Brenda Wallace
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Scroll to the bottom of the page to read St. David's United Church Newsletter for April 28. 

APRIL 29, 2019

This was the week for drama in our household! Our grandchildren were involved in a "spectacle" at École Terre De Jeune entitled "Ton Dèfi Pour La Terre" with rehearsal on Monday and production on Wednesday (Dave was videoing so we were able to watch it twice) and both Friday and Saturday nights as Hugo, grandson, was at rehearsals for "New Kid" and "The Hotel at the end of the Road." We were present for rehearsals and for production on Sunday as Hugo's Dad and I were on Sound and Light and Dave was videographer. So now we can relax? Hm? With taxes calculated and paid, productions over and the snow melting, we are ready for spring.

The big snow storm on Saturday night will be remembered for a long while. The eaves on nearby condos are still filled to overflowing with snow and ice and street cleaning has been delayed due to snow drifts. Oh, well! This is Calgary!

Ironically enough, both the children's production at TDJ and worship Sunday morning dealt with the same topic - To Live With Respect in Creation - a theme that is played and replayed in story and song these days. Mike and Debbie Stockdale, presiders of Service Sunday morning, highlighted the story of 15 year old Swedish student, Greta, whose single-minded initiative drew the attention of the world to climate change and its demands upon us. Meanwhile, Ottawa is enduring its third major climate crisis for the year, flooding is forcing people out of their homes in the Maritimes, Ontario and Quebec and prairie fires have begun with ferocity. 

Debbie recalled the need for avoiding the smoke during the last few summers that kept us inside or masked when we ventured outside. At the conclusion of their reflection, Deb asked us to write a message on our hands as to what came to mind in our private reflections as to our own initiatives. Our children are concerned as we are. What we can do about it is the question. 

At St. David's, we have our Spiritual Travelers on the other side of the world and, at home, we have the Needs Assessment Committee gathering to "assess" the future needs for St. David's. We have the Edge Committee operating on our behalf and the committees of St. David's determining their budget needs for 2019-2020 with deadline May 13, 2019. June 2, 2019 is the day set for our congregational meeting. Mark your calendars. Decisions! Decision!

APRIL 23, 2019

Easter Week was truly a memorable week at St. David's as we wended our way through the week, beginning on Thursday evening when we gathered for a combined communion service and pot luck supper. With Alison, Rev. Peggy and Brent we were reminded of Jesus' last supper with his disciples. We shared special bread and juice at tables for four after gathering around a communion table with lit candles flickering. We returned to the shared table following our meal for final words and the extinguishing of the votive candles. Our next step would be Good Friday morning where we gathered to remember the crucifixion of Jesus. This was our final time with worship in the round. Rev. Peggy and Alison were our leaders for this very special service. 

Members of the congregation walked with Alison and Rev. Peggy as we reviewed the Stations of the Cross in word and image. Music ministry came from the balcony as the sounds of the choir drifted over and surrounded the circle of worshippers. A trio featuring Kerry Duncan McCartney, Alison Demeter and Christy Brekke concluded the service.

And, then on to Sunday morning - Easter morning   - with the colours changed from the somber purple of Lent to the glorious shades of Easter white, we gathered. The orchestra greeted us as we arrived and we were handed spring flower blossoms which we knew would soon adorn the cross. Beautiful potted flowers adorned on the chancel and the list of "Easter Blessings" - both in memory of and in honour of family members no longer with us or far away. 

This was an amazing week. We are so indebted for the leadership of St. David's - Rev. Peggy, Alison and Brent - for their ministry in word and song. Thank you. 

Now, onto Spring! We have enjoyed warm weather, the trees are budding out, the crocuses have emerged and the birds are singing. It will be a few weeks before we think of planting at our home - snow is predicted for the week-end. Oh, well!!

