DECEMBER 29, 2019
The final service of the year has become somewhat of a tradition. Worshippers are invited to 'go a wassailing' - to share in a special treat and to share in the reflection on the year that was. This informal service brings community together in a very meaningful way. If you missed it this year, make a mental note to attend next year. Dec. 27, 2020.
DECEMBER 24, 2019
The 4:30 Family Service involved Rev Peggy McDonagh presiding with the people of St. David’s and visitors along with Actors: Heather Ferlyko, Ian Ramraj, Sharon Ramraj and Narrator: Janice Rider. Entitled the Sounds and Lights of Bethlehem.
The Candlelight Service at 8 p.m. on December 24, 2019 brought a conclusion to our Advent Journey begun December 1, 2019. The Worship Folder for this service is attached below as a file attachment. Here is an excerpt as presented by Incarnate Joy:
I am Incarnate Joy, which means that I am Joy-Made-Flesh. The message I came to offer you is that EVERY time a baby is born… indeed when YOU were born… God’s joy was made flesh, made real, made tangible in this world. This is how God has been spreading joy since the beginning. Our DNA is God-infused and our only job in this life is to let that joy be seen. There is a lot that keeps us from letting it out sometimes, but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t still in there. It oozes out every time we giggle, laugh, cry, sweat, well you get it… every time we just allow our humanness to simply BE… all of it, every part of it, the ups and downs, the ordinary and extraordinary, the big and little things, it is all “God-birthed and God-blessed.” You and you and you and you… you are all God-birthed and God-blessed, God’s expression of joy! You and all of heaven and nature ARE God’s “Joy to the World!”
DECEMBER 22, 2019
ADVENT IV, with its focus on Peaceful Joy, has carried us "joyfully" into the Christmas week. Sunday's service featured the final installment of the Wreath along with the traditional Lessons and Carols Service that has become a familiar service at St. David's. The Chamber Choir led us through six scripture readings and six carols- sometimes as anthems and sometimes along with the congregation.
On Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, members and guests of St. David's gathered for the Blue Christmas Service with Rev. Debbie Stockdale presiding. This important ministry fills a need for many at this time of year.
Christmas Eve, two services will bring St. Davidians together. At 4:30 p.m., the family service will involve drama and song. At 8:00 p.m. candlelight will envelope those in attendance.
Worship Folders for Services can be found by scrolling to the bottom of the page to file attachments.
DECEMBER 15, 2019
ADVENT III was a service about Abundant Joy. Our Wreath Actors, Hopeful Joy - Joan Gray, Loving Joy - Donna Fallon, Abundant-Joy, Heather Chubb-Way, Peaceful Joy - Yvonne Adams with Narrator Eldon Godfrey and Nancy Erickson as the centre piece of the human wreath focussed on Abundant Joy. Diane Trew, as cantor, led the congregation through a liturgy while Rev. Peggy reflected on "Making the Blessings of Joy Known" - drawing upon Luke 1: 46b to 55, Mary's abundant joy. The Celebration of Communion drew our community together and the opportunity to light candles in memory or prayer was just one more way that Joy came into our lives at Sunday service. During communion we were asked to meditate on the following questions:
How can you personally tap into the strength of God-given ever-present joy, especially during difficult times?
How are you contributing to joy in the livesof others?
Who brings joy into your life?
What are you doing to bring healing in our community - to be an "Antioxidant-rich" church?
Our guests this morning were Chinley Hinacay on his saxophone and the Esira Dance Troupe shared the prayerful Noel Nouvelet (Anuna).
DECEMBER 8, 2019
ADVENT II, LOVING JOY, was such a work of joy. The balcony was a beehive of activity as the Advent actors were mic'd for sound and the projection readied for service. The Chamber Choir was rehearsing, the December Sacred Servers were preparing for worship and hospitality. ACTS was set up with their Winter Monday Night Book Study registration table, Advent Brunch Tickets were available, Poinsettias for Christmas were being ordered. Ah! Christmas at St. David's.
The service this morning was focussed on Repeat the Sounding Joy: LOVING JOY. Prelude featured Claire Sharp on the organ and Guest Conductor, Chinley Hinacay, directed the Chamber Choir. Rev. Peggy's Reflection can be read by clicking on Sermons on the Home Page. The congregation sang enthusiastically I've Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in my Heart, Love Now Ascending and I Come with Joy. Music at Christmas is so very special.
DECEMBER 1, 2019
The First Sunday of Advent has arrived. Prepare Him Room: Hopeful Joy was one of the highlights of the service. With the Worship team and friends participating in the service, along with our guest speaker, Jessica Melnychuk, from "Closer to Home," we were re-introduced to the value of JOY in our lives as we prepare for Christmas.
