Monday, January 30, 2017

Sunshine Lunch

Falling so close to Robbie Burns Day, the Sunshine Lunch this month has a Scottish theme.



Potato Leek Soup

Beef Stew with Puff Pastry

Mashed Potatoes

Green Peas

Lemon Dessert

Looks good, doesn't it?  Joan is the organiser and Diane and Darlene are the cooks.  They all work on the decorations.

The sunshine lunch is an affair that caters to singles, -- those who are single by choice and those who have lost a partner. It has been a constant part of the pastoral care of our congregation for at least twenty years.  At one time it was potluck, but for the past several years, those with a ticket are treated to a home-cooked meal, great company and some entertainment.

The lunch is serves 20 - 30 people.  If transportation is an issue, Joan will arrange a ride. Tickets are sold in advance to allow the cooks time to purchase supplies and plan for the numbers that will be there.  You'll often see Joan sitting at her sales table in the coffee hour. The next Sunshine Lunch is March 27, at noon.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Joy Cometh in the Morning

1. The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended,
The darkness falls at Thy behest;
To Thee our morning hymns ascended,
Thy praise shall hallow now our rest.

Sorrow has come to our congregation.  This week we hold services for two of our faithful members who have passed away. 

2. We thank Thee that Thy Church unsleeping,
While earth rolls onward into light,
Through all the world her watch is keeping,
And rests not now by day or night.

Many funeral professionals use these three points to explain the purpose of a funeral

  • Help the bereaved family, and their community, publicly acknowledge the death of one of their own.
  •  Support the grieving family by surrounding them with caring friends, co-workers, and neighbours.
  •  Move the deceased from one social status to another.

3. As o'er each continent and island
The dawn leads on another day,
The voice of prayer is never silent,
Nor dies the strain of praise away.

I have no complaint with the points listed above, but I believe, in the context of the church they fall short.  A congregation supports the bereaved, provides a forum for remembering and acknowledges the passage of a person from one stage of life to the next.  But faith offers more.

4. The sun, that bids us rest, is waking
Our brethren 'neath the western sky,
And hour by hour fresh lips are making
Thy wondrous doings heard on high.

Faith offers reassurance.  
Jesus said, "In my father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."  John 14:2
Faith offers comfort. 
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Rev. 21:4
Faith offers hope. 
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you," 1 Peter 1: 4-5

Faith offers joy.
"Weeping may endure for the night; but joy cometh in the morning." Ps. 30: 5b

5. So be it, Lord; Thy throne shall never,
Like earth's proud empires, pass away:
But stand, and rule, and grow for ever,
Till all Thy creatures own Thy sway.

                                           The Day Thou Gavest  Author: John Ellerton (1870)
                                                                                Tune: ST. CLEMENT (Scholefield)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Mark on the Wall

 There has been a lot of sickness in our congregation in the past several weeks.  "The cold" with its dreaded cough has been making the rounds and out-staying its allotted time.  Some of our congregation have been bereaved, some are facing chronic illness.  Many prayers have been said on behalf of our suffering brothers and sisters in Christ.  So, this week, I reached into my resource file and pulled out this children's story, as told by a former minister here, on the power of prayer.  

The Mysterious Mark on the Wall

The Prime Minister in Britain during the First World War was David Lloyd George (the Welsh Wizard). His brother William lived to be over 100 and wrote a book about their life as boys at home. Their father died while they were still young and it was a struggle to get an education for the boys.
Uncle Lloyd looked after them. He was a very simple man, but a great and good man. He was a cobbler who worked hard to make a living. He also preached in the little chapel and cared for people year in and year out. He truly loved God, God’s people and his Bible. When William George married, Uncle Lloyd went to live with him and his wife. Mrs George was a very good housekeeper, very house proud. She was annoyed to see a mark on the wallpaper in Uncle Lloyd’s room - a curious mark at a curious height. She couldn’t understand how it got there and, as the weeks went by, it stood out more clearly. She tried to clean it off but it could not be removed. She didn’t like to say anything about it but felt she had to.
Uncle Lloyd had a habit of coming home for his midday meal and afterwards going up to his room before returning to work. Mrs Lloyd thought he was lying down but, one day as she was passing his room, and his door was ajar, she peeped in and what did she see? Uncle Lloyd was kneeling on a chair with its back to the wall and his forehead was resting on the wall just where the mark was. He was praying so intensely that sweat was glistening on his forehead. That was the secret of the mark!
This explained how he could work so hard, preach at the chapel and care for his people. His fervent praying was what enabled him to have such an influence on people including William and David.
In the Bible we read about a man of prayer. Daniel prayed beside his window three times a day. Uncle Lloyd knelt on a chair. It doesn’t matter where we pray but it is important that we do talk to God and listen to him. That we help others to know, love and serve Him too.

James 5:16 A good man’s prayer is powerful and effective.


The prayer group prays for each member of the congregation on a regular basis, and we thank them for holding us all in their care.  If you have a special request, please fill out one of the yellow cards in the pews and place them on the offering plate.  

And please, get well soon!

Monday, January 9, 2017

A Bible and a Hockey Stick

I had a chuckle last week when Tore said he wanted to stop by the church to pick up a Bible and a hockey stick.  the pairing seemed incongruous, but on further consideration, I thought "a Bible and a hockey stick" was a great metaphor for life at SPPC.
 The Bible is our foundation, our model for life.  We study it in class on Wednesdays, read from it in worship on Sundays, and use its precepts and examples in the choices we make every day.  

   The hockey stick represents our work outside of Sunday mornings.  We seek to serve our community, whether with a hockey stick or a service at Saanich Peninsula Hospital, or sponsorship of a baseball team, or a collection of warm clothing for the needy.

   Jesus' ministry included study and interpretation of The Law, debate with the pharisees and discussion with his disciples on God's plan for man's salvation.  It also included turning water into wine so that wedding guests could celebrate, feeding the five thousand who were hungry, healing the lame man and making breakfast for Peter, James and John and other disciples.
   A hockey stick and a Bible.  Good example of Christian living 

Monday, January 2, 2017

new year 2016

Let Us Walk

"Let us walk softly, friends;
For strange paths lie before us all untrod.
The New Year, spotless from the hand of God
Is thine and mine, O friend.

Let us walk straightly, friend;
Forget the crooked paths behind us now; 
Press on with steadier purpose on our brow
To better deeds, O friend.

Let us walk gladly, friend;
Perchance some greater good than we have known 
Is waiting for us or some fair hope flown
Shall yet return, O friend.

Let us walk kindly, friend:
We cannot tell how long this life shall last,
How soon these precious years be overpast;
Let Love walk with us, friend.

Let us walk quickly, friend;
Work with our might while lasts our little stay
And help some halting comrade on the way:
And may God guide us, friend."


I found this poem in a little book of wisdom left me by my mother, Silver Thoughts, Golden Words and a Nickel Worth of Stories.  The book was published by the Eastern Ontario Women's Institute in 1992, but the sentiments seem entirely appropriate in N. Saanich in 2017.  Happy New Year everyone