Monday, March 31, 2014

Sunday School Curriculum

by Norma Scott

      In the past we used a curriculum which followed the church calendar or lectionary.  Each lesson consisted of an  appropriate scripture, then discussion on our understanding, and application.  Usually there was time to do word searches or puzzles.
        One Sunday in early June I made up questions so each student could find answers by reading specific scriptures by themselves.  At coffee fellowship that day a visitor asked me which curriculum we used at SPPC.  I explained our past format and my decision that morning. What followed was an enthusiastic review of DiscipleLand.  Our visitor was a Sunday School teacher herself and had used DiscipleLand for some years.  
    Following that recommendation, I placed an order and within weeks we received a box of teacher guides and student books.  So in Sept. 2013, we switched to using DiscipleLand .  

      The 10 -14 year old class has been following a syllabus using the inductive method of Bible study.  The first twelve units involve only the book of Jonah.  The 5-9 year old class has used DiscipleLand since September and are presently taking a break for a couple of weeks.        

      DiscipleLand is preparing young minds to know God through his Word.  Our aim is to make the repetition of learning, inspiring and interesting for them.

Student comments:  "I like when we made titles for the chapters of Jonah.  I don't like that it's a lot like school and that we only study Jonah and it's getting boring." 

    "Over the course of the year we have been using a new curriculum.  We have learned lots about Jonah.  We have been using the 'Survey, observe, interpret, apply, method.'  The other thing we did was memorize memory verses It has been loads of fun." 

Ed. Note:  My thanks to Norma and her class for this blog.  And thank you to Norma and the Sunday School teachers who faithfully teach young minds about God, week after week.

Monday, March 24, 2014


  "The Jones effect" is a marketing term indicating the power of imitation.  It's the old "keeping up with the Joneses" idea.  Sales people will attempt to sell their product by listing others who have already purchased the item, be they the Joneses next door or some big name sports hero or Hollywood star.  It sounds like a cheap trick, but is, in fact, very effective.
  Now, at SPPC we have the "Joans effect."   There are several members of the congregation named Joan, but two of them are the driving force behind the Sunshine lunch, a social event catering to singles in the congregation.  This is a program that has been running at SPPC for at least fifteen years if not more.  At one time the lunch was pot luck, but in more recent years one of our Joan's, Joan MacD has provided a made-from-scratch feast, including hors d'oeuvres and punch, main course and dessert.  She has many willing helpers, but Joan is our head chef.

     Attendance averages around 30, mostly members of the congregation, some past members (our former organists are frequently there!) and guests.  For those who'd like a meal but can't make it to the church that day, the crew will provide a take-out.  How about that for service!
The other Joan, Joan A is chief administrator.  She handles things like selling tickets, rounding up kitchen staff, organizing a set-up crew and finding entertainers.  Oh yes, your ticket not only gets you a delicious, served lunch, you get entertainment as well.  It's a great deal.
  This past Monday was St. Patrick's Day, so the luncheon had an Irish theme.  Lettuce (green) soup, Irish stew, and Janet M's dance crew performing some Irish dances.

    The lunch schedule is roughly every six weeks, on a Monday,  except for the summer months.  The longevity and popularity of this program indicates how valuable it is to our fellowship.  
        Thanks to the Joans and all their helpers for this important ministry.

Monday, March 17, 2014


                                    When You Don't See His Plan


Nadine Hennesey with Rebecca Baker

   Nadine's story beings with a quote by Charles Swindoll, "Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children."
    Nadine came from a family who believed and practised Christian Living.  She had a strong sense of purpose and a love of sports, baseball, basket ball -- she was very competitive in all things she undertook.
     She met Ed Hennesey at their family church.  He was studying to become a missionary to Peru.  Nadine was studying to become a teacher to young children.  They married and were preparing for their ministries, when Ed died of a heart attack at the age of 26, a mere sixteen months after they were married.  Nadine was pregnant with their first child.
      Despite losing her husband and the life she had envisioned, Nadine continued to live in faith and to walk in trust.  She and her daughter eventually go to Peru, then Albania and finally Kosovo, where she developed a school for the children whose parents had been killed during the conflict in that country.
    I was fascinated to read how she handled being a single mom, and a widow yet kept her trust in God.  Her story strengthened my trust in God and His plan for my life.  
    If you ever wonder how a missionary's life progresses, this book is a must read for you.   I picked up Nadine's story because I was looking for something to take me outside my comfort zone.  Whoa!  Mission accomplished!
                                                    --reviewed by J. Browning

Monday, March 10, 2014


At the Annual Meeting last week  Rev. Irwin expressed appreciation for all the quiet ministries that happen without fanfare but that keep the life of the congregation running smoothly.  Hospital patients receive visitors, lunch is provided, offerings are counted, the books are balanced, birthday cards are sent.  Small ministries, done faithfully, they enhance our fellowship and remove many burdens from the minister.

     Another of those quiet ministries is prayer.  While all members of the congregation are encouraged to pray for each other and for the world, there is a dedicated group  who make it their mission to pray regularly together for the members and work of this congregation.  They meet in the Sanctuary on Wednesday morning, before Bible Study, and systematically pray through the entire church membership and the various ministries of SPPC. 

        I was once told my name comes up frequently in this circle.   The news alarmed me.  The prayer group thought I was in so much trouble I needed extra prayer?  Not so.  I am prayed for once as a member of the congregation and then again as a member of different groups within the congregation.  Whew!  So, if you want to be prayed for often, get involved in lots of things at church!

   There is a second group of people involved in regular prayer, and that is the prayer chain.  These individuals pray privately and at all times for those who have requested it.  This is more of a "crisis line" prayer group.  Those requesting prayer are often facing immediate issues like surgery, or bereavement.  Often times the people on this list are not members of SPPC but prayer requests for them have been received through members of the congregation.
      If you have a prayer request for this group, contact Edna or fill in one of the cards found in the pews.

       Finally, if you feel you'd like to participate in the prayer life of the congregation without joining either of the above groups, there is a prayer jar in the narthex.  The jar contains the names of the people of our congregation.  Take one or two or more home with you and pray for that person for a week.  When you've finished, return the name to the prayer jar.  Take another if you're so inclined. 

 We often hear people ask what they can do for the church.  How about saying a prayer?  It's more powerful than you might think.

P.S.  There is nothing in the world so much like prayer as music is. ~William P. Merrill

Elizabeth Clarke, who played for our Christmas play, is giving a recital on Wed. March 12, at 12:30 Philip T. Young auditorium, University of Victoria.  
Click here for more details.

Monday, March 3, 2014