APRIL 15, 2019

Passion Week in underway so we will be gathering Thursday at 6:00 p.m. for the Maundy Thursday potluck and service, Friday at 10:00 a.m. for our Good Friday Service and Sunday morning for our Easter Service Celebration.

Meanwhile, those of us who haven't already voted in the Advance Poll - upwards of 600 000 voters - will go to vote tomorrow, April 16, 2019. For us that means reporting for duty at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning and staying in location until we've balanced our ballots, around 10 p.m. tomorrow night. This will be a strange election night because the advance polling ballots will not be counted beginning on Wednesday. This is the first time we could go to any advance poll in the province and receive a ballot for our individual ridings and that was over a seven day window. The convenience of voting just might bring more people into the election process. The results.... who knows?

Coffee and Muffin ministry was a high point to St. David's week. Thank you for all the donated food - visitors had lots to choice and the foyer was often filled to overflowing. This social gathering allows for unlimited community building - we wouldn't miss it!!

Chameleon Drama Club is preparing for last weeks' rehearsals. All their lines are learned and stage directions memorized. Costumes are ready and props are on hand. The plays, New Kid and The Hotel at the End of the Roadare under the umbrella title of Rarified RelationshipsGrandson Hugo is raring to go with Grandma and Dad running the sound and light boards and Grandpa videoing. Truly, a family affair. NOTE: There is a rehearsal set for Friday evening at 6:00 p.m.

Do you remember the Genesis people and the musicals of the past?

APRIL 8, 2019

Our weekly countdown for 2019 is entering Week #15 for those of us who keep track of things like that and Week #14 at St. David's meant keeping up with our Lenten reflections (sitting on our special chair - I'm sitting here now!) as we prepare for one of the two very special seasons in the Church year.

We were sorry to hear that Mary Jo Leddy, a visitor in our church several years ago and author of her new book, "Why Are We Here?" had to unexpectedly return to Toronto and so our evening with her on our Monday Night Book Study Bookend had to be cancelled. At the same time we are enjoying the excitement in the air due to the upcoming trip by ACTS Spiritual Travelers to Eastern Europe towards the end of the month. The Travelers will be prayerfully sent on their way next week during Palm Sunday Service.

Meanwhile, because of Mary-Jo's accident, several of us were able to join with the other 27 member organizations of the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good on April 1, 2019 for the Discernment Assembly at which we determined as a group our focus for the upcoming year. Mental Health and Addiction, Social Isolation/Community Building and Overcoming Divisions, Truth and Reconciliation, Environment and, of course, the initiative begun in St. David's with our Seniors Corner will be ongoing as we continue to work as a community toward "the Common Good."  Please check out CACG on Ministries/Adult Spiritual Development Page for information regarding initial meetings for each of the 2019-2020 issues as well as further information. Note: if you have an interest in any (or all ) of the issues and wish to participate as a part of St. David's, please attend one of the meetings. Contact Wayne, June Marten or myself for more information. 

A highpoint for me was to be present for the installation of rental high-quality speakers for the sanctuary. Jason Wright from Darkmatter Productions is working with PSALT to improve the quality of sound at church (and to help eliminate the "Gremlin" - working overtime in our old cluster speakers with its uncontrollable booms whenever). The hook up happened on Saturday evening during the Chameleon Drama Group rehearsal and was tested Sunday morning in a real way when we had seven people using mic-pac sets plus the handheld during service. No gremlin and, more importantly for the programs using several mic-pac sets, there was no feedback. Just pure clear sound (with occasional human error, oops!) The service was led by our youth group at St. David's and it was exceptionally well done. 

