St. Giles Anglican Church, Estevan

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Words from Wilma+          All Saints Day Nov. 1, 2019


Today is All Saints Day and tomorrow Nov 2, is All Souls Day. I am attaching an explanation of what these two days mean for us as Anglicans. The explanation comes from the book For All the Saints a publication of the Anglican Church of Canada. 


  • Sunday at St Giles we will celebrate All Saints and we will also remember our loved ones. If you would like to have a loved one remembered by name during the prayers, please let us know before the service. You may do so either on the list at the door with the greeters, or before hand by emailing wmw@live.ca or text 306 897 0402
  • ALSO The Venerable Cheryl Toth will be joining us and preaching this Sunday. Archdeacon Cheryl is from Regina and has much to offer us as preacher and teacher! 


All Saints 1 November


Today’s festival had its origins in the fourth century, when churches in the East began to celebrate “the feast of the martyrs of the whole world” on the Sunday after Pentecost.


Several Western churches adopted this festival and kept it on various dates in April or May, but in the early Middle Ages the church of Rome assigned it the much later date of November first and broadened the feast to include all the saints. Western Christendom has followed this custom ever since.


Saints are Christians who in various ways, often against great odds, showed an extraordinary love for Christ. The Holy Spirit acted in their lives so that they chose to bring aid to the needy, justice to the oppressed, hope to the sorrowful, and the divine word of forgiveness to sinners. For the sake of Christ, they were servants to the people of their day; and the service they rendered in the past makes them examples to the rest of the people of God throughout history.


The Church also believes that our life on earth has eternal consequences; and so, our remembrance of what the saints were is directed to what they are. It is the Church’s conviction — a conviction often expressed in the Anglican tradition — that the saints continue to be our partners and fellow servants before the face of God’s glory. We pray for our present needs, and the saints pray with us — not as if their prayers were better than our own, but because they are still bound to us in mutual service as members of the one body of Christ.

For this very reason, we may say of the Church’s saints what the Letter to the Hebrews says about the Old Testament saints — that they and their service shall not be perfect until all of God’s friends have answered the invitation of Christ and arrived at the banquet of glory. For that is the ministry of the saints in heaven as on earth: to help others become partners in the salvation of God.


This festival may be observed on the Sunday following 1 November, in addition to its observance on the fixed date.


All Souls 2 November


The Commemoration of All Faithful Departed — Memorial


On this day we call to mind all the faithful departed who are now with God in Christ Jesus. We especially remember all those who have touched our own lives, and the men and women of our own parish and community whose good works have sustained and enhanced the ongoing life of our Christian community.


The Church has kept this memorial of all the faithful departed since the eleventh century, when it also began to celebrate the feast of All Saints. The Church believed that the souls of departed saints were immediately taken into the presence and full glory of God, while all other departed souls still had to undergo some healing and growth before they could be strong enough to bear the radiance of God’s face. Out of this belief grew the medieval doctrine of purgatory, which taught that there was an intermediate state between death and glory, when souls were purged of the effects of those sins which still marred their wills and affections.


When the Church of England reformed its doctrine and worship in the sixteenth century, it rejected “the Romish doctrine concerning purgatory ... [as] a fond thing vainly imagined.” The Anglican tradition has not withdrawn that criticism, but over the centuries we have learned to believe what we have prayed in the Burial Office — that the good work which Almighty God began in the faithful departed may be perfected unto the day of Jesus Christ. For growth in perfection must be infinite because our perfection is communion with the infinite God. So, we magnify God’s power by confessing that the divine mercy continues to perfect the souls of the departed according to the measure of eternal life revealed in Jesus Christ.


Giving thanks for God’s Grace and you,


Wilma+


Words from Wilma+            October 13 - Thanksgiving 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!! I hope that you are having a wonderful weekend with family, food and those you love. No turkey at my house this year – ham this time. I would rather have turkey, but life and circumstances change, and I have always embraced change. (still working on the turkey thing tho!) Mostly I’m just grateful to have food, my husband and friends to share it with.


What about you? What are you grateful for? 


Even in the darkest of times; illness, poverty, broken relationships, - even in all these circumstances we have God to be thankful for and to. God is in all situations, whether we see it at the time or not – God is there.


I’m going to share a story from a time in my life where I really was not happy about the circumstance and was a bit ticked off at life, circumstances and God.


It was while I was at seminary, just as we broke for Christmas, I had turned in my last paper, and we went to have breakfast with friends and do some Christmas shopping on the Saturday. We were to fly back to BC on the Tuesday, so after breakfast, we stopped at Sask Made store to get some ‘Saskatchewan’ gifts. Brian got to the door and opened it for me. I stepped over the curb to the sidewalk, my right foot slipped, and I stepped back on my left foot to catch myself from falling. I heard a crack, which I thought was just ice crunching. 


Not ice. My ankle was broken and down I went. Did I mention that it was a full-on blizzard at the time – cold, snowing and lots of wind. And there I lay on the ice with a broken ankle.


The ambulance was called, drugs administered. Went to the hospital emergency, had my ankle set, surgery on Sunday morning, on 

crutches Monday, flew home to BC on Tuesday as planned.


So, where was God?


In the lady who came around the corner, saw me lying on the ice and held my head out of the snowbank. Her husband went to their car and brought back a sleeping bag to cover me.


In the ambulance attendants who were in the same shopping mall on a coffee break and were picking me up within minutes.

In the ER staff who were extremely busy but attentive and caring. All staff at the hospital were wonderful and I remember the conversations.


In the lady in the bed next to me had also broken her right ankle on the ice – she was also Anglican. In our conversation and laughter in the middle of the night.


In two Anglican priests who braved a blizzard and brought me communion Saturday evening before my surgery.


In the crew on a West Jet flight on Tuesday, and they were awesome.


In the days after I returned to the seminary after holidays, in so many people who assisted in my getting around a three storied building in which there is no elevator.