Rev. Peggy introduced us to the four elements of the service: Expansion of our Hearts, Reception of God's Word, Transformation of our Lives and Compassion for the World. It was in the Expansion of our Hearts that the Value for the Month candle for JOY was lit by Joan Gray from the ACTS (Adult Spiritual Development Committee) and she was joined by Donna Fallon, Eldon Godfrey, Janet Clare, Yvonne Adams, Wendy Dey and Nancy Erikson in the "PREPARE HIM ROOM: HOPEFUL JOY," Advent 1 celebration. The Green Wreath was presented as Hopeful Joy, Loving Joy, Enthusiastic Joy and Peaceful Joy led us through a meaningful dialogue. As Hopeful Joy, said: "So here is the thing about joy. Joy is always around. Joy is always with us and we can always find it even when things are not so great. That's what makes it different from 'happiness.' We know that some things are not so great in this world but look, I'm still here. I'm still hopeful and so I'm still joyful. Hope can surprise us, it DOES surprise us because surprise happens when we allow ourselves to open and look around and change our perspective. It can be surprising when we look at something differently. It brings us hope and we reconnect with the joy that is always in us. That's why we celebrate HOPE today. Our special guest this morning was Jessica Melnychuk from the "CLOSER To HOME" agency. If you click on SERMONS on the Home Page, you will find information regarding the two agencies that we are supporting during the Christmas season
NOVEMBER 24, 2019
Our service on Sunday, November 24, 2019 was our invitation to share in the Giving Tree program for Christmas 2019.
The Seed of Meditation was "Sometimes it's easy to walk by because we know we can't change someone's whole life in a single afternoon. But what we fail to realize it that simple kindness can go a long way toward encouraging someone who is stuck in a desolate place," (Mike Yankoski) and our special guests were Lynette Persaud and Jessica Ulloa, members of the Home Visitor Team at Miskanawah.
By Clicking Sermons above, you can find a hope list of the needs experienced by their clients as Christmas approaches.
St. David's is gifting two organizations this year: "Miskanawah" and "Closer to Home." Tags can be taken from the Giving Tree, lovingly decorated by Diane, with gifts brough to church before or on Dec. 15, 2019 at which time our White Gifts will be presented.
As well, the Worship Folder for Nov. 24, 2019 can be found by clicking the Ministries/Worship page. Participating in the service this morning were Peggy Kalancha, Bonnae McTavish and accompaniest, Colleen Charter, with the Angel Voices. Sacred Service Coordinator for November, Betty Smith, and her team were at task this final morning of their Sacred Service month and it was a busy one that included the AGM congregational meeting.
NOVEMBER 17, 2019
With the first of four "Evening Compline" Services, our sanctuary was bathed in candle light with the choir assembled on the balcony under the direction of Brent Tucker. Rev. Peggy led the service. Baroque Cellist, Tor Ellergodt along with Brent on the harpsichord offered a pre-service recital.
NOVEMBER 17, 2019
Our Celtic Christian Service of Worship this morning was prepared by Rev. Peggy and, with Peggy Kalanch presenting the Christ Candle, the Sanctuary Choir surrounding us with their voices and Eldon Godfrey reading scriptures selected and interspersed throughout the Reflection, we were called back to a "place rich in Spirit and imagination ... with no separation between the visible and invisible, between Spirit and Nature, between human and Divine, between heaven and earth." Rev. Peggy stressed the importance of rituals, prayers and blessings of protection practised by these early Christian congregations.
The Service of Worship can be found by scrolling to the bottom of this page and clicking on file attachments/Celtic Christian Service of Worship.
NOVEMBER 10, 2019
On this Remembrance Sunday, Rev. Peggy, along with Betsy Woolner, Eileen Ladd, Hugo Goasdoué Wallace and Heather McKeague, led the worship service that guided us through Remembrance, Thanksgiving, Hope and Peace. Our guest bag-piper, Andrew Joo, and trumpeters, Pam Breuer and Anthony Edmunds, contributed to the laying of the wreathe, Last Post, Reveille and the singing of O Canada.
The Seed for Meditation was a quote from Mr. Rogers (Fred): "When I say it's you I like, I'm talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch -- that deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive: love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war and justice that proves more powerful than greed."
The Chamber Choir blended their amazing voices in "In Flanders Fields" - (McCrae/Daley) and "Dona Nobis Pacem" - (Miller). Postlude - "Largo" from Xerxes (Handel)- featured the two trumpeters with Brent on the organ.
NOVEMBER 3, 2019
"Compassion" was the key word today - Value of the Month (with candle lit by Janet Clare, and theme for Rev. Peggy's Reflection. "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) was our seed for meditation while Claire Sharp offered the prelude on the organ. This first Sunday of November had Betty Smith's Sacred Service team on hand and during the beginning of the Communion service, members of the worship team joined Rev. Peggy at the Communion table. Kerry Duncan McCartney was cantor during our responses and as the service concluded, Rev. Peggy invited us to open our hearts to the needs of others and, in a fully intentional way, extend a kind act to someone we meet. Together we said,
At least once a day with wide-open hearts,
I promise to engage God's work from the deepest place of compassion.