Friday evening, the Friendship Group helds its monthly gathering at St. David's and, from all accounts, the evening with "stunning photos of Owls of Alberta, accompanied by owl calls and stories" was a success. Here is a brief recap of the evening:

"On Friday, April 5th, seventy members and guests had a “hoot!” learning about the 11 different species of Owls in Alberta.  Our guest, Rob Hadlow, photographer, wildlife advocate and obvious owl enthusiast, shared a wealth of fascinating information about Alberta’s Owls, as well as their calls.  He showed his own stunning photos of several species of Alberta’s Owls, accompanied by his stories.  The evening was topped off, as usual, by yummy snacks."   (Ruth Cross)

Our much-awaited-for Pictorial St. David's Directories have arrived and if you have a picture published therein, you can pick up your copy at the church office. If you didn't have a picture taken, you can purchase a copy for $15.00. If you wish to donate flowers for Easter, that, too, can be arranged for after service Sunday, Palm Sunday, or by contacting the church office. 

Sunday morning was extra busy following service, as the Friendship Group executive gathered for a shared luncheon and planning session and, at the same time, the Sacred Service Coordinators were sharing Potluck dining and their annual meeting. Lots of good things happening!!

Week #15 will have us coming together Thursday morning or noon or until 2:00 p.m. for our April Coffee and Muffin Ministry event. You are welcome any time between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. to come, visit, drink assorted beverages and baking along with fruit and cheese. Best deal in town. We'll be there, for sure!!. Along with that, we are off this morning for our election day training - a first time for us. We remember that our dear friend, Roy Farquharson, never missed working an election and, so, here we are, following in his foot steps. 

Have a great week! and we will see you as soon as possible.  

APRIL 1, 2019

So I hung the heavy winter coats in the cedar closet! Yahoo! I'm ready for spring. Our children and grandchildren are back to school after their spring break. It was quiet at home today - for the past 10 days, our nine-year old and six-year old were our house guests so grandma and grandpa need to rest and re-acquaint themselves with quiet. 

St. David's, this past week, was a busy one but we are building into our busy schedules time to sit in our chairs and reflect as we prepare for Easter, right? Rev. Peggy has been addressing the speed of our lives which for we seniors seems to increase every year. Today is April 2, 2019, next month is Mothers' Day with summer time looming and it seems we just finished up shovelling snow. (Knowing Calgary, we are wise to keep the snow shovels handy!!)

Monday night, ACTS Spiritual Travelers met at St. David's to get acquainted and make their final plans for their trip to Eastern Europe. There will be a send off from worship service on April 14, 2019. Tuesday night, St. David's Council met for their monthly meeting. Our agenda was full and we were kept busy until 9:45. 

There were ongoing plans to get new speakers for the sound system and, hopefully, eliminate the "Gremlin" that invades the sanctuary from time to time, unannounced and uninvited. We have really tried everything possible to keep the "static from building in the rafters" but have so far been unsuccessful in our endeavours. "Gremlin, your days are numbered!!" This week, it left the Worship Service Reflection unbothered but interfered with Faith Chat, speaking of which, Sunday's guest was Catgirl who helped Alison tell the story of Baby Moses.  

This week, we were sorry to have to cancel Mary Jo Leddy's visit to St. David's. Her new book Why Are You Here? is just off the press. Unfortunately she had to return to Toronto. So... with Monday night free, Wayne Holst, June Marten and myself attended the Discernment Assembly of the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good where we joined with the other 28 institutional members to determine future issues that we wish to pursue. The choice was "Mental Health - access to services, workplace stress, anxiety, depression, dementia, addictions, youth-school supports, social media technology, suicide, isolation and loneliness" and Social Isolation/ Building Community/ Overcoming Divisions - transportation, divided communities, community spaces, lack of access to community programs, connecting youth, seniors and immigrants to communities." 

Work will continue with the Truth and Reconciliation issue and with Seniors - both have been part of our work at St. David's. Last night, leaders from each of the churches, unions, organizations, temples, mosques were asked to identify the number of people who were "listeners" in their group - people who were actively participating. The program is quite unique: Listen, Research, Prepare, Interview the people with the power, ACT, Reflect, Move on. 

With April Fool's Day over, we look forward to the coming month and the promises it brings with it. Happy Spring to you.