We have moved the commentaries from the last six months into this archival page.
DECEMBER 31, 2017
The final worship service of 2017 was presided over by Rev. Kelley and Alison. What follows is a recap of the service with a New Year's Message from our Council Chair, Deb Charnuski:
December 31, 2017 Service – "A small but mighty contingent of the congregation braved -31 degrees C temperatures and not so great roads to attend the New Years Eve morning service which was centered around the theme of wassailing. The word wassail comes from the Anglo-Saxon greeting Wæs þu hæl, meaning "be thou haleor” or “be in good health”. Wassailing is an English tradition dating from the middle ages, and was a reciprocal exchange between the feudal lords and their peasants as a form of recipient-initiated charitable giving. The lord of the manor would give food and drink to the peasants in exchange for their blessing and goodwill, given in the form of the song being sung. Alison Demeter and Kelley Warner led this delightful service which saw the congregation sharing stories and poems, drinking wassail, which is essentially hot mulled apple cider (see recipe), caroling (kudos to our music director Brent Tucker who ably played every carol that was requested), candle lighting and prayer."
Many thanks to those who prepared the wassail drink and to Deb Charnuski for sharing her White Chocolate Raspberry trifle, prepared for an event the prior Saturday evening that ended up being cancelled. As the song “Here We Come a wassailing goes:
God bless you and send you a Happy New YearGod send you a Happy New Year!
DECEMBER 24, 2017
There were two services on Sunday, December 24, 2017. During the 10 a.m. intergenerational service, the fourth Sunday of Advent candle, Love, was lit and that evening, at the 8 p.m. Christmas Eve service, the Christ Candle was lit. The worship folders for both services can be viewed by clicking on the file attachment at the bottom of the page.
Actors and readers adding their talents to the 8 p.m. service included Vanessa Hansen, Matthew Hansen, Mike Trew, Dianne Trew, Bill Way and Rebecca Chubb-Way while music ministry featured the combined choirs and Guest Musicians, Libby Chunyk, Soloist; Claire Sharp – Violin; Amanda Sharp – Cello; Reinhard Sinnus - Flute and Accompanist, Garrett Krause.
DECEMBER 17, 2017
Lessons and Carols were the theme of the service on Sunday morning. The Sanctuary Choir offered their gift of music with Dana Young, Marion Whitman, Ruth Cross and Bill Way sharing their talent with us. The accompanist was Garrett Krause.
The worship bulletin is attached as a file below.
DECEMBER 10, 2017
Alison and Peggy, special guests and the Faith Questers presided over worship today weaving the story of Christmas around the drama, "Four Nicks Named Nick: A White Gift Mystery." Familiar carols, Christmas readings, the lighting of the Second Advent Candle of Peace and the "Suspense" of what culinary treats were in order after service at our Annual Advent Brunch were our gifts this morning.
DECEMBER 3, 2017
Our trilogy of guest speakers was completed as Cathy Rigby, POST Program of the Sheldon Kennedy Advocate Centre, shared with us insights into the work that is being done there to enhance the lives of young people whose lives are in turmoil. Her reflections joined those of Christy Silcox and Scott Perley.
This morning we lit the candle of Hope on this first Sunday of Advent. From the worship folder:
"Memory awakens Hope - Advent is concerned with that very connection beween memory and hope which is so necessasry to humanity. Advent's intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church's year is continually to awaken the heart's memory so that it can discern the star of hope... It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope."
Prior to the service, we sang carols. The candlelighting ceremony included the lighting of the advent candle as well as the candle for our value of the month, "SUSPENSE." Our guest speaker was Cathy Rigby from the POST Program of the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocate Centre. One of our hymns was entitled "Advent's Hope" with words written by Rev. Peggy. Music ministry was offered by the Sanctuary Choir with Brent directing and Garrett on the piano.
NOVEMBER 26, 2017
"The Magic of Christmas" was the theme Sunday morning as our guest speaker, Scott Perley, lent his enthusiasm to our preparations for Christmas. Having worked with the "Magic of Christmas" program for several years, it was obvious that Scott's contributions along with the thousands of volunteers who make the program happen, is central to making Christmas special for over 700 families.
Angel Voices led with ministry of music, accompanied by Colleen Charter. Claire Sharp added her violin. Bill Way shared scripture and quotations.
