Monday, October 19, 2020

University of East Saanich

The link for this week's worship service on youtube is

Thanks to Diane for this week's post.


Return to class 2020 is, as expected, most unusual!

We are now calling our home University of East Saanich! As I walk around there are students tucked away in all areas working diligently on their studies. It's not unusual to have Rebekah sitting on her bed, her window wide open, with a blanket on her legs listening to a lecture, a cat curled up by her side. Maximilian is often tucked into his desk corner with 2 screens going so that his course materials are on one screen and his assignment on another. Benjamin shares his time between the kitchen table, the couch and the church. He is pretty much working all the time. I believe that online learning is much harder than going to an in-person lecture. What they are not missing is the commute. What they are missing a lot is meeting fellow students and friends on campus and making the connections that are so important to establishing study groups and life-long friendships. 

Peter is our last student in high school. They have been issued masks and he reports that most of the students wear them all day. His year has been divided into 4 'quarters' instead of 2 semesters. He will do 2 courses each quarter which will last for 10 weeks. At the moment he has Block 1 every morning and Block 2 every second afternoon. After doing this for 5 weeks, he will switch to Block 1 every second morning and Block 2 every afternoon. Just when we think we are used to that, he will have completed those 2 courses and will move on to the next two!

I'm not sure I will really be able to keep track of it all! Fortunately, he is very good at tracking where and when he is doing things. One of the fun little extra projects we had at the beginning of the school year was making a "mask" for his French horn. We are very happy that he has some extra-curricular activities underway. He's doing a bit of baseball and soccer again. He loves the training. I am truly grateful for the efforts that have been made by the schools and the athletic organizations to keep the children safe but allow them to return to some sort of "normal".
The students

I am also trying to squeeze in another Camosun Course so it is not unusual to have 3 of us working on our laptops studying at the kitchen table. Even Irwin is often with us doing late night editing of the YouTube worship service content. All together doing our own thing!
on-line learning --it's tough

Monday, October 12, 2020

Thanksgiving 2020

 The link to this week's youtube worship service is

a scaled down display, with zucchini


 Happy Thanksgiving!

 Many of us are finding it hard to get into a 
thanksgiving frame of mind in 2020. The newspaper this morning reminded me of the string of disasters that had overtaken our world this year, even before COVID--fires in Australia, the shooting down of a passenger plane, and the loss of beloved stars of stage and screen and sport. Now COVID has held us in its grip for seven long months and the end is not yet in sight. Thanksgiving?

Still, the harvest has been bountiful (especially my zucchini), we live in a peaceful part of the world, we have in-person services (under 50 in attendance) we can still serve at home and abroad and we have faith.

60 servings of zucchini soup, plus a dozen loaves

The proceeds from the soup sales go to support our special missions.

So, we give thanks.


Grace Dodds, formerly of our SPPC congregation has feted on CHEK TV last week on the occasion of her 100th birthday!

We give thanks.


On Friday there will be a concert at SPPC.

The DieMahler String Concert
Friday, October 16 at 7:00 p.m.
In the Sanctuary at
Saanich Peninsula Presbyterian Church

Admission By Donation
(Maximum 50 persons)

At a time when the world needs the healing of music, we give thanks that at SPPC we can host a concert. 


Our God is faithful. He will not let us go. 

 Psalm 118:1

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Remembering Bill

 The link for this week's worship service is :


                                                       Remembering Bill Richer


On Saturday September 26th, 2020, Blanche, their children Alan, Derek, Pamela, granddaughter Danae, and Pamela’s partner Frank along with friends of Bill, said good-bye as Bill’s ashes were laid to rest in the Garden of Remembrance. Despite the inclement weather and the restrictions of Covid, family and friends of Bill from the choir were able to sing with Derek, in their hearts, or into their masks, “Abide with Me”.

 Over the years, many members of the congregation came to know Bill as a friend, a fine artist, a regular and loyal choir member, illustrator extraordinaire of the “Shepherd’s Way”, which he illustrated for Blanche, and was published several times a year for many years. The heartwarming stories and the illustrations gave us all reason to smile and reflect on our many blessings. Many will not realize that Blanche and Bill produced, copied, and distributed the Shepherd’s Way, all as a labour of love, and a gift to members of the congregation.

