Monday, October 19, 2015

Post Thanksgiving

    The fine china is back in the cupboard, the linens laundered and today we finished the last of the turkey leftovers.  But my season of thanksgiving is not ended.  Today I give thanks for the good things I've found at Saanich Peninsula Presbyterian Church.

    First on the list is the Living Flame Choir.  They sang on Sunday, in case you missed it, and they were terrific.  I'm grateful to this group of children/youth for their willingness to tackle a challenge, their creative solutions to problems and their enduring friendship.  I've been directing a junior choir at SPPC for nearly fifteen years.  I've had the privilege of watching my most junior singers learn and grow, develop their skills and share their talents, and move from novice to leader.  They've included me in their circle of adult friends, extending an invitation to school events and other extra-curricular activities.  I always offer them cookies when extra practices take place at my house.  Last week I was the visitor and a choir member offered me a cookie.  When I was first asked to take on the role of developing and leading a junior choir I agreed, with conditions.  I had no idea what joy this ministry would bring to me and to the congregation.  I've dropped all the conditions of my participation.  I whole-heartedly give thanks for the Living Flame Choir.

     Another area of thanksgiving is Bible Study.  We're doing John Stott's study of The Sermon on the Mount, you remember, all those "blessed are. . ." verses that seem totally contradictory.  "Blessed are the poor in spirit.. . .  Blessed are they that mourn . . .Blessed are they who hunger and thirst . . ."
Scholars consider this chapter of Matthew one of the most important in Scripture, but it can sure be confusing.  But . . . every Wednesday morning we meet, break into small groups and talk about the passage, following the questions in Stott's study guide.  Then we meet together to share our thoughts while Irwin leads us through the finer points of the verses.  It is a wonderful time of fellowship and teaching.  No question is considered too trivial, no comment is dismissed as "wrong."  In fact, Irwin is an expert at making us all seem brilliant.  Death has claimed some stalwarts from the Bible study group and we miss them dearly, but newcomers have come to fill the empty seats and are most welcome.  Feel free to join the study on Wednesdays at 9:30 am.  You don't have to attend every session.  You can join any time.  Coffee and goodies are freely shared, as is the laughter and the stories.

    The Shepherd's Way, our church newsletter is another item on my gratitude list.  There was a new issue in time for Thanksgiving.  You've got to read Ruth's item about "huggitis" as she caught it at SPPC and as she spreads it among her neighbours and friends.  At an age when she could rightly say, "I've done my turn," Blanche keeps on keeping on, putting out the newsletter and filling our mailboxes with stories and quotes and chuckles and information.  Bill draws the pictures, making each issue a work of art.  I was thinking the Sunday School children could colour those drawings as part of a lesson sometime.

   This list is far from complete, but three is supposed to be the ideal number of points in an essay. I've found many more blessings  in this congregation, a.  I invite you to add your own items, either in the comments section below or in a blog post.  I'm always happy to feature other members of the congregation on this page.  In fact, those who write for the blog are very high on my gratitude list.

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