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Join us for worship on Sundays at 10:00
- Please join us after the service in the Van Roon Community Hall for HeBrews Café, refreshments and fellowship after worship.
- The 2023 edition of the Urban Retreats Garden Tours is all set for Saturday, June 24. This year’s event will be hosted by the United Church in Meadowood and feature gardens in South St. Vital. All proceeds support 1JustCity and West End Community Ministry. For more information please visit: https://www.1justcity.ca/garden-tour
Welcome to worship for Sunday, June 11, 2023.
That silence you will hear (or is silence something you don’t hear?) on Sunday morning will be coming (or should I say not coming?) from our church school is the kids having fun outside eating ice cream sandwiches. This Sunday is the last Sunday of our program year and Rosalie and the children will be having a little celebration.
In years gone by we have marked the second Sunday of June in a variety of ways. There have been years where we had a picnic, a pot luck, or a bar-be-cue. We have sometimes had a special treat for the kids of church school like a bouncer or games. It is the Sunday we have chosen to rejoice in all that has been since the previous September and enter into a summer-way-of-being.
Same can be said of the ministry with which the Senior Choir blesses us. This week will be the last one before Shauna and the choir take a much-deserved break from their Thursday rehearsal/Sunday worship schedule. Seekers, the Tuesday morning Bible study has already suspended their weekly gatherings until the fall. In many ways we are getting into summer mode at the church, not a vacation, but a season of rest and re-creation. And as such it is a time to express thanksgiving for the program year that has been.
In September we asked both Rosalie and Shauna to work with fewer people in larger spaces. Both of these programs had been inactive (as far as in-person Sunday mornings went) for almost two and a half years. Over the course of this year, church school and choir felt what we all felt, a growing sense of confidence and security in the return to full activity. I have told others that it didn’t really feel, (not thought nor measured but felt inside) like we were all the way back until this past Easter. To me it wasn’t until Easter that we had a comfort and ease in being together. That’s a whole year of moving slowly into our post-pandemic reality and both Rosalie and Shauna managed this gradual return with grace, humour, and skill. We thank them.
Thank you to Wally Ort, who did not shy away from the challenge of coordinating nursery on Sunday mornings. Wally’s job was unique in the sense that we had a small baby boom of sorts and the nursery has been an area of growth for us this past year. What a blessing that has been.
Thank you to the parents who trusted us with the return of an in-person children’s program. Your faith is us is something we do not wish to take for granted and for which we are immensely grateful. Thank you to Jodie and the youth who gathered with her, on Sundays and mid-week, as we sought to find our Youth Ministry grove once more. We look forward to more and more integration of these ministries next year.
Thank you to the choir members who continued to offer an online music ministry even as in-person returned. I sometimes quote a professor of mine who said that worship doesn’t ‘have’ music, it ‘is musical’. The choir doesn’t simply offer an anthem each week. They are the people who lift the voices of the rest of us, who bring us in on introits and lead us out in benedictions. They cue our responses in sacraments and prayers. And they do so with such ability that we often don’t even recognize the gift they are providing. Having begun the year with a necessity for social distancing we are anticipating a larger group able to make-a-joyful-noise in the fall.
Throughout this program year we have built back slowly as people resumed ushering and greeting and reading and serving and offering hospitality. For all the volunteers who “returned to duty” we are so deeply grateful.
Thank you to all of you who have shown such faith and trust in this year of renewal. God had been good to us and for that we say thank you.
I told Rosalie to focus on the kids this year and that we didn’t need ice cream sandwiches for everyone. But if there is one left over, that would be all right with me!!!
Grace and peace,
- Michael Wilson’s book “A Pastoral Pandemic: Remaining Connected in a Time of Disconnection” is available in store and online through CommonWord Bookstore (Canadian Mennonite University). For more information visit: https://www.commonword.ca/go/3408.
- Did you know you can support this ministry by e-transfer, automatic withdrawal (PAR), and gifted securities, in addition to weekly or monthly cheques? For Offering Information please visit: https://charleswoodunited.org/support/ Thank you for your generous support.
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- The reading for this week’s service can be found here: Matthew 9:2-13
- For news and events please have a look at Life & Work on our website: Life and Work