Christine has been away for awhile, for some study leave and for some vacation. We will surely be glad to see her back next week. A big thanks to Esther, Carol, and the choir who have been leading worship for the last 3 weeks. Barbara has also been away. She has been looking after her brother’s dogs. Not a great excuse, especially while Christine is away.
Barb is on the WHO committee, and she was at a planning meeting we had last month to talk about this service. She sent an email to me this week that discussed worship services.
Here is part of a Reflection by Quinn G. Caldwell
Have you heard somebody say “I don’t need church to experience God; I experience God in the mountains, at the lake, or on the golf course.”
Whatever. Is seeing the Crown Jewels the same as seeing the Queen of England?
Would people still so eagerly seek God in natural places of majesty while ignoring corporate worship if so many church services weren’t so devoid of majesty? Because, you know, we don’t get to complain about the mountains and the oceans if they’re more eloquent on the subject of God’s greatness than our worship services.
Have you felt even the slightest twinge of awe in your church lately?
If not, the mountains win again.”
So Thanks Barbara. now not only do we have to make up a service and sermon, but now we should fill it with awe and majesty! I’m not sure we got the majesty right this week, but we can pass the requirement on to Christine.
The reflection Barbara sent ended with this prayer.
God, you are great. Fill your churches with your Spirit so that all who enter might experience your majesty. And if even then, we’re still blowing it, then meet me in the mountains, OK? Amen.
The lectionary reading for today from John is a prayer by Jesus for his disciples. He makes the point that everything comes from God. Himself, his call, and the disciples too, all come from God. But there is another truth: God is not a hoarder. Everything God has is available to Jesus, and everything available to Jesus is available to his followers.
He says, referring to his disciples, “That they may be one, as we are one”. What does this mean? One attempt to understand the unity for which Jesus prayed is found in God’s Dream by Bishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Adams. Tutu says “ God does not force us to be friends or to love one another…. Each of us carries a piece of God’s heart within us. And when we love one another, the pieces of God’s heart are made whole.”
The WHO committee was set up at our annual meeting in Feb. We are Louise Welsh, Barbara Langton, Christine Dudley, Graham Mann, Howard May, and me. We have taken on the task of thinking about Who we are as a congregation, and How we can support this identity and then move together into the future.
We can start with the slogan on the banner in the entrance to our church. Friends for the journey, food for the soul. How does this relate to the life of Kimberley United Church?
Back at our annual meeting we asked all of you to write out the answers to a couple of questions.
What do you value most in Kimberley United Church?
The highest response listed for this question was fellowship/friendship.
This relates directly to the slogan Friends for the Journey.
The second highest response topics were about the topic of worship/minister/music.
Remember: Food for the Soul.
The second question we asked was “What has happened at KUC in the last year that was important to you?”
The events that you highlighted indicate the commitment our congregation has to children and families in the United for Kids family day camp and our involvement with various musical events that opened our church to the community over the past year.
Kimberley United Church has a statement of values. As a committee, we could not recall just when this statement was written, but it looks pretty good. This is printed in the bulletin.
We seek to be a place in which people can find spiritual nurture through participation in worship and study and music; but also through engaging with the community around us, and the wider world, seeking to make a positive difference.
And we seek to be a loving community, celebrating the joys of life in weddings and baptisms, and in our Celebrations time; but also, accompanying one another through the dark valleys of life, being for one another and for those outside our doors a tangible presence of the love of God.
From the first part of our values statement, one of our priorities is to provide spiritual nurture through participation in worship, study, and music. Hopefully sometimes this does include majesty and awe. What do we do to provide spiritual nurture? Examples?
Study group at Gardenview
From the second part of our values statement, what ways are KUC and members engaging with the community around us and the wider world, seeking to make a positive difference?
First of all, as a congregation, what does KUC do? Help me make a list
Outreach: Food bank,Youth centre, shelterbox
Worship, weddings, baptisms, funerals, pines, Gardenview bible study
United for Kids, Prayer shawls, fellowship teas.
