10 Nov 2009

Satin Dolls

November 7th was a great night out. We had song after song from Pinawa's own Satin Dolls, an all women dance band, and a musical intermission with singer Amber Bieganski and guitarist Brad Holmlund. As you can see from the picture below, all ages enjoyed the music and refreshments. (Click on the picture for a bigger version) Proceeds from the night support the mission and ministry of the PCF and Pinawa Interfaith Hampers.

27 Oct 2009

Fall Back

Don't forget to set your clock back this Sunday!

Church Calendars

We haven't ordered the Canadian Church Calendar this year. After 40 years of producing a joint calendar the Anglicans and United Church have decided to produce separate calendars. It's a disappointing development and we didn't want to choose one or the other. If you would like to order a church calendar from one or the other denomination the links are below.

United Church Calendar order form

Anglican Church Calendar order form

or you could order a calendar from Mennonite Central Committee
it's free!

The Book of Job

Over two weeks I have been preaching the Book of Job. I'm generally wary about publishing a sermon. I always have a text but I view it as a script, an aid to performance. The written form is not really meant for any eyes but mine. I've had some requests, though, from folks who missed one or the other of these sermons so I'll post them here with this preamble.

Job Part One

Job Part Two

28 Sep 2009

Imagining our reality

Over on United Methodeviations Dan Dick is imagining what the PCF has been living for Forty Seven years. He asks us to imagine what would happen...

"if when we woke up tomorrow morning, all our buildings and property were gone? How many of our congregations would carry on with hardly a disruption? How many “members” would we lose to churches with buildings? How long would it take us to get reorganized? Would one of our top priorities be to build new buildings or would we step back and, uhm, “rethink” church? What would our worship look like? Where would we gather? What form would our fellowship take? What about Christian education? What would we do?"

No need to imagine. Perhaps we should write up our experience as a controlled experiment and publish?

8 Sep 2009


What a great week! I'll upload some pictures and give you a peek soon. This was the fourth year in a row we have cooperated with Pinawa Lutheran Congregation to offer Vacation Bible School. This year's them was "Discovery Canyon". With the help of various critters we explored the themes, Rejoice, Pray, Ask, Tell, and Seek. An average of thirty children attended for five mornings! (Pretty good for a town with about 95 children in the elementary school!) The enthusiasm was overwhelming and the support from adults, and youths, from both congregations was wonderful. Thanks, in particular to Rhea Galeschuk and Leslie Strandlund who got us organized. Barb Zetaruk remarked that on the second day she heard two little girls in the neighbourhood bouncing on their backyard trampoline with friends (who hadn't been at VBS) singing the songs at the top of their voices!

13 Aug 2009

Typhoon and Tropical Storm Morakot

The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) – 11 August 2009
Typhoon and Tropical Storm Morakot

Following news reports in the international media the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) received several messages from overseas concerning the typhoon and tropical storm Morakot that struck Taiwan the weekend 7-10 August 2009.

Please know the PCT is very grateful for your expressions of concern and in turn wish to give you a brief update. Basically the typhoon itself proved to be quite minimal compared to what Taiwan normally experiences, and it was soon downgraded to a tropical storm but torrential rains came in its wake Saturday and Sunday.

The initial reports and investigations indicate the South of the country incurred most damage, in particular Taitung and Pingtung counties. As we know some areas had their equivalent of one year rainfall in two days and the worst flooding recorded in 50 years in Taiwan.

At the present time, under such critical conditions and until the water level decreases, it is very difficult to fully assess the true and total picture as to extent of loss of life, or damage to the land and property. Broken roads and collapsed bridges not to mention electricity cuts and telephone lines damaged are hampering communication and the assessment process. From what PCT staff have witnessed and based on the media reports there are bound to be villages swept away. It is really devastating - the clean up will be horrendous and it will be necessary to monitor and control any infections that could arise from dirty water, debris, dead animals and so on.