There is more. But in my time of anxiety, pain, frustration and just plain crankiness and not one bit thankful - God was with me. Certainly not because I deserved it but because - well, God! – that’s how God works – through people – ordinary people -strangers. 


It was easy for me to thank people for their kindness. But it did take a bit of time for me to recognize God in all of it. I didn’t blame God but who knows what I thought; God was just missing maybe? Even when I know that it doesn’t make sense, I did not see God’s presence in that situation for quite a while. God is with us even when we can’t see it except maybe from a distance; a distance of time and discernment.


And then, if you are like me, when we recognize God, we wonder – how did I miss that?


I know that maybe some of you have suffered far, far worse situations than I have. I know that in those awful situations it may truly be difficult for you to see God there. Let alone be grateful.


Until you do, until then, may I and the rest of us who know God’s faithfulness, hold space, hold the faith, until you are able to see, to know and to love God, and be made whole again by His Love.


If you are struggling with seeing God active in your life – if you are struggling with gratitude and being thankful – and you would like to talk about it or if you would like me to pray - please call, text or email. All is confidential!


I have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving! My husband Brian, creation, love, laughter, healing, my husband, my dog, my family, my church, the Diocese - my Bishop and clergy and so much more… 


And speaking of Gratitude 


I want to thank all of you who contribute to Living the Mission. Through your generosity, the Diocese was able to buy bicycles for the clergy of the Diocese of Muyinga. They in turn, are better able to serve their parishioners who are very grateful. 


… find attached the response from our sister Diocese of Muyinga Bishop and the clergy. Please read through them and notice the smiles! These priests are dedicated and faithful servants of God.


Also note that neither the people, clergy nor the Bishop of Muyinga have ever asked our Diocese for anything – except prayer.

I am so very, very grateful for God’s Grace, and for you!


Wilma+

 

Words from Wilma+ September 11, 2019


Today I give thanks for all who made our 100th Anniversary and Mortgage Burning Service the celebration that it was! I will direct you to the St Giles Facebook page and our website for photos, and story. Such a feeling of family and community - remembering and celebration. Worship, music, food, video – all so very well done! Thank you all. 


I will be away over the next couple of days at a course in Saskatoon, Carrying the Burden of Trauma: Psychological First Aid and Spiritual Support in Times of Crisis. It is particularly well timed considering that today is 9/11. A day on which most of us who are old enough to remember that date, remember where we were when the Twin Towers fell. I suspect that there are certain dates for each of us that we will never forget where we were, what we were doing. Sadly, the reason that we remember is because they were traumatic rather than life giving. 


For Christians the worst day was also the best day. The day our Lord was put to death on a wooden cross was also the best day for us because it was the single act that afforded salvation for all of us.


As difficult as it may be, we must remember that even in the most traumatic and most terrible of situations, God is with us. God at the cross, God at the Twin Towers, God with us in our worst of times as well as the best of times. God weeps with us and accompanies us through it all.


At times of disaster there are certain phrases that those of us who do pastoral care and ministry particularly dislike and disagree with.

It was God’s plan. Nope, God does not plan for awful things to happen – not ever! Yes, I know that in the Old Testament God caused things to happen, but we live after the advent of Jesus Christ. And that changed a lot of things! God’s plan is that we love God, love one another and through Jesus Christ we have salvation.


God needed another angel. Nope. God’s got enough angels, - it is not God’s plan to cause grief to acquire an angel. We will all get there some day, but God is not ‘needing’ anyone just now.


After earthquake, flood, hurricane and other natural disasters we hear, God is angry. God caused this because… etc. God does not cause disaster because of anything that happens in nature. God created. It was good. Humans mess it up and we are now seeing results of this. 


There are more but those will do for now. These things are said, not because people know this but because certainly someone must be to blame. But it is not God. Rather it is human greed and self interest- powers and principalities of sin and death; Satan’s influence.

Remember this though, Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

My favorite verse. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord ”plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and future”

 

God wants nothing but the best for us. May we be our best for God. 


Giving thanks for God’s Grace and you,


Wilma+

September 4, 2019 Words from Wilma+

If you read no further, please read this: [hopefully you will keep reading : )]

This coming Sunday, Sept 8th, 10:am, we celebrate and give thanks for the Parish’s 100 Years. We will also be burning the mortgage which we finished paying earlier in the year.

Bishop Rob will be preaching and presiding.

Potluck after the service.

Although it isn’t yet officially ‘fall’ all the beginnings and endings that signify fall are here. Yes, I’ve had my first pumpkin spice latte, had the desire to buy new shoes for school,(even if I’m not going) and have admired many, many ‘First Day of School’ pictures on Facebook.

Ecclesiastes 3.1– which unfortunately, you usually hear only at funerals says, “For everything there is a season, and time for every matter under heaven.” I guess that includes pumpkin spice, but I don’t think that its exactly what the philosopher had in mind.

September brings school days, a change in the leaves, cleared off fields and gardens as they are harvested. September also brings new and familiar activities to St Giles. It is about to get busy. Hopefully you can find something that you might like to attend / be involved in.

Familiar Sept 14 Beginning of Sunday School. Please let other folks know this is happening! We welcome all!

Familiar- Sept 17 St Giles begins working at the Bruins games again. If you haven’t done it yet, give it a try. Some folks really enjoy the camaraderie and meeting people as they come in. It is also a valuable fundraiser for the church.

NEW- Sept 18-19 Canadian Mental Health will be doing a course at St Giles Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training. This is valuable knowledge to have. You can sign up for it through St Giles.

NEW Sept 19 Vestry will be walking through our neighbourhood around the church, praying silently for all those who live and work around us. …You shall love your neighbour as yourself. Mark 12.31 If you would like to join us please do! 7:pm Vestry meeting afterward.

Familiar - Sept 20 Confirmation Classes begin 4:05 pm

Familiar- Sept 22 Fowl Supper

NEW- Sept 25 Bible and Brew Bible study at the Beef - bring your Bible. We will study scripture and have refreshments in a place other than the church.

