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WOODCLIFF MESSENGER APRIL 13, 2018
 
This week has been a week overlaid with grief. Every time I look at the news, or at my face book feed or at my email or come together with people I am reminded of the Humboldt Broncos. My heart is heavy. So many lives taken, so many still in hospital. So many connected in so many ways; family, friends, first responders, health care workers, hockey families, towns, churches ... Tears fall ...  Life is hard sometimes. How do we cope? How do we respond? Nora Sanders, the General Secretary of the United Church of Canada, had these words to offer: How does one make sense of such a thing? What does one say about something so senseless?

Krystal Sheremeta, President of Saskatchewan Conference, (and minister in Nipawin where Friday night’s game was to have taken place), offered beautiful words of comfort in the message she posted on Saturday. She wrote of God’s heart being the first to break, and said:

“Today as our souls cry out in shock, grief, and heartache, as we are overwhelmed by the devastation again and again, we are assured that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. When no words will suffice, when our prayers are the tears and stunned silences, we know these too are holy. We weep with those who are grieving, and lift prayers of lament with all those whose souls cry out this day.” (and this is just part of her powerful message):

One of the teenagers who died, Brody Hinz, was an active member at Westminster United in Humboldt. A huge sports fan, he was delighted when he was chosen to be the Broncos’ team statistician. His minister, Brenda Curtis, who now is preparing for his funeral, told me that the notes, cards, Facebook postings, emails, and texts, (more than she can personally respond to) that have arrived over the past few days, are “a literal outpouring of love from our United Church right across Canada… and are giving us strength here at Westminster United to keep going… to keep ‘being the church’ in our community and for our grieving families.”

Brenda was one of the clergy who led the vigil on Sunday night that was held in the Humboldt community arena, and broadcast to the nation on CBC. I am not sure whether she had turned to our New Creed when she was trying to figure out what to say, or if those words are just so deeply embedded that they came out when Brenda was searching for how to pray at such a time. She invited everyone present to reach out and take the hand of someone next to them, explaining, “In a few minutes, when we go our separate ways, I want you to recall the touch, warmth, blessing of that hand, to remind you that you are not alone, that we are not alone….”

And then she prayed to our holy and merciful God, “As we leave here, help us to know that in times of tragedy when we can see no way through the pain, help us to know we can put our trust and our faith in you. In life, in death, and in life beyond death, you are always with us tender God, encouraging us, loving us, and opening a path of healing for us all.”

On Good Friday, we grieved with the assurance that Easter would come. My prayers today are with all of those in Humboldt and with the families and communities of each of those who were killed or injured, praying that they will be held in God’s warm embrace during this time of deep pain, and that, in time, they will come to know joy once again. 

God is with us. Thanks be to God.
Indeed God is with us. To each whose heart is broken, to each whose hope is crushed; may you feel cradled in the strong and enduring love of God, may the light of Christ warm you in the dark of the night and may each prayer rising weave a shawl of caring round you so you know deep in your being that you are never alone. Amen
THIS WEEK AT WOODCLIFF
ANNOUNCEMENTS
                                          
THIS WEEK

Ujamaa Grandmas Annual Fabric and Yarn Sale will be taking donations on April 18th and 19th starting at 9:00am each day. Sale begins April 20th at 2:00pm and runs until 7:30pm and again on April 21st from 9:00am to 2:00pm. Please note that meeting space and parking is very limited during these days. 


FINANCE COMMITTEE UPDATE

We are a little ahead of budget!

WORSHIP AT WOODCLIFF
                   Sun. April 15                                       Rev. Debbie Stockdale
                   Sun. April 22                                       Rev. Clint Mooney
                   Sun. April 29                                       Rev. Debbie Stockdale
                   Sun. May 6                                           Rev. Debbie Stockdale
                   Sun May 13                                          Rev. Bob Mutlow
                   Sun May 20                                          Rev. Grant Dawson

 
 

FINANCIAL UPDATE
 


WOMEN OF WOODCLIFF (WOW)
Please join us on Monday, April 26th at 7:15 p.m. in the choir room. Our speaker will be Amanda Foote from the Lougheed House Conservation Society. She will speak to us on the history of Lougheed House, its restoration, and activities held there now. All women are welcome at all WOW sessions.


AFFIRMING LUNCH AND LEARN
In preparation for the upcoming April 29th Lunch and Learn about being an affirming congregation, we would like to know if you have any specific questions you would like answered.
The agenda currently includes:
What is an affirming church/ministry?
What does being affirming mean for a congregation?
What does it mean from the perspective of the LGBTQ2+ community?
What is the process to become an affirming church?
There is a question box at the rear of the sanctuary where you can submit your question so that the presenters have a chance to think about it before the presentation. There will also be a Q&A time included if something comes to mind during the session.
We look forward to seeing you there!


MEMBERSHIP
Rev. Debbie will be holding a short class for those interested in becoming members of Woodcliff on Wednesday April 25 at 7:00 pm. Membership Sunday will be May 6 for new members and those wishing to have their membership transferred. Please speak to Debbie or call the office if you are interested.


VALUABLES

Please do not leave valuables unattended or in coat pockets left in the foyer.