OCTOBER 27, 2019
Sunday morning was all about the animals. We sang songs that celebrated our wonderful world and its creatures. Dr. Richard Christmas shared with us stories of how our four legged and winged friends served during the world wars, citing anecdotes from that era about Sergeant Stubby - a bull terrier mix, Chips - a German Shepherd and Smoky - a Yorkshire Terrier -- all who performed daring acts of service. He went on to tell stories from his experience as a veterinarian that described the importance of pets in the lives of young and old. The Angel Voices shared their ministry of song with a song composed by Garrett Krause entitled "Traces" and, during the offertory, they sang "Little Lamb, Who Made Thee." (R. E. McVey).
The children joined us when it was time to "Bless the Animals." Brought forward on leashes, kennels or in their owners' arms, pets received their blessing- quite enjoying all the attention they garnered.
Following service, the sanctuary was set up for a Pastoral Care Committee workshop designed to enhance visitation skills. Led by Rev. Debbie Stockdale, members from St. David's and St. Thomas' congregations joined together after a shared lunch. We can look forward to more joint initiatives as our NW regional churches, named Spark, work together, sharing resources.
OCTOBER 20, 2019
Rev. Debbie Stockdale presided over our worship service this morning. She reflected on the reading from Luke 18: 1-8 which told the story of the persistent widow, seeking justice, and the judge, who at first ignored her pleas. However, her persistence paid off and eventually the judge relented. Entitled "Persistent Voices", Rev. Deb referred to the "Red Dress" Campaign https://www.nfb.ca/film/protect-our-future-daughters/ a National Film Board film which was projected. Click on Sermons above for the text of Debbie's Reflection.
Our special guest organist this morning was Bruce Clark and, accompaniest for the Sanctuary choir, Garrett Krause was on hand as they sang two numbers: "You Say" (Heather Sorenson arrangement) and "He's God" (Edwin Hawkins/arr. Carol Cymbala.) Soloists were Christy Brekke, Ruth Cross and Ian McDonald.
OCTOBER 13, 2019
Service Sunday morning was built around the value of the month for October, Generosity. Rev. Peggy entitled her Reflection "Generosity: A Heart Condition." During Brent's prelude, we were invited to think about our generosity as it applies to the St. David's community and later in the service we placed our written 'gifts' on the Offering plates as they passed us by. The Chamber Choir's offerings of "For the Beauty of the Earth" (Stopford) and "O Clap your Hands Together" (Tomkins) added to our measure of thanksgiving and, as usual, text for our closing hymn, written by Rev. Peggy, reminded us that "A giving heart creates a warming light of hope and freedom, born when life feels bright. A Thankful faith expands our inward sight. Hallelujah, hallelujah."
The Worship folder is attached below.
OCTOBER 6, 2019
From Wikipedia, we read that World Communion Sunday is a celebration observed by several Christian denominations, taking place on the first Sunday of every October, that promotes Christian unity and ecumenical cooperation. It focuses on an observance of the euchrist. The tradition was begun in 1933 by Hugh Thomson Kerr who ministered in the Shadyside Presbyterian Church. According to Presbyterian Outlook:
Davitt S. Bell (the late Clerk of Session and church historian at Shadyside) recalled that Dr. Kerr first conceived the notion of World Communion Sunday during his year as moderator of the General Assembly (1930). Dr. Kerr's younger son, the Rev. Dr. Donald Craig Kerr, who is pastor emeritus of the Roland Park Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, was sixteen in 1933. He has related that World Communion Sunday grew out of the Division of Stewardship at Shadyside. It was their attempt to bring churches together in a service of Christian unity—in which everyone might receive both inspiration and information, and above all, to know how important the Church of Jesus Christ is, and how each congregation is interconnected one with another.
It was then adopted throughout the US Presbyterian Church in 1936 and subsequently spread to other denominations. In 1940, the Federal Council of Churches (now the National Council of Churches), endorsed World Communion Sunday and began to promote it to Christian churches worldwide.
At St. David's Sunday morning, Bruce Sunderland lit the Christ Candle then Dana Young, Ministry and Personnel, lit the Generosity candle, speaking of the role of generosity of time. Wendy Dey read the selected scripture selections and quotes for the reflection. Music ministry this morning was offered by the Sanctuary Choir with Garrett on the piano and Brent, directing.
You can click on file attachment below to read the Worship Folder for Sunday service along with the Communion Service and you can read the text for Rev. Peggy's reflection by clicking Sermons on the Home Page.