Next Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent, the Advent of Hope. Cathy Rigby from the POST program will be our guest speaker.
NOVEMBER 19, 2017
Our guest speaker this morning was Christy Silcox from the Child Life Program at the Sheldon Kennedy Centre. The service marked the beginning of the Christmas Season as we explore ways to practise generosity and compassion in our lives. The Giving Tree mysteriously appeared in the foyer as the service ended.
Jonah Slater was a very special guest this morning as he was welcomed into the congregation at SDUC in his Baptismal ceremony. His parents, grandparents and little brother, Brandon, were with him on this special occasion.
The Sanctuary Choir, directed by Brent and accompanied by Garrett, added their ministry to the service that focussed on children.
"Hold My Hand" by Marian Wright Edelman
"Parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle:A child is watching you today. What will they learn?
Teacher, preacher, prime minister: A child is depending on you. How will you repay their trust?
Coach, celebrity, citizen, neighbour: A child is emulating you today. What kind of human being will they be?"
NOVEMBER 12, 2017
Our service this morning reflected on the sacrifices made by so many Canadians during World Wars I and II as well as recent armed interventions in Afghanistan and other world conflict zones. Vern McKeague brought forth the wreathe while the children from Faith Quest gathered around before pinning their poppies. Guest trumpeter was Pam Breuer and music ministry was by the Chamber Choir.
Peace is not the product of terror or fear. Peace is not the silence of cemeteries.
Peace is not the silence of violent repression.
Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all.
Peace is dynamism. Peace is generosity. It is right and duty.
Archbishop Oscar A. Romero
NOVEMBER 5, 2017
Today's service reminded us about the importance of Compassion in our lives. Scripture readings came from Psalm 112, from Matthew 20, from Hindu, Muslim, Bahai Writings and a quote from Nelson Mandela. Rev. Peggy challenged us to practice compassion in our lives as we relate to others. She reviewed the work done by Karen Armstrong with the launch of the Charter of Compassion in 2009 which has been joined by 160 countries and organizations world wide. Her "Ted" talk suggested the religion should create harmony and be based on the Golden Rule if we desire to live together in peace.
“Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.”
- Dalai Lama
OCTOBER 29, 2017
Rev. Kelley was assisted in the service Sunday by a group of young people who had travelled to Zambia earlier this year. They shared their experiences with us and led us in song. They shared their ministry with the Men's Chorus under the direction of Clare Beers. Guest musicians were reinhard Sunnus (on flute and voice) and Anothony Edmunds on Trumpet.
"I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world."
Mary Anne Radmacher.
OCTOBER 22, 2017
“Deep within you is everything that is perfect, ready to radiate through you and out into the world. It will cure all sorrow and pain and fear and loss because it will heal the mind that thought these things were real, and suffered out of its allegiance to them.” - Chrys Moelter-Gray
“The God you are looking for is within.”
"REFLECTING THE ESSENCE OF GOD" was the theme of this morning's service. The Angel Voices offered an anthem, Traces, set to music by Garrett Krause and their A cappella rendition of Ubi Caritas by O. Gjeilo was incredible. Rev. Peggy shared her answers to the big questions like "How can we honour our divine nature? and "Why did God create us? and "Are we worthy of God?" Jesus taught that God was within us. God is not separate but part of us, a devine presence. We are called to reflect God's presence in our lives. We are on a journey of becoming better and better images of God. True freedom is being what we are meant to be. Namaste.
OCTOBER 15, 2017
Rev. Peggy McDonagh presided over the service today while Rev. Kelley assisted Alison Demeter with Faith Quest. This being World Food Sunday, Rev. Peggy reminded us of the struggle faced by so many in today's world to meet simple basic needs. It is impossible to consider world food shortages without recognizing the future of migration. Climate change and conflict with subsequent displacement of peoples has reached record highs. Almost a billion people are on the move as they seek better lives. Most of those people are in the 15-34 years age range. Rev. Peggy reminded us of how Jesus dealt with the issues of poverty.
Jesus calls us to provide fair sharing of the earth, food and security. The Calgary Food Policy Council is trying to eradicate hunger in Calgary by 2030. We are reminded to eat mindfully, not be wasteful and to reduce our environmentall footprint. Rev. Peggy challenged us to share what we have and experience dependence and gratitude.
