May 1, 2018
Sunday service was especially meaningful to me because our guests for the morning were Rebeca Galindo from Panajachel, Guatemala and Jan Townsend from Canmore. Jan was a former member of St. David's before moving to Canmore some twenty years ago. In 2005, following several trips to Guatemala, she founded an organization dedicated to building stoves, providing dental care and establishing schools in Mayan communities. In 2009 her organization was joined by Rebeca's partner organization, "Corazones y Manos." Over the years, their contributions to the well-being of the communities have been amazing. Working with the Mayans, municipal governments and volunteers, they have been responsible for installing some 1000 stoves as well as providing scholarships to many young people, changing the lives of so many.
ACTS, St. David's Adult Spiritual Development Ministry, has supported Hearts and Hands during the past year and five St. Davidians plus one former member made the trip to Guatemala from March 21 to April 4, 2018. On Sunday morning, after service, a supportive community of St. Davidians retired to the Tatanga Mani Room for a light lunch and a presentation by Ruth Cross, Wendy Dey, Bill Way and Heather Chubb-Way and Brenda Wallace (me). Christina Hart, Ruth's daughter, from Vancouver was part of our team.
Donations for the stoves or scholarships for young people to continue their education are two ways to get involved. The third way, of course, is to join a future trip to Guatemala. You won't regret your decision. https://www.heartshands.ca
April 23, 2018
I love this city and its temperature fluctuations. Today it should be +14C and tomorrow, +22C.
Yet, another amazing week has passed with our church hosting a number of events and drawing together many members of our community. The CCOS hosted their 20th anniversary celebration at SDUC on Saturday evening. Over 400 folk gathered to sing and to listen to some 20 hymns presented by combined choirs numbering over 60 members and an orchestra of 18 members including our Amelia Sharp on the cello. The concluding number of the "Hallelujah Chorus" with the Congregation joining in was utterly awe inspiring. On hand from St. David's PSALT team were Meryl Arnott, Tauran Wood and myself, Brenda Wallace. We shared the balcony with Wally, whose handiwork was on display as he arranged seating to 500 and with Sherman and his friend who handled the projection under Meryl's supervision. With words on the screens in both Chinese and English, the lively and enthusiastic orchestra, the voices of Laura, Belinda, Kevin and Simon as well as other song leaders, the congregation was treated to a great evening. Glad I was there!!
Meanwhile, our Rev. Kelley has had a busy month as she has led services while Rev. Peggy has been on a much-deserved study break. Last Sunday she shared the reflection with Ryan Anderson and Pat Freyers and this Sunday, she was joined by Janice Rider, Mike and Diane Trew in a Readers' Theatre written by Carolyn Pogue and adapted for Earth Sunday by Rev. Kelley.
Check out the entry on ACTS Adult Spiritual Development Page for a recap of the after service gathering -- lunch, thanks to Rev. Kelley's soup making gifts, and the "Conversation Cafe."
Next week, co-founders of "Hearts and Hands," Rebeca Galindo and Jan Townsend will be reflecting on their work over the past 18 years in Guatemala. Following the service, members of SDUC who were part of the March 21-April 4 Volunteer team will be on hand to share their experiences with the congregation.
April 16, 2018
Yes, it's another snowy day - according to a letter to the editor in the Herald recently, the date tomorrow is January 107, 2018. Oh, well, the rabbits are beginning to turn brown!!
We've had an amazing week at St. David's. Wally, our custodian, is busy figuring out how to seat a congregation of 500 Chinese Lutherans in the sanctuary for a concert and hymn sing on this coming Saturday at 7 p.m. There will be an orchestra of 16 individuals and a combined choir of singers numbering in the 70's so the church will really be vibrating with song. To ensure that the sun shining through the balcony's stained glass window at 7 p.m. does not interfere with projection and comfort, we have installed a temporary cover that allows for the design showing through without accompanying glare.
As well, this week, we hope to install the new wider screen for projection, a contribution by the Friendship Club.
The Chameleon Drama Group presented "The Corsican Twins" Sunday after service and a light lunch. Janice Rider and her loyal band have been working for two months, at least, preparing for their play. A cast of 17 actors in their period costumes did an excellent job bringing this drama to the stage.
