Child-friendly service October 20th

At SouthWest, we are always happy to have children in the pews, but without a formal Sunday school, we realize parents sometimes have reservations about bringing the small ones.

We are issuing a special invitation to families with children to join us on Sunday October 20th. Pastor Beryl will have a special child-friendly message: the story of Peter Pumpkin.

The 10AM service usually runs less than an hour and there’s fellowship and snacks afterwards!

Beryl's Blog: Thanks-Living

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was “thank you”, that would suffice.”         
-
Meister Eckhart von Hochheim (1260-1328)  German theologian, philosopher and mystic

Thanksgiving is upon us, and as is the custom for so many of us, it feels like the right time to think of all that we have been thankful for during the past year.  It feels like the right time to give thanks for Creator’s lavish extravagance in our lives; for the love of family and friends and pets, for the joys and, yes, even the sorrows we have faced and grown from since this time  last year.

It is also the right time to remind ourselves that Thanksgiving in not a one-day event.  In fact, Thanksgiving is a way of life and it is what has often been referred to as “Thanks-Living”.

Last year, I came across a blog written by an American woman named Dana Tepper.  On November 14, 2018 she wrote”

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. There is always, always something to be thankful for. Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving. When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around”.

 As I re-read these words again this week, I was reminded that living in thankfulness is much like living in forgiveness.  We don’t do it for the other person.  We do it for ourselves because it changes us – it changes our way of dealing with the blessings and the disappointments in our lives. And, as with prayer - when we pray, we don’t always get what we think we need but it changes how we deal with what we do get!

Way back in the early 1980’s, I began my journey in Biblical Studies with the Hebrew Scriptures.  Deuteronomy, which reveals much about the attributes of God, is also a retelling of the covenant between God and the people of Israel.  (Start at the beginning I always say). Thanksgiving seems a good time to ponder the words from Deuteronomy 8: 7-20:

For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground waters welling up in valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land where you may eat bread without scarcity, where you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron and from whose hills you may mine copper. You shall eat your fill and bless the Lord your God for the good land that has been given to you.

Happy Thanks-Living everyone! 

Beryl

The Sunday School Picnics of Bygone Years

UPDATE: After sharing this blog post to the Facebook group called Crawford Park Kids, we have a lot more information about the photo. It turns out that Liz Storey, who is a member of the group, is one of the children pictured, and her father Len Storey, was the photographer!

According to Liz, the girls in the foreground that she can recognize are: Left to right front - Joanne Barr -?- Liz Storey; Left to right back - Joyce Barr - Pam Adams -?-.

She thinks the picture was taken around 1954 in Queen Elizabeth Park. Thank you to Liz Storey, as well as Liz Ludlow Collymore who manages that group, and all the “Kids”.


Original Post:
I love this photo. It obviously depicts a church picnic, but there is no date or other information given. Based on the women’s hairstyles and clothing, it appears to date from the late 1940s or early 50s. I don’t know for sure that this was a Crawford Park United picnic, but somehow it seems right to set it beside this reminiscence from the late Dru MacMillan which appeared in the memorial booklet: Crawford Park United Church 1947-1997: 50 Years of memories.

The Annual Sunday School Picnic is a happy memory of my childhood days at CPUC. In those days there were a large number of children at Sunday School and a good number of busses were needed to transport the children and adults to St. helen’s Island for the picnic. My greatest wish at that time was to be on the same bus as Mr. Jim Crawford. he was such a jolly man and so well liked. He always kept us happy and singing to and from the Island. He made the picnic a joyous one.

church_picnic.jpg


Thanksgiving: Food donations wanted

On this coming Sunday, for Thanksgiving, we are asking for two kinds of donations, as you are able:

For decorating the altar, we are asking for fresh fall vegetables. These would need to be brought in on Saturday morning, October 12th, between 10 and 11am.

At the Sunday 10am service, we will also be collecting canned goods. Both the fresh and non-perishables will be donated to Manna food bank or another partner.

Making a Joyful Noise, for 120 Years

From the earliest days, music has been an important part of our worship. Meeting in homes and schoolrooms, the earliest congregants of our founding churches would sing hymns together. With luck, there’d be a piano present, and someone who could bang out the tunes! Children sang in Sunday School and if we can believe the evidence of this historical photo, young people formed bands featuring woodwinds and strings.

