2022-01-29 Weekly E-News

Portland United Church

At the Portland United Church Council meeting on January 19, 2022 it was agreed that a review of the opening date would take place on February 10th via Zoom with a hope to re-open the week of February 20th.  Stay tuned for an opening announcement!

We sincerely thank Duncan Pickard for his dedication and hard work as our Treasurer and look forward to confirming Anita Cox as our new Treasurer.  Hansen Downer has also resigned as Council Chair so we hope to confirm a replacement for that position at the AGM as well.  Many thanks to Hansen for his hard work as well.

We sincerely hope that we can get together again in the Sanctuary and hope that you all remain healthy and are able to join us.

The Portland United Church Council

Devotional Thought – January 29, 2022

Going on a Road Trip! Love those words. Where are we going? What will we be doing? Is there a particular store we want to visit? Will we have time to stop for photos? Is it a day-trip? Should we stay overnight? The day arrives. My friend and I jump into the car. There are a few plans in place but still enough time to add details and places to visit, if we want.

Light chatter ensues as we idly chat about what’s happening (or not happening) in our families, in our church, at government levels – you know, the idle talk of girlfriends as we solve the world’s problems – in the next couple of hours! We are two very optimistic people!

A little snow had fallen earlier in the day, but the roads were clear. We turn on to the 401. As the miles pass our conversation suddenly takes a turn. Look! Did you see that big transfer truck in the ditch? Oh, look over there – a car slid right off the road. Luckily, in between 2 guardrails – little damage sustained. There’s another one on the other side – not so fortunate! And for the next 30 kilometers, the scene is repeated over and over! And yet, the roads are clear. The earlier morning snowfall had all but disappeared. Nothing left around us to show the damaging effects except for 10-12 cars and trucks in the ditch.

And I begin to look at the scene and reflect on my spiritual life. Preparation for my road trip, my life’s journey. I’ve got it all in hand. It’s clear to me, no issues in the near future. I will reach my destination without mishap. But that is not to be. The sudden storm hits! And I try to slow down, but not in time! The bump in the road unsettles me, but it does not deter me. I continue on. But then, the unforeseen happens. I slip and slide and crash. And I don’t know if I can recover. The journey has been taken over by mishaps, missteps, and downright stubborn behavior – I’m not taking anyone’s advice, I’m OK on my own path, I don’t want help, just leave me be.

But that, thank God, is not the end of the story. Because help comes, it is offered to me and I realize that I am not taking this journey alone – I have never been alone! I just needed to wait – let the road clear and start over afresh!

So, the next time you see a car in the ditch and your mind wanders to a place and time in your own life, take stock. Should I barrel through, full steam ahead – or wait, just until the storm subsides and I can see a clearer path ahead. And say with the lyricist:

Keep me safe, till the storm passes by!”

Peace and love to each of you,

Liz Church

Pastoral Care Director

Elgin/Portland Pastoral Charge