On Sunday, May 8th, I spoke during the sermon on the need to heed the 94 calls to actions from Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which made reference to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. What a joy it was to turn on the radio Tuesday afternoon to hear Carolyn Bennett announcing at the UN, Canada’s commitment to uphold and implement this Declaration. As a congregation, let’s do what we can to live out this commitment here in the Shuswap – Secwepemc territory.
When I told a few friends that I was going to do a series on the Twelve Step program at church, Brian shared this story with us.
Years ago, his uncle was traveling through the United States. It was a long journey and he had a lot of time to reflect on his life; he also had a lot of time to thing about how much he wanted a drink. He’d been down that road before and he knew he needed help to stay sober.
He stopped in a little town and asked at a local service station if there might be an AA meeting that he could attend. After some discussion and consultation, he was directed to a particular house on a nearby street.
He knocked on the door and was greeted by a man and led to a coffee table with a few AA pamphlets on it. After a bit of small talk, the uncle asked, `When does the meeting start?” “Whenever you’d like it to start”, was the reply. “Where are the others?” asked Brian’s uncle. “You are the first one who’s ever showed up”, said the man.
“How long have you been doing this?”
Seven years! Seven years of faithfully waiting. Seven years of quiet hospitality and offering the gift of the twelve step recovery program. Brian’s uncle credits this man with saving his life.
Here at Sicamous United Church we are working our way through the Twelve Step program this spring. You don’t have to be an alcoholic to benefit from A.A. We are all addictive by nature – if not to drugs and alcohol, then to our own thought processes, our own `stinkin’ thinkin’. We’ll be here Sunday mornings at 10:00 AM,705 Trans Canada Frtg. Rd, whether many or few. The good news will be shared, and the coffee will be on. You’re most welcome to drop in.
Blessings, Rev. Juanita Austin
Over the next few months, during Sunday worship, we will be exploring the premise of Richard Rohr’s book, “Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the 12 steps” which suggests that we are all addicts; that human beings are addictive by nature.
We begin with step one on April 10th and walk through a new step each week until the end of June. Through music, prayer, conversation, reflection, we will seek healing and wholeness for ourselves and our world as we work through the twelve steps together.
“The New Testament called it salvation or enlightenment, the twelve step program called it recovery.” Come and check it out – Sundays at 10:00 AM – Sicamous United Church
The music will be sweet, haunting, wild and wonderful on Easter morning. The Black & Bluez band will be in fine form to help us celebrate the wonder of Easter. Worship gets underway at 10:00 AM – come and risk resurrection with us 🙂
There will be Easter bags for the children and refreshments for all after worship.
Candle-light, quiet guitar music, the gospel read, the story remembered, a holy silence and prayers for our suffering world. You are invited to take some time for this sacred pause on Good Friday: March 25th at 7:00 PM
Then – with the joyful sounds of the Black & Bluez Band, come and sing your heart out on Easter Sunday: March 27th 10:00 AM. We’ll have everything from a French mediaeval carol to a Jackie de Shannon’s rock gospel Put a Little Love in Your Heart! Come be inspired to live your own resurrection story. Yes, we’ll have Easter gift bags for children, and refreshments for all to share after worship.
Season after Easter: Beginning on April 10th we will be focusing on Spirituality and the Twelve Steps. Join us for a season of exploring how our addictive society can find healing. “The New Testament called it salvation…the twelve step program called it recovery.” Richard Rohr – Breathing Under Water.
All events take place at Sicamous United Church 705E Trans Canada Frontage Rd. Sicamous B.C.
For centuries the image of an olive branch has symbolized peace.
The Greek and Roman cultures used the symbol as early as 2500 years ago. The dual image of a dove with an olive branch, has been a Christian symbol of peace since the end of the first century C.E. This in part comes from Genesis 8:11 which tells of a dove being sent from Noah’s ark, returning with an olive branch in her beak.
The symbol continues today. In Palestine, olive oil is the primary source of income for about 75,000 farmers. As well as olive oil, olive trees produce olives for food, soap, jewelry, wood-carving and fireplace logs.
Well dear friends, with two months down and one to go, you might be curious as to the progress of my writing project. What’s been done?
I began with a call to my spiritual director, who also has worked for Wood Lake Books and has had some work published. One piece of advice from her has helped immensely with the project, and that is “Just do the next doable thing.” Very simple, but it has moved me beyond paralysis on numerous occasions.
I read Dan Poynter’s book `Writing Nonfiction: turning thoughts into books’ which has given my some good pointers in terms of the writing industry, options about publishing, organizing the project and doing a mock-up of the front and back cover – which I have done.
I’ve connected with a colleague and friend who is willing to do editing work for me, and I’ve connected with a pianist who is taking some of my laborious hand-transcribed musical scores and is turning them into works of beauty, adding accompaniment and correcting my timing etc. This young woman was a teenager in my congregation in Williams Lake, and is now living in Kamloops, so it is a delight to be supporting her musical career while benefiting from her gifts.
I have been going through old files, computer memory sticks and computer files to compile the best of my prayers, liturgies, songs and seasonal reflections for the book. These I am organizing in a computer folder alphabetically – e.g. Advent, Baptism, Christmas, Grief, Healing etc.
I’ve consulted with friend, wise elder and publisher Ralph Milton who lovingly advised me not to count on this book for my retirement income and suggested I might want to explore the world of blogging instead. He also advised me to take anything he said with a huge grain of salt.
I’ve decided that I do what to proceed with a book, but I will do a limited printing so that I don’t have a garage full of unsold books and a big printing debt.
What’s still to do? I need to glean a few more resources, tweak them for the book, and send my precious `baby’ to my friendly editor and, so advised, do a bit more tweaking. I need to do more work on the music end of the project, consult with some possible publishers and decide if I should self- publish; there is a great printing outfit here in Salmon Arm, if I end up going that route.
If I self-publish I need to lean on the expertise of someone else to help set up the book in a print-ready format. Blessedly, Jim’s sister is able and willing to help with that part of the process.
It has been humbling to ask for advice and assistance. People have been kind and encouraging and for that I am very grateful. Thank you to the congregation of Sicamous United Church for your generosity – this gift of time to focus on my writing has been such a gift.
The working title of the book is:“Cup of wine and a piece of bread…”Worship resources to nourish your journey
I do miss the weekly connections at the Thrift Shop but remember I am out at Sicamous United Church every Sunday and would love to see you all there!
based on Psalm 63, 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 and Luke 13:1-9
Each Sunday there are four suggested scriptures – generally a reading from the Hebrew scriptures, one from the Psalms, one from the letters to the early church and one from the gospel. I alluded to the Hebrew scriptures with the call to worship from Isaiah, but we heard from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, the whole of Psalm 63 – including the nasty bits at the end which are usually ignored because good Christians never have vengeful thoughts, do they; and included the gospel reading.
All four readings address the issue of obedience or repentance, and the issue of consequences of not repenting and obeying God. But their conclusions don’t all jive.
Well, we were delighted to welcome Helene Amber’s new granddaughter Isabella, and just to add to the fun, here is Helen Pearson with some new grandpuppies! What fun for everyone 🙂
We celebrate with Helene Amber on the birth of her wee grand-daughter Isabella Sofie, born on February 18th. Isabella came into the world at 7 pounds and is a healthy beautiful baby.
Helene can’t wait to babysit! We look forward to seeing you in the spring Helene and hearing stories of your precious little one.
To Isabella we say – Welcome dear one. You are a gift of God. May you grow in strength and wonder. Blessings from your Sicamous United Church congregation. 🙂