Monday, February 25, 2013


    Today, I'm interviewing Norma Scott, one of our congregation's most devoted workers and a member of Session.  She is the alternate representative elder for SPPC to the Vancouver Island Presbytery.  Presently the position of Representative elder is vacant, so Norma attends each Presbytery meeting.  Through session, she is involved in Christian Education, Mission and Outreach, Pastoral Care and Sunday School.

   Those are just her official committees.  It seems to me that every time there is an event of any sort at SPPC, we'll see Norma helping out.  Norma's dedication is indeed,  a blessing to our congregation.

  Blog Interview

1. What made you choose SPPC?
   I grew up in the Church of Scotland, so when I moved to the                Saanich Peninsula in the mid 1980s, I looked for a Presbyterian church and found Saint Andrew's North in Sidney.

2. You seem to be a volunteer extraordinaire.  What compels you to be so involved?  What rewards do you see?  
    I am involved at church because I believe that God calls us to be in service for Him. I serve on the SPPC session, Sunday school, missions and pastoral care committees. All of this work is done in teams. The reward for this work is in completing the task successfully and honouring God. I also enjoy spiritual growth as we overcome difficulties and challenges.

3. What sacrifices do you make?
    In regards to personal sacrifices, making a difference takes time and effort, but God rewards us in many ways.

4. What is your dream for SPPC for the next five years?
    My hope for the future at SPPC is that we become a viable, praying and growing church, centered on God and seeking His will and direction. Also that we are active and reaching into the community.

5. Twenty-five years?
     Further into the future, that the church is still continuing to pray and believe in revival and is fruitfully serving and impacting the next generation. 

Thank you Norma for answering my questions and for your service to God and to the congregation at SPPC.

Monday, February 18, 2013


By Janet Smith

Shrove Tuesday- Pancake Day

When I was asked to do a write up for the blog I thought I would refer to the internet to see what it had to say about Shrove Tuesday and so the following is some of the many details that I found.

Shrove Tuesday is an ancient religious festival day, dating back to the early Christian times.  
The name Shrove comes from the old word, "shrive," which means to confess and from the custom of ringing the "shriving" bell to summon the people to church to be "shriven"  -- that is, to confess their sins at the beginning of Lent.
Shrove Tuesday is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday and is therefore the final day before the commencement of Lent, a Christian festival leading up to Easter Sunday (Easter Day).
  Shrove Tuesday always falls 47 days before Easter Sunday, so the date varies from year to year and falls between February 3 and March 9.  Shrove Tuesday is 47 days and not 41 days before Easter because Sundays are always a day of celebration in the Christian church and so they cannot be included in the 40 fast days of Lent. 
     At this time, certain foods are given up for the duration of Lent, such as eggs, milk, meat and rich buttery dishes.  On Shrove Tuesday, families eat up all the rich foods left in their pantries.  One way they use up the eggs, milk and fats in the house is to add flour and make special pancakes!

So, in keeping with this tradition, some 60 people at SPPC enjoyed 
a wonderful supper of pancakes, smothered in maple syrup and
butter along with sausages, bacon and fruit, with ice cream cones
to round off the meal.  Was it ever good!  Our thanks to the cooks 
and all those who helped make this such a great meal.

Mmmm... good
   By the way, this is our second pancake supper and hopefully we'll have another one next year on March 4, 2014, and we'd love
to see you there.  If you want pancakes but don't feel like cooking them, come and enjoy the fellowship with us.

Ed. Note:  Thanks to Janet for sharing her pictures as well as her words.  To enlarge the photos, simply hover the cursor over them and click.

Monday, February 11, 2013


by Alice Valdal 

   Welcome to the first annual Family Day in B.C.  If you're wondering what to do with all your free time, you might like to read SPPC's Annual Report.  It was placed in mailboxes on Sunday, so if you haven't picked yours up yet, hurry on down to the church and get your copy.
    Now, I know annual reports are often considered pretty dry, but this is our church and our congregation so, the reports are really about the members of our family and how they're doing.   I look at the Annual Report as a sort of newsy letter between relatives, the kind of letter that gets passed on and added to and questioned as it makes the rounds.  
     What's happening with Sunday morning coffee?  The answer is in the Annual Report.  How's the health of our Sunday School?  It's in the Annual Report.  Are there opportunities to be more involved?  It's in the Annual Report.  (I'll give you a hint on that one.  There are always opportunities to be involved.)
     One of the recurring themes I've heard in Bible Study is, "if it's there, there's a reason."  So, I've had to give up my tendency to skip over long lists  -- "the begats", for example, are more than just a list of names for our tongues to trip over.  So, using that principle, I curbed my impulse to skip the pages of names and telephone numbers and read the real meat in the committee reports.  I spent some time studying the "responsibilities listing" and, sure enough, I learned something.  I learned that Session has ten committees.  I learned that the same names show up in several places.  I learned that the Presbyterian Record is listed under Christian Education.  I learned that we have a "Nurture and Fellowship" responsibility and under that umbrella is everything from genealogy to the Sunshine Lunch to the Compassionate Warehouse.  I learned that I don't know nearly enough about our Mission and Outreach Ministries.  All that just from reading page 8 of our Annual Report.  Imagine what else I can glean from our family letter.
    So, happy Family Day and enjoy a good read!


P.S.:  The annual Congregational Meeting will be held on Sunday, Feb.24 following worship and lunch.  Child Care available.


on that one.  There are always

Monday, February 4, 2013

Time's Winged Chariot

 by Alice Valdal

  Is it just me or do the weeks seem shorter?  It seems we've just tidied up the last of the Christmas decorations, and we're already preparing for Easter.  The posters are up for the pancake supper on Shrove Tuesday next week.  
      Reports for the Annual Congregational Meeting are in the office and will be circulated next week.  Committees are holding special meetings.  The Living Flame is setting its music program through to Mother's Day.
     In Bible Study we have moved from the detailed, somewhat leisurely accounts of Jesus' baptism, his miracles, his teachings and have rushed into Jerusalem and the Upper Room.  
      Yesterday I overheard a woman in the grocery store saying it was time to get into the garden.  Really?
       In my own extended family, we've had one baby born two weeks early and another born seven weeks early.  Everyone is in a rush!
      While life in the fast lane is exciting, it can be exhausting and skew our perspective.  The Bible has many cautionary notes about hurry and busyness.  Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God."  Psalm 127:2   " It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late ..."  Ecclesiastes 4:6  "Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit."
     Even Jesus knew the value of quiet and retreat.  In Mark 6 we read that he called his disciples to go out into the desert, a place apart, where they could rest and refresh themselves.   
      So, when time seems to speed up, perhaps the old hymn "Take Time to be Holy" offers good advice.
      Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.
Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.
Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.
Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.
                          W.D. Longstaff
A familiar hymn is dear to the hearts of many, offers a comfort in its sameness, but sometimes we don't listen to what we know so well. To hear a different arrangement click here.