"God, take my hands, take my life, ordinary as wheat or cornmeal, daily as bread- my stumbling generosity, my simple actions and find them good enough to help prepare the least for all the world's people."
The Sanctuary Choir performed J.M Martin's "A Thanksgiving Garden," as their part of the reflection on this "World Food Sunday." The Spiritual Travellers set off at week's end on their trip to South Africa. Twenty-five people will be sharing the trip and, as customary, will share their experiences with us upon their return. Bon Voyage.
OCTOBER 8, 2017:
Rev. Kelley Warner presided over a joyous and gratitude-filled service Sunday morning. The Chamber Choir offered their ministry of song led by Brent with Garrett Krause on the Piano and Claire Sharp on violin. With a focus on "Giving Thanks on Dark Days", the readings were Psalm 100, 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 and Luke 17:11-19. The Seeds of Meditation included:
"It takes a lot of courage to have an 'attitude of gratitude' in dark times. But once you have it, it empowers you." - Joshua Tongol
"A kind gesture can reach a wound only compassion can heal." - Steve Maraboli
"If the whole world was strewn with kind people like you, reasons for violence and anarchy would e very few. If everyone tried hard to be responsible and kind, an eye for an eye wouldn't make the world blind." - WishesMessages.com
OCTOBER 1, 2017:
A new month, a new value of the month (generosity), a new sacred service time and, suddenly, we are back in full swing. The service marked World Communion and that was the theme of the readings and of Rev. Peggy's reflections. Our special music was provided by David Dixon on piano and Laryssa Warne on Violin along with the Sanctuary Choir.
Rev. Peggy told us how World Communion was begun. A Presbyterian Minister in Pittsburgh, in the midst of the depression and the onset of Naziism, initiated the common call for Christians to share in the Eucharist and the program was endorsed in 1940, during World War II, as a plea for justice to transform the world. We are called to share and are reminded that every person is part of an immense whole-- our thoughts and actions affect others around the world. The bread symbolizes goodness, unity and peace within community. We come to the table for spiritual renewal. In our differences, we are not alone but one is spirit. We are on unique journeys, met where we are.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2017
"Permission Slips" took on a broader meaning on Sunday morning when Rev. Peggy added her wisdom to the concept.
"The only thing I knew was that I would give myself permission to imagine anything, and reverse engineer my way from there."
"Dignity happens the moment you stop comparing yourself to others because it undermines your worth, education and your parent's wisdom. Give yourself permission to stop comparing."
Our liturgy, Sunday morning, drew upon our celtic traditions with hymns, anthems and responsive readings and prayers. The words to our Reflection Hymn were written by Rev. Peggy. You can read these as well as other highlights in the worship folder which is found as a file attachment below.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2017
Sunday morning, the Sanctuary Choir encircled the congregation as they presented M. Praetorius rendition of "Jubilate Deo." Rev. Peggy challenged us to say, "Yes to Life," continuing with her theme built around the value of the month, Eagerness." The second verse of the hymn sung following the reflection rather sums up her message:
Saying 'Yes' can bring new insights, changes, choices we must face.
Give us wisdom in deciding, mindful always of your grace.
Should we stumble, lose our bearings, find it hard to know what's right,
We regain our true direction focused on the Jesus light.
The worship folder is attached as a file attachment below. Note the time management notes on page 4.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2017
Our worship folder Sunday morning quoted author, Zane Grey, who said, "I arise full of eagerness and energy, knowing well what achievement lies ahead of me." Our service truly was an invitation to harness our energies and attack the future with gusto. Alison, along with Abbey and Trent, had us singing and working out at the same time as we sang, "Hallelujah, Praiser Ye, the Lord" complete with actions. Rev. Peggy, presiding, shared with us her reflection on "Eagerness - Energizing the Spirit." And, the Chamber Choir added their 'eagerness' with a rousing rendition of "Down to the River to Pray." You can click on the file attachment below to follow along the service.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2017
Rev. Kelley presided over Sunday morning's service as we launched into the month of September. The Value of the Month is "Eagerness" and it is with eagerness that we approach the coming calendar of activities and opportunities at St. David's. Her reflection, "God Calls Us," reminded us that we are all part of the ministry at St. David's.
Special music for this concluding summer service was provided by Carsten Rubeling on his trombone.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 27, 2017
Rev. Peggy's theme Sunday morning was "Being God's Glow." As usual, Rev. Peggy's creativity gave us words to the hymn following her reflection.
