Pentecost Greetings!
This coming Sunday is Pentecost. It is one of my favourite days in the church year as we get to sing lovely hymns about the Holy Spirit!

There are so many great ones but here are 3 of my favourites:
  • Spirit, spirit of gentleness, blow through the wilderness calling and free ...stir me from placidness, Wind, wind on the sea.   Jim Manley
  • She comes sailing on the wind ... full of laughter, full of light, she flies on.   Gordon Light
  • Spirit of Life, come unto me. Sing in my heart all the stirrings of compassion. Blow in the wind, rise in the sea; Move in the hand, giving life the shape of justice. ... Spirit of Life, come to me, come to me. Carolyn McDade
Each one talks about how the Spirit interacts with us; calling us, inviting us, stirring us and moving us to listen, to hear and to act on the Word of God. They each use the metaphor of wind to describe the Spirit, giving us a way to imagine what the Spirit is like.

The wind is a great way to think about Spirit but there are other ways. What about Spirit as fire? In Acts 2 the Spirit is described as wind and fire:
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.

Thinking of Spirit as fire reminds me of a conversation with my first diaconal ministry mentor, Dorothy Naylor, very early in my training for ministry. She offered a little opening prayer in one of our meetings that talked about the Spirit as the fire of life. She asked me how I thought of the Spirit. I replied that I preferred the wind image to the fire image, as I like to think of the Spirit when I feel the breeze on my face and when I take a deep cleansing breath. The image of Spirit as fire is passionate and bright but you have to be careful. Getting too close can get you burnt.

 In the discussion that followed, we talked about the merits of both images, venturing deep into the whole concept of Spirit. What I remember most clearly, all these years later, is Dorothy challenging me not be afraid of the passion and energy represented by fire. We need the fire of the Spirit to move us to continue the work of Christ with passion and vibrant energy. We need the warmth of the fire to help us in the cold, dark nights of the soul. The work of the Church depends on the fire of the Spirit.

I invite you all to ponder the Spirit as wind and fire over the next week. To help with that, I offer you a lovely poem by William Blake called Pentecost that celebrates the fire of the Holy Spirit :
Unless the eye catch fire,
The God will not be seen.
Unless the ear catch fire
The God will not be heard.
Unless the tongue catch fire
The God will not be named.
Unless the heart catch fire,
The God will not be loved.
Unless the mind catch fire,
The God will not be known.

May our eyes, ears, tongues, hearts and minds catch fire with the energy and warmth of the Holy Spirit, brightening  our lives and our world. Amen

Rev. Debbie

Sun. May 20                            Rev. Grant Dawson
Sun. May 27                            Rev. Debbie Stockdale
Sun. June 3                             Rev. Debbie Stockdale
Sun. June 10                           Rev. Clint Mooney
Sun. June 17                           Rev. Debbie Stockdale
Sun. June 24                           Intergenerational Worship with all Ministers

Our soon to be minister, Rev. Eric Pagé and his wife Michelle have found accommodation in Calgary! Thank you to everyone who helped house hunting. We look forward to welcoming them both on July 1st!

We’re Retiring!!
Effective, June 30, Pat Blair and Karen Stenhouse are retiring from their current leadership roles with the Women of Woodcliff. This would leave WOW without leadership for the fall. On Wednesday, May 30th at 1:30 p.m., at the church, we will be holding a planning and recruitment meeting to 1) discuss possible programming for the future and 2) turn over the leadership reins to interested parties. Karen and Pat are willing to mentor new co-leaders for the fall programming. Please plan to attend and help WOW continue its ministry.
Projects for the Sherriff King Home
June 11th is coming soon and it’s the evening we turn over our Worry Buddies, afghans and other projects to this YWCA facility. If you have a project underway, it would be great if you could have it finished by then and ready to hand in. Thank you.

                        DO YOU LIKE TO PAINT?                             
                                   DO YOU LIKE TO GARDEN??                                 
Then come to our Woodcliff Church Spring Clean-up Party!   
We are hosting this incredible event on Saturday, June 2, 2018, starting at 9:00 a.m.
We have a station to suit everyone's interests.  We need painters to spruce up the Sunday School rooms.  We need gardeners to move mulch and spruce up our gardens.  We need cleaners to spruce up our kitchen.  And we welcome anyone who would like to help us clean up a lot of little jobs around the church.  There will even be a surprise task here and there. 
We will provide coffee and munchies.  And there are door prizes!  And lots of fellowship and laughter!  We hope you can join us in getting Woodcliff shiny for the spring and summer months. 
                                                                                    - the Property Committee

Thank you to everyone who signed up as interested in learning more about the affirming process and possibly helping with exploring what affirming is and could mean for Woodcliff.
Our first meeting will be June 7 at 6:30pm in the lounge. We will get to know one another a bit, do a little brainstorming of topics to explore and decide how we'd like to be organized.
Hope to see many of you there!