Rev. Peggy has been on study leave for the past three weeks so Rev. Kelley has been exceptionally busy. We welcomed CACG director, Ryan Anderson, to the pulpit this past Sunday along with Pat Fryers, a representative of St. David's working on Seniors' Issues. If you would like further information, click on the following link: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/November--2017-MACG-Newsletter.html?soid=1101862056766&aid=OMWcL_515NI
On April 29, the ACTS' Guatemala Stove-Building "Hearts and Hands" Team will be presenting an overview of their recent experience in Guatemala. Directors of this program, Rebeka and Janet, will be sharing their reflections with us during service and a gathering of folks following the service will hear from travellers, Bill Way and Heather Chubb-Way, Ruth Cross, Wendy Dey and Brenda Wallace, as they reflect upon their experiences among the Mayan communities.
April 10, 2018
We invite you to scroll down to the bottom of this page to read the Newsletter April 8. It is packed through and through with opportunities to worship, learn and share in community.
On Monday evening, four representatives from St. David's attended the MACG (Metro Alliance for the Common Good) gathering at Lutheran Church of Our Saviour. As an outreach program for ACTS, our Spiritual Adult Development Committee, we have become part of the Alliance that is focussing upon two social issues: Seniors Advocacy and Reconciliation. (See ACTS Ministry Page for further details.) Along with some 20 other organizations, including other faith groups, labour organizations, community social agencies and city hall, we are committed to bring positive change to our community by working with seniors and indigenous people. The group targeting Seniors' Issues is meeting on Thursday, April 12 at Lutheran Church of Our Saviour, the new headquarters for the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good (New name for MACG). Contact Rev. Kelley, Wayne Holst and/or Brenda Wallace for further information.
On Wednesday morning, 9:30, you can join Janice Rider in the T.M. room for Qigong. This meditative practice group meets every Wednesday morning throughout the year. On Thursday, starting at 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. the Coffee and Muffin Ministry team is in the foyer of SDUC, providing coffee, goodies, fellowship and great conversation. On Saturday evening, the Chameleon Drama Group will be having their final rehearsal prior to their presentation of "The Corsican Twins" on Sunday morning following the worship service and a light lunch. Sunday evening, you are invited to attend the Haydn concert,"Theresienmesse", a joint presentation of Grace Presbyterian choir and St. David's Chamber Choir.
April 1, Easter Sunday, for me was spent in Guatemala - travelling to Panajachel from Antigua, to be precise. A group of us from St. David's attended a worship service there with one of our hosts, Rebeka. We were part of a delegation of volunteers for Hearts and Hands organization, founded by Jan Townsend, formerly a member of St. David's and now living in Canmore and a member of Ralph Connor United Church. One mandate for Hearts and Hands is to construct stoves from precast cement that require far less wood to burn and are vented to the outside. Another focus that makes such a difference for the Mayan people of Guatemala is education and Jan and her team have helped to open well over 50 schools as well as to provide scholarships for students who have subsidized education until they finish grade six. They work with municipalities to meet the needs of the communities. We all have lots of pictures and stories to share. Just ask us - Ruth Cross, Wendy Dey, Heather Chubb-Way and Bill Way!!
Easter Week in Antigua was absolutely amazing. Many of the streets and thoroughfares were blocked off as communities created the most incredible carpets of finely shaved multi-coloured wood pellets. These carpets, at first adored and captured in photographs, would soon be trampled by bearers of heavy wooden floats depicting scenes of the crucifixion. As many as 100 individuals carried the floats, never stopping as they processed through the streets, dressed in purple robes during the day and black robes at night. The floats depicting Mary were carried by women, again by as many as 50 or 60 individuals, some carrying their children on their hips.
While we were trying to wend our way through the throngs in Antigua, St. Davidians marked Easter week by joining together for a Maundy Thursday pot luck dinner, a Good Friday worship service and on Easter Sunday service that included ministry in word, song and dance. A special surprise was spending time with Rev. George LeDrew and Linda LeDrew. Rev. LeDrew was a former minister at St. David's.