Workshops: Sept 15 Readers and Intercessors

Sept 29 Greeters and Counters - note changed from the 22nd

Oct 6 Lay Assistants

We are offering these workshops for those who may be interested in doing one or more of these ministries; a chance to learn more and ask questions. Workshops are also for those who already do these ministries as a refresher.

We are in need of people to do Altar Guild. If you have any inclination to do this ministry, I would be happy to talk with you.


Giving thanks for God’s Grace and you!
Wilma+

August 9, 2019
Here we are in the midst of summer, enjoying holidays, warm days, beginning of harvests – enjoying the bounty of “this fragile earth, our island home.” (from Eucharistic Prayer 4 BAS) 

When we live in the midst of beauty and bounty it is easy to forget or overlook what is going on in the rest of the world – or is it?  It seems as if we have any exposure to media at all, we should be aware of the brokenness of the world.  And yes, even in our own back yard.   

So much disagreement and conflict in the world!  

In any group of 2 or more people there will be disagreement over something – even if it is whether we like strawberries or not.  When there is disagreement, we can decide how to handle it – we can turn away from one another and stop the conversation.  Or we can talk about it - but that only works if the other side is listening. Some beliefs are so deeply held that there will be no changing them – but that shouldn’t stop us from listening to someone else’s belief.  There comes a time of course when we have listened long enough and heard enough to educate ourselves, then we hand them over to God.   

I have lived across Canada in different cultures and economies. Economies driven by logging and lumber in BC, fishing and seal hunting in Quebec, farming and ranching - including organic, nonGMO and not, -in BC and the prairies and of course here in Estevan, farming, coal mining and oil patch.  In each place I found that they will defend their way of life and judge the others with no problem at all.  BC isn’t afraid of a carbon tax but will protest coal mining and pipeline.  Saskatchewan defends pipelines and coalfields but has no problem telling me to cut down on the amount of paper I use so that I can save trees. Plant based burgers are an abomination to my ranching friends.  People across the board will condemn hunting the baby seals.    
 
What I have learned is that in each place I went to I had preconceived ideas of what I believed in and what I thought went on.  But what I learned after I got there could be quite different!!  We really need to be careful in who we listen to!  We need to check the facts. 

Politics is for another day but for now, suffice it to say that our political beliefs should be informed by our faith in God as Peter and the apostles were.  Acts 5:29  “… We must obey God rather than any human authority.”  

I am a Christian and an Anglican.  I believe in what I say when I declare my faith in the words of the Nicene and Apostles Creeds.  Being Anglican clergy, I have declared and signed the documents in which I state that I believe in both the Old and New Testaments. But this has not stopped me from learning about Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, and other world religions and spiritualities.  I have the Qur’an, the Book of Mormon, along side a Hebrew Tanakh and the Greek New Testament, the NRSV and the King James version of the Bible. I took a World Religions course while in University. It was important for me to educate myself so that I could defend my faith knowing the facts of other beliefs.  

 Where we get our education is also important.  I am horrified when I hear some people’s views on Islam! Especially when they have never spoken to a Muslim or read the Qur’an.  Just ‘heard things’ isn’t good enough.  Check the facts. 

There was a day not so long ago when there were deep divisions between Roman Catholics and other Christians. Now through serious efforts there has been much healing through education on both sides, and deep desire to know what the truth is about what we Anglicans and the Roman Catholics believe.  No, we don’t agree on all doctrine, but we are talking, listening and above all loving one another. One of my joys has been to receive Holy Communion in the Catholic Church.  Never did I imagine that could happen – yet it has! Thanks be to God.  Lutheran clergy can serve in Anglican churches and vice versa as we are in full communion since the Waterloo Declaration was signed in 2001. There is ongoing ecumenical effort with other agreements with the United Church of Canada and other Christian churches.   Ephesians 2:14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility. 

One of the things that makes my heart happy is the way the Estevan Ministerial can work together.  We do not agree on doctrine, (some closer on this than others) we do not agree on scripture always, but we do come together to represent Christ in this place and to do some good work.  How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!  (Psalm 133:1) 

Human beings that we are, there will be disagreement, but it is what we as Christians do with that conflict that counts.  When we disagree may we listen to the other side, check the facts – And may we always be guided by the Holy Spirit and the Good News of Jesus Christ.  

Matthew 7:1-5 “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged.  For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.  Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbour ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is your own eye? You hypocrite first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour’s eye. 

Matthew 7:12 “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.” 

Colossians 3:13-14  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect harmony.
 
Giving thanks for God’s Grace and you!
Wilma+
July 26, 2019
Happy Friday!

I’ve been back from holidays for about 10 days now. Holiday in BC with my family was wonderful! This year we spent more time on the water than usual, which was wonderful since water is my ‘happy place’. Sitting in a kayak out on a big lake surrounded by familiar mountains, hearing the lapping of the water against the side of the kayak, listening to the loons’ call, watching baby ducks follow their mother is wonderfully healing for my soul. God sure knew what he was doing in creating this masterpiece; this earth we call our home! Genesis 1:31God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.

I found it difficult to return to shore sometimes, but it is necessary. Life calls us back to shore, back from our times of respite and restoration to the work, the ministries to which we are called.

Worship is also a place and time in which we can find healing and restoration. Sundays and other times we set aside for worship, praise, prayer, and Holy communion heal and give us strength to go into the labours ahead. I hope and pray that each of you is able to find such a time and/or place that is restorative for you!

While I was on holiday the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada was being held. I will direct you to our website www.estevananglican.com/general-synod-2019 for a comprehensive report from Wendy Godfrey who was one of the Synod Delegates. I will not comment on this email about General Synod, but Wendy and I welcome questions and conversation about what happened at Synod. There was some very important and good work done, there was also an emotional response to the vote on the issue of same gender marriage. I will attach Bishop Rob’s post-synod letter.

