DH Update 9, Epiphany Week 3 Wed. January 25, 2023
Wednesday Meditation (Micah 1:5)
What does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
As people of faith we do our best to please our God. Our instinct is to be good Christians–whatever and however we mean by being ‘good’ Christians. For the majority of us, being good means to keep commandments and do as few wrongs as possible. In other words we avoid committing any form of sin. So when we are asked, “What does the Lord require of you?” our response is to keep holy and not sin.
In this passage, however, we are shown what the Lord requires of us if we consider, understand, or know we are God’s people. It is more than refraining from sinning. It is more than helping the poor when we can. It is far more than praying for those who are in prisons. We are to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God. Let’s look at each one.
To do justice is to know how God’s justice is for us and emulate God. We treat one as if everyone is to be received as from God, given respect and hearing, and share in our hospitality. Partiality, favouritism, or nepotism are not just and therefore taken out from all that we do.By putting it this way, it also reminds us to do it ourselves. Justice is what we do. We do not wait for others to do it, but we live justice as God has shown us in Christ Jesus.
To love kindness is far more difficult than we think. Being kind is easy. Loving kindness in ways that others get to feel God’s love in every interaction is not easy. This is so because loving is not done for the sake of showing kindness, but as a living example of how all of us are loved by God. Grace of God is abundant when we love kindness.
Thirdly, to walk humbly with our God is what completes us as God’s people. Everyone can do justice and love kindness. Not everyone wishes to walk with God, let alone walk humbly with God. We have seen many high minded devout Christians walk with God. Sadly they walk arrogantly, proudfully, self-confidently and full of self-esteem and knowledge of this world. To walk with God, however, requires humbling ourselves, counting us as the least among all, sinners requiring Christ’s grace of redemption. Walking humbly with God is what separates Christians from others–always ready to serve all who are before us as if we serve Christ.
On this coming Sunday, January 29, we are gathering for our Annual Meeting. We review God’s blessings for us in 2022 through financial statements and make a commitment for 2023. As part of this important gathering to remember and look forward, we remember Christ’s ministry that took place among us.
With thanks we worshipped our God and committed the lives of Lou Barnes, Bernie Kellam, Isobel Norminton, Andy Paterson, Carole Paterson, Doris Race and Rick Stokes in God’s hand. Throughout their lives, they did their best to glorify and enjoy God and are now ready to behold God’s glory as they wait. We continue to pray for their families.
As part of Pastoral Care, a few members of the session with help from Sandy Detenbeck provided the Cinnamon Bun Tuesdays where people gathered, shared time and stories. This activity was enjoyed by many. Those who served to make it possible also enjoyed providing it throughout the year. Numerous fellowship lunches were provided throughout the year as part of our worship services. Those who were able to attend them were refreshed and were buoyed in spirit.
As part of the Pastoral Care ministry, people were called and/or visited throughout the year. Many were visited at homes or at hospitals.
In one case where I as your minister failed was when Lily’s son, Jim, passed away at the end of October, I did not get the message quickly enough to visit Lily. When Lily needed the spiritual support the most, I did not provide it. I apologize to Lily for this mistake.
Since our secretary Debbie’s return to the office, she has been able to call many members to keep in contact.
In the meantime, every Wednesday, as part of our Pastoral Care ministry, Update Newsletter was sent out to keep everyone in the loop about the ministry that has been carried on.
Reaching Out Ministry
2022 was a very different year for the Reaching Out Ministry. For the early part, due to COVID restrictions still high on our minds and having them lifted just enough to begin our in-person worship services in the sanctuary, we did not carry out any new activities. Instead, we have been taking the opportunity to rethink how we do Reaching Out Ministry altogether.
Of course, as we mentioned previously, we did have the Lent Mission Project of adding to the National Church’s Healing and Reconciliation Fund. We sent $3,500 for this purpose. We also sent $10,000 to Presbyterians Sharing, $335 to the Presbyterian World Service and Development, $1,275 to Growing Children’s Ministry as our Advent Mission Project. $550 was sent as the Women's Missionary Society Fund.
One project we tried was Tea Tasting. We were hoping to reach many outsiders, but were not successful.
We learned that many neighbours are still quite nervous about participating in any activities where people were to gather together.
Finance and Facilities Maintenance
The staff, John and Ed, maintained the building in very clean and tidy condition for us to start our in-person worship services again in January. We came back slowly and surely. We owe much thanks to John, Dave and Ed for the upkeep of the building throughout the year for not only for the upkeep but always ready to help in many ways that no one sees. For example, Dave has been instrumental in making sure that the Rev. Hastings was able to use the chairlift on Sunday mornings.
We were able to add security cameras in the early part of the year. The chairlift finally was given the approval to be used by TSSA.
We thank everyone for the financial contribution throughout the year. For a number of reasons, especially due to the decline in our membership, our income was down a fair bit. You can see this reflected in the withdrawal from the investment fund. This is going to be a major concern for 2023 as well.
We give God thanks for Dorothy Wilson and her Estate for just under $12,000 donation as part of Dorothy’s will.
To prepare for our future, we discussed various possibilities of what a church might be like in the future. We began the conversation in January through our Update Newsletter. We considered many ways other churches dealt with their situations. In June we were ready to hold a congregational meeting to form a group to explore many options for our facilities. The group consisting of Alison MacTavish, Brian McKeown, Chuck McCrea, John Boughner and Rob Whitelock was formed. They have met twice to discuss various possibilities. They also invited an architect to explore possibilities.
Annual meeting is to take place this coming Sunday following the service of worship. It is important for us to understand that passing the budget is our way of making the faith commitment for 2023 to God that we will serve in Christ’s ministry here in this part of God’s world. Please pray for the church and all God’s servants.