Monday, January 14, 2019

   Weekly choir practice is back on the calendar.  Bible study is back in session. Sunday school has restarted. Regular committees are back at work. The sign up board has plenty of openings. Hard to believe that just a few short weeks ago we were getting ready for Christmas Eve Service amid worries about the electric power.

      In the "big wind" of 2018, some 800,000 households on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands lost power. Given the circumstances SPPC got off lightly. We never lost power completely but we did lose some. We have a three phase power system. A branch came down and touched the lines. We lost two phases. Not dire, but worrisome just before our biggest service of the year. 
     Our electrical services were so unpredictable life got complicated. Lights in the hall worked but not in the office. The organ had power but  the photocopier did not. Heat was erratic.
     Even once full power was restored timed systems, like the outdoor lights, were unreliable. On Christmas Eve the parking lot and driveway were in total darkness. Regular congregants had a hard time finding the gateway so what chance did visitors have?
     Turns out they managed just fine because we had a full house. The service was lovely. Ironically, we turned off the lights toward the end of worship, leaving the sanctuary lit only by candles as we sang "Silent Night." 

     Clean up is now complete, we think. Welcome all to SPPC in 2019--and bring a sweater, just in case.

Monday, January 7, 2019

More Blessings

Share the Good News
by Janet Smith

At SPPC we take our turn to visit the Saanich Peninsula Hospital to lead a 30-minute service for the residents in palliative care wing.
Usually this falls on the 4th Sunday of the odd numbered months, January, March and so on but a few weeks back the secretary called me to let me know that we had also been assigned Sunday 23rd December! To my shame, my immediate reaction was somewhat selfish to say the Least. Oh, what a nuisance, I thought, right now when I have so much to do.
As I announced this to others, I felt the same sort of reaction. Why us? It’s not our turn.
 Anyhow, a goodly number of our congregation turned out and helped gather residents from their rooms and helped them to the hospital Chapel and together we all enjoyed singing Christmas carols. Rev. Irwin gave a short Christmas message and when the service ended, we helped everyone back to their rooms.

This took all of one and a half hours out of my Christmas preparation, so little time but such a great blessing for those who attended, possibly for some folks, we may have been the only visitors they saw over the Christmas season. Not only was it a time of blessing for the residents but I hope it was also a blessing for those of our congregation that came out to share that time together.
How selfish can we be, when all we think about is what we want and need, yet when we give of ourselves to others, how best we are.
Christmas came, everything fell into place and I was able to enjoy celebrating Christ’s birth with my family in the warmth and comfort of my home unlike so many.
Christmas is a time for sharing the love, hope, peace and joy that Christ came to bring each one of us, I hope we were able to do that for these folks at the S.P.H. for that short time on 23 December 2018.
Go Tell it on the mountains!