When I unlocked the outside doors and came into the church this morning my first thought was, “What are we doing here?
I have no idea where the question came from. As I frequently do, I stopped on my way through to my office to take a bit of time to sit in a pew and to have a conversation with God. I asked that question of God. I wish I could tell you that I have a complete answer – I don’t. What I know is that a few hours later I could hear the voices of children - laughter, singing, praying - learning about Jesus with the leaders of Cross Talk Ministries and the youth leaders from St Giles. In a couple hours we will have closing worship and VBS will be over for another year. What we have done here is to share the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and sow seeds that
can change lives.

St Giles does quite a few other things here besides Sunday worship. Sometimes that’s all that some people can see or do but there are lots of things that happen here; study, hospitality to other community groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, the Metis people, Warm Welcome, Mental Health. We put Christmas Hampers together, we send out people who deliver meals, we hold suppers. St Giles is a place of prayer, a place of sending out people into other ministries of love in action.

The Vestry of St Giles has been doing a book study before Vestry meetings. We have been using the book I Refuse to Lead a Dying Church. It has been good to read it and then come together to discuss what we have read. Last week was the chapter called Choosing Fun Over Drudgery.

The Vestry minutes are always up on the bulletin board for any and all who would like to have them. Quite a few of you get them but not all.

So, here’s the thing. We are going to add the Bank Balances to the email. If you aren’t in church to pick up the paper copies you may not be aware of what the financial situation is at this present time.

Summer always brings a downturn in both attendance and the bank accounts. While both are historical and somewhat expected we need to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to financial stability. If we are to keep doing the things we do here, -spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ, - we need your ministry of faithful financial stewardship.

Talking about/ emailing about finances is not my favorite thing. But what is my favorite thing is to do the work of God and to share that with others as we share the Gospel.

Henry Nouwen in his book A Spirituality of Fund Raising teaches some wonderful things. Here is what he wrote that helped me.

Fundraising is a subject we seldom think about from a spiritual perspective. We may think of
fundraising as a necessary but unpleasant activity to support a spiritual thing. Or we might believe
that fundraising reflects a failure to plan well or to trust enough that God will provide for all our needs.
Indeed, quite often fundraising is a response to a crisis. Suddenly our organization or faith community
does not have enough money, so we begin to say: “How are we going to get the money we need? We
have to start asking for it. ...
From the perspective of the gospel, fundraising is not a response to a crisis. Fundraising is, first and
foremost, a form of ministry. It is a way of announcing our vision and inviting other people into our
mission. Vision and mission are so central to the life of God’s people that without vision we perish and
without mission we lose our way.

What he also says is, “...those who need money and those who can give money meet on the common ground
of God’s love. God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of
everything, you may share abundantly in every good work” (2Cor.9:8) *

What does fundraising ministry look like for you? It may mean increased giving, it may mean asking others for money, it may mean cooking, serving, taking tickets. It might mean some or all those things. But for St Giles to live out the mission and ministry to which we are called and to which we respond, we need an increase in your fundraising ministry.

Now, I’m going to go celebrate with the kids, as they sing about Jesus and his love for us, as they dance in joy, and go forth from this place, having heard the Gospel of Christ! Thanks be to God!

Giving thanks for God’s Grace and You!

Wilma+

* Henry Nouwen, A Spirituality of Fundraising. 2010. p. 14, 16.

June 6, 2019
My voice is back! Thanks be to God.  It was an interesting time for sure and I’m not sure I’m even done with figuring it all out yet. Sometimes life in faith is like that – you don’t get all the answers you want, right when you want them.  Sometimes it takes a bit of unpacking. I’m ok with that.   I have a specialist’s appointment at the end of July and hopefully that will answer at least the medical questions.  

Last week I said I would put out a list and once I began to compile it, I was amazed at how much I consume in commentary, opinion, scholarship daily and weekly!  I narrowed the list down to a few things under each heading and asked Deacon Barb to add hers.  I asked my niece, who is a millennial and a great reader of Christian material, and consumer of Christian media to give me her list as well.  I’ll add it next week.  
  
I didn’t even get to books and authors this time – we will do that next week.  I like to think that I listen to diverse voices, men, women, LGBTQ, people of colour, Indigenous, children, youth and elders, - and so on.  Its important that we take in other voices that may challenge us.  I don’t spend media time with many fundamentalists, literalists – I don’t go there because we disagree at the very base of our theology. But sometimes even they will at least help me to affirm what and who I believe in.  Some Progressives are a bit too progressive for me – and I am careful to think over their theology when I feel it is pushing me too far.    

Do I expect you to click on every one of these links – no.  I wish, but no.  I do hope and pray that you might try one or two.  Look for something that interests you.  A Bible app on your phone at the very least.    

Some people still prefer paper and I will list books and authors next week.  

If you have some favorites, please be sure to give me the list and I will add them.  

Jesus desired disciples - still desires disciples – attending church is a beginning of discipling as is studying, praying, being part of a church community and meeting around the Eucharist.  

I am here to help, guide, assist you in broadening your faith, going deeper, and becoming a disciple. It is my deepest prayer that God will help me and will use me to do this. Please let me know how I can help you - with this or anything else.  
 