SEPTEMBER 29, 2019
"PRACTISE MAKING A DIFFERENCE. PRACTISE BEING THE DIFFERENCE. MAKE A POSITIVE IMPACT - BE OF SACRED SERVICE"
Our worship folders Sunday morning honoured Sacred Service as it is practised at St. David's. Our service was all about working together in community - being the church. " As Brene Brown said, "Connection, along with love and belonging, is why we are here and it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives." Rev. Peggy invited us into worship with the following question: "Come into this circle of community. Come into this sacred space. What is your place in the circle? How do you contribute to its life?"
With hymn selections like We are the church, Let Us Build a House and The Church is Wherever God's People are Gathered, we celebrated our Sacred Service program which began about four years ago and which has provided a very active involvement in the Worship Service for a host of St. Davidians. Eleven teams, for each of eleven months, (August involves all teams as people are available) take care of all the big and little acts of preparation, worship and clean up on Sunday morning. They greet, serve as ushers and, most recently, help out with the children in Faith Quest.
Sheryl Schoenthaler, Coordinator of Sacred Service, shared her experiences with the program, followed by Darlene Heynen and Brenda Wallace. The success of the program is far-reaching in its ability to draw upon the gifts of our community. In a "Communal Covenant of Faith" we made the following promise: "Together we promise to offer our gifts, insights, energy, kindness and acceptance in serving each other, eating together, learning, teaching, playing and working for justice and growing in faith. We all serve -- even those who sit and wait. This is the faith and ministry to which Jesus has called us."
SEPTEMBER 22, 2019
"True happiness renders humanity kind and sensible, and that happiness is always shared." French philosopher, Montesquieu, 1689-1755, knew this as a truth and we recognize the wisdom of the statement in 2019. This morning Rev. Peggy spoke about Happiness as a Heart Movement and a quality to be honed through generosity, ethics, tolerance and perseverance. In her quote of Patti Digh (Life is a Verb), she related happiness to her life and to the lifeblood of St. David's. You can read the text for Rev. Peggy's Reflection by clicking SERMONS on the HOME page.
SEPTEMBER 15, 2019
"A Key to a vital life is an eagerness to learn and a willingness to change." (Mary Anne Rodmacher) Change is in the air at St. David's -- the Sanctuary Choir is back at the helm, Faith Quest has a new curriculum, "Path of Joy," next week is our Welcome Back Luncheon and Council reconvenes on September 24, 2019 after a summer break. Rev. Peggy read the following poem by Javed Akhtar as she introduced her Reflection, "Eagerness - Energy of the Heart."
If you have eagerness in your heart, it means you are alive,
If your eyes are filled with dreams, it means you are alive
Learn to be free like the wind,
Learn to flow freely like the river,
Embrace every moment with open arms,
See a new horizon every time with your eyes,
If you carry surprise in your eyes, it means you are alive,
If you have eagerness in your heart, it means you are alive.
Eagerness was reflected in the eyes of the Sanctuary Choir members as they sang, "What a Friend" and "Amazing Grace."
The text for Rev. Peggy's reflection can be found by clicking Sermons on the Home Page and the Worship Folder is attached below.
SEPTEMBER 8, 2019
Our reader this morning, Eldon Godfrey, shared with us excerpts from oft-quoted Psalm 139 and from Philemon - Paul's story of Onesimus and Philemon, written while in prison. Rev. Debbie Stockdale launched her focus for the reflection, entitled Living with God in Creation, during her Faith Chat with the children, when she read Psalm 139 from Ralph Milton's The Family Story Bible and showed slides of her grandson from both before and after his birth.
1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Faith Quest continued this theme in their program as the faith questers "discovered Divine Energy" as demonstrated in the New Testament story of the master giving his servants five, two and one coins to use during his absence. (The Parable of the Talents from Matt. 25:14) They discussed exploring their talents as their part of "Living with God in Creation."
Ministry of song this morning came from the Chamber Choir as they offered Blessed Are The Pure In Heart (H. Walford Davies) and Give Almes Of Thy Goods (Christopher Tye).
The text for Rev. Debbie's Reflection can be read by clicking on Sermons above. The Worship folder September 8 link is found below.
SEPTEMBER 1, 2019
There is an indigenous parable that considers "the two wolves that reside within each of us. There is the yes or courageous wolf and a no or fearful wolf, and we have the choice of feeding one or the other in any given situation." On Sunday morning, Rev. Peggy reflected on "The Life-giving power of 'yes'" with scripture readings from Deuteronomy and 2 Corinthians. (Check the Worship Folder file attachment below for particulars.) As well there was a quote from OSHO, spiritual guru, -"The Pharmacy of the Soul" who writes, "Say yes to life, to love, to people, to faith."