 Bill was always a gentleman. He attended all the activities of the congregation and was loyal in his support. His paintings and sketches, often provided as gifts for fund-raising, were enjoyed by all and demonstrated his artistic talents.

 Bill was born in Guernsey in The Channel Islands, and, as a child, was evacuated to a safer haven when the German army landed on his island home. Stories of his life had to be teased out of Bill, often at the Thursday Coffee Hour, where he always sat with the gentlemen, solving the world’s problems. Bill’s good humour was enjoyed by all. Bill was a quiet man and his story of life on the sea was only referred to in brief… how we would have loved to hear more of his rich experiences.

Each one of us will have a special memory of Bill, and I felt privileged to know this quiet gentleman and his family.  Bill will be greatly missed by all who knew him.


Rest in peace, good and faithful friend of SPPC.


by Roy Napier




Monday, September 28, 2020

Getting Back to Normal

 The link for this week's worship service is

Thanks to Janet Smith for this week's blog.

Getting Back to Normal

(what ever that is!)

After six months away from classes due to COVID-19, Abigail opted to return to school in September. She had missed her friends so much and her teachers.

Grandma had mixed feelings, she now had to get back into a routine, getting up at 7:15 am and being out of the house by 8:25 am each morning! Making breakfast and packing a lunch each day and picking Abigail up at 2:48 pm.

Nevertheless, Grandma was very happy not to having to teach everyday. What an effort that was! Mind you, we completed far more work at home from April to June than Abigail did from October (yes, October as we had a teacher strike in September) to March.

It was a struggle everyday to get Abigail to settle down to work and stay focused on her assignments and during this time she even gained weight as she wasn’t getting out in the playground everyday and so had time to eat lunch! Most school days, the lunch comes home as she is too busy socializing and playing.

Now in grade 3, with her new teacher, she is very happy. Her classroom is opposite her classroom from last year and so she tells us, her grade 2 teacher is her new neighbour!

When we pick her up, we ask how her day was, ‘fine’, is the usual reply. Then what did you do at school today? I don’t remember, comes her next reply. Well what did you learn today? Nothing! So how is she doing?


We are not really sure but she is happy and always ready to get off to school each day for which we are very thankful!

However, this afternoon we do have a TEAMS mtg. with her teacher and so hopefully, she will be able to enlighten us further as to Abigail’s progress and get to meet the teacher.

We are not permitted to enter the school building and so really don’t know what is going on with our children we just continue to pray for their safety and well-being throughout this school year.


Some other thoughts from our clerk of session: 

thought the other day, when the Spanish Flu ended, the 1920's took off! When the 2020's arrived, we celebrated at the church with our 2020 lunch in 1920's style and now look at what's happened?

I think that celebration was the highlight of this year so far!
Then I stopped to think of how thankful I am and how blest we are right here on the Saanich Peninsula. Very few cases of COVID near by, no fires, only smoke, no floods, no hurricanes and no real  disasters, we could be a lot worse off than we are. It's easy for us to say, God is so good, when we live where we do.

 Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom,
sometimes where Eden's flowers bloom
by waters calm, o'er troubled sea,
still 'tis God's hand that leadeth me.

Monday, September 21, 2020

No Cake in 2020


The link for this week's worship service is

On looking back through blog posts in previous Septembers I noted that we tend to eat at this time of year. We've had hot dogs on Sundays, hamburgers in the parking lot on Saturdays and birthday cake anytime. 

The vile virus prevents us from such fellowship events but we can still wish happy birthday to Barb M., Emily L.,  Lois S., Betty M. and Betty G. who are all celebrating this month. If I've missed anyone, it was by accident. Please add your name in the comments below.

Previously we had lovely birthday cakes, but this year we'll have to make do with just the picture. You could also make (buy)your own cake and enjoy a slice at home in honour of our birthday girls.