Church Websites: 
Anglican Church of Canada   https://www.anglican.ca/
Diocese of Qu’Appelle  https://quappelle.anglican.ca
St Giles Estevan   https://www.estevananglican.com/ 
 
To assist with Daily Prayer 
The Daily Office Mission St Clare  http://www.missionstclare.com/english/index.html  
I really like this one – Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer also has music with words to hymns so you can sing along or just listen.  Free 
Forward Day By Day     https://prayer.forwardmovement.org/ 
      I’ve used this for quite a long time. Very accessible 
Center for Action and Contemplation  https://cac.org/category/daily-meditations/ 
      Deacon Barb’s recommendation 
 
Podcasts 
For the Love with Jen Hatmaker - lots of interviews.  Fun and educational.   
Shauna Niequist   - also an author 
Can I Say This at Church   - interviews with diverse and interesting people  
Pulpit Fiction    - lengthy but sometimes interesting 
Deacon Barb’s recommendations: - 
Richard Rohr  - Another Name for Everything 
Encountering Silence  
Super Soul – with Oprah 
 
Apps for your phone 
Forward Day by Day – the daily readings come with a short reflection  
Olive Tree – offers different versions of the Bible as well as many other study books – some do cost 
Bible – offers different versions of the Bible 
The Daily Office from Mission St Clare 
 
Blogs 
Malcolm Guite    https://malcolmguite.wordpress.com/blog/ 
Patheos    https://www.patheos.com/progressive-christian-blogs 
     This site offers many different Progressive Christian bloggers.  Offers diverse voices and points of view.  Some I highly recommend.
 
Giving thanks for God's Grace and You, 

Wilma+

Update May 30, 2019 Ascension Day!
 
Acts 1:1-11/ Luke 24.44-53  are two of the readings for the Ascension of the Lord 

“The mystery of this feast is the paradox whereby in one sense Christ ‘leaves’ us and is taken away into Heaven ,but in another sense,  he is given to us and to the world in a new and more universal way. His humanity is taken into heaven, so our humanity belongs there too, and is in a sense already there with him… In the ascension Christ’s glory is at once revealed and concealed, and so is ours.”  

 Sometimes Ascension Day is translated (moved) to the following Sunday.  I elected not to this year and to celebrate Easter 7 instead.  As it turns out I won’t actually be there this Sunday and Rev. Deacon Barb will be doing Morning Prayer at 8: and 10: am.
I saw my Doctor last Wednesday morning and he prescribed continued voice rest, a course of Prednisone and referred me to a specialist in Regina.  Prayers for healing and patience are appreciated!! 

Tomorrow is the funeral for Desiree Weinrauch.  Desiree is the daughter and daughter in law of parishioners, and related to many others at St Giles. We will be officiating at Trinity.  I will write the sermon but TBA who will preach it. Our condolences to all the family.

Lobster Supper Friday!  I must remember to get my lemons delivered to the church! So many thanks to all who contribute to this undertaking, donating, cooking, cleaning, waiting on, clean up, kitchen, selling tickets and all the other things that go into this fund-raiser.   

† one of these means I really want you to pay attention!   

† so, what I would like you to do is to have a look at Thy Kingdom Come.  I am going to forward an email that I receive so you can get yourself started.  You subscribe to the email and it comes each day in your mailbox.  The website link is      https://www.thykingdomcome.global/   Also info on St Giles Facebook page and on our website.  www.estevananglican.com     It is important. Sign up.  You pray for 5 people to come to Christ. –You pray, and you become part of a worldwide non-denominational community of prayer.  You don’t have to go anywhere – do it in bed, in your lazy boy with a cup of coffee or a in lawn chair with a beer – wherever, however - just please do it.  
 
Sunday School - Last email I mentioned something we were working on for kids attending church Sunday mornings when the Sunday school is on pause for summer. I gave Wendy Godfrey a mission – pizza boxes! and to fill them with things that small people would like to play/craft/read while in church.  Can’t wait to see what Wendy brings!   When you bring your children/grandchildren make sure you ask for one when you arrive. 

Also:  children and church – keep your eyes open for VBS at St Giles with Cross Talk, announcements. 
 
I’ll end now with a poem from my favorite poet, Malcolm Guite on this Ascension Day. 

 Ascension
We saw his light break through the cloud of glory 
Whilst we were rooted still in time and place 
As earth became a part of Heaven’s story 
And heaven opened to his human face. 
We saw him go and yet we were not parted 
He took us with him to the heart of things 
The heart that broke for all the broken-hearted 
Is whole and Heaven-centered now, and sings, 
Sings in the strength that rises out of weakness, 
Sings through the clouds that veil him from our sight, 
Whilst we ourselves become his clouds of witness 
And sing the waning darkness into light, 
His light in us, and ours in him concealed, 
Which all creation waits to see revealed .
 
Giving thanks for His Grace and You,   
Wilma+

May 24, 2019
One thing I never expected to say was, ‘Thank you God for the rain.’ I love the sun, the light and the warmth but it is time for rain, we need it, the animals need it and the earth definitely needs it.
 
As you know I’ve been on voice rest. Every day is a different day in how I feel about that,- sometimes every hour! I’ve been through - stressed/ grateful/ listening/ frustrated/ yay time to read/ grrr I want to go for coffee and have a conversation with someone/ wish I could just answer the phone and not have the caller wonder “what on earth?!?” /yay no pressure – just rest/ yay my flowers are planted.  Yes, all of that. 
 
So grateful for technology! I have been having some pastoral conversations by text and occasionally by email, and this is great for some folks. I have been using my phone apps for Bible and Bible study for quite awhile now.  There are a lot of Bible apps available but not all are good – in fact some are awful!!
 
Last week I was having a conversation with someone via text and they sent me a quote that they had gotten that morning from the Bible app that they used – they were so upset and sad.  The thing is that how we hear/read scripture is somewhat dependent on what the translation is, what version of Bible is used.  They had used the Easy English Version because it was easy to read and understand.
 
Question for you: Does it matter what version of the Bible you read as long as you are reading the Bible? Answer: YES it does.  And here is why.  
 
The passage is John 3.18 King James Version - 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
 
New Revised Standard Version: Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
 
Easy English Version: God will not punish anyone who believes in his Son.  But some people refuse to believe who his one and only Son is.  God has already decided that he must punish people like that.
 
Sometimes someone is going through a difficult time and looking for answers in scripture, for something that speaks to them and their situation.  Maybe they are even wondering what will happen to their loved one who will not believe in God, in Jesus, or the Holy Spirit and they read John 3.18 because it comes right after that beloved verse John 3.16 so they read the Easy English Version  and they see “God has already decided that he must punish people like that”  What do you think they are feeling now?!   Where is the hope in that? Where is the loving God? Why would you want to follow a Jesus who tells you that God has already decided that your loved one will be punished?  Comfort? – I don’t think so!
 
