Monday, January 25, 2021

I Am a Church Member -- Review


Congratulations to Blanche on the occasion of her 96th birthday this week. I hear that Session sang happy birthday to her over Zoom! What a world. Here's a virtual slice of cake. 

The link for this week's livestreamed service:

I Am a Church Member

 by Thomas S. Rainer



These Covid times and the inability to meet in person for church services had me thinking about church membership and its importance in my life.  So when I was in the Christian book store I couldn’t resist looking at this book.  In fact I sat down and read the first chapter while I was in the store!  It felt like the Holy Spirit was saying read this!


When our church membership does not live up to our expectations we begin the blame game.  We blame it on godless politics, secular culture, uncaring ministers, hypocritical fellow Christians, everyone but ourselves.  What the author of this book suggests is that we join churches expecting others to serve us, to feed us, and to care for us, but we have lost the Biblical understanding of what it means to be a part of the body of Christ.


He says we are being hypocrites.  Hard words!  The good news is that Rainer then goes on to give us a road-map so we can be functioning church members of a vibrant congregation.  The reader is given six tasks to fulfil.  Each task is explained, Biblical references are cited and at the end of the chapter, he asks the reader to sign a pledge saying they will commit to their church.  The tasks are as follows:  

  • I will be a functioning Church member;
  • I will be a unifying Church member; 
  • I will not let my Church be about my preferences and desires; 
  • I will pray for my Church leaders; 
  • I will lead my family to be healthy Church members; 
  • I will treasure Church membership as a gift.


The chapter on each task has stories about how necessary it is to address these aspects of membership.   Rainer begins by exploring Corinthians 13, the love chapter and explains that Paul was talking about us and how we should treat our fellow Christians. In the chapter on the church and our family he talks about how we as believers can affect the non believers in our families.  Some of the chapters tell us things about ourselves that are difficult to hear, especially the chapter on our preferences.


This book was a great read.  It is short, easy to read and important to all church members.  It should be required reading for all Christians who want to be part of a vibrant congregation.

Reviewed by Linda Cliff


The text for this book is available on the internet with appropriate study guides.  We are bound to our homes these days and filling our time can be a challenge.  Why not take the Pledge?

The book can be downloaded for free here , or you can read it on-line at the same url. Various scholars and preachers have offered study guides. Here are a few.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Soup Sale


The news you've been waiting for -- Darlene is making soup!

We're all getting tired of "stay at home" so it's nice to have a bright spot coming soon --homemade soup from the SPPC kitchen.

Laugh of the week: My brother was fed up with gloomy weather so he said "Hey, Google. When will we see the sun again?"

Google answer: April 2024!

Soup Sales


Types: Turkey Vegetable


Potato Leek


Size: 12oz. perfect for one or two servings


Cost: $4.50 C.O.D. 

cash or cheques, payable to SPPC


To Order: Call Joan at 250 656-6130


Free delivery on the Peninsula

You don't have to be a member of the congregation to enjoy our soup service. Feel free to call Joan at the number above, or the church office at 250 656-2241 to place an order or ask for more information.

Given the average number of orders (70) per soup on past occasions it is clear our congregation enjoys their homemade comfort food.

Previously the proceeds went to support  the House Upon the Rock Ministry in the Dominican Republic.

With COVID-19 hitting hard close to home, the latest batch of soup is designated to raise funds for the Session Discretionary Fund. These monies can be distributed by Session for unexpected requests from our local community and congregation. 

Place your orders now. The soup pot will be expanded to fulfil the requests.

 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 1Corinthians 10:31

The link for this week's livestreamed service is here 

Monday, January 11, 2021

Out with the Old


Last week the decorating committee took down the Christmas tree in the sanctuary and repacked the nativity sets in their boxes. The surviving poinsettias are in the narthex and available for anyone who wants one. 

The outdoor lights came down as well but our "hope" sign is still hanging on the front of the church.  There have been various calls for people to keep their outdoor Christmas lights on well into February as a means to boost people's spirits and lighten the darkness.  That seems like a good cause for a church to embrace, so, as you drive by our empty building for the next few weeks you'll see "hope" gleaming in the dark.

You may remember that we had a pretty heavy snowfall before Christmas. At the time most of us were preoccupied with the power outage. It wasn't until later that we noticed the heavy snow, winds and torrential rain caused havoc with our trees.

A small, deciduous bush uprooted behind the shed, pushing over another shrub quite close to the south wall of the church building. More seriously, a mature fir

tree broke off about sixty feet up and dropped a thirty foot section very close to the gazebo. It also snagged some smaller trees which are now dangerously bowed over the gazebo.

Tore has been working to clean up the mess from the downed trees. These snagged and bowed ones are dangerous and require a professional to take them down.

In a normal year we would be worrying about having to cancel services because of bad weather or ice in the parking lot. Is it good news that, this year, services were cancelled already?

Happy January!


Monday, January 4, 2021

Welcome 2021


Has ever a year been more fervently wished on its way than 2020? Begun with hope and joy, now, all over the world, people can't wait to say good-bye to the misery that was 2020. 

2021 holds our hopes for a return to life as we knew it. A life that includes attending church services in person, HUGS, coffee dates, travel, reunions, office parties, regular classes . . . The list goes on and on. So many moments and so many lives stolen in 2020.

And yet, there is some trepidation around the new year. If 2020 taught us anything it's that life is uncertain. In other years we might have made resolutions, travel reservations, and arrangements for celebrations, confident that our plans would come to fruition. In 2021 do we still have that certainty? The pandemic has forced life-altering changes on our society. Will we ever return to our 2019 way of life?

Have we become so conditioned to social avoidance that we'll continue to shun casual acquaintance? What will our congregation look like when we return to the church building? Will our economy recover? Will businesses survive? How many more will die before we achieve herd immunity with the vaccines? 

Do we even want to return to 2019 patterns? Is work-from-home the way of the future? Are virtual connections a better way to conduct business?

When the scientific community announced the development of vaccines the world gave a collective cheer. Life could return to "normal." But we don't know what "normal" will look like in the months ahead.

More than ever, as we bid good riddance to the year of COVID 19, we need faith.

In the dark days heading into WWII George VI famously quoted these lines. "Go into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way!"

Canadian song writer Gene McClellan put the idea into music. 

"Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water,"  first recorded by Ann Murray.

Victor Hugo said: 

Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones: when you have laboriously accomplished your daily tasks, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.

A quick review of the Bible reminds us that fear and doubt have been part of the human condition throughout history. Time and again, God reminds His people to put their trust in Him. These are some of the best known and best loved verses. 

"Yea though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me. Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Ps. 23:4

"Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved".Psalm 55:22 

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6 

I once heard a marvellous sermon about starting school. The preacher explained that his mother had taken him to school, seen him through the door and then left him there. "I thought my mother loved me!" he exclaimed, while the congregation chuckled. His point was that we have all experienced the unknown in our lives. Usually we face it with foreboding and only appreciate it in hindsight. He said new things are like going around a corner. We can't see what's ahead, so turning corners can be scary. He ended his sermon by reminding us that what lies around the corner, is not the frightening unknown. What lies around the corner are the loving arms of Jesus.

"Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost." Romans 15:13 

The link for this week's live streamed service is