Monday, August 27, 2018

Summer Outings at SPPC

by Janet Smith

I was about to attempt to write another  blog for our  church website and as I sat wondering how to pull it together,  I wondered what the Bible had to say about “enjoying one another” as that is what a group of us did again in mid-August.
I looked it up and found that in the New Testament alone there are 59 references to “one another”. To love, give, share, care, forgive, help, pray etc. and so the list goes on.
We have enjoyed some summer outing this year, sharing and fellowshipping with one another.
In  June we went to the Imax and saw the “Mysteries of Egypt”, followed by lunch together.
In July, we had a wonderful Gulf Island Cruise on B.C. Ferries and a few weeks later we took another ferry Cruise, this time we took a return trip to Tsawwassen  and back.

We enjoyed one another's company on the way over, sitting and chatting together and then on the return trip we enjoyed the lunch buffet together.
As we stayed on the ferry, we were first in line to be seated and as scripture says the fist shall be last,(not exactly what the scripture means), we were the last to leave! Yes for an hour and a half we ate, visited and enjoyed sharing with one another. It really was a lovely time spent with people from our church family.

Our summer outings continue into September. On the 18th we are planning a shopping trip to Tsawwassen Mills, leaving on the 9:00 a.m. ferry and returning on the 3:00 p.m. ferry
The last outing that is being planned is to “The Compassionate Warehouse” in Victoria on 12 October.
Our congregation collects supplies for this ministry and so it will be interested to see how and where it goes to and the process for when it leaves the warehouse in Victoria. The warehouse has to limit the size of the groups that visit and so, this visit will be limited to 8-10 people. If more people are interested, we will set up another date to accommodate every one else.
My thanks to those who have supported these outings, I hope you have all enjoyed being a part of and sharing with “one another” on these adventures, it’s been fun.

Ed. note:  Thanks to Janet for sharing these summer outing posts with this blog.

Monday, August 20, 2018

A Job Offer

By Linda Cliff

After over a year of job searching my daughter got a job this week!  This has been a difficult time for her as you can imagine, however I am going to talk about the lessons I learned though this process.

At first I was studying the Bible verses with the themes of ask and it shall be given, God can move mountains for those who believe.  As the months went by I read the verses which reminded me that all things work together for good for those who love God. 

During this time I was following my plan to read the Bible in a year.  At the beginning of each session the reader is reminded to do four things.  First is to ASK God to connect with you during the reading.  To slow down, to pray, to be open to what God has for you.  Then to slowly READ the scripture and to note the words and phrases that intrigue you.  Then to REFLECT on what you are reading.  How might God be speaking to you, what are the connections that may be important to you. And finally to RESPOND by speaking directly to God, to look for ways to live out what you uncovered.

Well God did speak to me.  It seemed with each reading I was able to find solace and to question why I was so worried about my daughter and her job search.  I realized that I was not really praying for her.  I was praying out of my concern for myself and not asking God to be with her.  To keep her safe, to help her remain focused on her goals.  I realized I was worried about my goals.  My prayers changed.  As a mother I was still concerned about her future but I was now having conversations with God about how I should talk with Him and how my prayers should be offered up for my family.

I realize that I wanted this job search process to be over quickly so I could stop my worry, but God had His own plan.   Over the past months, I have become much more specific in my prayers, I pray more regularly and I feel like something is missing if I don’t spend time with God each day.  Lessons well learned.

Linda Cliff

Monday, August 13, 2018

Sunday Highlights

It may be the dog days of summer, but we had a lively time at church this week, thanks to the Raven Baroque.  We are  blessed that Larry knows so many musicians who are willing to share their talent with the congregation.
They played the prelude and offertory and postlude and also enlivened the hymns with their accompaniment.  An extra surprise was the addition of violin and woodwind to the solo anthem.
 Our guest minister for the day, Rev. Barbara Young, declared herself well-pleased to be at SPPC on this particular day.

As it's summer, we had creative play for the children.  The session included learning the action song, Zaccheus; a colouring/drawing contest; chalk designs on the parking lot pavement then ended with a vigorous game of hop-scotch. We were a little short of stones for the hop-scotch so we used plum pits.

And speaking of plums, the trees are overflowing.  The congregation was treated to a few flats of purple goodness.

There was a note in the announcements that the Sidney/Lions Food Bank is in need.  This would be a good time for all those with bountiful gardens to contribute some fresh fruit and vegetables.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Summer Blessings - God is so Good

Tuesday 24 July, 9:10 a.m. A beautiful summer day, waiting at the B.C. Ferry Terminal, the ferry unloads but we continue to wait.
First an ambulance arrives and boards the ferry, followed by the fire Marshall and then another emergency truck. We all stand around, waiting and wondering. Finally, all the vehicles leave and we board the Queen of Cumberland ferry, we eventually leave the dock about twenty-five minutes late.

It was a perfect day, no wind, warm sunshine that sparkled on the water, blue skies, small and large boats out on the ocean, ferries both big and small sail by and we are surrounded by the Islands. In the distance we see the snow-capped Mount Baker and the words of this hymn, written by Isaac Watts
 come to mind,

I sing the mighty pow’r of God, that made the mountains rise,
That spread the flowing seas abroad, and built the lofty skies.
I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day;
The moon shines full at His command, and all the stars obey.
I sing the goodness of the Lord, who filled the earth with food,
Who formed the creatures through the Word, and then pronounced them good.
Lord, how Thy wonders are displayed, where’er I turn my eye,
If I survey the ground I tread, or gaze upon the sky.
There’s not a plant or flow’r below, but makes Thy glories known,
And clouds arise, and tempests blow, by order from Thy throne;
While all that borrows life from Thee is ever in Thy care;
And everywhere that we can be, Thou, God, art present there.

Eight of us have shared this time and experience together, we visited Lyall Harbour on Saturna Island, Village Bay, Mayne Island and Otter Bay, Pender Island before returning to Swartz Bay three and a half hours later.

Was it worth the wait? Oh yes, it certainly was, we we're truly blessed by God's great goodness shown to us during this mini cruise.

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant and everything in them; let the trees of the forests sing for joy. Let all creation rejoice before the Lord.

Thanks to Janet Smith for this week's blog.