WOODCLIFF DEMENTIA CAREGIVERS SUPPORT GROUP
 
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 Ron at roncarter@telus.net or Lorna at rowsell5@shaw.ca. Next gathering is April 17, 2018.
 
 
CHILDREN'S MINISTRY

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

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 www.campkasotawest.com, or by phoning 403-275-3636.


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

 
MEN'S BREAKFAST GROUP

Next meeting: April 21, 2018.


THIRSTY THURSDAYS
Come join us for coffee in the Edworthy Lounge anytime after 10:00am!
PASTORAL CARE
WOODCLIFF PRAYER CHAIN
To have names placed on the confidential Prayer Chain List please contact the prayer chain at wucprayerchain@gmail.com
PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY
Pick up a request form at the Church to arrange for a prayer shawl presentation.
CARD MINISTRY
Contact the church office to help us acknowledge the life situations of our congregants.
HEALING MINISTRY
It is with much regret that our Healing Pathway Group announces the
suspension of our meetings - practise sessions and training courses.
Due to the very low demand for Healing sessions we feel it is not
worth our energy, time or expense to continue and thus have chosen
to apply our energy and enthusiasm in other areas within Woodcliff.
For the time being we will keep our room and will monitor demands
for Healing, realizing we may begin the program again.
WE WILL STILL BE AVAILABLE TO GIVE HEALING SESSIONS AS
REQUESTED.
MINUTE FOR MISSION

Mission and Service 101

Have you ever wondered what Mission & Service really is? Where did it come from? Well, I am going to tell you!

Mission & Service wasn’t always called Mission & Service. Before 1925, the three original denominations that joined to create The United Church of Canada—Presbyterians, Methodists, and Congregationalists—saw mission as an important part of church life and supported it in many ways.

Since church union, the name for the way we support the mission and service of the church has gone through many changes: first came the Woman’s Missionary Society along with the Home and Global Mission Boards, then the Missionary and Maintenance Fund, and later the Mission and Service Fund. Now, it is simply the Mission & Service of The United Church of Canada.

Mission & Service is not a separate fund within the church. It is the foundation of how we offer healing and hope in a hurting world. Mission & Service supports education programs; women’s empowerment; food, housing support, and advocacy to alleviate poverty; assistance for theological students, lay leaders, and camping; congregational support; healing the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people; youth programming like Rendez-vous, and much more!

Mission & Service is the heart and soul of The United Church of Canada. 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.


COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENTS
My Grandmother's Holocaust Story
Sunday, April 15, 2018
Guest Speaker: Marnie Bondar
St. Peter's Anglican Church
903 - 75 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB
Marnie Bondar is a second-generation Holocaust and Human Rights presenter. She is part of the 2nd Voices Project, an initiative of the Calgary Jewish Federation, and shares a lifelong commitment with her grandmother to stand-up to intolerance and discrimination. Marnie will recount the story of her Grandmother Freda Plucer's survival during the Holocaust using video clips of Freda's testimony.  Everyone is welcome to join us as we stand together in solidarity with victims of hate and violence, and pray for God's peace and hope throughout the world. Presented by The Calgary Council of Christians and Jews and St. Peter’s Anglican.


CORE Celebration's next concert is Sunday evening, April 22 at 7pm at First Baptist Church.
Come and enjoy the 2017/2018 season favourite choir pieces. Although we will not have a guest speaker due to the larger amount of musical content, we will have three guest musicians:
We welcome back a frequent contributor Maury Michie on violin, as well as Musical Theatre performers Victoria Erhardt and Kyle James Graae.
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: https://www.cschurch.ca/event/1111690-2018-05-25-12th-annual-concert-of-hope/
For more information: call 403-796-3603, email info@corecelebration.com or visit our website at http://www.corecelebration.org.


Pastoral & Spiritual Care Calgary Presbytery and Calgary Healing Ministries invite you to Toonie Lunch and Learn  
Mindfulness
Monday April 30th St. David’s United Church
Lunch 12—12:30   Presentation: 12:30—1:30
Please bring a toonie for lunch
Learn about research into the benefits of mindfulness and practice techniques for reducing stress with Dr. Linda Carlson professor of psychosocial oncology.
Dr. Carlson will introduce the concept of mindfulness and mindfulness-based interventions, focusing on people with medical conditions and their caregivers. She will briefly summarize the research showing benefits of mindfulness training for various groups, and introduce preliminary practices taught in mindfulness stress reduction programs. To register email: ucpcare@telus.net or phone: 403-294-0378.


5010 Spruce Drive SW T3C 3B2
403-249-3121

NEED AN ANNOUNCEMENT IN THE BULLETIN, MESSENGER OR POWERPOINT? email the office at 
office@woodcliffunited.com

wucprayerchain@gmail.com
woodcliffkids@gmail.com
youthwuc@gmail.com

Please add us in your address book.

Find more information about the wider Church at:
Calgary Presbytery: www.calgaryunited.ca
Alberta & Northwest Conference: www.anwconf.com
The United Church of Canada: www.united-church.ca
Wondercafe2 http://wondercafe2.ca/index.php
Our mailing address is:
5010 Spruce Dr. SW, Calgary, Alberta T3C 3B2, Canada

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

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