JUNE 23, 2019
Love this modern era of communication! I am working on the webpage from our hotel room in Kamloops, BC. We are on our way to prepare our sail boat for the upcoming sailing season. Yes, it is late in the season but this is the first week we've been able to get away.
A big part of our busyness has been finalizing the budget for 2019-2020 for St. David's. We have our trustees to thank for urging Council to reconsider the expense side of the budget for the incoming year and to be more realistic with what we can really afford. As willingness to volunteer for the many chores that keep St. David's a great place to worship has diminished over the years, we have had to reconsider our programs and create a mindset of participation in place of complacency. We are the church - and, drawing upon Rev. Peggy's reflection today, we are called to "green (our) soul with a positive attitude and to let optimism grow with (us)."
Brian McLaren, whose book "The Great Spiritual Migration" we studied this winter, suggests that we are on the move and that...
"The one obstacle that I see is complacency, the temptation to yield to either pessimism or optimism rather than opt into a sense of empowerment. If there is to be a hopeful future, not just for the church, but for the whole planet, it will depend on you and me becoming God’s collaborators, God’s agents, God’s embodiment to bring it to be. We can’t wait for someone else to fix things. Everything hangs on our faith, hope, and love ... our congregations, our networks, and our hearts, voices, and hands. This truly is a moment of great danger and ultimate opportunity, a time to look, lean, and lead forward."
As a leading edge baby boomer, I am tempted to sit and watch - after all, I'm retired. I guess that is not going to work. Today, with the little ones at church, we learned about how Craig and Mark Keilburger changed to world and it wasn't by sitting and watching but by doing. We are the church.
Have a great week.
JUNE 16, 2019
One of the gifts that Rev. Peggy have given us at St. David's over the past 12 years is a special Sunday service honouring the Indigenous People of Canada. We have drumming and chanting and today we were privileged to listen to Dorothy Walker, singer, song writer, performer, and Vern Luchinski, guitar, as they shared their talent with us.
Marie Williams has become a familiar face at St. David's as she shares with us her tradition and some of her customs and rituals. Today we learned about the morning Smudging Prayer and an important reminder as to the weight of our words. Paying attention was her theme for today.
Meanwhile, summer is catching on and with beautiful weekend days beckoning us, attendance this morning was less than stellar. Hugo and Iris were present for Marie's smudging ceremony then joined me in the balcony - I was on the sound and light board this a.m. However, prior to service, Hugo and Iris helped in the production of Bannock. Hugo's was in a big loaf form while Iris' was little bun size delights. Anyway, they enjoyed the baking and the eating that followed. Varieties shared at Coffee time in the TM room were many and delicious, too. Thank you, Rev. Peggy, for bringing this new tradition into our lives.
Council meets this coming Tuesday with the budget weighing heavily on our minds. ACTS committee will be meeting for their annual barbeque and planning meeting on Thursday evening. Five new books will be considered for choice for our Monday Night Book Study come September. Meanwhile, daily at St. David's, the Royal Conservatory of Music will still be conducting examinations. Shhh!! is the key word for visitors to St. David's. Wednesday evening, "Under the Rainbow" - an initiative by the Affirm Committee will be a great place to visit. It sounds like a great week!!!
JUNE 10, 2019
We drove past Nosehill on the weekend - we make that trek frequently - and, as usual, we looked for deer on the way. The weekend rains have made the hill look so incredible and the two deer we spied just added to our delight. It caused me to reflect upon the efforts of Nancy Hetherington-Pierce and husband, John, who devoted a great deal of time years ago to the preservation of our hill. Petitions, meetings with city hall and community meetings spearheaded by the Hetherington-Pierces resulted in the pleasure we have as we look north and celebrate the natural grassland that provides habitat for many creatures. I love that hill!!
The busyness of year end is easing. Graduation and awards ceremonies are over and diploma exams begin this week. I've been tutoring a young person for her Social Studies 30-1 written exam and enjoying every minute of it. And, speaking of exams, St. David's is a quiet zone during the day as the Royal Conservatory of Music is hosting its annual examinations in piano, voice, etc. in the sanctuary. Fifty-five years ago, I was practicing hours daily as my Grade nine RCM piano exam loomed. Oh, the joys of memory.
We are still involved in the budgeting process for the fiscal year 2019-2020. Meetings, involving the Trustees and Finance Committee continue this week as we approach the June 18, 2019 last council meeting for 2018-2019. We can empathisize with city hall as they, too, struggle with a deficit budget. More in, less out sounds simple but...
Our Coffee and Muffin Ministry this past week brought the community together over home baking, coffee (tea or juice) and great conversation. We will have to wait for September for our next Thursday event.
JUNE 3, 2019
So can I just say that I like smoky hotdogs but can't say I am enthralled with hot smoky days. Our grandson's graduation ceremonies from J.G. Diefenbaker were held at Centre Street Church on May 31, 2019 and the beautiful gardens were shrouded in forest fire smoke. Despite the limited visibility lots of pictures were taken and inside the grandiose hall and sanctuary, the 500 grads each held the attention of the gathered host for a moment that will not be forgotten. Later we gathered at BW Coast Plaza for a banquet that will be part of our memory bank.
So too will be the honouring of our two St. David's graduands on Sunday morning, A.J. and Tiana. Both have been familiar faces at church in their various capacities. A.J. is a member of our May Sacred Service team along with sister Lauren and parents, Lisa and T.J. Alison mentioned knowing them since their kindergarten days! Tiana helped out with special events at St. David's this year.
All the very best as you go on to things greater and beyond. Know that you will always be welcome at St. David's.
Week #22 has been another action-filled week with Council gathering on Tuesday night to deliberate over the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. That meeting was long!! and we are not finished yet. Although the congregation voted support for acceptance of the budget as presented, our Trustees have their input to be considered. Watch for further updates.
On Thursday, we had the final Coffee and Muffin Ministry for 2018-2019. And... again, lots of goodies and drinks were shared along with great conversation. The little schools which rent space from us are winding up their school terms so it was great to visit with parents and little ones as class was dismissed. This program owns its success to the dedication of the Janets - Janet Frohlich, leader, Janet Clare and Janet Larson, along with Darlene, June, Betty and all the others who donate food and time over the year.
Service Sunday morning was truly a community celebration. The lunch provided by the Foundation was nourishing and the Foundation AGM and budget meeting following stimulated lots of conversation and comment. The NAC (Needs Assessment Committee) and the Edge Initiative are both pro-active undertakings as we face fiscal challenges. There are openings in The Foundation and on the Council in a variety of areas - Ministry of Families, Secretary, ACTS, to name a few. Consider volunteering your time. It is a great place to work!!
Last night, however, was amazing. At 7:30, pianist and conductor extraordinaire, Stephen and Brent, entered the sanctuary for an incredible concert. Our very own Stephen Ross, (he practised in the sanctuary while attending U of C) demonstrated his talent as he performed the Bach Italian Concerto and the Frank Prelude, Choral and Fugue. After a short intermission, a twenty-three member orchestra along with Stephen on the piano and Brent conducting performed Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor. What a performance!! I particularly enjoyed watching the delight in Brent's shoulders as the Concerto drew to a close!!! Congratulations to all of you. And... thank you to the donors of all the yummy treats you shared with us at the reception following.
June has always been a special month for me (45 years of teaching does that to a person) as classes ended, students crammed for exams and concerts and graduations brought community together. Eighteen sleeps until summer!!!