MAY 20, 2019
Traditionally Memorial Day Sunday sees many of our congregation enjoying the great outdoors but yesterday, following two days of very inclement weather and the return of our ACTS Spiritual Travelers from Russia and points east, we had a great turn out at church yesterday. We even ran out of buttered raisin bread and our own May Sacred Service Wendy Rae was kept busy in the TM kitchen keeping up with needs for coffee, tea and condiments. Thanks to Bonnae McTavish, April Sacred Service, for helping out and to Deb Charnuski for volunteering to close up shop following Community time in the TM room. It is my job as May Team Coordinator to finish up but Dave had sailing students waiting for him at the CYC - Chestermere - for their Learn-to-Cruise Sailing course so we were not the last ones standing at St. David's.
Special thanks, too, to George Callow and Bob Hanwell for their continued dedication to third Sunday usher volunteering. Fellow Jerry Strides has recenetly retired from his post after some 35 years of third Sunday service ushering. I have to mention Hugo and Iris, grandchildren, who met arrivals with open door and hearts. Thank you!
The Sanctuary Choir had us tapping our feet and clapping during their anthem and offertory selections this morning. Thank you, Garrett, for your brilliant accompaniement and to the dedicated members of the Sanctuary Choir and Music director, Brent Tucker, who were on hand to lead singing Sunday morning.
A small but keen group met on Wednesday night at St. David's as a follow-up to Mike and Debbie Stockdale's reflection on "Live with Respect in Creation" April 28, 2019 (see Sermons on Home Page for the text of their reflection.) They will be available on Wednesday,May 29, 2019 at 7:00 pm for a second session.
We had a chance to review the security protocol at St. David's on Sunday afternoon, May 12, 2019 when we returned to pick up forgotten stuff and set off the alarm. Our code didn't want to cooperate so we had great fun getting everything back to status quo. Needless to say, we were in to visit with Chantal, office administrator, Monday morning to check out our magic security code. That is one loud-noise-making-piece of technology!!
Paige Marten, accounting, is busy summarizing budget numbers as a result of submissions from the various committees at St. David's. These numbers will be presented to the congregation on June 2, 2019, following service, for approval. Plan to be in attendance to make your voice heard.
That was week #20 in the news.
Week #19 in the life of St. David's United Church
This week, Alison and her Ministry of Famiies team were hard at work preparing for the Christian Family Service on Mothers' Day. In homes of the Faith Questers, the script for the service was in full practice and Sunday morning, the SDUC Faith Quest t-shirts were revealed. The service was amazing with the grade fours, Sasha Hugo and Quinn, receiving their Bibles and grade sixes, Clara, Carly and Lauren, receiving their "Gratitude" journals like so many grade sixers before them. With the tradition invitation by Youth in attendance, the sofa was brought to the front of the church to signify the move from sitting on pillows in Faith Quest to sofas in Youth Church.
The service was a culmination of the "Superpowers" theme this year that involved young ones in dialogue with Alison, Vanessa or Stephanie telling the stories of "Super heroes" of the Bible. The bottom line was that we are all super heroes in our own right and our hands can accomplish amazing things if we set our minds to it. Hearing the voices of the little ones who shared personal "super powers" provided by moms and grandmas as collected by Alison was a real thrill. Resilience, compassion, spirit, determination, creativity were but a few of those describing these beautiful children. Thanks to Nic, Hugo, Ian and X along with Sandy, Carly and Lauren for their roles in the presentation along with all the other little superpowers in attendance. There were many proud parents and grandparents, friends and family who were part of the congregration this morning.
On Friday, May 10, 2019, St. Davidians gathered to celebrate the life of Jean Marshall. Jean and Dick were stalwart members of St. David's for many years and their children, Ian, Kathy and Scott, were familiar faces in programming over the years. All were on hand to celebrate Jean's life and following service Sunday morning, Jean's ashes were interred in the Memorial Gardens at St. David's along with her husband of many years, Dick. We especially remember sitting with them after church on Sunday mornings as we reviewed the week that was. Very awesome people who were a privilege to know and love.
As I write this morning, I am sitting looking out the window of the Calgary Yacht Club at Chestermere. The water is calm and inviting and a water skier just went by on the far shore. Dave is working on our 23' sailboat, Soryu - readying her for another year of teaching "Learn to Cruise - CYA." In years past, Dave would tease about needing to be re-introduced at St. David's after the sailing season was finished. That was before Sacred Service began at St. David's. The month of May is our turn to help insure that the Sunday morning service is the best it can be with greeters, ushers, hospitality, coffee, etc. in place. (His sailing lessons begin after lunch!!)