Now it must be admitted, condemnation and judgment are a bit hard to hear as well, but it is there.  There is a lot in the Bible that is already hard enough to contemplate without someone adding in what is not there.  Do I
suggest that reading the Easy English Version should never happen under any circumstance? No.  But read it and know it is a paraphrase not an approved translation. And know what an approved version says first.
 
The Anglican Church of Canada, and the canons of the Diocese of Qu’Appelle have a list of Approved Versions of the Bible.  “New Revised Standard Version Revised English Bible King James (Authorized Version) 1611 Revised Standard Version 1952 (and its revision as Common Bible) New American Bible 1970 Today's English Version (Good News) 1976 New International Version 1978 New Jerusalem 1985” These are the versions that are to be read in church on Sundays, in other liturgies and used for study.  If other versions or paraphrases are used in study or preaching, that must be acknowledged. The following link will give you more information. https://www.anglican.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/List-of-Bible-Versions-Approved-by-the-House-ofBishops-for-use-in-Public-Worship-in-the-Anglican-Church-of-Canada.pdf

 
So, does it matter which version you read when you read the Bible?  Yes.  We all have our favorites and I hope that you will be discerning and careful which you choose because while scripture can bring us so much, how it is translated has much to do with how we receive it.   


And of course, the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek are the best versions and unless you want to take a languages course there are some websites that can help with that.  


How do you choose a Bible translation?  Use the above list to begin.  Remember that just going for something that is ‘easy to read’ is not the best answer.   


This coming week I will be making a list of apps, websites, blogs, writers, podcasts and books, that I can recommend, and sending it out next email. If you have one that you recommend let me know. 


Got questions about this?  I would love to hear them!  Questions are one of my favorite things!
Grateful for His Grace and you!  See you Sunday!          


Wilma+ 


Coming Up 
† Funeral for Colleen Elberg tomorrow at 2:30  

† Sunday – Baptism of Marshall Louttit-Schad and Eucharist at 10: Clergy team Archdeacon Wilma, Rev. Brian and Rev. Deacon Barb.   8:am service has been cancelled – please pass this on to others who attend this service  

† Lobster Supper on the 31st – I’m told there are some tickets still available 

† Sunday School is on ‘pause’ for the summer, but we are working on something new for children who will be at St Giles on Sunday mornings.

May 18, 2019

Happy May long-weekend!


Saturday morning is pretty quiet around our house – and I can really hear the wind blow this morning. Rev. Brian is busily writing a sermon for tomorrow to fill in for me. Rina the wee poodle is sleeping – although who knew such a little thing could snore so loud?!


Last Sunday my voice was troublesome but as I had suffered with laryngitis about 20 years ago for about 3-day periods, I wasn’t overly worried about it. Still it stayed with me until I decided to see the Doctor on Thursday. He says 2 weeks voice rest – no preaching, meetings or presentations. Not what I wanted to hear!! I have things to say!! As the Rev. Jason said to me, its pretty much a priest’s nightmare. Archdeacon Catherine thinks the Holy Spirit may have things to say to me during this time, and I’m really, really open to that!


I will be working from home; putting together some things for a study, reading some things I should have read awhile ago, praying, riding my bike (downstairs on trainer until it warms up!) and doing some planning. I know myself well enough to know if I go to the office and someone stops by, I will be talking.


I am really wanting to go out and do more work on the yard and do some planting. I’m excited to get some things started – I’m yearning for colour. But weather. Seems God is still in charge of weather.


God is in charge of a lot of my life it seems – and yours too.


Last week I spoke at a funeral and one of the readings was from Ecclesiastes chapter 3 – you know the one – For  everything there is a season, a time for every matter under heaven... We often hear it at funerals, but it deserves a read through and some meditation on it when we are not mourning. When I was in seminary, I took a course, which we called Wisdom with Walter – the books of Wisdom; Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Job, and Wisdom of Solomon – taught by Dr. Walter Deller. I loved this course even though it was too short, too much material and gave me way too much to think about. Out of all of these books I found Ecclesiastes to be the most entertaining. It is ok to be entertained by the Bible from time to time as well as confounded, angered, soothed, educated, given

direction and given peace by it – amongst the many other things it does to us and for us.


Anyway, back to Ecclesiastes. I suggest that the next time you read your Bible (that would be today right?) – have a read through Ecclesiastes. It is interesting, a bit confusing and I hope it brings up some questions for you to ponder – I would love to hear them. What is it that you hear in Ecclesiastes that is meant for you?


God in charge. For me that means waiting and listening this next couple of weeks. Waiting for the weather so that I can plant things. Waiting to heal. Waiting for the Holy Spirit. Remembering again, that God’s time is a mystery. And as much as I would like to be in control of this – I’m not and God is.


Who is in charge of your life?


Proverbs 16.9 The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps.


Proverbs 19.21 The human mind may devise many plans, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will be established.


Until next week,


Giving thanks for His Grace and You,


Wilma+

May 5, 2019
Well I’m back from my short (but very, very full) holiday in BC. But so far, my voice is not – allergies are not my friend and I seem to have lost my voice, but it is partially back, and I have hope that it will be back by Saturday. So, I ask your prayers for restoration of my voice.

Voices are important when we are trying to communicate and especially to one who finds that her vocation is somewhat dependant upon it. However, there are other ways we can communicate; through our body language, texts, emails, and through other people . I know technology has been helpful for me this last week and I’m pretty sure that my husband is getting good at reading body
language and hand signals.

Now, sometimes we are silenced because of physical reasons, such as I was. But not all people are allowed to use their voices, some are stifled and shut out, some are unheard because no one will listen. Sometimes voices are muted because those who have economic, religious, or political power- silence them. People who are marginalized because of gender, age, ethnicity, will know this firsthand;
women, LGBTQ, children, the aged, the person of color, the refugee – all disregarded and not listened to in some circumstances.

