Yesterday I spent the morning working on some financial information to be shared as part of our upcoming vestry. I was reminded of how grateful I am that I didn't remain on a track for a career in accounting. While I can do it, and did accomplish what I set out to do, this kind of working with numbers isn't my "thing". So I am ever so grateful that we have people in the parish who enjoy and even thrive in the area of finances and accounting. They truly are a gift!!!
In the next couple of weeks, the material for our financial vestry will be distributed. We are doing all we can to present the information in ways that are easy to understand. Not everyone is number savvy and there's nothing more frustrating than being asked to comprehend columns of figures when you might have little if any experience in reading financial statements.
I encourage you to look at the various tables, graphs and written reports as they are presented and see a picture of St. Paul's finances at this moment in time. There is much to celebrate and give thanks for even as there are also concerns to be realistically aware of down the road.
Please pray for our vestry meeting on February 24 and plan to attend.
We are pleased to be led by Dr. Lydia Pedersen (BA, Mus.Bac., M.Ed., D.Min.), a published hymn writer and workshop leader in the field of hymn writing. Throughout her dual career as music educator and church musician she has championed hymns as a primary source of the formation and expression of personal theology. She chaired the Tunes Subcommittee on the task force that produced the United Church hymnal Voices United (1996), and now teaches an annual seminar on hymn writing at Emmanuel College, Toronto.
The day will provide group and individual guidance and the opportunity to work with others or by yourselves to craft the text of your hymn.
No experience in hymn writing necessary!!!
Come out an explore this creative side
of your faith and spirituality!!!
Help Support St. Martin's, Pickering
in their fundraising
for the Road2 Refugee initiative ...
Wed Feb 6 ... 7 pm ... "Anxious for Nothing" series
Thurs Feb 7 ... 10 am ... Communion followed by "Anxious for Nothing" series at Mae's
Thurs Feb 7 ... noon ... Lunch & Learn
Thurs Feb 7 ... 7 pm ... Working group re 9:30 Contemporary Service
Sat Feb 9 ... 9:30 am to 4 pm ... Hymn Writing Workshop
Sun Feb 10 ... 8:30 & 10:30 am ... Communion ... Dave Rehill will be reflecting on his journey of faith
Sun Feb 10 ... following 10:30 am service ... TAB & ACW Bake & Book sale
Wed Feb 13 ... 7 pm ... "Anxious for Nothing" series
Thurs Feb 14 ... 10 am ... Communion followed by "Anxious for Nothing" series at Mae's
Sat Feb 16 ... 2 to 4 pm ... Gay Straight Alliance
Sun Feb 17 ... 8:30 & 10:30 am ... Communion
Sun Feb 17 ... following 10:30 am service ... Outreach Meeting Mon Feb 18 ... NO COFFEE & CHAT DUE TO FAMILY DAY
Wed Feb 20 ... 7 pm ... "Anxious for Nothing" series
Thurs Feb 21 ... 10 am ... Communion followed by "Anxious for Nothing" series at Mae's
Thurs Feb 21 ... 1:30 pm ... TAB & ACW
Fri Feb 22 ... 7 to 9 pm ... Gaymes Night
Sun Feb 24 ... 8:30 & 1030 am ... Communion
Sun Feb 24 ... Foodbank Sunday ... please bring donations to fill the grocery cart
Sun Feb 24 ... following the 10:30 am service ... Annual Financial Vestry meeting
Sun Feb 24 ... 2 pm (note time change) ... Communion at Douglas Crossing
Mon Feb 25 ... 7 pm ... "holy spirits" at Wixan's
Wed Feb 27 ... 7 pm ... "Anxious for Nothing" series
Thurs Feb 28 ... 10 am ... Communion followed by "Anxious for Nothing" series at Mae's
Mark your calendars ...
On Sunday March 10, 10:30 am
we will welcome our new Diocesan bishop
The Right Rev. Andrew Asbil
to St. Paul's.
"Did Willie see his shadow??"
Friday was Groundhog day. I remember growing up it was quite the day at school. And to think that we put so much stock in whether or not the proverbial groundhog saw his shadow as some real indicator of when spring would come.
Needless to say, I'm happy that Wiarton Willie didn't see his shadow this year because if his predictions are true and to be taken seriously, there's only six more weeks of winter. Whether it's true or to be taken with a huge grain of salt ... that for me is good news!!!!!
I got to thinking, though, of these kind of rituals that have been passed down over time and what they mean to us. Does the groundhog see his shadow or not indicating when spring will arrive; is the sky red at night or in the morning letting us know the kind of weather to expect the next day; if the clouds are higher in the sky will the weather be finer?
These could be described as wives tales, folklore or simply wise old saying passed down from generation to generation. However we refer to them, we remember them and even at times take stock in them as having some truth. And, there may well be truth in these sayings.
For us as followers of Jesus Christ, our ultimate source of truth comes from God through Jesus. This truth isn't anything to do with what the weather will be like tomorrow or how many more weeks of winter we can expect. This truth is the core of what it means to have faith and trust as we intentionally live out our discipleship.
We need God's guidance, wisdom and direction as we go about our everyday lives in our everyday relationships with the everyday people we live with and encounter. The truth of our faith has nothing to do with superstition, but is grounded in the teachings of Jesus and in how God continues to speak to us today.
We can be in touch with God in our own lives through a rhythm of regular prayer time we set aside; through reading and reflecting on scripture; through reading spiritual books and articles; through conversations with others in study groups or over coffee.
That truth God wants for us to know and internalize will set us free from all that stresses us, weighs us down, discourages us, challenges us or potentially leads us astray. I know I need to be more attentive on a regular basis to the ways I can look to God to help me grow in the truth of my faith and enhance my relationship with Him as a result.
Lent will soon be upon us as we walk that sacred and holy journey from Ash Wednesday to Good Friday to Easter morning. I invite you now to begin thinking ahead of time about what you will do with this time as you receive it as a gift. How might you grow in your knowledge of the truth as you claim it even deeper for yourself?
Let's remember the heart of the truth that is at the center of our faith and strive to grow in claiming it and embracing it as our own. That is God's greatest desire for us.
I offer us this prayer reminding us of God's provision always ...
Dear God, thank You for Your unfailing love for us,
for your blessings, and goodness extended to us.
Thank You for Your faithfulness to guide us
and see me through times of uncertainty,
for lifting us up, and setting us on high.
Thank You for Scripture that comforts
and reminds us of Your promises for us and all of creation.
Thank you for taking away our fears and worries, the what-ifs,
and reminding us that our help comes from You.
Help us be good stewards and to sow wisely.
In Christ’s Name. Amen.
Remember, if you have a question, I encourage you to send it to me in an email and I will do my best to answer it either in a weekly update or in a sermon.
As always, my inbox is open, and so is my office door if you'd like to chat. I'm usually in my office most mornings Monday through Thursday unless otherwise announced due to a meeting. Stop by or make an appointment!