"Travelling companions, friends on the journey.
Sharing our kindness, our grace to increase.
Truth gives our faith its courage and wisdom,
shaping our world with the light we release."
Our guest musician was baritone, Graham Fast.
You can follow the service as a file attachment that is uploaded below.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 20, 2017
Rev. Peggy led a contemplative worship service on Sunday, built around the theme of "Be Still and Know." Dr. Richard Christmas read several selections inviting quiet reflection. "Taking Refuge" and "The Value of You" as well as asking the questions, "I wonder how I can show compassion today?" and "I wonder, how can I live more in the present moment and be a blessing to myself and others?" guided the thoughts of St. Davidians gathered for Sunday morning service. The worship folder is uploaded as a file attachment at the base of this page.
"Our worship service was crafted around the conteplative worship style of reflection and meditation. Worship offered an opportunity to be silent and center on the Creator, Shaper and Sustainer of life, through prayers, readings, silence, soft music and repetitive words. Silence is an important aspect of this particular practice. Silence is about holdig oneself in the present moent and letting Christ spirit, through the Holy Spirit, pray in and through us. We were invitied to share in the contemplative spirit andlet ourselves be embraced, renewed and refreshed."
SUNDAY, AUGUST 13, 2017
Rev. Peggy presided at the worship service on Sunday with her theme of summer play. Her reflection was enhanced by the lyrics set to a familiar tune. "Give to us play" verses set the stage for thoughts of summer fun. Brittany Rae soprano renditions and Reinhard Sunnus offered their ministry in song.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 6, 2017
Rev. Kelley reflected on her recent trip to Brazil during service today. The worship folder for August 6, 2017 is attached as a file below. Garrett Krause was our guest organist and along with Scott Blair on recorder, our music offered its blessing to our week.
SUNDAY, JULY 30, 2017
It was great to have Rev. Kelley back from her trip to Brazil. Her reflection on Sunday focussed on "Summer Travels" with readings taken from the book of Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 and from the writings of Suzy Kassm's “Wonderland." Our musical guest Sunday morning was Eileen Kosasih, violinist. The worship folder for Sunday, July 30 has been uploaded below as an attachment.
SUNDAY, JULY 23, 2017
ACTS Ministry presided over the worship service this morning. Worshippers were greeted by members of the July Sacred Service team and by the "new" ACTS banner, designed and donated by Dave Layton. Our Adult Spiritual Development Minister Wayne Holst led us through prayers and reflection. Guided by members of the ACTS ministry, Bonnae McTavish, Jock McTavish, Joan Gray, Brenda Wallace and Marlene Holst, we explored the theme of "Awakening Compassion."
Our guest musician, Lindsay Johnson, offered her talent with the French Horn and joined Brent on the harpsichord with "Largo for Horn and Piano."
SUNDAY, JULY 16, 2017
Rev. Deb Stockdale presided over the service this morning. Harpist, Gianetta Baril was our guest soloist and John Wilkes shared "Words of hope and joy from Isaiah 55: 10-13 to his people in exile.
Anne Lamott wrote,"I think joy and sweetness and affection are a spiritual path. We're here to know God, to love and serve God and to be blown away by the beauty and miracle of nature. You just have to get rid of so much baggage to be light enough to dance, to sing, to play. You don't have time to carry grudges, you don't have time to cling to the need to be right."
Rev. Deb reminded us of the feeling of joy and relief we recently experienced by the rain following the heat wave of the previous week. "God's word is like rain, bringing us back to life."
SUNDAY, JULY 9, 2017
Jesus' Parables came to life this morning as Alison and her faithful band of disciples reenacted the familiar story of Jesus and his ministry. With Garrett on the piano and Alison on guitar, we sang a host of familiar country tunes. Kerry, Eileen and Brian joined Alison in telling the stories and singing the songs. Of course, the July Sacred Service team and the PSALT team looked after the amenities. Thank you to all participants.
SUNDAY, JULY 2, 2017
Rev. Kelley dealt with two difficult Bible passages this morning in her reflection entitled, "What Are We Willing to Sacrifice?" In the Old Testament reading, we are reminded of the obedience required of Abraham as he prepared to sacrifice his son, Isaac, and in the New Testament, Jesus reminds his disciples of the heavy demands of loyalty involved in following him.