Recently this appeal came in to our church from Our Place

Each day here at Our Place we find our shower and hygiene area is busy from the time it opens to the moment it closes.  Currently we are running short of disposable razors underwear for men and women (including bra’s), men and women’s sweat pants or leggings, face cloths, combs, hairbrushes, shampoo and conditioner (travel sized bottles are ideal), cotton swabs, toothbrushes and toothpaste, dental floss, shaving cream and travel size packs of facial tissues. All styles, all sizes of shoes for women and men are always needed.  Your generous donations of these items are so very welcome and appreciated by folks who spend the majority of each day outside. Donations of these items may be dropped off at 919 Pandora daily from 6:30am-8:30pm.


 The request reminds us that even though our church is unable to act as a collection centre for many other charities, because of Covid restrictions, the need is still very much alive in our community.
Our Place has given their address and drop-off times in the above notice.

Saanich Peninsula Lions Food bank is located at  9586 Fifth St. Sidney, B.C. and is open for donations from 8:00 am - 2:00 pm.  

The Mustard Seed is located at 625 Queens Ave. Victoria and is open Mon-Friday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

The Compassionate Warehouse is currently closed for donations.

Our church life is so disrupted it may be hard to remember our purpose, but Jesus' command has not changed. "Feed my sheep."

Monday, September 14, 2020

Long Bottle Drive

The link for this week's on-line worship service is here:

A bottle drive is one of the mainstays of our fundraising for mission efforts at SPPC. Usually we pick a day (Saturday) and set up a sorting station in the parking lot, then send out cars and trucks through the neighbourhood to pick up donations from friends and family. As well, people can come by the church and drop off their empties.
Well, COVID, changed all that. Instead we're having a l o n g bottle drive. A plastic can in front of the church is a repository for drop-offs. Joan keeps it emptied out, taking the donations to her own backyard for sorting. 
What do the neighbours think!

Apparently, COVID has increased our consumption of all kinds of drinks. 

Before sorting

After sorting

Ready for Pickup

It's a lot of work, but so far over $500.00 has been added to the mission fund. Joan says she'll keep collecting, sorting and delivering to the recycle depot for as long as people keep leaving bottles. So, keep drinking folks and take your empties to Saanich Peninsula Presbyterian Church.

Thanks, Joan for all your work and also to Darlene for driving the delivery vehicle.

Also happening this week: 

The DieMahler String Concert
Friday, September 18 at 6:00 p.m.
In the Sanctuary at
Saanich Peninsula Presbyterian Church
9296 E. Saanich Rd.
Admission By Donation
Maximum 50 persons)

Monday, September 7, 2020

Miracle of Two Seeds

The link to this week's on-line service is

I confess that earlier this summer I sneaked onto my neighbour's porch and left a large zucchini at her door. 

This year, I have an abundant crop of that long, green squash. 

Some time ago, Rev. Irwin preached on the parable of the sower. You remember, it is in the Gospel of Matthew, the Gospel of Mark, and the Gospel of Luke

In the Matthew account, the story ends with " Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. "
I admit to a ho-hum moment. Isn't that the nature of seed? It's planted, it grows, we reap a harvest. But the sermon went on to explain that in modern agriculture our yields are much higher than they were in Jesus' time. We expect a 300 fold or more harvest from a seed of wheat. In Jesus' time a farmer might expect a 10 fold increase, or less. My ho-hum moment turned into "wow!"

When I look at yet another monster zucchini lurking under a leaf, my initial reaction may be one of dismay, but then I recall that sermon and my groan turns to praise. This year I have two plants, that is two seeds. 

I have harvested about 60 zucchini, some salad size, some the green monsters.
My freezer is full. I've given away boxes and boxes of them. We've eaten them raw, fried, boiled, roasted, broiled, baked in a cake, with hamburger, and au gratin. 
I've chopped, shredded and sliced. I've made soup, loaves, marmalade, and quiche. I've gotten rather tired of zucchini.

But then I remember that sermon and I marvel at the pounds and pounds of harvest produced by my two seeds. My zucchini is a miracle.

To get back to the parable, wouldn't it be wonderful if I could sew two seeds of the Gospel and receive a yield as generous as my zucchini?
Have I sewn those two seeds? Have you? Could we plant more?

Praise God from whom all blessings flow -- even giant zucchinis.