark.


Sometimes I find myself asking questions about the dark, and while they don’t always come, I know that’s ok. At least I know it’s there. But the answers that do come are where I am freed from their oppression and able to move into the light. And I see God in it. Sometimes it’s as simple as remembering that seeking God, doubting of finding God, can be simpler than some deep awe-inspiring scene from a movie – the Hollywood idea of seeing God.

Finding God in the world is not always being struck off your horse like Paul but sometimes it’s seeing in a gentle stranger the presence of God. Someone who offers you a seat on the bus, or lets you know if you’ve dropped something at the market. A friend offering an ear, or just giving you a shout to see how you’re doing. Dedicated people doing the work of God through acts of justice, intentional discussion and planning, charity and sharing love.

Where do you see God offering you new life at this time? How will you show new life to others?

Looking forward to sharing in new life with you all as Holy Week turns to Easter.



Ryan Fea