Monday, March 27, 2017

The Apostles' Creed

After a brief holiday for spring break, Bible Study resumes this week.  The evening group is still working on Galatians, but the morning group is starting a new, six week study of the Apostles' Creed.  Many of us know it by heart, others will recognize it when they hear it.  It's that bit in the communion service that begins "I believe . . ."  In Latin it begins Credo in Deum.  The root of the English word "creed" comes from the Latin Credo.  Anyone who has sung in choirs will recognize the phrase from the many settings of the Mass that form the heart of classical choral repertoire. 

The Apostles' Creed is an attempt to summarize what Christians believe.  i.e. we believe in God the Father, in Jesus Christ . . . our Lord. This is one of the earliest statements of the church, dating from the fourth century.  Through the ages some slight adjustments were made, but the words we know today were fixed in the seventh century.  Imagine that -- fourteen centuries of Christians proclaiming the same words of faith.  Talk about the "communion of saints."

A creed does not take the place of scripture, but it provides a convenient summation of our faith.  It can be a handy reference to test suspect statements about Christianity.  Any confession that leaves out or contradicts the essential elements stated in the Apostles' Creed must be found wanting.

Finally, the creed reminds us that we belong to a community of faith.  We "belong!"  There is such longing in the hearts of humans to belong and the church answers that need.  The Apostles' Creed affirms that we are members of the church, tracing our roots all the way back to the upper room.  Such a mighty company, open to all who can say with conviction, "I believe in God . . . and in Jesus Christ . . . our Lord."

Morning study is Wednesdays at 9:30 am in the Ross Lounge.  Evening study is at 7:00 pm.  All are welcome.  Don't worry if you can't attend all sessions.  Each lesson can stand independently.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Talent/Craft Show

On Sunday, after service, the Fellowship Committee sponsored a talent/craft show.  Congregants brought their best handiwork to display during the coffee hour.  And what wonderful handiwork we saw.  I've taken pictures, maybe too many but it was all so noteworthy.

 There was needlework, glasswork, and woodwork.

There were tolle pictures, photographs and painted pictures.

There were big works and small works.

Some talents were edible!

And to top it all off, we had a birthday.

There were no prizes, no competition, but what a great way to get to know each other better.  As one person remarked, "I'd rather know this now than find out at a funeral!"

Kudos to the fellowship committee for sponsoring the event and well done to all the participants.

Monday, March 13, 2017


On Tuesday, the Grief and Loss group sponsored a talk by Linda Cliff on Medical Assistance in Dying. It is a difficult topic, but one that affects us all whatever our personal beliefs.
In the six months since the law was enacted, B.C. has reported the highest number of medically assisted deaths in Canada, 188.  Of those deaths the highest per capita rate is on Vancouver Island, 77 deaths. 
It is natural to think that a person's death, natural or medically assisted, affects only that person, but there are ramifications for health care professionals as well as for society at large. 

  •  Doctors and nurses must decide it they are willing to administer lethal doses of drugs.  Healthcare professionals are not required to participate in medical assisted dying procedures, but they must provide the information if asked.   It is still illegal to counsel a person to commit suicide.
  • The coroner records MAiD deaths.  They are not considered natural deaths.
  • Pharmacists must consider the legal and moral implications of filling prescriptions so that patients can commit suidice.  
  • Insurance companies are re-examining their policies with regard to payouts for suicide deaths.  
  • The Pension Act, and similar laws had to be adjusted for the new reality of medically assisted death.
  • For patients and their families, MAiD is now part of the conversation when death approaches.

While Bill C-14 concerns the use of medicine and medical professionals to assist a person to die, the bill is actually about the law rather than medicine.  It speaks of "exemption from criminal prosecution" for health care providers, and lays out very strict guidelines as to when MAiD is legal.  The criteria are:

  • patients must be eligible for provincial health services. i.e. non-Canadians cannot come here and ask for MAiD
  • patients must be 18 years of age and capable of making decisions about their health. i.e. mentally competent
  • have a grievous and irremediable medical condition
  • have made a voluntary request for MAiD
  • give informed consent to receive MAiD after receiving all information needed to make a decision, including:
      • medical diagnosis
      • available forms of treatment
      • available options to relieve suffering, including palliative care
  • have a serious illness, disease or disability
  • an advanced state of decline that cannot be reversed
  • suffering unbearably from illness, disease, disability or state of decline
  • be at a point where natural death has become reasonably foreseeable.

The bill includes safeguards.  The patient must meet all conditions and make the request in writing, give informed consent and make the request of their own free will.  There is a 10 day waiting period between the day the request is signed and the day chosen to carry out the request.  The patient can withdraw consent at any time, including immediately before MAiD is delivered.
Other safeguards:
  • There must be two independent witnesses present.  
  • Witnesses may not be a beneficiary of the will of the patient.
  • owners or operators of a health care facility, or any person directly providing personal care to the person making the request, may not be witnesses.
  • the order for MAiD must be signed by two authorized health professionals.
  • MAiD is not available to children or mature minors
  • MAiD cannot be requested in an advance directive.

To read bill C-14 for yourself click here.

Alberta Health Services has created a values assessment tool that some might find interesting.  It is available here.
The website may be useful for further exploration of this subject.
For a summary of the Presbyterian Church in Canada's position on euthanasia click here

To see an on-line discussion of MAiD in the Presbyterian Church go here.

Monday, March 6, 2017

PLC Pasta Dinner

by Felicity Smith

On Friday, March 10th at 5:30, the Parking Lot Club (PLC) will be hosting a spaghetti dinner and movie night.
Over the last 6 months we have watched our program grow at a steady rate. We now have a very full hockey rink every Thursday night and the kids are anxiously awaiting the warmer weather so we can be outside, having everyone play at once.

Since the program has taken off so well, we thought we'd have a dinner with all of the kids, their families and the Congregation to say goodbye to winter and give everyone a chance to meet. We hope this will give our congregation a better look into our Thursday night activities, and the families a better look into our church family.
Dinner will consist of a few different spaghetti/pasta dishes, salads, and of course, garlic bread. Following dinner, at 6:30 we will be playing the movie 'Despicable Me' an animated, family comedy.
We welcome everyone to come on out for an evening of good food and laughter, while supporting the growing PLC!

See you there!