The PCT General Assembly is already active and involved in the national disaster response relief and rescue work doing their part as best as they can. We are coordinating with our numerous Presbyteries setting up relief centers, phone help lines, dropping stations for donations in kind and money. Some of you have expressed concern for PCT churches, again, it is premature to evaluate the loss of lives or the extent of damage to our church members’ homes and church property but as PCT local congregations are in many communities all over Taiwan this is inevitable. Information will be released in time.

On behalf of the PCT and the people of Taiwan we express our deep appreciation for your concern and ask that you hold the victims of this major disaster in your prayers as well as those involved in the daunting task of rescue and relief in the weeks to come.

Rev. Lin Tsung-Jeng (Leonard)
PCT Moderator, 54th General Assembly

Rev. Chang Te-Chien (Andrew)
PCT General Secretary

7 Aug 2009

Harvie Barker's Good Word

Harvie and Liz Barker were in town last week and dropped by the third installment of A Good Word In Season. Harvie was minister here at the PCF from 1974 to 1980. This is a collection of 40 inspirational messages published in the Penticton Herald between January 23, 2007 and July 16, 2008. Proceeds from the sale of A Good Word In Season support the Pathways Addiction Resource centre and the "Be an Angel Fund" of the Penticton Herald. The previous two editions have raised just over $6,000. If you would like a copy call Rob at the church office (753-8439) - only $10.

2 Jul 2009

The Keewatin

Are you interested in getting the news of both the diocese and the national Anglican church then consider getting a subscription to "The Keewatin" for just $10.00 a year. Your diocesan paper is published 10 times a year and comes with the "Anglican Journal" the national church paper. If you are interested in getting a subscription then please send a cheque or money order for $10.00 made out to the "Diocese of Keewatin" and clearly marked with 'subscription' to the following address:
Diocese of Keewatin
Box 567
Keewatin, ON
P0X 1C0

30 Jun 2009

Manitoba Government Grants to United Church Overseas Projects

Did you know that through Manitoba Council for International Cooperation, the Province makes $1 million dollars available for matching grants for overseas development work? Manitoba is one of two provinces that does this. The UCC currently has two projects being funded: Rural Drought Relief in Zimbabwe and a Community Development project in El Salvador. If you speak with your local MLA, be sure to express appreciation for this support.

Conference Weekly News - June 29-July 3, 2009

17 Jun 2009

Eugene Peterson

"The Biblical fact is that there are no successful churches."

That just jumped out at me when I was re-reading Peterson's 1987 book Working the Angles: The Shape of pastoral Integrity.

"There are, instead, communities of sinners, gathered before God week after week in towns and villages all over the world. The Holy Spirit gathers them and does his work in them. In these communities of sinners, one of the sinners is called pastor and given a designated responsibility in the community. The Pastor's responsibility is to keep the community attentive to God."

The book is a call to return to that responsibility through Prayer, Scripture, and Spiritual Direction. To return to that responsibility not because the church will be successful but because the church needs to be faithful. It's still a pretty radical notion three decades after he wrote these words.

"The Biblical fact is that there are no successful churches."

11 Jun 2009

Mennofolk at the MCC Relief Sale and Festival

Come on out to enjoy two days worth of music at this year's MCC Relief Sale and Festival. On Friday June 19th in the evening from 8pm - 10pm, there will be performances from The Other Brothers (featuring Chris Neufeld and Donovan Giesbrecht) and Flying Fox and the Hunter Gatherers. Then on Saturday June 20th, come and enjoy an all day free stage featuring musicians like Demetra Penner and Paul Bergman, childrens performers Alphabet Soup and Graham Wiebe, as well as sets from participants from MCC's Open Circle program. Mennofolk at the MCC Relief Sale and Festival; come for the mennoburgers, stay for the music.

