Brenda Wallace
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August 31, 2020

The last day of the month!! Last day to wear white sandals and clam-diggers!! Am I dating myself?

We are halfway through Rev. Peggy's Sermon Series begun in Mid-August. With her, we have been guided on the four paths of Creation Spirituality: 

•recognizing the inherent goodness of all creation (including our own potential for good)

• befriending dark places and times in our lives as fodder for new life

• exclaiming divine creativity and our role in co-creating with God

• embodying compassion and power to bring more wholeness and justice to the world. 

We are about to enter a potentially dark place this coming week as our children and grandchildren begin a new school term. One or both of us have been in the crowd on opening day every year, with our cameras to document the meeting with other parents, grandparents and caregivers as we introduce ourselves to the new teachers and share in the excitement of the event. This year, however, is all about the unknown. For our grandchildren, the thought of returning to school is a mixed blessing -- excitement about seeing classmates and teachers not seen in person since March. The darkness comes with knowing that they will soon be cutoff from grandparents for awhile as their bubble enlarges to include folks other than close relatives and friends with whom they've been bubbled. We hear the news from programs launched across the country and shudder to think about all the challenges to be faced in the near future. Rev. Peggy's quote in her reflection Sunday had to do with obstacles and opportunities: "Australian pastor and theologian J. Sidlow Baxter said, 'What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? It is our attitude toward it. Every opportunity has a difficulty and every difficulty has an opportunity." 

Two weeks tonight will be our launch of Monday Night Book Study on ZOOM. I had a long chat with former board co-chair Joanne Weins about joining our Monday night group from Comox United, BC. Rev. Dr. Wayne Holst, Adult Spiritual Development Ministry, has been busy preparing for the next 10 weeks as we study Richard Rohr's book, Universal Christ. Note: there is no cost for the study other than the purchase of your own copy of the book. This will be the 46th study with Wayne and Jock on Monday Nights. Brenda (me) tries to fill in wherever needed and this Fall will be the Zoom Host. Excited, I am!!!

Dear friend of St. David's, Hazel Foreman, passed on this past month. Here is a copy of her obituary as published in the Herald:

FOREMAN, Hazel Joyce (nee Ruddy) April 2, 1926 - August 19, 2020

Happy memories of her family and friends sweeten the sad passing of Hazel Foreman, who passed away on August 19, 2020, at the age of 94 years. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Photos, memories and condolences may be shared with Hazel's family through www.evanjstrong.com. Arrangements in care of EVAN J. STRONG FUNERAL SERVICES. (403) 265-1199.

It feels a little like Fall today. We drove to Medicine Hat on Friday to celebrate Dave's Aunt Betty Maddaford's 90th birthday. The gathering in Kin Koulee for family and friends started out in the warm sunshine of the Hat but the cold front that blew through about 6 p.m. Saturday afternoon soon had us donning coats. Onto September!!

August 25, 2020

The scary thought is that this is my last update to August News. Yes, the days are getting shorter and the evenings cooler. Last night's cold front, that blew through, carrried with it smoke from the fires in California. Amazing!!

St. David's staff and volunteers have been busy preparing for fall during this last week of August. The ACTS Adult Spiritual Development Ministry team are setting things up for the fall Monday Night Book Study, beginning on September 14, 2020. We will be "Zooming" our 10 sessions (no study on Thanksgiving Monday, as usual). The ACTS Adult Forum has been active during this time of COVID-19 and it is great to hear that folks from Comox United (Joanne and Howard) are planning to be with us on Monday nights. The Forum reaches some 110 people across Canada and the invitation to be part of our Book Study has been sent out as an email to all St. Davidians. We should be prepared for lots of great discussion as we study "Universal Christ" by Richard Rohr. Purchase your copy and join with us. 

The Re-Opening Committee met last night on ZOOM. We have reviewed input from AHS and Chinook Winds Regional and concluded that we will be on stand by for the time being. Our summer cleaning has been accomplished. Rev. Peggy, Chantal and Rev. Debbie will be forming an an AdHoc Committee, focussing on worship and activities. Rentals are still on hold with negotiations being handled by the office. We are sad to say that Third Academy has decided not to rent Robertson Hall this fall. 

Protocol for mask wearing and sanitization has been dealt with. Signs abound!! If you need to visit the office at St. David's, you will be expected to wear a mask and use the hand sanitizer found at the front door. There is also a signin sheet so we know who has been visiting, in case we have to make contact with you in the future. The caution is that we do not want anyone to become ill as a result of a visit to our church. A date for Re-opening is not established at this time. Patience is the word.  

Tonight, Council meets on ZOOM. We have a dedicated crew of some 12 people who are on Council. It is an awesome team of individuals. As mentioned on the Home Page, if you would like to be part of one of the ministries at St. David's, let me or the office know. Have a great week!

August 18, 2020

It's a hot one today. We are indeed enjoying fine weather. Judging from the people afloat on the rivers and lining up at the few opened outdoor pools and water parks, staying cool is the order of the day. We are lucky to have our sailboat, Soryu, at Chestermere Lake. A couple of weeks ago, Dave and Janice Rider were guests of Dave on the boat for an afternoon sail. They had bid on a day cruise at our last silent auction at St. David's.