On the council front, the committees of St. David's council are supposed to have their preliminary budgets submitted in preparation for the upcoming congregational meeting on June 2, 2019. Happy budgeting, everyone!! Meanwhile, our NAC (Needs Assessment Committee) are meeting this morning and the Edge initiative has our programming for St. David's advertised in "Coffee News" every week. This paper goes out to some 60 000 readers all over Northwest Calgary. P.S. it is fun to look for the "little man" after checking out St. David's ad.
Enjoy week #20.
MAY 6, 2019
On April 30, Rev. Dr. Alex Lawson, former interim minister at St. David's, died quietly in his sleep in Victoria, B.C. Memorial Services will be held in Victoria and Lethbridge. Rev. Lawson, in his kilt with his bagpipes, will be fondly remembered for his time with us. At Friendship Club's Social Friday night, some puns, forwarded by Rev. Lawson were shared with us. A very special individual.
May is full of anticipation. With the transformation of Easter evolving, we wait for the flowers to bloom, the trees to turn green with new leaves, the streets to be cleaned and our patios to be set up for milder weather. Okay, we've had some minor setbacks during the past two weekends when Wally and crew had to come to church early Sunday morning to clear the sidewalks. Yesterday, our trees were dressed with lots of snow but today, as I write, the sky has big fluffy clouds and the sun is shining brightly. Weather for the coming weekend is forecast for +20s. Life is grand!!
On Thursday at 4 our family gathered in the Memorial Garden at St. David's for an Internment Service for our parents, Hugh and Marjorie Layton. There still was snow on the ground but the sun was warm as we remembered our Mom and Dad, our grandparents and great grandparents. Thank you, Rev. Peggy, for your kind words and giving us this opportunity to remember our parents in such a special way.
We had lots of reasons to be at St. David's this past week. Thursday evening was the Layton Internment Service, Friday evening was the Friendship Group's monthly social with special guests, Bob and Sally Hodges who shared with us the basics of raising bees. Saturday, we gathered with fellow aviators, Friendship Group members, family and friends to celebrate the long life of Vern McKeague. Pinning our poppies onto the McKeague plaid pillow gave each of us time to reflect upon our connections with this dear man who was soon to turn 96. Members of the family offered their tributes to Vern, the Angel Voices choir, including daughter Heather McKeague, sang Amazing Grace, son, David, recalled milestones in the life of his parents, grandchildren and great grandchildren lit the candles of Life Memory, Mystery and Release and Rev. Peggy reflected on her relationship with the McKeagues over the years. Vern, like my father-in-law, was a navigator during World War II. My father was stationed overseas as well as his mechanical skills were applied to the bombers after their safe returns. Many of the folks in attendance had served in the Air Force both in the war and the years following.
Sunday we were back at St. David's for the worship service and for the first Sunday of Sacred Service for the May team. With the value of the month being Unity we were a united team, busy making coffee, greeting, ushering, tidying -- all the tasks that are handled by our dedicated Sacred Service teams during the year. Following a community time in the TM room, it was time to regroup for the Michael Hope "Songs My Mother Taught Me" concert and birthday party for Mrs. Hope. The two hours slid by as we listened, laughed, sang, ate birthday cake and clapped a great deal. The encore featured a set of variations on the familiar tune of Happy Birthday with piano, bassoon and bass. We were able to sing out our best wishes to Mrs. Hope as well. Special thanks to Marian Whitman and her crew who were hosts for the afternoon.
Next Sunday we are privileged to honour our young people who weekly participate in Faith Quest programs at St. David's. Our grandson, grade four, will be receiving the traditional Bible gift, joining a long recipient list of little people in our family over two generations who have their Bible fifted by St. David's. Mothers' Day is such an ideal time for this celebration of rites of passage.
The NAC (Needs Assessment Committee), struck to determine future needs of St. David's regarding Pastoral Care, are busy meeting these days as they prepare for the June 2, 2019 Congregational Meeting. Meanwhile, all the committees of the Council will be preparing their budget requirements with the awareness that we have limitations. Budgets need to be submitted by May 13, 2019. On Sunday following service we were arranged in focus groups to consider our personal pastoral care needs and those of the staff and congregation, providing input for NAC.
That concludes Week #18 of 2019 - just your "type A" webmaster signing off.