1. Youth orchestra apparently from the early 1900s, possibly taken in front of the home of John N. Way, the location of the earliest services of Verdun Methodist Church,which would become Verdun United. The word “Methodist” can be deciphered on the bass drum.

1. Youth orchestra apparently from the early 1900s, possibly taken in front of the home of John N. Way, the location of the earliest services of Verdun Methodist Church,which would become Verdun United. The word “Methodist” can be deciphered on the bass drum.

2. Detail of the wooden pipe organ, hand-crafted by Wolf Kater, at SouthWest United Church. Photo: M. Lipscombe

2. Detail of the wooden pipe organ, hand-crafted by Wolf Kater, at SouthWest United Church.
Photo: M. Lipscombe

As soon as our predecessors were able to plan proper church buildings, they gave thought to the musical portion of their services. Verdun United installed a 3-manual pipe organ manufactured by Franklin Legge Organ Co. of Toronto. Crawford Park started out with a Minschall organ in 1952, which was replaced in 1977. In 2010, the amalgamated congregation, now called SouthWest United , replaced it with the hand-crafted wooden organ you see in the sanctuary today.

With these organs came professional organists and choir directors. And oh yes, there have been choirs! Junior and senior choirs; children’s choirs; men’s and women’s choirs; choirs big and small, dressed in robes or street clothes, all making a joyful noise unto the Lord!

3. This photo is labelled Men’s Club Choir, 1954. Not sure where it was taken, but that’s Rev. A.E. Jones at the extreme left. He would be called as Minister to Crawford Park from 1955-1957, and then on to Verdun United from 1957-1975.

3. This photo is labelled Men’s Club Choir, 1954. Not sure where it was taken, but that’s Rev. A.E. Jones at the extreme left. He would be called as Minister to Crawford Park from 1955-1957, and then on to Verdun United from 1957-1975.

4. A Choir Party in the Crawford Park hall in 1985. Pictured, left to right: Jean Abbott, Mary McDowall, Hazel Long, Jean Gillebrand, Marg Bowker, Louise Smith, Cliff Gillebrand and Bill Bowker at the piano. Note that the stage, currently in use as our office, was set up as a sort of lounge, with photos of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip on the walls.

4. A Choir Party in the Crawford Park hall in 1985. Pictured, left to right: Jean Abbott, Mary McDowall, Hazel Long, Jean Gillebrand, Marg Bowker, Louise Smith, Cliff Gillebrand and Bill Bowker at the piano. Note that the stage, currently in use as our office, was set up as a sort of lounge, with photos of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip on the walls.

Ed Chaffey, camping it up in the 1957 Y.A.G. Revue.

Ed Chaffey, camping it up in the 1957 Y.A.G. Revue.

United Church people being a fun-loving bunch, some of the music made over the years has not been strictly church music. Part of the joy of having a building is having a hall to be used for dinners, dances and shows.

in the 1950s, Verdun United had a very active Young Adult group, the members of which put a great deal of energy into the annual Y.A.G. Revue. Thanks to the late Ed Chaffey, who was an enthusiastic participant, we have many photos from these shows that featured skits, songs from popular Broadway shows like Oklahoma and South Pacific, and quite a bit of cross-dressing. They were performed on the stage of the VUC hall.

That stage was also the site of an early performance by Gerry Mercer, a Verdun boy who would go on to join the successful Canadian rock band April Wine in the 1970s.

These pictures and many others will be on display in the church as of November 16th as part of the exhibit: 120 Years of the United Church in Verdun.

The caption says Gerry Mercer’s Band. We presume that’s Gerry on drums. This was taken in April 1960, the month Gerry turned 21.

The caption says Gerry Mercer’s Band. We presume that’s Gerry on drums. This was taken in April 1960, the month Gerry turned 21.


Beryl's Blog: The falling leaves

On September23, quietly and unannounced, fall crept into our lives and, as we began to align ourselves to its rhythm, we became aware that the days were becoming shorter and darkness would soon be the longer part of the 24-hour cycle of day and night.

Why is it that so many of us feel a certain nostalgia at this time of year?  What is it we are remembering or yearning to hang on to?  For some of us, it is the memory of early summer mornings, the chirping of joyful birds, the blooming of fragment summer flowers, the smell of newly mown lawns and the heat of the sun, warming our aging and tired bodies.

