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.
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,
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!
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,
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!
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!
† 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,
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!
And here's some info about
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.
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
for the death of Christ. It is also, however, a preparation for the elation of the celebration of his
Thursday, March 28, 2019
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!
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.
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.
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!
Find us on Facebook!