Thank you to everyone who has submitted photos for our bulletins and Power Point. It's not too late to send along others! We have set up an email specifically for photos: If you have any photos you would be willing to share or take any photos during you travels this summer, please forward them along. Thanks!


Got some time this summer to contribute to Habitat’s goal of providing affordable housing to needy Calgarians? Builds are currently underway in Bowness and Pineridge; check out volunteer opportunities: Stay tuned: Woodcliff is exploring week day and week end build days for the fall.

Sonshine Community Services
Sonshine is looking for two dressers in good condition for two different apartments, preferably at least six/nine drawer for the larger Mom rooms.  If you are able to donate and deliver please contact Lise Blanchette at  403.705.3490 or 

Our caring circle meets on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, from 1:30 to 3:00 pm in the Edworthy Lounge here at Woodcliff.  No professional referrals are required. If you are in need of a safe, confidential circle to share your experience, learn from others and support others in their journey, our Caregivers Support Group is for you and is open to all. If you have questions, please be in touch with Lorna at or Ron at Next gathering is June 5, 2018.

Children's ministry volunteers - it's time to sign up for opportunities for 2018! Please use the following link to find available spaces to help and to sign up. Thank you!

VBS is coming to Woodcliff this summer from July 16-20th and we are looking for donations to help set the scene:
Tan coloured carpet scraps, beach toys, plastic table cloths in tropical colours. If you have any of these items to donate, please be in contact with Sheri.

Camp Kasota West
Summer camps for children and youth. Information available on the downstairs bulletin board, on the web site, or by phoning 403-275-3636.

Choir practice runs Thursday evenings starting at 7:30 pm.
New voices always welcome!


Next meeting: June 16, 2018. 

Come join us for coffee in the Edworthy Lounge anytime after 10:00am!
To have names placed on the confidential Prayer Chain List please contact the prayer chain at
Pick up a request form at the Church to arrange for a prayer shawl presentation.
Contact the church office to help us acknowledge the life situations of our congregants.
The Healing Pathway Ministry team is available to give healing sessions upon request. To experience relaxation, and receive the gift of healing hands, please contact the church office at 403-249-3121.

Embracing the Spirit

As a jazz saxophonist, Peter Woods knows that live music performances are spiritually moving events for both the performer and the audience. As an ordained minister, he has always wanted to connect his performances more overtly to faith communities and spiritual growth.

That is now happening, thanks to funding from Embracing the Spirit, a Mission & Service–funded learning network and innovation fund. The program fosters new forms of ministry—including drum circles, outdoor labyrinths, arts festivals, and community cooking classes—along with supporting existing faith communities through connection and collaboration.

When Embracing the Spirit was launched at the Skylight Festival in 2016, Woods and his Evensong Ensemble were there to perform.

They were later granted an innovation grant, allowing the group to develop professionally, combining the power found in the contemporary jazz-pop concert experience with the progressive theology of the United Church.

“Support from Embracing the Spirit is making that possible,” Woods says. “People have never stopped seeking spiritual nourishment in a musical setting. The music is a vessel and is one part of a message about love and acceptance in the world.”

He notes that Evensong also hopes to connect with other musicians as the United Church seeks to be a credible presence in the Spiritual but Not Religious world. “We want to be part of the conversation” he says, “and funding from Embracing the Spirit is making that possible.”

If Mission & Service giving is already a regular part of your life, thank you so much! If you have not given, please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith. Loving our neighbour is at the heart of our Mission & Service.

Unison Festival
May 18 to 21, 2018 at the Bella Concert Hall, Mount Royal University.
The Unison Festival (Festival Unisson) is a Canadian LGBTQ2 choral festival that brings together choirs from across Canada every 4 years for a non-competitive celebration of choral music in queer community. The opening ceremony and concert tonight features host choirs Calgary Men's Chorus; One Voice Chorus; and BarberEllas.

Save the date:
Friday, May 25, 2018 - Concert of Hope (at Centre Street Church)
Tickets go on sale April 13 through Centre Street Church's website: 
For more information: call 403-796-3603, email or visit our website at


5010 Spruce Drive SW T3C 3B2


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Woodcliff United Church · 5010 Spruce Dr. S.W. · Calgary, Ab T3C 3B2 · Canada

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