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!