Brenda Wallace
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September 16, 2020

Another weekend during the Time of COVID-19 has come and gone. Here we sit at the beginning of 'Hump Day' which means that the coming weekend is just around the corner.

For the ACTS committee at St. David's, Monday Night was the official launch of our Monday Night Book Study and with all the anticipation experienced with the first day of any new program, the air was filled with excitement. This year was unique because we came together on ZOOM. 

There were 37 faces in attendance, according to Joan Gray, our CO-Host and Wayne, our leader. Bernard was the first person in the waiting room but soon the group was gathering, just like old times. Only, Wayne and I were not setting up the chairs, Marlene, along with Bonnae, was not in the kitchen preparing for Hospitality and Jock was not  hooking up the technology along with me. Instead, I spent Monday rehearsing the use of the new (for me) technology -- learning how to embed youtubes within keynote. Thank you, Google, for your help and thank you, group, for your patience and understanding as we turned 23 slides into an evening of learning and sharing. P.S. at 8:30 as we parted, we did not have to restack chairs!!

In my journal, we are beginning the 38th week of 2020. It has been quite a ride as we have moved our church and daily living interactions online. Yesterday, I met with Abi at First Calgary to create a profile as a signatory for St. David's in my role as Chair Council. Council have held Zoom regular meetings each month, beginning in March with a couple of extraordinary meetings thrown in and email helps us deal with day to day issues. When I checked in with Chantal regarding the Zoom invitation for Sunday, she returned the call from Ontario, where she was visiting for a family event. Amazing how we have learned to accomplish tasks that we could not do online. 

With schools open, we personally are not interacting with our extended family, (i.e. Hugo and Iris) however we did host a picnic in Bowness park last Wednesday to celebrate our September birthdays. For years, we have hosted a throng of folks (sometimes just a couple) at Fall celebrations with cake and balloons for son, son-in-law, nephew, brother, sister and friend- granddaughter's is next week!

Tomorrow, September 17, 2020, launches ACTS Thursday Morning Book Study with our own Rev. Dr. Wayne Holst presiding. Joan and I will be running the technology (i.e. Zoom) while Wayne and the group meet for the first of their 10 sessions at 10 a.m. Put on the coffee pot, sit a spell and join us. If you'd like an invitation, you can contact me at 403 510 1993. Take care and have a great week. 

 

September 10, 2020

This morning I awaked to the realization that my weekly update was past due! Is this a sign of things to come? Why, just last week it was August 31 .... time is truly rushing by and those of us busy on our computers this year feel the call of the season with the beginning of school. As a long time teacher, September was all about new beginnings -- my favourite season. The colours of Fall, the amazing flower beds absolutely glowing in their maturity, the children with backpacks loaded to the max. Yes, the traffic and discarded fast food wrappers along with the threat of frost remind us of the cold weather ahead, but today, with the forecast of a 26 degrees, let's celebrate how fortunate we are to enjoy our parks and walkways. (Even while we wear our masks and maintain our social distancing!!) 

At St. David's, we found all kinds of ways to enjoy our Labour Day long weekend. I was surprised with how relaxed I felt as Sunday morning, we decided to visit our sister church, Wildrose United, to worship and observe how the ministry team was streaming the morning service on Facebook Live. It really is quite amazing how each church has developed its own technology.

At St. David's, we have become familiar with ZOOM with a later viewing of our service on Youtube while Wildrose has elected to use Facebook Live. The incredible ability of sound teams to innovate when the technology doesn't work (as often discovered in the seconds before 10 a.m.) worked beautifully for the team there on Sunday morning. The sound team gathered on Wednesday night for a trial run of a system of gymballed ipads and iphones  which worked beautifully but Sunday morning was all about Plan B.  With an ipad being physically held while recording during the entire service, the congregation was able to come together to worship on a long weekend in a way never before imagined possible. Yeah! Sanctuary teams all over the world who work behind the scenes to create a new normal!! Hallelujah!

This week, we will be focussing our worship service on the fourth in a series about "Creation Blessing" and for an hour we will join together, pondering the state of our existence during this Time of COVID-19. It is never far from our awareness as our little ones have returned to school. Last Wednesday morning, wearing my mask and standing the required 6' distance apart, I walked my little 8 year old, Iris, to the assigned meeting spot for her class. Nine classmates would be joining with her and her teacher for that first day of Grade Three. She wouldn't let me carry any of her three packs -- masks, lunch, supplies -- with a good bit of excitement, too. Meanwhile, Hugo, age 11, was awaiting half of his class of Grade Six'rs to arrive. Thursday, the other half of each of their classes would arrive for their first day. And now... Grandpa and I are out of their bubble for the time being so it is back to Facetime and waves. With their bubble being so expanded, it is wise for us to standby for awhile. 

Monday Night Book Study will be signing on ZOOM Monday night for the first in a series of 10 evenings dedicated to the study of Fr. Richard Rohr's book, "Universal Christ." The truth for those of us dedicated to our Monday Night Book Study (about to enter its 45th session) it is really about community. With the Monday nights we have spent together each year, we have enjoyed "Friends, food and fun" (as our friend, Roy, used to say) but this year our gathering will be in a Zoom Waiting Room and our food will come from our own kitchens and our meeting place will be virtual. P.S. Contact me if you'd like to be with us on Monday night. The cost is only the cost of the book, easily purchased online. [email protected]

So, September, here we come! Oh, dear... we are 1/3 through the month already!