As I was with my family last week, with 4 generations and 21 people in the room the decibels go up for sure. And as I found my voice leaving me, I realized that I was watching and listening far more. I  also observed that among us there were those who were louder, spoke more and those who were pretty quiet by nature. I love every one of them and the group as a whole.

Even though I am not able to spend as much time with them as I would like, I found that while I was there I could pick out certain voices; knew who was speaking – child and adult alike – louder or quieter – I could hear them and know who they were.

Have you ever felt that you were not being listened to or what you had to say was disregarded or ignored?

Who is your best listener? Do you have someone that you know will listen to you?

God knows our voice, knows us no matter how quietly we speak, or how loud we are. God knows that inner voice in us that is muted, shut down, shut out, ignored by others – God hears that voice and knows us. Even when one is forced to be silent God hears our every word. And what is more, God knows us even when we feel we can not speak – when it is just too difficult to speak to another
human being – God hears.

Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and might be to our God forever and
ever! Amen. – Revelation 7.12

See you Sunday,
Wilma+

If you want to talk, I’m available for coffee, visit, text, email, call - 306 897 0402



April 27, 2019
Happy Easter! Christ is Risen!  
…Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come…  Revelation 1.4
We are now up to celebrating the Second Sunday of Easter and have another 5 Sundays of Easter before Pentecost on June 9th.  This year my plan is to preach on the Acts of the Apostles readings rather than the Gospel.  The Anglican Church allows us to choose which lections of the day we want to preach on.  I’m quite drawn to Acts this year so we will see how it goes.  Come on Sunday for the first of the series!
We mark Ascension on the 30th of May and at that time we will begin “Thy Kingdom Come” – and there will be more on that sometime in May.
Have you noticed that we post the next Sunday’s readings in the bulletin? – so you can pre-read and have some thoughts, questions, opinions on what the sermon may be about.
Our Vestry meeting was held last Thursday evening.  I am so happy to be working with this vestry!  They are not just there for the business but are also doing a study from the book,  I Refuse to Lead a Dying Church.   Sometimes it is really nice to have everyone in agreement, but it isn’t always the best thing for the church.  We come together through consensus and while we don’t always see things the same way there is good, thoughtful discussion around issues.  The members of vestry also listen to the congregation and bring your views to the table at the meetings and they are heard and discussed.  So, if you have something to say, rest assured it comes to the table. 
One thing that came up at Vestry was the lack of interest that we are finding about the 100th Anniversary. I urge you to let your interest be known,  -volunteer a little time, come up with an idea, let the Committee know they aren’t on their own in this.  
I will be away on holiday – the week after Holy Week that I postponed – to go visit our family in BC.  The Rev. Deacon Barb will be taking the Sunday Services on May 5th. 
I also want to make you aware that we now have a website which is kept up to date – www.estevananglican.com  
AND!!!  We have enough to buy 3 Farms through PWRDF. Well done St Giles! And there is some left over to buy something else from the PWRDF catalogue.  Sunday School will be doing the choosing.
In the Risen Christ,   
 Wilma+

April 5, 2019

Friday again!  I really will try harder to get this out earlier! Not next week though - I will be at Diocesan Clergy Retreat so I may miss sending something.   I look forward to these annual retreats that the clergy of the Diocese of Qu'Appelle and the Diocese of Saskatoon have together.  There is the collegial aspect of course but there are times of silence, times of instruction, times when we worship together.and all of these give your clergy rest and renewal.  Retreat time is good for all of us - you too! ; a time of removing ourselves from the day to day business of life to be with our Lord.  Retreats can be any length, an hour or a month - I'll be happy with a few days for now.

The scheduling of the retreat is the week before Holy Week this year - good timing as we head into a busy time in the church year.  
I have to admit that I love Holy Week and Easter Sunday as much or more than Advent and Christmas.  Strange for some to believe that I prefer Easter over Christmas, but remember that it is a deeply spiritual time that I'm thinking about - NOT Easter Bunnies and chocolate vs Santa  and presents. 

Holy Week begins with Palm/Passion Sunday,                   April 14th 10:am
continues through the week to Maundy Thursday,            April 18th            with Trinity Lutheran, Archdeacon Wilma preaching  
Good Friday,                                                                     April 19th  11:am
Holy Saturday Vigil                                                            April 20th   7:30pm  with Hot Dog roast after service
into the Resurrection of the Lord on Easter Sunday.          April 21st                  sunrise service with St Paul United, Trinity Lutheran and Youth Group
                                                                                                           10: am    Holy Eucharist at St Giles
 
Each of those services has special significance as we move through the days with Jesus as he enters Jerusalem in welcome and celebration,  through to His crucifixion and then to Resurrection.  I hope that you will attend these services so that you may experience the fullness and spiritual depth of Holy Week. 

See you Sunday!

Wilma+


And here's some info about

Holy Week


A Preparation for the Resurrection

Holy Week, for members of the Christian faith, is the last week of the season of Lent before the
celebrations of Easter Sunday, running from Palm Sunday to Holy Saturday. It is a time to
commemorate, reflect upon, and reenact, specifically, the suffering and death of Jesus Christ, though
many liturgies expand that practice to include his entire ministry.


The Days of Holy Week
In Western Christianity, each day of Holy Week has its own significance and particular celebrations.
In general, believers are encouraged to follow the biblical passages corresponding to the days the
Week represents, beginning with Christ's entry into Jerusalem on a donkey (Palm Sunday), moving
through the Last Supper (Maundy Thursday) and the Crucifixion (Good Friday) to the Resurrection
of Easter.
Attention to the Bible highlights the contrast between the sadness and suffering of the beginning of
the week with the miraculous and joyous nature of its ending. That both sorts of emotions are
important to the Week's observance is evidenced in the Easter Triduum, the three days from Good
Friday to Easter, which are considered by many denominations to be the holiest days of the year.

