DH Update 3, Epiphany Week 2, Wed. January 18, 2023
Wednesday Meditation (Matthew 4:16)
(T)he people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.
Americans were remembering Martin Luther King Jr. on this past Monday. He was born on January 15, 1929. After his studies, he was called to Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama in 1954. Before he and his wife arrived in Alabama, the blacks in the Southern United States were already involved in movements to break down segregation laws. The famous Rosa Parks bus incident when Rosa Parks refused to change seats and move to the blacks only seats, took place in 1955. Dr. King was in the church ministering just 9 months when this famous bus boycott took place. He joined the Civil Rights Movement almost by default and reluctantly.
Dr. King was well known for non-violent civil disobedience and his speeches against the American social and political system that oppressed the blacks. He was deeply concerned for each person and saw that the system of economics and politics reduced hard working poor people to nothing more than expendable resources. He also railed against the way the injustices were being done all over the world, especially by the American government.
He was often demoninzed in the press, surveilled and undermined by the FBI, was threatened for his life multiple times, was attacked physically, was jailed for his activities, and criticized even by those with whom he worked to bring about a more just society. After one of his most important speeches, delivered at the Riverside Church in New York, in which he decried the violence unleashed by the American military in Vietnam, Laos and surrounding countries he was excoriated by the likes of New York Times and Washington Post to a point that 63% of Americans held very negative view of Dr. King.
We may wonder how Dr. King could have been so persecuted and eventually was assassinated. The preacher who prophetically proclaimed the world where God’s justice would prevail became such a high threat in the most Christian country that his life was cut short. As we ponder about the great light that the people of Israel saw, as we continue to celebrate the coming of Christ as the Great Light, as we continue to proclaim the Gospel of Christ, we give God thanks for those like Dr. King who were not afraid to shine Christ’s light on earth so that all may find life.
As we prepare for our Annual Meeting, we will review various ways that we expressed our faith at Drummond Hill Church. We already shared with you the membership figures and names of those who are no longer with us in this life. If you missed it, please read last week’s newsletter that was sent via email and is also found at drummondhill.ca/jan11.
Music and Worship
The year began with many restrictions under COVID pandemic. As the year went on more and more restrictions were lifted. We were able to worship in the sanctuary and did not have to move the worship to the hall.
Our online worship services were available for the entire year. In the month of August while the minister was on vacation, the first two Sundays we had early Sunday morning devotions (led by Gail and Verna) instead of worship services and did not have in-person worship services for the remaining two Sundays. Then, on Christmas Eve, we had to cancel the service due to severe blizzard conditions.
We had two worship services in April where guest ministers were invited to preach.
We celebrated communions in person on our Anniversary Sunday, the first Sunday of June, the Worldwide communion Sunday and the first Sunday of December. We did something different for our anniversary. Instead of celebrating our anniversary on the first Sunday of March, we brought everyone together to join our anniversary celebration on Sunday, March 20, with communion and soup lunch. On Easter Sunday, everyone was asked to bring a decorated hat to remember how in earlier times, wearing Easter bonnets was a tradition. On our Worldwide Communion Sunday, after the communion worship service, we invited everyone to join for lunch. We thank Linda Spencer for providing communion bread.
As in 2021, Mr. David Cowan helped us with worship on the last Sunday of each month. On Christmas Sunday, Mr. Cowan helped us to celebrate by playing Christmas music 20 minutes before the service began.
We thank John Bracewell, Rebekah Hong, Catherine Park, Linda Spencer and Linda Thwaites for helping us to worship with their musical talents. Without them, our worship would have been done in acapella. We also thank Matthew Bagnulo for the help with slides. We thank everyone (Sonia, Raj, Sierra, Ariana, Chuck, Lorraine Audrey, Verna, Cathy, Bruce, Polly, Norma, Peggy, Sandy, Linda, Gail, Betty-Ann and a few whom I cannot remember) who read Scripture passages, helped with Advent readings or greeting people to service and provided refreshments after the service. We also thank David for lighting the candles and operating the chairlift each Sunday. We thank Mike and Joan Burnett for their special music in one of our Advent worship.
On the third Sunday of November, as part of figuring out a way to reach out to more people, we held a special service in the afternoon. Under the leadership of Rob Whitelock, who worked for many months, a band came to lead us in worship. We were able to invite many outsiders. Most of those who attended were happy to be part of this different way of worshipping.
2023 Music and Worship
Online Worship Services
The session has decided to continue the way we are providing our online worship services. It will be recorded ahead using hymns already posted on YouTube. We did consider the possibility of recording our worship service and then uploading it to the internet. However, at this time, we will continue doing it the way we have done in these past few years. It will make it possible for everyone to worship on Sunday morning rather than waiting for the service to be recorded and uploaded.
As we have explained, one reason we are not streaming the service is based on the low internet speed we are currently getting from Bell Canada. The company has tried, but has not been able to increase the speed necessary for streaming worship services without any hic-ups.
Music in Worship
Currently we are continuing with the musicians who have been helping us to worship. One Sunday a month we will have Mr. Cowan playing organ for us. The rest of Sundays, we have Catherine, John and Rebekah playing hymns to help us praise God.
Currently also we are planning a few more of those afternoon worship services as we did in November. Rob is working on how to bring about these services in 2023.
In the meantime, Mike, Joan and John are planning to help us with Lent Devotions and Lunch and a few more we plan to do throughout the year.
We are planning to add monthly worship services to our schedule in 2023.