We made a quick trip to Vancouver last week to pick up our grandchildren and on Sunday, they were part of the Sanctuary Team at St. David's. Their job -- to sit quietly on the isolated chairs with masks on and listen. They absolutely aced their job!! It was great to have Rev. Peggy presiding over the service. As well, Brent had five of his choir members on hand to help with the singing. Everyone was most respectful of the need to keep social distance while wearing their masks. Such a time, we live in!!

Parents are busy this week contemplating the start of school next month. There is so much to be considered. I listened to CBC Sunday afternoon as people across Canada expressed opinions and concerns. Having been a teacher for so many years, I expected that every fall, with the return to school, I would soon succumb to the cold virus, so prevalent in the class room. I suspect that once school begins, we will have a period of isolation from our grandchildren hence we are really enjoying having them as house guests currently. 

News at St. David's includes our farewell funeral service for Ruth Montgomery. Last fall, we celebrated along with Ruth and her family, her 95th birthday. On Tuesday, Ruth's family gathered at St. David's and we heard from her three children and grandchildren how very important Ruth was in their lives and how she will be missed. We will miss her presence at church, usually seated on the left side of the church, about four rows behind us. For Dave and I, this was our first ZOOM service on our own although we had Deb Charnuski on standby from her dad's home in Niagara on the Lake, Ontario. She will be back in her usual place come Sunday morning for Rev. Peggy's second Sunday of her series on Creation Spirituality.  

The Re-Opening Committee will be meeting next Monday night for ongoing preparations for the future of St. David's. Have a great week. 

August 11, 2020

Here we are, enjoying big blue skies, gentle breezes and the lazy days of summer. Yeah! It's not been all that lazy around here. We are garden sitting for our children, laying patio pavers for our next door neighbour, attending to ZOOM meetings and services and, all too quickly, realizing that Fall and school opening will be just around the corner. 

For children in Ontario, parents have to decide whether or not to enroll online or in person by Friday of this week. I know from my children that the decision isn't an easy one to make - so many variables to consider. I believe that Hugo and Iris will be attending classes at Terre des Jeunes in September and their mom will be teaching her little three and four year olds at both TDJ and Nouveau Monde. The question becomes, "Should Grandma and Grandpa self-isolate from them for awhile?" Their papa is Chair of the Francophone School Boards for Southern Alberta so the family is a bit in the limelight of the new norm for education during the Time of COVID-19. 

At St. David's, Chantal is back in the office on Mondays and Wednesdays while operating at home otherwise. She met with our new tenants for this fall to finalize the contract with the Third Academy, who will be filling the lower floor with the joyous sounds of children - grades one to six for the first semester of 2020-2021. 

On Monday, as well, ACTS, Adult Spiritual Development Ministry, met on ZOOM to discuss our Monday Night Book Study of Richard Rohr's "Universal Christ" beginning on September 14, 2020. Today, we will be saying good-bye to our well-loved Ruth Montgomery with a small funeral service at St. David's along with a ZOOM coverage for the folks at home who joined Ruth for church Sunday mornings. Some of us were able to join her for a gala celebration last Fall on the occasion of her 95th birthday. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family as they grieve the loss of this incredible woman. 

Rev. Peggy is back with us. She will be presiding over the service on Sunday. We have missed you and are so glad you are back. 

Onto Week three of August. Iris is 8 tomorrow, for those who know our little granddaughter. Her Grandpa Dave will be 74.5. Go figure!!

August 4, 2020

Heritage Day has come and gone. For seniors, like ourselves, every day can be special if we intend it to be. This weekend, we attacked our neighbour's runaway cedar bush that had taken over his flower bed. So... we spent part of Heritage Day, hauling cuttings to Spyhill Landfill, while being totally amazed by the towering cumulus nimbus clouds forming the the north, west and east. Later on, while catching up on other tasks, I was surprised to see rain pouring down while the sun continued to shine. At our ZOOM meeting for the Re-Opening Committee, Chantal (chair), on Heritage Day evening, mentioned that Crossfield received hail as did Drumheller. P.S. We drove out to Drumheller on Thursday evening while storm warnings for points north and west echoes over the radio channel.

Yes, that's summer in the city. It is unusual to have a bright sunny day without eventual storm clouds taking over. Speaking of Re-Opening the doors of St. David's, it was decided that we would target the beginning of ADVENT, the last Sunday in November, as a possible date to begin the process. Protocols have been established for our rental groups and small groups of St. Davidians so we are hoping that sometime soon we can begin the meet as a community, and not just digitally. Meanwhile, we hope to see you on Sunday morning, August 9, with Brent Tucker as he leads us through the stories of three famous hymns. Yes, we get to sing those hymns from our couches at home. Dave and I will be running the ZOOM service from the sanctuary with Deb Charnuski as co-host from Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Love that technology!!