Holy Week in Other Countries
Many countries have elaborate rituals and customs surrounding Holy Week, including Colombia,
Peru, and Spain, in particular. In the Philippines (a predominantly Roman Catholic nation), where the
observance is known as Semana Santa, many of the Week's days have special observances. At Palm
Sunday Mass, palaspas (palm leaves) are carried in procession to be blessed by a priest. After the
service, the leaves are taken home, where they are placed above doorways and windows to ward off
evils spirits.

Holy Monday is marked by the Pasaba, a marathon chant of Jesus' life, passion, and death, which
often lasts for days at a time. On Holy Thursday, the last Mass before Easter Sunday typically
includes a reenactment of the Washing of the Feet of the Apostles, as well as a procession of the
Blessed Sacrament before it is taken to the Altar of Repose.
Good Friday sees street processions in which self-flagellation and crucifixion as acts of penance are
not uncommon. Finally, on Easter morning, Salubong is practiced, a ceremony in which large statues
of Jesus and Mary are processed to a meeting, symbolizing the first meeting of Jesus and his mother

after the Resurrection.

For Christians the world over, Holy Week is a time heavy with the rituals of repentance and sadness

2
for the death of Christ. It is also, however, a preparation for the elation of the celebration of his
Resurrection.

Thursday, March 28, 2019


Celebration time!   
Our website is up and going again - Yes I know its been the same for quite a number of years, but now Mike Sinclair's blog has been updated along with a lot of other things.  Thank you Wendy and Robert Godfrey!! 
We also have media presence on Facebook with a Group page which you can post in.  There is also the Facebook page which is where you can find information about what is going on at St Giles, Diocese of Qu'Appelle, and the Anglican Church of Canada. Like both for all the best and up to date info!

Celebration time!
We now have 2.68 farms bought for PWRDF!! We have 1.32 to go - or $620.40 to go until we meet our goal of 4 farms.  Can we do this by Easter?  Pretty sure we can -  Maybe bring your pocket change, coffee money for a day, cigarette money for a day, beverage of choice money for a day... and put it in the little barn at the back of the church.  

Celebration time! 
Congratulations to the Bruins! Also, so much thanks to all the volunteers from St Giles who have done all the regular games throughout the season.

Celebration time!
Getting on with spring, off with winter boots and even our winter coats some days.

Celebration to be continued on Sunday morning - both at 8:am and 10:am ....  the readings and sermon will have more to say.....

May each day be a celebration for you - and I would love to hear about them!

Wilma+

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Happy Friday!  For those of you who work a regular work week, you'll be winding down.  For some of us with not so normal work week/days/hours - on we go.

Sorry this is late this week!

I've had an amazingly good week. Not every week is like this but  I love ministry and sometimes there is just so much to be grateful for!  

Monday the vestry met for an emergency meeting about the leak in the roof of the rental house.  It was a good meeting, we acknowledged there was a problem, listed some options, and made a plan. We will immediately deal with the inside problems of replacing drywall and getting rid of the wet.  We will then go ahead with making a more concrete plan for the outside issues that creates the ice dam.  We are having two contractors have a look at the inside and when they have given estimates and vestry, in consultation with others, will decide which to go ahead with.  My personal thanks to Doug MacLeod for coming to assist.

Tues - rode my bike and  I may actually be enjoying it.  Can not wait for getting outside in the sun to ride it. 

Wednesday was a full day with a Ministerial meeting - what a great bunch of people to call colleagues.  We come from all different denominations but each has a sincere desire to serve God and God's people.  And mercifully, they all seem to have a sense of humour. 

I've had opportunites to have wonderful conversations; intended and intentional, as well as accidental encouters and spontaneous chats.  I have to admit that I really love these God given times to talk with people and get to know them better.
If you ever want to go for coffee or a walk or have a visit - please call, text, email or speak to me - I'd love to do that!  306-897-0402

Thursday the Committee for the 100th Anniversary met.  They have some wonderful plans for the celebration but the committee is only 7 people at the moment - that is not nearly enough to be able to do it all.  Bishop Rob is booked to come and some plans are underway but we reallly, really, need help.  There are many areas in which you might be of assistance - setting up tables, helping with entertainment or games, but to begin with we need names, adresses, phone numbers of people that you think might want to attend.  Melodye Pierson would love to hear from you if you think you can help with any of this.  

Vestry met at 7: It was the first meeting of the 2019 vestry.  It was a jam packed agenda but it was gone through thoroughly! There is so much intelligence, and wit, along with loving and pastoral hearts!  I went away so, so grateful,  The vestry will also be doing a book study on leadership at the beginning of each meeting.  It is one thing to ask someone to attend a business meeting but another to have them study as well.  I'm really looking forward to the study, and indeed the whole year.  

Pause and Pray continues on Wednesdays at St Giles 12: - 1: and 5: - 7:30pm.  Everyone is welcome to come and go and to stay as long as they like. 

Lenten Lunch was held at Trinity Lutheran and Pastor Lori preached on the question: Did Judas want Jesus to die?  

St Giles will again have a group at the Bruins game this evening.  Thank you to everyone who gives their time to do this fundraiser. 
Wishing the Bruins a good game!

Tomorrow we meet as Diocesan Council in Regina - asking your prayers for that meeting and safe travels for all who attend.

Something I'm curious about: How many of you know what "Living the Mission" is? Have you heard about it but don't know what it does?  

You can email me at stgiles@sasktel.net if you have something that you would like to contact me about.
  
Something to think about:  Where is it that you really get to touch the wonder, joy and miracle of life? What is it about that place, activity or experience that is so full of life? 

Psalm 16:11  [Psalmist  says to God] "You show me the path of life.  In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

So, that was the week for me. I pray that yours was at least as good if not better and if it wasn't that the next will be.


Wishing you Shalom,
Wilma+