For others, it might be the memory of childhood summers so long ago.  The faces of childhood friends – long forgotten, family picnics and days at the cottage which seemed to go on for ever.  Perhaps even the magic of evening stars and the silver light of the moon shining romantically on still waters.

In reality, we know that fall is just another phase in the yearly cycle of our lives. But it is so much more than that.  It is a time for letting go. It is a time of preparation for what is to come. It is a time for self-assessment, for readjustment, for gathering in and spiritual preparation and for giving thanks for all that has been. 

As I watched the leaves begin to flutter down this week, I penned these words:

          Sun kissed leaves, baptized in life giving rain,

          the hopes, the dreams, the culmination of our summer

          cling desperately to wind beaten branches

          in a desperate attempt to defy death itself.

         

Suddenly, remembering Creator’s promise of Resurrection,

          they abandon their fears and release themselves in glorious colour,

donning wings of faith as they dance, uninhibited,

into the Realm of the Unknown -           back to Creation, back to God.

 

The words in Proverbs 3: 5 say:

 “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own.  Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; God is the one who will keep you on track.  Don’t assume you know it all……..

Taken from “The Message”

 

I invite you to put aside any fears you may have.  Go ahead – jump, with childish abandon, into the autumn leaves of life.   

Beryl

All Saints Memorial November 3rd

 Please join us…

 Annual All Saints Memorial Celebration
Sunday, November 3, 2019, 10AM
SouthWest United Church

 

Dear Friends

Jesus said: "Blessed are you who are poor for yours is the dominion of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Human One." Jesus named the blessed ones. On our annual day of remembrance, we will recall and give thanks for those blessed ones who have gone before us.

As our annual celebration of All Saints approaches, you are warmly invited to join us in our All Saints Communion and Memorial Tribute.

As you know, SouthWest does not solicit funds for funerals but, rather, receives offerings “in loving memory” of those who have gone before us.  All gifts given to the fund are gratefully acknowledged and a receipt is given for tax purposes.

Memorial gifts received before November 1st will be acknowledged during the service.  If you wish, you can e-mail or call the office to confirm your participation.

We hope that you can join us and look forward to seeing you on November 3rd at 10:00 a.m.


Beryl Barraclough,Pastor

Dennis Brown, Clerk of Session

 

Manna Re-opens

Manna Food Bank, closed since before the summer, is re-opening next Wednesday, October 9th. The schedule will be as before, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10am to 12, except the first week of each month. Manna is located downstairs from Dawson Boys and Girls Club, at 666 Woodland avenue.

Accordingly, we are reviving our custom of collecting non-perishable foodstuffs on our monthly communion Sundays. This coming Sunday, October 6th is one - but we realize that’s short notice! the next one will be November 3rd.

For more information about food: markets, community meals, etc., the October calendars from Verdun sans faim are attached.

Beryl's Blog: Cosmos Sunday

September 29th marks the fourth Sunday in the Season of Creation – Cosmos Sunday.

What, you ask, is the cosmos?  According to Wikipedia, The cosmos is the universe. Using the word cosmos rather than the word universe implies viewing the universe as a complex and orderly system or entity; the opposite of chaos. The cosmos, and our understanding of the reasons for its existence and significance, are studied in cosmology – a very broad discipline covering any scientific, religious, or philosophical contemplation of the cosmos and its nature, or reasons for existing. Religious and philosophical approaches may include in their concepts of the cosmos various spiritual entities or other matters deemed to exist outside our physical universe.

Another way of saying this is “The cosmos is the sum total of everything”.

Seasons of the Spirit makes the point that to have a Sunday set aside for recognizing God’s presence in the cosmos may seem a bit redundant. After all, isn’t God everywhere? Yet too often we want to confine God to simple places, to place God in a box, or leave God in a church building, or assume that God is only present on mountaintops.

Cosmos Sunday invites us to stretch our under­standings beyond the wildest of imaginings, and find God present in the tiniest insect and the greatest of mountains, and all things in between.

God, Creator of the cosmos, all your creation seeks to praise you.

From the highest heavens, through the depths of the oceans,

and all in between we recognize that you, our Creator,

are the source of all goodness and hope.

Scripture calls all creation to praise you,

and we pause to recognize the amazing power of a tree,

a mountain, women and men, old and young, all singing your praises.

Hear us, loving God: You are good. Amen.

Seasons of The Spirit, Pentecost 2, 2019

 

Please join us for worship this Cosmos Sunday!

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