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Musings, On Catching Your Breath after a Busy Week: June 7, 2022

Whew. What a wind that was on Sunday! Thank you to all who made our Pentecost Party possible – not least among them: Paul Del Motte, Frank Dickson and Frank Oulton who were our Grill Masters! Thanks as well to Edward Knuckles for the Pentecost cake and Heather who read and Linda and Dawn who prepared and served communion, and Jennie who served up the food! Pictures from our gathering can be found here. And make sure you take time to read the expression of gratitude from Chrystal Schipper-Everill below.

After all the excitement of Sunday, and very full days on Friday and Saturday last week, I am taking a few days off this week to catch my breath! I am going to St. John’s where I will meet up with my son Zack.

Needless to say, I’m excited to get to spend a few days with him! Zack is in St. John’s with his band Barnacle at the Lawnya Vawnya Music Festival. Apparently Lawnya Vawnya is an old Newfoundland expression meaning “To have a good time at a dance or a party with plenty to eat”. Sounds like my kind of time!

On Sunday, in our celebration of Pentecost I led us again in a prayer, The Seven Sacred Teachings as translated by Helen Siliboy. I will be using this prayer, and a prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Spirit each Sunday in June as we explore the gifts of the Spirit.

I encourage you to print the prayer and a copy on your fridge, or on your bedside table, or take a screenshot and store it on your phone and take time each day to pause and open yourself to the Spirit. Leave space for silence. Notice your breathing. Feel the earth beneath your feet and be open.

Sunday June 12th we will ponder the gifts of love and respect. On June 19th I will lift up bravery and honesty and on June 26th, my last Sunday before vacation and a time of sabbath we will sit with humility and truth.

It is my hope that this will be a gentle entry into the summer months of renewal and restoration.



Looking Ahead

Today and Tuesday are booked solid with meetings, visits and phone calls and on Wednesday I am off to St. John's. Wednesday evening, at 7:30PM (Newfoundland Time) I will gather with the Executive for a special meeting (maybe from a quiet corner of a pub someplace on George St.?!?).

Thursday and Friday morning will be spent wandering the streets of St. John's with Zack and maybe a few of his band mates before flying back on Friday afternoon.

Hopefully inspiration will strike me and I'll be filled with a liturgy and sermon sometime Friday afternoon or Saturday so that I have something offer when we gather on Sunday.

Pentecost Gratitude

By Chrystal Schipper-Everill

I have been struggling to find the words to express why yesterday's closing day of Sunday school hit me so hard emotionally.

First, I want to say that our family was welcomed to SUC with open arms. When the girls were

young, we were never made to feel that we were disturbing the service. There has always

been a special corner where we could sit with toys and activities for them. Many adults came to greet the girls...even though they were so shy at first. They continued to say hello and now Leanna and Annalee will ask about some of the members of the congregation and know many of them by name.

Not once have I had to worry that my girls would hear that the marriage and love of their parents was a sin. This is hugely different from my experiences growing up where I was made to feel there must be something wrong with me. This was also the main reason we chose to attend SUC. Being an affirming congregation meant we could all feel safe attending together.

Anne, Andrea, Mora and Gary had created such a safe place for the children to just be themselves and explore their own faith. Leanna and Annalee know that especially to these four adults their faith, ideas, thoughts and feelings are all valid and wonderful. They feel heard and important. During the pandemic they looked forward to Zoom calls and art bags to be dropped off. Sometimes we were even lucky enough to have a driveway visit. The leaders worked hard to maintain the connections they had built with the children.

The Godly Play teaching is so gentle and it is like nothing I had seen before. I would see my girls listen so intently when a story was being told. Even yesterday as soon as they heard Anne's voice begin a story they both came to sit and listen.

Yesterday we were the special greeters. For the most part, they spoke when spoken to and welcomed everyone. Gone were the shy girls..they now had a job to do and they felt so important. Then I watched them run in and give Lloyd a hug...even Leanna who usually just gives high fives. I watched them go upstairs without hesitantation with their friends. They were so proud of the banner they all made together. A true Summer Blessing.

I know every ending leads to a new beginning but I can't help but be a little sad that this chapter is closing. I want to send a huge thank you to the Sunday school leaders for everything they have done for so many people, young and old. You have truly made a difference in our family's life and in our walk of faith.

In deep gratitude,


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Janet Thom Hammock
Janet Thom Hammock
Jun 09, 2022

After my morning coffee I turned again to Musings to read the latest from our Minister. I looked at the photos from the Pentacost party following church last Sunday, and then…I read the letter by Chrystal.

This letter is so meaningful to me. Her family is one of the bright spots in my life at Sackville United church, and I have missed seeing Chrystal, Leanna and Annalee a lot over these past two years of isolation. More than that, though, her understanding of. and gratitude for, what was generously given to her children, and all the other children, by our Sunday School teachers, is beautiful to read.

Anne and Andrea, Gary and Mora, Godly Play, Gary’s art projects, and…

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