Brenda Wallace
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February 26, 2022: 

ST. DAVID'S NEWSLETTER FOR FEBRUARY 27, 2022 IS FOUND AS A FILE ATTACHMENT BELOW

Good morning, all. It is a beautiful one, at that, a Saturday morning with clear skies and expected high of 5 degrees. As our month draws to a close, we have Amy to thank for her leadership through Black History Month. We have listened to our choirs as their music blended with Amy's message and stories. Tomorrow morning, we will be concluding her series as we move into Lent. Most importantly, we as Albertans are moving beyond the confines of COVID-19. The possibility of contracting the virus is still with us but to a lesser degree and we have learned so much about staying healthy. 

More to that, on March 2,  2022, Ash Wednesday, we are invited to attend St. David's in person for worship. Our first Sunday service offered both in person and virtually will be on March 6, 2022. Services will be livestreamed and Sunday mornings will be followed by a ZOOM gathering, as usual -- we will have the opportunity to make our morning drive to church or to remain at home, knowing that our presence means so much to each other.

A highlight for me on Sunday morning was working the sound and light board with my grandson, Hugo, beside me computing the service. Deb Charnuski, our chair of PSALT,  was there to support him. As I watched his sense of staging, moving through the views available to him from our two 'swivelling, zooming' cameras, I was thankful for the opportunities that Janice Rider and her team have provided through the CHAMELEON DRAMA GROUP's Saturday night rehearsals over the past many years. Hugo, along with the cast of young people, from all over Calgary, have presented plays for us at St. David's, usually in November and April. Of course, COVID-19 interfered with this valuable on-stage presence, however, Zoom has come to the rescue with regular Saturday night rehearsals online. Thank you, Janice, Deb and Yvonne. 

Good news and excitement is coming our way as we move forward in planning for our partnership with Northminster United Church and Rev. Nancy Nourse. Worship and Music Ministries are busy imagining the possibilities that will be coming our way beginning in May. Amy will continue leading worship through Lent and Easter. Stay tuned to follow the developments as they occur.

The Calgary Alliance for Common Good provides amazing outreach opportunities if you are looking for such volunteer opportunities in Calgary representing St. David's. Four of us attended the Delegates Assembly held earlier this month. More information can be found on the MINISTRIES/Adult Spiritual Development page or by clicking on this link. https://www.calgarycommongood.org 

It was almost two years ago that we last met as a community at St. David's. Mid-March we shared Pie on pi day and many of us attended the silent retreat at Mt. St. Francis after church that day. Little did we know that day what lay ahead for us. We have much to be grateful for. Changes have occured, for sure, and we move forward -- uncertain as to what lies ahead but know we are moving forword together. Blessings to all. 

February 18, 2022:

Amy is continuing her series which focuses on Black History Month. Each week she offers a teaching along with her reflection. I encourage you to click on SERMONS above where you will find the text and youtube for last Sunday's service. As well, on Sunday morning, the host for our ZOOM gathering after service will be one of the Sacred Service Coordinators.

This is our Family Day Weekend. For over 40 years, February meant Calgary City Teachers' Convention. It was there that I was introduced to many great speakers along with a plethora of ideas to take back to my classroom. Now, it means that my grandchildren can sleep over especially now that we are moving beyond the Fifth Wave of COVID-19. 

It has seemed strange not to show our QR code and ID in order to go to a movie, a concert or a restaurant. We will be wearing our masks, having discovered the freedom from catching colds and flu afforded to us over the past two years. We will be considering future opening plans for St. David's at our Council meeting on Tuesday. The government says it's a go but I am waiting for advice from our Chinook Winds Regional. I see that Northminster will be having open doors on March 6 along with their weekly Facebook Live service. I know that our Iglicia Ni Cristo church congregation is anxious to return to open services at St. David's as are many of our congregation. Safety, of course, comes first. 

We were saddened by the passing of our dear Mary Anderson earlier in the week and of the passing of Walter Dowan whose musical talent found a place at St. David's while Lee, his wife, was our music director. Mary and Rod used to live on the same block as David's family and Rod worked for the Wheat Pool as did Hugh Layton, Dave's dad. Blessings to both families as we mourn the loss of these incredible individuals and celebrate their legacies. 

February 11, 2022:

Just a quick update to tell you a little about the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good Delegates Assembly last night on ZOOM -- there were about 70 devices online to participate in an extremely informative and effective meeting. CACG represents some 33 000 Calgarians in its scope. There were three of us from St. David's in attendance: Joan Gray, Donna Fallon and myself. There were celebrations for goals achieved during the past year along with challenges still to be faced. With four initiatives being undertaken -- adding indigenous  advocates to the ranks of Calgary Police Force, supporting the development of an Indigenous Gathering Place near Fort Calgary, supporting, listening and working toward several Mental Health Initiatives in Calgary, supporting, listening to and working with our Environmental Climate Change initiatives and, of course, supporting fund-raising efforts to help achieve goals -- we are set to help make Calgary the best it can be.

If you would like to participate in one or more of the initiatives, contact one of us and, better yet, add your name to the CACG Newsletter (https://www.calgarycommongood.org) and keep abreast with the events and programs offered. 

The obituary for longtime supporter of St. David's, Theo Garrick, is attached as a file below. Her beautiful singing voice and her involvement in local choirs will be remembered. She was so very proud of the Friendship Groups' contribution to the stained glass window in the balcony. 

February 7, 2022:

It was very exciting yesterday as we tried out a new (for the tech team) process for worship on ZOOM. Presiding over the service was our Pastoral Care Minister, Amy Haynes, and she did that from her home. With a son quarantined for COVID-19, Amy was able to lead us through a very meaningful service. In addition to the worship service, we held a discussion question & answer session following service with some 60 devices representing our congregation on ZOOM. For the first time we used Break Out Rooms to allow smaller groups of folks to meet with members of St. David's Council to ask questions and receive informed answers. Thank you for joining with us yesterday!!

February is well in hand and the debate over COVID-19 restrictions is going strong. The Alberta government is trying to determine our future steps in the pandemic which, of course, has a significant impact on our church. We have entered 2022 without our dear Rev. Peggy who has coordinated our church life for some 13 years. We do have Brent, Amy and Wayne to continue our congregational work for whom we are very grateful. Yesterday, we heard from Colin and Deb who worked tirelessly on our year one of the two year program EDGE - a United Church of Canada initiative for moving into the future. Their work ground to a halt with the advent of COVID-19 but we were reminded that our congregational decision at that time (2019) was to "Leap" as opposed to maintaining status quo. So... we ponder what it means to leap into the future of St. David's. A partnership with Northminster United Church is in the offing. 

On the neighbourhood front, the delightful knitting store at Brentwood Mall is closing and I, for one, have enjoyed the comradery of the group of knitters who have spent valuable time together, chatting and knitting. We have a request to share our stashes of yarn at home with some of the folks who now have to find a new place to gather. Contact me or Sally Hodges if you have some yarn to share. P.S. There is also a request for a quilter to help complete a project begun. Let us know if you are interested. 

Meanwhile, enjoy the above average temperatures that we are enjoying right now. I am reminded of the 1988 Olympics that required snow to be hauled into venues and seeing folks in their summer gear coming together on that memorable occasion. Monday Night Book Study is going strong with Session #4 tonight. Thursday morning Bible Study is working on 1 Corinthians, the Friendship group met on ZOOM last Friday, Healing Touch continues, Choirs are in full swing, Sacred Service is planning to host ZOOM coffee sessions after service, beginning next Sunday -- life goes on! Blessings to All, Brenda 403 510 1993 or [email protected]