October 31, 2020:
This week (i.e. 12 days) totally slipped past me. I pride myself on keeping my journal up to date but Week #43 of 2020 ended without a single entry. I did catch up but, nonetheless I seemed to turn around twice and the week was over.
Zooming filled quite a lot of the time. I was privileged to join a Chinook Winds Regional presentation on Zooming that featured three of our fellow congregations: McKillop from Lethbridge, Deerpark and St. Andrews from down south Calgary and Northminster, a neighbourhood church. The technology used in the three locations varied a great deal. We are the only ones Zooming for the service and uploading to youtube for later viewing. When asked when was the last tech failure noted, all three presenters referred to their last week's service.
Our Council met on Tuesday evening for our regular monthly meeting (on Zoom these days). We determined to keep the church closed to rentals for the time being. Congregants are gathering in small numbers (under 15 now with structured programs) now but ACTS programs are running very successfully on ZOOM -- Book Study and Bible Study.
During Worship service, we are experimenting with combined sound/projection system along with Zoom and screen sharing. I have learned from our six sessions of Monday Night Book Study (with some 30 computers joining in at 7 p.m. on Monday evenings) that, as host, I am kept very busy moving from Zoom to screen share to video and back several times during the evening. To prevent feedback while using my laptop, i keep my ipad about 15 feet away muted with earphones in place. I need to see the screen on the laptop so that I know what everyone else is watching. The host screen is quite complex. But... the beauty of the technology that we have a lively community of St. Davidians along with past members joining us from other locations in Canada along with new friends and on Thursday mornings, there are 14 of us currently discussing women of the New Testament.
Speaking of which, on Sunday morning, we are joined by two families in Bangladesh along with a new friend of a friend from Toronto. It's a whole new concept of community.
This weekend with Hallowe'en looming this evening, our grandchildren have their costumes ready. Hugo is feeling under the weather so is awaiting COVID-19 test results and his grandparents are staying segregated for the time being. Our daughter and her family in Ottawa are similarly quarantined as they await results on our 9 year old grandson whose classmate tested positive. What a world we live in!
Blessings to all and I await to see your shining faces tomorrow morning. Remember your five candles and comfort quilt!
A long time St. Davidian will be remembered next Saturday at St. David's (through Zoom). This morning's Herald honoured our friend, Helen Denton. This is her obituary: https://calgaryherald.remembering.ca/obituary/helen-denton-1080662297.
October 19, 2020:
Winter is here. -5 C. right now with snow abundantly present on rooftops and walkways. Why, just last weekend, Dave and his student enjoyed a Thanksgiving Sail on Chestermere Lake and, later, we put our 23' Clipper Mark Sail boat, Soryu, in her stall for winter. We still have to put her full 'winter jacket' on but we will wait for a much warmer day to complete that task. Meanwhile, here at home, our landscaping company have already prepared our flower beds for winter. One day, we had radiant red geraniums and alyssum out front but now it is just black dirt, awaiting the promise of summer.... next year.
At church we have begun a new series Beguiled by Beauty, but right now, it presents a challenge for us to see beauty in fallen leaves and empty flower beds... truly, two weeks ago we were kicking through leaves along the park pathways. Then came the wind!!! And quite suddenly, our trees were bare and snow covered the leaves.
On Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020 we will be saying good-bye to dear friend of St. David's, Elaine Fox, who passed on earlier this year following a prolonged period of illness. Elaine was on May's Sacred Service team and we were grateful for her help when she was still able to come to church. This is her obituary from the Herald: https://calgaryherald.remembering.ca/obituary/elaine-fox-1080504148. Her service will be 'Zoom'd so that family who live all over North America will be able to say good-bye.
October 11, 2020:
The turkey is but a memory. We feasted on Saturday about 2:00 p.m. and have already had our leftover mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and turkey for a second meal last night, shared with Hugo and Iris. We stayed within our three cohort bubbles with our son's family eating in the living room, our daughter's family in the dining room and Dave and I at the special counter in the kitchen. By five p.m., everything was returned to cupboard, frig, china cabinet and pantry and we rested. Highlight for me was sharing my mom's 'Old Country Roses' dish set for the first time with family in a few years.
Saturday morning there was a 'Faith and Reason" segment called Prayers for Thanksgiving from six of the major world religions. The one that we used was from Rabbi Naomi Levy:
For the laughter of the children,
For my own life breath,
For the abundance of food on this table,
For the ones who prepared this sumptuous feast,
For the roof over our heads,
The clothes on our backs,
For our health,
And our wealth of blessings,
For this opportunity to celebrate with family and friends,
For the freedom to pray these words
In any language,
In any faith
In this great country,
Whose landscape is as vast and beautiful as her inhabitants.
Thank you God, for giving us all these.
This past week, our dear friend, Marie Couch, passed on. We knew Marie most recently as part of Karen, Brenda, Donna Gardening Group. These women have worked hard, keeping St. David's grounds looking so awesome. I have captured their pictures in spring, summer and autumn and especially at this time of year we offer our thanks for their many hours of work. Enjoy the pictures that accompany this news update.
October 4, 2020:
We walked through Egert Park in North Haven today with Hugo and Iris, who have been our house guests while their folks were participating in a farewell weekend to Grandy Judy in Surrey, BC. We picked up Iris on Thursday after school so we've had a wonderful and busy weekend. Hugo spent the week with us during the days because he is incapacitated with a full arm cast on his left with the arm held tightly in place against his torso. The simplest activities are extremely difficult but the fun part today was that he was able to kick his soccer ball from Northmount to 14st along the park way. It was truly beautiful. Kicking through autumn leaves is definitely one of my favourite things to do!!
Monday Night Book Study really drives my week. I usually spend Tuesday and Wednesday re-reading the chapters for the week and begin searching for video resources to support the chapters. By Thursday, the keynote is well under way, the reading continues and chats with the team are underway. By Saturday, Wayne has sent me the outline for his input and the weekend becomes an exercise in completing the keynote (Powerpoint) presentation so that on Monday, I can begin rehearsing for our 90 minute ZOOM session. Jokingly, on night one, I asked folks to remember that: we are 'Zoom' novices; that we are seniors; that we are exceptionally brave; and, finally, that we love Monday Night Book Study. Tomorrow night is session 4 with a break in our schedule for Thanksgiving. We are finished by the end of November. Love it!!
ACTS is also enjoying Thursday Morning Bible Study where a dozen or so of us gather at 10 a.m. on ZOOM to study the Bible together. This session, we are studying women of the Bible and the sessions finish all too quickly as we focus our thoughts. Wayne is our leader with Joan and I managing the technical side of things.
Plan to attend a chat session at church this week, either on Monday morning or Wednesday afternoon, with Rev. Peggy and Rev. Debbie. If you wish to participate, just give Chantal, office administrator, a call.