Monthly Archives: July 2010

What music can convey

I met with friends and colleagues in campus ministry in June.  I was inspired by Richard Reimer, chaplain at U of A, who has recently written four new church camp songs.

I remember hearing Marty Haugen speak at a conference ten years ago (and I’ve had the privilege to hear him speak more recently, too) and I remember him talking about how music can convey theology – for better or worse.

If I think back to some of the camp songs and praise service songs I’ve heard, or even joined in singing, it’s rather shameful!  …no wonder there are those who call Christians hypocrites, or steer clear of churches!  Words like “I choose to be holy” or words that talk about Christians having a special place in heaven and so on.

I’m something of a ‘music enthusiast.’  I love to play when I have the opportunity, and I record songs for fun; I’m also surrounded by trained musicians in my family – it’s wonderful!

So, with the help of a friend/church family member/fellow musician, I tried my hand at writing a new Sunday School song on the occasion of a young family moving away from this area.  The chorus is: “wherever you go, whatever you do, always remember: God loves you.”  I believe those words are true, and think they’re worth repeating – in song or otherwise.  And it’s up to us to show the love of God – to be the love of God for others, and to recognize God’s love when we receive from others.

(By the way, you can watch the streamed service from Sunday, July 25, to hear us sing the song, Remember God Loves You, in church.)

“Smile!”

I went in to renew my driver’s license, today.  On holidays, my family and I invariably put several thousand kilometers on the car, so I need to have a valid license…!

Within the past year, I’ve also obtained a new passport.  In both cases, I’ve been asked to take off my glasses and not to smile.  This is new; it’s not quite as new in the case of obtaining a passport (it’s been like that for about a decade now, it seems to me).  What unnerves me about it is that I can only guess the reason for this measure is that I’ll look like someone you’re less likely to care about should I end up as a wanted person by the police… no smile, looking straight at the camera – this guy must be a criminal!  (Images are powerful!)

I’m pictured in the files of the federal and provincial governments, and have been as long as I’ve been applying for government-issued identification.  Why no smile?  I like to smile in pictures!  Does it make for an easier conviction should I be charged with something?  I’m am still innocent until proven guilty in our justice system, correct?  (…heaven forbid I should find myself on that side of the law.)

In a tough on crime agenda, making a case to limit the freedoms of people who seem to be a threat to ruling powers is everything.  I worry about that with our current federal government, as well as the current provincial government.  I’d rather see them both advocating for a better social net: how about health and education available and accessible to all?  …that kind of priority would certainly make me smile!

July-August, 2010 newsletter

From the Pastor…

Rejoice and be glad! Blessed are you, holy are you! Rejoice and be glad! Yours is the kingdom of God! (Worship hymnal #728)

If you’ve heard the term “kingdom of God” in popular culture, it may be referring to a favourite location.  How many times have you said something like “This is God’s country” when speaking of the Okanagan to a friend or relative living on the prairie…?

When we hear Jesus and Paul using the term “kingdom of God” in scripture, it is really a statement that counters what everyone takes for granted: the kingdom of Caesar.  That is, the system that we build in society, usually on the backs of others less fortunate than us.

We have the privilege to travel, to spend on luxury items, to take holidays.  We are “blessed.”  The kingdom of God for us, then, is to work at bringing life, hope, justice to those with less.

In worship, we offer prayers of thanksgiving for what we have, and we ask that our need might be met.  May we live that gratitude and justice-seeking in our lives! –Pastor Tyler Gingrich

FINANCIAL REPORT

For the period January 1 to May 31, 2010 All Saints had gross receipts of $34,249.67 with $222.05 of that designated to others leaving us with $34,027.62.  Expenditures were $30,328.16 for a surplus of $3699.46.  The bank balance at the end of this period was $19,486.14.  -Jack Denney, treasurer

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THE LIGHTER SIDE…

A Pastor made an announcement before the offering was collected:

“I would like to remind you that what you are about to give is deductible, cannot be taken with you and in the Bible it is said that the love of this is the root of all evil.”

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THANK YOU…

> to Jack, Jim, and Lenord for BBQing at The First Supper

> to Sid and Shawn for the sound system!

> to Paul for reorganizing our fellowship space so it breathes!

> to Melissa and Caitlyn for tending the beautiful flowers around the house

Do You Envy or Pity Those Who Come After You? (by Pastor Vern Sundmark)
When you hear the news of terrorists, of fewer jobs and higher taxes…or if you hear of final cures for cancer and the coming of better schools , what are you left thinking? Do you turn off the TV and go out for a banana split to make you feel better? Or do you pray that God will prepare you for whatever comes? When you look at the future do you envy or pity your grandchildren for the life they will experience?

When Moses stood on Mt. Pisgah and saw the promised land to the west of him, all the way to the sea (all of Palestine it is said), he envied those who entered it. But he was too old and was ready to die.  When Jesus foretold the destruction of Jerusalem yet to come, he wept over it.  We can do either of those two when we look into the future.

Moses spoke 24 chapters of Deuteronomy preparing the Israelites to live in Canaan. It makes us wonder what we can do to prepare our future generations to live in the Canada of the 21st and 22nd century.  Do we have any wisdom worth sharing?  Are we modeling a lifestyle that will be useful for their future?  What attitude might a Christian have about the future that can be useful to our children when they get to our age?

At our worship on July 4th we will be talking about how both Moses and Jesus saw the future. In the last book in the Bible, John has a vision of a new Jerusalem to replace the one just passing. Can we think of a new world and a new church about to come for which we might very much envy those who come after us?

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