Monday, April 29, 2019

Isaiah 66 -- The Glory

This week we will finish our Bible Study of Isaiah. It has been a very long study -- it's a long book -- and we've had many interruptions, so the class will start with a short video reviewing the previous chapters.

Isaiah is a challenge for the students if only because of its time line. The first part is historical record of the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel at the time of Hezekiah. The second part is prophecy about Israel going into exile and third part is about Israel returning from exile. As well, some of the prophetic passages are about Jesus, the suffering servant. Of course, the first hearers of Isaiah's message knew nothing about Jesus Christ. 
Our Bible class has the advantage of history. We know how the prophecies turned out. We know about Christ. To study an Old Testament book requires us to constantly remember the context. This is a time when God sent prophets to His chosen people, but it is long before He sent His son to rescue a fallen people. All in all, a quick review will be a welcome refresher for the study group.

The week after, on May 8, we're going to watch a movie, probably Chariots of Fire. The movie has a strong message about living out our beliefs. It also has a great soundtrack.

Up next will be a less intensive video-based study called  Drive Through History, a kind of travelogue through sacred places in the Holy Land. Just like kids at the end of the school year, we're going to relax, watch videos and enjoy some great discussion -- there might even be popcorn on occasion.

So, if you've been holding back from Bible study because you missed too many lessons on Isaiah, now is the time to come back. If you've never come to Bible study because you thought it would be too hard, now is the time to give it a try. Wednesdays at 9:30 am and 6:30 pm. Time well spent!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Easter 2019

Early morning service at Cy Hampson Park.

The bird came. 

We took the annual photo. With sunshine and warm temperatures there were more people to sing and rejoice. 

We are grateful for the worker bees who stayed in the kitchen to prepared our Easter breakfast.

Christ is Risen
He is Risen Indeed.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week. 
On Sunday we started the service with cries of Hosanna! then moved to the sacrament of the Last Supper. 
This seems a very sudden transition from joy and excitement to sorrow and remorse, but it mirrors the Biblical story. Jesus rode into Jerusalem to the adulation of a crowd waving palm branches and hailing him as "Messiah." Before the week was out He had been betrayed and now the crowd shouted "Crucify Him." Mark 11: 1-11.
In the midst of the beauty and sunshine of spring, the Christian church enters its most sombre time of year. 

On Thursday, we will remember the meal in the upper room, the last time Jesus supped with His disciples.
On Friday, we gather in solemn remembrance for Good Friday worship.
On Saturday, we wait.
On Easter Sunday we celebrate the Resurrection with song and word. We cry "Christ is Risen, He is Risen Indeed." We sing hallelujah, giving thanks for God's gift of our risen Lord.

Join us. Here's the schedule:

Maundy Thursday, April 18, 6:00 pm. "Meal in the Upper Room"
Good Friday, April 19, 10:00 am  Worship with strings and choir
Easter Sunday, April 21, 8:00 am Sunrise service at                                                                                     Cy Hampson Park  
                                                  9:00 am Breakfast in the hall.                                                             10:00 am Worship in the sanctuary                                                                            

Everyone is welcome at these events. Easter bonnets welcome but not necessary.

Monday, April 8, 2019

April Showers

Not rain showers, but showers of blessing.
On the last Saturday of March, SPPC reached out to the community by hosting a Food Safe Level 1 course put on by VIHA. There were over twenty attendees, about 1/3 from SPPC and the rest from the area. Linda Cliff was there and sends this report.

The by-line for this course is Food Safe: Makes Good Food Better.  Health Canada estimates that more than 4 million Canadians surer from foodborne illness every year.    So you may ask: Does the course deliver? Why should someone who does not work in the food industry take the course? Has my behaviour around handling food changes?

The course does meet the objectives of describing the food handler’s responsibility in protecting food from contamination, the course also helps the participants to identify major improper food handling practices that can cause food borne illness outbreaks, it also describes how to serve food safely, wash your hands and clean dishes properly.These are the aspects of the course that are important to those of us who serve food in the non- commercial system.  There is also information given for those who will be working in the restaurant system and highlights the laws and practices that are required to meet provincial and federal laws.  After learning of all the regulations and practices that are required by commercial establishments I know I would think twice before opening a restaurant.  So we should really appreciate all that the staff must do to serve us food that is safe and fun to eat.
What did I learn?  First of all wash your hands, wash your hands.  Food is most often contaminated by people who have improperly washed their hands.  Also to store food safely before it is served.  Along with this is the need for a good food thermometer.  Hot food must reach an internal temperature of 74 degrees Celsius to destroy food pathogens and must not fall below 60 degrees Celsius if it is being served in a Buffet.  If you are unsure of the safety of food it should be discarded, which we may be reluctant to do.   The principals we learned at the course are adaptable to your home kitchen especially the information at about internal food temperature.  A course participant told me that since they have bought a good thermometer, they find their food tastes better as they are no longer overcooking their meals.

Yes my behaviour has changed.  I look at the church kitchen with new eyes, I have a good food thermometer and I wash my hands, wash my hands.    

Our congregation is blessed with many, many April birthdays, including the minister and the clerk of session. On Sunday we had cake for all of them. It was very tasty!

Finally, I was reminded that I hadn't posted the answers for the hymn quiz from two weeks ago. Here they are with links to video performances. You'll notice some aren't sung to the tunes in our hymnbook, but they are lovely. Give them a listen.

1)All things bright and beautiful
2)For the beauty of the earth
3)This is my Father's world
4) From Ocean Unto Ocean
5)For the fruit of His creation
6) Morning has broken


8)Praise my soul, the King of heaven
9)Fairest Lord Jesus
10) God who touches earth with beauty.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Welcome Home

     Sunday at SPPC centred on the theme of "home."  Of course, we always try to be a welcoming congregation, but this Sunday we went the extra step and said "welcome home," not "welcome stranger."

The scripture reading was "The Prodigal Son." We all know that one so well -- the youth who demanded his inheritance then went off and squandered it on riotous living. When he'd run out of options, he decided to go back to his father and beg for a servant's place. Instead, the father ran to greet the prodigal, threw a big party and gathered him back into the family fold. 
Welcome home.

     After coffee hour, the newest members of the congregation, those who formally joined in December of last year, were welcomed home with lunch. The feast was catered by session and we were invited to ask any questions we might have about our church. Problems or issues we wanted to discuss.

Welcome home.

     When I was growing up, our home was a welcoming place,  always ready to set another place at the table. There was a plaque on the kitchen wall that began with the words "Friend you are welcome here, be at your ease." Small wonder that, among my mother's treasurers, I found this little homily.
There is magic in that little word ...Home. . . Home is the sweetest word in the Saxon tongue. It has in it the brightness of sunshine and the fragrance of flowers. It suggests love, peace, rest and gladness. It calls up pictures painted imperishably on the heart. It speaks of father's love and mother's care... 
      At SPPC, we strive to be that place. The place that gives a tiny foretaste of heaven. The place that opens its arms to all who call. The place that offers friendship, support, laughter, love and prayer. The place that says ...
Welcome home.

     If you're feeling a little lonely, a little lost, a little down, a little adrift . . . our doors are open.  
9296 E. Saanich Rd. N. Saanich. 
250 656-2241. 
Call or drop by, and . . .
Welcome home.