16 Mar 2009

software development and models of church

Twice in as many months I have encountered a great illustration of a theological / ecumnenical issue illuminated by a comparison to software. At a conference I attended at CMU Doug Gay from the UK was trying to explain how he liked "high church" liturgical practice but couldn't buy the hierarchical forms of church government. He said he wanted to "unbundle" the software from the Operating System like the EU forced Microsoft to do. He wanted to use a "high church browser on his low church operating system".
Today I read a cool commment by Jane Stranz on her blog Of life, laughter and liturgy . . .
"Do we want cathedral ecumenism (top down, institution driven) or bazaar ecumenism (networked, organic)? The idea for these two terms actually comes from software development. So do you want a microsoft or a linux trinity, word or open office ecumenism? Let's open the theological software bazaar."
I hadn't heard the Cathedral and Bazaar image before but it reflects perfectly my emerging convictions about how ecumenism really works. Our present reality is that people don't care about our denominational affiliations, its the job at hand that gets them excited.

5 Mar 2009

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to shovel the driveway and a time to just sit back and admire the snow,

a time to wake up and a time to sleep in

a time to spring forward and a time to fall back


2 Feb 2009

Jack & Val's Mission in Guyana Blog

Our neighbours from the Pinawa Lutheran Church are on a mission assignment in Guyana. Follow Jack and Val Frederick's latest news HERE

28 Jan 2009

Ways to Pray

Rob will be leading a series of afternoon and evening study sessions in February at our meeting room in the Whiteshell Centre; the theme will be "ways to pray". If you have ever wondered where to begin with prayer, or if you have a curiosity about the many ways to pray, come out on a Tuesday afternoon or evening at 1 pm or at 7 pm. Each session is independent, come to them all or pick and choose one or two.

February 3rd: Biblical Prayer: the Psalms, the Lord's Prayer
February 10th: Praying the Hours and Keeping Seasons: Prayer books and Lenten promises
February 17th: Pilgrimage and Retreat: Desert Fathers, Camping and Labyrinths
February 24th: Meditation: Lectio Divina, Ignatian Spirituality, Christian Meditation and the Rosary

Communication Request from Conference

You are invited to check out the United Church website for Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario www.mnwo.united-church.ca Read interesting stories from other churches, tell us about your church, take advantage of your church profile that is already on our website. You will find many helpful resources to borrow – books, DVDs, videos, program resources and other things to spark your imagination. If you want to receive an email every Monday morning informing you of the latest articles posted on our website; click on “my profile” on our home page and it will walk you through adding your name and a password.

Learn about upcoming events and the latest resources by registering to receive the weekly email. Simply email lrye@confmnwo.mb.ca to add your name (and city/town/region) and every Wednesday you will receive the latest news from the Conference.

8 Jan 2009

So that's what was keeping people away!

Church removes 'scary crucifix'

The sculpture of Christ on the crucifix

A large sculpture of Christ on the cross has been removed from outside a church in West Sussex after its vicar said it was "scaring young children".

The Reverend Ewen Souter said the 10ft crucifix was "a horrifying depiction of pain and suffering" which was also "putting people off".

The sculpture, located at the side of St John's Church in Broadbridge Heath, has now been given to Horsham Museum.

It will be replaced with a new stainless steel cross.

In a survey carried out by the church, every comment about the sculpture was negative.

'Sense of hope'

Mr Souter said: "Children have commented on how scary they find it and how off-putting they find it as a symbol outside the church.

"As a key exterior symbol for us it was putting people off rather than having a sense of hope and life and the power of the resurrection."

He said rather than undermining the work of the cross, the church wanted to portray "an accurate biblical picture of the crucifixion as a moment of hopefulness for the world, and not one of despair".

The sculpture was designed in the 1960s by former Royal Society of British Sculptors president, Edward Bainbridge Copnall, and made out of coal dust and resin.

It was removed from the church just before Christmas and will be mounted on a large wall in the grounds of Horsham Museum.

Jeremy Knight, curator, said the powerful image portrayed by the figure was that of Christ in pain.

"That today isn't an image which a lot of churches want to follow. They'd much rather see an empty cross where Christ has risen," he said.