Annual General Meeting – May 26, 27, 2023          

These past few months I have been involved with the planning of the Annual General Meeting for this region. I believe I was a bit overzealous in my volunteering for helping out. You see, I was excited. It is my first time to attend such a meeting and the ideas in my head came out in words like: ‘’Sure, I can help with that”, and, “Yes, I would love to pick out some music for this event”, and “Of course I can be a steward” and to top it off, ‘I would love to organize, take part, and prepare the Worship times’. Now you see what I mean about my mouth opening before my brain processed it all!

Inevitably, everything is falling into place and there are many people involved that will make this event spectacular. So, no, I’m not doing any of things on my own.

This preamble is really leading up to some discoveries I have made. The theme for the week-end is ‘Courageous Communities’. We – the congregations, the Regional office and the National office of the United Church of Canada, are assembling together to share in the joys of community, the work of the Lord still to do, the preparation we need to meet the needs of the present world. All this under the leadership of God and The One given to help us –the Holy Spirit.

We will sing, pray, share with each other and hear from God’s messenger, Michael Blair. We will leave with new vitality, new ideas, and new purpose.

This request today, is to ask that as partners in prayer, as members of the Body of Christ, you will pray for this gathering. You are welcome to attend. But, if you cannot join us, join others in prayer. As we lift our prayers heavenward, God will be blessed and His blessing will fall afresh on us. I thank you in advance.

Liz Church

Pastoral Care Director

Elgin/Portland Pastoral Charge

Devotional Thought, May 13, 2023

Mirrors are really something else, eh! They often appear to reflect an image we are not happy with. So, we pursue the perfection – for minutes or hours! And finally walk away, often as dissatisfied as when we started but at least can live with the result.

And before mirrors were used, you might see a person standing in front of a glass door, looking at their reflection. And before that time, people often used the water in a pool to see their reflection.

And of course, all of these things lead us to the fact that we are a ‘reflective piece of glass’ that people use to make their decision as to whether it is a good thing to be a Christian. As people stare at us, or walk with us, or live with us, I wonder if the true image shines through – the image of Christ reflected through you.

When I hold up my life before God, as imperfect as it is, I believe He smiles and sometimes even laughs at my attempts to correct His reflection. I’m sure I spend hours trying to work out ways to improve on the image I present, try to make it funny, appealing, as warm as possible. I could even be accused of trying to simplify it so that you cannot mistake the reflection for anything else.

And then I walk away. Perhaps satisfied. Perhaps to hope no one notices the imperfection. But all in all, I pray the reflection is that of Christ. That my light shines in the darkness. And even in the shadows – the dark night before dawn, the pain, chaos, the good times, the joyous times, the reflective times.

May it be so for each of. And as you fuss in front of the mirror this week, keep a close lookout for the real reflection – that of Christ Jesus. And carry it with you everywhere you go.

To each of you, may you be blessed.


Liz Church

Pastoral Care Director

Elgin/Portland Pastoral Charge