Presbytery: JNAC for Cranbrook, Fernie, Invermere
Conference: Selection committee for ministry candidates, provincial M&S
Beyond our congregation, in what ways are our individual members engaging with the community?
Medical loan cupboard
Pines and Gardenview
Mining railway, curling club, seniors centre, quilting guild, thrift store, golf
It is clear that as a congregation, and as individuals we are much engaged with the community around us.
The mandate of the WHO committee is to consider who we are, and then to how can the church do this work, ongoing into the future
Part of looking into the future will include a discussion about money. You have looked at the quiz in the bulletin, you all passed, and now you are really ready to talk about money in church.
I have been part of this church for nearly 13 years now, and we have not had much general congregational discussion about money. There has been no stewardship campaign. We have had regular financial updates from the treasurer, a few presentations about Planned giving and Legacy funds, and the annual meeting discussions about budgets. Your council has had some long discussions about finances and budgets and has recently promised to develop and present longer term plans.
What will it mean for the future as our congregation ages a bit. In the last 10 years several long time and strong supporters have died. How can we replace the time, energy of these people and the financial support we have lost.
Our 2012 budget is more than $130,000. For comparison it was $119,000 back in 2002. This change is actually less than the rate of inflation. Quite a few of us here collect OAS and CPP and other pensions. We say we are on a fixed income. This is not quite true. Because of increases in the the CPI, the Consumer Price Index, our OAS and CPP benefits increase annually. In January CPP and OAS were increased by 2.8 %. Between 2002 and 2010, our CPP payments have increased by 15% because of inflation. The church budget has increased by less than 10% in the same time period.
How do we spend this money? Part of the money goes toward salaries and church programs. This supports our commitment toward helping people find spiritual nurture through worship, study and music. Part of the money goes toward our building. We are blessed that those who came before us built a fine church and have managed to maintain and keep it in pretty good shape. We should give a special thanks to the city of Kimberley emergency crews who sandbagged and put up the dikes in the recent floods. We had a couple of cm on the basement floor, but without the sandbags across the basement stairs it could have been 2 metres deep. That would have been a big financial problem. There is an ongoing concern about long term maintenance and upgrades to our church building. We also engage with community around us with support to M&S and local outreach, $7500 to M&S and $4900 to Outreach.
Where do we get this money? Some money comes from fund raising activities. A big thanks to all who plan, organize, work at, and support apple pies, teas, garage sales, fall suppers, and everything else we can think of. Please keep it up and do more!
Most of our money comes from our own contributions. Have you noticed that many of us pass the collection plate by every week without putting in a contribution. This is not always because these cheap skates are our shallow materialistic neighbors.
Many contribute monthly through PAR. How many do this? Please put up your hands. PAR stands for Pre-Authorized Remittance, an automatic monthly withdrawal from your bank account. The congregation has the benefit of a regular cash flow that enables the mission and ministry of the church to continue. Donors have the the convenience of giving without writing a cheque or finding cash every Sunday morning, and the assurance of knowing they are supporting the church even in their absence. Across Canada 43000 members give through PAR. In KUC 29 individuals and families give through PAR. One thing about PAR is that it is easy to change. This is why you all have been given a PAR brochure. Remember what I said about inflation. If you want to increase your monthly giving, just fill in that form with your revised amount. ( You don’t need to fill in the account details if you already give through PAR). Return it by putting it on the collection plate or hand it in at the office.
Other methods of offerings that are used by members of KUC are monthly rather than weekly envelopes. A few give annual lump sum contributions. An annual lump sum is useful if you want to take advantage of the extra tax savings that come from donations of shares or mutual funds that have capital gains.
If you do give monthly, and feel guilty about passing the offering plate without putting something into it, you can pick up a card when you get you bulletin, and then put the card into the offering plate as a symbol of your regular offering.
Thank you all for your regular support of our church with your time, your energy, your ideas, and your money. With your ongoing support, we will continue to be a place in which people can find spiritual nurture through participation in worship and study and music; and we can continue to engage with the community around us, and the wider world, seeking to make a positive difference.