July 28, 2021
My mom always reminded me to expect the speed of time passing as we grow older to increase dramatically and, here we are, the end of July. Evidently, numbers are up for COVID-19 Variants but, nonetheless, we are basking in Phase Three with restrictions in the rear-view mirror. We are still wearing our masks when we go out, however, -- sometimes to stay away from the smoky air quality!!
Rentals have commenced at St. David's but worship services will continue on ZOOM for the month of August. Speaking of which, there will be no service on Heritage Day Longweekend (August 1, 2021) or on Labour Day weekend on September 5, 2021. The good news is that all Calgary Affirming United Church congregations are invited to a special service on September 5, 2021. We celebrate that we can come together as a united group here in Calgary to worship together.
An event that is enjoyed yearly by St. Davidians is the Project Ploughshares Floating Lantern Peace event held at Olympic Plaza downtown on Saturday night, August 7 beginning at 6 p.m. Sally and Bob will be there to welcome you.
At church the skylight blind railing fell down this month so we have stayed off the chancel Sunday mornings awaiting the availability of a rental hoist to repair said blind rail. We hope to attend to this task tomorrow with hoist and supplies gathered. This coming month, as well, we hope to install the new sound, cameras, screens and computers that will allow for livestreaming of our Sunday morning services in the future. Such excitement!! Thank you, St. David's Foundations, donors, grants etc. that have made this possible. P.S. We are looking for interested techies to help us move into this new era.
We are off to the westcoast on Friday morning for our annual sailing holiday. Since 1977, with three years exception, we have spent our summers afloat -- at first on Soryu, our 23' clipper sailboat then, in 1985, on 'good idea', a 35'Yamaha sailboat. We hope to have friends and family join with us during the month of August and we'll be connected to ZOOM on Sunday mornings to welcome you to church at 9:30.
Plans are taking shape for our Monday Night Book Study beginning later in September. Please email Wayne, Joan or me with your suggestions. Meanwhile I'm reading the new Mark Carney book, "Value(s): Building a Better World for All."
See you later!
July 21, 2021
Smoky mornings. A little misty occasionally. Sunny afternoons.
We are getting a little of everything this summer. Albertans are resting a little easy with our immunization percentages and weekly statistics regarding COVID-19. We are holding our breath (not just from the smoke!!) as we await Friday morning's Olympic Opening ceremonies. The stats for Japan do not look good right now and this morning, Canada's Women's Softball Team won their first game in an empty stadium to sound of silence. It will be interesting to watch performances without the cheering that usually accompanies them.
We are conducting our worship services on the sanctuary floor these days as we await equipment to fix the railings on the chancel skylights. Right now, we have yellow caution tape across the chancel steps. Last Sunday there were only 11 people in the sanctuary at service time -- the smoke in the air (registering at 10+) kept some regular folk at home. We did, however, have 60+ computers on ZOOM listening to Rev. Tim's first service. He has spoken from the pulpit at St. David's previously but this time, the service was his. Check out the Youtube! https://youtu.be/fIXCaPKVLpw His enthusiasm was catchy, despite the gloom surrounding us.
Planning for August will present its own obstacles. Deb, David and I are all planning to be away for successive Sundays in August. We can attend services on ZOOM -- Dave and I from the Westcoast and Deb from Ontario, however we can't be in the sanctuary with our computers, hosting the services. If anyone out there in our readership would like to step up to the plate and help out, your help would be invaluable. We have our system down pat and it isn't difficult. We've been using Deb's 15" Apple computer for the Recording Computer with our 13" Apple computers and IPads on monitoring and co-hosting duties. Let's see -- 10 days left of July! Call me if you can help out. Please!
July 10, 2021
This morning I read the obituary for Ken Burton, longtime friend of St. David's. He was born in 1931. Years ago, we served on the council together and, more recently, I visited with Ken and Jean at receptions at St. David's. They were both active members of the St. David's Friendship Group. Condolences to Jean and their family in the passing of Ken.
We made a quick trip to Sidney, BC to tend to our sail boat - drive out on Monday, drive back on Friday. We did, however, accomplish a great deal as we prepared the boat for another sailing summer. Lots of work!! Our grandson, Hugo, accompanied us and was a wonderful help mate as we worked. He is staying in Surrey with Iris, Mom, Dad and Greta. (Dad, Greta and grand-dogger, Mazi, head out next weekend.
We will be meeting Amy, our incoming Pastoral Care Minister (effective August 9, 2021) at service tomorrow -- on Zoom. Your invitation was sent out yesterday. If you didn't receive a ZOOM invite and would like one, let me know: [email protected] Also, you will find the worship folder for tomorrow's service (Betsy Woolner presiding and Sheryl Schoenthaler reflecting) as a file attachment on the MINISTRIES/WORSHIP page. See you tomorrow.
July 1, 2021
I'm writing this morning while sitting on my back deck. The sun is rising, creating shadows through the big fir trees in my back yard. David has gone sailing for the day at Chestermere Lake with students from Lethbridge. It will be a warm one on the water. We will remember this past week for some time to come -- not only is it the last days of Stage 2, COVID-19 but the day time temperatures have been mid-thirties with night time, high teens. When mid afternoon arrives, we have either retreated to our lower floors or sought out some air-conditioned event. Last evening when I picked up my granddaughter from her work place at Crowfoot Village, I noticed that the parking lot for the cinemas was packed. Cool Air!!
Yesterday, June 30, 2021, the job was to get out the newsletter from St. David's Council. We have 41 folks still receiving mailouts from the church via address labels, folded letter, stamps and sealed envelopes. Everyone else received their message via email. A brief summerary: Rev. Debbie Stockdale has officially retired and was in the office yesterday, completing her tasks, Rev. Tim Nethercott (chaplain at U of C, SAIT and Mt. Royal) will be providing his ministerial services for July and August with office hours between 10 and 12 on Wednesdays and availability as needed, our Rev. Peggy is still on Restorative Leave, Chantal (office administrator) will be increasing office hours this summer (TBA), our tech team will be celebrating the installation of livestreaming equipment and necessary training in July, our Worship team will be providing oversight to upcoming services, Roberto Montagni (financial administrator) will be in his office on Tuesday and Thursday, Iglesio di Cristos will be renting our facility on Tuesdays and Sundays beginning July 6, 2021, St. David's Council will be meeting both in July and August and plans will be taking shape for the return to in-person services this coming fall.
We are in the final steps of appointing our new Pastoral Care Minister, Amy Haynes, who will begin her term in early August. An unexpected event occurred last week when a piece of the skylight blind rail decided to fall from the ceiling so this coming week, we will be scaffolding our way to the skylights and replacing blinds that have provided shade from bright sunlight during service Sunday mornings for a very long time.
Today, we are facing some major decisions. Stage Three of COVID-19 promises a return to "normal," but it will be a personal decision what that "normal" looks like for each of us. Dave and I will continue to wear our masks -- our eight year old Iris is too young for immunization. Everyone else has two shots. It has really been an experience?? Agreed??
Our First of July is different this year as we pause to reflect on what the Dominion of Canada stands for in the 21st Century. Celebration and/or Reflection? Whichever, have a blessed day and we will see each other in person, soon!
The picture was taken at our Stampede Breakfast in July 2019. Enjoy!