We are drawn to light. On this first day of the New Year, on this first Sunday of the New Year, we seek the light of wisdom and welcome. I invite you to travel with the Magi this morning, to be the Magi this morning, the ones seeking wisdom, divine guidance, the unknown and the unexpected; the ones who risk being changed by the journey.
As we have brought forth the gifts that shaped the Nativity scene tonight, I invite you to think of where you would place yourself in this scenario. For you too are a gift tonight – you bring the gift of yourself. Some gifts are obvious, but most come out of adversity, or at least a lot of effort.
We sing traditional songs tonight, songs of hope for a weary world, and of a peaceful sleeping child, but we do well to remember that the world Jesus was born into, like ours today, was anything but peaceful. It took courage on the part of everyone involved to be there.
My Anglican colleague, Rev. Laura Hermakin, wrote: “The Magnificat, the song of Mary begins so joyfully that its subversive message is often overlooked. We want to rejoice in our Saviour who is merciful, who has done great things for us. We might be less thrilled with one who has “scattered the proud” and “brought down the powerful.” We may be comforted by a Christ who has “filled the hungry with good things,” but we might not want a Saviour who has “sent the rich away empty,” especially those of us who live in wealthy nations.
On Thursday, November 24th an eclectic group gathered at Eagle River Secondary School. We were there for the Blanket Exercise. This day had been a dream of mine for some time. Finally, it all came together.
Using resources from KAIROS, a Canadian ecumenical peace and justice group, and ably led by teachers Heather MacDonald and Deb Hooper, about 40 students and 25 adults took part in an interactive educational experience looking at the history of First Nations and European contact in Canada. It is my belief that understanding and acknowledging our past can help heal our future as indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians.
As well as two high school classes, most of the Sicamous United church congregation attended, as did other community members from Sicamous , Canoe, Salmon Arm and Tappen.
The event was indeed educational, leading us through proclamations and laws that increasingly governed and disenfranchised First Nations people in Canada. This was graphically illustrated as the blankets we stood on, symbolizing the land on which First Nations lived, were folded smaller and smaller, leaving us feeling crowded, isolated, and decimated as people were asked to step off them – as victims of smallpox, or children taken to residential school etc.
We ended the event by passing a talking rock around the circle, inviting people to share reflections on their experience. It was very powerful moment. We were choosing to build bridges instead of walls.
I am deeply grateful to Mollie Folliott for all her work on this event, to Heather and Deb who led us, to Darryl from Splatsin who welcomed us to Secwepemc territory, to the Eagle River Secondary staff and students who helped it happen, and to my congregation for bringing themselves and good treats to share.
Thursday, November 24th 10:00 AM – 12:15PM. This event is a collaboration between Sicamous United Church, Eagle River Secondary School and the Aboriginal Education Dept. Using resources from KAIROS, a Canadian ecumenical peace and justice group, the community is invited to take part in an interactive educational experience looking at the history of First Nations and European contact in Canada. Knowing our past can help heal our future as indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians. The event will take place at Eagle River Secondary and is open to the community.The event is free but we do need numbers forregistration. Anyone interested in taking part or needing more information, please contact Rev. Juanita Austin by Sunday, November 20th.
Phone: 250-832-6385, or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a sign up sheet at Sicamous United Church as well.
Hi everyone. I wanted to let you know that I will be part of a national webinar next Tuesday, September 20th at 10:30 AM BC time to talk about the Advent Peace Box and how we used the resources in our congregation at Sicamous United Church to talk about peace and justice in Palestine and Israel.
If you are interested, please join the free webinar that day. It will be available to view afterward if you can’t see it `live’.
I have extra Palestinian za’atar, soap and olive oil, on hand, so you can order it, or ask for it an anytime. Continue reading to find out more about the webinar and how ordering Zatoun products (Peace box) can help bring peace and justice in Palestine and Israel.
Hello dear members and friends of Sicamous United Church.
When you are next in the neighbourhood, look up – up to the roof! The new `torched-on’ roof is being installed over the sanctuary which should give the building many more years to serve the community.
We have had some wonderful volunteer help to pay for this needed replacement. I am so grateful for your willingness and creativity in making this all happen. On August 8th, we held a Summer Buffet and served acapacity crowd, raising $931.00 Individual donations have been coming in as well from folks who come in to the Thrift Shop.
August 22nd (today) Amanda will be present at Music in the Park at 6:30PM with fresh baking to sell by donation for the `Raise the Roof’ fund. You can help by baking, yes today, and joining Amanda at the park. Cooler weather today – great for baking!
Can’t help today? That’s o.k. We are setting up a bake table this coming Saturday, August 27th at 10:00 AM in the church parking lot. Your contributions will be most welcome.
Not all is baking and fund-raising. We continue to be rooted in worship – open to the Sacred Presence as we gather to worship each week. We’ve been blessed with a variety of worship leaders and musicians during the summer. Next Sunday, August 28th, we will be joined by harpist, SharonHartwick who will offer some beautiful reflective music on the harp, as well as hymn accompaniment by our 5-piece band of JoAnn, Steve, Wilma, Jim and myself. Come to worship and let your soul be fed.
As some of you know, we at Sicamous United Church are facing a roof replacement for the sanctuary. Congregational members have stepped up to the plate with determination and enthusiasm. We are hosting a
Summer Buffet on Monday, August 8th at 6:00 PM at Sicamous United.
Ham, salads, blackberry shortcake and coffee or tea.
music & sing-along included
Adults $12, under 6 years $5
Tickets can be purchased at the Thrift Shop at Sicamous United Church.
If you are in Salmon Arm or Canoe, and would like to attend, please call or email Rev. Juanita Austin to reserve tickets for you. Please RSVP by Saturday, August 6th.
Dear members and friends of Sicamous United Church
Happy anniversary! The United Church of Canada came into being 91st years ago on June 10th. All across this country, congregations and outreach ministries reflect their own unique communities as they try to live out the teachings of Jesus.
Here at Sicamous United, we do that by gathering in community Sunday by Sunday for worship, encouragement, challenge and companionship. In our own homes, places of work, other volunteer activities we try to live out compassion and justice. Thank you for being a part of it all.
A few things to catch you up to date on as the month of June continues.